U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in April requested a study to assess the effect of renewable energy policies on nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Some energy analysts responded with confusion, as the subject has been extensively studied by grid operators and the Department of Energy’s own national labs. Others were more critical, saying the intent of the review is to favor the use of nuclear and coal over renewable sources.
Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) said this week that it will buy solar energy at a historically low price from a new local system large enough to power 21,000 homes.
Colocating energy storage with renewable generation resources seems like a natural partnership to reduce the intermittency of renewable generators. Several projects have been built across the country combining storage with wind or solar projects. While the co-location of such facilities can yield many benefits, there are a number of legal and practical issues that need to be considered when deciding to acquire and co-locate storage facilities (particularly battery projects) with existing or new renewable generation.
The average curtailment rate among wind power facilities across China remains a serious issue, at 17 percent, while full-year capacity of the idling facilities stood at 49.7 billion kWh for 2016, according to data from the China National Energy Administration.
Speaking yesterday at WINDPOWER 2017 in Anaheim, Calif., the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) newly appointed chair, Tristan Grimbert, said that the U.S. power grid will evolve more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 100, becoming an “agile grid” with “tremendous opportunity for wind.”
China’s solar PV industry maintained rapid growth during 1Q17. Insiders said that the sustained and steady growth could be expected to continue during the second half of this year, on the heels of increasingly improved technologies and an acceleration of the transformation already underway across the industry.
The central mission of Over The Rainbow (OTR), a nonprofit that provides housing across northern Illinois for adults with physical disabilities, has nothing to do with producing cleaner, more efficient energy. And yet, if all goes according to plan, its Hill Arboretum Apartments in Evanston, Ill., will be home to an innovative foray into community solar.
Along with the increasing use of digitization to monitor and control energy assets comes the threat of cyber-attacks that could tamper with them. That’s why today’s announcement from AWEA WINDPOWER 2017 is an important one.
The global energy storage industry will expand rapidly in the next few years, as it moves to support solar and other infrastructure that is growing more and more complex.
Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla Inc. is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a quicker shift toward green power for both cars and utilities.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday is scheduled to break ground at a 500 million-euro ($543 million) plant to assemble lithium-ion energy-storage units for Daimler AG, which produces Mercedes-Benz and Maybach luxury cars.
Utilities are breaking away from traditional electricity products to offer customers access to large-scale renewable energy. Until very recently, utilities did not differentiate the sort of power they offered customers. With very few exceptions, everyone shared in the cost and used electricity from the same fleet of power generating stations.
The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar's expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.
While the all-in cost to build a wind farm has fallen dramatically over the years, due in part to larger and more powerful turbines that can harness more wind energy for less money, the cost of building the projects themselves has also fallen but still has a ways to go.
On May 11, Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.-2) introduced the Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development Act.
Wind energy professionals are gathering in California this week to showcase new products and services, network and discuss the issues relevant to the growth of wind energy at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA’s) annual WINDPOWER 2017 event.
Renewable Energy World asked exhibitors and companies attending the event to tell us what they will be showing on the tradeshow floor. Here are just some of the announcements we received.
SolarCity Corp. and rival SunRun Inc. persuaded an Arizona appeals court that certain tax exemptions for solar panels don’t violate the state constitution, according to an opinion released May 18.
The Arizona Court of Appeals rejected the state Department of Revenue’s contention that solar panels leased to residents and businesses generate electricity just as traditional electricity providers do, subjecting them to the same taxes (Solarcity Corp. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue , 2017 BL 165607, Ariz. Ct. App., Div. 1, No. 1 CA-TX 15-0008, 5/17/17 ).
Portland, Ore., is one of the most recent municipalities to join dozens of cities and states across the U.S. in pledges to run on 100 percent renewable energy in the coming decades. Portland is taking a two-step approach toward its goal.
Since the sun does not shine at night we need a way to store daytime-generated solar energy. Net metering is an elegant and 100% efficient way to shift excess solar power, but that system will not work at high solar penetration levels. Never mind the fact that utilities are loath to allow their customers to generate electricity for less than it costs them to deliver this power.
