May 25 Energy News

May 25, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Australian solar financing at ‘tipping point'” • A host of factors point to a boom in a recently beleaguered sector. The past 12 months have seen a deluge of debt finance pour into large-scale solar projects, enticed by falling costs and a favorable political environment. Experts claim that solar power can now compete with gas on price. [Global Trade Review]

Australia

Science and Technology:

¶ The Neo-Carbon Energy research project enables production of synthetic fuels straight from the air. The solution is built on carbon dioxide capture, water electrolysis, and subsequent synthesis to methane and liquid fuels. It depends on very low cost renewable electricity based on wind and solar. The process is carbon neutral. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved plans to build a hybrid renewable energy park including 240 MW of wind and 800 MW of solar at Punarin. The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority has identified the northern regions of the country as a suitable area of the country to build wind power and solar power plants. [PV-Tech]

Northern Sri Lanka (Flickr | Kosala Bandara)

¶ Quadran, a French renewable energy developer born from the merging of Aerowatt and JMB Énergie, has energized a 12-MW PV power plant in Boulouparis in New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Construction of the Hélio Boulouparis solar project began in February of this year. [pv magazine]

¶ German manufacturer RECOM commissioned a 12.5-MW solar power project near Puerto Sandino in Nicaragua. The project is first part of Nicaragua’s pipeline totaling 100 MW, all of which is expected to be built and commissioned by the end of 2018. Puerto Sandino is a coastal town that attracts surfers from all over the world. [Electric Light & Power]

Nicaraguan solar array

¶ Danish wind energy giant DONG Energy announced that it has agreed to divest its upstream Oil and Gas business to London-based chemicals company INEOS for $1.05 billion. DONG Energy made public that it was looking to divest its Oil and Gas business in November. The sale will help the company focus on renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ By next March, three remote Indonesian villages in Berau Regency of East Kalimantan Province are to be fully served by a 1.2-MW hybrid power plant consisting of solar PV, lithium-ion energy storage and a distribution system. Once built, a village-owned company will own the off-grid system with operational help from the builder. [pv magazine]

Indonesian islands (Jon Hanson | Wikimedia)

¶ The Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017 report from the International Renewable Energy Agency showed that 9.8 million people work in renewable energy worldwide. Solar PVs provide jobs to 3.1 million people globally. The solar and wind employment sectors have more than doubled over the past four years. [pv magazine]

¶ Oil could converge to about $15 per barrel by the early 2040s when electric vehicles are expected to take a larger share, implying fossil fuels’ much shorter life span as the main fuel for transportation, according to an International Monetary Fund research paper. Renewable technology seems to have reached tipping point due to massive investments. [Gulf Times]

Pumping jack operated by Bashneft

US:

¶ A very wet winter has meant a high level of hydro generation in California. Wind and solar production have increased so that the state has seen records set by non-hydro renewables. As a result, natural gas use for electricity generation is at the lowest level in five years, the Energy Information Administration says. [pv magazine USA]

¶ Duke Energy completed a 17-MW solar power plant at Naval Support Activity Crane near Bloomington, Indiana. Duke Energy will own, operate, and maintain the facility. In exchange for providing a location for the project, NSA Crane will receive electrical infrastructure upgrades, a microgrid feasibility study, and other benefits. [Daily Energy Insider]

Solar farm

¶ Mississippi utility Cooperative Energy and Origis Energy USA announced that they have started construction on a 52-MW PV power plant, which will provide renewable energy to the utility’s 423,000 members across Mississippi. The 218-hectare site near Sumrall will have of 206,892 PV panels. It should be completed in December. [PV-Tech]

¶ Goldwind Americas signed an agreement with RES Americas to acquire the 160-MW Heart of Texas wind farm. The project is located 201 km (125 miles) northwest of Austin, in McCulloch County, Texas. It will feature Goldwind GW 121/2.5MW hardware. Goldwind Capital provided bridge financing to buy the project. [reNews]

Goldwind turbines (Goldwind image)

¶ GE Renewable Energy has announced a commitment to provide Invenergy with 120 GE2.5-116 90-meter turbines for the Santa Rita wind farm in Reagan County, Texas. The 300 MW wind farm, which is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year, will power the equivalent of 102,500 US homes. [North American Windpower]

¶ For the third year in a row, Three Mile Island failed to secure a crucial contract to sell its electricity, increasing the possibility that the plant will soon close. Exelon will decide by September whether to shut the plant down ahead of schedule. Another Exelon nuclear plant, Quad Cities, in Illinois, also failed to secure a contract. [York Daily Record/Sunday News]

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