February 14 Energy News

February 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Why Cooperatives and Municipal-owned Electric Systems Should Embrace Distributed Change” • Many big businesses are embracing change. And member-owned cooperatives, as well as many municipal-owned electric systems, stand to benefit by leveraging the trend toward distributed generation, instead of resisting or denying it. [Electric Light & Power]

Rooftop solar installation

World:

¶ Three Canadian solar manufacturers, Silfab Solar, Heliene, and Canadian Solar, filed a lawsuit with the US Court of International Trade in New York against Donald Trump’s imposition of 30% tariffs on all imported solar cells and modules. They have cited “immediate, severe, and irreversible injuries” for the Canadian solar industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Following on the successful electrification of three earlier bus routes in the region of London in partnership with China’s BYD, London’s Route 153 has now gone all-electric following the deployment of eleven new BYD ADL Enviro200EV single-decker buses (10.8 meters each), according to an email sent to CleanTechnica. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus in London

¶ The Canarian island of El Hierro has met its electricity needs with 100% renewable energy for 18 consecutive days, Spain’s grid operator Red Electrica de Espana announced. Between January 25 and February 12 the island has used 100% renewable energy thanks to the Gorona del Viento pumped hydro energy storage plant. [Renewables Now]

¶ Tesla, fresh from the success of its newly opened big battery in South Australia, has joined 18 other groups competing for the right to build another big battery. This time, the battery will be in the Northern Territory. The big battery in the Darwin-Katherine network will have a nominal capacity of between 25 MW and 45 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar project at Darwin Airport

¶ Innogy is laying the groundwork to start onshore construction at its 860-MW Triton Knoll wind farm off Lincolnshire this summer. Site preparation along the project’s onshore cable route includes removal of hedgerows, trees and vegetation, and this will happen before the spring to reduce the impact on breeding birds. [reNews]

¶ Indian Coal-based power plants are feeling the heat of spikes in thermal grade coal prices and railway freight costs. Prices of thermal grade coal have moved up by 15% to 18% this year. Also, the levy of evacuation charge of ₹50 per tonne may increase the cost of generation for coal-based power plants by up to ₹0.15 per unit (0.23¢/kWh). [EnergyInfraPost]

Thermal plant under stress

US:

¶ The US Chamber of Commerce is proposing that the federal government raise the gasoline tax by 25¢ per gallon, in 5¢ increments over 5 years. In theory, the tax hike would go to pay for rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, the thousands of roads, bridges, and tunnels that are so substandard they are increasingly unsafe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ MidAmerican Energy announced that it had completed two wind farms in Iowa and that both projects are now generating electricity. Together, the 170-MW Beaver Creek wind farm and the 168-MW Prairie wind farm are expected to generate enough electricity to meet the power needs of more than 140,000 Iowa homes. [CleanTechnica]

Beaver Creek Wind Farm (Credit: Mortenson Construction)

¶ The tourism hotspot of Catalina Island, off the California coast, will soon be home to its first all-electric bus fleet. This follows the recent closing of a deal between the Catalina Island Company and BYD, which will see 3 BYD C6 electric buses deployed as tourist shuttles, according to an email sent to CleanTechnica. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Tenaska, an independent US power producer, signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Associated Electric Cooperative Inc that will result in competitive renewable energy prices for co-op members. The PPA has a capacity of about 236 MW of renewable power from a wind project in northwest Missouri. [Energy Manager Today]

Wind farm

¶ A pro-renewable energy coalition received the green light to gather signatures in pursuit of a November ballot measure that would mandate Michigan energy companies get at least 30% of their power from wind, solar, or other renewable sources by 2030. Officials with the state’s two biggest utilities are already pushing back. [Detroit Free Press]

¶ Vineyard Wind completed the first step of a multi-phase approval process for a proposed 800-MW offshore wind farm to be connected to the grid with a subsea transmission system. Massachusetts regulators issued a preliminary certificate outlining potential impacts and issues and can move ahead with a draft environmental impact report. [reNews]

Offshore wind turbine (reNews image)

¶ Clean energy groups are among those speaking out in opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2019 budget, which includes cuts to programs at the DOE and EPA. For the DOE, the budget requests $2.5 billion specifically for “energy and related programs,” which is $1.9 billion below that of FY 2017. [North American Windpower]

¶ Two nonprofits filed a petition to reverse a Georgia Public Service Commission decision to allow the continued expansion of Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear power. The nonprofits claim the commission violated its own rules and state law by allowing Georgia Power to continue its $25 billion nuclear expansion project at Plant Vogtle. [Courthouse News Service]

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