February 1 Energy News

February 1, 2018


¶ Lewis Wind Power is preparing to take part in the remote islands segment of Contracts for Difference auctions due to be held in spring 2019. The company, a joint venture of EDF and Wood, opened an office in Stornoway to spearhead community liaison for the 160-MW Uisenis and 180-MW Stornoway projects in Scottish waters. [reNews]

Canna Island in the Hebrides (Credit: Mi9)

¶ Recently, the Spanish government issued a “royal decree” that would allow it to overrule any decision to shutter a coal-burning power plant, on the pretext that they are needed to ensure the country has an adequate supply of electricity. The country’s energy regulator, however, has ruled that it will be unnecessary to keep all of them open. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Japanese company Eco Marine Power is moving ahead with plans to equip ocean-going cargo ships with rigid sails embedded with solar panels. Called Energy sails, they will allow the ships to take advantage of both wind and solar power at sea and while in port to provide emissions-free loading and unloading energy capability. [CleanTechnica]

Eco Marine Power system

¶ German conglomerate Siemens AG said its quarterly profit dropped at its core industrial division as a global switch to renewable energy ate into its gas-and-oil business. The industrial division, which makes traditional power-generation equipment such as gas turbines, recorded a 14% drop in profit in the three months to December 31. [Fox Business]

¶ Ireland is expected to hold its maiden renewable electricity auction in 2019, according to Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. Ireland is estimated to have reached a renewables share in electricity of 31%-33% in 2017. The auction will help as it works towards a 2020 goal of 40%. [Renewables Now]

The Galway wind farm (Image: SSE)

¶ The number of people employed in Scotland’s offshore wind sector increased by 300% to 2000 in 2016, according to data from the UK government. In 2016, the latest year for which figures are available, the Scottish onshore sector supported 8000 jobs. But the number of people employed in solar power in Scotland fell from 2000 to 500. [reNews]

¶ Children at two New South Wales schools started the school year in modular classrooms powered by renewable energy. The classrooms, powered entirely by solar energy, were developed by New South Wales company Hivve Technology Pty Ltd with $368,115 in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. [pv magazine Australia]

Hivve modular classroom (Image: Hivve Technology)

¶ Korean President Moon Jae-in promised to speed up the country’s use and development of clean, renewable energy, partly to support local manufacturers of solar panels recently hit by US safeguard measures. The fresh pledge came during his visit to a production facility of a local solar panel maker, Hanwha Q Cells. [Yonhap News]


¶ A market report released by the American Wind Energy Association confirmed that Oklahoma has become the nation’s Number 2 wind power state. The data in the association’s report said Oklahoma had 7,495 MW of installed wind power capacity at the end of 2017, putting the state behind only Texas, which boasts 22,637 MW of capacity. [NewsOK.com]

Oklahoma wind turbines (Photo: USGS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit in Maine’s Superior Court in response to Gov Paul LePage’s recent executive order imposing a moratorium on new wind project permits, as well as creating what CLF calls a “secretive commission” to make recommendations on wind power development. [North American Windpower]

¶ Vigor, based in Portland, Oregon, will build a wave energy converter for Ocean Energy Group, of Cobh, Ireland, and its subsidiary, Ocean Energy USA. With a 31′ draft, the OE Buoy will be deployed at the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site on the windward coast of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu in the fall of 2018. [WorkBoat]

OE Buoy wave converter (Vigor photo)

¶ New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy signed an executive order that will direct state agencies to implement the 2010 Off-Shore Wind Economic Development Act to meet a goal of 3,500 MW of off-shore wind energy by 2030. The executive order will make New Jersey the national leader for off-shore wind commitments. [Environment America]

¶ EDF Renewable Energy announced the 200-MW Red Pine Wind Project in Minnesota is fully operational and delivering electricity. Red Pine has 100 Vestas wind turbines, and its 200-MW capacity is sufficient to meet the consumption of 92,000 average Minnesota homes, according to the Energy Information Administration. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Wind farm

¶ The Trump administration is reportedly seeking a 72% cut to the budget of Department of Energy programs related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. It will ask for $575.5 million, down from $2.04 billion in the fiscal year. Last year, Trump sought $636.1 million in spending for the office, a figure Congress rejected. [The Hill]

¶ With pressure mounting, the South Carolina House voted Wednesday to temporarily halt $37 million in monthly payments to SCANA, threatening a proposed takeover by Dominion Energy. State representatives overwhelmingly supported a bill that relieves customers from paying for two useless nuclear reactors at VC Summer station. [Charleston Post Courier]

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