January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2016

World:

¶ Enel Green Power and the mini-grid technology provider Powerhive are partnering on developing solar-powered mini-grids in rural Kenya. The $12 million project will involve work in 100 different villages in Kenya, with 93% of the financing for the project coming via Enel Green Power, and 7% via Powerhive. [CleanTechnica]

Image by William Warby (some rights reserved)

Image by William Warby (some rights reserved)

¶ While the world’s attention is focused on Saudi Arabia’s latest flare up with Iran, many Saudis are concerned about the “economic bomb” at home. The government is slashing a plethora of perks for its citizens.The cash crunch is so dire that the Saudi government just hiked the price of gasoline by 50%. [CNN]

¶ E·ON and Samsung SDI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in the energy storage field. They will collaborate on energy storage solutions, and develop a business model together. Some of the solutions will be for industrial customers, with one focus area being grid stabilization. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Oil has continued its rollercoaster ride into the new year, with Brent crude falling below $35 a barrel for the first time in 11 years, sinking 4.2% to $34.88 a barrel. This surpassed its late December fall, and took the price to its lowest level since 1 July 2004. The price of US crude dropped 3.3% to $34.77 a barrel. [BBC]

Oil is at a new low. Getty Images

Oil is at a new low. Getty Images

¶ Western Power Distribution awarded UK-based Renewable Energy Systems Ltd a contract to build a 300-kVA, 640-kWh energy storage system next to a 1.5-MW solar park in Somerset. The systems will be used to study feasibility of nine different systems of energy storage for distributed generation. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Work has begun on Scotland’s largest solar farm despite forthcoming cuts in government subsidies for a range of renewable power options. The 14-MW scheme on the Errol Estate in Tayside, covering 70 acres of land, is expected to be operational by March. It will ultimately provide power for more than 3,500 homes. [Scotsman]

¶ Power distribution companies in India’s capital have finally begun to take their Renewable Purchase Obligations seriously. After Tata Power procured 400 MW of solar power, Reliance Infra-backed BSES on Wednesday announced its plans to procure 700 MW of ‘green energy’ for the city. [The Hindu]

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission had notified regulations in 2012 that made Renewable Purchase Obligations compulsory for all discoms in the city. File Photo

Renewable Purchase Obligations are compulsory for all distribution companies in Dehli. File Photo

¶ General Electric will supply its 4-MW Fully Fed LV3 wind converters for 1 GW of offshore wind turbines in China under a deal with Shanghai Electric Wind Power Equipment Co. GE’s converter uses standard LV3 power stacks, but given the same converter footprint, delivers 25% more power, GE says. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ TransCanada will sue the US government for $15 billion (US) for blocking its controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline linking Canada with the Gulf of Mexico. TransCanada said the denial of a permit to complete the pipeline “was arbitrary and unjustified,” and exceeded the president’s constitutional powers. [Business Recorder]

US:

¶ SolarFest, one of Vermont’s longest running celebrations of solar power and renewable energy could be calling the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester a home for its annual 3-day festival this coming July. SolarFest has been a platform for renewable energy advocates, vendors, and artists for 20 years. [The Manchester Journal]

The Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester will be the likely new home for this year's SolarFest. (Andrew McKeever – Manchester Journal)

The Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester will be the likely new home for this year’s SolarFest. (Andrew McKeever – Manchester Journal)

¶ US-based technology company Switch is set to develop two new solar farms, with a combined capacity of 180 MW, in Nevada. The solar farms are to support Switch’s decision to power all of its SUPERNAP data centers with 100% renewable energy. The farms are expected to be set up within this year. [Power Technology]

¶ Utilities, clean-energy groups and consumer advocates have just unveiled a plan to ensure Oregon will be coal-free by 2030, and that the state’s two largest power companies will focus on using more renewable energy and energy efficiency, making renewables half of their portfolios by 2050. [Public News Service]

¶ California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday for the Porter Ranch area in the wake of the ongoing gas leak from a facility in Aliso Viejo in Southern California. The massive leak began in October and has prompted the relocation of thousands of households from the area. [Inland Empire News]

Operations are underway to stop the gas leak.

Operations are underway to stop the gas leak.

¶ Austin Energy, widely regarded as one of the most innovative utilities in the nation, is poised to launch a new system that distributes renewable resources like wind and solar more efficiently to customers in the Austin area. The plan hinges on the use of smart inverters and large-scale renewable energy storage. [Austin Inno]

¶ The co-owners of Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia, have settled all litigation between the parties and contractors for the facility’s ongoing expansion project building two reactors at the plant. With the settlement, the projected customer rate impact for the construction is expected to be roughly 2.5%. [The Augusta Chronicle]

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