Renewable Energy Update - September 2017

by Allen Matkins
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Renewable Energy Focus

How states will hit 100 percent clean energy

Scientific American - Sep 5 California Democratic leaders want their state to commit to a future of 100 percent renewable electricity, a goal approved so far by only one U.S. state—Hawaii. In California, legislation offered by state Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León (D) provides a two-tiered approach to hitting the 100 percent mark. Senate Bill 100 (SB 100) mandates that utilities make 60 percent of their energy from renewables by 2030. The remaining 40 percent of power falls under a "zero-carbon" requirement, with a deadline in 2045. Electricity sellers could meet the mandate with large-scale hydroelectric power, which isn't allowed under the renewable portfolio standard rule. It also allows room for future technologies, supporters said. California's Legislature is expected to shortly take up SB 100. The Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed the measure and sent it to the chamber floor.

California utilities led U.S. energy storage deployments once again in 2016

Energy Storage News - Sep 6 California’s main utilities led the way in 2016 for U.S. state-by-state deployment of energy storage, with Southern California Edison installing as much as 40 percent of the national total, according to a new survey conducted by Smart Power Electric Alliance. The three main investor-owned utilities in California have a mandate under Assembly Bill 2514 to connect 1.325 gigawatts of behind-the-meter energy storage by 2024 between them, with another 500 megawatts added a few months ago by Governor Jerry Brown. Those three utilities, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and San Diego Gas & Electric, were the country’s leaders among those utilities surveyed for deployment by megawatt-hour.

UC Berkeley examines diversity of California’s clean energy workforce

Solar Industry Magazine - Sep 6 A new study from the Center for Labor Research and Education at UC Berkeley highlights disadvantaged and underrepresented workers’ prevalence in entry-level, “career-track” jobs in the construction of renewable energy projects in California. According to UC Berkeley, the impact of California’s climate policies on jobs and equity has been an important concern for state decision-makers, including the legislature’s current debates on SB 100, which sets a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045. The study addresses with quantitative data the question of who is getting into jobs and apprentice training programs in the construction of renewables.

New legislation could support clean energy career pathways for fossil-fuel industry workers

Renewable Energy World - Aug 30 Support for workers seeking to transition from jobs in the fossil-fuel industry to the clean energy sector could be coming in the form of new federal legislation. U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said he will develop legislation to help displaced fossil-fuel industry workers. According to Pallone’s office, he has sought input from and will continue to meet with experts and workers as he works to finalize the legislation, which he expects to introduce in the fall.

Wind energy in California: the good news and bad news

San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 28 Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy released its annual report analyzing technologies and markets for the wind industry that showed California has installed 5,656 megawatts of utility-scale wind, ranking it fourth-highest in the nation. California also ranks fifth in capacity for smaller, distributed wind energy systems since 2003, with 66 megawatts. According to the most recent numbers compiled by the California Energy Commission, wind accounts for 36 percent of generation from renewable facilities — the most in the state, edging out solar. However, Nancy Rader, the executive director at the California Wind Energy Association, was practically glum when asked about the future of wind energy in the Golden State. “It’s pretty bleak in terms of the potential for new development,” she said in a telephone interview from her group’s headquarters in Berkeley. “We’re actually at risk of going backward in total capacity in California.”

In storage vs. peaker study, CAISO’s outdated cost estimates produce higher price tag for storage

Greentech Media - Aug 31 Pushback against the proposed Puente natural gas plant in California now hinges on whether energy storage could do the job instead. The first whack at the question, in a study by the California Independent System Operator, found that storage could provide the needed local reliability, but at 2.7 times the cost. A GTM analysis of CAISO's calculations, though, found that they rely on lithium-ion cost projections from 2014, which makes them just about ancient history in terms of the fast-moving storage industry. Battery costs keep falling faster than predicted, and in 2014 the industry was barely getting started.

College adds to solar system with combined solar and storage

Commercial Property Executive - Sep 5 Santa Rosa Junior College selected SunPower to set up its newest fully integrated solar and storage project. The 100-acre campus will feature the SunPower® Helix™ Carport system and SunPower’s Garage Top Carport system, which totals about 2.5 megawatts, coupled with a 1.3-megawatt (2-megawatt-hour) energy storage system from Stem Inc. In addition, the 40-acre Petaluma campus will install a 1.3-megawatt Helix Carport system. Measure H bond funds were used to finance the college’s new solar and energy systems, which will be owned by Santa Rosa Junior College.

SolarWorld Americas supplies 14.2MW in PV panels for solar project in Nevada

PV-Tech - Sep 1 Crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer SolarWorld Americas has supplied 14.2 megawatts of its solar panels for a project in Nevada that combines both complementary solar and geothermal power generation. The project at Patua, located about 40 miles east of Reno, has placed the solar array next to a binary geothermal production plant, with the installation set up in a way to take advantage of solar’s peak performance periods at times when the geothermal is comparatively less efficient.

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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