September 22 Energy News

September 22, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A study suggests that microgrids, rarely used in today’s power sector, will come to be the “fundamental building block” of the 21st-century grid. The report was released by the National Electrical Manufacturing Association, which represents electrical, medical imaging, and radiation therapy manufacturers. [Midwest Energy News]

Sandia microgrid graphic

Sandia microgrid graphic (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ A study published in the Journal of Political Economy examines the true costs associated with the variability inherent in solar energy, and finds that it is nowhere near as costly or impactful as some people have been led to believe. In fact, the authors state, “the cost impact of unpredictability is relatively small.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ DONG Energy and SmartWind Technologies have installed an advanced radar system to collect 3D data on the wind flow at the 210-MW Westermost Rough offshore wind farm, which lies off the UK’s east coast. DONG said the BeaCon radar project is the first of its kind in the world and represents a “paradigm shift in wind measurements.” [reNews]

BeaCon radar, Westermost Rough (Credit: DONG)

BeaCon radar, Westermost Rough (Credit: DONG)

World:

¶ For the first time ever, investment in new renewables was more than enough to cover rising global electricity demand in 2015. That is according to the first World Energy Investment report, published by the International Energy Agency. The IEA says changes in investment indicate “reorientation of the energy system.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ The British Columbia Hydro grid recently lost power just as the British Columbia Institute of Technology was demonstrating a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station. The Energy Oasis solar-EV charging platform, part of BCIT’s mini-grid, was able to power the PA system and other electronics during the press conference. [Microgrid Media]

Solar parking lot canopy at BCIT

Solar parking lot canopy at BCIT

¶ Switzerland’s MECI Group International signed an agreement with Iran’s government to build a wind farm at a cost of €750-million ($839-million). The project is in the mountainous region in northern Iran, and will have 270 MW of installed capacity. Turbine testing is already happening onsite, according to MECI’s Chairman. [Tehran Times]

¶ Entrepreneurs in China, Russia, Japan and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out plans to create an Asian Renewable Energy Super Grid. The Super Grid will transmit electrical power from renewable sources from areas in the world that are best able to produce it to distant consumers. [Climate Action Programme]

Electric grid infrastructure

Electric grid infrastructure

¶ The world’s largest solar power plant in one single location kicked off operations in India. A project of Adani Green Energy (Tamil Nadu), the renewable energy wing of the Adani Group, the plant has a capacity of 648 MW and has been set up with an investment of around ₹4,550 crore ($842.6 million). [The New Indian Express]

¶ India is negotiating with US Export-Import Bank for an $8-9 billion loan to finance six Westinghouse Electric nuclear reactors, two sources familiar with the talks said, although a lending freeze at the trade agency threatens progress. India currently has a target of a tenfold expansion in capacity to 63,000 MW by 2032. [Deccan Chronicle]

A fisherman stands on his boat on a beach  near Kudankulam nuclear plant. (Photo: Reuters)

A fisherman stands on his boat on a beach
near Kudankulam nuclear plant. (Photo: Reuters)

US:

¶ A group of 375 “concerned” scientists, including the famed physicist Stephen Hawking, released an open letter sharply criticizing Donald Trump, citing the threat of climate change and blasting his push for the US to leave the Paris Accord. CNN reached out to the Trump campaign for a response to the letter, but has not received one. [CNN]

¶ Green Mountain Power announced that it has filed with the Public Service Board an agreement with Enel Green Power NA to acquire 14 of Enel’s small hydroelectric power stations located mainly in northern New England, with an approximate total capacity of 17 MW. The deal will create low cost resources for GMP. [Vermont Biz]

Taftsville site on the Ottauquechee River in the town of Woodstock (GMP image)

Taftsville site in Woodstock, Vermont (GMP image)

¶ Lockheed Martin opened a new bioenergy facility in Owego, New York. This self-sustaining system can transform waste into electricity through advanced gasification producing syngas. The facility will convert 50,000 tons of feedstock per year into 5 MW of electric power, enough to power about 5,000 local homes and businesses. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ A fire at a power plant has left 1.5 million people without electricity in the US territory of Puerto Rico. The fire affected two transmission lines and caused the collapse of the electricity system across the island, officials say. Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority has been seeking funds to update outdated equipment. [BBC]

Blackout left parts of San Juan in the dark. (Reuters photo)

Blackout left parts of San Juan in the dark. (Reuters photo)

¶ The Department of the Navy, along with Georgia Power and Georgia Public Service Commission, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the large-scale solar facility at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The solar facility is a 254-acre plot with a capacity of 30 MW of AC power using approximately 133,000 PV panels. [Florida Times-Union]

¶ Minnesota officials are working with Xcel Energy to ensure that a third of the power used in key state government buildings comes from renewables. The state’s Lieutenant Governor and Xcel Energy-Minnesota’s president announced the pilot program, subject to Public Utilities Commission approval. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

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