May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2017


¶ Leclanché SA has launched a modular, lithium-ion electric ferry battery system onto the market. The new system, dubbed the Leclanché Marine Rack System, will be launched with an electric ferry in Denmark later this year. It will travel a route between the island Ærø and the Danish mainland, powered by a 4.3-MWh battery-pack. [CleanTechnica]

Electric ferry

¶ New studies find methane emissions from British Columbia and Alberta are drastically under-reported. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Methane is responsible for 25% of already observed changes to Earth’s climate.” The primary component of natural gas, it has “a radiative forcing greater than 30 times that of CO2.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Scotland’s most senior judge has reversed a decision to halt construction of four giant offshore wind farms in the Forth and Tay, which could power 1.4 million homes and create thousands of jobs. Construction of the £2 billion 450-MW Neart Na Gaoithe scheme in the outer Forth estuary may soon begin, as it is already fully funded. [The Scotsman]

Offshore wind farm (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

¶ The UN refugee agency has switched on a newly built solar power plant to serve 20,000 Syrian refugees in the remote Azraq camp in Jordan’s desert. For two and a half years after the camp’s founding in April 2014, refugees only had solar lanterns. They can now light their shelters, run a fridge and a TV, and charge phones. [U.S. News & World Report]

¶ One of Australia’s first community-funded, council-operated solar farms is up and running. Rainbow Power installed the 99-kW rooftop PV system at the Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre in Lismore, New South Wales. It is one of two such projects coordinated by Farming the Sun and the Lismore City Council. [One Step Off The Grid]

Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre

¶ National Grid said that it needs time to consider its plans to build a 102-mile power line connecting the proposed Moorside nuclear plant in Cumbria to the electricity transmission network. The £10 billion project is supposed to deliver 7% of Britain’s electricity from 2025, but it has suffered a number of serious setbacks. [Morning Star Online]

¶ Major mining companies, including some of the world’s biggest suppliers of fossil fuel, are using more renewable energy as they strive to drive down costs and curb emissions. Glencore, the world’s biggest shipper of seaborne coal, said in its 2017 sustainability report that it gets 19% of its energy from renewable sources. [The Independent]

Moving coal


¶ 8minutenergy Renewables, the largest independent solar power developer in the US, announced it has expanded into the energy storage market with a 1-GW project pipeline. The company has a storage leadership team with decades of experience building large energy storage, renewable energy, and transmission projects. [MilTech]

¶ Tesla and Vermont’s Green Mountain Power are offering GMP customers a Powerwall battery for $15 a month for 10 years, or a one time charge of $1500. The normal price of a 10-kWh Powerwall with built-in inverter is $5,500, plus installation. The batteries will provide backup power to customers and balancing to the grid. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerwall

¶ US Bank, announced in April that it would formally exclude all gas and oil pipelines from its project financing. It stated that it will no longer “provide project financing for the construction of oil or natural gas pipelines.” Its relationships with clients in the oil and gas pipeline industries are subject to its enhanced due diligence processes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Georgia Power, the Air Force, and other local leaders announced they’re building a new solar farm near Robins Air Force Base. The 139-MW facility will be the largest single solar project ever to be constructed by Georgia Power, according to the company’s Vice President of Renewable Development, Norrie McKenzie. [13WMAZ]

Solar panels in California (Photo: Digital Vision, Getty Images)

¶ Governor Charlie Baker signed energy diversity legislation into law at the Massachusetts State House with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, legislative leaders, and energy and environment stakeholders. An Act Relative to Energy Diversity garnered bi-partisan support to reduce energy costs and promote clean energy. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ US energy company DTE Energy Co said it will build more natural gas and renewable power plants and shut all of its coal units by 2040, reducing carbon emissions by more than 80% from 2005 levels by 2050. DTE said its efforts to cut carbon emissions will result in a 30% reduction by the early 2020s, 45% by 2030, 75% by 2040. []

Moving more Coal

¶ San Jose became the largest city in California to launch “community choice energy,” an alternative electricity provider that could save money and reduce pollution linked to climate change. The City Council unanimously approved the new utility program. It would begin next spring and will be one of eight such programs statewide. [The Mercury News]

¶ The California Independent System Operator said renewable energy is setting more records in the state. Wind generation reached a new record of 4,787 MW at 5:34 pm PDT Friday. Less than 24 hours later, the ISO hit an all-time peak of 67.2% of demand served by renewables at 2:55 pm Saturday, the third such record in three months. [Platts]

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