Archive for April 7th, 2017

April 7 Energy News

April 7, 2017


¶ “Stunning drops in solar and wind costs turn global power market upside down” • For years, opponents of renewable power, like President Donald Trump, have argued it isn’t affordable. But unsubsidized renewables have become the cheapest source of new power   by far, a report from the UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance says. [Think Progress]

Solar farm in Chile (Credit: ACERA)


¶ Netherlands-based power provider Eneco and Japanese multinational company Mitsubishi Corporation are planning to install a 48-MW lithium-ion storage system in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The 50-MWh battery would be the largest of its kind in Europe, the two companies said. It would store power from wind farms. [pv magazine]

¶ The world added record levels of renewable energy capacity in 2016, according to the UN, but the bill was almost a quarter lower than the previous year, because of the falling cost of renewables. Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuels. The cost of offshore wind power has fallen about a third since 2012. [BBC]

Offshore wind power (Getty Images)

¶ In a surprise announcement at a press conference this week in Brussels, the European electricity sector has come out and committed to ensuring there are no new coal plants built after 2020. Member of the industry association Eurelectric have made a commitment to invest in no more coal-fired power plants after 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Azuri Technologies’ entry level solar system provides eight hours of lighting each day for off-grid African customers. They pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis. The program gives them power for phones and regular access to the media and the internet. []

Solar power in Africa (Credit: Azuri Technologies)

¶ The Alberta government says that its $5-million program to encourage municipalities to use solar energy is a success, with 18 participating communities receiving nearly $2 million in rebates so far. Since the program began last year, 28 projects have been given the go ahead to install solar panels on public buildings, fire halls and community centers. [Yahoo News]

¶ Wello’s Penguin wave energy device has generated electricity for the UK national grid during tests off the coast of Scotland. The Finnish developer’s machine was connected to the grid at the European Marine Energy Test Centre off Orkney as part of EU Horizon 2020-backed Clean Energy from Ocean Waves project. [reNews]

Penguin wave energy converter under tow

¶ The Dominican State Electricity Corporation announced that three PV projects with a combined capacity of 133 MW could be built in 2018. The three plants, along with five wind power projects, will be developed under the renewable energy plan to add 361 MW of renewable energy capacity in the Dominican Republic. [pv magazine]


¶ Tucson Electric Power announced it is moving to develop a more responsive and sustainable resource portfolio. TEP plans to expand its solar and wind generation, with a goal set to provide at least 30% of its power from renewable resources by 2030, twice the amount required by 2025 under Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard. [PV-Tech]

Solar panels in Arizona (Image: TEP)

¶ Environmentalists are calling on Massachusetts to help keep the air clean by reducing emissions from fossil fuels like coal and gasoline. They want the governor to follow through on his promise to double the reduction rate for power plant emissions from 2.5% to 5% per year. Pollution went down 4.8% in 2016, but smog is still a problem. []

¶ UniEnergy Technologies has installed a new large flow battery on the grid in Washington state. The 2-MW/8-MWh battery system is smaller than recent projects in Southern California and Hawaii, but it is the largest capacity containerized flow battery system in the world. It is housed in 20 connected shipping containers. [Ars Technica UK]

Installing flow battery containers (Snohomish PUD)

¶ The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham, Kentucky, owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, is modernizing with a new form of cheaper energy. The museum, which memorializes Kentucky’s history in coal mining, is switching to solar power to save at least $8,000 to $10,000 per year. [CNN]

¶ James City County, Virginia, is one step closer to harnessing the power of sun with the approval of proposed 20-MW solar farm in Norge. The Planning Commission voted 5-2 in favor of the proposal from SunPower Devco, LLC. SunPower claims the proposed facility will generate enough electricity annually for 4,000 homes. [Williamsburg Yorktown Daily]

SunPower solar panels (Courtesy SunPower)

¶ Schneider Electric unveiled an advanced microgrid at its Boston One Campus, its North American headquarters in Andover, Massachusetts. The microgrid was built by Schneider Electric and REC Solar, a unit of Duke Energy Renewables. It was funded through the Microgrid as a Service business model. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ The Vogtle nuclear power plant project has had major setbacks, and they are getting worse. On Monday, project team members announced that the estimated completion dates of December 2019 and September 2020 cannot feasibly be met. Then, on Wednesday, Westinghouse, the construction contractor on the project, filed for bankruptcy. [Breaking Energy]

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