September 5 Energy News

September 5, 2015

Economics and Technology:

¶ Compared to “typical” wholesale electricity prices of $25 to $60 per MWh, in the New York ISO’s western region wholesale prices hit $1,100 to $1,200 per MWh during this summer’s heat. There were similar events across the nation. Demand flexibility could help reduce those spikes, ultimately reducing rates for consumers. [CleanTechnica]

Spikes in wholesale electric rates in three US markets.

Spikes in wholesale electric rates in three US markets. (Click to enlarge.)

World:

¶ In January this year The Guardian reported that big European energy companies are increasingly taking control of renewable energy lobby groups. As one result, a commentator on the Dutch wind energy association (NWEA) says, “NWEA does not oppose nuclear power, coal power. They’re pro-wind, not anti-coal.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Visiting Australia, Canadian author Naomi Klein said she believes she owes PM Tony Abbott “a debt of thanks.” In Sydney to promote her new book Capitalism versus the Climate: This Changes Everything, Klein said the conflict between what the planet needs and what capitalism needs is exemplified in Australia. [Green Left Weekly]

¶ The potential loss of thousands of jobs will not be a factor when the UK decides whether to implement its proposed heavy cuts to solar power subsidies. By contrast, government announcements on North Sea gas field development and the fast-tracking of shale gas exploration have highlighted the potential jobs created. [The Guardian]

¶ Plant for the Planet, a global youth initiative that plants trees to reduce the effects of climate change, asked for a worldwide tree count, and scientists at Yale did a study. The good news is that there are 3.04 trillion trees on Earth, 7½ times more than previous estimates. The bad news? The number of trees is down roughly 46%. [CNN]

Clingmans Dome (highest point in the Great Smokies). The effects of clearcut logging and fire are clearly visible on the right; the dead trees are Frasier Fir, killed by the Balsam woolly adelgid. United States Geological Survey photo.

Clingmans Dome (highest point in the Great Smokies). The effects of clearcut logging and fire are clearly visible on the right; the dead trees are Frasier Fir, killed by the Balsam woolly adelgid. United States Geological Survey photo.

¶ The economics behind the UK’s decision to make cuts to a series of green policies are “bonkers”, former energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey says. In his first interview since losing in the election, Davey said he struggled to comprehend the logic behind cuts to efficiency programs and renewable energy incentives. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ Mexican energy firm Grupo Dragon, part of Grupo Salinas, will invest up to $712.9 million in renewable energy in the next four years, according to its CEO. The company has three wind projects in construction, along with a solar project, and will participate in the first geothermal licence auction after the energy reform. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Solar generation costs are likely to fall below the average wholesale price of electricity across Europe by 2030, according to a new study. It highlights the potential of a solar revolution across the globe, not just in the household and commercial market, but also for utility-scale installations. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The town of Naraha in Fukushima Prefecture celebrated after the government’s evacuation order was lifted. It is 4½ years since the eruption of the March 2011 nuclear disaster. Naraha is the first of seven radiation-tainted municipalities to be entirely cleared for repopulation since the triple-reactor meltdown. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ Enel Green Power NA Inc launched its 150-MW Origin wind farm. The farm is in the south-central part of the ‘Sooner State,’ covering 18,000 acres near Hennepin, Oklahoma. It has 75 Vestas wind turbines, enough to provide power to about 55,000 homes. Federal, state, and tribal officials were given a tour of the 18,000 acre site. [reNews]

EGP has raised its wind energy capacity in Oklahoma by 56% (Vestas photo)

EGP has raised its wind energy capacity in Oklahoma by 56% (Vestas photo)

¶ NV Energy’s incentive and interconnection application volumes grew by 15 times over the past 12 months. To handle the increased workload, they took their interconnection processing online using PowerClerk®. They reduced the time spent processing applications by 63%, and completing the three weeks sooner. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, got an unwelcome reminder of the effects of winter storm Juno this week, as the NRC announced that it had finalized a “White” inspection finding issued last spring, placing it among the worst operating facilities in the US. [Wicked Local Plymouth]

Anbaric Transmission image

Anbaric Transmission image

¶ The Vermont Green Line is the latest proposal to run an electric transmission line under Lake Champlain. The 400-MW underwater and underground line would run 60 miles, from Beekmantown, New York, to New Haven, Vermont. The power, from wind farms in northern New York, would be put on the New England power grid. [WAMC]

¶ One Vermont state park is getting ready to go off the grid. Green Mountain Power is partnering with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation to transform the bulk of Emerald Lake State Park in East Dorset into an ePark, powered entirely by solar and the new Tesla Powerwall battery for storage. [vtdigger.org]

¶ The South Carolina Public Service Commission approved another cost increase for the two new VC Summer Nuclear Generating Station reactors under construction in the state. The deal will increase the cost of the additions to South Carolina Electric & Gas and the South Carolina Public Service Authority to $6.8 billion. [Utility Dive]

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