August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A team of international scientists from Switzerland and the United States developed a powerful osmosis power plant capable of generating more power than any osmotic power generator that has come before. An osmosis power plant creates power by use of a membrane separates salt water from fresh. [Nature World News]

Scientists made a better of osmotic power generator. (Photo: 27707 / Pixabay)

Power can be made where salt water meets fresh. (Photo: 27707 / Pixabay)


¶ Brazil’s state-owned energy research firm EPE said 35,147 MW of wind and solar projects have registered for the second reserve energy auction, scheduled for December. Overall, 1,260 renewable energy projects will compete for contracts. This tender will award 20-year solar and wind power supply contracts. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The TechnoCentre éolien has been granted Canadian federal financial contribution of about $3 million to continue its role as a catalyst in Quebec wind energy. This financial support, which will cover the fiscal years 2016 to 2019, was granted by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. [Windpower Engineering]

The TechnoCentre éolien operates an R&D test site with a wind-diesel-storage microgrid.

The TechnoCentre éolien R&D test site has a wind-diesel-storage microgrid.

¶ The government of Ghana is scaling up the construction of mini-grids to provide electricity to over 200 islands and 2,000 lakeside communities in the medium term. These are in addition to the mini-grid facilities by the World Bank to provide electricity to populations on five island communities on the Volta Lake. [Graphic Online]


¶ Local scientists at Massachusetts Maritime Academy are testing an underwater turbine at the Cape Cod Canal in Buzzards Bay. They believe the technology could revolutionize how we get power. The machine centers around an oscillating set of blades. At Mass Maritime, they call it a hydrokinetic energy solution. [CBS Local]

Underwater turbine tested at Mass. Maritime Academy (WBZ-TV)

Underwater turbine tested at Mass. Maritime Academy (WBZ-TV)

¶ Alaska averaging 33.9° over seven months may not seem warm to folks in the Lower 48. But that just proves they haven’t lived there. A not-far-above-freezing high from January 1 to July 31 is a virtual heat wave. This year’s average is 8.1° above the 20th century average of 25.8°. So far, 2016 has been the hottest year on record. [CNN]

¶ Vestas says that it has received a firm and unconditional order from EDF Renewable Energy for 80 turbines of 2.0 MW each that qualify for the US production tax credit. Vestas says the nacelles, blades and towers will be made at its Colorado factories. The order is part of a larger, global agreement. [North American Windpower]

Wind turbines power generator on sunset at farmer field

Wind turbines power generator on sunset at farmer field

¶ The University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a $500,000 grant for a solar energy project from the state Department of Energy Resources. The grant will go toward a 4.5-MW solar array at two university parking lots, as well as two electric vehicle charging stations, according to a statement from UMass. [Amherst Bulletin]

¶ New figures from GTM Research have revealed that the United States currently has 10 GW of utility-scale solar PV projects currently under construction. In 2015, the entire US solar sector installed a record 7,286 MW. In 2015, the country’s utility solar sector grew 6%, but 2016 may see a growth rate of over 100%. [CleanTechnica]

US Utility PV Pipeline.

US Utility PV Pipeline.

¶ The Massachusetts legislature passed a bill to make the state one of only three to have an energy storage mandate, and Governor Charlie Baker (R) signed the landmark measure on August 9. Massachusetts began paving the way for more far-reaching storage policies over a year ago with an energy storage initiative. [Utility Dive]

¶ Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $16 million will be made available through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to support the design and construction of new energy-efficient housing and to complete similar improvements in existing buildings across New York State. []

Program to provide energy savings worth $180 million. Photo by: Renaude Hatsedakis, via Free Images.

Program to provide energy savings worth $180 million.
Photo by: Renaude Hatsedakis, via Free Images.

¶ With a total capacity of 150 MW of DC power, the Aurora solar project will be the largest solar plant in Minnesota, according to Enel Green Power North America. All told, the 477,000 PV panels will generate 121 million kWh of electricity each year, enough to meet the needs of more than 17,000 homes. [Fergus Falls Daily Journal]

¶ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke on the sale of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power plant. Entergy had said nine months ago it would close the financially struggling plant, but recently agreed to sell it to Exelon. The sale is touted as saving more than 600 jobs at the plant and benefiting the local economy. [WRVO Public Media]

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