Archive for July 25th, 2018

July 25 Energy News

July 25, 2018


¶ “The $3 Billion Plan to Turn Hoover Dam Into a Giant Battery” • Hoover Dam was one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century. As a project, it has been likened to the pyramids. Now it is the focus of a 21st-century challenge, to turn the dam into a vast reservoir of excess electricity, fed by the solar farms and wind turbines. [New York Times]

Hoover Dam’s turbines

¶ “Mapped: The US nuclear power plants ‘at risk’ of shutting down” • Nuclear power plants generate half of the US’s low-carbon electricity. However, record low gas prices associated with the US fracking boom have made many existing nuclear plants uncompetitive. Over half of the US nuclear plants are scheduled to close in the next decade. [Carbon Brief]

Science and Technology:

¶ Wildfires have been sweeping through coastal towns east of the Greek capital, Athens. Fires are also raging in Sweden, as far north as the Arctic Circle, and have caused huge damage in countries including Portugal, the UK and the US in recent months. Up to 90% are started by humans, but they are intensified by land use and climate change. [BBC]

One of 80 drought-driven fires in Sweden (Getty Images)


¶ Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame, found that wind energy has “considerable potential” in Saudi Arabia, a country much better known for its reliance on oil. A recent Saudi auction produced prices of bids for wind power of $21.30/MWh to $33.86/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Global adjustment charges, which the government of Ontario set up about 10 years ago, have led to higher electricity fees. NRStor and IHI Energy Storage signed contracts for eight behind-the-meter energy storage projects designed to help with those high costs. The contracts are for 42 MWh of lithium-ion batteries, due online in 2019.​ [Utility Week]


¶ Japanese ICT company Fujitsu has announced it has joined RE100, the international initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project which encourages businesses to commit to sourcing 100% of the electricity they use from renewable sources. Fujitsu is Japan’s first Gold Member of RE100. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ South Australia’s energy minister says the state is on track to have 75% of its electricity from renewables by 2025. Because of the low costs of renewables, it is meeting a target that the current government does not support. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull once described the Labor renewable energy policy as “ideology and idiocy in equal measure.” [The Guardian]

Bungala solar power plant (Photo: The Guardian)

¶ The state of Victoria is likely to meet its 40% renewable energy goal five years early, in 2020 rather than the targeted 2025, according to the latest analysis from Green Energy Markets. The latest Renewable Index Report from GEM says Australia got 20.2% of its electricity from renewable energy sources in the month of June. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Chinese solar manufacturer LONGi Solar announced that it has signed a $600 million supply agreement with an unnamed major US power plant developer for its high-efficiency monocrystalline modules. Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor at PV-Tech, believes that this is the largest module supply contract LONGi has signed with a US developer. [CleanTechnica]

LONGi Solar modules


¶ Cuba has over five times as much cobalt as the US, but current US foreign policy stance restricts business dealings with Cuba. Panasonic, which supplies all of Tesla’s batteries, has concerns that cobalt delivered to the company from Canada may have been mined in Cuba, so it felt constrained to suspend business with its source there. [CleanTechnica]

¶ About 6.5% of the total national renewable energy potential is on tribal land, a DOE source says. Historically this was not developed because of lack of access to capital. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 made loan guarantees available on tribal lands, but the program was not funded until the US Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Spending Bill. [CleanTechnica]

Landscape with reflections

¶ Environment Massachusetts is pushing for the state to get 100% of its energy from renewable sources. The organization joined with those heading local renewable energy projects to release its agenda, or roadmap, to do so. As it announced its efforts, it highlighted achievements that had already been made in regions of the state. []

¶ EDP Renewables North America is to sell electricity from the 125-MW Timber Road 4 wind farm in Ohio to an unnamed “commercial and industrial entity” under two 15-year power purchase agreements. Supply will start when Timber Road 4 comes online next year, EDPR said. It has now contracted 2.2 GW of wind energy PPAs in the US. [reNews]

EDPR wind farm (EDPR image)

¶ Renewable energy projects are on the rise in New Hampshire as communities look to save money and reduce the risks of climate change. Recently, Claremont had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to show of a new solar array. Its 432 panels will help power the city’s highest energy user, the wastewater treatment plant, with the cleanest power possible. [WMUR Manchester]

¶ The Vermont Public Utility Commission issued an order providing guidelines for alternative regulation proposals it says are necessary in order to continue advancing the state’s energy goals.  The order said proposals must advance the state’s energy goals, be open and transparent, enable innovation, and benefit the consumer. [Utility Dive]

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