Energy Digital - Jan 23
San Francisco startup Renewable Energy Trust Capital Inc. may become the first firm allowed to raise money for solar-powered projects, depending on a ruling from the US Internal Revenue Service to classify solar farms as property that is included in real estate investment trusts (REITs). REITs are a financial vehicle that has been used in $640 billion worth of US property ventures across the country, typically for developing commercial properties. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 208 US REITs returned an average of 28 percent in 2012. Applying REITs towards photovoltaic power could significantly impact the industry.
Think Geo Energy News - Jan 22
Geothermal development company U.S. Geothermal Inc. just published a review on its 2012 activities and planned milestones moving forward thru 2013. During 2012, the Company’s management and operating teams were focused on improving operations at Raft River, Idaho and advancing both the San Emidio, Nevada and Neal Hot Springs, Oregon projects into commercial operations.
DW World News - Jan 23
In order to take advantage of high wind speeds on the open seas, the race is on to create wind turbines and wind farms that float on the surface of the water. But, the jury is still out on which is the best method. Erecting a wind turbine in the middle of the ocean is a costly and time-consuming business. Most importantly, the structure must be anchored at the bottom of the sea to ensure its stability in the face of extreme wind and rough seas. The project is normally only feasible up to depths of 50 meters of water. But, a new generation of wind turbines no longer has that problem. Mounted on pontoons which are attached to the ocean floor by long steel cables, floating wind turbines are now the new trend in the renewable energy scene.
Bloomberg News - Jan 18
The U.S. identified about 192,000 acres of government-owned land in Arizona that are suitable for commercial-scale solar and wind farms. The agency also established the Agua Caliente Solar Energy Zone, 2,550 acres in the state with strong sunlight and few resource conflicts that are well-suited for solar projects, according to a U.S. Interior Department statement. Agua Caliente is the third solar zone in Arizona and the 18th in the nation.
Bloomberg News - Jan 24
PG&E Corp., the owner of California’s largest utility, received approval from regulators to buy power from a 150-megawatt solar-thermal project in the state’s Sonoran Desert, the first commercial-scale system in the state to include energy-storage capabilities. Closely held developer SolarReserve LLC will sell the output from its Rice project in Riverside County to PG&E’s Pacific Gas & Electric utility for 25 years beginning June 1, 2016, according to a filing with the California Public Utilities Commission.
Bloomberg News - Jan 23
Ormat Technologies Inc., a U.S. developer of geothermal energy, will record a charge of as much as $230 million because its North Brawley plant is producing about half as much power as expected. The impairment charge will be in the fourth quarter of 2012, resulting in a loss during the period and for the full year, the Reno, Nevada-based company said in a statement. The plant in southern California has been operating at capacities between 20 megawatts and 33 megawatts, which compares with its design capacity of 50 megawatts, Ormat said. Southern California Edison Co., the utility that buys the power produced by North Brawley, has refused to give Ormat permission to explore a replacement power purchase agreement with higher electricity prices, Ormat said.
Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals
Electric Energy Online - Jan 23
Iberdrola Renewables added three new wind farms to its U.S. fleet at the end of 2012, adding to a portfolio of clean energy projects that now spans 19 states.
SF Gate - Jan 18
Edison International, the owner of California's second-largest electric utility, and BrightSource Energy Inc. canceled a power purchase agreement for a 200-megawatt solar-thermal project.
Maine Insights - Jan 24
Statoil North America of Stamford, Connecticut, plans to deploy four 3-megawatt wind turbines on floating spar buoy structures in the Gulf of Maine off Boothbay Harbor at a water depth of approximately 460 feet. The Maine Public Utility Commission (PUC) has approved the terms of a project proposal by Norwegian energy giant Statoil to build a $120 million deepwater wind turbine demonstration project in the Gulf of Maine.
Biz Journal - Jan 24
Infinity Wind Power, of California, has acquired wind energy projects in western Kansas that are capable of producing more than 1,500 megawatts of electricity once fully operational.
ReNew Grid News - Jan 23
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's commercial businesses, has announced the completion of its 36 MW energy storage and power management system at its Notrees Windpower Project in West Texas. The system completed testing and became fully operational in December 2012.