Renewable Energy Update -- October 9, 2012

by Allen Matkins
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Renewable Energy Focus

Insight: Delays dog U.S. government loans to green energy projects

Reuters News - Oct 2

A year after the U.S. government raced to meet a deadline to finish loan agreements with dozens of clean energy companies, less than half the total money promised has been handed over. Technical questions and companies' own failures in hitting contractual milestones are behind some of the holdups. But government officials fearful of taking a risk on firms that could collapse may have also caused some of the delays. The political firestorm after the failure of Solyndra, a solar panel maker that went bankrupt last year after receiving more than $527 million in a government loan, may have made the authorities wary, industry experts and investors say.

Insight: Delays dog U.S. government loans to green energy projects

Reuters News - Oct 2

A year after the U.S. government raced to meet a deadline to finish loan agreements with dozens of clean energy companies, less than half the total money promised has been handed over. Technical questions and companies' own failures in hitting contractual milestones are behind some of the holdups. But government officials fearful of taking a risk on firms that could collapse may have also caused some of the delays. The political firestorm after the failure of Solyndra, a solar panel maker that went bankrupt last year after receiving more than $527 million in a government loan, may have made the authorities wary, industry experts and investors say.

Chinese-Owned Firm Sues Obama Over Wind-Farm Project

Wall Street Journal - Oct 2

The Chinese executives that President Barack Obama blocked from acquiring wind-farm projects in Oregon challenged the rare rejection with a lawsuit last week alleging that the president acted unconstitutionally. The suit faces an uphill path, but raises the question of whether presidential decisions on national-security matters should be subject to review by the courts.

Benefits to Finding New Ways To Finance Solar Power Projects

Solar Thermal Magazine - Oct 1

Renewable Energy Trust Capital, Inc. (RET) is exploring new ways to finance solar power projects. One of those strategies, using the REIT structure, anticipates lowering the cost of capital dramatically, cutting the cost of generating solar power by up to 20 percent. It would also expand the investor pool by giving everyone from individuals to institutions an easy and liquid way to own a piece of the fast-growing solar market.

Chevron Announces Re-Entry into US Geothermal Market

Renewable Energy World - Oct 3

Chevron announced last week that the company is re-entering the US geothermal power market after an absence of some years.

Restraining order non-starter, Ocotillo windmill project to continue

National Wind Watch - Oct 1

U.S. District Court judge William Hayes dismissed a request for a restraining order against the Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Project late last week. He found that the plaintiffs, CARES (Community Advocates for Renewable Energy Stewardship) lacked standing in the case. Ocotillo residents and other groups, including Native Americans, had been attempting to halt the construction of 112 towers, each 452 feet tall, in the valley surrounding the village.

Deepwater Wind Files Final Federal, State Permits for Block Island Wind Farm

Clean Technica - Oct 4

Investing more than $7 million of private capital in conducting what it says is “the most thorough study ever conducted of a U.S. offshore wind farm,” Deepwater Wind announced it has submitted its final state and federal permit applications for the Block Island Wind Farm.

SEC sues Sunrise Solar

My San Antonio Local Business News - Oct 2

A one-time San Antonio-based penny-stock firm that billed itself as being in the solar power business has been sued by securities regulators. Sunrise Solar Corp., along with former Chairman and CEO Eddie D. Austin Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Austin, are accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of committing securities violations. The SEC suspended Sunrise Solar from trading in June 2009, citing concerns about the accuracy of statements in news releases about the company's business prospects.

Vestas Wind to Consolidate U.S. Research in Colorado

Bloomberg News - Oct 4

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the world’s largest producer of wind turbines, is consolidating its U.S. research-and-development operations into a single site in Brighton, Colorado, as part of a global push to centralize design efforts. The company is closing facilities in Houston, Louisville, Colorado, and Marlborough, Massachusetts, and affected employees have the option of transferring to Brighton.

Suzlon sues Edison unit over payment for turbines to Big Sky

National Wind Watch - Sep 29

Suzlon Energy Ltd., the Indian wind-turbine maker seeking an extension on debt repayments, has filed a lawsuit against a unit of Edison International claiming its improperly refusing to make a pre-payment for turbines supplied to a U.S. wind farm.

New Source of Geothermal Energy in Western U.S.

Utah Government Commerce News - Sep 28

Discovery of a new type of geothermal energy resource in Utah offers hope for significantly more potential across the western U.S., and a boost in geothermal power production.

Solar energy not among Hawaii's top three renewable resources

Biz Journal - Energy & Environment News - Oct 1

Can you guess what renewable energy resource is leading the way in Hawaii? If you guessed solar energy, which has gotten much of the attention in the state, you’re wrong. And it’s not in second or third place, for that matter.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

PSEG Queen Creek Solar Farm in Arizona Begins Commercial Operation

eSolar Energy News - Oct 4

PSEG Solar Source today announced the commercial operation of the 25.2 megawatt DC (19 megawatt AC) Queen Creek Solar Farm in Queen Creek, Arizona. Salt River Project (SRP) has a 20-year agreement to acquire all of the solar energy generated by the project and has begun accepting power from the plant.

Sumitomo Buys 25% Stake in 550-Megawatt First Solar Project

Bloomberg News - Oct 2

Sumitomo Corp., Japan’s third-largest trading house, bought 25 percent of a power project First Solar Inc. (FSLR) is building in southern California to expand its renewable- energy portfolio. Sumitomo acquired the stake from General Electric Co. (GE), which jointly owns the 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight solar farm with NextEra Energy Inc.

Cleantech company 3M begins acquisition of Ceradyne

New Energy World Network - Oct 2

Cleantech-focused 3M and solar company Ceradyne have entered a definitive agreement which will see 3M buy Ceradyne for $35 per share. Once complete, the transaction could reach around $860m or $670m net of cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and debt acquired.

Can China Save Silicon Valley's Struggling Solar Technology?

Forbes Energy News - Oct 1

MiaSolé, the Silicon solar startup that raised close to half a billion dollars from top venture capitalists to develop advanced photovoltaic technology, is being sold to Chinese renewable energy conglomerate Hanergy for $30 million.

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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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