April 14 Energy News

April 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “I’m An Expat Scientist Coming Home To Stop Trump’s War On Science” • Given what’s happening in Washington, DC, the recent move by some US climate scientists to accept an offer to relocate to France for the rest of Trump’s presidency makes perfect sense. I strongly support their important statement. But I’m going the other way. [Fast Company]

Coming home (Photo: Willian Justen de Vasconcellos | Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ New research shows that extreme climate variability over the last century in western North America may be destabilizing both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Climate is increasingly controlling synchronous ecosystem behavior in which species populations rise and fall together, with that synchrony increasing risks of extinction. [Science Codex]

World:

¶ As the CEO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy visited India, the company announced that it had successfully connected 5,000 MW of wind turbines to the Indian grid since it started work in the country in 2009. Siemens Gamesa is now the second largest wind turbine manufacturer in India, based on cumulative installed capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Gamesa wind farm in India

¶ Gas Natural Fenosa has begun construction on a 49-MW PV project in the central Spanish region of Castilla La Mancha. The company has invested approximately €34 million ($42 million) in the project. According to Gas Natural Fenosa, the plant will also exceed the annual electricity demand for residents of two nearby towns. [pv magazine International]

¶ MPs are to press ministers on why they have left investors hanging in limbo over taxpayer support for a pioneering £1.3 billion tidal lagoon in Swansea. The government has still not indicated whether it is minded to support the lagoon, 15 months since an independent review told ministers to back the clean energy project. [The Guardian]

Wall at Swansea Bay (Image: Tidal Lagoon Power | PA)

¶ The Canadian province of Nova Scotia has issued permits and a power purchase agreement worth C$350/MWh ($27.7/MWh) for Big Moon Power’s 5-MW tidal project in the Bay of Fundy. The 15-year PPA involves a multi-phase project off Cape Split in the Minas Passage. It will start with a much smaller project testing a prototype. [reNews]

¶ Italian energy group Eni is considering stepping up its nuclear fusion investment. Nuclear fusion is a technology considered so uncertain that Eni remains the only global oil company prepared to bet on it. This happens just as the falling cost of solar and wind power and a shift to electric vehicles raise doubts over long-term demand for oil. [Reuters]

Fusion experiment at MIT (Bob Mumgaard |  Plasma
Science and Fusion Center | Handout via Reuters)

¶ Ireland’s power system is the first in the world capable of delivering 65% of all electricity from variable sources including wind. EirGrid said it had achieved “record levels” of variable renewable energy after successful completion of a five-month trial. It said the all-island power system was the first in the world to reach this level. [Independent.ie]

¶ Fugro geotechnical drill vessel Fugro Scout has completed its surveys of the foundation sites for Innogy’s 860MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm off the coast of Lincolnshire. The three-week surveying operation involved test drilling up to 40 meters deep at the locations of the 90 turbine foundations and two offshore substations. [reNews]

Fugro Scout (Image: Innogy)

¶ A draft bill submitted Friday to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russia parliament, would ban all trade between state-owned nuclear company Rosatom and US nuclear power companies. The bill is in response to sanctions the Trump administration imposed against 24 Russian top businessman and government officials. [Platts]

US:

¶ Wisconsin’s largest coal-fired power plant, We Energies’ Oak Creek generating facility on the Lake Michigan shoreline south of Milwaukee, burns about 12,000 tons of coal each day. As it arrives by the trainload and sits in large piles, black coal dust blows into nearby neighborhoods. There is concern among residents. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

Oak Creek Plant (JanetandPhil CC-BY-NC-ND)

¶ A poll for the Southwestern Electric Power Company found that 77% of registered voters in Louisiana support renewable energy development as a means of keeping customers’ electric bills low. The poll showed that a majority of voters supported a proposed 2,000-MW wind farm together with a dedicated power line. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ This week, New York Gov Andrew Cuomo announced up to $15 million in funding available for grid modernization projects. Also this week, the NYPA’s Board of Trustees approved a $9.3 million sensor deployment program aimed at transforming the state’s grid; it is the first phase of a multi-stage program that will cost $55 million. [Utility Dive]

New York City

¶ Green Street Power Partners LLC and Swinerton Renewable Energy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a 315-kW rooftop solar system at Gann Academy, an independent Jewish high school in Waltham, Massachusetts. The array is expected to supply 394,000 kWh annually, 25% of the school’s electricity. [Solar Industry]

¶ The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled against ExxonMobil in the company’s bid to block the state’s attorney general from obtaining records to investigate whether the company knew about the role fossil fuels play in climate change. It ruled that the AG has jurisdiction to investigate climate-related offenses by Exxon. [Insіdеr Cаr Nеws]

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