February 21 Energy News

February 21, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “We Don’t Need New Energy Storage Innovations” – There’s been a lot of talk about energy storage being a “holy grail” for solving the problems of deeper renewables saturation in the US power grid. But it’s time to start pushing back on the rhetoric. The solutions we have now for storage are sufficient to the task. [Greentech Media]

Science and Technology:

¶ One of the biggest statements on Tesla’s last quarterly conference call was that it would be unveiling a battery storage system for home use within 1–2 months. Several competing energy storage companies are watching closely to see what the details end up being, while a bit envious of the media attention Tesla gets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ It’s been frigid in much of the US this week, and in New England for weeks on end. But nationally, the country has been going through a surprisingly warm winter. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the December 2014 to January 2015 period has been the sixth warmest on record in the contiguous US. [Huffington Post]

World:

¶ Much has been made of the competition between the United States and China for the title of world’s leading wind energy country, with the former the leading generator and the latter the leading installer. However, according to GlobalData analyst Pranav Srivastava, both titles are to be China’s as soon as 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Vestas has entered into a deal with OX2 to supply 10 turbines for the 33 MW Maevaara 2 wind power plant in northern Sweden. Under the contract, Vestas will supply, install and commission the V126, 3.3 MW turbines with de-icing system. The project is the second in Sweden to feature the V126 3.3 MW. [Greentech Lead]

¶ New statistics released by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has revealed that close to 22,000 households have received support under the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, a program of grants to support domestic low-carbon heating installations. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]

US:

¶ The US Navy Task Force Energy is now drawing our attention to an op-ed by a former Navy commander outlining the risks of continued oil dependency. Like another recent piece, it pulls no punches, drawing attention to the thousands of American deaths attributed to petroleum transportation in Iraq and Afghanistan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ NextEra Energy is planning to build Hawaii’s largest wind farm on the southern coast of Maui. Before the construction of the 120-MW project, NextEra will complete the acquisition of Hawaiian Electric for $4.3 billion. In addition, the wind project will also be owned and operated by NextEra Energy. [Greentech Lead]

¶ Maine’s reshaped Public Utilities Commission wants to reconsider two proposed wind projects it approved two months ago, a move critics say would damage the integrity of the regulatory process and scare off future renewable-energy investors. The commission will decide on reassessment on Wednesday. [Nashua Telegraph]

¶ More than a dozen, mostly coal-dependent, states are already raising hell about the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The latest battle is currently playing out in Virginia, where a state representative with ties to the coal industry wants to make it more difficult for the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to comply. [Grist]

¶ Pittsfield officials have started negotiating with Ameresco a long-term solar lease and power/net metering purchase agreement. The global alternative energy company has offered to install a solar array of up to 2.9 MW of electric generating capacity that provide more than 3.86 million kWh annually. [Berkshire Eagle]

¶ A bipartisan group of almost three dozen Illinois lawmakers yesterday proposed measures that would expand the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy requirements and establish a carbon market to help the state comply with US EPA’s Clean Power Plan to limit GHG emissions. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

¶ Two Minnesota legislators have penned energy bills this session that would lift the state’s moratorium on Xcel Energy building another reactor at the Monticello nuclear plant. Both bills are site-specific to Monticello for the construction of a single, new nuclear-powered electric generating unit on the current plant site. [Monticello Times]

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