Renewable Energy Update -- October 31, 2012

by Allen Matkins
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Renewable Energy Focus

Judge approves Solyndra bankruptcy plan

Washington DC Examiner - Oct 23

A Delaware judge is overruling government objections and approving a bankruptcy exit plan for failed solar power company Solyndra LLC. Under the plan approved Monday, the Department of Energy stands to recover little if any of a $528 million loan to Solyndra.

Solar and Wind Energy Provide 100% New US Electrical Capacity in September

Renewable Energy World - Oct 24

According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, 433 MW of new electrical generating capacity was added in the U.S. in September -- all from solar and wind sources. The total consisted of five wind projects totaling 300 MW and 18 solar projects totaling 133 MW.

Gov't Won't Cough Up Docs on Huge Wind Farm, Enviros Claim

Courthouse News Environmental Law Digest - Oct 23

The Department of the Interior refuses to produce documents relating to a massive $2.6 billion wind farm proposed for waters off of the Massachusetts coast, an interest group claims in federal court. The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound claims the government is violating the Freedom of Information Act by ignoring requests for documents concerning communications between the Department of the Interior, Cape Wind Associates LLC, the state of Massachusetts and pro-Cape Wind groups. The group's lawsuit against Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar and Solicitor of the Interior Hilary Tompkins is the latest legal action in a years-long fight that began in 2001 when Cape Wind first proposed building the largest offshore wind farm in the world in Nantucket Sound, a waterway located between Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

Minnesota wind farm faces ownership fight

National Wind Watch - Oct 24

The Big Blue Wind Farm under construction in southwest Minnesota is generating litigation and confusion over who owns it. Fagen Inc., a Granite Falls, Minn., contractor that is erecting 18 turbines west of the city of Blue Earth, has asked a judge to declare it the owner of the project. In court papers, Fagen alleged that the original developer of the project, Exergy Development Group of Idaho, didn’t repay $11 million it borrowed from Fagen.

New U.S. Navy Solar Power Plant at China Lake Saves $13 Million a Year

Clean Technica - Oct 20

The U.S. Navy has just flipped the switch on its latest solar power venture, a 13.8-megawatt behemoth at its vast China Lake research center in the Mohave Desert. The Navy’s new China Lake Solar Power Plant is expected to save about $13 million per year in electricity costs, accounting for about 30 percent of the facility’s annual electricity usage.

BP Cancels Florida Ethanol Plant, Extends Renewable Exit

Bloomberg News - Oct 25

BP Plc, Europe’s second-biggest oil producer, is abandoning a cellulosic ethanol project in the U.S., its second move in a year to scale back in renewable energy. The company canceled plans to build a $300 million cellulosic ethanol plant in Highlands County, Florida, to focus on “more attractive” projects.

U.S. Awards Second Offshore Wind Farm Lease But Uncertainty Remains

G Captain - Maritime - Oct 23

The U.S. Interior Department agreed to lease more than 96,400 acres of ocean off the Delaware coast for an offshore wind farm, while NRG Energy Inc., the project’s owner, considers selling it. NRG’s Bluewater Wind unit received a commercial lease for a proposed 450-megawatt wind farm about 12.7 miles from shore, the Interior Department said in a statement, enough to power more than 100,000 homes.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

BLM to do environmental review of proposed solar plant near Baker

San Bernardino Sun - Oct 24

The Bureau of Land Management has published a notice that they plan to conduct an environmental review on the impacts of the proposed Soda Mountain Solar Project. Soda Mountain Solar, LLC has requested a right-of-way authorization to construct, operate, maintain and decommission an up to 350-megawatt photovoltaic facility and substation on 4,397 roughly six miles southwest of Baker. The facility would straddle both sides of the 15 Freeway.

EPA Green-Lights Hybrid Power Plant

Courthouse News - Oct 24

The city of Palmdale, California, may build a 570-megawatt solar-gas hybrid power plant, the EPA announced. The EPA granted the city of Palmdale a permit to build the natural gas/solar plant last November. The plant is slated to generate 50 megawatts of solar energy. The $950 million construction project is planned for next summer.

Hudson Ranch II geothermal plant approved for development

Think Geo Energy News - Oct 24

The Hudson Ranch II 49 MW geothermal power plant project by EnergySource in the Imperial Valley was approved by the Imperial County Board of Supervisors, following an earlier approval by the county’s planning commission. The plant was approved at the same time as the Simbol Calipatria Plant II by Simbol Materials, a company that plans to extract Lithium and other valuable metals from the geothermal brine of the project.

Devine William R

William R. Devine
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Patrick A. Perry
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Emily L. Murray
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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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