December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change said seasonal storms could increase by a factor of five within this century. Climate Central also noted that the study concluded intense rainfalls could create 70% more rain. For example, 2 inches of rainfall now would equate to 3.5 inches by the end of this century. [CleanTechnica]

Flooded Baton Rouge (US Department of Agriculture, via Wikipedia, some rights reserved)

Flooded Baton Rouge (US Department of
Agriculture, via Wikipedia, some rights reserved)

Opinion:

¶ “Big Utility Sees Pathway to $10 Oil” • The oil industry must brace for five energy “tsunamis” that threaten to drag prices as low as $10 a barrel in less than a decade, according to Engie SA’s innovation chief. Solar power, battery storage, electric vehicles, “smart” buildings, and cheap hydrogen will all weigh on the price of crude, he said. [info-europa]

World:

¶ Taiwan Power Co is to pour NT$200 billion ($6.24 billion) in solar and wind energy projects in Changhua County, including over 1 GW of offshore wind. Its memorandum of understanding with Changhua also mentions 16 MW of onshore wind and 100 MW of solar station at the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park. [SeeNews Renewables]

Offshore wind park (Author: Tim Collins, CC BY-SA)

Offshore wind park (Author: Tim Collins, CC BY-SA)

¶ New wind energy is now being contracted for prices as low as 6.45¢/kWh in Ontario, well below the average cost for electricity generation of 11.14 cents as of May 1, 2016. Forecasters expect costs for wind power to continue declining. At the same time, costs for other forms of new or refurbished generation are increasing. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Sri Lanka’s first 10-MW grid connected solar power project implemented by the private sector has been commissioned, with DFCC Bank acting as lead financiers to the project. Promoted by Sagasolar Power (Pvt) Ltd, the utility-scale power project is expected to add 19 GWh of clean energy to the national grid annually. [Lanka Business Online]

Solar farm in Sri Lanka

Solar farm in Sri Lanka

¶ NTPC, India’s largest electricity producer, plans to phase out some of its less-efficient, coal-based power plants that are more than 25 years old, as Asia’s third-largest economy steps up efforts to curb emissions amid growing demand for clean energy. Coal provides for nearly three-fourth of India’s power generation. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ Macquarie Group struck a £1.6 billion ($2.7 billion) deal with Denmark’s DONG Energy to buy half of a huge offshore wind farm in the UK. Macquarie’s European Infrastructure Fund 5 and Macquarie Capital will each take a 25% share of Race Bank, a 573-MW wind farm being built off the North Norfolk coast. [The Australian Financial Review]

DONG Energy's ventures include the London Array. (photo by Simon Dawson)

DONG Energy’s ventures include the
London Array. (photo by Simon Dawson)

US:

¶ Wind generation has grown by more than 11 million MWh in just a year in the huge ERCOT market of Texas. A similar shift happened in the area served by the Southwest Power Pool, which includes all or most of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and significant parts of several other states. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Project Icebreaker, a six-turbine demonstration of offshore wind in Lake Erie, is to be located eight to 10 miles off the coast at Cleveland. It could become the country’s second offshore wind farm; the first just started operating in Rhode Island’s waters. Utilities and Cuyahoga County have already pledged to buy power from the turbines. [WBFO]

Soil sampling for Project Icebreaker (Photo by Elizabeth Miller)

Soil sampling for Project Icebreaker (Photo by Elizabeth Miller)

¶ Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor released the broad energy report that looks at Iowa’s energy needs over the next decade. The new energy strategy envisions electric car-charging stations across the state, anaerobic digesters that turn animal waste to energy, and top researchers finding ways to store wind and solar energy. [DesMoinesRegister.com]

¶ sPower announced that it has put online two new solar PV plants totaling 60 MW. The plants are located in Lancaster, California, and will supply power to Palo Alto’s municipal utility through a 25-year power purchase agreement. A third of Palo Alto’s electricity is now supplied by the sun. The city has been carbon-neutral since 2013. [pv magazine USA]

sPower solar project (sPower image)

sPower solar project (sPower image)

¶ Allianz Global Investors has made, on behalf of clients, an investment of more than $400 million (€384 million) in a 400-MW wind project in Nebraska owned by Warren Buffett. Work started in 2015 and the park will be completed very soon. It has a power purchase agreement with Omaha Public Power District. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, based in Taos, New Mexico, is blazing new trails by committing to produce 100% of its electricity from solar facilities during its summer-peak season by 2023. Though the commitment itself may be remarkable, it is more remarkable that KCEC could make this commitment at all. [pv magazine USA]

Kit Carson

Kit Carson

¶ Florida Power & Light Company announced plans to retire the Cedar Bay Generating Plant, a 250-MW coal-fired facility located in Jacksonville, this month. FPL purchased the plant in 2015 with the intention of phasing it out of service in this time frame. The move is expected to save FPL customers more than $70 million. [Satellite PR News]

¶ The NRC awarded Duke Energy licenses to build two nuclear power reactors in South Carolina, a decade after the project was originally announced. Duke has already spent $495 of the $11 billion the plant is expected to cost, but the Charlotte Observer reports that it is unclear whether the utility will ever finish it. [Fairfield Citizen]

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