August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2015

World:

¶ SolarReserve’s baseload solar 260 MW Copiapó project bids into the grid in April, having cleared Chile’s permitting with a Resolución de Calificación Ambiental. SolarReserve has combined two solar technologies, PVs and concentrated solar power with energy storage, so it can supply electricity both day and night. [CleanTechnica]

Credit: SolarReserve — Redstone

Credit: SolarReserve — Redstone

¶ Citigroup published a detailed analysis of the costs of various energy sources, concluding that the levelized cost of energy of renewables is below that of fossil fuels and that renewables are a “benefit rather than a cost to society.” And as cost of renewables is still declining, renewables advantages will only become clearer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ontario’s Electricity System Operator released the list of 119 projects that will compete for power contracts under the 565-MW Large Renewable Procurement program. About 1,400 MW of projects proposed by units of NextEra Energy, Renewable Energy Systems, and SunEdison have qualified for the program. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, Vestas Wind Systems, announced record first-half orders, and profits exceeded analyst estimates. Other European wind turbine manufacturers are also riding a surge in orders on the back of government efforts to rein in carbon emissions and favourable policies for clean energy. [Business Spectator]

¶ The UK’s anaerobic digestion generation capacity now exceeds 500 MW, according to the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association. The trade body yesterday revealed 514 MW of electrical equivalent capacity is generated as electricity or biogas from more than 400 AD plants across the farming, waste, and water sectors. [Business Green]

Anaerobic digestion plant.

Anaerobic digestion plant.

US:

¶ President Barack Obama has accused businesses profiting from fossil fuels of “standing in the way of the future” by actively trying to restrict customers’ access to solar, wind and renewable sources of energy. Speaking in Las Vegas, the president singled out billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶ A study conducted by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University, found that while the average frequency of power outages in the US has not changed in recent years, the amount of time customers are without power, i.e. the length of these power outages, has been increasing over time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Over the last 40 years, California invested about $1 billion per year in energy efficiency initiatives, which saved its residents some $90 billion in utility costs, created “hundreds of thousands” of energy efficiency jobs, and avoided pollution of numerous power plants, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. [CleanTechnica]

¶ North Dakota regulators are on board with Xcel Energy’s plan to take over, build and operate the 200-MW Courtenay wind project. The state Public Service Commission this week approved the transfer of a certificate of site compatibility after the initial developer, Geronimo Wind Energy, decided to exit the project. [reNews]

Xcel's Grand Prairie wind farm (Xcel)

Xcel’s Grand Prairie wind farm (Xcel)

¶ San Diego Gas & Electric reached a record renewable power generation of 1,042 MW on August 19, thanks to a combination of bright sunshine and strong wind conditions. The output of 61,000 rooftop solar customers is not included in the figure. SDG&E is the first utility in California to deliver 33% renewable power over 12 months. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ In Colorado, Boulder County is joining Adams and Denver counties to offer residents the opportunity to purchase discounted home solar systems and electric vehicles. The program offers homeowners discounts of about 15% on solar rooftop systems and roughly $8,300 off the cost of a Nissan Leaf. [Boulder Daily Camera]

¶ Regulators for Washington DC rejected the proposed purchase of Pepco Holdings by Exelon, potentially killing off the $6.84 billion deal. Exelon’s core business is from big centralized power plants, about 80% of which are nuclear, but those plants are losing business, and a merger is seen as a means to protect their profits. [OilPrice.com]

¶ A coal-burning power plant in New York’s Finger Lakes region sparked protests in Albany this week when opponents gathered in hopes of derailing a plan that would enable the plant to burn natural gas as well. The owners of the 60-year-old Cayuga Power Plant want customers to subsidize alterations over a 10-year period. [WAMC]

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