FERC proposes transmission rating reform and upholds PURPA order
Utility Dive – November 20
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last Thursday upheld its order overhauling its implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), and issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reform transmission line ratings. Transmission and clean energy advocates were pleased with the commission's action on line ratings, considered a "tool stuck in limbo" that could help renewables waiting in long interconnection queues connect to the grid, while improving the overall efficiency of transmission lines. Meanwhile, the solar industry was frustrated by the commission's decision to uphold its controversial PURPA rule.
California seeks quick fixes to prevent blackouts next summer
Greentech Media – November 23
California utility regulators want to avoid a repeat of the rolling blackouts that hit during August's record heat wave in time for next summer. Last Thursday's order instituting rulemaking from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is asking utilities and other stakeholders to weigh in with ideas. Stakeholders will have a chance to propose rule changes and new programs, either to increase electricity supply or lower grid demand during the critical late afternoon and early evening hours by summer next year. The CPUC isn't looking for a particular megawatt amount; that is up to participants to suggest. About 2.4 GW of resources are scheduled to come online by August 2021. But state grid operator California Independent System Operator may need more than that to meet its federally mandated contingency reserve requirement during another "extreme heat event," the CPUC noted.
Calpine subsidiary to pay California $2.1 million in settlement over alleged fire system violations
North Bay Business Journal – November 16
The primary power plant operator at The Geysers geothermal field on the Sonoma-Lake county border will pay more than $2 million to the state to settle alleged violations related to fire protection systems at six of its power plants in the region. In addition to the payment, the Geysers Power Co., a subsidiary of Houston-based Calpine Corp., was required to make upgrades to the involved power facilities, according to the California Energy Commission, which announced the deal last Monday.
San Jose invests in wind energy from New Mexico
San Jose Spotlight – November 23
By the end of 2021, thousands of San Jose homes will be powered by renewable wind energy — generated by a fleet of turbines 1,000 miles away in New Mexico. Since its launch in 2019, San Jose Clean Energy, the city’s electricity supplier, has invested in renewable energy such as solar and battery storage but the new 15-year partnership marks its first wind investment. The partnership with Pattern Energy will provide 225 MW of power to San Jose generated by 85 to 90 wind turbines in New Mexico. New Mexico will also get a share of the new supply.
US Solar Fund puts 128-MW Utah solar park online
Renewables Now – November 23
US Solar Fund PLC this week announced that the final project in its portfolio, the 128-MW Milford solar farm in Utah, has reached commercial operation date. The solar farm has a 25-year PPA with PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.
Broad Reach Power expands into California with Enel project acquisition
Energy Storage News – November 23
Broad Reach Power has made the first of “several planned expansions” into California’s market for energy storage, acquiring the 25-MW/100-MWh Cascade Energy Storage project in Stockton from a subsidiary of European energy major Enel. Company officials said construction should being next year for Cascade to be completed and commissioned during 2022.
Invenergy kick-starts 1.3-GW Texas PV giant
PV-Tech – November 18
Google and Honda will be among the offtakers of a 1,310-MW PV project to be constructed by Invenergy that will become the largest solar generation facility in the U.S. upon completion. Currently under development in northeast Texas, the Samson Solar Energy Center will be constructed in five phases over the next three years. The full facility is slated to be operational in 2023. The announcement sees Samson take the title of largest planned U.S. solar project from the Gemini facility, a 690-MW development under construction in Nevada that will also feature 380 MW/1,400 MWh of battery energy storage.