Renewable Energy Update -- October 17, 2012

by Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

Solar VC funding plummets

PV-Magazine - Oct 8

According to the latest figures, venture capital (VC) funding in the solar industry has plummeted in Q3 2012, leading it to become the first sub-$100 million quarter since 2008 for the industry. On a positive note, solar leasing is said to be strong.

U.S. Military Sticks to its Guns with Large Renewable Installations

Pike Research Blog - Oct 11

The U.S. military is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to deploying cleantech for military applications (including facilities, vehicles, and soldier power). The application with the most firepower is medium-to-large-scale installations – up to 12 megawatts (MW) – at U.S. bases – with biomass, solar PV, wind, and geothermal expected to be the primary sources of renewable energy.

Solyndra Sues Suntech Holdings Over Antitrust Claims

Bloomberg News - Oct 11

Solyndra LLC, the bankrupt solar- panel maker that received a $535 million U.S. government loan guarantee, accused Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) and other Chinese companies of running an illegal cartel that destroyed it. Solyndra, which sought bankruptcy protection in August 2011, is seeking compensation “for the loss of the $1.5 billion value of its business and more which defendants destroyed,” lawyers for the company said in a complaint filed last week in federal court in San Francisco.

How the U.S. Is Getting More Hydropower without Building a Single New Dam

Clean Technica - Oct 10

The U.S. has 2,400 hydropower dams, many of which sport out-of-date generating equipment that is, well, generations old. That’s the bad news. The good news is, it all adds up to the potential for a massive energy efficiency upgrade program that could significantly boost U.S. hydropower generation without the monumental expense and environmental disruption involved in new dam construction.

California lowers hurdles for geothermal ground-loop technology

North Bay Business Journal - Oct 8

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 2339 into law on Sept. 27, a bill designed to identify and eliminate legal and statutory impediments affecting the adoption and use of geothermal heat pump (GHP) and geothermal ground loop technologies.

Impact Sonoma: Mike Rogers, Calpine Geothermal Operations

North Bay Business Journal - Oct 8

Calpine is the largest operator of geothermal power plants at The Geysers, a 45-square-mile area in northern Sonoma County where ambient underground heat is close enough to the surface to generate steam from groundwater. Calpine produces enough power there to satisfy the needs of San Francisco, or 60 percent of the needs of the North Coast. Mike Rogers, senior vice president of Calpine Geothermal Operations, answers questions about geothermal power generation.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

Wells Fargo Announces Financing for 11.3 MW New Mexico Solar Project

eSolar Energy News - Oct 10

Wells Fargo & Company announced last week it has provided project financing for an 11.3 megawatt (MW) solar project developed by Sun Edison LLC, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials. Located in southern New Mexico near El Paso, Texas, this is the sixth SunEdison utility scale solar project funded by Wells Fargo in the past year.

SunPower takes 42% stake in Australia's Diamond Energy

Recharge News - Oct 10

US solar panel maker SunPower has acquired a 42% stake in Australian renewables developer Diamond Energy. Diamond Energy currently operates two biogas plants and develops wind and solar projects. It also sells energy that it acquires via power-purchase agreements with third parties to residential and commercial customers.

BLM approves Wild Rose project of Ormat in Nevada

Think Geo Energy News - Oct 9

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office, has completed the final Environmental Assessment and issued a Decision Record for the Ormat Nevada, Inc. Wild Rose Geothermal Project. The analyses included the construction and operation of an associated transmission line to bring electricity to market. The project is located in Gabbs Valley approximately 17 miles west of Gabbs, Nevada, in Mineral County.

U.S. Approves 3,000 Megawatts of Wind-Power Projects in Wyoming

Bloomberg News - Oct 9

The U.S. has approved the development of two wind-power projects in Wyoming that may generate as much as 3,000 megawatts, enough electricity for almost 1 million homes. The Bureau of Land Management authorized site-specific environmental analysis to begin at the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre projects in southeastern Wyoming.

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William R. Devine
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Emily L. Murray
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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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