February 1 Energy News

February 1, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ LM Wind and Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands designed new blade tips for offshore wind turbines that they claim can increase production by up to 6%. A blade featuring a tip with a zigzag shape was tested on a 2.5-MW turbine at ECN’s test centre at Wieringermeer and improved power generation
by 2% to 6%. [reNews]

Wind turbine blades (Image: LM Wind)

Wind turbine blades (Image: LM Wind)

World:

¶ Increasing business efficiency and cutting costs will be key once again in 2017, as the UK farming industry readies itself for falling incomes and the potential loss of income support in post-Brexit Britain. While some investors are cautious, experts believe there is still a good business case to make for introducing new on-farm technologies. [FG Insight]

¶ In an unpublished report viewed by the Nikkei Asian Review, Coal India says the industry faces a major domestic challenge as renewable energy makes more inroads into coal’s dominance. Representatives of Coal India’s workers say the report is a ploy to counter their demands for better pay and working conditions. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Coal India open-cast mine (Photo: 101Reporters.com)

Coal India open-cast mine (Photo: 101Reporters.com)

¶ The world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, appears to be mulling over investments of as much as $5 billion in renewable energy, as part of plans to diversify from crude oil production, according to people with knowledge on the matter. Saudi Arabia as a whole is aiming to produce 10 GW of renewable power by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ South Australia’s largest solar farm will be built at Tailem Bend this year, at a cost of more than $200 million. It will also have battery storage back up capacity. The solar farm would generate up to 100 MW of electric power, and its battery storage will also be up to 100 MW, enhancing energy security for the state. [The Advertiser]

Broken Hill solar plant, in South Australia (Jeremy Buckingham, Wikimedia Commons)

Broken Hill solar plant, in South Australia
(Jeremy Buckingham, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The EU’s renewable energy goals have long been criticized for being unambitious, but even a pan-union goal to reach 20% of renewable penetration by 2020 looks increasingly beyond the UK, as it begins to lose focus. This is according to the European Commission, in a pre-release report on EU member states’ clean energy progress. [pv magazine]

¶ France has unveiled plans to launch tenders for 3 GW of onshore wind over the next three years as part of new rules for the technology. The tenders will offer support to wind power projects with more than six turbines over 20 years, the energy ministry said. France aims to have 21.8 GW to 26 GW of onshore wind capacity by 2023. [reNews]

Clashindarroch wind farm in Scotland (Credit: reNews)

Clashindarroch wind farm in Scotland (Credit: reNews)

¶ Russian nuclear officials say they’ve fixed a generator glitch that more than two months ago shut down its prized, first of a kind AES-2006 reactor under a cloud of embarrassment and initial secrecy. The November 10 generator failure at the reactor, which began operating last year, was kept under wraps by the nuclear utility Rosenergoatom. [Bellona]

US:

¶ In Southern California, 396 refrigerator-size stacks of Tesla batteries have been hastily erected to supply power for peak demand periods. The installation, capable of powering roughly 15,000 homes over four hours, is part of an emergency response to projected energy shortages stemming from a huge leak at a natural gas storage facility. [Las Vegas Sun]

Tesla battery packs at the Mira Loma substation (Tesla image)

Tesla battery packs at the Mira Loma substation (Tesla image)

¶ The largest solar project in New Hampshire may be headed for Hinsdale. Selectmen approved a payment in lieu of taxes for the $50 million project. It is tentatively scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The firm proposing it claims the project would offset more than 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 20 years. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ The Army Corps of Engineers has been directed to allow the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to North Dakota Senator John Hoeven. He said he was told the Acting Secretary of the Army “directed the Army Corps of Engineers
to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline.” [CNN]

Dakota Access Pipeline section in Iowa (Carl Wycoff, Wikimedia Commons)

Dakota Access Pipeline section in Iowa
(Carl Wycoff, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Home Depot made its first major investment in a renewable energy project powered by the wind. The home improvement chain has signed a 20-year power-purchase agreement with the Los Mirasoles Wind Farm, which is owned and operated by EDP Renewables North America. Home Depot is buying 50-MW of the wind farm’s output. [Investopedia]

¶ Eos Energy Storage and Northern Power Systems Corp announced a strategic partnership to develop integrated energy storage systems and offer them to commercial or industrial customers and utilities. The integrated solutions provide 4 hours of usable energy using modular 250-kW battery building blocks. [Electric Light & Power]

Eos storage system

Eos storage system

¶ In a six-year settlement, in conjunction with nine intervening parties, Dayton Power and Light, a subsidiary of The AES Corp, filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio a settlement to its electric security plan that would end its ownership in 2,093-MW of coal-fired generation and bring more renewable energy to Ohio. [Solar Industry]

¶ The Maryland House has overridden Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016, which would boost the state’s renewable portfolio standard from 20% by 2022 to 25% by 2020. The Senate is expected to take up the override vote in the coming days, according to the Maryland Climate Coalition. [North American Windpower]

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