Renewable Energy Update -- August 1, 2013

by Allen Matkins
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Renewable Energy Focus

Renewables outpace coal, oil, and nuclear energy in U.S.

REVE Wind News - Jul 20

Renewable energy sources, including wind energy, solar power, biomass, hydro, and geothermal energy, accounted for 24.93% of all new U.S. electrical generating capacity installed in the first six months of this year for a total of 2,144 megawatts, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest Energy Infrastructure Update report.

From cities to soap, recognizing the EPA's newest top green power users

Renewable Energy World - Jul 24

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated its quarterly rankings of organizations that supply their electricity needs with renewable energy. Twelve organizations on the newest top 50 list have increased their green power usage in the past three months. For example, Houston, Texas hiked its estimated annual green power usage by 42 percent to nearly 623 million kilowatt hours, powering almost half of its overall electricity needs. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, meanwhile, is doubling its annual green power usage to 400 million kilowatt hours and its contribution to electricity mix to 12 percent. Other groups significantly raising their projected annual green power usage include BNY Mellon, BD, State Street, TD Bank, the EPA, the State of Illinois, and Safeway.

States spend $6.9 billion on energy efficiency

Sustainable Business - Jul 19

State-level support for encouraging utilities (and by association their rate payers) to become more energy-efficient continues to grow, reports Innovation Electricity Efficiency (IEE), part of the Edison Foundation. The budgets for these programs rose 27% to $6.9 billion last year and could exceed $14 billion by 2025, reports IEE. “Supportive regulatory frameworks are the key to expanding the electric power industry’s already large commitment to electric efficiency even further,” says IEE Executive Director Lisa Wood. “Through them, the power industry provides integrated programs to help customers manage energy use, more fully utilize flexible demand resources on the power grid making it more efficient, and serve as a consistent and comprehensive point of contact to support all customer energy needs.”

World Bank Group calls for investment in solar power

PV Tech News - Jul 23

The World Bank Group has released a report calling for more investment in solar energy as a tool for tackling extreme poverty. The 31-page report entitled “Toward a Sustainable Future for All: Directions for the World Bank Group’s Energy Sector,” said that solar and other renewables had a key role to play in helping reduce energy poverty, but “critically needed” more investment. The report’s major goals are to promote awareness of energy access in correlation to poverty, and to provide “financial solutions or guarantees” for the “most feasible energy options for the poor.” More than a billion people are currently without access to electricity and 2.8 billion are without modern cooking facilities, according to the report. The report acknowledged that rapidly declining costs are making solar power competitive, subsequently the World Bank Group plans to use solar as a major component in its 2013 energy strategy, which prioritizes universal access to modern energy forms.

Which states are leading in smart grid investment?

GreenTech Smart Grid News - Jul 21

A new report from the GridWise Alliance and the Smart Grid Policy Center ranks states on smart grid policies, investments, and customer engagement levels. The Grid Modernization Index Report, released Sunday at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners meeting in Washington, D.C., lays out a treasure trove of statistical detail for industry players and state utility regulators, along with some unexpected findings on which state policies correlate to more effective smart grid efforts. While Texas and California were the top-ranked states, they got there by different routes. For example, while both states are leading the nation in terms of smart meter deployments, Texas’ deregulated and competitive energy markets have allowed retail power providers to use those assets to increase customer pricing programs and engagement efforts, whereas in California’s regulated utility environment, that hasn’t happened as quickly.

Wind, the 'workhorse' of renewable energy

Mercury News - Business - Jul 25

When it comes to renewable energy, Californians hear a lot about solar power. Wind, on the other hand, has a much quieter presence in the Golden State. But it's not a small one: large wind farms in the Altamont Pass between Livermore and Tracy, Tehachapi near Bakersfield, and the San Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs make California one of the strongest wind markets in the nation. Wind energy projects totaling roughly 5,549 megawatts of capacity are operating in California today, providing enough electricity to power roughly 2 million California households, according to the California Wind Energy Association.

