Renewable Energy Update -- February 7, 2014

by Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

Judge rules that San Diego Gas & Electric can’t cancel Montana wind farm deal

Sacramento CBS Local - Jan 27

A California utility was barred Monday from canceling its power purchase contract with the owners of a Montana wind farm in a dispute over the project’s potential threat to golden eagles. Montana District Judge Brenda Gilbert granted a temporary restraining order blocking San Diego Gas & Electric Co. from canceling the contract pending a February 14 hearing on the matter.

Los Angeles inks biogas deal

Renews - Jan 30

Constellation has signed a deal to design, build, and operate a 27-megawatt biogas co-generation power plant at Los Angeles Sanitation’s Hyperion treatment facility. The sewage treatment process at Hyperion generates a class 1 renewable fuel known as digester gas. The $130 million power plant will use the digester gas as its primary fuel source to produce steam and electricity at Hyperion, one of the 10 largest wastewater treatment facilities in the world.

Google is blowing its competition away

DailyFinance Investing News - Jan 26

Google announced Wednesday that it is going greener than ever with a new deal to purchase all electricity generated from four Swedish wind farms for the next decade. While details haven't been disclosed yet, this latest move is part of a larger movement for Google to be the greenest gig in town. The company invested $75 million in a 182-megawatt Texas wind farm in January, and last November it put $80 million toward six solar farms in California and Arizona totaling 106 megawatts. In total, Google has made 16 wind and solar investments, adding up to more than $1 billion.

Wyoming wind power could save California ratepayers $750 million

Casper-Star Tribune - Jan 24

A preliminary report suggests that Wyoming wind power could save California ratepayers $750 million annually. The findings, announced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at a meeting of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, are the latest in a series of reports backed by Wyoming policymakers aimed at promoting the state’s wind industry. California law requires that 33 percent of all its electricity generation come from renewable sources by 2020. Two large-scale wind projects proposed for the state would sell power directly to customers in Southern California. The would-be wind companies face two hurdles in sending their electricity to California and its 38 million people. The first challenge is one of transmitting the electricity. Currently, no transmission lines exist between Wyoming and California. The second is convincing California policymakers to choose Wyoming renewables over similar projects in the Golden State.

SolarCity joins UC Davis and Woodland School District to complete 10 projects

Solar Power World - Jan 28

Woodland Joint Unified School District, SolarCity, and the UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center today announced the completion of a model sustainability project that has brought solar power systems and energy-efficient lighting to Woodland High School and three elementary schools in the district: Whitehead, Maxwell, and Tafoya. Together, the new technologies are expected to save the district more than $20,000 on electricity costs in their first year of operation alone. This is the second round of solar projects that SolarCity has completed for the district, bringing the number of sites in its solar portfolio up to 10.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

Merced approves solar project in Los Banos

Merced Sun-Star - Jan 30

The Merced Board of Supervisors this week approved plans to build a large solar facility in the Los Banos area, which officials said could spur economic development by creating construction jobs. The applicant, Michael Lichtenfeld-Vega Solar LLC, proposed constructing a 20-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility on 178.3 acres of agricultural land. County supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the project’s conditional use permit. The company behind the project is SunEdison, a global solar developer based in Belmont.

Renewable Energy Group acquires South San Francisco industrial biotech company

Hispanic Business News - Jan 24

A growing Iowa-based biofuels company, Renewable Energy Group (REG), has acquired LS9, Inc., a South San Francisco-based developer of renewable chemical technology, for a purchase price of up to $61.5 million, consisting of up front and earnout payments, in stock and cash. LS9 developed a proprietary technology that combines microbial metabolic processes with synthetic biology, which REG expects might lead to the production of renewable raw materials that can be used for fuel and other things, such as personal care products.


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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