October 3 Energy News

October 3, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Military Leaders See Solar and Energy Storage as Differentiator” • There might be a debate in the political world about the value of solar energy and energy storage for the grid, businesses, and homeowners. But there doesn’t seem to be any disagreement in the military over the value of solar energy, both in the field and at bases in the US. [Motley Fool]

Solar system (Getty Images)

World:

¶ Tesla has already reached the half-way point in its plan to build the world’s biggest battery, in South Australia. Elon Musk said Tesla would build the $A150 million ($117 million) wind-charged battery in 100 days or the state would not have to pay for it. The official countdown to the end of the 100-day deadline began on 30 September. [BBC]

¶ Morocco is getting ready to launch a €200 million program to spark investment in solar power projects in the agricultural sector by 2021. The program is set to promote the use of solar energy to power water pumps for irrigation in order to help farmers reduce their energy costs and use less butane gas in farming operations. [Climate Action Programme]

Moroccan city built of mud bricks

¶ Siemens Gamesa is to supply Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute with turbines totaling 34 MW for the Hubei Energy Lichuan Zhonghao wind farm in China. The order consists of 13 G114-2.625MW machines, with delivery already underway. Commissioning of the project in the province of Hubei is slated for December. [reNews]

¶ Germany is seen as a pioneer in the fight against climate change. But Germany still has a filthy coal habit, and its so emissions have not fallen much. Adding its voice to a chorus of environmentalists, an expert advisory council has now urged the German government to start phasing out coal-fired power plants immediately. [Deutsche Welle]

German coal-burning power plant (Reuters image)

¶ About 30% of the Japanese seashore is protected with devices to break waves, but the same waves can be used to generate power, using a special turbine design. One scientist pointed out, “Using just 1 percent of the seashore of mainland Japan can [generate] about 10 gigawatts [of energy], which is equivalent to 10 nuclear power plants.” [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ New York State has asked the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to consider identifying and leasing at least four new Wind Energy Areas off New York’s Atlantic Coast, and it submitted an Area for Consideration to locate the new Wind Energy Areas. Each would be able to accommodate at least 800 MW of offshore wind. [North American Windpower]

Offshore wind turbines

¶ Ford is putting together a new internal unit known as Team Edison to claw its way back into the electric car game after years of inaction. Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, told the press, “If you look at the technology coming into our industry, the competitors coming into our industry … we really need transformational leadership.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ First Ford announced its new Team Edison unit to focus on electric cars. Now Mark Reuss, vice president of global product development for General Motors, announced that his company will introduce two new EV models in the next 18 months, with a total of 20 planned by the end of 2023. “GM believes the future is all electric,” he said. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy FNR X concept car

¶ Tesla has promised to send hundreds of battery storage packs to help Puerto Rico, which is almost entirely without power after Hurricane Maria devastated the island two weeks ago, according to Bloomberg. About 5% of the grid is currently operating, The New York Times reports, it could be as long as six months before power is fully restored. [Utility Dive]

¶ The University of Utah is finalizing agreements to supply 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. A joint proposal from Cyrq Energy and Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables is to provide 20 MW of geothermal energy and 10 MW of solar energy, reducing the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

University of Utah (flickr | Edgar Zuniga Jr, creative commons)

¶ In an effort to find the most efficient way to add at least 1,200 MW of wind energy to the resource mix of a six-state service area by 2020, Rocky Mountain Power opened a competitive bidding process for wind projects. The wind projects would generate enough energy to power the annual consumption of roughly 400,000 homes. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ Residents of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, will now have the option to buy green energy at lower prices, because the selectboard voted to sign a deal with NextEra Energy Resources. The one-year contract will offer lower prices on wind power than both standard and green rates offered by National Grid, which currently serves the town. [theberkshireedge.com]

Jiminy Peak wind turbine in Hancock, Massachusetts

¶ The latest issue of the Energy Information’s “Monthly Energy Review ” reveals that domestic production and use of renewable energy sources (wind, solar, biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydropower) continued to show strong growth during the first half of the year as the consumption of both nuclear power and fossil fuels declined. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ A report released by the independent research organization Integrity Florida analyzed dozens of decisions made by the Florida Public Service Commission in recent years and concluded that there is an “inordinate focus on what additional money a [utility] company wants, at the expense of attention to what the public interest needs.” [Miami Herald]

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