December 25 Energy News

December 25, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ By studying the chemistry of growth rings in quahog shells, experts from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences pieced together the history of the North Atlantic Ocean over the past 1000 years. The shells showed growth correlated to natural cycles until 1800, after which it became more related to carbon dioxide emissions. [Knowridge Science Report]

Quahog shells

Quahog shells


¶ A group of alumni from Ateneo de Manila University banded together to form a company that aims to deliver electricity from the sun to remote communities in the Philippines. Solar Sari Sari Store will provide electric power to people in distant off-grid communities such as secluded mountain villages and remote islands. [The Standard]

¶ In 2016, renewable energy surpassed coal as the largest source of installed power capacity. China’s carbon emissions peaked. The German upper house voted to ban gasoline-powered cars by 2030. Vancouver chose to ban natural gas in new buildings, also by 2030. And Canada is well on its way to a renewable future. [The Globe and Mail]

Wind farm in Alberta (The Canadian Wind Energy Association)

Alberta wind farm (Canadian Wind Energy Association photo)

¶ The government of Pakistan is working on 78 renewable energy projects that are expected to be completed by 2020, including solar, wind, and biomass. They have a total capacity of 2,796 MW. Fourteen wind, solar, and bagasse co-generation projects with a total capacity of 853.3 MW have been completed since March 2013. [Business Recorder]

¶ Atlantis Resources announced it has switched on of its first 1.5-MW tidal stream turbines in the Inner Sound of Scotland’s Pentland Firth. Four turbines are scheduled to be installed, but Atlantis wants to grow the project eventually to include dozens of turbines generating up to 400 MW of electricity through tidal power. [Interesting Engineering]

Tidal turbine (Atlantis Resources image)

Tidal turbine (Atlantis Resources image)


¶ The Hawaiian Electric Companies outlined a plan that aims
at using renewable resources to meet 100% of Hawaii’s power generation needs by 2045. The companies forecast they will greatly exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones. They expect to be 48% renewably powered by 2020, where 30% is mandated. [Satellite PR News]

¶ The Kidder Hill Wind project gave a 45-day notice of intent to file a permit with the Vermont PSB for two wind turbines up to 499 feet tall. The turbines would be in Irasburg or Lowell. Kidder Hill is expected to contribute about $40,000 in local community payments and $40,000 to the statewide Education Fund each year. [The Newport Daily Express]

Turbines of Vermont's Georgia Wind project

Turbines of Vermont’s Georgia Wind project

¶ The 21-acre Heller Industrial Park in Edison, New Jersey had been a landfill. It will soon power 1,200 homes, turning a chunk of unusable property into a renewable energy site. With 24,000 solar panels, it will be the 10th solar farm built as part of Public Service Electric and Gas’s $500-million investment into its Solar 4 All program. []

¶ The Ithaca College solar farm, which the college said will cover 10% of the its energy needs, became officially operational and producing energy on December 22. The array is in the town of Seneca and includes 9,000 solar panels. It cost $6.4 million to construct, which was funded through grants from the state of New York. [The Ithacan]

Solar Array providing 10% of Ithaca College's needs  (Photo courtesy of Ithaca College)

Solar Array providing 10% of Ithaca College’s needs
(Photo courtesy of Ithaca College)

¶ The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada voted 3-0 to allow a Switch data center to leave as a retail customer of NV Energy if it pays a $27 million exit fee. The fee would soften the blow of its departure to the broader customer base by covering the cost of investments NV Energy made assuming that Switch would continue as a customer. [CBS Local]

¶ Georgia’s Public Service Commission voted unanimously to give Georgia Power one of the most expensive yuletide gifts ever. They let Georgia Power almost completely off the hook for cost overruns running into billions of dollars on two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. The costs will be passed on to Georgia Power’s customers. [Columbia County News Times]

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