July 13 Energy News

July 13, 2016

World:

¶ The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Cairo on Wednesday for its penultimate stop as the solar-powered plane nears the end of its marathon tour around the world. After the two-day flight from Spain, just one final leg lies between it and its final destination, Abu Dhabi, where it started its odyssey in March last year. [Muscat Daily]

Solar Impulse 2 flies over the pyramids of Giza.

Solar Impulse 2 flies over the pyramids of Giza.

¶ Ireland has beaten Germany in terms of renewable energy generation in the first half of 2016 as its wind power output met 22% of the country’s electricity demand during that period. Wind energy also saved Ireland some €70 million ($77 million) in foreign energy imports. Ireland imports 85% of its overall energy. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Chilean Congress passed a major law on electricity transmission, helping development of both renewable and non-renewable energy projects. Under the policy, a new national interconnected power system will be established alongside a new independent operator. Chile has seen a boom in renewable energy of late. [PV-Tech]

A new national interconnected power system will be established alongside a new independent operator. Credit: ACERA

A new national interconnected power system will be established
alongside a new independent operator. Credit: ACERA

¶ Victoria has become the latest Australian state to announce ambitious new energy targets, aiming to have 25% of its electricity to come from renewable energy by 2020, and 40% by 2025. Currently around 14% of Victoria’s power grid is serviced by renewable energy. The move is anticipated to create thousands of jobs. [Invest in Australia]

¶ Dutch developer Tocardo is to install a 1-MW tidal device next year at Canada’s Bay of Fundy in partnership with Nova Scotia outfit Minas Energy. Four 250-kW turbines will be attached to Tocardo’s patented semi-submersible Universal Floating Platform Structure and held in place by catenary mooring systems. [reNews]

Tidal turbine (Tocardo image)

Tidal turbine (Tocardo image)

¶ Construction starts for new nuclear reactors fell to zero globally in the first half of 2016 as the atomic industry struggles against falling costs for renewables and a slowdown in Chinese building, a report on the industry showed. The number of reactors under construction is in decline for a third consecutive year. [Reuters]

¶ SolarAfrica and battery maker Aquion Energy announced a newly installed off-grid microgrid at the Loisaba Conservancy, a wildlife research hub and ecotourism destination in Kenya. The microgrid has 106 kWh of Aquion batteries paired with a 37 kW solar array. It has replaced diesel generators. [Power Engineering Magazine]

A bank of Aquion batteries.

A bank of Aquion batteries.

US:

¶ Indianapolis Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, announced the opening of the new IPL Advancion® Energy Storage Array Facility. The Advancion Array is the first grid-scale, battery-based energy storage system in the 15-state Midcontinent Independent System Operation region. [Digital Journal]

¶ Enel Green Power North America has started building a 65-MW extension to the 235-MW Chisholm View wind farm in the US. The Chisholm View II project in Oklahoma will cost about $90 million and be online by the end of the year. It is the company’s second wind farm to start construction in Oklahoma this year. [reNews]

Wind turbines. Enel image.

Wind turbines. Enel image.

¶ DE Shaw Renewable Investments announced it acquired the 100-MW North Star Solar Project from Community Energy and began construction on the project, which is located in Chisago County, Minnesota. Upon completion in late 2016, North Star will be the single largest solar energy project in the Midwest. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ Washington’s power grid may have come one step closer to being carbon-free. In a settlement with the Sierra Club, Puget Sound Energy and co-owner Talen Energy finally agreed to shut down the two oldest, dirtiest units of a coal-fired power plant in Montana. PSE still gets 20% of its electricity from Colstrip. [Seattle Weekly]

Colstrip power plant.

Colstrip power plant.

¶ When the Polar vortex forced 20% of generation offline two years ago, PJM moved quickly to institute new rules to ensure keeping generation online. But several groups say the rules disadvantage renewable and clean energy sources, which could be key to keeping the lights on if the situation were to occur again. [Utility Dive]

¶ Dominion Virginia Power should abandon its plans for a third reactor at its North Anna nuclear generating station because the expense is “unnecessary, unreasonable and uneconomic,” according to Vermont Law School energy economist Mark Cooper. He said the reactor would be the most expensive ever built in the United States. [Richmond.com]

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