October 6 Energy News

October 6, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “A trio of storms could mean grid modernization in hard-hit areas” • Harvey, Irma and Maria struck Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, respectively, with varying degrees of severity. Puerto Rico was especially hard hit, with 80% of transmission lines down. But in each location, there are opportunities to consider new ways to move forward. [Utility Dive]

Hurricane damage (Getty Images)

¶ “Rick Perry’s new coal subsidy could wreck America’s power markets” • The US DOE has set a new record for gall in the old practice of taxing the common good for private interests. In a fairly stunning move, it would impose a new tax on electricity consumers to support coal. It could roil America’s power markets for years to come. [The Hill]

World:

¶ The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has released a report documenting the gathering momentum of the disruption of the electricity markets by renewables. It describes impacts of renewable resources on electricity prices as a key driver of this change, and provides eleven case studies revealing the trend. [RenewEconomy]

Transmission lines (Image: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

¶ A new incentive scheme for PV projects not exceeding 1 MW has been announced by Denmark’s Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate. The new scheme’s budget is 105 million Danish krone ($16.5 million) and it is capped at 35 MW for 2017. Selected projects will get a tariffs ranging from 0.66 to 0.77 krone per kWh (10¢ to 12¢/kWh). [pv magazine International]

¶ Calgary-based TransCanada, the company behind the Energy East oil pipeline plan, abruptly announced that they are shelving the multibillion-dollar project, citing regulatory hurdles. The 4,600-km pipeline, designed to ship 1.1 million barrels of oil daily, faced opposition from environmentalists and First Nations concerned about drinking water security. [VICE News]

Oil pipeline (Getty Images)

¶ A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance credits seven wind farms around the world, each costing $600 million to $4.5 billion, with helping global clean energy investment jump 40% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017. Its figures show that the world invested $66.9 billion in clean energy in the third quarter of this year. [North American Windpower]

¶ Wind turbines generated over twice as much power as Scotland needed on October 2. WWF Scotland analyzed wind power data and found that wind turbines in Scotland provided 86,467 MWh of electricity to the National Grid on that day. Scotland’s total electricity consumption, including homes, business and industry, for the day was 41,866 MWh. [The Scotsman]

Wind turbines (Photo: Ian Rutherford)

US:

¶ The California ISO identified eight trends shaping the power sector. Those trends include energy efficiency, decline of gas-fired generation, growth of wind and solar, and decarbonization. The grid operator called for a reduction in fossil-fuel use and a focus on regulatory policy to use clean energy resources to base operations. [Utility dive]

¶ The commercial deployment of self-driving car tech in the US now appears to be on the fast track, following the unanimous approval of a bill aimed at just that outcome by a US Senate panel. The bill, which would block states from imposing regulatory roadblocks against fully autonomous cars, can go on to the Senate for a vote. [CleanTechnica]

Google self-driving car

¶ The Trump administration will formally propose repealing former President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by arguing it went beyond the bounds of federal law, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News. The EPA will ask for public comments on carbon emissions. [Bloomberg]

¶ While his competitors wait for diesel oil deliveries to restart generators after Hurricane Maria, flower grower Hector Santiago is already back in business because of solar panels powering his 40-acre nursery in central Puerto Rico. “Everybody told me I was crazy because it was so expensive. Now I have power and they don’t,” he said. [EMTV Online]

Solar powered greenhouse

¶ The vice chairman of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee criticized the DOE’s proposal to provide cost recovery for coal and nuclear plants. His comments came after his subcommittee heard testimony from consumer advocates and large power consumers warning that the proposal would “destroy” the power markets. [Utility Dive]

¶ The parent company of two Vermont skiing destinations, Killington Resort and Pico Mountain, announced an investment of $5.7 million that will upgrade everything from snowmaking equipment to summer attractions like mountain biking trails, to renewable energy that will power the ski destinations. Nine solar installations are planned. [Rutland Herald]

Killington (Image courtesy of USSA)

¶ The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a national non-profit that advances policies and programs for energy efficiency, has, for the fourth year in a row, ranked Vermont among the top five in the nation (this year number 4) for advancement and support of energy efficiency. Massachusetts was ranked in first place. [Vermont Biz]

¶ ENGIE North America and Holyoke Gas & Electric announced plans for the largest utility-scale energy storage installation in Massachusetts. Green Charge, an ENGIE NA subsidiary, will operate the 3-MW storage system at Mt Tom Solar, which began operation this year adjacent to the former Mt Tom Power Station. [Windpower Engineering]

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