The U.S. Department of Energy is launching a new initiative aimed at helping communities transition away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner energy sources. The $16 million program seeks to aid in the creation of an “initial roadmap” for identifying clean energy economic opportunities or boosting existing projects, according to the department.
The solar industry is among many sectors feeling the pinch of higher prices, according to a report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie. Prices rose quarter over quarter and year over year across every solar segment during the period. It’s the first time that residential, commercial, and utility solar costs have risen in tandem since the energy consultancy began tracking prices in 2014.
Over the next three months, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will weigh arguments before making a decision on the next generation of net metering policy: a ruling that is likely to have a seismic impact on the solar industry. CPUC is expected to release the Net Energy Metering 3.0 policy in December, updating how utilities credit residential and commercial rooftop solar generators for power sent back to the grid. The transition from NEM 2.0 to NEM 3.0 could happen by the end of 2022.
A joint report by research firm BloombergNEF and Schneider Electric found that 167 million households and 23 million businesses worldwide could host their own clean power generation, exceeding 2,000 GW of solar and 1,000 GWh of energy storage, by 2050. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy published its Solar Futures Study that found solar could supply nearly half of the country's electricity needs by 2050.
The San Diego County Water Authority has issued a request for proposals to potentially develop a pumped-storage generating system at the San Vicente Reservoir by 2030. The project would use excess solar and wind energy to pump water to a new reservoir above the current dam, and then release it through turbines to generate up to 500 MW of electricity when needed. Unlike traditional hydroelectric projects, the pumped storage system would be a closed loop between the two reservoirs, with no water lost in the process
EDF Renewables North America has coupled its 300-MW solar energy system in California with a 600-MW battery energy storage plant to ensure consumers are able to use clean energy during peak demand periods. Customers in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties will be able to benefit from the project as a result of EDF Renewables North America signing a power purchase agreement with Clean Power Alliance. The Desert Quartzite project is set to be operational in 2024.
Last Thursday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began a 60-day bidding period to lease more than 4,800 acres in the Milford Flats South Solar Energy Zone, in Beaver County, Utah. If the parcels being offered are leased and fully developed, the BLM anticipates that the solar energy facilities would provide approximately 200 construction jobs and 15 operations positions. The area has an estimated potential for projects that could generate over 600 MW of electricity.