January 13 Energy News

January 13, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ In 2017, a high-tech ocean vessel powered by the sun, wind
and sea water will start a 6 year journey, visiting 50 countries. The vessel is powered by 130 square meters of solar panels, two vertical axis wind turbines, two electric motors and equipment for electrolysis, which will use sea water to create hydrogen fuel. [Energy Matters]

Energy Observer (Image: Energy Observer)

Energy Observer (Image: Energy Observer)

¶ According to the climate models used by researchers at UMass Amherst, the 48 contiguous US states are projected to cross the 2° C warming threshold about 10 to 20 years earlier than the global mean annual temperature. The Northeast is projected to warm by 3° C (5.2° F) by the time global warming reaches 2° C (3.6° F). [Fusion]

World:

¶ Senvion has signed a contract with Innogy Renewables UK
Ltd to supply 16 wind turbines from its 2-MW series for the Mynydd y Gwair wind farm in South Wales. The project will have an installed capacity of 32.8 MW, and will generate enough electricity annually to power more than 22,000 average UK households. [Windpower Engineering]

Senvion wind turbine

Senvion wind turbine

¶ About 50,000 lives a year could be saved by 2030 if no new coal-fired power plants are built in Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, according to a study from researchers at Harvard University and Greenpeace International. Some 70,000 deaths could result annually, up from about 20,000 deaths now, Greenpeace said. [Bloomberg]

¶ Two Chinese companies plan to spend $1 billion building a giant solar farm on land contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, Climate News Network reports. The two companies plan to build a 1-GW solar power plant on 2,500 hectares of land within the exclusion zone to the south of the Chernobyl plant. [The Guardian]

Solar plant in Belarus (Photo: Viktor Drachev / TASS)

Solar plant in Belarus (Photo: Viktor Drachev / TASS)

¶ Hartek Power has completed solar power projects of 270 MW spread across the Indian states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka in the first three quarters of this fiscal, taking its total solar projects capacity under EPC contracts to 528 MW. As of March 31, 2016, it had completed 258 MW of solar projects. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Wind power delivered a record 2815 MW in Northern Ireland and Ireland on 11 January, providing 60% of all the electricity generated on the island, according to System Operator for Northern Ireland. The previous high was 2683 MW set on 28 January 2016. The system operator is working to gain expertise at this level of integration. [reNews]

Wind turbine (reNews image)

Wind turbine (reNews image)

¶ French utility company Engie is partnering with the National Renewable Energies Agency in Senegal to speed up development of renewable energy. Engie will provide professional training to local industries, carry out energy performance assessments for companies, and develop solar electric and hot water projects for individuals. [reNews]

¶ Swiss company New Energy Solutions will begin construction of four solar farms in Iran in March, with a combined capacity of 120 MW, as Iran remains solar’s ultimate unknown quantity. Upon completion of the construction phase, NES will own the projects, which will then be connected to Iran’s national grid by operator Tavanir. [pv magazine]

Tehran Sky (Credit: Hamed Saber via Flickr)

Tehran Sky (Credit: Hamed Saber via Flickr)

¶ A review into tidal lagoons, commissioned by the government of the UK, has given unequivocal backing to the technology and urges BEIS to agree a Contract for Difference for a 320-MW project at Swansea Bay. A large-scale project would cost around £0.50 per household per year over the first 60 years, the report found. [reNews]

US:

¶ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for wind farms in Long Island waters earned rave reviews from environmental activists. Leaders from the regional energy and ecology sectors are cheering Cuomo’s call for the Long Island Power Authority to approve what would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm. [Innovate Long Island]

Offshore wind farm (Deepwater image)

Offshore wind farm (Deepwater image)

¶ As part of Volkswagen’s plea bargain with the US authorities
on software the company put into its diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests, VW signed up to an agreed “Statement of Facts.” Because of this, the Justice Department has a very clear idea not only of what the company did wrong, but what it did to conceal the wrongdoing. [BBC]

¶ Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory will feature a giant 70-MW solar farm on the factory’s roof, the largest solar installation on a single rooftop in the world. Tesla’s goal is that the Gigafactory will be powered entirely with renewable energy. This installation will be more than seven times larger than the world’s next largest rooftop solar farm. [Yahoo News]

Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory

Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory

¶ Bills were introduced in the Minnesota Legislature to allow Xcel Energy to build a big power plant in Sherburne County, a project the Public Utilities Commission put on hold in October. Xcel wants to build a 786-MW natural gas-fired plant to replace some of the power lost when it closes two coal-fired plants there. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ A New York firm says it can decommission the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant for far less money, and in much less time, than previously projected. But nuclear watchdogs of the Citizens Awareness Network say the “seductive” proposal needs intense scrutiny before regulators allow the deal to proceed. [Vermont Public Radio]

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