September 27 Energy News

September 27, 2016

World:

¶ Statkraft has officially opened the 73-MW Banja hydropower plant in Albania, the first of two projects that will make up the 256-MW Devoll hydro scheme. The plant, which is located 65 kilometers southeast of the capital Tirana and is Statkraft’s first in the country, will generate about 255 GWh of electricity a year. [reNews]

Hydro dam (Statkraft image)

Hydro dam (Statkraft image)

¶ The Moroccan Press Agency reported that King Mohammed VI presided over a working session on the energy sector, focussing mainly on the national program for development of renewable energy. The country is rather unusual among Arab nations. It is one of the few countries in the region without its own oil or gas resources. [Eurasia Review]

¶ A sugar miller in far north Queensland plans to build a $75 million green power station near Mareeba. The power station will use bagasse, a 100% renewable sugarcane fiber, to produce 24 MW of electricity – enough for every house in the Tablelands Region, it says. The electricity will be sold into the local power grid. [EcoGeneration]

Bagasse

Bagasse

¶ Partners Innogy and Northland Power are preparing combined bids of 900 MW for the Nordsee 2 and 3 projects in next year’s offshore wind tender in Germany. The layout of Nordsee 2 and 3 would allow for installation of up to 960 MW of electric capacity, Nordsee 1 executive Tim Kittelhake said at a visit to a Senvion factory. [reNews]

¶ Community Windpower has signed Vestas to supply turbines as it reached financial close on its 31-MW Sanquhar wind farm in southwest Scotland. The nine-turbine project will feature V112 3.45-MW turbines, and is due online in 2017. Nestle is buying up to 125 GWh per annum of power under a previously announced deal. [reNews]

Aikengall wind farm in East Lothian (CWP image)

Aikengall wind farm in East Lothian (CWP image)

¶ In the UK, controversy over fracking has been reignited after a surprise announcement that a future Labour government would ban it. Shadow minister Barry Gardiner won loud applause at Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool when he attacked the Government’s policy on promoting shale gas. The Green Party supported the announcement. [BT.com]

US:

¶ Microsoft announced new targets for its renewable energy use, as it uses increasing amounts of power. It pledged to run 50% on green energy by 2018. Early in the next decade, the company hopes to be at 60%, then continue increasing each subsequent year. It is looking at a mix of solar, wind, and hydropower for its needs. [Futurism]

Microsoft’s data centers are massive consumers of power. (Microsoft Green)

Microsoft’s data center (Microsoft Green)

¶ On September 27, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing challengers’ arguments against the Clean Power Plan, but many power companies are not waiting for the courts to resolve the legal challenges. Instead, they are cutting carbon emissions already and accelerating the shift to clean energy. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ Southern Power and Recurrent Energy’s 200-MW Tranquillity solar plant has achieved commercial operation in California. Signal Energy Constructors provided engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. The solar farm is located on 1900 acres of retired agricultural land in Fresno County. [reNews]

Solar project (Canadian solar image)

Solar project (Canadian solar image)

¶ New York City is thinking big on energy storage, 100 MWh by 2020. In addition, Mayor Bill de Blasio has expanded solar power targets. He announced an expansion of targets to 1,000 MW of citywide solar capacity by 2030. That level of capacity could meet the power needs of more than 250,000 households. [Energy Matters]

¶ The owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant had to keep a lot of spare parts around to keep the facility running. While the plant was open, the VY had a warehouse filled with equipment that workers might need in case something broke down. It closed in December 2014, and now the plant is auctioning off inventory. [Vermont Public Radio]

A box of signs up for auction (Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR)

A box of signs up for auction (Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR)

¶ The last section of a transmission line from South Dakota to Wisconsin, the CapX2020 project, has been finished its near the city of La Crosse. On Monday, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Xcel Energy, and nine other utility companies celebrated the completion of the line at a substation in Hampton, Minnesota. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

¶ Pacific Ethanol, Inc, a leading producer and marketer of low-carbon renewable fuels, announced it is installing a 5-MW solar PV system at its Madera, California plant. The solar PV system, designed and built by Borrego Solar Systems, is expected to reduce Pacific Ethanol’s operating costs and improve its carbon score. [Benzinga]

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