As a result, battery storage is on the minds of almost all new solar customers. Storage technology, incentives, favorable electric rates and control software are all evolving rapidly. There are currently about a dozen companies with battery storage systems designed for use with rooftop solar. Like peanut butter and chocolate, many solar companies are starting to offer battery storage systems along with their solar systems.
My advice is to proceed with caution. Even though off-grid battery storage systems have been available for years, we are at the very early stages of grid-tied solar combined with battery storage. From a hardware standpoint, battery storage costs are plummeting, and new inverters/charge controllers are being developed. Perhaps more importantly, software that will efficiently interact with solar, batteries, the grid and your home energy consumption still has limited functionality. For more about the practicalities of home battery storage, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.
In the U.K., National Grid is the utility that owns the high voltage electricity network in England and Wales. It is also one of four British gas distribution companies. It’s a big player — “joining everything up” — within the UK’s overall energy system.
Ameren Corp. has completed an advanced utility-scale microgrid. The $5 million facility, located at Ameren's Technology Applications Center (TAC) adjacent to the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois, is capable of serving paying customer loads on a utility distribution feeder.
Hu Honua recently said that it has reached an agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) on an amended power purchase agreement for the company’s planned 30-MW biomass facility in Pepe‘ekeo, Hawaii.
University of Otago yesterday said that a collaboration by scientists who drilled about a half-mile into the Alpine Fault of New Zealand’s South Island has revealed surprisingly high temperatures and the potential for large geothermal resources in the area.
Prime Minister Theresa May ruled out new wind farms on land in England if her Conservative party wins the general election next month, tightening restrictions on the technology that’s spreading rapidly.
What is the best design for a livable home powered entirely by the sun that can be transported anywhere in the world and assembled in just a few days? Solar Decathlon competitions worldwide have netted 274 different-yet-correct answers to this question since it was first posed in 2002.
DONG Energy and its project partners PKA and LEGO Group parent company KIRKBI yesterday celebrated the commissioning of the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm.
There’s been a decade of talk about if solar (or wind) has reached grid parity. And now, with the increased use of batteries and storage, the question becomes more relevant, as renewables can supply electricity beyond the generation time.
SaskPower, the principal electric utility in Saskatchewan, Canada, and DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp. (DEEP) have signed a power purchase agreement that will allow further research into the potential for Saskatchewan’s first geothermal power project.
Today's topics include the slow and steady downfall of U.S. solar manufacturing and how that could effect PV module pricing. We'll also talk Tesla's new solar roof tile and consider how the planned manufacturing facility in Buffalo, NY is progressing.
Answering a call for representation for women across all sectors of renewable energy, the nonprofit organization Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) has formally changed its name to Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE).
Advocates for small solar say Virginia’s progress on utility-scale solar has been largely at the expense of rooftop and community-owned installations.
ENGIE group unit ENGIE Energia Chile will install a 2MW/2MWh energy storage system in Arica, Chile, later this year.
Scottish judges paved the way for as much as 10 billion pounds (US$13 billion) to be invested in offshore wind power by overturning a ruling that said projects may kill too many birds.
Spain is seeking to lure investment of as much as 3.9 billion euros ($4.3 billion) through its biggest auction yet for contracts to supply electricity from clean-energy sources, part of an effort to meet European Union targets.
A proud native of Chicago, I know a thing or two about wind. I’m aware, for example, that the essential elements needed to make it blow are pressure and hot air.
Australian consulting firm SMEC has been selected to assist in performing feasibility studies for 2,000 MW expansion of the Snow Mountains pumped storage project.
Two new studies, to be performed by the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), will help define the current status of activities that link renewable energy to zero-emission electricity transportation, with a focus on energy storage and grid management solutions.
On Tuesday May 9, Rocky Mountain Institute announced that ten energy companies from nine nations, including Sempra and Royal Dutch Shell, had joined the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), a nonprofit comprising of Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, with a mission to accelerate the commercial deployment of blockchain technology in the energy sector. The foundation also announced $2.5 million in funding.
This is big news. Why? Because if the vision of what blockchain can do comes true, it could eliminate a lot of the complexities around managing distributed energy resources. And the fact that major energy companies are allocating resources to understand it is evidence that blockchain is worth paying attention to.
