October 14 Energy News

October 14, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Canadian Hydro: A Lifeline for Northeastern Clean Energy Goals?” • States in the US Northeast are looking for creative solutions to decarbonize their electricity system and maintain affordable, reliable electricity service. They have renewed interest in an old resource, imported Canadian hydroelectricity. [Greentech Media]

Canadian hydropower

Canadian hydropower

¶ “Fossil Fuels Face More Competition from ‘Green’ Energy” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance found dramatic improvements in wind and solar technology is helping to boost the amount of power generated from each plant. That allowed installations to grow by almost 70% in the last five years even as investment flat lined. [agprofessional.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists and engineers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center have made a new world record for plasma pressure in the Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor. The researchers said that the plasma, which lasted for two full seconds, achieved 2.05 atmospheres of pressure for the first time. [Energy Business Review]

Interior of the Alcator C-Mod (Photo courtesy of  Bob Mumgaard / Plasma Science and Fusion Center)

Interior of the Alcator C-Mod (Photo courtesy of
Bob Mumgaard / Plasma Science and Fusion Center)

World:

¶ The UK government must consider reintroducing auctions for onshore wind if it is to meet 2030 carbon emission reduction targets, according to the Climate Change Committee. No Contract for Difference auction has taken place since 2015 and none are planned for onshore solar and wind, the cheapest renewable technologies. [reNews]

¶ Construction of the Kathu Solar Park in the South African province of Northern Cape began earlier this month with a ground breaking ceremony attended by project shareholders, and various other stakeholders, local officials and guests. The Kathu 100-MW Concentrated Solar Power project uses parabolic trough technology. [Bizcommunity.com]

Kathu site in Northern Cape

Kathu site in Northern Cape

¶ ET Energy Fateh Jang is seeking a licence for a 50-MW solar power facility in Punjab costing $61 million. While two years of crashing prices for oil, natural gas, and coal triggered dramatic downsizing in those industries, renewables have been thriving. Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015. [The News International]

¶ The world’s most powerful tidal turbine, developed and built by Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited, has been installed on its moorings for the first time. The 2-MW SR2000 tidal turbine was towed to the European Marine Energy Centre Orkney site, where it was installed for commissioning and testing. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Tidal turbine (Scotrenewables image)

Tidal turbine (Scotrenewables image)

¶ The first shipment of turbine components for the 175-MW White Rock wind farm in New South Wales has arrived at the Port of Newcastle in Australia. The delivery will consist of eight Goldwind 2.5-MW units, including 59.5-meter blades made by Sinomatech Wind Power Blade Company. It will be completed in 2017. [reNews]

¶ A hybrid renewable energy project in Australia that will include wind, solar and energy storage has been backed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The first phase of Kennedy Energy Park, developed by Australia’s Windlab Ltd and Japan’s Eurus Energy, will consist of 19.2 MW solar, 21.6 MW wind and 2 MW/4 MWh battery storage. [reNews]

Wind and solar power plant in the US.  (Featured Image: welcomia/Shutterstock.com)

Wind and solar power plant in the US.
(Featured Image: welcomia/Shutterstock.com)

US:

¶ Alliant Energy‘s Iowa utility has reached a settlement with customer groups on its proposed new wind project, expanding the Whispering Willow Wind Farm. If approved, will be up to 500 MW, significantly increasing the amount of wind energy that Alliant Energy supplies to customers. [North American Windpower]

¶ Landmark Infrastructure Partners has bought 4000 acres of land in California for $73 million on which Recurrent Energy is developing six solar plants which already have power purchase agreements. The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016. [reNews]

California solar power (Recurrent Energy image)

California solar power (Recurrent Energy image)

¶ The nation’s first offshore wind farm, which plans to launch commercial operations in November, has received investments from GE Energy Financial Services and the global bank Citi. The companies said they are acquiring some of the ownership of Deepwater Wind’s 30-MW project off Block Island. [Worcester Business Journal]

¶ The 110-MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant is the first utility-scale CSP of its kind on American soil, and the developer, California-based energy firm SolarReserve, now says they plan to build 10 more just like it elsewhere in the sunny desert state. The overall project, Sandstone, would power a million US homes. [Inhabitat]

Sandstone rendering (SolarReserve image)

Sandstone rendering (SolarReserve image)

¶ Energy Management Inc’s Cape Wind has dropped a court appeal, another setback in its long-running fight to build a 468-MW wind farm off the US east coast. The developer had asked the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court to reverse an Energy Facilities Siting Board decision denying an extension of transmission line permits. [reNews]

¶ In Sterling, Massachusetts, a 2-MW/3.9-MWh lithium ion battery system at a Sterling Municipal Light Department substation will be able to isolate from the main power grid to provide up to 12 days of emergency back-up power to the police department and dispatch center in the event of a power outage. [Worcester Telegram]

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