Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #4

by Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

U.S. government has big bucks to help jumpstart renewable energy innovation

Renewable Energy World - Jul 7

In an effort to seek out and give financial help to innovative technologies that reduce energy use and encourage the uptake of renewable energy, the U.S. government last week announced that it was making $4 billion available in loan guarantees. The money, which is provided by the Loan Program Office, is for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases.

Renewable energy sources provide easier targets for hackers - Jul 1

Adding wind farms, solar panels, and smart meters to the power distribution system opens additional portals through which hackers can attack the grid, according to computer security experts advising governments and utilities. The disclosure this week that hackers known as Dragonfly and Energetic Bear gained access to power networks across the U.S. and Europe in the past 15 months is a reminder of how vulnerable the system has become.

Lawrence Berkeley Lab unveils FLEXLAB to further energy efficiency

Contra Costa Times - Jul 9

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, located in the hills above UC Berkeley with sweeping views of the Bay, has long been known for its cutting-edge research in energy efficiency. This week, it unveiled FLEXLAB, the world's most advanced lab for studying energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Designers can use the FLEXLAB to compare technologies and make key decisions on building systems before breaking ground on projects.

Jerry Brown on clean energy: the hard part is yet to come - Jul 7

Despite all its efforts to curb carbon emissions and boost renewable energy, California has just begun its shift to a sustainable economy, Gov. Jerry Brown told a solar industry convention Monday. And he warned industry delegates not to get complacent. Even if their sales are soaring, in California and elsewhere, the effort to fight climate change has just begun.

Does LADWP want to charge solar customers for grid access?

KCET - Jul 10

A report from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) suggests that the utility doesn't want to expand one of its most popular rooftop solar programs unless it can charge participants more for using its power grid at night. But unlike its investor-owned counterparts elsewhere in the country making the same argument, LADWP would rather expand a different solar incentive program instead, and that program might well prove more effective in making Los Angeles a solar city.

Fleet of plug-in cars rolls out to Bay Area governments

Contra Costa Times - Jul 8

A government fleet of 90 electric vehicles is rolling onto Bay Area streets this week from San Jose to Santa Rosa, completing a $5 million regional initiative that took four years to get off the ground. The plug-in sedans and vans will carry building inspectors, health workers, park maintenance crews, and other municipal employees working for 10 local agencies. Alameda County is leading the way with 26 new vehicles, doubling its electric fleet.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

West Coast focus for BayWa following Martifer deal

PV Tech - Jul 4

Germany’s BayWa has said it plans to focus on building PV projects on the West Coast, particularly California, following its acquisition of Martifer Solar USA. BayWa said the purchase of struggling Martifer USA, which was revealed yesterday, would enable it to gain a foothold in the burgeoning U.S. market, with a focus on primarily commercial rooftop and distributed generation PV projects.

SunEdison seals 50 percent purchase of solar project joint venture

Solar Industry Magazine - Jul 3

SunEdison Inc. has completed its previously announced acquisition of a 50 percent ownership stake in the joint venture Silver Ridge Power LLC for approximately $178.6 million. SunEdison now owns interests in SRP's solar projects in operation and under development in Europe, India, and the U.S. Specifically, SunEdison owns half of a 336-megawatt portfolio of operating solar power plants, including the 266-megawatt Mount Signal project in California and a 40 percent interest in the 150-megawatt Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West facility, to be completed in 2016.

Constellation expands in California

Recharge News - Jul 8

Constellation and developer PsomasFMG are teaming to develop up to 50 megawatts of solar distributed generation projects for California-area schools and municipalities through the end of 2015. Constellation will provide financing to build, own, and operate the solar power systems.

Westlands Solar Park plan lands major investor

The Business Journal - Jul 3

Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm CIM Group announced this week that it has partnered with Westside Holdings, LLC, to invest in the proposed Westlands Solar Park — a master planned development located in a state competitive renewable energy zone that covers 24,000 acres. That’s more than 37 square miles of treeless landscape, with little water and salt-laden soil — possibly the perfect place to assemble the power plant of the future. The drainage-impaired agricultural lands are in Kings County within the Westlands Water District.

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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