July 2 Energy News

July 2, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse 2 has been in the air, nonstop, for 2 days, 20 hours, and 21 minutes at the time that I write this. André Borschberg, cofounder, CEO, and pilot, is at the controls of the first solar-powered airplane to make this historical oceanic flight, which will last at least 5 days and 5 nights nonstop. [CleanTechnica]

Photo Credit: Solar Impulse

Photo Credit: Solar Impulse

¶ Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a coating that can be applied to turbine blades to reduce the amount of sound they make. The material, which is made of 3-D printed plastic, can reduce the noise generated by a blade up to 10 decibels without affecting aerodynamic performance. [Buildings]

¶ German utility RWE is a victim of the so-called “utility death spiral,” with its business based on central power plants losing billions of dollars in Germany’s renewables-rich market. But one RWE vice president says distributed energy technologies and business models could help turn its fortunes around. [Greentech Media]

World:

¶ Vestas Wind Systems has announced orders totalling 860 MW over the space of five days, covering seven orders in five countries. An announcement that Vestas had a 150-MW order from a Texas wind farm being developed by EDF Renewable Energy was followed by seven more orders, totalling 860 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has established a new €2 billion infrastructure fund targeted at renewables. The fund, described as a 20-year ‘buy-and-hold’ fund, has 19 financial investors. It will focus on investments in energy infrastructure in Northern and Western Europe as well as North America. [reNews]

¶ Dong Energy’s 210-MW Westermost Rough offshore wind plant was officially inaugurated off the east coast of England. The project is the first to use Siemens 6-MW wind turbines on a large scale in a commercial project. Each turbine will have an integrated helicopter-hoisting platform at the rear of the nacelle. [reNews]

The Siemens SWT-6.0-154 at Westermost Rough offshore wind power plant (Siemens)

The Siemens SWT-6.0-154 at Westermost Rough offshore wind power plant (Siemens)

¶ The Indian state of Tamil Nadu will sign power purchase agreements for 2,000 MW of solar power by the end of this year. Tamil Nadu is expected to buy 1,000 MW of solar power by the end of July, according to the minister of electricity, non-conventional energy development, prohibition and excise. [Business Standard]

¶ SunEdison, Inc, the world’s largest renewable energy development company, and Gamesa, a global technology leader in wind energy, today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a joint venture to develop up to 1 GW of wind energy power plants globally by 2018. [Jakarta Post]

¶ Germany has agreed to mothball about five of the country’s largest brown coal power plants to meet its climate goals by 2020, retaining them as a “capacity reserve” system for power shortages. The decision means Germany could meet its goal of reducing German CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 compared to 1990. [The Guardian]

¶ Morocco’s Platinum Power, a subsidiary of US private equity firm Brookstone Partners, plans to invest $845 million to build a hydroelectric project in Cameroon, the company said. Platinum Power signed an agreement with the country’s government to build a 400-MW complex in the country’s Center Region. [Reuters Africa]

¶ Greenpeace and nine German and Austrian utilities selling renewable energy say they are launching legal action against state aid for the Hinkley Point C project in southwest England. The aid was approved by the European Commission, but they will argue that the aid would distort prices in mainland European. [Reuters]

US:

¶ Two states recently passed legislation significantly increasing renewable electricity goals. On June 8, Hawaii updated legislation setting a 100% renewable portfolio standard by 2045. On June 11, Vermont passed a bill creating a 75% RPS by 2032. Both targets are higher than any others in the United States. [CleanTechnica]

Source: US Energy Information Administration Note: The figure includes primary renewable targets and does not adjust for additional sub-targets.

Source: US Energy Information Administration Note: The figure includes primary renewable targets and does not adjust for additional sub-targets.

¶ US renewables developer SunEdison Inc says it has obtained the $360 million of financing needed for the 185-MW Bingham Wind project in Maine, and construction is under way. The wind farm will bring the company’s wind portfolio in Main to 552 MW. It will provide power for over 65,000 households. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Missouri Public Service Commission voted Wednesday to deny a Texas company’s plan for a controversial $2.2 billion, 780-mile transmission line to carry power from Kansas high plains wind farms across Missouri to eastern power grids. Backers pushed the project as important in the fight for clean power. [Kansas City Star]

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