July 29 Energy News

July 29, 2015

World:

¶ ABB has commissioned and handed over the DolWin1 offshore wind grid connection to the Dutch-German transmission system operator TenneT. The 800 MW link connects offshore wind farms around 75 kilometers off the German coast with the country’s transmission grid. The DolWin1 grid connection can integrate enough power to supply around one million households. [PennEnergy]

ABB wind energy grid connection.

ABB wind energy grid connection.

¶ A surprise backer of a 50% renewable energy target at the Labor Party’s weekend conference was Australia’s largest coal mining and energy union. The president of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union supports Labor’s energy policy, on the condition a Labor government provide assistance for thousands of workers who might lose their jobs. [The New Daily]

¶ A New South Wales start-up plans to become Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy retailer, as well as its cheapest. Enova Energy, which was formed last year by residents from the Northern Rivers Region, aims to retail renewable electricity, while providing advice and professional services for those who want to install solar or leave the grid entirely. [CleanTechnica]

¶ SunEdison announced they have financing and started construction of the 110-MW Quilapilun solar power plant in Chile. It is expected to be its largest solar power generation facility in Latin America. The plant is forecast to generate 242 GWh annually, enough to power 117,000 homes. It will avoid about 125,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. [Energy Matters]

¶ Seeking clarity and stability, six large oil and gas companies based in Europe are calling on all world governments and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to introduce carbon pricing systems. The companies include the UK’s BG Group, BP, the Italian multinational Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Norway’s Statoil and France’s Total. [Environment News Service]

¶ Germany’s transition from coal-fired and oil-fired power to carbon-free electricity hit a new milestone on July 25, when solar, wind, and other sources of renewable energy met 78% of the day’s energy demand. That beat the old record of 74%, made in May 2014, according to Craig Morris, a journalist who has covered Germany’s energy scene for more than a decade. [TakePart]

¶ ScottishPower Renewables Ltd, a unit of Iberdrola SA, started building a £300 million ($468.5 million) wind farm in South Ayrshire, Scotland. Once complete, it will generate enough electricity for 130,000 homes. It will comprise 96 turbines for a capacity of as much as 239 MW, ScottishPower said in a statement on its website. It’s expected to start working in 2017. [Bloomberg]

US:

OPT PB40 PowerBuoy

OPT PB40 PowerBuoy

¶ Ocean Power Technologies Inc announced it has successfully deployed its PB40 PowerBuoy off the coast of New Jersey about 30 nautical miles southeast of New York City for a year-long test period. The operational buoy will provide the company with key performance data to accelerate ongoing product commercialization and technology development efforts. [HydroWorld]

¶ The Obama administration has decided to give states more time to comply with proposed regulations requiring dramatic cuts in greenhouse-gas pollution from power plants, people familiar with the plans have said. The EPA will give states an additional two years, until 2022, to begin phasing in pollution cuts, even as the agency toughens the standards for the states. [Washington Post]

¶ One of the provisions of the energy bill Vermont passed this spring is creation of a ten-member task force charged with sorting out issues related to siting solar projects. Tensions around renewable energy development surfaced at the task force’s first meeting. Members of the public criticized the task force for being stacked with government officials and industry developers. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶ Moody’s Investors Service issued a report, “Coal-fired Power Plants Won’t Soon Be Replaced by Alternative Sources.” It says coal-fired electricity generation capacity was roughly 27% of total electric supply in 2014, and unless carbon regulations are accelerated, it will continue to be a leading US fuel source in the foreseeable future, [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide] (What are they smoking?)

¶ Massachusetts lawmakers are considering bills that would add a new tax to help pay for expanded monitoring of Seabrook’s nuclear power plant and greatly extend the size of the emergency zone. One bill would defray the costs of the state’s radiation control monitoring program. The other would increase the zone to a 50-mile radius, from its current 10-mile radius. [The Daily News of Newburyport]

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