Over R130 billion (roughly US$10 billion) is spent on energy products such as charcoal, kerosene and candles across Africa annually. However, the work being done in South Africa with solar power means that number could drop drastically over the next decade or two.
As the storage industry matures, larger companies are starting to purchase some of the original start-ups. Earlier this year, Enel Green Power scooped up Demand Energy and Ormat purchased Viridity and in 2016, GE Ventures bought a stake in Sonnen.
This week news that Finland-based WÃ¤rtsilÃ¤ agreed to acquire the California-based start-up Greensmith Energy Management Systems is another sign of the energy storage sector’s promise for the future.
Vulnerabilities in the power grid are one of the most prevalent national security threats. The technical community has called for building up the resiliency of the grid using distributed energy and microgrids for stabilization.
Companies led by SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd. are bringing India some of the cheapest solar power in the world, helping Prime Minister Narendra Modi reach his ambitious clean-energy goals.
Calls from the industry and utilities including Vattenfall AB for Germany to auction more offshore wind blocs are unlikely to fall on sympathetic ears until voters elect a new parliament.
ESCO Technologies Inc. has acquired NRG Systems, Inc. (NRG), doing business as Renewable NRG Systems, located in Hinesburg, Vt. NRG, founded in 1982, provides design and manufacture of decision support tools for the renewable energy industry, primarily wind.
More than 200 guests were on hand today as Swiss utility Alpiq inaugurated the expanded 480-MW Forces Montrices Hongrin-Leman pumped storage hydroelectric plant.
Kansas utility Westar Energy recently signed an agreement that will provide commercial and industrial entities access to power purchase agreements for a 250-MW wind farm project.
The Maryland Public Service Commission, in a May 11 decision, awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits (OREC) to two projects to be built off the coast of Maryland.
Figures for the deployment of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the U.S. over the past decade are truly breathtaking. Installed utility-scale wind power capacity in the U.S. has increased nearly sevenfold since 2007, reaching a cumulative level of more than 80,000 MW in 2016. Deployment of utility-scale solar has been even more impressive, reaching a cumulative level of more than 10,000 MW in 2016 from less than 160 MW in 2007.
AVANGRID Inc. subsidiary Avangrid Renewables has acquired a 50 percent ownership stake in Vineyard Wind, the offshore wind energy developer that is part of the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners portfolio.
If you thought California’s lead as an energy storage market might fade in the face of upstarts such as Australia or Germany, then think again. Recent moves might see new gigawatts of capacity being installed across the state by 2020.
PACE financing, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, started out about 10 years ago as a financing mechanism for residential solar. Basically, the cost of the solar system is repaid over a 5- to 20-year timeframe as a part of the building’s property taxes.
Geothermal energy is safe, reliable, and resides just beneath our feet. It can help meet U.S. energy demands by supplying power to our electric grid and can even be used to heat and cool homes and businesses.
Amidst harsh price wars in the solar module maker space, Germany-based SolarWorld AG said in a statement that the company is bankrupt. The company statement said that “ongoing price erosion” and mounting debts have resulted in a negative prognosis for the company and that the board members will immediately file for insolvency.
It is unclear what will happen to the company’s affiliates, including the US-based operation based in Oregon.
Tesla is opening up its online store for its solar roof tiles Wednesday, Elon Musk said in a message on Twitter. More details—presumably including pricing—will be disclosed shortly.
US-based solar PV module manufacturer, Seraphim Solar, announced last month that it is on target for its planned Phase 2 expansion, which would add 200 MW of manufacturing capacity to its existing 160-MW facility.
In addition, the company said that its high-efficiency, 60-cell solar modules, designed for the residential distributed generation market, are available for purchase in addition to its 72-cell module offering.
The company’s rapid growth rate significantly contributes to the local and national economy, and continues to provide more jobs for Americans, said Seraphim. The company is partnered with the city of Jackson, Mississippi to recruit employees and local companies.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management yesterday issued an environmental assessment with a proposed action that, if approved, would allow Ormat Technologies to move forward with its Dixie Meadows geothermal utilization plan.
As the debate over use of fossil fuels vs. renewables to generate electric power ratchets up, we can only hope that Washington will continue to support storage battery technologies. Budget cuts to groups like the U.S. Department of Energy — especially its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy — could be devastating.
