May 30 Energy News

May 30, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Torrential downpours in Texas have flooded drought-parched lands. A heat wave has so far killed more than 1,800 people in India. Alaska, of all places, had record 91° readings. A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons hit the Northwest Pacific. A drought is taking hold in the East. Part of the blame goes to climate change. []

Shelf cloud of a supercell over Miami, Texas. NOAA Photograph. Wikimedia Commons. 

Shelf cloud of a supercell over Miami, Texas. NOAA Photograph. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Calculations based on the EPA’s estimate of corn ethanol emissions show that last year’s production and use of 14 billion gallons of corn ethanol resulted in 27 million tons more carbon emissions than if Americans had used straight gasoline. That’s worse than Keystone’s projected emissions. [Environmental Working Group]


¶ The International Energy Agency reported on progress of clean energy technologies toward climate goals. Only solar PV was deemed to be on track. Onshore wind and hydropower need to improve. Everything else is held to be “not on track.” Overall, the agency warns that efforts are falling short. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Abengoa has commenced construction of the 148.5-MW Tres Mesas wind power plant in Tamaulipas, Mexico. The wind facility will feature 45 Vestas-developed V117-3.3 MW turbines and will generate 520,000 MWh of clean electricity annually, enough to supply power needs of 71,000 homes. [Energy Business Review]

¶ The Indian state of Karnataka, which lies in the country’s Southwest, is now embarking on setting up a mega solar power park, said to be the world’s biggest. The park, with a capacity of 2,000 MW, will come up on 10,000 acres of land in a parched area. The site was chosen for its sunlight and low land use. [The Hindu]

¶ Irish renewable energy company Gaelectric and US electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc say they have agreed to develop a 1-MW battery storage demonstration project in Ireland. Scheduled for deployment in 2016, this installation represents a part of a wider collaboration between the companies. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Toshiba Corporation received an order to supply a large-scale battery energy storage system for Tohoku Electric Power Company’s Minami-Soma Substation Project. The 40-MW, 40-MWh lithium-ion system, will be Japan’s largest. Construction of the system has begun, operations should start next February. [WebWire]


¶ While much of the attention related to EPA’s Clean Power Plan is focused, appropriately, on the emissions and economic benefits of the new standards, a report just released by the CNA Corporation identified another benefit that may end up being worth more than all the other impacts combined: water. [Energy Collective]

Low water in Lake Mead. Photo by Cmpxchg8b. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Low water in Lake Mead. Photo by Cmpxchg8b. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Duke Energy Florida received approval to build, own and operate a 5-MW solar facility that will serve the Reedy Creek Improvement District near Orlando, Florida. The Board of Supervisors voted to accept a 15-year power-purchase agreement with Duke Energy Florida Solar Solutions LLC. [AZoCleantech]

¶ A solar compromise plan is one step away from landing on the desk of the governor of Nevada. The Assembly passed the measure by a 41-1 vote, displaying a strong harmony after months of conflict over raising the solar cap. The bill goes to the Senate for a concurrence vote before it goes to Sandoval. [Las Vegas Sun]

¶ The EPA has proposed lowering how much ethanol must be blended into the gasoline supply through next year, upsetting the renewable fuel industry that wants targets as set by Congress. The EPA says congressional forecasts are no longer realistic given changes that have occurred since they were put in place. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]

¶ President Barack Obama’s administration plans to protect the greater sage grouse in the western United States by limiting oil and gas development and renewable energy in the bird’s habitat, under a new plan. Mining, energy and farming companies fear sage grouse protections could restrict their businesses. [AG Week]

¶ Exelon CEO Christopher Crane said the company will decide in September whether to close its money-losing, 1,824-MW Quad Cities plant in Illinois. He had hoped the Illinois General Assembly would pass legislation providing an estimated $300 million/year in economic support. At present, that appears unlikely. [Platts]

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