Renewable Energy Focus

California’s plan to replace San Onofre nuclear energy: green success or natural gas giveaway?

Green Tech Solar News - Mar 14

The California Public Utilities Commission’s long-range plan to replace 2,200 megawatts of shuttered Southern California nuclear power will include new natural gas-fired power plants, as well as a hefty share of green alternatives. But advocates of an all-green replacement strategy for the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) are still pushing for smart, distributed clean alternatives as reliable grid resources and highlighting the dangers of putting too much emphasis on gas. The plan includes an opportunity for Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to commission new gas-fired power plants from a remaining 300 to 900 megawatts of “any source” procurement. Because SONGS emitted no carbon dioxide, adding any new gas-fired power plants to replace it could harm the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals as well.

Obama subpoenaed over wind farm rules

Wind Power Monthly News - Mar 14

The House Committee on Natural Resources has subpoenaed President Obama's administration to provide documents relating to the enforcement of environmental laws at wind farms. The Republican-led committee wants the Obama administration to turn over uncensored internal documents on the implementation of regulations at wind farms where eagles and other protected birds have been killed.

Global CPV capacity expected to reach 1 gigawatt by 2020

PV-Magazine - Mar 19

While the Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) market remains at a nascent stage, it is poised to expand dramatically in the coming years despite a number of recent company closures and industry consolidation. The global CPV market will see a major growth spurt in the next five years, with cumulative installed capacity to jump from 357.9 megawatts in 2014 to 1,043.96 megawatts by 2020, according to a new report from U.K. research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Australian Medical Association finds no evidence that wind farms harm health

Australian Medical Association News - Mar 16

Australian Medical Association (AMA) Vice President and Chair of the AMA Public Health Committee, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said the available Australian and international evidence does not support the view that wind farms cause adverse health effects. “The infrasound and low frequency sound generated by modern wind farms in Australia is well below the level where known health effects occur,” Professor Dobb said. “And there is no accepted physiological mechanism where sub-audible infrasound could cause health effects.”

Programmers challenged to help accelerate marine energy - Mar 19

To help wave and tidal energy take off, the Department of Energy (DOE) is turning to computer coders for help. Unlike hydropower, there are hundreds of potentially viable technologies in this emerging industry - that captures energy from waves, tides, and currents in rivers and oceans, which have to be evaluated on their technical and economic viability. To move this along as quickly as possible, DOE's Water Power Program has launched a competition among computer coders, with the goal of developing software that models the workings of wave energy.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

SunPower sells 70 megawatts in concentrator cell assemblies for solar projects in China

Greentech Media - Mar 26

SunPower's C7 low-concentration PV tracker is now a multi-megawatt-scale business, which has given SunPower a small but promising foothold in China. The vertically integrated solar manufacturer and developer just announced that it is selling more than 70 megawatts of its "cell package" to the Huaxia Concentrated Photovoltaic Power Joint Venture in high-DNI Inner Mongolia.

Sempra, ConEdison to develop 360 megawatts in California and Nevada

Renews - Mar 20

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development are developing five solar projects in Nevada and California totaling 360 megawatts under a 50:50 partnership. The agreement includes Sempra’s 250-megawatt Copper Mountain Solar 3 project near Las Vegas and ConEdison Development’s CED California Holdings portfolio.

SunEdison completes 24-megawatt plant in the California desert

Clean Technology Business Review - Mar 19

SunEdison, one of the largest PV manufacturers in North America, has completed the 24-megawatt Cascade Solar Power Plant, which will supply energy to San Diego Gas & Electric through a 20-year power purchase agreement. The Cascade Plant’s PPA was granted under the California Renewable Auction Mechanism.

DTE Energy's Northern California biomass plant begins operations

Renewable Energy Focus - Mar 17

DTE Energy’s new biomass plant will use about 320,000 tons of woody biomass fuel annually to generate 45 megawatts of power. The company purchased the former coal-fired power facility in June 2010 with plans to convert the plant to biomass. The fuel for the facility is primarily derived from urban wood waste, tree trimmings, and agricultural processes. The site, once one of the most polluted in San Joaquin Valley, now is home to one of the cleanest solid-fuel power plants in the country.

Lithium producer chases Tesla’s bold battery plan

New York Times - Mar 16

Last month, Tesla Motors, the maker of high-end electric cars, announced plans to open the world’s largest battery plant in 2017. The goal is to overcome what it calls the biggest obstacle to meeting increased demand for its vehicles: a reliable supply of the advanced batteries that power them. To accomplish that, Tesla will need plenty of battery-grade lithium. That’s where Simbol Materials comes in. Simbol, based in Pleasanton, California, is preparing to break ground on its own commercial plant in August, which would put it on track to start production around the same time Tesla’s plant is scheduled to open. The Simbol plant will be the first to use a unique process to extract lithium from a novel source: the waste from geothermal power plants.


Topics:  Clean Tech, CPUC, Energy, Green Technology, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Power Plants, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Utilities Sector

Published In: Energy & Utilities Updates, Environmental Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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