June 1 Energy News

June 1, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ The urban heat island effect makes cities notably hotter than surrounding areas because of heat radiating from buildings and roads that have baked in the sun. It will more than double the city-level costs of dealing with rising temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change over the coming century, a study says. [CleanTechnica]

New York

¶ There has been an important development in the big crack cutting across the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The fissure, which threatens to spawn one of the biggest icebergs ever seen, has dramatically changed direction. The rift has propagated a further 16 km, and the calving of the iceberg could now happen very soon. [BBC]

¶ The world’s first commercial facility that extracts carbon dioxide from the air and resells it for commercial purposes has opened in Switzerland. The carbon dioxide will be sold and used to grow lettuce. This technology could help cut 1% of global fossil fuel emissions by 2025, according to Climeworks, the system’s developer. [Live Science]

Climeworks carbon dioxide capture system (Credit: Julia Dunlop)


¶ More than 47 GW of new wind capacity is expected to be installed across Latin America over the next decade according to analysis from MAKE Consulting’s 2017 Latin America Wind Power Outlook. Mexico, Argentina, and Chile are all expected to offset somewhat an expected decline in Brazilian wind power construction efforts. [CleanTechnica]

¶ German renewable power project developer BayWa re has acquired hybrid solar-diesel plant startup company OneShore Energy, which specializes in the analysis, planning, operation, and optimization of both diesel plants and solar-diesel hybrids. BayWa re said the deal will further expand its commitment to off-grid solutions. [Decentralized Energy]


¶ Canadian Solar, one of the world’s leading solar PV makers, announced this week that it will be providing 268 MW of solar modules to the 800-MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Completion of the third phase is expected to be sometime in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A Dutch company says its project combining wind power and energy storage is the first of its kind in The Netherlands. Alfen, based in Almere, installed its 1-MWh battery storage solution at the 9-MW Giessenwind wind farm in the town of Giessenburg. Giessenwind has three turbines and powers around 5000 households. [Power Engineering International]

Alfen battery system

¶ The Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced regulations to reduce methane emissions and air pollution from Canada’s oil and gas sector. California, Colorado, and North Dakota have already adopted such regulations. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is also toxic to human health and contributes to smog. [MRO Magazine]


¶ Enel Green Power North America, Inc, acting through its subsidiary Rock Creek Wind Holdings, signed a tax-equity agreement worth about $365 million for the 300-MW Rock Creek wind farm in Missouri. It is already under construction and is expected to begin operation this year, generating about 1,250 GWh annually. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines in the Midwest

¶ Shareholders in ExxonMobil have backed a motion requiring the company to assess the risks from climate change. The plan, proposed by investors including the Church of England, was supported by over 62% of those eligible to vote. Exxon will now have to consider how global efforts to mitigate climate change will impact their business. [BBC]

¶ Construction of a solar project West Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas, is now complete, and officials plan to celebrate Friday with a ribbon-cutting. The $100 million project promises to help energize Fort Hood for decades to come. An on-site solar system provides 15 MW of energy and an off-site wind facility provides 50 MW. [The Killeen Daily Herald]

Solar Panels at West Fort Hood (Army photo)

¶ Reports are that US President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw the US from Paris Climate Agreement after many long months of speculation. However, while some news outlets have all but confirmed the news, others suggest that the President has not yet made up his mind. (This story will be updated as news comes out.) [CleanTechnica]

¶ The owner of the coal-fired Cayuga power plant plans to build Upstate New York’s largest solar farm by covering roughly 75 acres next to the coal plant with PV panels. The solar farm would produce up to 18 MW, enough for about 3,100 households, Riesling Power officials said. The solar plant will cost about $25 million. [Syracuse.com]

Coal-fired Cayuga power plant (Finger Lakes Action Network)

¶ California took a potentially important step closer toward clean energy when the state Senate passed a bill mandating 100% renewable energy by 2045. Lawmakers voted 25 to 13 to pass SB 100, and it now heads to the Assembly. In recent years, several gas-fired and nuclear plants have shut down due to lack of demand. [Courthouse News Service]

¶ The coal-burning Hudson Generation Station, in Jersey City, New Jersey, is being disconnected from the electric grid, and will go dark for good. PSEG Power, the owner, is also closing a coal-burning plant near Trenton on the Delaware River. PSEG’s decision to shutter the two coal-fired plants mirrors a national trend. [NorthJersey.com]

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