February 15 Energy News

February 15, 2017


¶ “An Oroville message: As climate shifts, so will water strategies” Even when everything is going right, managing a large dam is a juggling act. What the flooding this week at California’s Oroville Dam may be demonstrating is how that juggling act is growing even more complicated due to climate change. [Christian Science Monitor]

Oroville dam (Randy Pench / The Sacramento Bee via AP)

Oroville dam (Randy Pench / The Sacramento Bee via AP)

¶ “Local energy groups do a power of good” • Remember the outcry against wind farms? These days commercial wind harvesters are a lot more strategic when planning wind farms. They involve nearby communities from the get-go, opening up limited shareholdings to some rural communities in Australian wind farm companies. [Weekly Times Now]

Science and Technology:

¶ A study conducted by the University of Queensland found that climate change has greater impact on lives of animals than reported. The team led by Associate Professor James Watson has found concerning evidence showing that nearly 700 birds and mammals have responded to the climatic changes in a negative way. [Tech Times]

Mountain gorillas are among the most  affected (Brent Stirton / Getty images)

Mountain gorillas are among the most
affected (Brent Stirton / Getty images)


¶ Saudi Arabia plans to develop almost 10 GW of renewable energy by 2023, starting with wind and solar plants in its vast northwestern desert. The effort could replace the equivalent of 80,000 barrels of oil a day now burned for power. With growth in industry, Saudi peak demand increased 10% last year. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ Carbridge, the onsite provider of airport ground transportation services for the Sydney Airport, announced that it has placed orders for 40 more pure electric buses from BYD. The contract was finalized at the end of January – just 3 months after the first BYD Electric Blu bus was first put to use at the Sydney Airport. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus at Sydney harbor

BYD electric bus at Sydney harbor

¶ In a move that further illustrates the company’s commitment to being a socially responsible corporation, French multinational electric utility Engie announced that it will join Watts of Love in a critical initiative to bring sustainable solar lighting to remote villages in Guatemala without any access to electric power. [Your Renewable News]

¶ The construction value of UK offshore wind farms reached a record £4.1 billion in 2016, up from £2.45 billion the previous year, according to construction industry analysts Barbour ABI. The trend is likely to continue for offshore wind developments, with £23.2 billion worth of construction contract value now in planning. [reNews]

London Array (Credit: reNews)

London Array (Credit: reNews)

¶ Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced plans to use renewable power sources to provide 20% of the nation’s energy by 2025. The government intends to phase out all nuclear power plants by 2025 and announced last October plans to shut down Nuclear Power Plant No 1 in New Taipei City by 2019. [Taiwan News]

¶ Genex Power Limited achieved financial close for the Kidston Phase One Solar Project in Queensland, Australia, on land next to the proposed Kidston pumped storage project. First Solar will supply 63 MW of advanced thin-film PV modules. The project will produce about 145,000 MWh of electricity in its first year of operation. [Electric Light & Power]

Australian solar array

Australian solar array

¶ In the UK, MPs have urged the Secretary of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to open price support negotiations for Tidal Lagoon Power’s 320-MW Swansea Bay project. 107 MPs have signed a letter to Clark following the publication last month of the Hendry Review commissioned last year by the then DECC. [reNews]


¶ Coal power is no longer the best energy bargain. And on Monday, the four private utility owners of the Navajo Generating Station, led by the Salt River Project, voted to shut down the plant at the end of 2019, some 25 years ahead of schedule. The closure will deeply hurt the employees, 90% of whom are Native American. [Grist]

Navajo Generating Station (Shutterstock image)

Navajo Generating Station (Shutterstock image)

¶ While the Trump administration appears to have affection for the fossil fuels industry, some states are moving in a different direction, especially on plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). From Massachusetts and New York to California, they and are setting, and achieving, goals to put PEVs on the road, replacing those that burn fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Dominion Energy is ahead of schedule with its plans to build 400 MW of solar power in Virginia by 2020. The company is investing more than $800 million in solar in the state, and said additional projects are now in the planning stages. The additions of solar power would have little effects on power rates, according to a spokesman. [reNews]

17-MW Powhattan solar array (credit: Dominion)

17-MW Powhattan solar array (credit: Dominion)

¶ Democratic lawmakers proposed legislation to move Nevada away from fossil fuels more quickly than planned. Democratic Assemblyman Chris Brooks of Las Vegas introduced a bill this week that would double the amount of renewable energy Nevada will mandate by 2025, raising the goal to 50%. [U.S. News & World Report]

¶ Cost overruns at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant are threatening a financial tsunami at Toshiba Corp. The company projected a $6.3 billion write-down, postponed its earnings report because of allegations of impropriety, and announced that its chairman was resigning – all on the same day, the Wall Street Journal reported. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

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