Renewable Energy Update -- December 10, 2012

by Allen Matkins
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Renewable Energy Focus

California lawmakers make plans to spend $2.5 billion in new energy funds

Los Angeles Times - Dec 3

With the passage of Proposition 39 this fall, California voters set aside $2.5 billion over the next five years for energy efficiency projects. Now, it’s up to the Legislature to spend the money. Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) and Tom Steyer, who bankrolled the Yes on 39 campaign, will join with political and education leaders asking that a large portion of the new money be spent on schools.

DOE unveils new procurement policy for renewable energy development on tribal lands

North American Wind Power - Dec 6

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced two new initiatives aimed at driving increased renewable energy production and sustainable economic development on tribal lands.

California's sprint to wind, solar power could trigger crisis, panel warns

Los Angeles Times - Dec 3

As state officials scramble to transition California’s power grid toward more renewable energy, consumers are threatened with being saddled with billions of dollars of unnecessary costs due to poor planning and lack of oversight, a government watchdog concluded in a report released recently. The Little Hoover Commission, a nonpartisan oversight agency, warns in its report that the state is in danger of making missteps on the scale it did leading up to the electricity crisis during the administration of former Gov. Gray Davis, which resulted in electricity rates skyrocketing.

U.S. offers wind-power leases offshore three Atlantic states

Bloomberg News - Dec 30

The Obama administration will offer leases next year for wind-energy development off the coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia, the Interior Department said. The agency, which oversees energy development in federal waters more than 3 miles from shore, set aside 277,550 acres divided into two wind-energy areas on the outer continental shelf, according to a statement. The two areas are estimated to support more than 4,000 megawatts of wind power, enough for 1.4 million homes.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management proposes solar zone in California

PV Tech News - Dec 4

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released its final analysis of the environmental impacts of opening up an area of the Californian desert to testing and developing renewable energy. In its Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed California Desert Conservation Plan Amendment, the BLM recommended proposals to create a new ‘solar energy zone’ in the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area of Imperial County.

FERC report highlights progress of renewables, transmission work this year

ReNew Grid News - Dec 4

In the U.S., renewable energy sources - including biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro and wind - accounted for 41.14% of new electrical generating capacity installed in October and 46.22% for the first 10 months of 2012, according to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Office of Energy Projects.

Trust will focus $120 million DOE grant on commercializing energy storage

Solar Energy - Dec 3

The Clean Energy Trust, a Midwestern nonprofit aimed at helping regional clean energy companies commercialize their technologies, will now help to commercialize national projects as part of the Department of Energy’s newly formed and funded energy storage research hub. The DOE announced last week that it is awarding up to $120 million to the Joint Center for Energy Storage and Research, which will be based out of Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago.

CPUC approves rebate increase for solar water heating installations

Solar Industry Mag - Dec 5

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved an increase in solar thermal rebates of up to 45%, according to officials from the California Solar Initiative -Thermal Program. The CPUC authorized the higher rebates to help boost early adoption of solar water heating technology and encourage involvement in the statewide program.

Eastern New Mexico wind energy project concerns raised

Biz Journal - Dec 5

While many leaders and landowners agree that wind energy projects are vital to New Mexico’s economy, aircraft radar concerns at Cannon Air Force Base and area airports could become a hindrance.

GE wins ownership dispute with ex-worker over wind patent

Law360 - Dec 3

A California federal judge found Thursday that General Electric Corp. had full ownership of a wind turbine patent, rebuking a former GE engineer for giving deceptive testimony and shooting down claims that the engineer helped invent the technology.

Mississippi on hook for $26 million as solar company shuts doors

eSolar Energy News - Nov 30

Mississippi taxpayers may have only an empty building and solar panel equipment to show for $26 million in loans to Twin Creeks Technologies. The San Jose-based solar technology firm is liquidating and a company that bought Twin Creeks' assets won't take over its agreement with Mississippi.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

DLL to finance $52.5MM in SunEdison solar energy projects

Monitor Daily - Dec 4

SunEdison announced that De Lage Landen has committed to invest $52.5 million into a sale-leaseback fund. This fund will deliver financing to distributed generation solar PV projects developed by SunEdison within the United States. De Lage Landen will provide financing through a long-term lease agreement with a SunEdison project subsidiary that efficiently monetizes the tax benefits and cash flows from customer power purchase agreements.

Hawaii regulators approve Kauai solar power purchase agreement

Biz Journal - Dec 6

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a 20-year power purchase agreement between the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and REC Solar for its 300-kilowatt MP2 Hawaii Solar Project in Koloa on the Garden Isle’s South Shore.

Santa Clara, Miasole partner on city's first solar research park

Revitalization Partners - Dec 4

When it comes to generating green energy, Santa Clara is giving private partnerships with local cleantech companies a try. The city’s nonprofit utilities provider, Silicon Valley Power, has partnered with Santa Clara-based solar energy company MiaSolé on a solar research park. The new endeavor will provide 100 kilowatts of electricity annually for the city.

NextEra expands Kansas portfolio with 165MW project deal

Recharge News - Dec 4

NextEra Energy Resources, the largest generator of wind and solar energy in North America, says its subsidiaries have completed the purchase of the 165MW Cimarron I Wind Energy Center in Kansas from Competitive Power Ventures.

Chevron completes 1 MW solar plant in California

Solar Industry Mag - Dec 4

The City of Hanford, California, and Chevron Energy Solutions have completed a solar project expected to reduce energy costs at the city's wastewater treatment plant and save more than $7 million over the program's life. The installation uses a 1 MW ground-mounted single-axis solar tracking system, which automatically positions solar panels towards the sun. Chevron Energy Solutions designed, engineered and installed the solar system, and will perform operation and maintenance services for the city.

OCI Solar Power, Kaco New Energy partner on 400MW project

Solar Novus - Dec 3

Kaco New Energy, a global inverter manufacturer headquartered in Germany, and developer OCI Solar Power have finalized a partnership to construct a 400MW project in Texas. The companies say the PV project will be the state’s largest, and will account for sales to Kaco New Energy of about $500 million throughout the next 10 years.

SunPower sells solar farm

Venture Capital from AllTop - Nov 30

San Jose-based SunPower, the developer of solar panels and projects, has sold a 5 megawatt solar farm to a group of investors. D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments and Bright Plain Renewable Energy said this week that they have acquired the West Oahu, Hawaii solar farm. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

 

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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