August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Global climate is spinning out of control – but now, we have the technology!” • Heatwaves of more than 50° C in Iraq and India in recent weeks show climate disruption is a present-day reality, not something for a leisurely response. But almost by the week, real-world advances provide a more positive prognosis. [The Ecologist]

Installation of a new 3-MW Siemens offshore wind turbine. Image: artist's impression by Siemens.

Installation of a new 3-MW Siemens offshore
wind turbine. Image: artist’s impression by Siemens.

World:

¶ A Solar Citizens consumer campaigner said that in the first five months of this year, the uptake of small-scale solar in Tasmania had been up by at least 25%. He attributes the turnaround to the recent energy crisis when Basslink was disabled, coupled with an extremely dry year which depleted Hydro’s water reserves. [ABC Online]

Solar irrigation shaves more than six thousand dollars off this farmer's annual power bill. (Margot Foster).

Solar irrigation shaves more than six thousand
dollars off this farmer’s annual power bill. (Margot Foster).

¶ The Netherlands may soon approve of an outright ban on new cars fueled by gasoline or diesel fuel by the year 2025. Only zero-emissions cars powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells would be permitted. Germany may not be far behind, with growing murmurs in support of a ban on conventional cars by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Mainstream Renewable Energy installed the first turbine at the 140-MW Loeriesfontein wind farm in the Northern Cape region of South Africa. The project will have 61 Siemens turbines and is expected to start supplying electricity to the grid in 2017. Siemens Wind Power and sub-contractors are installing the turbines. [reNews]

Wind turbine installation. Mainstream image.

Wind turbine installation. Mainstream image.

¶ A group of Philippine geothermal developers asked the government to implement a specific geothermal feed-in-tariff structure for emerging geothermal technologies. A special geothermal feed-in-tariff for emerging technologies is still seen as a crucial element to push development of geothermal resources. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

US:

¶ Deepwater Wind has hit the home stretch at the 30-MW Block Island offshore wind project in Rhode Island. Fred Olsen Windcarrier’s jack-up Brave Tern installed the fourth turbine yesterday and is preparing to erect the fifth and final GE Haliade 150 6-MW machine at the site, about 3 miles southeast of Block Island. [reNews]

Block Island Wind Farm. Deepwater Wind photo.

Block Island Wind Farm. Deepwater Wind photo.

¶ The federal government calls the impact of carbon dioxide the “social cost of carbon,” and the EPA set a price at $36 per metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. A group of refrigerator makers sued, calling the price “arbitrary and capricious,” but a federal district court ruled against them unanimously. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Many dams that are needed for flood control or other reasons are being refitted to make electricity. For example, Boston based Rye Development is investing $775 million in 23 hydro projects that upgrade dams to produce power, all east of the Mississippi River. The upgrades will add 265 MW of capacity. [Circle of Blue WaterNews]

Olmsted Locks and Dam, on the Ohio River. Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue

Olmsted Locks and Dam, on the Ohio River.
Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue

¶ US utility NV Energy is asking the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to approve construction of a 100-MW solar project in Eldorado Valley. The single-axis solar PV project is planned to be on line in the fourth quarter of 2018. Power would be sold to Techren Solar under a 25-year power purchase agreement. [Energy Business Review]

¶ NASA issued a report that identified 250 sites that release methane in the San Juan Basin around southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. The two-year study determined that 10% of emitters accounted for more than 50% of the total methane released into atmosphere, estimated at 600,000 metric tons annually. [The Durango Herald]

Looking at methane emitters. Photo by Jonathan Romeo / Durango Herald.

Looking at methane emitters. Photo by Jonathan Romeo / Durango Herald.

¶ Nevada Power Co wants to close its coal-fired Reid Gardner plant at Moapa ahead of schedule. In a filing made Monday with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, the utility is proposing to close the fourth unit at the plant after using all the remaining coal inventory, which is estimated to occur about February 28. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

¶ The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is checking competitive interest in a lease area requested by Trident Winds LLC for a 765-MW floating wind farm off the California coast. The BOEM is issuing a Request for Interest in the proposed 67,963-acre lease area, 33 nautical miles northwest of Morro Bay. [SeeNews Renewables]

Map of the lease area. BOEM image.

Map of the lease area. BOEM image.

¶ Regulators in Arizona and New Mexico have sided with solar customers in two cases. The Arizona Corporation Commission rejected a utility’s request to add fees for solar customers and do away with net metering. Regulators in New Mexico approved a settlement decreasing a utility’s connect fees for solar customers. [SolarLove]

¶ The 185-MW Yankee Rowe nuclear power plant in Massachusetts was shut down 1992, leaving in place 15 dry casks of radioactive spent fuel. Now, the town of Rowe and other US communities with “de facto” interim spent nuclear fuel storage sites are seeking annual compensation for storage from the federal government. [The Recorder]

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