By David Ferris, E&E News, Wyoming Business Report
The study released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory modeled how high penetration of solar and wind power — from 40 to 50 percent — would affect system operators in New York, the Great Plains, California and Texas . . . The study looked at four system operators: the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the California Independent System Operator and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), all of which neatly cover their home states. It also modeled the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which encompasses part or all of five wind-rich states: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Clickhere to read more.
Sonnen secures €60 million investment from Shell Ventures, PV Magazine Germany-based PV-storage provider sonnen has closed a new funding round from a group of investors led by Shell Ventures. Sonnen has already begun to draw on the funds as it continues to expand market shares in the U.S. and in Australia.
Dedication held for Twin Buttes II wind farm in Prowers County,Lamar Ledger Editor
“The project is 75 megawatts,” commented Lee Boughey with Tri-State Generation. “What Tri-State does is we’ll purchase the power from this project over a 25 year power purchase agreement and that power will be put on our transmission network supplied to our 43 member systems across Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and New Mexico.”
Businesses are locking in huge savings with renewable PPAs, The Fifth Estate
Globally, companies are finding economic relief and price stability in wind and solar power purchase agreements (PPAs), which are driving corporate engagement on renewables in Australia, the US, Mexico, India and parts of Europe. As of Q1 2018, nearly 20 gigawatts of PPAs have been executed by corporations globally since 2008.
In March, Facebook and Adobe announced they signed power purchase agreements with EGPNA, the renewable energies division of the Enel Group, for the sale of energy produced by Enel’s 320 MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm. Facebook’s deal with Enel expands upon the previous agreement for the purchase of Rattlesnake Creek’s output, increasing the renewable power supply to Facebook’s data center in Papillion, Nebraska, upon its expansion. Clickhereto read more.
Spring Valley continues to explore solar options, LaSalle News Tribune Nebraska-based Bluestem Energy Solutions said they would like to do a study in Spring Valley to explore the possibility of adding a solar farm. There would be no upfront cost to the city, but Spring Valley would have to make a 25 year commitment to Bluestem with an opt-out fee of up to $75,000. The city plans on talking again with Bluestem on June 5.
The unstoppable tide of solar illustrated by the rise of floating projects, PV Magazine International. Price deflation and technological innovation are helping solar transform the global electricity sector. A new report by IEEFA highlights the latest solar milestones around the world and charts important trends, including the rise of floating solar and the corporate PPAs helping the tech giants ‘green’ their energy-hungry data centers.
Study: Solar Can Fill Gap in Dynegy Coal Plant Closures, Public News Service
If Dynegy Energy closes its eight coal-fired power plants in downstate Illinois, all will be fine – and better for the environment – according to a new study commissioned by environmental groups . . . “And it would save a total of up to $14 billion on electricity between 2018 and 2030, again that’s because the wind and solar projects are significantly cheaper than those Dynegy coal plants.” – Rachel Fakhry, energy policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council Now in effect in Illinois: The Future Energy Jobs Act
Are the big Chinese powerhouses coming to America? According to the BMI Research report, manufacturers based in what is expected to be the world’s biggest PV market up to 2027 are eyeing the anticipated second and third largest marketplaces over the same period – the U.S.A. and India, who between them are expected to add 153 GW over the next decade, compared to a predicted 148 GW market in the rest of the world, excluding China.
Rush to gas risks hundreds of billions in stranded assets A new report by Rocky Mountain Institute finds that gas plants proposed across the United States over the next 15 years could be replaced by clean energy portfolios at a net savings, and that these projects are at risk of becoming stranded assets.
The number of contracts signed for wind power projects hit a record of 3,500 MW in Q1 2018, according to the American Wind Energy Association, signaling that 2018 should be a strong year for the renewable resource.
There are now 33,449 MW of wind projects under construction or in advanced development in the U.S., a 40% increase from last year and the highest level since AWEA began compiling the metric at the beginning of 2016.
Over the next five to seven years, Jonathan Naughton, director of the Wind Energy Research Center at the University of Wyoming, expects as much as 5,000 megawatts of new wind power could take form in Wyoming. That’s three times the amount of power potential in Wyoming’s current fleet of wind projects . . . With the expiration date of the federal tax credits looming, what would have happened anyway in Wyoming is speeding up, Naughton said. “Utilities want wind these days,” he said. “Not because of environmental policy. They want it because it’s cheap.” Read morehere.
