April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ GE has launched a new wind collector optimization service to help developers better plan the layout of wind farms, providing potential savings of more than 20%. The service, which uses grid intelligence, provides an in-depth look at possible collector cable configurations and the benefits and drawbacks of each. [reNews]

Wind Farm

Wind farm rising above smog.

¶ A tractor able to run on two renewable fuels, hydrogen and ammonia, was demonstrated in Iowa by its developers, who cited sustainability and zero carbon emissions. The tractor has a 150-hp engine and operates at full power for up to 4 hours, or up to 50 acres. [The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines]


¶ The world’s largest internal combustion engine power plant is being inaugurated near Amman, Jordan. The plant is powered by 38 Wärtsilä 50DF multi-fuel engines with a combined capacity of 573 MW. The engines can run on various grades fuel oil or natural gas. It is currently running on heavy oil. [Stockhouse]

¶ The cabinet of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh gave the green light to the world’s biggest solar power project. The project will have a capacity of 750 MW. The government also decided to set up a joint venture company for the project. The World Bank will provide loan for the project, a government spokesman said. [Times of India]

¶ Businesses and residents living in the Outer Hebrides will be able to seek advice on installing wind turbines, solar panels, heat pumps and other clean technologies, when a new renewable energy hub opens this week. The hub is designed to help off-grid communities reduce their energy bills. [Business Green]

¶ Grid-scale battery storage solutions have arrived in Europe, despite a lingering controversy. No longer a distant dream, projects in Germany are already feeding energy into the grid, while in the United Kingdom and Italy, commercial projects are close to coming online. The technology, however, is not fully tested. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

¶ In the UK, as awareness of fracking has risen from 42% of people in July 2012 to 72%, the percentage who support fracking has continued downward, falling from 29% last year to 24% this. In contrast, the percentage saying they oppose or strongly oppose fracking rose year-on-year from 22% to 26%. [Business Green]

Nodding Donkeys

Nodding Donkeys

¶ Japan is expecting renewable energy sources to generate more of its power than nuclear facilities by 2030. A draft report by the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry says nearly 24% of the country’s power will be green in 15 years, while nuclear power will account for around 22%. [Power Technology]


¶ A poll conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research and commissioned by The Alliance for Solar Choice found that 74% of Nevadans would be less likely to re-elect a politician who failed to raise the solar cap in Nevada. This includes 69% of Republican likely voters and 80% of Democratic likely voters. [Your Renewable News]

¶ GM’s Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, ranks No. 5 among the US EPA’s top 30 generators of on-site green power. The plant is the home of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. It is 43% powered by methane captured from decomposing trash in a nearby landfill. [Renewable Energy from Waste]

¶ Hawaii lawmakers compromised for a bill that would set 2045 as the date to reach a goal of using renewable energy sources for 100% of the state’s electric power generation. House and Senate bills had different target dates for 100% renewable power. The state got 18% of its power from renewables in 2013. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

¶ Stanford University announced a massive upgrade to its energy system that makes it a world leader among universities, while saving $420 million on energy costs over the next 35 years. One component is an extremely efficient combined heat and power system. The other is two solar PV projects totalling 73 MW. [SustainableBusiness.com]

¶ Spot on-peak power at Southern California’s SP15 hub dropped 49% from a year ago to average $25.04 per MWh this month through Monday, heading for the lowest average for April in prices going back to 2009. The reason is that solar power is being trapped in the area due to ongoing line work. [Bloomberg]

Solar, wind and other renewable output totaled 111,749 MWh on April 27, 2015, or 18% of the total generation for the day Source: California Independent System Operator

Solar, wind and other renewable output was 111,749 MWh on April 27, 2015, or 18% of the day’s generation. Source: California Independent System Operator

¶ Black & Veatch, the Kansas City area’s largest engineering firm, has installed a microgrid based on renewable and natural-gas-fired power for its world headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas. The grid has geothermal and solar PV energy sources, two gas-fired microturbines, and a lithium-ion battery system. [Kansas City Star]

Not Energy, but Of Interest:

¶ The GMO food industry suffered a defeat when a federal court ruled that Vermont’s genetically engineered food labeling law, Act 120, was constitutional. The decision came from Christina Reiss, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the District of Vermont, and was celebrated by consumer advocates. [Green Energy Times]

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