Renewable energy provided more than 25% of U.S. electricity in first half of 2020
Renewables Now – July 28
Renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind) produced significantly more electricity than either coal or nuclear power during the first five months of 2020, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In May alone, renewable sources accounted for more than one-quarter (25.3 percent) of the nation's net electrical generation -- an all-time high. The latest issue of EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" (with data through May 31, 2020) reveals that solar and wind both expanded more quickly than all other energy sources during this period.
California offers new proposal to break down barriers to microgrids
Microgrid Knowledge – July 27
Staff at the California Public Utilities Commission released a proposal last week that calls for a new microgrid pilot program, a special tariff for microgrids, and other measures to overcome barriers to microgrid development. The proposal comes in the second phase of a commission proceeding to help commercialize microgrids. The first phase culminated in June when the commission ordered a number of short-term modifications required of utilities, including steps to expedite applications and approvals. The pilot program would focus on 15 community microgrids built within the service territories of Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.
Ormat buys 80-MWh California energy storage facility
Energy Storage News – July 27
Ormat Technologies has acquired a 20-MW/80-MWh Pomona battery energy storage facility, in operation in California since a fast-track process brought it online in partial response to the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak. The company’s affiliate Ormat Nevada Inc. purchased the facility from AtlaGas Holdings for a total consideration of $47 million.
Goldman Sachs Renewable Power acquires 123-MW solar project from First Solar
Solar Power World – July 23
Goldman Sachs Renewable Power, a private company managed by the Renewable Power Group of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, purchased the 123-MW AC American Kings Solar project from First Solar in a transaction that closed at the end of June 2020. Located in Kings County, the project is backed by a 15-year power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison, and it is scheduled to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020.
New Mexico approves 100% renewable replacement for San Juan coal capacity
Utility Dive – July 30
New Mexico regulators this Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to add renewable energy and storage to replace a portion of the San Juan Generating Station's capacity owned by Public Service Company of New Mexico. The portfolio includes 650 MW of new solar resources and 300 MW of battery storage, totaling over $1 billion in investments within the districts impacted by the San Juan plant closure. A 100% renewables portfolio was the only replacement option that fully satisfied the state's Energy Transition Act, passed last year, which requires the state to make an economically just transition to 100% carbon-free energy by 2045, Public Regulation Commissioner Cynthia Hall told Utility Dive.
More big batteries coming to the West, as EDF Renewables nabs deal with NV Energy
Greentech Media – July 29
EDF Renewables plans to build a 200-MW solar plant with a 180-MW/720-MWh battery for Nevada utility NV Energy, the developer announced this Wednesday, adding to the growing list of large solar-and-storage projects under construction within the state and the broader region. Even at that size, the project will only barely make it onto the list of the 10 largest batteries in the U.S., based on Wood Mackenzie’s database tracking confirmed project details. Such projects have become increasingly common in the U.S., especially in the West and Southwest. Also this Wednesday, regulators in New Mexico approved 650 MW of solar and 300 MW of storage to replace electricity that the San Juan Generating Station now delivers to Public Service Company of New Mexico.
World’s ‘largest behind-the-meter solar project’ breaks ground in Nevada
PV-Tech – July 23
Technology infrastructure company Switch and asset management firm Capital Dynamics have announced the groundbreaking of three developments in Nevada, one of which is claimed to be the largest behind-the-meter solar project in the world. All three projects comprise Switch’s Gigawatt 1 initiative, which will soon generate 555 MW of solar power and 800 MWh of battery storage. According to the companies, their project in Storey County, Nevada, will be “the largest behind-the-meter solar project in the world,” producing 127 MW and including a 240-MWh battery storage system.
Rambler Solar project begins commercial operation
Solar Industry Magazine – July 23
Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, says its 200-MW AC Rambler Solar project in Tom Green County, Texas, has begun commercial operation. The development is the second 200-MW AC Texas solar facility that Duke Energy Renewables has brought online this year, bringing its total Texas solar portfolio to over 500 MW AC in operation.