Category Archives: Energy Storage

ACCIONA acquires 3,000 MW in photovoltaic projects being developed in the USA

Acciona News Release

ACCIONA today announced the signature of an agreement with the US company Tenaska to acquire a portfolio of photovoltaic projects in seven states across the country. The portfolio comprises approximately 3,000 megawatts (MW) of rated power in utility-scale photovoltaic plants and 1.000 MW of battery storage. The transaction covers 20 projects located in the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, within the scope of the PJM Interconnection and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) markets. Tenaska – through Tenaska Solar Ventures, the company’s solar development services business – will work with ACCIONA to complete development of the projects.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has a robust renewables program that includes solar and wind generation in various stages of development, construction and operation. Tenaska Solar Ventures provides development services to approximately 40 projects in 11 states, totaling roughly 6,000 MW of renewable solar capacity. Read more here.

Related Article

ACCIONA buys solar + storage on a national scale, PV Magazine
The Spanish company has purchased 3 GW of solar projects and 1 GW of solar + storage from developer Tenaska, with all of the projects concentrated in non-traditional solar markets.

Previously Posted

The Midwest’s solar future will be unlike anything seen before, PV Magazine
Fitch Solutions Marco Research has boldly predicted the region will be a main driver towards the 100 GW of solar power capacity expected to hit the U.S. over the next 10 years. The procurement will be led by city and utility commitments to renewable energy, the falling costs of solar and the continued expansion of popular community solar programs.

More Regional & State Energy Transition News

Green Bonds

Green bonds lead sustainable funding past $1tn mark, PV Magazine International
In the past 12 years, green bonds have raised nearly $800 billion for investment in clean energy and other sustainability projects and companies are now pegging bond interest payments to their environmental performance.

Grid Decarbonization

Carbon-free – are we at a tipping point?, sponsored content by DistribuTECH, written by Julia Hamm, SEPA President. Published by Utility Dive. Of all the changes and industry trends I’ve witnessed over the past two decades, I believe the most significant is one we are witnessing today: voluntary utility commitments to get to 100% clean or carbon-free energy within the next two-and-a-half to three decades. 

EV News

Featured Nonprofit Energy Transition Initiative

The Just Transition Fund (JTF) is a national philanthropic initiative focused on coal community transition. The Fund supports and connects frontline communities through four key strategies.

Where JTF Works
The Fund focuses on coalfield and power plant communities. Our geographic priorities include key states in Appalachia, the West, and the Midwest. The Fund gives preference to states experiencing the largest numbers of plant retirements and to regions that contain both plants and mines.

With 10% penetration, EVs could shift all residential peak load to night, analysis of SoCal Ed finds

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Electric vehicles have the potential to act as virtual power plants that can help utilities soak up midday renewable energy and discharge in the evenings to reduce peak load, according to a study from Jackson Associates released Wednesday. The analysis, based on 5,000 Southern California Edison (SCE) customers’ hourly loads, commuting behavior and “potential electric vehicle (EV) ownership,” concluded that at a 10% EV penetration, the batteries could shift the utility’s entire residential peak load to nighttime hours.

Over 20 million EVs are expected on U.S. roads by 2030 — a rapid increase from the 1.26 million on the road as of June, according to a Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) report released this month. “[U]tilities need to plan ahead to minimize grid impacts” of growing EV adoption, the group concludes. Read more here.

 Photo Credit: Flickr; National Renewable Energy Lab

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Coal retirements in Indiana could be hastened by 2.6GW of wind, solar and energy storage

By Tom Kenning, Energy Storage News

US utility Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) has issued request for proposals (RfPs) for a mix of technologies across solar, energy storage, wind and others to meet requirements for extra power generation identified under its Integrated Resource Plan (2018 IRP). The Merrillville-headquartered company is one of seven utilities of NiSource Inc. and serves close to half a million customers in the northern part of Indiana. It currently has 2.9GW of generation capacity spread across coal, gas and hydropower. It now plans to divest away from coal assets, with a plan to retire most of this capacity by 2023, largely driven by calls from the local community to reduce pollution. Earlier this year a NIPSCO executive said that renewables are so cheap that it may now be able to retire its coal plants earlier than expected. Read more here.

Image credit: Flickr/Joe Passe

ALSO IN THE NEWS

NEW STUDY

US ‘green economy’ generates $1.3 trillion and employs millions, new study finds, CNBC
The green economy is driving growth and job creation in the United States, but as the rest of the world catches up, the U.S. will have to enact new and supportive policies to remain competitive, a new study from University College London found.

