Renewable Energy Update -- January 23, 2013

by Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

Los Angeles Utility Set To Launch 100MW Solar Feed-in Tariff Program

Alternative Energy News - Jan 12

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is set to launch a solar feed-in tariff program for its customers for the first time ever. Under the program, households, businesses, and warehouses would be able to inject excess electricity generated from solar power projects into the grid and earn up to $0.17 per kilowatt hour (kWh). The program will also be open to third-party solar power generators and renewable energy technologies other than solar power.

FERC Proposes Rule to Speed Up Solar Energy Grid Interconnection

Renewable Energy World - Solar Energy News - Jan 17

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proposed changes to a rule that will speed up the process and reduce the costs to interconnect smaller-sized solar power projects to the grid while maintaining system reliability and safety. The changes were necessary, the organization claims, because of market changes that were due to state renewable energy goals and policies.

Goldman Leading Renewable Offerings Says Slump Is Ending

Bloomberg News - Jan 17

Goldman overtook Morgan Stanley as the biggest lead manager for share offerings with three deals valued at $405.6 million, according to an annual ranking by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The investment bank is backing renewable energy that it expects will gain favor in a global shift it says is inevitable.

Interior Secretary Salazar to Leave Cabinet in March

Bloomberg News - Jan 16

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who led the government’s response to the BP Plc (BP/) oil spill in 2010, said he will leave his cabinet post by the end of March and return home to Colorado. Salazar, who represented the state in the U.S. Senate before joining President Barack Obama’s administration in 2009, led the 70,000-employee department in promoting solar-energy projects on federal lands, overseeing oil exploration off Alaska’s coast and expanding the nation’s parks network.

VC Funding in Solar Sector Down 50 Percent in 2012, According to New Mercom Capital Group Report

Marketwire - Breaking News Releases - Jan 14

Global venture capital (VC) investments plunged nearly 50 percent to $992M in 103 deals in 2012 compared to $1.9B raised in 108 deals the previous year. The 2012 total represents the lowest amount since 2007. VC funding in Q4 2012 came in at $220M in 27 deals compared to just $72M in 14 deals in Q3.

Nevada Geothermal Agrees to Transfer Power Plant to Resolve Debt

Bloomberg News - Jan 16

Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. (NGP), the clean-energy company that received U.S. backing for a $98.5 million loan, will transfer ownership of a power plant to EIG Global Energy Partners LLC to settle a debt. Nevada Geothermal will give up its 100 percent stake in the Blue Mountain geothermal field to repay a loan of about $97.4 million, Vancouver-based Nevada Geothermal said today in a statement. The deal is expected to close within two months.

Idaho Geological Survey and U-Idaho explore for geothermal energy

PhysOrg News - Jan 11

In an effort to provide the most accurate assessment of high-temperature geothermal energy potential in the region, the Idaho Geological Survey recently drilled new wells in southeastern Idaho. Workers successfully completed installation of three wells in the Blackfoot-Gem Valley volcanic field of southeastern Idaho during the fourth quarter of 2012. The wells were drilled within an 18-mile radius of China Hat, a 60,000-year-old region of volcanic rock near Soda Springs, Idaho. The wells allow researchers to precisely measure heat coming out of the Earth, which will help them better understand Idaho's geologic framework, in addition to offering insight into the region's geothermal energy potential.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

Siemens wins wind turbine order for nuclear weapons facility

Wind Power Monthly - Jan 17

Siemens has won an 11.5MW contract from the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for a project in Texas. The Pantex Plant is America's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility and maintain's the US's nuclear weapons stockpile. The Pantex wind farm, located on 1,500 square metres to the east of the plant, will use five Siemens 2.3MW wind turbines. It will be the first project developed by the NNSA and the largest by a federal department.

SunPower to deploy 7.5MW solar installation in Phoenix

Energy Business Review - Solar News - Jan 16

Solar panels manufacturer SunPower will deploy a 7.5MW system at the Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant in the city of Phoenix. The company will design, manufacture and install 22,936 panels to produce 15 million kWh energy per annum to meet 70% of the plant's energy requirement.

Vestas in US tower supply deal

Recharge News - Jan 16

Vestas has signed a deal to supply wind turbine towers to third-party projects in North America, in a boost for its plant in Colorado. The Danish wind equipment group says the two-year supply agreement could utililise up to 25% of the capacity at its tower factory in Pueblo and will create more than 100 jobs by the end of the current quarter.

U.S. Army Dedicates World's Largest Low-Concentration PV Facility

Forbes Business News - Jan 16

The U.S. Army dedicated its largest solar photovoltaic (PV) system to date at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The 4.1 MW, $16.8 mn system covers 42 acres and utilizes almost 15,500 panels. It was developed in coordination with the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (Huntsville Center), Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., and Bostonia. The project is expected to provide annual savings of $930,000 and supply approximately 10% of the installation’s electricity requirements.

San Antonio utility signs 25-year wind power agreement

Fuel Fix - Jan 14

CPS Energy agreed to buy 200 megawatts of wind-generated electricity from a new South Texas wind farm as part of a 25-year agreement with Duke Energy Corp. The wind power is coming from Duke’s Los Vientos I in Willacy County, about 120 miles south of Corpus Christi. The wind farm is on 30,000 acres 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.



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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