Renewable Energy Update - June 2018

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California leads in new ranking of top performing solar projects

GREENTECH MEDIA - Jun 1 A first of its kind data set from kWh Analytics ranking production at individual solar power plants around the country indicates that California and the Southwest still have the upper hand in solar energy output. California in particular far outpaced any competition. Among the top 10 solar states by highest-performing projects, 43 of the 70 plants were located in California. KWh Analytics also divided the rankings between tracker and fixed-tilt sites as trackers can increase a facility’s yield by 20 percent. According to the analysis, the top-producing tracker projects produced at least 2,180 megawatts-hours/megawatt peak, while the top fixed-tilt projects produced a minimum of just 1,500 megawatt-hours/megawatt peak. The use of trackers remains more common in the Southwest and South, offering those projects an edge in output.

Solar now providing almost 2% of country’s electrical production

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - May 29 Renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind) accounted for 19.2 percent of net domestic electrical generation during the first quarter of 2018, according to a new SUN DAY Campaign analysis of data recently released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to the report, wind power accounted for 7.8 percent of total electrical generation during the first three months of this year, exceeding that produced by hydropower (7.6 percent). Solar alone (utility-scale and distributed PV) is now providing 1.8 percent of the nation’s electrical production. Moreover, the net electrical generation by solar (utility-scale and distributed PV) during the first quarter more than doubled that of utility-scale oil-fired facilities (those using petroleum liquids and petroleum coke), the report says.

California electric car culture to cheaply cook the duck curve

PV MAGAZINE - May 30 Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have done the math on California’s 1.5 million zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and found that the cars’ batteries can meet the goals of the state’s 1.3-gigawatt energy storage mandates by absorbing a healthy amount of daytime overproduction and mitigating the early evening duck curve ramp. The report predicts the average car battery rating at 72 kWh in 2025. The authors assume electric vehicle owners are able to charge at home 100 percent of the time, with 60 percent of EVs being able to charge at work. If there are 1,500,000 pure electric vehicles on the road in 2025, with 72 KWh each, this will total 108 GWh of energy storage.

Solar is starting to replace the largest coal plant in the western U.S.

FAST COMPANY - May 30 In the desert near Arizona’s border with Utah on the Navajo Nation, a massive solar array built in 2017 now provides power for around 18,000 Navajo homes. Nearby, construction will begin later this year on a second solar plant. And on another corner of Navajo land, the largest coal plant west of the Mississippi River, the Navajo Generating Station, is preparing to close 25 years ahead of schedule, despite some last-minute attempts to save it. The coal plant was built in the 1970s to provide power to growing populations in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. A nearby coal mine supplies the power plant with coal. As recently as 2014, the coal plant wasn’t expected to close until 2044, a date negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce air pollution. But reduced demand for coal, driven both by economics and climate action, means that the plant is scheduled to close in 2019 instead.

River City Bank doubles down on renewable energy with new bank division

SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL - May 24 Sacramento-based River City Bank launched a new division this week to support clean energy industry clients throughout California. The bank has already been serving the clean energy industry for some time. Its clients include 12 of the state's 16 so-called community choice aggregation (CCA) programs. CCA programs allow electricity customers in areas served by investor-owned utilities to choose cleaner energy alternatives.

German energy storage company Sonnen gets $70 million backing from Shell

ENERGY MANAGER TODAY - May 24 Sonnen, a supplier of residential energy storage solutions, has announced the closing of its latest financing round of $70.4 million, led by Shell Ventures. This new round of funding will help the German company accelerate growth in markets such as the United States and Australia. This move by Shell falls in line with its mission to invest up to $1 billion each year in energy technology, which it announced in 2017.

8minutenergy, NV Energy to build largest solar project ever on tribal land

SOLAR POWER WORLD - May 31 8minutenergy has been chosen by NV Energy to develop the 300-MW (420 MW-dc) Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm in Clark County, Nevada. The project will be built on the Moapa River Indian Reservation about 30 miles north of Las Vegas, and will be the largest solar installation to date built on tribal land. Eagle Shadow Mountain will also be the largest solar PV project ever built for NV Energy, as part of its latest tranche of renewable projects totaling over 1 gigawatt.

Amazon installs 17 rooftop solar projects in 14 months

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - May 29 Bringing the company another step closer to its goal of powering its global operations footprint with 100 percent renewable energy, Amazon has launched a 1.1-megawatt solar rooftop installation on its North Las Vegas fulfillment center. The solar project represents Amazon’s second in the state of Nevada, as well as the company’s 17th rooftop solar installation over the past 14 months in the U.S.

Salt River Project launches first standalone storage project

UTILITY DIVE - May 30 Arizona's Salt River Project (SRP) power company has launched the state's first stand-alone battery storage project to provide flexible peaking capacity. To learn more about grid-scale battery storage ahead of larger-scale possible deployments, the company made a power purchase agreement with AES, which will operate a 10-megawatt, standalone four-hour battery purchased from Fluence 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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