Buying rooftop solar, in bulk

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

One of the oldest ideas about how to cut costs is advancing, not through a business, but through a non-profit. Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is reporting that it has added 13 “solar co-ops” in ten states over the last six months, which are allowing participating homeowners and small business owners to essentially buy rooftop solar in bulk, 30 roofs at a time.

These new cooperatives span the nation, from Arizona to Maryland, with four in a state that is experiencing a minor boom: Florida. Beaches Business Solar Co-opMiami Digital Solar Co-opOrlando Solar Co-op and Pasco County Solar Co-op. These co-ops work by gathering neighbors together through informative sessions run by SUN, and getting them to sign up more neighbors, often through word of mouth. Read more here.

Solar United Neighbors (SUN) Resources

Additional PV Magazine News Stories & Resources

  • FPL redefines community solar
    Florida Power and Light (FPL), in collaboration with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Vote Solar, and Walmart has officially filed a settlement to establish the nation’s largest community solar, after announcing plans for the program in the spring. The program, named Solar Together will be the biggest in the United States by a pretty wide margin, a piece of the larger 30×30 program that aims to install 30,000,000 solar panels by 2030, being described by SACE as 30×30’s ‘backbone.’
  • Solar + storage to survive disasters
    Roth Capital Partners has released a new research note on conclusions made and predictions about the solar industry, based off of observations made at Solar Power International 2019 (SPI). While the note is chiefly concerned with industry-wide solar stock performance, one bit of information stood out: Roth expects the U.S. residential solar market to exceed anticipated growth, increasing 25% year-over-year in both 2019 and 2020.
  • Energy storage and inverters to get you through power outages
  • Vertically integrated advanced energy manufacturing from SolarEdge
    SolarEdge is still fundamentally based on solar power, however, it is turning into a vertically integrated energy manufacturer and service provider.

Green Hydrogen News

Featured Resources

Argonne and University of Illinois to form hydrogen fuel cell coalition

News Release, Argonne National Laboratory

“With the coalition, we want to raise awareness of the potential for hydrogen and fuel cells — to provide energy resilience and security, reduce emissions and foster economic growth — so we can enable their adoption in the Midwest region,” said Ted Krause, Argonne’s fuel cell laboratory program manager and a department head with Argonne’s Chemical Sciences and Engineering division.

The states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas are home to a quarter of the U.S. population and consume 30 percent of electric power generated in the U.S. The states account for 35 percent of U.S.-installed wind capacity and while the region only produces about 4 percent of the nation’s solar energy, a number of pending large solar farms and community solar projects will greatly increase the region’s solar generating capacity. As a consequence, the Midwestern states have some of the highest levels of renewable energy on their grids. Hydrogen can be used as an effective storage medium to increase utilization of these renewable energy resources. Read more here.

International Green Hydrogen News

Siemens backs 5 GW green hydrogen plan for Australia, PV Magazine
A massive clean energy project aiming to produce green hydrogen powered by up to 5 GW of solar and wind generation capacity has been unveiled for Western Australia. In a significant early stage milestone, Hydrogen Renewables Australia has joined forces with Siemens to deploy the latter’s Silyzer electrolyzer at the Murchison project. Situated just north of the coastal town of Kalbarri in the midwest of the state, the location had been identified in a study by U.S. engineering multinational AECOM as one of Australia’s best for its combination of solar and wind potential.

Previously Posted

  • South Australia unveils plans for 100% renewable hydrogen economy, Renew Economy
    Recent studies have shown that the cost of wind and solar has fallen so dramatically, and the cost of electrolysers is also expected to fall at the same rate, that renewable hydrogen will be able to compete on costs with “brown” or “grey” hydrogen, used from coal or other fossil fuel sources.
  • The slow, inexorable rise of green hydrogen, PV Magazine
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) believes the production of hydrogen from renewables has the potential to deliver 19 exajoules of energy in 2050. Some 16 TW of solar and wind power generation capacity – 120 exajoules – may be needed to generate green hydrogen or related products from electrolysis by that point. Today the world hosts around 7 TW of total power generation capacity, around 1 TW of which comes from solar and wind, according to IRENA’s Hydrogen: A renewable energy perspective report. An International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen stated fossil-fueled production of the fuel is responsible for “annual CO
    2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”.
  • Electrolysis breakthrough could solve the hydrogen conundrum, by Alexandr Simonov, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Published by Phys.Org. Australia, with its abundant sun and wind, has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives.

