U.S. energy department plans to boost rooftop solar installations with instant permits
Engadget – July 16
As part of President Joe Biden’s goal of decarbonizing the nation’s power grid by 2035, the Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it is rolling out a new tool that will make it easier and faster to get a permit for a rooftop solar installation. The cost of solar has plunged 90% over the past decade, but permit-related costs can take up to a third of the price of a rooftop installation.
Microsoft is changing the way it buys renewable energy
The Verge – July 14
Since 2012, Microsoft has purchased enough renewable energy to match how much electricity it uses to power its operations globally. But Microsoft isn’t actually running on renewables 100% of the time. The company’s clean energy purchases don’t necessarily connect to the same electricity grids that the company uses. That could change if Microsoft is successful in its new goal. By 2030, it wants to make sure that its clean energy purchases are actually feeding into the local grids where it operates.
Plummeting reservoir levels could soon force Oroville hydropower offline
Los Angeles Times – July 21
According to state water officials, the Edward Hyatt Powerplant at Lake Oroville could go offline as soon as August or September amid worsening drought conditions. The plant, which opened in the late 1960s, has never been forced offline by low lake levels before. The Hyatt power plant is designed to produce up to 750 MW of power but typically produces between 100 and 400 MW, depending on lake levels.
FERC issues preliminary permit for 2.65-GW pumped hydro storage plant in Washington
Energy Storage News – July 20
A proposed 2,650-MW pumped hydro energy storage project in Washington has received a preliminary permit from FERC. Developer Daybreak Power announced this week that its $4.9 billion Halverson Canyon Pumped Storage project received the favorable regulatory decision just before the end of June. The project would be built about 35 miles upstream from the Columbia River’s Grand Coulee Dam, and Daybreak said it would enable the integration and delivery of wind and solar power from Montana and other Northwestern areas, delivering electricity to Seattle, Portland, and across the region.
Solar farms growing in Tulare County
The Sun Gazette – July 21
At its July 14 meeting, the Tulare County Planning Commission unanimously approved a permit for a new solar farm in Angiola, a small community south of Corcoran. The energy generated by the panels is enough to power about 1,200 homes and will be connected directly to a PG&E powerline. Faced with the bleak prospects of drought and groundwater pumping regulations, many south county land owners are selling former farmland for use as solar farms. In May, the Planning Commission approved an 80-MW system, which will produce enough energy to power about 600 homes. Earlier during that same meeting, the commission also granted a two-year extension of time for a similar sized project near Terra Bella.
Calpine, GE inaugurate 20-MW standalone storage system in California
Renewables Now – July 22
Calpine Corporation announced on Wednesday that it had finalized the 20-MW/80-MWh Santa Ana Storage Project in Southern California. Calpine’s technology partner on the project was GE Renewable Energy.
Morongo tribe partners with Southern California Edison on upgrade to transmission lines
Desert Sun – July 20
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians plans to use existing Southern California Edison (SCE) power lines, a section of which cross its reservation in Banning, to help connect solar, wind, and battery resources to the regional power grid. The tribe’s involvement is part of a broader effort from SCE to deliver more renewable power to the Southern California region. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians said in a press release that it is the first Native American tribe in the country to be approved as a participating transmission owner, or an entity that owns or operates power lines.