January 6 Energy News

January 6, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Last year was the UK’s warmest and fourth wettest year since Met Office records began in 1910. The average temperature of 9.9° C, which was 1.1C° above the long-term average (from 1981 to 2000). The year was the warmest on record in the central England temperature series, which dates back to 1659. [FarmersWeekly]

World:

¶ A consortium led by French-based global solar independent power producer Sonnedix closed a deal for a solar PV power project in the Northern Cape of South Africa with a capacity of 86 MW. Juwi Renewable Energies is handling EPC services and South African utility Eskom is on board with a PPA. [pv magazine]

¶ Australia’s peak solar industry body has launched a campaign to put pressure on the state of Queensland’s conservative government that it claims, “has been determined to shove solar where the sun doesn’t shine.” Queensland voters will head to the polls to elect a state government on January 31. [pv magazine]

¶ Iran and Azerbaijan have agreed to jointly construct wind and solar power stations as part of their efforts to promote mutual cooperation between the two neighbors in the area of renewable energy resources. An Iranian energy official said projects might be in either country or even elsewhere. [Tasnim News Agency]

¶ EDF Renewable Services, the US subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, expanded its portfolio of renewable energy projects in Canada by 52% in 2014. Over the course of the year, the company signed contracts for 27 projects in Quebec and Ontario, representing 454 MW of wind and 134 MW of solar power. [EcoSeed]

¶ Australia’s small-scale solar energy industry held steady in 2014 although uncertainty is casting a cloud over the sector. Aside from lack of government support for renewable energy, costs for imported PVs are rising as the Australian dollar wilts. The industry added about 800 MW during the year. [Sydney Morning Herald]

US:

¶ Northern Power Systems Corp, located in Barre, Vermont, has publicly filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, relating to a proposed initial US public offering of its common shares. The company has applied for the listing of its common shares on the NASDAQ. [Stockhouse]

¶ Exelon Corp, the biggest US owner of nuclear reactors, estimates it will need to charge 83% above wholesale prices to keep the Ginna nuclear plant running. The plant, near Rochester, New York, recorded losses exceeding $100 million from 2011 to 2013. Ginna is one of ten nuclear plants considered uncompetitive. [Tulsa World]

¶ First Wind confirmed that the Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved Energy Sale Agreements with five proposed First Wind solar projects and the Idaho Power Company. The contracts are for 20 years and for projects that total 100 MW. The five 20 MW projects are spread across southern Idaho. [Power Online]

¶ In his Monday inaugural address, California Governor Jerry Brown proposed an ambitious expansion of California’s renewable energy goals, from one-third by 2020 to 50% by 2030. The goal also includes big increases in alternative fuels, building efficiency, and smart grid investments to put them to use. [Greentech Media]

¶ Less than half the electricity generated by Indiana Michigan Power is now coming from coal. With the recent completion of Randolph County’s Headwaters Wind Farm and the retirement of the coal-fueled Tanners Creek generating unit in Lawrenceburg, I&M’s energy sources include only 49.7% coal. [Muncie Star Press]

¶ As Public Service Company of New Mexico begins making its case for a new power-replacement plan, one that would reduce the amount of coal it uses to produce electricity, some of the company’s customers are urging a more aggressive push toward cleaner, renewable energy sources. [Albuquerque Business First]

¶ Following a 12-year survey, Stephen Ansolabehere, a Harvard government professor, has concluded that the majority of Americans prefer renewable energy sources over coal, oil and nuclear energy, and see natural gas as a bridge fuel that falls between the two stools of renewables and dirtier fossil fuels. [pv magazine]

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