June 2 Energy News

June 2, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ One potential power source covers 71% of the Earth. Startup Columbia Power is the latest company to dream of harnessing the ocean for electricity. It’s building a wave generator called StingRAY that will float on the ocean’s surface, turning each passing wave to usable power. [CNN]

Columbia wave power.

Columbia wave power.

World:

¶ The latest news from VW is that the company is now considering investing $11 billion into the development of a dedicated battery factory in Salzgitter – which would presumably support the production of the company’s previously hinted at future electric vehicle offerings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Rongke Power, an affiliate of UniEnergy Technologies, will deploy the world’s largest battery, rated at 800 MWh. The vanadium flow battery will provide peak-shaving and enhance grid stabilization in northern China. More large batteries will no doubt be installed to support renewables. [PennEnergy]

UniEnergy Technologies vanadium flow battery.

UniEnergy Technologies vanadium flow battery.

¶ Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board reported that 35 solar PV power projects are currently at various stages of development. These projects will have a total installed capacity of 1,111 MW. The Quaid-e-Azam solar power park is expected to grow 300 MW this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In South Africa, renewable energy production has stabilized electricity supply in the Eastern Cape and will, for the first time, keep the lights on throughout winter. The province was one of the worst-hit by power outages nationally because of load shedding schedules. [News24]

Wind turbine in the Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape. Photo by NJR ZA. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbine, Coega Industrial Development Zone, Eastern Cape.
Photo by NJR ZA. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Queensland’s Government has announced it will provide long-term financial support for up to 120 MW of installed large-scale solar generation. Last year, the Government upped its election commitment from 40 MW to 60 MW and yesterday it announced it would double that. [Energy Matters]

¶ Developing nations invested $156 billion in renewables in 2015, a 19% increase on the year before, and more than all richer nations combined. China was top, investing more in the sector than any other country, and building more wind, hydropower, and solar than anywhere else. [Quartz]

Wind turbines in Changling, China. Photo by 大漠1208. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbines in Changling, China. Photo by 大漠1208.
CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Ontario Power Generation has applied for a 69% increase in what it is paid for nuclear power over the next five years. OPG says it needs the increase to help pay for the $12.8-billion refit of the Darlington nuclear station to extend the life of the reactors 30 years. [BlackburnNews.com]

US:

¶ Georgia Power, the US Army, the Army Office of Energy Initiatives, the General Services Administration and the Georgia Public Service Commission have marked the start of operations of a new 30-MW solar project at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Georgia. [Proud Green Building]

The Fort Benning solar site uses nearly 134,000 PV panels. Photo courtesy of Georgia Power

The Fort Benning solar site uses nearly 134,000 PV panels.
Photo courtesy of Georgia Power

¶ The New York State Assembly approved the nation’s most ambitious climate change bill. Under the bill, New York would have to generate 27% from renewable sources next year. While that might sound high, New York got about 28% of its electricity from renewables in February. [InsideClimate News]

¶ The easing of California’s drought has boosted the state’s early spring hydropower generation to its highest level since 2011, helping it to recover from a 15-year low reached last year. But hydroelectricity production is not expected to improve much overall this year. [Bonner County Daily Bee]

San Gabriel Dam in Los Angeles County, 2013. Photo by Shannon1. CC BY SA. Wikimedia Commons.

San Gabriel Dam in Los Angeles County, 2013.
Photo by Shannon1. CC BY SA. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Minnesota Power will triple the size of rebates available to its customers who install solar panels at home by adding an extra $1 million annually to the program for the next three years. A typical residential customer installing a 5-kW solar system could receive roughly $6,000. [Duluth News Tribune]

¶ After failing to sell its power at auction, the possibility looms that the Three Mile Island nuclear plant could close. If its owner is unable to operate the plant profitably, it may face closure in 2018. There are other ways to sell power, but the auction is a guaranteed source of revenue. [LancasterOnline]

Three mile island nuclear plant. LNP file photo.

Three mile island nuclear plant. LNP file photo.

¶ The unprecedented degradation of critical baffle bolts in the Indian Point 2 nuclear reactor has triggered an extensive investigation by federal officials seeking to learn why the problem was so severe and why systems designed to detect loose metal objects failed. [Huffington Post]

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