February 8 Energy News

February 8, 2018

World:

¶ Yingli Green Energy (also known as Yingli Solar) announced that it had secured an agreement from Latin American-focused independent power producer Jenner Renewables to provide Engineering, Procurement, and Construction services for 12 ground-mounted PV plants in Chile. On completion, their total capacity will be 146 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array

¶ Edinburgh start-up Gravitricity secured a £650,000 grant from Innovate UK to help with plans for energy storage projects at the sites of disused mines in Scotland. The technology would use weights of up to 2000 tonnes suspended in mine shafts by cables attached to winches. Energy is stored by raising the weights and released by lowering them. [reNews]

¶ Navigant Research has published new figures that show a total of 3.3 GW of new offshore wind energy capacity was installed worldwide in 2017, bringing the cumulative capacity up to almost 17 GW. There is an additional 7.9 GW in the pipeline. The figures appeared in the report, Offshore Wind Market and Project Assessment 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Ship at an offshore windfarm

¶ According to Mercom India Research, a record 9.5 GW of Indian solar power capacity was likely added in 2017, taking the total solar power capacity operational in India to over 20 GW. The figures do not match those of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and Mercom attributes the figures to its “India Solar Project tracker.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ A community of Queensland farmers hopes a wind farm being built, the Coopers Gap project, will drought-proof their futures. Ten years in the making, it is set to be the southern hemisphere’s largest. A total of 123 turbines will be built across a dozen farm properties, and the landowners will benefit from leasing arrangements. [ABC Online]

Gullen Range wind farm (Photo: Gavin Coote | ABC Central West)

¶ Australia’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry is under increasing threat from climate change, a study warned. Some of the nation’s top natural wonders are in danger as temperatures and sea levels rise. The Climate Council report said carbon emissions are harming Australia’s beaches, national parks, and the Great Barrier Reef. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ AC Energy Holdings, Inc expects the investments for its solar power venture in Vietnam to reach around $300 million as the Ayala-led company ramps up spending for power generation projects this year. AC Energy had said the target capacity in Vietnam could increase by 300 MW, as it expects a cost of about $1 per watt. [InterAksyon]

An AC Energy solar farm

US:

¶ The National Solar Job Census 2017, published this week by The Solar Foundation found that the US solar industry employed 250,271 people in 2017. This is a 3.8% decline on 2016 figures, or around 9,800 fewer jobs. It was the first year that jobs have decreased since the Solar Foundation began publishing its census in 2010. [CleanTechnica]

¶ One of the most important reservoirs in the southwestern US will likely collect less than half its normal amount of spring runoff this year because of a warm, dry winter across much of the region, forecasters said. Lake Powell, which straddles Utah and Arizona, is expected to get 47% of its average inflow because of scant snow. [KDWN]

Drought in the American West

¶ For the fourth year in a row, new US electricity capacity from renewable sources surpassed those from natural gas. They accounted for nearly half of all new capacity additions, according to recent figures published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Out of 24,614 MW of new capacity, 12,270 MW was renewable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Moving toward renewable power, American Electric Power is planning to add 8.36 GW of new renewable capacity by 2030. Of this, 5,295 MW is wind power, including the 2 GW Wind Catcher project planned for Oklahoma, which will feature 800 GE 2.5-MW turbines. AEP also aims to develop 3,065 MW of new solar capacity. [reNews]

Farm with wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ Cash-strapped NRG Energy is selling its stakes in power generation and renewable divisions nationwide to raise $2.7 billion, the New Jersey utility company reported. Global Infrastructure Partners will buy NRG’s ownership in NRG Yield and its renewables platform for $1.375 billion in cash, according to reports. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ Data center company Switch will help create a 1-GW solar energy project in Nevada. It will be the largest solar array in the US, the company said. The huge project underscores both Switch’s commitment to 100% clean energy. It also showcases how the data center industry has taken a leadership role in sustainable energy. [Data Center Frontier]

Solar array supporting a data center (Photo: Rich Miller)

¶ Sierra Club San Diego launched a partnership with a local solar installer in what they say is a declaration of “war” against San Diego Gas & Electric’s use of non-renewable energy sources. For each Sierra Club member or supporter who signs up for an energy project, Sullivan Solar Power will donate $500 to the local chapter. [CBS 8 San Diego]

¶ NextEra Energy, parent of Florida Power and Light and owner of several US nuclear power stations, launched a lawsuit against the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry’s trade group, claiming extortion. Among other things, NextEra accused the NEI of trying to instill a false panic about the reliability of renewable energy sources. [OilPrice.com]

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