Biden administration unveils offshore wind plan for California
Los Angeles Times – May 25
The federal government plans to open more than 250,000 acres off the California coast to wind development, the Biden administration announced Tuesday, as part of a major effort to ramp up the nation’s renewable energy and cut its climate-warming emissions. Under the plan, the administration would allow wind power projects to be built in federal waters off the coast of Central California northwest of Morro Bay, as well as at a second location west of Humboldt Bay. Officials estimate that the two areas combined could generate 4,600 MW of electricity — enough to power 1.6 million homes.
California mulls 11.5-GW procurement package to bolster grid after Diablo Canyon, natural gas plants retire
Utility Dive – May 25
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has prepared two proposals for regulators to choose from to address the state’s challenge of maintaining a reliable power grid after the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and a suite of natural gas facilities are retired in the coming years. Both proposed decisions — one from Administrative Law Judge Julie Fitch and the other from Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen — require load-serving entities to procure at least 11,500 MW of capacity in the next few years, divided into the following increments: 3,000 MW by 2023, 4,500 MW by 2024, 2,000 MW by 2025, and another 2,000 MW by 2026. Half of the last procurement package will need to come from long-duration storage and half from some other kind of firm or dispatchable zero-emission resource.
Record 462 GW of solar capacity seeking grid interconnection across the U.S.
PV-Tech – May 25
A record amount of solar capacity and energy storage is currently in U.S. transmission interconnection queues, according to a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. At 462 GW, solar accounts for most of the total generator capacity in the queues, which reached a record of more than 755 GW and an estimated 200 GW of storage capacity at the end of 2020. Solar capacity in the queues is distributed across most regions, including most notably PJM (89 GW), the non-ISO West (88 GW), ERCOT (65 GW), MISO (64 GW), Southeast (57 GW), and CAISO (47 GW).
CIM Group’s 250-MW Aquamarine solar project set for completion this fall
Solar Power World – May 24
CIM Group’s 250-MW Aquamarine solar photovoltaic project, part of the first phase of its Westlands Solar Park (WSP), will be fully operational by fall 2021. The project is on track to meet its contracted delivery of 50 MW of capacity to Valley Clean Energy Alliance, which executed a contract with WSP in early 2020. Valley Clean Energy is a locally-governed electricity provider for the cities of Davis, Woodland, Winters, and unincorporated portions of Yolo County.
LBUSD installing solar canopies at 21 campuses to achieve sustainability
Press-Telegram – May 25
The Long Beach Unified School District, in an effort to achieve energy sustainability, is two-thirds of the way done in a project to install solar canopies at 21 elementary and middle school campuses, with a goal of offsetting carbon dioxide emissions equal to millions of pounds of burned coal. The district has partnered with Standard Solar Inc., a private company that owns and operates the canopies, to install them.
State Fund breaks ground on California solar+storage project
Solar Industry Magazine – May 20
State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund), a California-based provider of workers’ compensation insurance, says construction has begun on a sustainability and solar energy program that includes solar, electric vehicle charging stations, and energy storage at seven locations throughout the state. Designed and constructed by ENGIE North America, through its affiliate ENGIE Services U.S. Inc., and JLL, State Fund will install 9.8 MW of solar, 2 MW/4.3 MWh of energy storage, and 150 Level II and DC charging stations, saving nearly $65,000,000 in energy costs over the life of the project.
Ameresco to break ground on solar and storage microgrid at Fort Hunter Liggett
Microgrid Knowledge – May 26
Ameresco is building a $21.6 million microgrid project at Fort Hunter Liggett in Jolon (Monterey County), California. Set to break ground May 27, the project is designed to help the 165,000-acre training center achieve net zero energy by 2022, while also fulfilling Army directives to achieve critical mission resiliency. The microgrid, designed and installed by Ameresco, adds 3.75 MW of solar and 5 MWh of battery energy storage to the training facility.