State Senator Wiener introduces the Solar Access Act
Solar Industry Magazine – February 22
California State Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, has introduced SB 617, the Solar Access Act. The proposed legislation implements automated solar permitting in local California jurisdictions with over 10,000 residents. SB 617 will allow for remote inspections and approvals of residential solar and solar+storage systems, which will greatly decrease approval times, cut permitting costs for local governments and homeowners, and help California meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
California wastes its extra solar, wind energy. Could hydrogen be the storage key?
San Francisco Chronicle – February 19
California generates an abundance of energy from wind and solar farms, but it loses substantial amounts of that power because it has nowhere to store it. Some experts and legislators say the missing puzzle piece could be hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, which can be used as a zero-emission fuel for power plants, vehicles, and machinery. State Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, is carrying a bill designed to jump-start the movement to green hydrogen by requiring state agencies to factor the fuel into their climate plans. SB 18 specifies that the state’s climate and electrical grid plans include “green hydrogen,” or hydrogen gas that is produced using electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind.
Wind and solar defied the 2020 economic contraction in the U.S.
Greentech Media – February 18
Amid a historic economic contraction, renewable resources grew to account for one-fifth of all electricity produced in the U.S. in 2020, according to newly released data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, a coalition of clean energy, utility, and natural gas companies. Record-breaking wind and solar additions brought zero-carbon resources — which also include hydro and nuclear — to 40 percent of the 2020 electricity mix in the United States. Analysts heralded the growth as an indicator of these sectors’ resilience, in contrast to continued declines in coal power and the first drop in natural-gas demand since the Great Recession in 2009.
Long Beach says California decision fails to remove key barrier to microgrids and calls for rehearing
Microgrid Knowledge – February 23
The city of Long Beach is calling for a rehearing on the January decision by the California Public Utilities Commission to create microgrid tariffs and undertake other efforts to advance microgrids. The proceeding emerged out of a state law, SB 1339, designed to boost commercialization of microgrids. Long Beach argues that the decision does not fulfill the law’s mandate, citing its failure to remove restrictions that delayed construction of a Port of Long Beach microgrid.
Analyst predicts more than 10 GW of global energy storage deployments in 2021
Energy Storage News – February 17
Analysis and research firm IHS Markit has predicted that over 10 GW of new energy storage will be deployed during this year, with around half of those additions in the U.S. market. The company said in a new report that this would be more than double the 4.5 GW of global capacity additions in 2020.
FERC gives preliminary permit to 2.2-GW storage project that would use Navajo coal plant power lines
Utility Dive – February 22
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week issued a preliminary permit for a proposed 2.2-GW pumped-storage hydropower project that would use the existing transmission infrastructure of the now-retired Navajo Generating Station coal plant. The proposed $3.6 billion project, called the Navajo Energy Storage Station, would draw on water from Lake Powell and deliver 10 hours of renewable energy daily to markets in California, Arizona, and Nevada, according to project developer Daybreak Power.
Developer unveils new habitat conservation plan for Livermore solar project
Pleasanton Weekly – February 23
The developer behind the proposed 410-acre Aramis solar plant and energy storage facility in northern Livermore now under appeal with Alameda County will seek voluntary state and federal permits as part of a new conservation strategy to address potential wildlife impacts of the project. Unveiled this Tuesday, Intersect Power’s plan includes pursuing voluntary incidental take permit coverage from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as establishing a conservation easement in an offsite location to make up for possible short-term loss of marginal habitat during construction.