December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “While Turnbull spins his wheels, industry is getting on with deploying renewables” • Incredibly, for the sake of party unity, Turnbull has turned his back on all administrative, economic and industry advice, including his own advice of a few years ago. But the rollout of renewable energy goes on, becoming more clearly achievable. [Independent Australia]

Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub (Image: Hydro Tasmania)

Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub (Image: Hydro Tasmania)

¶ “Could Rick Perry Forego his Special-Interest Past for a Clean Energy Future?” • Rick Perry is President-elect Trump’s pick for Energy secretary. Put simply: The appointment of Rick Perry is “open season” on the environment, and all who care about the health of their families should be concerned. [Environmental Defense Fund]

World:

¶ The British government reaffirmed its commitment to spend £730 million yearly on renewable power projects and confirmed that the second Contracts for Difference auction will open for less established technologies in April 2017. So companies may compete for the first £290 million worth of renewable project contracts. [Seawork International]

Government backs offshore wind (Image copyright © Mercator Media 2016)

Government backs offshore wind
(Image copyright © Mercator Media 2016)

¶ New research carried out by the UK’s manufacturing sector concluded the sector has untapped potential to increase energy efficiency, which could lead to a 12 TWh reduction in annual electricity consumption. The energy efficiencies had a 20-month payback period, and a significant proportion had no capital investment at all. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Energy giant AGL’s dream of a solar PV Virtual Power Plant for Adelaide is taking shape, with a first release of 150 batteries sold out and nine already installed. AGL hopes that, when complete, the metropolitan distributed energy network will have an output equivalent to a 5-MW solar peaking plant, supported by 1,000 batteries. [EcoGeneration]

AGL virtual power plant installation (AGL image)

AGL virtual power plant installation (AGL image)

¶ Gamesa reported that it had beaten its own annual turbine manufacturing record, having already made more than 1,880 units with a total productive capacity of 3,880 MW. The old record, set in 2008, was 3,787 MW. The turbines were assembled all over the world, in India (36%), Europe (28%), China (26%) and Brazil (10%). [CleanTechnica]

¶ The price of electricity from offshore wind keeps dropping. A consortium made up of Shell, Mitsubishi/DGE, Van Oord, and Eneco has won the concession to build the Borssele III and IV Wind Farms, amounting to 700 MW, at a new record low cost of €54.5/MWh (5.7¢/kWh). Only last July, the record low price was €72.70/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind substation (photo by Wikichops, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Offshore wind substation
(photo by Wikichops, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Energy storage provider Younicos was selected by Centrica to design and deliver one of the world’s most sophisticated battery-based energy storage systems, and one of the largest. To be completed by winter 2018, the 49-MW lithium-ion system will respond to demand fluctuations in less than a second, according to a press release. [solarserver.com]

US:

¶ New technology developed by Environmental Defense Fund, Google, and Colorado State University is reducing pipeline methane emissions by 83% in an area surveyed for a utility. A specially equipped Google Street View mapping car measures the volume of methane escaping, finding where the worst leaks are. [CleanTechnica]

Google Street View mapping car (Courtesy Environmental Defense Fund)

Google Street View mapping car
(Courtesy Environmental Defense Fund)

¶ Donald Trump’s transition team is disavowing a questionnaire sent to the Energy Department asking for names of employees who had worked on climate change issues. “The questionnaire was not authorized or part of our standard protocol. The person who sent it has been properly counseled,” a Trump transition official told CNN. [CNN]

¶ Dong Energy is teaming up with Eversource Energy, the New England transmission system company, on the Bay State Wind project. The proposed offshore windfarm would be located approximately 15 to 25 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard in an area that has the potential to develop at least 2,000 MW of electricity. [Offshore Wind Journal]

Dong Energy and Eversource Energy plan to develop the 2,000-MW Bay State offshore wind project together.

Dong Energy and Eversource Energy plan to develop
the 2,000-MW Bay State offshore wind project together.

¶ New Hampshire Public Radio reports the state’s Site Evaluation Committee voted 5 to 1 to approve the Antrim wind farm. The project will include nine turbines that are expected to power roughly 12,000 homes. The project was first rejected in 2009, as opponents of wind farms argued the turbines would mar New Hampshire’s landscape. [PennEnergy]

¶ EDP Renovaveis SA announced it has signed a $114-million (€107 million) institutional tax equity financing deal relating to the Gamesa-powered 101-MW Timber Road II project in Ohio. The project has a long-term power purchase agreement with Amazon Web Services Inc and will start power generation in May 2017. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind park (Author: Santi Villamarín, CC BY-SA)

Wind park (Author: Santi Villamarín, CC BY-SA)

Route of transmission line. Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Please click on
the image to enlarge it.

¶ The DOE gave its approval this week to an international power line to carry 1,000-MW from Canada to southern New England. The electricity will come mainly from Canadian hydroelectric dams, but it will also include some power from wind turbines in New York state. The state of Vermont will have dibs on 200 MW of it. [vtdigger.org]

¶ Vernon officials heard a pitch from former Google executive Matt Dunne, who said the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant’s property would be good for a data center. Ever since Entergy announced it would close VY, the Vernon Planning Commission has working on an economic development plan for the site. [Vermont Public Radio]

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