General Electric to demolish California power plant 20 years early
Reuters – June 21
General Electric Co. said last Friday that it plans to demolish a 750-megawatt natural gas-fired plant it owns in California, known as the Inland Empire Energy Center, this year after only one-third of its useful life because the plant is no longer economically viable in a state where wind and solar supply a growing share of inexpensive electricity. GE is selling the California power plant site to a company that makes battery storage, which is increasingly used to make wind and solar power available when needed, replacing the need for some fossil fuel plants.
Ventura County cities plan return to Southern California Edison for some energy accounts
Ventura County Star - June 23
Cities across Ventura County are moving some energy accounts back to Southern California Edison, the investor-owned utility they left in pursuit of greener power. They say the change is to avoid paying higher energy rates, which for many agencies amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars more in annual bills were they to remain with Clean Power Alliance (CPA). The joint powers authority formed in 2017 in part with the goal of procuring renewable energy at a lower cost. CPA says the bill increases, which impact its highest 1 percent of users, were partially propelled by a series of rate hikes by Edison and a spike in exit fees charged by California's Public Utility Commission on its customers. CPA also didn't take fully into account that its moderate climate would generate less revenue when compared with Edison's much larger service area, which includes hotter communities that generate high summer bills, officials said.
California regulators propose 2 GW of new peak capacity to address reliability concerns
Utility Dive - June 26
California regulators have launched a "procurement track" to address potential reliability questions between 2019 and 2024, including whether there are sufficient resources to meet the state's peak system reliability needs. The ruling proposes that load serving entities procure, on an all-source basis, proportional shares of 2,000 megawatts of peak capacity statewide. Resources could be renewables, storage, demand response, energy efficiency, and other distributed energy resources.
NV Energy announces huge solar-plus-storage procurement
Greentech Media - June 25
NV Energy one-upped its huge 2018 solar and storage procurement on Tuesday, announcing three new solar projects totaling 1,200 megawatts paired with 590 megawatts of battery storage. When built, one of the projects — at 690 megawatts — will be the largest solar plant in the U.S., according to tracking from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The three solar-plus-storage projects, developed by 8minute Solar Energy, EDF Renewables, and Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and Arevia Power, should be complete by 2023. Two will be built on the Moapa Band of Paiutes Indian River Reservation, in partnership with the tribe.
East Bay Community Energy approves solar and wind deals
Solar Industry Magazine – June 24
The East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors has approved two power purchase agreements for a combined 157.5 megawatts from new wind and solar facilities, along with 30 megawatts of battery energy storage. EBCE, a community choice energy aggregation program serving most of Alameda County, approved the following contracts: a 20-year agreement to purchase 57.5 megawatts of wind from the Altamont Winds project in Alameda County and a 20-year agreement to purchase 100 megawatts of solar and 30 megawatts of energy storage from the Sonrisa Solar Park in Fresno County.
SunPower installs 2.6-MW PV pipeline at Whole Foods stores
PV-Tech – June 25
SunPower has installed 2.6 megawatts of PV projects at eight Whole Foods Market locations across California and Nevada, with one site combining with an integrated storage system. With these PV installations, each Whole Foods grocer is expected to replace 25 percent of traditional grid energy use on average. An additional 2 megawatts are planned across another 11 stores in California, which are expected to be completed and operational by early 2020.
Duke Energy solar project achieves commercial operation
Commercial Property Executive – June 20
Duke Energy Renewables’ 150-megawatt North Rosamond solar project in Kern County has begun commercial operation. The facility is the largest solar project in the energy operator’s fleet and the sixth solar generation facility in the county. North Rosamond consists of more than 477,000 solar panels spread across 1,188 acres. The energy it generates, estimated to power approximately 71,000 homes, is sold to Southern California Edison under a 15-year PPA.