It is not all sunshine in California’s rooftop solar industry
Governing – May 20
California lawmakers and utility company regulators are weighing whether to sharply reduce bill credits that residents with solar panels attached to their homes receive in exchange for excess energy they generate. Officials are also considering imposing a new monthly charge on rooftop solar panels, as well as other changes to the program known as net energy metering. The debate is playing out on multiple fronts. The most immediate is AB1139, which needs to pass out of a key fiscal Assembly committee by Friday to advance through the Legislature.
New coalition aims to commercialize recyclability of wind turbine blades
North American Windpower – May 17
A group of industry and academic leaders has developed a new technology to enable circularity for thermoset composites, the material used to make wind turbine blades. According to the coalition, this marks the final technological step towards a fully recyclable wind turbine value chain. A new initiative entitled Circular Economy for Thermosets Epoxy Composites, partly funded by Innovation Fund Denmark and spearheaded by Vestas, is aiming to present a solution ready for industrial adoption within three years, based on the commercialization of the novel circularity technology.
Extreme heat may cause energy shortfalls in California this summer as solar output falls, NERC warns
PV-Tech – May 17
California could be at risk of energy shortfalls this summer because of above-normal temperatures impacting solar output, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has warned. The organization, which monitors and assesses the reliability of the nation’s bulk power system, said up to 11 GW of additional transfers are expected to be needed in late afternoon to offset reduced solar output in California this summer, in contrast to 1 GW of transfer needed on a normal peak day. The projections follow a 2020 wildfire season in California that scorched more than 4.2 million acres of land and damaged or destroyed over 10,000 structures. While solar PV’s efficiency drops during extreme temperatures, output was also affected by airborne particles from wildfires blocking out sunlight.
San Diego’s community energy program to enroll residential customers starting in early 2022
The San Diego Union-Tribune – May 17
San Diego Community Power (SDCP), the five-city community choice energy program that offers an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric when it comes to sources of power, will stagger its rollout for residential customers starting in February 2022. SDCP also finalized the contract for its first regional renewable energy project and expects to sign two more deals later this month. SDCP is the second CCA to begin operations this year in the San Diego area.
California coalition aims to make hydrogen power cost-competitive by 2030
Utility Dive – May 17
HyDeal Los Angeles, a green hydrogen initiative launched in Los Angeles on Monday, aims to bring the cost of hydrogen fuel to $1.50/kg by 2030. At that price, to achieve 100% renewable energy, blended electricity from a hydrogen-fueled turbine and long term low cost wind and solar PPAs could run about $35/MWh. In the project’s first phase, set to take place over the next three months, the partners plan to identify potential industrial-scale applications for green hydrogen in the L.A. Basin and develop an infrastructure plan to connect them to hydrogen production and storage.
WattEV plans 25-MW electric truck stop microgrid
Microgrid Knowledge – May 17
Startup company WattEV plans to build a 25-MW microgrid in Bakersfield, which would host chargers for electric trucks. The project is designed to support electric truck transport between California’s Central Valley and Southern California’s ports and shipping hubs, according to the company. The company plans to start the microgrid at 4 MW and expand it to 25 MW with more than 40 charging bays.
Google launching geothermal project in Nevada
Las Vegas Review-Journal – May 19
Google is expanding its clean power commitment in Nevada, launching a “first-of-its-kind, next-generation” geothermal project, the company announced this Tuesday. The initiative, announced during an annual developer conference, will add carbon-free energy to the electric grid that serves Google’s data centers and infrastructure throughout Nevada, including the company’s Cloud region in Las Vegas.