April 14 Energy News

April 14, 2017


¶ “Nuclear plant shutdown divides Great Lakes community” • There are nine nuclear plants on the US side of the Great Lakes, but cheaper energy sources are forcing some to shut down. About half of the funding for Covert Public Schools, in Covert, Michigan, comes from taxes on Palisades Nuclear Plant, but many residents want to see it close. [WBFO]

Palisades Nuclear Plant (NRC image)

¶ “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s claim that China and India have ‘no obligations’ until 2030 under the Paris Accord” • The EPA administrator denounced the Paris Climate Accord as a “bad deal for America,” claiming China and India had no obligations until 2030. We have good news for him. That problem is solved! [Washington Post]

Science and Technology:

¶ A research paper examines a previously unknown influence of humans on extreme weather. Carbon emissions lead to warming of the atmosphere in polar regions, and this leads to the jet stream getting stuck in place. This, in turn, leads to extended periods in which the weather persists, producing drought and other extreme weather. [CleanTechnica]

Jet stream (NOAA image)


¶ EnBW has secured the bulk of the 1.5-GW on offer with its 900-MW He Dreiht project in the German North Sea. The developer won with a bid of zero, which means it is pledging to build and operate the wind farm without the support of a feed-in tariff and relying instead on the market rate. The wind farm is expected to be operational in 2023. [reNews]

¶ Scotrenewables has produced full power from its 2-MW SR2000 tidal turbine off the north coast of Scotland. The 500-tonne floating device reached the milestone earlier this week at the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney following a phased testing program. Device results to date are said to be in line with forecasts. [reNews]

SR2000 tidal machine

¶ The number of solar panels being installed in the UK has fallen by more than 80%, according to an analysis of new figures. It is the latest sign that the industry is being strangled by government policies despite being one of the cheapest sources of electricity. The number of people putting solar panels on their homes is now at a six-year low. [The Independent]

¶ The Edge, a new 10 story office building in Edmonton, Alberta, will be covered with 500 solar panels on its south side. Together with daylight gathered from north facing windows, they are expected to supply 80% of the building’s electrical needs, says Dub Architects, the company responsible for the design of the building. [CleanTechnica]

The Edge (Credit: Dub Architects)


¶ The Sierra Club’s Executive Director visited the Hanover, New Hampshire, Town Hall to describe national sustainability efforts. Next month, Hanover’s Town Meeting will vote on using 100% renewable energy by 2050. Hanover’s proposed goal, part of the “Ready For 100” campaign, would include electricity, heat and transportation. [Valley News]

¶ Sonnen, a battery company based in Germany, is planning to open a new innovation hub in Atlanta as part of its mission to become a supplier of residential storage batteries in America. The lithium iron phosphate chemistry used in the battery eliminates the risk of fire or explosion associated with traditional lithium-ion batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Sonnen residential battery (Sonnen Battery image)

¶ Tesla will unveil an electric articulated truck in September, Elon Musk has said, and an electric pick-up truck would be shown off in around 18-24 months. However, analysts are concerned the company will not meet demand for its current projects. Tesla has 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3, which is yet to go into production. [BBC]

¶ Advanced Microgrid Solutions announced it will design, install and operate its Hybrid Electric Building systems for Walmart, providing 40 MWh of battery systems for 27 stores in Southern California. AMS says these will improve energy efficiency, guarantee the retailer electricity savings and provide grid services to local utilities. [Energy Matters]

Solar panels on the roof of a Walmart store

¶ Leading US power company NRG has announced it will work with a leading provider of distributed ice battery storage, Ice Energy, to deploy Ice Bear storage systems on qualifying commercial and industrial buildings in Orange County. The Ice Bear system makes ice when grid demand is low and uses it for air conditioning. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Cloud computing giant Salesforce first committed to achieving net-zero emissions in 2015 as part of a “Net Zero by 2050” initiative led by the B Team, a group of global business leaders. The San Francisco firm just announced that said it has reached its 2050 environmental milestones and is offering a “carbon-neutral cloud” for its customers. [Mashable]

Turbine in a wind farm

¶ Microsoft could bypass Puget Sound Energy to secure clean power from another source under a tentative settlement. It is a striking shift in the relationship between Washington’s largest private utility and its largest corporate customer. It was spurred by Microsoft’s quest to combat climate freeing itself of energy from fossil fuels. [The Seattle Times]

¶ The Arizona Republic reports Peabody Energy is working to save the 2,250-MW Navajo Generating Station, the largest coal-fired power plant in the West, which purchases coal from the mining company. Peabody has offered coal at a lower fixed price through 2025, and believes new ownership could keep the plant running profitably. [Utility Dive]

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