Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #5

Renewable Energy Focus

Los Angeles' city-owned electric utility raises its energy efficiency ambitions

Energy Collective - Aug 13

The five-member Board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has unanimously voted to approve 10-year energy efficiency targets that will vault America’s largest municipally-owned utility, which provides service to around 3.9 million people, to national leadership in energy efficiency. The new targets approved last week will have LADWP reduce electricity use (compared to a 2010 baseline) by about 15 percent by 2020, fulfilling one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s energy goals, as described in this year’s State of the City Address.

Report: California solar capacity grew 48 percent in 2013

KPBS - Aug 6

A new report shows that California is leading the nation among homes and businesses running on solar power. The report ranks California first in the nation in installed solar capacity, and fourth for installed solar capacity per capita. Last year, solar capacity in California grew 48 percent.

Big companies, big renewable investments

Renewable Energy World - Aug 11

The world’s largest enterprises are realizing the benefits of renewable energy, motivating many top-tier companies to set up voluntary corporate renewable energy programs that scale up their use of on-site solar and wind power systems. Twenty-four companies from the Fortune 100 and Global Fortune 100 have set specific targets for percentage of renewable energy generated, capacity, or level of investment in renewable energy for their own operations.

U.S. DOE funds innovative geothermal projects with $18 million

Think Geoenergy - Aug 7

As part of the administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced up to $18 million for 32 projects that will advance geothermal energy development in the U.S. The selected projects target research and development in three technology areas: advancing subsurface analysis and engineering techniques for enhanced geothermal systems, applying a mapping approach called play fairway analysis to discover new geothermal resources, and accelerating extraction technologies.

California could rewrite the rules for distributed demand response

Greentech Media - Aug 7

This week, a group of utilities, environmental groups, consumer advocates, and demand response and smart grid companies filed a settlement agreement meant to help unlock the potential of demand response, the term of art for turning homes and buildings into grid-responsive energy assets. If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the settlement agreement could lead to new rules for valuing and paying for distributed demand response by as early as next year, along with a roadmap to put these ideas into practice statewide by decade’s end.

Imperial County wants state to require use of more geothermal energy

Los Angeles Times - Aug 10

California's poorest county wants a bigger share of the state's $16 billion wholesale electricity market. Imperial County, which stretches east of San Diego County to Arizona, is seeking a special deal from the Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown that would require electric utilities, such as Southern California Edison Co., to buy extra alternative energy from geothermal power plants that are run by naturally occurring steam from deep in the earth.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

NRG Yield acquires North America’s largest wind project

Bloomberg - Aug 12

NRG Yield Inc., a company created to hold mostly renewable energy assets by NRG Energy Inc., bought North America’s largest wind farm from Terra-Gen Power LLC. The company paid $870 million for the 947-megawatt Alta Wind facility in Tehachapi, California, and assumed $1.6 billion in non-recourse project financing, Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG Yield said today in a statement. The deal also includes a portfolio of land leases.

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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