August 4 Energy News

August 4, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear power as we know it is finished” • South Carolina Electric and Gas Co and partner Santee Cooper abandoned work on two new nuclear reactors this week because the only way to pay for them was to overcharge customers or bankrupt both companies. Nuclear power has a hard time competing in a competitive market. [Houston Chronicle]

Control room at Three Mile Island (AP Photo | Matt Rourke, File)

¶ “How To Get Past Climate Despair To Take Climate Action: Advice From Experienced Activists” • When the news gets bad, it is only natural to feel afraid, even when you know gloomy headlines are just one side of the story and the solutions we need are in our hands today. So the question is: how do you get past the fear and start fighting? [CleanTechnica]

¶ “On Healing Sick Ecosystems” • Many creatures are in danger because we are unintentionally destroying their homes. Whether by pollution, climate change, or clearing habitats for our own reasons, we have made much of the world less habitable. There are compelling moral and practical cases for preserving healthy ecosystems. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Ecosystem in need (Photo: lgnc.org | conservation)

Science and Technology:

¶ Part of the bad news on climate change is that New England may become a hotspot for invasive plants and animals. That was the pressing subject on the minds of around 100 experts from academia, conservation organizations and government agencies who gathered at a symposium on invasive species and climate change in Amherst. [Amherst Bulletin]

World:

¶ IKEA has teamed up with LG Chem and Solarcentury to offer residential storage battery solutions to its customers in the UK. Solar-plus-storage solutions from IKEA will start at around $9,000 with LG Chem supplying batteries between 3.3 kWh and 6.5 kWh. Battery-only packages begin at under $6,000 after a 15% IKEA family discount. [CleanTechnica]

IKEA store in Sweden

¶ Since 2014, the RE100 initiative has been working behind the scenes with businesses and organizations of all sizes and sectors to negotiate transitions to 100% renewable electricity. The reason is simple: shift to 100% renewable electricity and you massively reduce the amount of carbon pollution you produce as a company. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Nexans Norway has started installing the subsea power cable for the 1.4-GW NordLink interconnector between Germany and Norway. Starting at Vollesfjord in Vest-Agder, cable ship Nexans Skagerrak is installing the wires, which weigh 70 kg per meter, while offshore vessel Polar King will carry out subsea burying operations. [reNews]

Nexans Skagerrak (Nexans photo)

¶ Equis Energy has secured approval to begin constructing one of the largest solar farms in the world, a 1-GW installation in the Australian state of Queensland. The Western Downs Regional Council has approved the plans submitted by renewable energy developer Equis Energy to build the project. It will cost A$1.5 billion ($1.2 billion) to A$2 billion. [pv magazine]

¶ Two of the world’s largest energy companies, French giant Engie and American conglomerate GE, have announced plans to build a 119-MW wind farm in South Australia, 160 km north of Adelaide. The 32 wind turbines at the Willogoleche Wind Farm add yet another project to a state already shooting above 50% renewable energy. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm in the Netherlands (Source: GE Renewables)

US:

¶ A study on the economic effects of climate and clean energy policies in California’s Inland Empire estimates a net benefit of $9.1 billion in direct economic activity and 41,000 net direct jobs from 2010 to 2016. With spillover effects of these benefits, the net value jumps to $14.2 billion and the jobs to over 73,000. [North American Windpower]

¶ Dominion Energy Virginia signed an agreement with DONG Energy to build two 6-MW turbines about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach in a federally leased site. The companies are ironing out engineering, procurement and construction details. The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is expected to be installed by the end of 2020. [Marine Log]

Offshore wind power

¶ Green energy companies have submitted dozens of bids to bring more hydropower, wind and solar to Massachusetts to help keep the lights turned on and cut carbon emissions. In total, at least 46 bids were submitted to the state Department of Energy Resources by last week’s deadline. Winning bids are set to be announced next January. [Eagle-Tribune]

¶ US power supplier WPPI Energy made a deal with Invenergy to buy electricity from the 132-MW Bishop Hill 3 wind energy center in Illinois. The agreement will supply electricity to WPPI Energy’s 51 member utilities and customers in Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. The project is scheduled to start commercial operations by mid-2018. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Image: Invenergy)

¶ Alliant Energy is seeking approval from the Iowa Utilities Board to add up to 500 MW of wind energy in Iowa. A decision is expected in early 2018. The company received approval in 2016 for a similar expansion. The combined projects would represent a $1.8 billion investment and add up to 1,000 MW of new wind generation. [PR Newswire]

¶ The Trump Administration, despite public pronouncements vowing support for US nuclear energy, gave little or no response after executives with both Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas made pleas to save the construction of two units at the now abandoned VC Summer Nuclear Station, according to recent testimony. [Electric Light & Power]

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