December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2017


¶ “South Australia’s battery is massive, but it can do much more besides” • The battery Tesla installed in South Australia has two systems. One has 70 MW of output capacity to provide grid stability and system security, for periods up to 10 minutes. The other has 30 MW, but can provide hours of storage to back up the Hornsdale wind farm. [Sun & Wind Energy]

South Australia (Tim phillips photos, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Costs of White House Bailout of Coal and Nukes: 27,000 Early Deaths, $263 Billion” • The Trump administration’s scheme to make utility customers subsidize coal and nuclear power plants would result in 27,000 premature deaths and a net cost of $263 billion by 2045, according to projections by independent researchers. [EcoWatch]

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers at the University of Limerick discovered that glycine is a piezoelectric material. This means it can generate electricity in response to pressure, and vice versa. A common material, it can be made at less than 1% of the cost of currently used piezoelectric materials, which often contain toxic elements such as lead or lithium. []

Dollop of hair gel made from glycerine (Wikipedia)


¶ Europe’s biggest utility is betting on an Italian green power renaissance to lift business. Enel SpA expects Italy’s new national energy strategy to reverse a decline in green power generation by encouraging companies to help meet ambitious new goals, according to Antonio Cammisecra, the CEO of the utility’s renewables unit. [BloombergQuint]

¶ Tesla just built and installed the world’s largest battery, with 129 MWh of grid storage, in South Australia. Now Hyundai says it intends to build and install a battery that will be 50% larger than the South Australia facility near Ulsan on the southeast coast of South Korea. It is scheduled for completion in February of next year. [CleanTechnica]

Projected grid storage battery costs

¶ Biofuel firm Bio-Bean and oil giant Royal Dutch Shell have inked a partnership that will see the iconic double-decker London buses powered by biofuel generated from waste coffee grounds. A demonstration project set up by Bio-bean will supply 6,000 liters or 1,583 gallons of fuel for tests. Coffee grounds are about 20% oil. [TechNewsObserver]

¶ Europe’s electricity industry national associations and major power companies under the auspices of Eurelectric have committed to achieving carbon-neutral electricity in the EU “well before mid-century.” The commitment is part of Eurelectric’s long-term vision for the electricity industry in Europe, which was launched today. [reNews]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ Enel Green Power has been awarded a series of contracts to build four wind power plants in Mexico for a total cost of $700 million. Each of the projects will be supported by a contract to supply energy over a 15-year period to Mexico’s Cámara de Compensación. The power plants will have a combined capacity of 593 MW. [KHL Group]

¶ The authors of a report from Imperial College London’s Energy Futures Lab and the climate change charity 10:10 found that electric railways could be powered by subsidy-free solar power. Solar panels connected directly to the substations that provide power to the rail system could bypass the electricity grid altogether, they said. [Imperial College London]

PV powering a train

¶ India’s civil aviation ministry envisions generating 200 MW of solar power at airports in the country. The target is to achieve the 200 MW goal within five to six years, according to the Civil Aviation Minister, who spoke at the commissioning of a 15-MW solar system at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. []

¶ France will reduce the share of nuclear energy in its electricity mix “as soon as possible,” French junior environment minister Brune Poirson said, although she did not give a target date. Last month, the French government dropped a legal target set by the previous government to reduce the share of nuclear to 50% by 2025, from 75% today. []

Cooling towers


¶ Exxon Mobil Corp urged Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to block the state’s attorney general from obtaining records to investigate whether the company concealed knowledge of the role fossil fuels have on climate change. An Exxon attorney told the court that the attorney general had no jurisdiction to seek the records. [Stabroek News]

¶ The US Department of the Interior approved the replacement lease at the Navajo Generating Station. It officially sets a firm retirement date. NGS, the largest coal-fired power plant in the West, will retire in December 2019. The Navajo Nation and the owners of NGS had agreed in June on terms to retire NGS in 2019. [White Mountain Independent]

Navajo Generating Station

¶ The city of Denton, Texas, wants to sell its stake in the Gibbons Creek coal-fired power plant, which it owns jointly with three other cities. At the same time, the city is planing to increase its investment in renewable energy sources. In addition, Denton is investing more than $200 million in a new gas-fired generation plant. [Denton Record Chronicle]

¶ The Borough of Manhattan Community College recently became Manhattan’s largest public PV facility, when New York Power Authority workers installed 947 solar panels on a vertical cooling tower enclosure and flat lower roof of BMCC’s main building. Now permits are pending for onsite solar power storage in two 100-kWh. [Daily Energy Insider]

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