Archive for May 10th, 2018

May 10 Energy News

May 10, 2018


¶ “State Clean Energy Laws Make New England Grid More Resilient” • The New England power grid is more resilient and reliable thanks to state laws that promote renewable energy and efficiency and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. That is our evidence-based message to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Renewable energy in New England (Chris Devers via Flickr)

¶ “Cracks in British nuclear reactor ring power alarm bells” • Cracks in the core of a Scottish nuclear reactor could signal that most of Britain’s ageing plants will not last as long as predicted. Nuclear reactors generate just over 20% of Britain’s electricity, and almost half of that capacity was scheduled to go offline by 2025. [Nasdaq]


¶ As costs for wind and solar energy continue to fall, oil and gas companies are increasingly getting into the renewables business, oil executives and major oil and gas investors attending an investment forum in Calgary were told. Costs for solar power have fallen by 90% while the costs for wind power have fallen by half. [Financial Post]

Solar array (Peter Macdiarmid | Getty Images)

¶ German utility Uniper launched a pilot scheme to produce methane gas at its Falkenhagen site from wind power as the country seeks wider uses for renewable energy. The plant, set up five years ago in Germany’s wind-swept Brandenburg state, already produces green hydrogen. Carbon for the methane will be supplied from a bio-ethanol plant. [Reuters]

¶ Seabased, a Swedish wave energy company, is working with Infocom Connect from the UAE to construct the first wave energy installation in the Canary Islands. It will produce 5 MW of power, most of which will be used to run a desalinization plant. If the project is successful, similar facilities could supply power to the local utility grid. [CleanTechnica]

Wave energy system

¶ Britain and Hitachi Ltd are thrashing out a deal for two new UK nuclear plants akin to how a controversial agreement was struck with EDF to build the nation’s first new reactor since 1995. There is some question about the accuracy of reports that the UK government will guarantee loans for construction of the two plants in Wales. [Bloomberg]


¶ Hawaii’s position as one of the leading US states for energy storage deployment shows no sign of weakening as Hawaiian Electric Co last week announced 120-MW of new battery storage across two projects in Oahu. One will be a 20-MW/80-MWh system, and the other will have 100-MW/100-MWh of storage capacity. [Energy Storage News]

Oahu (Image: Wikimedia | wppilot)

¶ The US Energy Information Administration projects that 21 GW of gas-fired generators will be brought online in 2018, out of a total 32 GW of new capacity expected to be added this year. If that is correct, 2018 will be the first year since 2013 in which renewables failed to account for a majority of new generating capacity. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ State regulators in Washington stepped up their activism on the climate front by telling some local utilities to reconsider the carbon-emission costs of producing electricity from coal and other fossil fuels. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission sent the directives to three utilities that serve over 1.47 million customers. [Seattle Times]

Colstrip power plant in Montana (Mike Siegel | The Seattle Times)

¶ United Illuminating has completed the Woodbridge microgrid, a project funded through Connecticut’s Microgrid Pilot Program. The microgrid will power police, fire, and shelter services during storms, blackouts, and any other grid emergencies. A fuel cell, located at the local high school serves as the microgrid’s power source. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ Denton, Texas was the second city in the state to commit to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy. It has an ambitious goal of doing this by 2020. The city’s Public Utilities Board has voted unanimously to approve a 15-year contract with NextEra for the output of a 100-MW solar project to be built in West Texas. [pv magazine USA]

Solar array (Image: Cyrus Reed, Lone Star Sierra Club)

¶ In the 1890s, Samuel Insull, the founder of Commonwealth Edison, began providing energy in Illinois with renewables-based microgrids. More than a century later, Illinois is once again embracing renewables-based microgrids, with a handful of the most innovative microgrids now being developed and launched in Chicago. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ The California Energy Commission has voted unanimously to adopt new energy efficiency standards, which would make solar panels a requirement for new home construction. While the vote was a big step forward, the proposed new standards will still have to go to the California Building Standards Commission for final consideration later this year. [CNN]

Rooftop solar system (Photo: David Paul Morris | Bloomberg)

¶ The Connecticut House of Representatives approved sweeping changes to the state’s energy policy that drew mixed reviews from environmentalists. Senate Bill 9, which had already been approved by the Senate, passed the House by a vote of 100-45. It now goes to Gov Dannel Malloy, one of the chief proponents of many parts of the bill. [Hartford Business]

¶ The DOE issued a request for information for the development of small-scale, modular, coal-based “power plants of the future.” They would be low cost facilities, capable of performing load-following to meet the evolving demands of the power grid. But economic factors indicate that the technology may not have a future. [Greentech Media]

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