January 30 Energy News

January 30, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ A study funded by the National Science Foundation and published in the journal Nature Geoscience offers new insights the problem of high nitrogen levels present in agricultural runoff. Multiple wetlands, or “wetland complexes” in a watershed, are extremely effective at reducing nitrate levels in rivers and streams. [Water Online]

Wetland

World:

¶ EnergyTrend’s latest report said that both China and Europe will help push the global solar market along steady growth patterns in 2018, continuing a record-breaking year of solar installations in 2017. We do not have figures for total solar in 2017 yet, but EnergyTrend expects it will reach over 100 GW for the first time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Danish offshore wind company Ørsted has begun construction on the 1.2 GW Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm. When it is completed, will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world. The wind farm, 120 km off the coast of Yorkshire, will generate enough electricity to provide for the equivalent of 1 million UK homes. [CleanTechnica]

Hornsea Project One

¶ Tiny household batteries are supporting the power grid’s coal-fired power plants during heat waves in Victoria. New software from Canberra-based company Reposit automatically connects batteries to the grid in times of need. The company pays its customers A$1/kWh when prices are high, well above the 11.3¢/kWh minimum retail price. [The Age]

¶ Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, based in Madrid, reported major developments from renewable energy markets in Mexico and Chile. It was awarded rights to a 540-MW hybrid solar-wind project in Chile. It also that it reached financial closure for its first solar power project in Mexico, the 342-MW (DC) Potosí Solar Farm. [CleanTechnica]

Fotowatio project in Uruguay

¶ Residents of Denmark’s Bornholm Island are participating in a smart energy project that uses Internet of Things technology to create a flexible power grid. The Baltic island, which already gets 56% of its energy from renewable sources, is a model for how to develop a smart grid on a small scale, thanks to the EcoGrid project. [TechTarget]

¶ Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd announced that all its factories in the Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will start using solar power as the primary source of energy for its manufacturing operations. The company signed agreements with Vibrant Energy to buy 2.7 crore units (27 million kWh) of solar power. [The Siasat Daily]

Solar system on water

¶ Nine years before the 2011 meltdown crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, TEPCO turned down a request from the government’s nuclear watchdog for it to conduct a simulation of powerful tsunami that could hit the plant, a court document showed. In declining the offer, TEPCO lost an opportunity to prepare for the disaster. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ New York State has cooked up an elaborate offshore wind energy master plan, according to a story in Newsday. If all goes well, New Yorkers are looking at hundreds of turbines with a capacity of 2,400 MW, and a $6 billion industry employing 5,000 people. Currently, New York has only one offshore wind farm in the works. [CleanTechnica]

Deepwater Wind (Screenshot via NYSERDA)

¶ New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy officially announced that New Jersey is rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program, the landmark, bipartisan effort to reduce carbon pollution from electric power plants in the Northeast region. Former Gov Christie pulled New Jersey out of the program nearly seven years ago. [Environment America]

¶ There is a major wind power building spree coming on ahead of the loss of federal development incentives in 2020. Mammoth wind farms are expected to dot America’s central plains. While it may sound like a golden age of onshore windpower, it could just be a temporary growth spurt that will be followed by a severe slowdown. [American Journal of Transportation]

Installing turbines in Oklahoma

¶ Offshore wind developers say Trump administration support for offshore wind has been strong during its first year in office, but states are providing the biggest push for new development, especially Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York. More than 4,000 GW of offshore wind power potential exist off US coastlines. [Bloomberg BNA]

¶ One of Alabama’s largest solar energy facilities, built in partnership with Alabama Power, is now up and running in Chambers County. The 72-MW Alabama Solar A project sits on 1,400 acres, just south of the city of Lafayette. Most of the plant’s energy is going to serve Wal-Mart through a long-term contract. [Yellowhammer News]

Alabama Solar A (Photo: Phil Free | Alabama NewsCenter)

¶ T-Mobile announced that it has finalized a contract for 160 MW from Infinity Renewables’ Solomon Forks Wind Project in Kansas, with power generation slated to begin in early 2019. At the same time, T-Mobile announced that it will move to 100% renewable electricity by 2021, and that it has joined RE100. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Days after Massachusetts selected Northern Pass transmission project to help it meet renewable energy goals, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy has announced she will review the process that led to its selection. The project still needs other approvals, one of which is needed from the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee. [Utility Dive]

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