August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it’s taxing those who use it” • Four years ago, the Wyoming Legislature began entertaining a lofty question: Who owns all of that wind? They concluded, quickly and conveniently, that Wyoming did. Then they did something no other state has done: They taxed it. [Los Angeles Times]

Mountain Wind Power wind turbines in Uinta County, Wyoming. Photo by CGP Grey. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Mountain Wind Power wind turbines in Uinta County, Wyoming.
Photo by CGP Grey. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The Philippine Department of Energy has issued certificates of endorsements to 49 power projects as of the end of July, government data showed. Of these, 26 are renewable energy projects. Solar farms accounted for 22 projects, including one with a capacity of 100 MW in Subic Freeport Zone. [Philippine Star]

¶ Though it was not reported at the time, on July 10 a new reactor vessel in Belarus slipped to the ground during preparations for installation, according to Rosatom. Workers failed to properly secure the vessel, causing it to “slip[] down slowly and touch[] the ground softly.” The company said there was no damage. [POWER magazine]

Workers on the Belarus nuclear power plant apparently dropped the first unit’s 330-ton reactor vessel (shown here before the accident) on July 10. Courtesy: Rosatom.

Workers at the nuclear plant apparently dropped the first unit’s 330-ton reactor vessel (shown here before the accident). Courtesy: Rosatom.

… Rosatom is ready to fulfill Minsk’s demand and replace the reactor pressure vessel of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which is being built with Russia’s assistance, representatives of the Russian nuclear engineering corporation Rosatom told TASS. The reactor is a VVER-1200 type nuclear power system. [Belarus News (BelTA)]

¶ In a boost to wind energy potential in Tamil Nadu, the government of India announced a policy for repowering wind energy projects. Repowering refers to replacing ageing wind turbines with powerful and modern units in order to boost power generation. It can help old wind sites to more than double their installed capacities. [The Hindu]

Most of the wind turbines installed till the year 2000 are below 500 kW capacity. The Hindu file photo.

Older wind turbines are usually below 500 kW capacity. The Hindu file photo.

¶ Off-grid solar is increasingly being viewed as the way to bring cheap, sustainable lighting to the vast parts of India that are yet to be connected to the electricity grid, especially in difficult terrain. The government is targeting 12 GW of new capacity and getting 6 GW. This means off-grid solar is looking more attractive. [The Hindu]

¶ The World Wildlife Fund offered the people of the village of Sardar Para, in Bangladesh, home solar systems, but many were skeptical. Then local women formed a self-help group and found an acceptable answer. A 4.1-kW PV array provides power, and each home has its own battery-powered energy access kit. [The Weekend Leader]

Residents of Sardar Para in Satjeliya Island and the village's solar panels. WWF photo.

Residents of Sardar Para and the village’s solar array. WWF photo.

US:

¶ Xcel has reduced carbon by 30% since 2005, according to the company’s CEO. He says Xcel will continue its environmental work and will reduce carbon by another 30% over the next 15 years. The company will invest in the grid, moving power from wind farms to customers in a way that is affordable to them. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ According to the American Wind Energy Association, Virginia currently has no wind projects online. Hopefully, that will change soon. Apex Clean Energy, a Charlottesville-based independent renewable energy company that ranks as one of the nation’s leading developers, hopes to construct the first wind project in Virginia. [Richmond.com]

Wind turbines. The Associated Press.

Wind turbines. The Associated Press.

¶ An anti-fracking group says Pennsylvania’s approval of more than 40 natural gas power plants over the last two years will lead to more fracking and it is calling on the governor to limit gas usage. Pennsylvanians Against Fracking is also concerned about the fact that small power plants can fall below regulatory thresholds. [Timesonline.com]

¶ New York’s governor announced the completion of a solar array expansion at Davidson Chevrolet near Watertown. The 2,000 panels add to the dealership’s previous project, built in 2014, which consists of about 5,500 panels. The new array will save an estimated $1 million in expenses over the next 20 years. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

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