Featured Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Resources

The Midwest’s solar future will be unlike anything seen before

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine    

Fitch Solutions Marco Research has released a report, Midwest US Set To Experience Strong Growth In Solar Sector, which makes some very bold predictions about the future of the solar industry in America’s heartland. Chief among those bold predictions, Fitch states that it expects the region to add 100 GW of solar power capacity over the next 10 years. This astronomical, gargantuan, whichever word of scope you use to describe, prediction is supported mainly by the region’s large proposed solar project pipeline, with a total potential added capacity of a smidge under 79 GWac that are registered within the MISO, SPP and PJM generation interconnection queues – the grid operators that cover the region. Read more here.

Regional Transmission Organizations

Photo Credit: Ideal Energy in Iowa

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Decentralization is more than a dream, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
    The idea that rooftop solar and other distributed resources could avoid the need for new power lines isn’t theory. In its 2017-2018 transmission plan, California’s grid operator cancelled 20 new transmission projects and revised 21 more due to energy efficiency and residential solar power altering load forecasts, with a projected savings of $2.6 billion.
  • Federal policy could unlock new value from rooftop solar and home batteries, by David Thill, Energy News Network. The report describes how policy guidance from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees the wholesale markets, could open the door for more participation of aggregated distributed energy resources in the markets. Right now, customer-managed storage, and storage paired with generation like solar, are the resources developers seem most interested in aggregating for wholesale participation, said Jeff Dennis, managing director and general counsel at Advanced Energy Economy.
  • US Wind Industry Seeks Same Tax Incentives as Solar, by Karl-Erik Stromsta, Greentech Media
    In a strategic shift, the American wind industry has begun pressing lawmakers to extend solar’s ITC to onshore wind projects. Regardless of what happens in the battle for tax-credit extensions, the wind market is in the midst of its all-time biggest boom years. Wood Mackenzie expects the U.S. to add nearly 40 gigawatts of capacity in 2019-2021 as developers race to beat the PTC deadline.

EV NEWS

  • 6 US regions leading the way on electric buses, by contributor Jason Plautz, Smart Cities Dive
    Although electric buses can present technological and logistical hurdles for cities and school districts, advanced planning and dedicated resources can make them fit into any environment. That’s the message of a new report from the United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and Environment America, which examined six U.S. cities and regions that have taken the lead on phasing out diesel buses. 
  • Electric bus fleets are the latest tool for improving air quality, contributed article by William Drier, Research Analyst, Transportation Innovations, Navigant Research. Published by GreenBiz.
    Concerns about air quality and vehicle emissions are rising globally. According to the Health Effects Institute (PDF), air pollution is one of the top-ranking risk factors for death and disability, with vehicle emissions the main contributor of outdoor pollution. Local and regional governments are increasingly focused on improving their ambient air quality.

Deloitte Study: 100% Renewables, Beyond the Grid – Aspiration or Destination?

Deloitte News Release, PR Newswire

Huge strides have been made in organizational energy use, but giant leaps required for total transformation.

Key takeaways

  • The renewable energy transition appears poised to accelerate in the United States, with a growing list of states, cities, private and public sector organizations taking the lead.
  • Almost 45% of organizations surveyed cited commitments to increase renewable energy sources in their electricity consumption mix by a target year; nearly 25% cited having renewable production/generation goals.
  • Organizational transitions to renewable energy are being driven by cost-cutting (36.4%) and reducing environmental impact/carbon footprint (35.4%), according to survey respondents.
  • Today’s goals just the “tip of the iceberg,” massive strides in policy, technology, and procurement strategies and tools are needed to turn 100% renewables from an aspiration to a destination.

Evaluating the current trajectory to 100% renewables: Continue reading here.

Click here to learn more about the study, Moving organizational energy use toward 100% renewables—aspiration or destination?

NEW INSIDER POLL

Americans really want the US to adopt renewable energy like wind and solar power, while rejecting fossil fuels like coal, Business Insider

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Climate Week 2019: Huge commitments, big money and collaboration

By Deonna Anderson, Associate Editor, GreenBiz Group

During 2019’s Climate Week, companies, foundations and others have made dozens of announcements of commitments, partnerships, new research and more to address the climate crisis. As GreenBiz published last week, the commitments this year are much bigger — think trillions — than those announced during previous Climate Weeks.

