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Iberdrola launches Agrovoltaics start-up challenge
This week Iberdrola group said it seeking ideas and solutions that would enable the roll-out of solar PV collocated with agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fish-farming or beekeeping which improve the land use in a sustainable way. The Iberdrola’s Renewables team of specialists is seeking innovative solutions that allow primary sector activities and solar photovoltaic facilities to complement each other and create synergies on the same land.  The technological proposals& [...]
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Hawaiian Electric needs to ramp up rooftop solar, seeks customer input
This week, Hawaiian Electric said that it is seeking public input on a strategy to increase rooftop solar and similar customer-sited energy resources. The utility said it needs customers to host renewables to help it reach the state’s clean energy benchmarks. The company has filed “Customer Energy Resources for Hawai‘i; A Customer-First CER Strategy for a 100% Clean Energy Future” with the Public Utilities Commission. A link to the document is below.   “Hawaiian Electric nee [...]
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How big utilities’ climate pledges fall short
Originally published on ILSR.org Can a utility company be carbon neutral by 2050 if it builds a gas plant now? Maybe if it shuts off the gas plant well before its 40 years of useful life are complete, leaving electric customers to pay off millions in debt. For this episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, host John Farrell speaks with John Romankiewicz, Senior Analyst for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. Romankiewicz and the Sierra Club released a report in January sc [...]
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Wanted – creative transmission owners willing to try alternatives to network upgrades!
Renewable energy project developers spend a lot of money in the generator interconnection queue for the queue position. This capital outlay is because the developer expects the transmission grid operator to study their request and approve it according to the tariff filed at FERC. With so many interconnection queue requests at most RTO’s that are under FERC jurisdiction, as an industry, we are unable to connect the dots and see that it’s the lack of engineers and the lack of creative [...]
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Solar industry employment dropped 6.7% in 2020, new report shows
The U.S. solar industry employed 231,474 workers in 2020, a 6.7% drop from 2019 due to pandemic restrictions and increased labor productivity, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2020 released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), The Solar Foundation, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), and BW Research. On the flip side, total solar installed capacity increased in 2020, mostly due to utility-scale solar additions, which require less workers. [...]
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Developer eyes economically distressed communities in rural Indiana for up to 1.6 GW of solar capacity
Hoosier Solar Holdings said last week that it is developing solar power facilities in economically distressed, rural communities across Indiana that have been designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones.  Several solar and battery storage projects that collectively have a potential capcity of more than 1,600 megawatts (1.6 GW) are currently in active development, said the company. Many of these projects are expected to be operational by 2023. Indiana’s 156 Opportunity Zones, in 58 co [...]
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EU approves €400 million aid scheme to develop renewables in Denmark
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Danish aid scheme to support electricity production from renewable sources: onshore and offshore wind, wave power plants, hydroelectric power plants and solar PV. The measure will help Denmark reach its renewable energy targets without unduly distorting competition and will contribute to the European objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. “This Danish scheme will contribute to substantial reductions in greenhou [...]
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Solar and wind’s competitiveness over coal is accelerating, analysis shows
by Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network Roughly four-fifths of U.S. coal plants are either scheduled to close by 2025 or now cost more to operate than new nearby solar or wind power would, new research shows. The May 5 analysis comes from Energy Innovation: Policy & Technology, based in San Francisco. The work highlights the accelerating pace of the clean energy transition, even aside from the social costs of coal plant pollution. What trends does the report show? “Out of [...]
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Enel’s portfolio of renewable projects under construction tops 2 GW
Today, global energy company Enel said that its US renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, has started construction on five new renewable energy projects in the US with a total combined capacity of 1.5 GW. The projects are: Roseland solar + storage,Blue Jay solar + storage,Ranchland wind + storage,Alta Farms wind project, andRockhaven wind project. In addition, Enel said it’s adding 57-MW battery storage systems to the High Lonesome wind farm and the Roadrunner solar farm [...]
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Installing solar panels over California’s canals could yield water, land, air and climate payoffs
By Roger Bales, University of California, Merced and Brandi McKuin, University of California, Santa Cruz Climate change and water scarcity are front and center in the western U.S. The region’s climate is warming, a severe multi-year drought is underway and groundwater supplies are being overpumped in many locations. Western states are pursuing many strategies to adapt to these stresses and prepare for the future. These include measures to promote renewable energy development, conserve wa [...]
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MISO capacity price fizzles, but opportunities for standalone storage lie with utility resource plans
MISO planning resource auction prices for the 2021 planning year did not live up to their expectations from 2020 auction results. In the 2020 auction, the Michigan zone cleared at a cost of new entry of $250-per-MW-day. But in the latest auction results from April, MISO capacity prices were mostly in the $5-per-MW-day range, and in some South zones, they were at $0.00. These capacity prices are hardly incentivizing either renewable energy developers such as solar or energy storage developers. Be [...]
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Duke vs. Duke: Electric and gas utilities at odds over efficiency rebates in N.C.
by Elizabeth Outzs, Energy News Network Duke Energy’s effort to expand a popular energy-efficiency program to its entire North Carolina service area is drawing stiff opposition from a surprising quarter: Duke Energy.  For nearly four years, Piedmont Natural Gas — one of Duke’s wholly owned subsidiaries — and the state’s other major gas distribution company have stymied incentives for new high-efficiency homes, claiming with scant evidence that the rebate scheme will lose them cu [...]
