August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ When produced using renewable energy, hydrogen could cost nearly the equivalent of 50-cent-per-gallon gasoline, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The NREL plan assumes large-scale production of hydrogen through electrolysis, but with renewable energy used for power. [Green Car Reports]

Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, Fountain Valley, California.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars fueling, Fountain Valley, California.

Opinion:

¶ “Analysis Finds Wind Could Replace 6,000 Gigawatt-Hours of Coal in Colorado” • Financial modeling shows that Colorado’s clean energy transition is getting cheaper. Colorado voters bet costs dropping for wind and solar energy as they were used more, and it looks like the initiative’s promise is coming to fruition. [Greentech Media]

World:

¶ In India, a dam-top solar project of the Kerala State Electricity Board on the Banasura Sagar Dam at Padinharethara in Wayanad district is ready for commissioning. A trial run was successfully conducted recently, and the Power Minister is scheduled to commission the project at Padinharethara before the end of August. [The Hindu]

Solar panels erected atop the Banasura Sagar Dam at Padinharethara in Wayanad district.

Solar panels erected atop the Banasura Sagar Dam.

¶ British Columbia’s Climate Leadership Plan will have a major focus on electrifying oil and gas development and expanding BC Hydro’s renewable power capacity in lieu of a carbon tax hike, BC’s premier announced. Clark laid out the details of the plan at a news conference during a record-setting heat wave. [Dawson Creek Mirror]

¶ Developer Cennergi started operating the Tsitsikamma community wind farm in South Africa. The 95-MW Eastern Cape project near Port Elisabeth features 31 Vestas V112 turbines rated at 3.075 MW, according to the Exxaro and Tata Power joint venture. The project was part of a power producer procurement program 2012. [reNews]

Vestas V112 turbines. Vestas photo.

Vestas V112 turbines. Vestas photo.

¶ Ontario has denied an appeal on the 75-MW Amherst Island wind project, clearing the way for construction to begin. The provincial Environmental Review Tribunal upheld a renewable energy approval that was granted about a year ago. Canadian developer Algonquin Power plans to build 26 Siemens 3.2MW-113 turbines. [reNews]

¶ RES has completed its first energy storage project in the UK with a 300-kW/640-kWh lithium-ion battery system at a solar farm in Somerset. The Hertfordshire developer’s system was installed alongside a 1.3-MW British Solar Renewables’ PV site at Butleigh near Glastonbury. The storage system features BYD batteries. [reNews]

Energy storage system at Butleigh. RES photo.

Energy storage system at Butleigh. RES photo.

US:

¶ The oil and gas sector is headed for much more “turbulent times” beyond the ongoing oil bust, former Vice President Al Gore said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. He said the industry will go through the same pains as the coal sector unless it adopts more renewable and sustainable sources of power and fuel. [Houston Chronicle]

¶ The University of California switched on a 60-MW solar energy plant that it intends to expand to 80 MW by mid-2017, at which point it will be the largest solar purchase by any university in the United States. Five Points Solar Park has 271,200 panels and will supply roughly 14% of the system’s electricity demands. [Clean Energy Authority]

Five Points solar array. Photo Credit: Elena Zhukova.

Five Points solar array. Photo Credit: Elena Zhukova.

¶ Work is under way to build a solar array in Steamboat Springs that will benefit low-income residents. Yampa Valley Electric Association is building the array with support from GRID Alternatives and the Colorado Energy Office. The solar array is being built at the YVEA headquarters on Elk River Road in Steamboat. [Steamboat Pilot & Today]

¶ A solar farm located 20 miles southwest of Colorado Springs will be the first of its kind to provide energy directly to the state’s ratepayers. The new Clear Spring Ranch Solar Array is set to generate enough power to supply between 2,900 to 3,000 homes with renewable energy. The power is under a 25-year contract. [The Denver Channel]

Clear Spring Ranch Solar Array. Courtesy: Amy Trinidad, Colorado Springs Utilities.

Clear Spring Ranch Solar Array.
Courtesy: Amy Trinidad, Colorado Springs Utilities.

¶ This summer’s dry conditions have resulted in a drop in output from the hydroelectric power generation plants belonging to Vermont’s largest consumer utility, Green Mountain Power. Rivers have been running low due to a dearth of rainfall, meaning less water rushing through the turbines of hydro plants to produce power. [NECN]

¶ Even before opposition develops to New York’s subsidizing nuclear power plants, the beneficiary of almost $500 million in annual payments is airing its legal defenses. Exelon, owner of the Ginna and Nine Mile Point plants, and owner-to-be of FitzPatrick, has vetted all potentially opposing arguments. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

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