January 3 Energy News

January 3, 2018

World:

¶ The Department of Economy, Enterprises and Employment of the Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha approved a 50-MW solar project that Spain’s power and gas utility, Gas Natural Fenosa plans to develop in the province of Toledo. The project will require an investment exceeding €49 million, the local government said. [pv magazine International]

Castilla-La Mancha countryside (Image: Victor Martín | Flickr)

¶ In an effort to boost renewable energy in Egypt, the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy initiated a E£ 5 billion ($282 million) project to build the largest wind farm in the Middle East. It is located in the Suez Bay and funded through investments of several international entities, according to the Al-Ahram Arabic website. [Egypt Independent]

¶ RES was granted planning approval for Murra Warra Wind Farm, 25 km north of Horsham, Victoria. When completed it will be one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere, with 116 state-of-the-art wind turbines providing up to 420 MW of generation capacity, enough to power about 248,000 households. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

RES’ Ararat Wind Farm in Victoria (Courtesy photo)

¶ The New Year saw TransAlta retire one of its Alberta coal power generating units and mothball another as it begins the transition to cleaner sources of energy. The company will say goodbye to three more units over the next year and a half to prepare them for conversion to natural gas as part of a move to eliminate coal. [Globalnews.ca]

¶ The Australian microgrid market is forecast to increase to more than $20 billion annually, with around half of all Australian homes expected to have rooftop solar panels installed, by 2024. This will put the country at the forefront of movements that are transforming electric generation and transmission worldwide. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Solving bill woes with solar power (Photo: AAP)

¶ The Indian state of Haryana is making solar power mandatory for new buildings. Within limits of municipalities, all new residential buildings built on a plot size of 500 square yards and above will have to install solar PV Power plants. Houses with have to install at least 1 kW or 5% of the sanctioned load, whichever is higher. [The Indian Express]

US:

¶ The attorneys general of California and New York filed suits in federal court that seek to block the new so-call tax reform act from taking effect and force the federal government to enforce the methane capture rules of the Obama administration. The federal administration is unacceptably pitting profits against people’s lives. [CleanTechnica]

US Constitution

¶ A flurry of state regulatory activity takes place this month in two companies’ request for approval of the sale of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. On Thursday, Jan 4, the three-member Vermont Public Utility Commission will host a public hearing on the petition to allow Entergy to sell the dormant plant to NorthStar for decommissioning. [Commons]

¶ A data center in Nevada is now using power from two massive new solar farms thanks to an Obama-era program that set aside federal land for solar energy development. The two solar farms, Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2, have a combined capacity of 179 MW. They are located in Clark County, at the southern end of Nevada. [Triple Pundit]

Solar-powered data center in Nevada

¶ EDP Renewables North America has closed two financing deals totalling $507 million for four wind farms and three solar plants with a combined capacity of 423 MW. Bank of New York Mellon is providing tax equity funding of $439.6 million in exchange for an interest in four wind farms in Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ohio. [reNews]

¶ In his 2018 State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo proposed an agenda to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and growing the clean energy economy. New York aims to reduce emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants and advance clean energy technologies. [Windpower Engineering]

New York City

¶ According to the Electric Power Research Institute, US electric utilities have a $1.3 trillion opportunity to cut operating costs over the next decade by adopting technologies and processes enabled by the internet of things. We heard similar estimates at the Energy Information Administration’s annual conference last summer. [Capitalist Times]

¶ New York City will soon weigh the possibility of powering its ferries with renewable fuel as part of a bill passed through the City Council. The bill, which the city council unanimously passed on Dec 19, includes a two-year study on the feasibility of city ferries using alternative fuels like biodiesel, and hybrid or fuel-cell electric. [Patch.com]

East River Ferry (AP Photo | Mark Lennihan)

¶ The state of Michigan says more utility customers produced their own electricity in 2016 than the previous year. Michigan’s Public Service Commission says 2,582 residential, commercial and industrial customers participated in the state’s net metering program, an increase of 427 from 2015. Solar power was most popular. [PennEnergy]

¶ Greek renewable power producer Terna Energy said it has launched commercial operations of a 155.4-MW wind park in Texas. The Fluvanna I plant, powered by 74 Siemens Gamesa turbines, is the first stage of a 380-MW project, which Dallas-based wind developer Tri Global Energy LLC sold to Terna Energy in 2016. [Renewables Now]

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