Archive for May 2nd, 2017

May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “New Mexico’s Largest Electricity Provider Proposes Going 100% Coal-Free” • The Public Service Company of New Mexico has issued a landmark finding. After a routine assessment of future power supply scenarios, the utility made a conclusion that was anything but routine: the best version of its future self was coal-free. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

San Juan generating station

World:

¶ The recent increase in oil prices has helped BP to record a healthy profit for the three months to March. The $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion) profit, on the replacement cost measure, compared with a $485 million loss a year earlier. Oil prices have been about 35% higher in the first three months of 2017 compared with a year earlier. [BBC]

¶ Researchers from West Coast Wave Initiative in partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and the University of Victoria, have mapped the waves off British Columbia’s coast at 50-meter resolution using data from the past 12 years. The data could help wave-tech companies who want to test their instruments. [MetroNews Canada]

Sea lions lounging on a wave-measuring buoy
(University of Victoria, contributed)

¶ India added more renewable energy capacity than thermal power capacity in the financial year 2016-17, the Central Electricity Authority of India has reported. The renewable energy capacity added during the period of April 2016 to March 2017 was nearly twice as much as the thermal power capacity added during the same period. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In its new investment plan, Innovating Energy, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has laid out its new investment priorities for the coming years and has promised to accelerate solar PV innovation and development to the point where it believes solar could provide 30% of Australia’s electricity within the next 20 years. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar in Australia

¶ The Philippine Department of Energy approved four large-scale solar power projects to assess impacts of their integration into the transmission network. These projects include two of 70 MW capacity each, one of 22 MW, and another of 30 MW with battery storage. They will be used to develop a roadmap for large-scale integration. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UK’s Ministers must act “as urgently as possible” to clarify how the nuclear industry will be regulated after Brexit, the Commons energy committee warned. Investigating the impact of Brexit on energy policy, it urged the UK to delay leaving Europe’s nuclear regulator. Power supplies could be threatened if a new regulator was not ready. [BBC]

First concrete at the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant (AP image)

¶ Australia’s largest integrated energy company, AGL Energy, says Australia’s transition away from a grid dominated by coal to low-carbon generation will largely bypass “baseload” gas. The prediction is based on the now fairly well accepted economic view that gas power is becoming less competitive with large-scale solar and wind. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Perry welcoming his study of the electric power system. But they stressed that wind and solar did not cause the challenges facing coal and nuclear plants and do threaten reliability. [Windpower Engineering]

Electric grid transmission lines

¶ New York Assembly Democrats grilled Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy officials for more than four hours about a plan by the Public Service Commission and Exelon to keep three upstate nuclear power plants alive for 12 years. Utility ratepayers, mostly from downstate, will pay for the deal through surcharges on their bills. [WBFO]

¶ Last year, 760 MW of new solar helped power up the energy grid in Utah, putting Rocky Mountain Power in the No 3 spot in the country for the amount of added solar connections in an annual survey of 412 utilities across the country. Rocky Mountain Power was also ranked sixth in the nation in watts per customer with 846 watts. [KSL.com]

The Scatec solar project in Utah
(Photo: Governor’s Office of Energy Development)

¶ Dominion Virginia Power is planning to reduce its carbon emissions by up to 25% by building new renewable projects and closing some coal facilities. It also plans for 3,200 MW of new solar capacity by 2032 and 5,200 MW of new solar by 2042. An oil-fired plant and several coal-fired plants would be closed. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ Massachusetts has taken the wraps off plans to solicit up to 800 MW in its first call for offshore wind. A draft request for proposals seeks 400 MW, but up to 800 MW will be considered if the evaluation team determines that a larger-scale proposal is “superior” to other bids or is likely to produce “significantly more” economic net benefits. [reNews]

Offshore wind power (Image: Pixabay)

¶ The US Army’s largest single renewable energy project has begun officially generating clean electricity. Apex Clean Energy developed, managed construction of, and currently operates the hybrid wind and solar complex, which will provide more than 50% of the annual load at US Army Garrison Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Closing nuclear power plants serving New Jersey could lead to higher electricity prices for consumers, according to Ralph Izzo, chairman, CEO, and president of Public Service Enterprise Group, the company that owns the units. Izzo continued the drumbeat of lobbying for incentives to subsidize the operation of the three reactors. [Newsworks.org]

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