July 6 Energy News

July 6, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Did Exxon Lie About Global Warming?” • In the case against Exxon, the plaintiffs do not have to show that the company injured a specific victim or conspired to hide what it knew about climate science, just that Exxon did not tell its own investors the truth about the investment risks of climate change. [RollingStone.com] (Thanks to Tad Montgomery)

Protesters gather outside Exxon’s shareholders meeting in Dallas. Ben Torres/Redux

Protesters gather outside Exxon’s shareholders
meeting in Dallas. Ben Torres/Redux

Science and Technology:

¶ The average cost of electricity from wind and solar energy could drop by 26 to 59 percent, according to a new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The report finds policy framework and the regulatory environment to be key unknown factors in the future cost of electricity from wind and solar energy. [Triple Pundit]

¶ Nuclear plants have estimated fixed costs that range from 5¢/kWh to 7¢/kWh, depending on age and the specific reactor. New wind power has unsubsidized costs in the 3.5¢/kWh range. At those costs, new wind can produce more GHG-free electricity cheaper than keeping aging nuclear power plants running. [CleanTechnica]

Maintaining a wind turbine. It is easier than nuclear.

Wind power is less expensive than the the fixed costs of nuclear.

World:

¶ Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator announced it will allocate 936 renewable energy projects, including 907 small-scale solar projects, under its feed-in tariff program. The small-scale projects will range from 10 kW to 500 kW and will be installed atop commercial, industrial, and municipal buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In January, Chhotkei in Orissa became India’s first smart village powered by Smart NanoGrid technology developed by SunMoksha. Power comes from a 30-kW solar plant, and meters and sensors collect data on energy usage and system health. This makes it possible to schedule power use and maintenance. [India Live Today]

A high-tech system in a rural setting.

A high-tech system in a rural setting.

¶ The South Korean government has announced that it would invest a total of 42 trillion won ($36 billion) in the new energy sector by 2020. Out of the total, 30 trillion won is slated to be spent on the construction of renewable energy power plants with a combined power generation capacity of 13 million kW. [BusinessKorea]

¶ Spanish firm Acciona SA and Canberra-based Windlab Ltd will build two wind farms in the Australian state of Victoria and sell the renewable energy certificates to the government. Accona’s 66-MW Mt Gellibrand project and Windlab’s 30-MW Kiata wind farm will provide sufficient power for 80,000 homes. [SeeNews Renewables]

Australian wind farm. Author: Steven Caddy. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Australian wind farm. Photo by Steven Caddy.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ German engineering major Siemens has added a 8-MW offshore wind turbine to its portfolio and plans to install the first SWT-8.0-154 machine in early 2017. The 8-MW turbine is based on the existing offshore direct drive platform and the higher rating will be achieved with a few component upgrades. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Alterra Power said the 62-MW Jimmie Creek run-of-river hydro project in British Columbia achieved full capacity output for the first time on 29 June. On the same day its East Toba and Montrose plants achieved 238 MW of output. The company expects the project to achieve full commercial operations in August. [reNews]

Run of river hydro power plant intake. Alterra photo

Run of river hydro power plant intake. Alterra photo

¶ After Cochin International Airport Limited, which has become India’s first solar energy powered airport, Kochi Metro Rail Project is also going to become green. Kochi Metro Rail Limited and Hero Solar Energy Ltd signed the power purchase agreement for 4 MW of solar power for the Kochi Metro project. [India.com]

US:

¶ For nearly as long as there has been electricity in Kentucky, coal has been used to make it. Slowly, however, that’s changing. In 2015, coal’s share of electricity generation in Kentucky dipped below 90% for the first time in decades. And in the future, electricity will come from a combination of sources, including solar. [The Lane Report]

LG&E and KU inaugurated a 10-megawatt solar power array in Burgin in Mercer County.

LG&E and KU inaugurated a 10-MW solar power array in Mercer County.

¶ The authoritatively viewed Energy Information Administration just can’t seem to get it right. It continues the confusion of policy-based growth, assuming renewables growth lags once subsidies end (after 2020). In a highly dynamic market, the EIA just doesn’t seem to get that the market is dynamic and interactive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Southern Power has acquired the Passadumkeag Windpark, located in Penobscot County, with a nameplate capacity of approximately 43 MW. It is its first project in Maine. Once operational, the Passadumkeag Windpark is expected to generate enough electricity to meet the energy needs of about 14,000 US homes. [North American Windpower]

Wind farm in Maine.

Wind farm in Maine.

¶ Leaders of the public power utility in Minster, Ohio, had long been solar advocates when they were approached by CEO Michael Hastings of Half Moon Ventures, a development and financing company. The company proposed what is now the United State’s first municipal utility-owned solar-plus-storage project. [Utility Dive]

¶ The Imperial Irrigation District, with more than 150,000 customers in the Imperial Valley, sued the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s electric power grid, claiming its plan to join a regional power group will invite the disastrous price-gouging the state saw during the 2000 electricity crisis. [Courthouse News Service]

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