For example, during the U.N. General Assembly, 130 banks from 49 countries — with more than $47 trillion in assets — launched The Principles for Responsible Banking. Backed by the United Nations, the effort from one-third of the global banking sector, commits the banks to “strategically align their business with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals” in addition to “massively scale up their contribution to the achievement of both.”
Continue reading here.

About the Author
Deonna Anderson is an award-winning journalist and associate editor at GreenBiz. Previously, she was the Surdna reporting fellow at YES! Magazine. She’s an alumna of UC Davis and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

PSC rejects conflict-of-interest assertions, authorizes $500 million Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line

By Chris Hubbuch, Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin utility regulators granted final approval Thursday for a controversial power line while rebuffing conflict of interest charges from opponents of the nearly $500 million project. At a meeting interrupted by protesters, the Public Service Commission voted unanimously to authorize construction of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line between Dubuque, Iowa, and Middleton in a written order summarizing points the three commissioners agreed to during a hearing in August. Read more here.

Photo: NPPD Transmission Tower

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

PODCASTS

  • GreenBiz 350 Podcast – Episode 190: Ambition, angst and action at Climate Week, Danone CEO prioritizes biodiversity
  • The Stranded Asset Threat to Natural Gas, Greentech Media. This week on The Interchange podcast: Is natural gas the new coal? There are $70 billion worth of natural-gas-fired power plants planned in the U.S. through the mid-2020s. But a combination of wind, solar, batteries and demand-side management could threaten up to 90 percent of those investments.

ENERGY TRANSITION MARKET SECTOR 

The energy transition: A $4.3T, underfunded opportunity, contributed article by Kevin Stevens, partner at Intelis Capital, Utility Dive

For context, here are the sizes of popular, fast-growing sectors of technology that you might be familiar with:

Let that sink in, those are all exciting sectors in their own right and the energy transition is more than 14 times the largest one listed. Other than healthcare ($10.2 trillion), I can’t think of a larger sector opportunity.

ENERGY STORAGE

Oil and Gas Investor EnCap Muscles Into Energy Storage Business, Greentech Media
Former First Solar CEO Jim Hughes to help lead EnCap’s “energy transition” team, as it readies a push into the battery storage market. This could include large-scale solar-plus-storage projects of the kind that have been cropping up at increasingly competitive prices across the country’s key solar markets such as CaliforniaNevada and Arizona. It could also include pairing wind farms with batteries in key markets, although these are more challenging to finance, given the lack of a clear tax credit mechanism to include batteries with wind, as exists with the federal solar Investment Tax Credit.

An Unusual Plan for Lowering Solar’s Customer Acquisition Costs: Infomercials

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

Generac Power Systems, a Fortune 1000 company that sells residential backup power generators, is making a play for the residential solar and storage market. This spring the Wisconsin-based company, part of stock-listed Generac Holdings Inc., acquired storage manufacturer Pika Energy and home energy management system company Neurio Technology. Relying on those technologies and drawing on the 60-year-old company’s experience in fostering markets, Generac will sell home solar and storage systems, to be installed by an army of contractors. Read more here.

MORE SOLAR+STORAGE NEWS

BIFACIAL SOLAR MARKET

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

CLEAN ENERGY WEEK 2019 NEWS

  • Wind powers National Clean Energy Week 2019, by Curtis Walter, Into The Wind,
    AWEA Blog. American Wind Week is still in the rearview mirror, but now it’s time to celebrate the full range of clean energy technologies during National Clean Energy Week. Groups across the energy sector are highlighting the ways American ingenuity is delivering clean energy to families and businesses across the country. With energy affordability and climate solutions dominating the headlines, this year’s “For Our Future” theme is fitting.

CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

  • Farmers Join On-Going Climate Change Protest, RFD TV News
    The National Farmers Union is leading a charge to expand voluntary conservation programs like CSP and EQUIP, which they say are already known, popular, and oversubscribed, evidence that farmers are looking for a seat at the climate table. Though the topic of climate change is still an inflammatory one for many in ag, Jenny Hopkinson, National Farmers Union Government Relations, says the ability to manage and adapt through changing weather patterns is becoming a question of long-term economic viability. The National Farmers Union is also pushing for more market-based approaches to compensate farmers for conservation, strong research funding, and the promotion of on-farm energy production.