Ten sunniest states added 1.8 GW of small-scale solar in 2019
PV Magazine - February 10
The ten states with the greatest solar resources added 1,872 megawatts of small-scale solar in the 12 months ending in November 2019—slightly more than in 2018. California added two-thirds of the total, although it has only 40 percent of the region’s population. Rooftop solar installations account for most small-scale solar, which is defined as smaller than 1 megawatts. Hawaii extended its commanding lead in cumulative small-scale solar per capita, with California in second place and Arizona a close third. Overall, six of the ten states exceed the national average of 69 watts of small-scale solar per capita.
FERC's Order 841 'essential' for energy storage to cut emissions, attorneys general argue
Utility Dive – February 11
The attorneys general of California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Rhode Island, as well as the California Air Resources Board, have filed an amicus brief in support of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit case brought by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the American Public Power Association, and other groups, who allege that FERC’s 2018 Order 841 oversteps the agency’s authority and imposes unfair burdens on state regulators and utilities by directing them to craft costly methods for energy storage to participate in wholesale electricity markets. In a February 10 statement, the attorneys general of California and Massachusetts said that increasing the wholesale market participation of storage resources like large-scale batteries is an important component of the states’ strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also keeping energy prices in check.
Long Beach urges regulatory reforms to overcome microgrid delays
Microgrid Knowledge – February 11
The City of Long Beach is urging state regulators to make changes to expedite the development of microgrids. The city is focused on two issues: utility rules governing power supply to separate premises and the California Public Utilities Commission’s interconnection rules. Long Beach’s concerns were raised in response to microgrid proposals released last month by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric. The PUC in December directed utilities to file microgrid plans that could be put in place by September 1, ahead of the upcoming wildfire season to reduce the effects of public safety power shutoffs. Long Beach is developing a microgrid at its 3,200-acre port. The project ran into “significant difficulties” due to SCE’s Rule 18, which bars microgrid operators from selling electricity from energy storage units because the stored electricity might include electricity received from the utility, according to Long Beach. The city is also called for improving the PUC’s interconnection regulation, called Rule 21, to ensure “prompt and economic” interconnections with microgrids.
Wind turbine blades can’t be recycled, so they’re piling up in landfills
Los Angeles Times – February 6
Wind turbine blades can last up to 20 years, but many are taken down after just 10 so they can be replaced with bigger and more powerful designs. Tens of thousands of aging blades are coming down from steel towers around the world and most have nowhere to go but landfills. In the U.S. alone, about 8,000 will be removed in each of the next four years. Built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the blades can’t easily be crushed, recycled, or repurposed. Wind power is carbon-free, and about 85 percent of turbine components can be recycled or reused. But the fiberglass blades remain difficult to dispose of. One start-up, Global Fiberglass Solutions, developed a method to break down blades and press them into pellets and fiber boards to be used for flooring and walls. The company started producing samples at a plant in Sweetwater, Texas, near the continent’s largest concentration of wind farms. It plans another operation in Iowa.
PGE to procure energy from 162-MW solar farm for select C&I customers
Renewable Energy World – February 12
Portland General Electric (PGE) and Avangrid Renewables this week announced that PGE has agreed to purchase the output of a new 162-megawatt solar facility that Avangrid is building in eastern Oregon. The new facility will supply power and the accompanying renewable energy credits to PGE’s Green Future Impact customers, helping them source up to 100 percent of their energy from a local renewable energy resource. The new solar facility will be built on 1,200 privately owned acres in Gilliam County.
California university to become testing ground for Yotta’s on-panel battery pilot
PV-Tech - February 10
The proponent of a panel-level energy storage solution has enlisted an academic institution to test its systems on campus, in a bid to shed light on the system’s performance and interaction with the grid. California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) will roll out Yotta Energy's microstorage systems across university buildings in Carson. Dubbed SolarLEAF, Yotta’s flagship product is a lithium iron-phosphate battery designed to be installed directly atop racking systems, on the rear side of PV panels. The product’s built-in fireproof cases and “thermal protection technology” will, Yotta claims, save installers from having to add expensive fire containment and HVAC systems.