July 19 Energy News

July 19, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Renewables on the grid: Putting the negative-price myth to bed” • A new study evaluated 2016 price data for all retiring power plants in the main wholesale electricity markets with large amounts of wind generation. It confirms that renewable policies incentivizing wind power have a trivial impact on retiring power plants. [Into the Wind – The AWEA Blog]

Oklahoma wind farm

World:

¶ German utility company EWE says it is planning to build the world’s largest battery based on flow technology in a pair of salt caves currently used to store natural gas. The caves have a total volume of 3.5 million cubic feet – enough to store up to 700 MWh of electricity with an output capacity of 120 MW, according to Digital Trends. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A major solar power project in the Middle East will provide electricity during the night. The $1 billion (£770 million) scheme will provide up to 200 MW to Dubai between 4 pm and 10 am. The CEO of the company behind the project said he expects concentrated solar power to be competitive with natural gas within 18 months. [The Independent]

Sunset in Dubai (Ahmed Jadallah | Reuters)

¶ As federal authorities debate emissions targets, Australian councils and community groups are taking the lead on climate action, a report from the Climate Council says. One out of five local governments already have 100% renewable energy goals, and they could collectively cut emissions associated with energy by 70%. [Energy Matters]

¶ Coal mining has become a way of life for Inner Mongolia but a new wave of green energy is about to change that. Last year it had 154 wind farms with 17% of the total Chinese capacity. For China as a whole, electricity production generated by wind farms was 46.6 billion kWh or 19.3% of the overall total production. [China Daily]

Farmers in Inner Mongolia (Photo: Su Weizhong | China Daily)

¶ Green bonds issued by Indian companies are gathering pace as India’s ambitious target for renewable energy fuels interest from investors. Greenko Energy Holdings raised $1 billion earlier this week, making it the largest corporate green bond issuer in Asia, Bloomberg data shows. Indian green bonds are likely to grow even more important. [Livemint]

US:

¶ Google set up an independent business outside the Alphabet umbrella called Dandelion. The new company was created to promote new geothermal system technology. Dandelion will attempt to do for residential heating and cooling what SolarCity has done for rooftop solar. It uses new, less expensive, drilling technology. [CleanTechnica]

Dandelion geothermal system

¶ Responding to the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg have launched America’s Pledge. It is a new initiative that they hope will gather together and quantify all the action being taken by states, cities, and business across the US to meet the agreement’s goals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Northern Power Systems, a wind turbine maker based in Vermont, says it has seen a surge of interest in wind power in distributed energy (behind-the-meter, on-site power generation) applications in the US. Specifically, the advantages have become evident in dairy and farming operations, the company says. [North American Windpower]

Northern Power Systems turbine

¶ Regulators granted a site-certificate amendment for turbines with rotor diameters of 136 meters and generating capacities of 3.6 MW at the Montague Wind Power Facility, Apple’s project in Oregon. They may be the largest ever in the Pacific Northwest. Avangrid Renewables has not made a final decision on which turbines it will use. [Portland Business Journal]

¶ In Nebraska, the Beatrice City Council approved a 25-year power purchase agreement with Cottonwood Wind Project. The wind project is planned to be constructed by NextEra Energy in Webster County. Under the agreement, Beatrice will acquire 16.1 MW of wind energy at a fixed price of $15.85/MWh (1.585¢/kWh). [Beatrice Daily Sun]

Turbines near Odell (Lee Enterprises file photo)

¶ A plan by Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp to build two natural gas-fired power plants totaling 183 MW capacity has drawn criticism from several quarters. They include at least one electric co-op, along wth environmentalists, who say the utility failed to consider other “increasingly viable options,” such as energy storage and renewables. [Platts]

¶ In California, Marin County, San Mateo County, and the city of Imperial Beach, sued 37 fossil fuel companies for damage they claim the companies knew would occur as a result of their contribution to rising sea level and global warming. The lawsuits seek compensatory damages, disgorgement of profits, and punitive damages. [Shadowproof]

Flooding in Imperial Beach (Photo: Sher Edling LLP)

¶ Last December, after several earlier attempts failed, Hawaiian Electric Companies issued a new Power Supply Improvement Plan. It would put Hawaii on the road to get 100% of its electricity by 2040 from renewable sources, with no fossil fuel assets on the islands by 2045. Now, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved the PSIP. [pv magazine USA]

¶ A report on two new reactors being built at the VC Summer Nuclear has been released. It says the Public Service Commission could save utility customers up to $10 billion by “pulling the plug” on the project and ordering at least some prepaid costs refunded. The report was funded by the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. [Sumter Item]

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