Renewable Energy Update - July 2017 #3

by Allen Matkins
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Renewable Energy Focus

California’s extension of cap-and-trade provides more certainty to cleantech

Greentech Media - Jul 18 Late Monday night, California lawmakers approved a group of bills that extend the state’s landmark program capping greenhouse gas emissions. The news comes after months of rejected bills and aggressive negotiations by Governor Jerry Brown. It’s a huge win for climate advocates -- and also for cleantech companies in the state. Beyond providing a clear market signal, the new cap-and-trade bill will provide a substantial amount of money for cleantech-related programs. Close to $3.4 billion has been appropriated by the legislature through state agencies to implement greenhouse gas reduction programs, according to the latest annual California Air Resources Board (CARB) report.

Hydro, wind, and solar make inroads in California's electric grid

San Diego Union-Tribune - Jul 19 Wetter weather and continued growth in renewable energy sources resulted in some big changes in electricity generation in California in 2016, according to numbers recently released by the California Energy Commission. Natural gas still accounted for the largest single share of in-state power generation, but the amount deployed dropped 10 percent last year. The difference was largely replaced by electricity produced by large hydro facilities — home to reservoirs that started to fill up at the end of 2016 as one of the wettest winters on record began — and production from wind and solar, which each posted double-digit growth.

Plan calls for L.A., Long Beach ports to go to zero-emissions technology

Los Angeles Times - Jul 19 The nation’s largest port complex will seek to slash air pollution and health risks to Southern Californians by replacing diesel trucks and cargo equipment with zero-emissions technology over the next two decades, according to a plan released Wednesday. The Long Beach and Los Angeles ports’ Clean Air Action Plan, at a projected cost of up to $14 billion in public and private funds, sets goals of switching to zero-emission cargo-handling equipment by 2030 and trucks by 2035. It also sets targets to slash port-related greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and to 80 percent by 2050.

Microsoft obtains approval to buy green power outside Puget Sound Energy

The Seattle Times - Jul 13 Microsoft will bypass Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to secure carbon-free power on wholesale markets under an agreement that state regulators approved Thursday. This electricity will continue to be delivered through PSE transmission lines, and supply 80 percent of Microsoft’s Puget Sound power demand. The settlement approved by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission marks a major change in the relationship between PSE, the state’s largest energy utility, and a software giant that has been its largest customer. The agreement calls for Microsoft to pay a $23.6 million transition fee to PSE, which the utility will pass on to its western Washington customers.

NRG renewables unit lures suitors as Singer urges savings

Bloomberg - Jul 18 NRG Energy Inc. says buyers are hungry for the company’s renewable-energy business as the power generator looks to cut debt and sell assets under pressure from billionaire investor Paul Singer. The yieldco owns 6.3 gigawatts of assets, including 2.9 gigawatts of renewables. A sale of NRG’s renewables holdings, or part of them, would be the third blockbuster clean-energy sale announced this year. In February, AES Corp. and Alberta Investment Management Corp. agreed to buy one of the largest U.S. private solar companies, sPower. A month later, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. agreed to buy bankrupt clean-energy giant SunEdison Inc.’s two yieldcos.

San Diego County Water Authority seeks proposals for energy storage project

North American Windpower - Jul 19 The San Diego County Water Authority has issued a request for proposals for a potential joint energy storage project with the City of San Diego. According to the public agency, the project could lessen upward pressure on water rates and also increase opportunities for renewable energy penetration throughout the region by leveraging existing infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir. Used during off-peak energy-use periods, it would pump water uphill to the new upper reservoir to create a bank of stored hydroelectric energy (up to 500 megawatts).

Apple’s Oregon wind farm cleared for super-sized turbines

Portland Business Journal - Jul 18 Regulators have cleared Apple’s Oregon wind power project to use the biggest turbines ever deployed in the Pacific Northwest. Project developer Avangrid Renewables said it hasn’t made a final decision on the machines it will use at the Montague Wind Power Facility, but regulators last week granted a site-certificate amendment that allows for turbines with rotor diameters of 136 meters and generating capacities of 3.6 megawatts.

EDF buys 179MW of First Solar projects in Nevada

PV-Tech - Jul 14 EDF Renewable Energy has purchased the Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2 projects in Nevada from First Solar. The plants have a combined capacity of 179 megawatts and are expected to come into commercial operation in July and September respectively. Three separate power purchase agreements are in place with subsidiaries of state utility monopoly NV Energy.

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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