July 30 Energy News

July 30, 2015

World:

¶ Israel’s largest PV field has been commissioned, after six years’ effort. The 40-MW Ketura Solar field contains 140,343 panels spread over 54.2 hectares (133.4 acres) in the southern Arava Valley. In its first six days, it supplied 1.5 million kWh to the grid. The field is owned by Arava Power Company and Électricité de France Energies Nouvelles Israel. [Jerusalem Post Israel News]

Aerial view of the 40-megawatt Ketura Solar field. (photo credit:EGE)

Aerial view of the 40-megawatt Ketura Solar field. (photo credit:EGE)

¶ Big Six utility, E.ON UK and US solar installer Sungevity have partnered to launch a residential solar programme in the UK. The ‘Go Solar’ programme will initially target homeowners in the midlands and the north of the country before being expanded into other regions. The installer’s 20-year ‘SunSure’ guarantee insures the systems’ continued performance. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ Despite the UK government making moves to scale back the level of support given to solar technology, Scotland remains committed. In the aftermath of proposals to scrap support for most renewable sources, Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland is at the forefront of the renewables industry and solar is an important part of our renewable mix.” [Solar Power Portal]

¶ Iran’s quest to rejuvenate its energy industry after decades of sanctions is attracting renewable energy developers eager to plant turbines on windy ridges across the country. Iran’s government plans to bolster wind as a way of preserving crude oil for export, while providing the electricity needs of its people. Its ambition is to install 5 GW of renewable capacity by 2020. [Bloomberg]

¶ The coal industry and its supporters often argue that coal is still a relevant energy source because it’s cheap, and cheap electricity reduces energy poverty. But on Tuesday, Oxfam Australia directed an entire report to Australia’s government, saying that for the one billion people living without electricity, coal is more expensive than renewable energy sources. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Kimberley, British Columbia, announced that SunMine is commercially operational. The 1.05 MW solar farm is the province’s first grid-connected solar facility and the largest in Canada to use solar trackers. SunMine consists of 4,032 solar-cell modules mounted on 96 trackers which follow the sun’s movement, providing 38% more energy than a fixed system. [Your Renewable News]

US:

 

A lava lake inside Kilauea's overlook crater in 2008.

A lava lake inside Kilauea’s overlook crater in 2008.

¶ The island if Hawaii gets about 50% of its energy from a mixture of renewable sources. A lot of that is thanks to the state’s only geothermal plant, Puna Geothermal Venture, which sits on the eastern rift zone of the Kilauea Volcano. The plant generates about 38 MW, according to the Hawaii Electric Light Co, enough to power up to 4,400 typical Hawaiian homes. [Business Insider]

 

¶ GTM Research’s latest report explored the current and future residential solar market. The US residential solar market has grown 15 out of the last 17 quarters, saw more than 50% growth in 2014, and outperformed and out-installed the non-residential solar market for the first time. But of the 1.2 gigawatts of residential solar installed in 2014, 72% was third-party owned. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Concrete and steel columns going up atop the economy parking garage at Tampa International Airport will soon anchor the largest solar array Tampa Electric Co has ever installed. The 7,000 panels will perch atop 130 columns across the rooftop and are expected to collect enough sunshine to produce 2 MW of electricity, enough to power 250 homes on an average day. [Suncoast News]

¶ Indianapolis Power & Light Company received approval to convert a portion of a coal-fired plant to run on natural gas. The company plans to reduce its dependence on coal from 79% in 2007 to 44% 2017. The company is also adding advanced battery-based energy storage to its fleet, which will increase efficiency, and support the integration of renewable power sources. [WFYI]

¶ SolarCity introduced a new solar energy service that will make it possible for many small and medium-sized businesses to pay less for solar electricity than they pay for power from their local utility for the first time. SolarCity will initially offer its SMB service to owner-occupied business locations in California, but expects to expand it to other territories in early 2016. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ Gains in Tennessee’s robust manufacturing sector accounted for nearly half of new clean-energy jobs over the past year, and the state is among the best nationwide for overall growth in the industry, according to a new report from the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs. About 2,600 jobs were created last year in the clean energy sector. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

¶ New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the three state-operated ski resorts at Belleayre, Gore, and Whiteface Mountain have committed to using solar power to operate their ski lift and snowmaking operations. A 25-year power purchase agreement with Borrego Solar is the most recent of several environmental initiatives the state and ORDA have undertaken. [NEWS10 ABC]

¶ Wind energy developer Iberdrola Renewables has signed a power contract to underwrite construction of an array of industrial-scale turbines along the McCain Valley of San Diego County. Southern California Edison has agreed to buy electricity from up to 67 turbines. The Tule Wind Power project should supply enough power for about 40,000 typical homes. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

¶ Exelon’s Quad Cities nuclear plant may be a goner come September. Chris Crane, CEO of the company, which is the largest nuclear plant operator in the country, made clear on a conference call with analysts that he doesn’t see a way to keep money-losing Quad Cities open without a state law charging Illinois ratepayers more to support nuclear plants. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

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