May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Who’s Killing Renewable Energy?” • Fifteen years the Cape Wind project began, bureaucratic obstacles, high costs, and wealthy Cape Cod residents hostile to a major renewable energy project near their homes plague the endeavor. But Cape Wind is no longer alone. [TakePart]

Offshore wind farm at Copenhagen. Photo by Martin Nikolaj Christensen from Sorø, Denmark. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore wind farm at Copenhagen.
Photo by Martin Nikolaj Christensen from Sorø, Denmark.
CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ Research has found that solar farms have a positive impact on biodiversity for a range of plant and animal species when used with appropriate land management. The report tested and confirmed a growing body of anecdotal evidence that solar farms can benefit local wildlife. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ Many researchers believe that El Niño was not the only factor increasing the risk of a major fire in Alberta. A number of research papers have highlighted the fact that warming is leading to increased wildfire risk. Studies also show that northern latitudes feel those impacts more strongly. [BBC]

Cars heading toward flames they must pass to leave Fort McMurray. Photo by DarrenRD. CC BY-SA International. Wikimedia Commons. 

Cars heading toward flames they must pass to leave Fort McMurray. Photo by DarrenRD. CC BY-SA International. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The fire at Fort McMurray in Canada’s energy heartland and forced a precautionary shutdown of some oil production, driving up global oil prices. When fire has blocked the only escape route south, thousands of evacuees fled north or were cut off. The fire has covered 210,000 acres. [The Quint]

Cars fleeing Fort McMurray

Cars fleeing Fort McMurray. This was stop-and-go traffic.

¶ The Science Based Targets initiative said 155 companies have committed to set emissions reduction targets in line with attempting to keep global warming well below 2° C. The companies include Coca-Cola, Dell, Kellogg, NRG Energy, Procter & Gamble, Owens Corning, Toyota. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is powering a number of its UK stores with energy generated from anaerobic digestion through a partnership with food waste processor ReFood. About 10% of its national gas consumption is now generated from food waste under the agreement. [letsrecycle.com]

¶ The US DOE, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the Caribbean Community have signed a pact to promote and support renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies across the Caribbean region. [SeeNews Renewables]

Caribbean wind energy. Author: Boris Kasimov. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Caribbean wind energy. Author: Boris Kasimov.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

The Times reports that plans for Hinkley Point C have been thrown into chaos after the admission that engineers have falsified vital safety tests on parts supplied to reactors in France and possibly the UK. Power Magazine says France’s nuclear sector has been rocked to its core. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

US:

¶ Tucson Electric Power has received approval from the state’s regulator to build two 10-MW energy storage systems, including one co-located with solar. The utility had originally sought bids for a single system, but the bids were so low that the two projects fit within its budget. [PV-Tech]

E.ON Climate & Renewables will build one of the two systems. E.ON image.

E.ON Climate & Renewables will build one of the two systems.
E.ON image.

¶ A first-in-the-nation partnership between an electric utility and Tesla, the automotive and energy storage company, has resulted in the installation of new battery units in some Vermont homes. Green Mountain Power is helping customers access the Tesla Powerwall batteries. [WPTZ]

¶ Solar panels will soon help power three communities in the Alaskan Arctic. The Department of Energy awarded federal funding to install panels in Kotzebue, Buckland and Deering. Energy costs are notoriously high in rural Alaskan areas dependent on diesel power. [Alaska Public Radio Network]

Solar panels in the Northwest Arctic village of Shugnak. (Photo courtesy of Ingemar Mathiasson/NWAB)

Solar panels in the Northwest Arctic village of Shugnak.
(Photo courtesy of Ingemar Mathiasson/NWAB)

¶ Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is positioning himself for the November election by vowing to bring coal-mining jobs back to states that he now sees as critical to his presidential hopes. Since 2008, coal has been in sharp decline in the US. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The New York State Department of Public Service, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, EnterSolar, and Clean Energy Collective announced that construction has begun on the first Shared Renewables community solar project in New York State. [CleanTechnica]

New York Capitol. Image via Shutterstock.

New York Capitol. Image via Shutterstock.

¶ Enel Green Power North America has started construction of the Aurora utility-scale distributed PV solar project in Minnesota. It will be the Enel Group’s largest solar power plant in North America. It will consist of 16 PV plants with a total installed capacity of 150 MW. [Your Renewable News]

¶ The Tennessee Valley Authority board voted to declare the unfinished Bellefonte nuclear plant surplus. It includes two partially finished reactors, office buildings, warehouses, railroad spurs and a helicopter pad. It has cost $4 billion and has an appraised value of $36 million. [Myrtle Beach Sun News]

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