TP&L Claims Largest Wind Component Distribution Center In North America, North American Windpower. With the recent expansion of its location in Garden City, Kan., and additional distribution centers in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Nebraska, the company serves multiple industries, including wind power, with rail, port and trucking logistics support and management.
Pacificorp, a Berkshire Hathaway electricity utility serving six Western states, said it has no plans to build new gas or coal in the coming decades, but instead plans to add 2.7 GW of wind and 1.8 GW of solar. Clickhere to read more.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
More U.S. jobs in solar than coal and nuclear combined, byChristian Roselund, PV Magazine A new report from a think tank headed by former Energy Secretary Moniz reveals an additional 100,000 jobs with a part-time solar component, and hints at the political powerhouse that solar is becoming.
Among American adults, 85% support increased reliance on wind power according to new data from the Pew Research Center. That includes 91% of Democrats and those who lean Democratic, and 79% of Republicans and those who lean Republican. Such cross-cutting support for renewables stands in contrast to other forms of energy.
Another recent poll, by the American Conservation Coalition (a college Republican clean energy group) and the Conservative Energy Network, found 79% of millennials “felt that a pro-clean energy candidate cares more about their family’s future.” Likewise, millennials favored wind by a 39 point margin in their survey. Click here to read the entire post.
Renewable energy, and its role in energy future, is an intense topic that spans across all corners of the energy spectrum. For example, our recent Mexican Energy Series featured a lively discussion of whether Mexico is on course for the 2024 target of 35% renewable energy, and what this pledge means for the country. Each year, as new corporations, municipalities, and countries make bold and vocal commitments to offsetting energy consumption, and to pursuing clean energy resources at a higher level, the conversation intensifies.
For an insider perspective about the current state of renewable energy, we called upon Lenae Shirley, Senior Director, Technology Innovation and Market Adoption for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Lenae is working at the nexus of technology, markets and policy, leading efforts with EDF’s demonstration partners to prove the impact of clean technology innovations. As a result of these initiatives, Lenae identifies trends and market opportunities to accelerate the transformation of the electricity sector, with data-driven decisions that push forward market adoption for renewable methods. Here is our conversation. Clickhere to continue.
Local residents demand coal-free community, Channel 3000 – Wisconsin TV MADISON, Wis. – Local residents gathered Saturday to learn about coal-powered electricity and to demand that Madison Gas and Electric become a coal-free utility. The Rally for a Coal-Free Community was planned by the Sierra Club and more than 20 other Madison-area organizations, according to a news release.
By Tina Casey, Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit
Until recent years, businesses seeking on site solar energy had to negotiate a thicket of regulatory glitches and permit issues for solar installations. Practically every solar buyer had to reinvent the wheel, leading to increased costs at the least, and insurmountable obstacles at the worst. Fortunately, those days are fading into memory as the solar market matures. In the latest sign that it’s getting easier to go solar, 200 US cities and counties — accounting for a population of almost 60 million people — have signed on to the SolSmart solar engagement program. Read more here.
CleanChoice won a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to develop an easy online experience for joining community solar projects, said Kate Colarulli, a vice-president for the company. The new Minnesota solar network is one of the first projects to use this technology, she said, which has been in the works for more than a year. “We’re really proud that this is like a 10-minute signup experience as opposed to something that would require multiple sit-down meetings, loans, etc.,” Colarulli said. There’s no initial investment required to sign up, either. Read morehere.
Hey, Oil Giants: Want to Sell Renewables? Funds Are All Ears, Bloomberg “There is a competitive pool of buyers willing to snatch up those assets,” Rachel Luo, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an interview. A deep-pocketed list of institutional and infrastructure funds have pushed into clean energy, thanks to long-term power-purchase agreements with utilities and corporate giants that offer steady returns over decades.
Iowa-based Ideal Energy is constructing a 1.1 MW power plant at the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa, using the NEXTracker NX Flow integrated solar-plus-storage system. The project will be built on University land and, when completed, it is projected to be one of the largest solar-plus-storage power plants in the state, producing enough energy to cover nearly a third of the University’s annual electricity usage. In addition to those savings, NX Flow will use peak-shaving to significantly reduce MUM’s utility bill during high-demand times. Read morehere.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the progress made by more than 900 public and private-sector organizations that are driving energy efficiency in the U.S. economy through their participation in the Better Buildings Initiative. Moreover, partners across the Better Buildings Initiative are sharing their innovative approaches and successful strategies to accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices. The 2018 Better Buildings Progress Reportreleased today highlights this progress in the commercial, industrial, residential and public sectors to improve energy productivity.