June 9 Energy News

June 9, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ China has released a massive solar-powered drone. The drone has a 40-meter wingspan but weighs only 400 kilograms. The superlight drone is designed to stay in constant flight at 20,000 meters for days by using renewable energy to power its eight electrical propellers. It can travel up to speeds of 200 kilometers per hour! [Interesting Engineering]

Chinese drone (China Daily image)

¶ There are no specific guidelines in the US for the ability of offshore wind turbines to withstand storms. Offshore wind turbines built to current standards may not be able to withstand Category 5 hurricane winds, according to a new study done by the University of Colorado at Boulder in collaboration with the US DOE. [Science Times]

Process Safety and Environmental Protection published a study that demonstrates the viability of using anaerobic digestion in a low-temperature (20° C) environment to convert solid food waste into renewable energy and organic fertilizer. Globally, more than 1.3 billion tonnes of municipal waste are created each year. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Waste from food to be used for energy


¶ Australian households would save about $90 a year on their electricity bills under the Clean Energy Target proposed by the Finkel review of the electricity sector, compared to a business-as-usual scenario for it. The review argues Australia has a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to reshape the national electricity market. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Dong Energy is to integrate a battery system into its 90-MW Burbo Bank offshore windfarm near Liverpool. The 2-MW battery system will deliver frequency response to the grid and is set to be installed by the end of the year. Burbo Bank will be the first offshore windfarm to have an integrated battery system. [Energy Voice]

Burbo Bank offshore wind farm

¶ Only four months after the company unveiled its 9-MW wind turbine, MHI Vestas (a collaboration between parent companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Vestas Wind Systems) unveiled a 9.5-MW wind turbine in its V164 series. It is the “most powerful serially-produced wind turbine in the world,” according to MHI Vestas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Plans to build a 178-acre solar farm in the Hampshire countryside have been given the green light. The Woodington Farm will be one of the biggest in the UK. It will – it is claimed – provide power for around 9,000 homes. The land within the perimeter fencing would also be managed by sheep grazing to keep grass down. [Daily Echo]

Hampshire solar farm


¶ North Carolina will ignore Trump’s decision and honor the Paris deal, Governor Roy Cooper said. He signed an open letter joining more than 1,000 other public officials and business leaders, including the governors of California, Connecticut, Oregon, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and Hawaii. [Morganton News Herald]

¶ Intrepid Travel, the largest carbon-neutral tour company in the world, announced that it’s going to double its carbon offset contribution this year on all 68 of its tours that run in America. The pledge was taken in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, according to a company press release. [Metro US]

Intrepid Travel photo

¶ El Paso Electric has powered up the largest community solar grid in the state of Texas. The community solar facility is located next to an existing natural gas generating facility. It sits on 21 acres, which makes it hard to miss, and has a maximum output of 3 MW of power thanks to the whopping 33,000 solar panels in the “farm.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ A new solar energy farm has gone into operation behind the Hillside Commerce Park in Niskayuna, New York, generating power that will be used by Schenectady County government. The 792,480-watt array on 3 acres of county-owned land was installed in the industrial park by Monolith Solar Associates, of Rensselaer. [The Daily Gazette]

Niskayuna PV array

¶ A strange thing appears to be happening in North Carolina. State legislators are actually working together on a bill that could significantly boost the solar industry. Perhaps even more remarkable than a sudden rash of bipartisanship, is that the bill has the backing of both Duke Energy and a wide range of environmental groups. [Treehugger]

¶ National business groups representing the geothermal, solar, and wind-power industries sent a letter to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval asking him to sign bill AB206, expanding the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 40% renewable energy by 2030. Nevada’s current RPS target calls for 25% renewable energy by 2025. [Windpower Engineering]

Nevada renewable energy

¶ General Mills announced that it has entered into a 15-year power purchase agreement with Renewable Energy Systems for 100 MW of power from the energy firm’s Cactus Flats wind project in Texas. The Minneapolis, Minnesota food company will also help fund construction of the Cactus Flats project. [Powder Bulk Solids]

¶ Almost a year after New York became the first state to approve subsidies for unprofitable nuclear reactors, efforts to replicate the model elsewhere are proving a tough sell. Lawmakers failed to pass a Connecticut bill designed to shore up the Millstone nuclear plant. And supporters of state aid are struggling in Ohio and Pennsylvania. [Bloomberg]

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