BLM approves construction of large California solar projects
E&E News – June 13
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has authorized construction work to begin on two solar projects in Southern California, which would be the first built within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan area. The region includes 10.8 million acres of federal lands evaluated by the Obama administration in 2016 and deemed suitable for utility-scale renewable energy development. If built, the Arica and Victory Pass projects would collectively produce up to 465 MW of electricity — enough to power more than 130,000 homes.
Officials say California’s proposed 5 GW reserve could be heavy on gas
Utility Dive – June 13
A large portion of California’s proposed “strategic electricity reliability reserve” – a 5,000 MW pool designed to help the state bolster its power grid – could be natural gas-fired generation, California Independent System Operator (CAISO) regulators said at a briefing last Thursday. CAISO has determined that the state is currently facing an estimated 1,700 MW capacity shortfall compared to meeting industry reliability standards. That figure could be as high as 5,000 MW if California experiences simultaneous extreme events, like regional heatwaves and large wildfires.
Oceanside to join Clean Energy Alliance
The San Diego Union-Tribune – June 12
Oceanside will be the next new member of the Clean Energy Alliance (CEA), a group of North County cities that buy their power from sources other than the San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E). So far the alliance includes Solana Beach, Del Mar, Carlsbad, San Marcos, and Escondido. Vista is expected to formally approve its participation at a meeting June 28. San Clemente, an Orange County city served by SDG&E, also reportedly has discussed joining the CEA.
How a battery shortage is hampering the U.S. switch to wind, solar power
Reuters – June 9
At least a dozen storage projects meant to support growing renewable energy supplies have been postponed, canceled, or renegotiated as labor and transport bottlenecks, soaring mineral prices, and competition from the electric vehicle industry crimp supply. The delays span states including California, Hawaii, and Georgia, with battery providers including Tesla and Fluence warning of disruptions to supply, according to a review of regulatory documents, corporate statements, and interviews with project developers and power providers.
Fishermen join forces amid Humboldt County offshore wind development
Times-Standard – June 11
A recently formed association, the California Fishermen’s Resiliency Association, is seeking to afford some protection to those who will lose access to commercial fishing grounds as the state and country transition to running on renewable energy like offshore wind. The association is a point of contact for offshore wind developers, with whom the association wants to develop industry-to-industry contracts called fishing community benefit agreements that will ensure harm to California’s community fishing grounds is minimized and mitigated.
First 100% renewable multi-customer microgrid online in California
Energy Storage News – June 10
A front-of-meter microgrid combining 2.2 MW of solar PV with a 9 MWh battery has gone online in Humboldt County, which its developers claim is the first of its kind. The Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid will provide energy resilience for 19 customer groups including the California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport and U.S. Coast Guard Air Station.
DOE confirms $504M loan to 300 GWh Utah hydrogen energy storage hub
Energy Storage News – June 9
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office has closed on a $504.4 million loan guarantee for the planned Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project in Utah. Project information from Mitsubishi Power Americas said the hub would take excess renewable energy from sources to create hydrogen, which will then be used as fuel in a combined cycle power plant by Utah utility cooperative Intermountain Power Agency.
Xcel to begin Colorado Power Pathways permitting
Daily Camera – June 10
Xcel Energy Inc. won regulatory approval this month from the Colorado Public Utility Commission to begin in earnest its Colorado Power Pathways project, a $1.7-billion, 500-plus-mile electrical transmission line across wide swaths of the state. The purpose of the transmission line is to connect areas of the state where much of the renewable energy is generated to the highly populated areas around Denver and Colorado Springs.