August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2015

World:

¶ DONG Energy has taken full control of the huge Hornsea offshore wind zone. This means the Danish giant will have project ownership for Hornsea Projects Two and Three, having already bought Project One in February. They have a combined potential for development of around 4.2 GW of capacity, and the potential to supply the electricity needs of more than four million UK homes. [Grimsby Telegraph]

TIV Resolution raised out of the sea to install wind turbines. Photo by Ian Simons. CC BY-SA 2.0

TIV Resolution raised out of the sea to install wind turbines. Photo by Ian Simons. CC BY-SA 2.0

¶ Publicly owned lignite mining and power generation company Neyveli Lignite Corp plans to set up 600 MW of solar projects across various states of India. The company is setting up about 50 MW of solar projects of 10 MW to 15 MW of capacity each in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. In addition, land identification is underway for a 100 MW solar project in Nevyeli. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Canberra is at the forefront of responding to climate change with Australian Capital Territory government pledging 100% renewables for the city by 2025. Canberra’s current target is 90% renewables by 2020, while the City of Sydney pledged to use 100% renewable energy by 2030. South Australia’s target is 50% by 2025, while Queensland is aiming for 50% by 2030. [Business Insider Australia]

¶ China’s economy has hit a rough patch. In Western countries, signs of economic insecurity can lead to panicky calls to toss pro-environmental policies. Is there a danger that China’s policymakers will take such a step backward? Probably not, say economists and environmentalists with an eye on China. In fact, China’s slowdown could even be helpful for the environment. [Grist]

US:

¶ The EPA unveiled a package of rules this week aimed at curbing methane and volatile organic compound emissions from sources all along the oil and gas production chain. The rules particularly target shale operations and are the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s effort to rein in methane emissions by 40% to 45% below 2012 levels in the next decade. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Bakken Flaring Gas at night. Photo by Joshua Doubek. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Bakken Flaring Gas at night. Photo by Joshua Doubek. CC BY-SA 3.0.

¶ The city of West Richland, Washington, completed an LED upgrade to its entire street lighting system. The project is expected to reduce the system’s electric consumption by 61% and save the municipality $67,000 per year in energy costs. More than 1000 high pressure sodium lights were replaced with energy-efficient LED models, and a wireless control system was installed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The average household in the Tennessee Valley will pay about $1.50 more a month for electricity next year as TVA shifts to more nuclear, natural gas, and renewable power to replace aging coal plants. TVA directors adopted a $10.7 billion spending plan for fiscal 2016 that will raise electricity rates by 1.5%, the same amount as in each of the past two years. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ The world’s largest Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion power plant, completed by Makai Ocean Engineering, celebrated its connection to the electrical grid on Friday. Using temperature differences between the ocean’s cold deep water and warm surface water, Makai’s OTEC power plant is able to generate clean, renewable electricity that is available continuously. [Big Island Now]

Makai Ocean Engineering image.

Makai Ocean Engineering image.

¶ Green energy creates jobs. For example, according to the 2014 North Carolina Clean Energy Industry Census, the state’s cleantech sector grossed nearly $5 billion in 2014, and is expected to grow between 30% and 35% this year. There are 1,208 cleantech firms in the state employing the equivalent of 22,995 full-time workers and generating $4.8 billion of economic activity. [Huffington Post]

¶ On June 7th, California’s grid operator reported that the state had hit a new record for solar PV and concentrating solar power generation, at 6.160 GW-AC. A little over a month later, a new peak was set on July 13th, just shy of 6.3 GW-AC. Since then, records have been falling like dominoes. Most recently, the plants reached a peak output of 6.391 GW-AC on August 20th. [pv magazine]

¶ Millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs rest with the results of an electricity auction. Exelon is reviewing the bids for power contracts in 2018 through 2019. If the Cordova nuclear power plant [Quad Cities] does not get a winning bid, the plant could face closure in mid 2017. Exelon says the power plant has been losing money for five years, and blames subsidies for wind power. [KWQC-TV6]

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