May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2018

World:

¶ Armenia gave a green light to the first large-scale solar power plant in the history of the country. The government has issued the letter of award to a consortium of Fotowatio Renewable Venture BV and FSL Solar of the Masrik-1 55-MW solar power plant, Armenia’s first competitively tendered independent power project. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar array in China

¶ The Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board said that the country’s renewable energy production had reached its highest level at 1568 MW, excluding hydro-power. Stressing wind power, he said that renewable energy production in Pakistan would increase to 1870 MW by the end of current year. [Pakistan Observer]

¶ China’s state-owned utility China Three Gorges launched a bid to take control of the biggest company in Portugal, Energias de Portugal, offering a premium of just under 5% on the power firm’s closing stock price. The total value of the proposed deal is €9.07 billion ($10.83 billion), excluding a 23% stake already owned by CTG. [South China Morning Post]

Water flow at the Three Gorges Dam

¶ Representatives of the German and Ugandan renewable energy sector successfully tested their jointly developed solutions for electricity and biogas supply in Uganda. Micro biogas plants have been in operation in Uganda for many years, but they typically cost around €1,000 ($1,200), and this is too high for much of the rural population. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The Latin America and Caribbean geothermal market is heating up, though somewhat slowly. With only one operating plant each in the Caribbean and South America, and a handful in Central America and Mexico, this region of the world still holds enormous, largely untapped potential for geothermal market growth. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Geothermal plant (ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)

¶ Renewable energy company Ecotricity has presented the government of the UK with two proposals for alternative tidal lagoons, ahead of a joint select committee review of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project. They are both in the Solway Firth, one on the English side of the border and the other on the Scottish side. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Global wind turbine manufacturer Senvion has been awarded a 300-MW project by Alfanar to deliver the Bhuj Wind Project in Gujarat, India. The project includes supply and installation of 131 Senvion 2.3M120 turbines, which have a height of 120 metres. The project is expected to be commissioned within the next 18 months. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind farm (NREL photo)

¶ Iceland is pursuing further adoption of renewable energy, with incentives to promote electric vehicles and the installation of over 20 new ABB fast charging stations. A realization that Iceland was too dependent on fossil fuel imports led to corrective efforts. Today, 80% of the energy for the country comes from renewable sources. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ According to the NI Water, a solar plant with 24,000 solar panels will provide 4.99 MW, enough to meet the demand of the Dunore Water Treatment Works in South Antrim, one of Northern Ireland’s largest treatment plants. DWTW is the third largest energy consumer among water treatment plants in the country. [pv magazine International]

South Antrim solar plant (Image: NI Water)

US:

¶ Sunrun is expanding, with a new office in Nevada during a resurgence in home solar in the state. Applications for home solar in Nevada are on a rapid rise; there were 287 in 2016 and 3,308 in 2017. The growth is the direct result of the federal solar investment tax credit combined with net metering policies for solar households. [Nasdaq]

¶ Elon Musk made some bold claims in tweets about the Boring Company. He said the tunnel under Los Angeles is nearly done and will soon be in use. He said work on a tunnel linking New York City and Washington, DC, has already begun. And he said a Hyperloop connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco would begin next year. [CleanTechnica]

Boring Company Los Angeles Pod Concept

¶ E.ON completed its North American Renewables Operation Center in Austin, Texas. This boosts its ability to manage its own 3.6-GW capacity portfolio, along with 2.9 GW of capacity for other owners. Some services to be provided by the center are scheduling and dispatching power, and remote power and voltage management. [Solar Power World]

¶ In Michigan, following a commitment from Traverse City commissioners to power all city facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2020, Traverse City Light & Power board members will consider establishing a similar community-wide goal for their entire customer base. The state requirement is that utilities be at 15% by 2021. [Traverse City Ticker]

Wind turbines at a farm

¶ Democrats joined Republicans to pass a bill looking for a place to deposit the growing stockpile of nuclear waste generated by power plants across the country. This includes, for example, the 3.55 million pounds of spent fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS, sitting just yards from the Pacific Ocean. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ Exelon Generation reduced output Thursday night and Friday morning at four of its nuclear units in Illinois. At least three of the plants ramped down because of low power prices in the PJM Interconnection market and transmission grid congestion, the company said. Two of those units have since returned to full power, Exelon said. [Platts]

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