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Upstate New York’s first utility-scale solar projects set to come online this year
This week developer CS Energy said it is working in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Group (GSRP) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), to develop and begin construction on a 216-MWdc portfolio of new utility-scale solar projects across New York. The projects are expected to achieve commercial operations by the end of 2021, which the company says would make them the first operational utility-scale solar projects in upstate New York.  [...]
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The Panther Creek III wind farm in Texas to get a boost through repowering
RWE Renewables said this week that it has partnered with GE Renewable Energy to repower its Panther Creek III wind farm in West Texas. The Panther Creek III wind farm, which came online in 2009 is part of a mega-complex that includes the 142.5-MW Panther Creek I and 115.5-MW Panther Creek II, both of which have already undergone repowering. Panther Creek III currently uses 133 of GE’s 1.5-MW turbines for a total installed capacity of 199.5 MW. By replacing a significant portion of the wi [...]
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Vietnamese 500-MW floating solar and storage attracts investment from SEACEF
This week, Clime Capital, a Singapore-based investment management company that manages funds from SEACEF, announced that it has invested in an innovative floating solar and storage project in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, currently under development by Blueleaf Energy. Southeast Asia Clean Energy Facility (SEACEF) is a collaboration between leading international foundations, including Microsoft, who seek to accelerate the low carbon transition in Southeast Asia. The goal of SEACEF is to catalyz [...]
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Texas likely to add 10 GW of utility-scale solar capacity in the next two years
Texas, already the U.S. state with the most wind energy capacity, is catching up to California in utility-scale solar capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Detailed State Data, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. California currently has the most installed utility-scale solar capacity of any state. According to survey reports on EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, Texas will add 10 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar capacity [...]
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Nebraska’s largest privately owned behind-the-meter solar array is now online
At a ribbon cutting ceremony today, Valmont Industries, Inc., a provider of engineered products and services, celebrated the interconnection of its first one-megawatt solar field at its manufacturing facility in Valley, Nebraska. The new solar array is the largest privately-owned, behind-the-meter solar field in Nebraska, spanning 4.3 acres. Forty-five tracker tables supplied by Convert, a Valmont company, make up the array. Created with weather and natural disaster mitigation in mind, the ar [...]
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Colorado Governor signs law to define some pumped hydropower as renewable
Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed a HB21-1052, Define Hydroelectricity as Renewable Energy, concerning the inclusion of pumped hydroelectric energy generation in the definition of “eligible energy resources” for purposes of meeting Colorado’s renewable energy standard (RES). In summary, “The bill removes the existing restriction on pumped hydroelectric facilities as a source of recycled energy, which is included in the definition of an eligible energy resource under the renewab [...]
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Southern Power acquiring 118-MW Oklahoma wind project developed by Vestas’ NA unit
The wholesale energy wing of Southern Co. has amped up its utility-scale wind project holdings again. Southern Power acquired its 15th wind power project. The 118-MW Glass Sands facility is located in Murray County, Oklahoma, and was developed by Steelhead Americas, the North American development arm of Vestas. “We are proud to announce this new addition to our generation portfolio,” said Southern Power President Bill Grantham. “Glass Sands is a great project for Southern P [...]
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Amazon buying output of 375-MW Birch solar project in Ohio
Lightsource bp said on Tuesday that it has executed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Amazon for a new 375-MWdc solar project under development in Ohio. Once complete, the solar facility is expected to deliver nearly 600,000 megawatt hours (MWh) annually of additional renewable energy for Amazon operations locally.  The project will be in Auglaize and Allen Counties. Stephanie Kromer, Director of Energy & Environmental Policy at Ohio Chamber of Commerce recognized Amazon [...]
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OUC getting help from Burns & Mac on hydrogen demonstration project
Today engineering consulting firm Burns & McDonnell said it has been hired by the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) to assist with the development of a hydrogen technology demonstration project that could help the utility meet its 2050 goal of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. Mitigating the effects of solar power intermittency is just one of the challenges the new system will provide — it will also offer insight and experience to OUC engineers on how the technology can serve as a maj [...]
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Wind power experts expect wind energy costs to decline up to 35% by 2035
Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) of the world’s foremost wind power experts. Experts anticipate cost reductions of 17%-35% by 2035 and 37%-49% by 2050, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements. The findings are described in an article in the journal Nature Energy. The study summa [...]
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Mississippi Power building 1.5-MW solar, 5-MWh energy storage combo site
State utility regulators have approved plans by Mississippi Power to develop and build its first-ever stand-alone solar energy and battery storage system. The Mississippi Public Service Commission signed off on the utility’s project to construct and operate the new solar-storage site in Walnut Grove. The 1.5 MW-solar array will be paired with a 5-MWh battery storage system. Subscribe to Renewable Energy World’s free, weekly newsletter for more stories like this Mississippi Power, a [...]
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Tennessee sunshine to power Jack Daniel’s
A little sunshine will soon be in your next glass of whiskey as Jack Daniel’s partners with the Tennessee Valley Authority, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, and Nashville-based solar power producer Silicon Ranch to provide the iconic Tennessee whiskey maker’s Lynchburg distillery with 20 megawatts of solar energy. TVA signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Silicon Ranch to build, own, and operate the solar facility just a few miles from the world-famous distillery in [...]
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