Twelve states show the impact of policy on the growth of solar initiatives

PV Tech News - Jul 23

The impact of policy on the growth of solar was underscored today by a new report examining the effect of state mandates and incentives on the industry. The report from the Environment America Research & Policy Center named the top 12 states that lead on solar initiatives and installations. The "dazzling dozen" states account for only 28% of the U.S. population but 85% of the installed capacity. Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont possess strong policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities, and utilities to “go solar,” the report said.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

SolarCity to provide U.S. military bases in Hawaii with 12.8 megawatts of solar power

PV Tech News - Jul 25

Following recent news that California-based solar installer SolarCity has agreed to provide solar capacity of 3.4 megawatts to a U.S. Air Force base in New Mexico, the third party ownership lease company also agreed to install 12.8 megawatts of solar generation capacity at military bases in Hawaii. SolarCity will provide the electricity to homes owned and operated by Island Palm Communities, a partnership formed between Australia-registered international property and infrastructure developer Lend Lease and the U.S. Army.

Apex Clean Energy signs 160-megawatt wind PPA with electricity utility PacifiCorp

New Energy World Network - Jul 24

Renewable energy developer Apex Clean Energy has signed two power purchase agreements with electricity utility PacifiCorp for Apex’s Long Ridge wind energy project in Utah. Both agreements are anticipated to receive final state approval by late summer of this year, Apex said. The agreement covers 160 megawatts of wind energy, comprising two 80-megawatt projects.

Dominion acquires three solar PV projects in Indiana

Energy Business Review - News - Jul 23

Dominion, a U.S.-based energy generation company, has acquired three solar power development projects totaling 28.6 megawatts near Indianapolis, Indiana from Sunrise Energy Ventures. The three projects, Indy Solar I, Indy Solar II, and Indy Solar III, are expected to use standard photovoltaic technology with a fixed-axis system to generate electricity.

EDF buys 200-megawatt Texas wind farm

Penn Energy - Renewables - Jul 22

EDF Renewable Energy has agreed to buy the 200-megawatt Hereford phase 1 wind project in Texas from Chicago-based developer Lincoln Renewable Energy. The deal includes an option to acquire the 300-megawatt second phase. The project, encompassing about 15,000 acres in Deaf Smith County southeast of the town of Hereford, will interconnect to Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission lines linking the wind generating capacity of the Texas Panhandle to high electricity demand areas in the state.

RES Americas to develop and construct 200-megawatt wind project for Xcel Energy

Your Renewable News - Jul 21

RES America Developments Inc., a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas), a leader in the development and construction of wind and solar projects in North America, is working with Xcel Energy to construct the 200-megawatt Pleasant Valley Wind Farm. The project is near Austin, Minnesota, adjacent to the Grand Meadow wind project owned by Xcel Energy.

New Jersey BPU thumbs down fishermen's energy's project

Offshore Wind - Biz News - Jul 22

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has voted against Fishermen’s Energy project off the coast of Atlantic City. The Fishermen’s Energy is planning to install 5 wind turbines with a total capacity of 25 megawatts three miles off the coast. The Board of Public Utilities noted that the main reason for this decision was the project’s cost.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative reaches agreement to buy wind energy

REVE Wind News - Jul 20

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation has reached a long-term agreement to purchase 150 megawatts of wind energy from RES America Developments Inc., a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. The wind power will be sourced from the Origin Wind Energy project, which is located in Murray and Carter Counties in southeast Oklahoma.

Arizona regulators approve 20-year PPA for proposed wind and solar farm

Smart Brief - Wind Energy - Jul 19

The Arizona Corporation Commission signed off on a 20-year deal allowing Tucson Electric Power to acquire electricity from a proposed utility-scale wind-and-solar facility near Willcox, Arizona. Under the terms of the deal, Tucson Electric can purchase a certain portion of the facility's output starting in December 2014. Work on the facility is expected to begin later this year, with completion due next year.

Great Plains Energy units seek at least 50 megawatts of wind power capacity

Smart Brief - Wind Energy - Jul 19

Great Plains Energy subsidiaries Kansas City Power & Light and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations are seeking competitive bids for at least 50 megawatts of wind power capacity.The proposed wind farms should be 5% finished by the end of the year, and preferably located in Kansas or Missouri, the utilities said. Projects in other places would still qualify depending on the transmission capacity in those areas, they added.

California authority signs first PPA for geothermal energy

Renewable Energy Magazine - Jul 19

The Marin Energy Authority has signed a power purchase agreement with Calpine Energy Services for 10 megawatts of geothermal power served from The Geysers in Sonoma and Lake Counties, California.

 

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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