Finding a new job can be tough. One way to maximize your odds is to look for opportunities in clean energy. It’s one of the fastest-growing, most innovative sectors of our economy.
U.S. Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) yesterday launched the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus in Congress to educate Members of Congress regarding the benefits of storage to the U.S. electric system and investigate ways to accelerate job growth and investment in U.S. advanced energy storage industries.
Investment in new wind farms in Europe rose by more than a fifth last year, but activity is expected to slow in 2017 as governments revise subsidy policies and prices fall.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe yesterday signed a bill authorizing the expansion of the state’s Solar Energy Development Authority to include energy storage.
The statistics are clear: Wind energy is on the rise, with a 20 percent increase in wind energy jobs in 2016, compared to the year before. Wind infrastructure is becoming more commonplace and so are the benefits free power gives to landowners, investors and everyday Americans.
A bank located in the U.S. Northeast has drawn the attention of state officials nationwide. The three-year-old bank, however, is not your typical loans, checking account and cash services bank.
The Florida Senate last week passed SB 90, a bill to implement the ballot initiative Amendment 4 approved by voters on the state’s August 2016 primary ballot, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Developers of a solar farm atop a former Kentucky coal mining site hope their work will inspire similar projects — putting abandoned land to use and helping revive the Appalachian economy.
China electricity output from solar PV plants rose 80 percent in 1Q17 after the world’s biggest solar power market increased installed capacity.
Africa’s first utility-scale battery storage installation has been agreed upon this week thanks to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.
According to Amory Lovins a consultant to Shell Oil for the past 45 years and Chief Scientist and Co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, little attention is being paid to the work that traditional energy companies are doing in the renewable energy industry.
“I think a lot of groups promoting efficiency and renewables are so busy working with innovation and insurgency in the business world that they don’t pay enough attention to the incumbents,” he said during an interview at Shell’s Powering Progress Together forum in Detroit, Michigan at the end of April.
“It's like a yin-yang balance,” he said, jokingly adding that if you aren’t part of the problem, how can you be part of the solution?
However, fossil fuel companies are well-equipped with the skills and expertise to transition into new business lines, he said.
“These are companies with immense and unique skills, some of which will be useful for a long time.”
Much has been said about the differences of the two candidates in the upcoming French Presidential runoff elections this Sunday, May 7. The candidate of extreme right National Front Party, Marine Le Pen, and centrist Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche! Party have starkly different worldviews.
Portugal-based Pro-Drone, S.A., a provider of automated drones for wind turbine blade surveys, recently signed its first licensing agreement with Brazilian wind energy company Arth-Wind to provide inspections of wind blades to the Brazilian market.
Japanese firm ORIX Corp. will acquire an approximately $627 million ownership stake in Nevada-based geothermal company Ormat Technologies, the companies said on May 4.
The team behind the SolarStratos solar airplane project had a successful test flight today.
Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University in the U.K. are working with the Indian government to build a new power plant which will process a third of New Delhi's waste.
When someone gets a new rooftop solar installation, the second question they always ask is “how often do I need to clean my solar panels.” We’ll answer that question on this week’s show — taking into account the different effects of rain, dust and electric rates (BTW, the first question people always ask is “how do I read my electric bill,” but that’s a topic for another show).
Historically and in essence, electric utilities simply do not buy 20- to 25-year energy generation technologies. In fact, utilities and public works organizations seldom if ever build on such a short time schedule. It is simply not practical or profitable to build a 25-year coal, nuclear, oil, gas or hydro project.
The San Diego County Water Authority board of directors on Thursday authorized the Water Authority, in conjunction with the city of San Diego, to begin seeking detailed proposals for a potential energy storage facility at San Vicente Reservoir.
In an effort to streamline the permitting process, ANEEL (Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica) has published new rules governing operators of small hydropower plants in Brazil.
Average utilization hours for wind power facilities in China has been declining for several years in a row, according to an analysis conducted by China ZhongDian Media, a business consulting firm.
With a variety of different careers to choose from in the solar industry, it should come as no surprise that there are now more than 260,000 people working in it.
The push to save U.S. nuclear plants for the sake of fighting climate change is threatening support for the bread and butter of clean power: wind and solar.