July 11 Energy News

July 11, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ World seabird populations have suffered a staggering 70% drop over the last 60 years, according to new international research. This means around 230 million seabirds have disappeared across the globe since the 1950s. Climate change, overfishing, and pollution from plastics and oil have been blamed. [Scotsman]

Numbers of black-legged kittiwakes have plunged by 77 per cent since the 1980s. Factors including climate change are blamed. Picture: RSPB.

Numbers of black-legged kittiwakes have plunged by 77 per cent since the 1980s. Factors including climate change are blamed. Picture: RSPB.

World:

¶ A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Oriel Windfarm and Gaelectric Holdings to begin developing a large-scale offshore wind farm in the north Irish Sea. The project will start with a 15-MW demonstration project, at a cost of €80 million. The developers hope to end with a 870-MW wind farm. [CleanTechnica]

¶ An agreement between Chile’s state-owned energy company Enap and Italy’s Enel Green Power, will see the development and building of a geothermal energy plant in the northern region of Chile’s port city, Antofagasta. This project is not only the first of its kind for Chile, but also for South America. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ In a long-term study of more than 300,000 workers in France, the US, and the UK, those with many years of exposure to low doses of radiation had an increased risk of dying from leukemia. The study authors say, however, that it is not clear what amount of low-level exposure raises the risk of cancer. [Fox News]

¶ A solar microgrid company is poised to enter the Kenyan energy market, aiming to end the five-decade monopoly of the state-owned electricity supplier. Powerhive East Africa was granted a permit to supply electricity to rural homes earlier this year and hopes to start commercial operations in September. [E&T magazine]

¶ On an unusually windy day, Denmark found 116% of its electric power needs were met by wind turbines. When electricity demand dropped for the night, it rose to 140%. Interconnectors allowed 80% of the power surplus to go to pumped storage plants in Germany and Norway, and the rest to Sweden. [The Guardian]

The Conservative UK government has announced a withdrawal of support for onshore windfarms. Denmark’s windfarms have strong government backing. Photograph: Max Mudie/Alamy

The Conservative UK government has announced a withdrawal of support for onshore windfarms. Denmark’s windfarms have strong government backing. Photograph: Max Mudie/Alamy

US:

¶ The 300 MW Beltran solar PV power project currently under development in Stanislaus County, California, is now one step closer to completion. Reports are that the developer Centauri Energy has secured a grid connection agreement for the project. The project is expected go online in 2016 or 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ After skyrocketing prices drove thousands of Massachusetts households to switch their electricity suppliers, the state is planning a website where consumers can comparison shop for electricity plans. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities says it will soon solicit ideas for such a website. [Boston Globe]

¶ Conservation groups have reached an agreement with First Solar to provide additional conservation protections to wild lands and wildlife as part of construction of the California Flats Solar Project, a proposed 280-MW solar energy project in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. [Center for Biological Diversity]

¶ New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to power all city government operations with renewable energy. De Blasio said that the city is seeking creative solutions identifying potential renewable sources, such as developers, power providers, financial institutions, energy brokerages, or trade groups. [PennEnergy]

The Conservative UK government has announced a withdrawal of support for onshore windfarms. Denmark’s windfarms have strong government backing. Photograph: Max Mudie/Alamy

Solar PVs in New York.

¶ A statewide call for power conservation in California underscores the state’s continued reliance on natural gas even as it works to increase use of renewable energy to 50% by 2030. The California Independent System Operator issued the first Flex Alert in two years as the western US baked in triple-digit heat. [Argus Media]

¶ President Obama and presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) have announced separate initiatives to help low-income and middle-income Americans afford solar power. Sanders introduced the Low Income Solar Act, to establish a $200 million loan and grant program throughout the US. [Computerworld]

¶ Pacific Gas and Electric faces legal challenges opposing its bid to keep operating the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant for the next 30 years. San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and Friends of the Earth claim the recently discovered Shoreline Fault poses more risk to the nuclear plant than PG&E admits. [Cal Coast News]

¶ Crestmark announced it is providing sale-leaseback financing for three 500-kW (AC) solar projects to deliver energy to the State of Vermont on a Power Purchase Agreement basis. The funding will go to Alternative Energy Development Group LLC and SolarSense LLC, headquartered in Berwyn, Pa. [ABL Advisor]

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