March 3 Energy News

March 3, 2018


¶ “The Koch Brothers Have Been Waging A War On America For 50 Years. This Is How They Are Winning.” • The Koch Brothers stand as a symbol of everything that is wrong with America today. If they have their way, America will still be using coal and fossil fuels to power its economy – what’s left of it – far into the future. [CleanTechnica]

Mt Rushmore reacts


¶ The world’s largest solar park, set up at an investment of ₹16,500 crore ($2.48 billion) in Karnataka, was launched by the state’s Chief Minister. The 2,000 MW park, called “Shakti Sthala,” covers 13,000 acres spread over five villages and is a benchmark in the unique people’s participation in power model put on ground, according to officials. [NYOOOZ]

¶ A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Brazil upholds earlier changes to laws that were intended to weaken protections for the Amazon and other natural environments. To be more specific, the Supreme Court has upheld legal changes that greatly reduce the penalties for past illegal deforestation in the region, among other things. [CleanTechnica]

Amazon forest destruction

¶ Tunisia will invest about $5 billion in electricity and energy projects, between 2018 and 2020, according to its government. The electrical projects include the construction of a submarine power-transmission line to Italy, with a capacity of 600 MW. The infrastructure to link the country to Italy is expected to cost over $ 735 million. [The North Africa Post]

¶ Australia’s federal government announced it will acquire stakes in Snowy Hydro Ltd owned by New South Wales and Victoria. The deal may lead to the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project, increasing its size from 5 GW to 7.5 GW. The two state governments will get a total of A$6 billion ($4.6 billion, €3.8 billion) for their stakes. [Renewables Now]

Snowy Hydro power station (Image: Snowy Hydro Ltd)


¶ Oregon utility Portland General Electric Co unveiled a draft request for proposals looking to add 100 MW of renewable power generation. The bids should be of at least 10 MW and can involve geothermal, biomass, biogas, solar, wind, and hydropower technologies. The utility’s timeframe for portfolio additions is 2020-2021. [Renewables Now]

¶ SunPower introduced Helix Storage, a new storage solution that utilizes intelligent software to manage electricity costs for commercial solar customers. The storage solution’s intelligent software control system predicts energy consumption from the grid and automatically dispatches stored solar electricity from the battery. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

SunPower solar array (SunPower image)

¶ Florida Power & Light Company has unveiled plans for four more solar plants in the state. They will have a combined capacity of 298 MW. All four plants, each of which will have a capacity of 74.5 MW, are scheduled to be up and running by mid-2019, FPL said. Construction on the plants will begin during this year. [reNews]

¶ Utilities on three Hawaiian islands have put out a request for proposals to build wind and solar projects, with an option of energy storage.Three of the four utilities that comprise HECO participated in the RFP, representing service areas on O’ahu, Maui and the big island. These seek 220 MW, 60 MW and 20 MW, respectively. [pv magazine USA]

University of Hawaii (Travis.Thurston, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said it expects to see record-breaking prices and demand for power this summer that could require it to take emergency measures, possibly forcing customers to curb power usage. Factors it cited include delayed power supply projects and the closure of three major coal-fired power plants. [Denton Record Chronicle]

¶ In Oklahoma, the long-simmering tensions between the fossil fuel and renewable power industries have broken out into a statehouse policy war over windpower. It has eliminated the state’s renewable energy tax-credit program and threatens to further undermine financial support for the burgeoning wind industry. [Longview News-Journal]

Oklahoma (Edyta Blaszczyk | Odessa American File Photo)

¶ Significant energy legislation in Virginia awaits the governor’s signature. It could produce investments in efficiency of over $1 billion during the next decade, paving the way for the state to lower its rising electric bills, create jobs for a sound economy, and reduce costly climate change pollution from power plants. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ Facing the risks of earthquakes, rising heat, and increasing energy demands, Los Angeles is kicking off a strategy to make itself more resilient, city officials said. The plans to strengthen infrastructure and promote renewable energy aim to combine preparations for earthquakes and wildfires with chronic stresses such as climate change. [Reuters]

Downtown Los Angeles (Thomas Pintaric, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ M&T Bank has provided $22.4 million in equipment lease financing for Cianbro Corporation to complete the construction and commissioning of the largest solar producing energy facility in Maine. The Pittsfield Solar Project will be the largest solar array in New England. It will have a capacity of 9.9 MW-AC. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ A South Carolina judge has refused to dismiss five lawsuits alleging wrongful acts by SCE&G cost its ratepayers almost $2 billion in connection with the VC Summer debacle. A state law had allowed SCE&G to increase its ratepayers’ electric bills nine times to pay for two nuclear reactors, but construction of the reactors has been abandoned. [The State]

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