Renewable Energy Update -- September 28, 2012

by Allen Matkins
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House Rules Committee throws out wind energy PTC proposals

North American Wind Power - Sep 20

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that would strip the federal government's authority to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions - a GOP-led effort designed to thwart what Republicans call "Obama's war on coal."

World Bank releases Geothermal Handbook on Planning and Financing

Think Geo Energy News - Sep 14

In combination with the upcoming geothermal gathering in Reno, Nevada, at this year’s GRC Annual Meeting and GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, the World Bank is releasing its “Geothermal Handbook: Planning and Financing Power Generation”. The Geothermal Handbook is a comprehensive guide to planning and financing geothermal projects. Based on lessons learned from multiple investment successes and failures, the handbook presents a step-by-step understanding of the phases of geothermal project development, looking at the risks involved and at the policies, institutions and financing mechanisms needed to successfully bring projects to fruition.

Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's join lobby push for wind credit

Capitol Hill's Energy & Environment Blog - Sep 18

Businesses that support wind power are turning up the pressure on Congress to extend a tax incentive for the industry before it expires at the end of the year. Nineteen businesses outside the energy sector signed a letter sent last week to congressional leaders that argues the 2.2 cent per kilowatt-hour incentive for wind power production “lowers prices for all consumers, keeps America competitive in a global marketplace and creates homegrown American jobs." The letter was signed by 19 businesses, including Ben & Jerry’s, the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, Starbucks, Symantec, Yahoo!, Levi Strauss & Co., Johnson & Johnson and Sprint.

Solar panels save taxpayers at Academy

Daily Republic - Local News - Sep 15

After a year of operation, the data is in. The Air Force Academy has received roughly seven and half percent more power than anticipated from the 6-megawatt solar array project that began production last summer. A total of 18,888 solar panels were installed along 41 acres on the Academy’s southeast corner and began operation for renewable energy on July 1, 2011. Since then, the project has provided the Academy 12.5 million kilowatt hours in power when it was originally estimated to provide only 11.6 million kilowatt hours in power.

Federal regulator: Idaho Power must buy wind power

Washington DC Examiner Business News - Sep 20

Idaho Power's long-term purchase agreement with wind farms requires the utility to buy electricity from the farms even when demand for power is low, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Thursday.

Most of Michigan is 'poor' or 'marginal' for wind energy

National Wind Watch - News Watch - Sep 14

The newest wind turbines are nearly 500 feet tall and will be needed in Michigan to try to meet the demands of Proposal 3, the 25 percent renewable energy mandate, if voters pass the amendment in November. That’s because almost the entire state of Michigan is “poor” or “marginal” for wind as a resource at 50 meters above ground, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Two new lawsuits filed over Ocotillo wind

National Wind Watch - News Watch - Sep 14

Two new lawsuits were filed September 11, 2012 against federal officials and the U.S. government seeking an injunction to halt construction at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express industrial wind project.

SF public power plan given tentative OK

SF Gate - Sep 19

San Francisco took a major step toward public power last week when the Board of Supervisors gave initial approval to a five-year contract with Shell Energy North America to provide 100 percent renewable power to San Franciscans willing to pay a premium.

La Feria water plants going solar

The Brownsville Herald - Local News - Sep 16

Residents here probably won’t notice that their water and sewage treatment systems will soon be powered by fields of solar panels but a project to convert the plants is nearing completion.

Local Planning Commission approves Hudson Ranch II geothermal plant

Think Geo Energy News - Sep 14

The local county Planning Commission has approved the Hudson Ranch II geothermal power plant, planned by EnergySource at the Salton Sea in California. There is still outstanding approval by the Board of Supervisors, but the project will have four production wells and brine pipelines. The project is expected to have a capacity of 49 MW and generate about $16.6 million in income for the county and create 14 operational jobs.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

SoloPower to cut ribbon on Portland solar plant next week

Biz Journal - Northwest News - Sep 20

Following months of anticipation and economic development intrigue, SoloPower will celebrate the grand opening of its $340 million North Portland manufacturing facility next week. The San Jose, Calif.-based company, which specializes in roll-out, flexible, thin-film solar panels, is expected to employ about 90 people at the facility by the end of the year.

Ulupono Initiative investing in SolarCity projects in Hawaii

Biz Journal - Energy & Environment News - Oct 2

The Ulupono Initiative, a Hawaii-based social investment fund co-founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, is investing $15 million to finance solar-power projects installed by SolarCity in the Islands. The unspecified number of photovoltaic installations, which will take place during the next year, are expected to increase Hawaii’s solar power generation by 5 percent, the two organizations said.

Stellar Energy completes 960 kW solar PV system for James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment

eSolar Energy News - Sep 18

Stellar Energy, a large-scale solar energy project developer and systems integrator announced the completion of a 960 kilowatt (kW) solar project that will provide clean energy to James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment Inc. (LEI), the film industry’s most technologically advanced and innovative production company.

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