August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2015

World:

¶ Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that it will begin a development plan to harness geothermal energy from the Tatun Volcano Group by building a station in New Taipei’s Jinshan District. It would generate up to 68.5 million kWh of electricity per year and would also reduce over 42,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. [Focus Taiwan News Channel]

Chihsingshan (七星山), the highest peak of the Tatun volcanoes. Photo by peeliden. GNU Free Documentation License, Wikimedia Commons.

Chihsingshan (七星山), the highest peak of the Tatun volcanoes. Photo by peeliden. GNU Free Documentation License, Wikimedia Commons.

 

¶ Turkey will expedite an auction for wind energy projects as it looks to speed up its renewable energy program. Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority announced that it will call for bids on 2 GW of wind energy projects in October next year, with the auction becoming a big part of the country’s target to have 20 GW worth of installed wind energy capacity by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Spain signed an agreement with Iran to boost cooperation in Iran’s renewable energy industry, and will extend cooperation in designing and manufacture of renewable energy equipment. The agreement was signed between Iran’s Sunir, an electrical equipment exporter and Spain’s Bestern, a renewable energy project developer, which will do consulting for Sunir. [CleanTechnica]

¶ China is now adding one idle coal power plant per week. State-owned power companies have continued adding new coal-fired power plants to the grid at a feverish pace, and in the first half of 2015, 23.4 GW of thermal power plants were brought online. But at the same time, thermal power generation dropped 3.2%, and their capacity utilization fell to just below 50%. [Business Spectator]

¶ The M5BAT is a modular, 5 MW, multitechnology medium voltage battery storage system under construction at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. It combines different battery technologies to deliver a significant upgrade in system stability and modularity. A group of businesses are working on it, and the German Ministry for Economic Affairs has granted it €6.7 million. [pv magazine]

¶ The Scottish and Welsh Governments have united to urge Westminster to act on renewable power to stop community projects falling into “hiatus.” The devolved administrations have written a joined letter to UK Energy minister Amber Rudd warning community energy projects are at risk of failure following the decision to withdraw state support a year earlier than planned. [The National]

US:

¶ Wind power keeps chugging along, with prices falling over time, though not as dramatically as solar, and installed capacity going up. Every new turbine that goes up will keep producing clean power for decades to come at very little cost (basic maintenance, no fuel costs unlike fossil fuel power plants). The US added 4.8 GW of windpower in 2014, 24% of our new capacity. [Treehugger]

Public Domain. National Renewable Energy Laboratory photo.

Public Domain. National Renewable Energy Laboratory photo.

¶ Microsoft has invested significantly in wind power over the past two years, building up contracts to deliver 285 MW of power to its data centers from two wind energy projects built offsite. It’s a progressive move for Microsoft to turn toward renewable energy reliance, and the support of a company with as much influence and reach as Microsoft could be an immense boost. [Energy Digital]

¶ Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, the largest ski resort in southern New England, will soon be home to the largest community solar project in the northeastern United States, thanks to the construction by Nexamp of a 2.3-MW solar installation on 12 acres of the facility’s property. This project will supply Jiminy Peak with enough energy to offset 90% of its annual needs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ For 15 years, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation has been trying to expand its coal-fired power plant near Holcomb, Kansas. Even though the project has been designed and redesigned, for a variety of reasons the site is still just bare dirt. And with the new federal greenhouse gas rules for power plants, there’s serious doubt that construction will ever take place. [The Garden City Telegram]

¶ A long-planned 21.5-MW biomass plant being built on the Big Island of Hawaii, expected to generate 10% of the island’s energy needs, is currently scheduled to be operational in 2016, according to public documents. Hu Honua Bioenergy has had problems completing the plant, mostly in the form of labor disputes, but the project is making progress. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

Hu Honua Bioenergy's biomass plant being built on the Big Island of Hawaii. Courtesy of Hu Honua Bioenergy.

Hu Honua Bioenergy’s biomass plant being built on the Big Island of Hawaii. Courtesy of Hu Honua Bioenergy.

¶ While opponents of the Clean Energy Plan are preparing for all-out war against it (“I will not sit by while the White House takes aim at the lifeblood of our state’s economy,” vowed Senate Majority Leader Mitch ­McConnell of Kentucky) the rule shines a light on a key renewable fuel for Iowa: wind. And wind power is booming, [The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines]

¶ The US subsidiary of the Real Assets Energy Fund has signed an agreement with WElink Energy and China Triumph International Engineering Co to jointly develop new North American renewable projects totaling $1 billion. Planned investments will be primarily in solar PV and windpower generation, but other clean technologies will be considered. [North American Windpower]

¶ The Tennessee Valley Authority has successfully completed its testing of key operating equipment for its Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor, clearing the way for additional tests of safety and containment systems before fuel is scheduled to be loaded in the new reactor this fall. TVA expects to begin generating power from the new reactor by the end of 2015. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

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