May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The first GOP member of Congress to say ‘impeachment’ after Trump’s latest scandal is a climate hawk.” • Representative Carlos Curbelo’s district in low-lying South Florida is especially vulnerable to rising seas and climate change. He has bucked his party to become one of the most vocal proponents for climate action in Congress. [Grist]

The Everglades National Park is in Carlos Curbelo’s district.
(National Park Service photo, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Spain’s government has picked suppliers for 3 GW of renewable power in an auction, according to sources familiar with the process. Spanish wind energy producer Forestalia has obtained 1.2 GW, while Gas Natural has won 600 MW, Endesa’s Enel Green Power 500 MW and Gamesa around 300 MW, the sources said. [Reuters]

¶ On Sunday, Swiss voters will decide the fate of a law proposing billions of dollars in subsidies for renewable energy, a ban on new nuclear plants, and a partial utilities bailout. Polling so far suggests the law will be approved in the binding referendum. A survey this month for state broadcaster SRG showed 56% of voters back the law. [Reuters]

Swisswinds farm, Europe’s highest wind farm at 2500 meters
(Reuters | Denis Balibouse | File Photo)

¶ Construction has begun on the Sun Metals Corporation solar farm in northern Queensland. It is expected to be completed in early 2018. The 125 MW project will see 1.3 million solar panels installed at the Sun Metals zinc refinery. Korean-owned Sun Metals is the first major energy user to source some of its electricity needs from renewables. [pv magazine]

¶ Dong Energy and its partners LEGO Group and PKA were joined by turbine manufacturer MHI Vestas for the inauguration on Wednesday of the 258 MW offshore wind farm, which is the first to use MHI Vestas’ 8-MW turbine, according to Offshore Wind Journal. It is the first time 8-MW turbines have been used anywhere in the world. [Digital Journal]

Installing the world’s largest wind turbine (DONG Energy)

¶ A government of the UK led by Liberal Democrats would restore support for solar PV, the party’s election manifesto stated. It outlines a raft of clean energy pledges that the party has said would contribute towards the country sourcing 60% of its electricity demand from renewables sources, excluding nuclear, by 2030. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ Among thousands of delegates meeting in Bonn to develop the rule book for the Paris deal, the Climate Vulnerable Forum, representing 48 countries, said the deal was crucial to their survival. In a swipe at President Donald Trump’s oft-used phrase, they said that “no country would be great again” without swift action. [BBC]

Guatemalan lake showing effects of climate change (Getty Images)

¶ India said it will develop 10 domestically-built heavy water reactors to increase its nuclear power capacity. The federal cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the plan to build the pressurized heavy water reactors with a combined capacity of 7,000 MW. The country’s current atomic power generation is 6,780 MW. [ARY NEWS]

US:

¶ The Trump administration is weighing huge cuts to the budget of the DOE’s renewable energy and energy efficiency program. It has a proposal to slash it by 70%, from $2,073 million in 2017 to a proposed $636 million for 2018. That’s according to a draft 2018 budget proposal obtained by the news and information company Axios. [Common Dreams]

Desert wind farm (Photo: Steve Boland | flickr | cc)

¶ Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) has signed Executive Directive 11, which moves the state closer to placing limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. ED 11 instructs the Department of Environmental Quality to begin the process of establishing regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. [Utility Dive]

¶ Students, ratepayers, “raging grannies,” developers, politicians, and activists packed a public meeting hall to give state regulators and executives from Portland General Electric an earful, telling them to stay away from natural gas. There was no way their strident message for Oregon’s three public utility commissioners could be misinterpreted. [OregonLive.com]

Demonstrating for clean energy (The Oregonian | Ted Sickinger)

¶ The Guam Power Authority and the US Navy entered into a lease agreement that would dedicate 164 acres of military land for building renewable energy facilities with a 40-MW generating capacity. The land will support the third phase of GPA’s renewable energy initiative, which should yield at least 120 MW of renewable power. [Marianas Variety]

¶ Altus Power America announced that a 10-MW solar energy system in North Hanover Township, New Jersey, has been completed and grid connected. Construction on the ground-mounted Spartan solar project began in September 2016. Spartan is one of the largest solar systems recently developed in New Jersey. [PR Newswire]

Spartan solar project (PRNewsfoto | Altus Power America, Inc.)

¶ A group of four national business groups representing US renewable energy interests submitted materials to the Energy Secretary Rick Perry to inform him of the importance of renewable energy sources and their contribution to electricity reliability. They expressed regret that a review process Perry ordered was not open and transparent. [CleanTechnic]

¶ Campbell Soup Company, in partnership with BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, SunPower Corp, and ORIX USA Corp, broke ground on a 4.4-MW solar power project at the company’s World Headquarters in Camden, NJ. The system will generate more than 5 million kWh hours of electricity per year, starting next fall. [MilTech]

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