Archive for October 7th, 2017

October 7 Energy News

October 7, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ A major climate based on a 26-year record of observations tracking the emissions of carbon from artificially heated plots of the Harvard Forest in Massachusetts, reinforces fears about the possibility of a climate change “feedback” involving the planet’s soils. The study’s findings were published in the journal Science. [New Zealand Herald]

Forest (Photo: AP)

¶ The cost of stationary energy storage could fall by up to 66% by 2030, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The report, “Electricity Storage and Renewables: Costs and Markets to 2030,” also said that the falling price of batteries could stimulate 17-fold growth of installed battery storage over the period. [reNews]


¶ The Gullen Range solar farm – the first in Australia to be co-located with a wind farm – has begun generation into the grid. The 10-MW solar farm is adjacent to the 165-MW Gullen Range wind farm to share infrastructure such as roads, power lines, and telecommunications. The solar and wind farms complement each other’s output, as well. [CleanTechnica]


¶ German battery storage maker sonnen is offering Australian households “free energy” for two years if they have rooftop solar and use an approved installer for one of their battery storage devices. Previously, under the so-called “sonnenFlat” deal launched in July, households would pay nothing for energy but face a monthly fee of $30-$50. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Here’s a fun fact about Russia: it gets a fifth of its energy from hydropower. This might sound shocking for a country whose image is so tightly linked to oil and gas, but Russia has a lot of big rivers and it’s putting them to good use. Now, Moscow is moving into other renewables and, more interestingly, energy storage as well. [Nasdaq]

Oil pump (Shutterstock image)

¶ Elon Musk did not need 100 days after obtaining a connection agreement to switch on the Tesla big battery in South Australia. The battery was up and running, providing power for unveiling the first demonstration, less than 100 minutes after the ink dried on the connection deal. Installation is still continuing, but Elon Musk made his point. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The European Investment Bank today entered into a partnership agreement with International Solar Alliance for €800 million of financial aid to support India’s clean energy project. The partnership between the two bodies will mobilize finance to develop affordable solar energy in countries that get ample sunlight. []

Large solar array

¶ Shell country chief executive for the Netherlands, Marjan van Loon, says Shell has joined other companies calling on the Dutch government to increase its commitment to offshore wind energy. The country is currently struggling to meet its renewable energy goals, and the current plan is for 5 tenders of 700-MW farms. [Power Engineering International]

¶ In Australia, the Clean Energy Council Chief Executive said 41 renewable energy projects have now been committed in 2017, creating an unprecedented wave of investment worth over $8 billion. It is creating approximately 4680 new direct jobs and massive economic benefits for local businesses across the country. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Albany Windfarm, Australia


¶ The upside of Twitter showed in an exchange between Gov Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Gov Rossello was seemingly sending a desperate plea for help to someone increasingly asked for it. He needed support rebuilding the collapsed grid in Puerto Rico. Ever so swiftly, Elon Musk responded positively. [CleanTechnica]

¶ One of America’s largest energy companies sees potential in abandoned mines in Virginia. In fact, Dominion Energy this week is looking at an abandoned coal mine, the Bullitt Mine, that is filled with water. And that’s where the promise may lie: the water. Dominion is considering the mine as part of a pumped storage facility. [Courthouse News Service]

Pumped storage facility in Virginia (Photo: Dominion Energy)

¶ Secretary of Energy Rick Perry addressed his agency’s recent proposed rule to provide cost recovery for baseload coal and nuclear generators, saying it is “not a directive” for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Washington Examiner reports. FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson said he would quit before voting for the rule. [Utility Dive]

¶ A California Energy Commission committee assigned to evaluate NRG Energy’s proposed 262-MW Puente natural gas plant recommended against approving the facility. Well ahead of its original timeline to complete its evaluation, they said the power plant was “inconsistent” with several laws, regulations and policies, the committee said. [Utility Dive]

Puente Power Project (Credit: California Energy Commission)

¶ The Trump administration plans to scrap former president Barack Obama’s signature plan for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from the nation’s power plants, arguing that the Obama administration overstepped its legal authority with the Clean Power Plan, according to a 43-page proposal obtained by The Washington Post. [Chicago Tribune]

¶ Georgia Power announced that it has received the first parent guarantee payment from Toshiba for the Vogtle nuclear expansion. The $300 million payment, of which $137 million is Georgia Power’s share, is the first of multiple scheduled payments to Georgia Power and the other project co-owners totaling $3.68 billion. [Southern Political Report]

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