November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2015

World:

¶ A massive solar farm the size of more than 175 football pitches is to go ahead on farmland in East Cambridgeshire, with the District council’s planning committee approval. The farm’s capacity will be nearly 39.5 MW, enough for 11,000 homes, and its energy will feed directly into the local power grid network. [Newmarket Journal]

Solar farm approved. SUS-150325-142109001

Solar farm approved. SUS-150325-142109001

¶ The Clean Energy Finance Commission in Australia has reported that its recently launched solar financing program has attracted a substantial amount of interest; in fact it is enough to boost the country’s large-scale PV capacity 10-fold. The CEFC program will offer loans of AU$15 million and above, for projects over 10 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The world could be powered almost entirely by clean, renewable energy sources in the space of a few decades, and two US engineers say they have figured out exactly how it can be done. One of them, Mark Jacobson, a civil and environmental engineer at Stanford University, has been granted two opportunities to speak at COP21. [ScienceAlert]

¶ ScottishPower Renewables submitted its plan to build a 1,200-MW wind farm off the coast of Suffolk, after UK Government clears that it will provide support to such projects. The project called East Anglia THREE will feature up to 172 wind turbines and generate enough energy to meet the power needs of more than 850,000 homes. [Power Technology]

¶ The Scottish Government refused consent earlier this week for two separate wind farms intended for the county of Sutherland. Specifically, the two wind farms were said to have “an unacceptable impact” on the nearby wild land areas, and that such impact would not be outweighed by any wider policy benefit. [CleanTechnica]

Head of Loch Long with Beinn Mheadhoin beyond. Photo by Richard Webb. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia

Countryside near a refused wind farm, Head of Loch Long with Beinn Mheadhoin. Photo by Richard Webb. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Russia has signed two agreements with Egypt to build the North African country’s first nuclear power plant in a televised ceremony attended by the Egyptian president. The deals were signed by the Egyptian Electricity and Renewable Energy Minister and the head of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation in Cairo. [APA]

¶ In Australia, 1320-MW coal-fired power station has been sold by the NSW Government for just $1 million to a former ERM Power chief and a coal mining executive. As an illustration of how cheap this purchase price is, to replace such a coal power plant with a newly constructed plant would cost well over $2 billion. [Business Spectator]

US:

¶ While many countries continue to drag their feet on reducing emissions, individual cities are taking the lead and setting ambitious renewable energy targets. Some have already made the transition to 100% renewable energy. Here in the US, four cities or population centers stand out as having gone 100% renewable. [EcoWatch]

Burlington, Vermont, runs on a mix of biomass, hydroelectric, solar and wind. Erika J Mitchell / Shutterstock.com

Burlington, Vermont, runs on a mix of biomass, hydroelectric, solar and wind. Erika J Mitchell / Shutterstock.com

¶ Environmental groups will rally in Hartford, Connecticut, on Saturday, asking the governor to invest in clean energy, not gas pipelines. With the gas boom, major new pipelines are being built in Connecticut to carry gas to consumers and for export. But the groups say getting 100% renewable energy should be the goal. [Public News Service]

¶ EDF Renewable Energy announced that the 175-MW Pilot Hill Wind Project in Illinois has reached commercial operation. The project was made possible through Microsoft Corporation’s commitment to a long-term purchase agreement. The project will power 100% of the energy needs of Microsoft’s data center in Illinois. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ Texas homeowners and business owners can keep more money in their pockets, and Texas ranchers and family farmers can receive millions of dollars more a year in land lease payments by building new wind farms and using more wind resources. That’s according to a new report, “A wind vision for new growth in Texas.” [Windpower Engineering]

Texas already leads the nation in wind energy production.

Texas already leads the nation in wind energy production.

¶ A Public Citizen report, “Clean Power, Clear Savings,” shows that energy bills will fall in every state by 2030 as a result of the Clean Power Plan compared to a business-as-usual scenario, including the states contesting the plan. The Clean Power Plan, finalized in August, sets targets for reducing carbon pollution in each state. [citizen.org]

¶ The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has begun a process for a creating community-based renewable energy program to bring the benefits of renewables to more people in Hawaii. The Lihue-based nonprofit co-op submitted its projected rates and guidelines to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for commission approval. [Pacific Business News]

¶ Analysts at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory devised a method for measuring the economic potential of renewable energy across the US. Using it, NREL has found that renewable generation is economically viable in many parts of the country primarily because of declining technology costs. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ After five years, all preliminary reviews are complete and it is now up to two federal boards whether PSEG Nuclear gets one of the key permits it needs to build a new reactor in Salem County, New Jersey. The NRC and the US Army Corps of Engineers have issued a final Environmental Impact Statements. [NJ.com]

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