Renewable Energy News

New Jersey community solar farm nears completion at former landfill site

Renewable Energy - Thu, 2021-08-19 06:00

Navisun is nearing completion on a 4.5 MW community solar farm project at a former landfill site in Linden, New Jersey.

The Linden Hawk Rise project will provide affordable, clean energy to approximately 800 residents, most of whom are low and moderate-income.

“We are pleased to support both the City of Linden as well as the State of New Jersey in leading the way forward to our collective carbon-free future by providing clean energy access, and associated savings, to local residents,” said Carl Engelbourg, marketing consultant at Navisun. “As a long-term owner and operator of community solar facilities, we are proud to work with the community and be a part of New Jersey’s community solar pilot program.”

Read more:

Senate passes $3.5T budget package with wins for clean energy, climate

Senate passes $1 trillion infrastructure bill. What’s in it for renewable energy?

One of 45 projects approved in the first year of New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, Linden Hawk Rise will provide enrolled residents with 10-15% guaranteed savings. The program will double in its second year.

New Road Solar Project, constructed on a landfill site in New Jersey, was redeveloped by CEP Renewables. The 13-megawatt solar power project, completed in 2021, was the site that Governor Murphy chose to sign legislature that continues to advance New Jersey as a national leader in renewable energy. (Courtesy: CEP Renewables)

New Jersey became a national leader in community solar projects under Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050, in part by targeting previously unusable sites, like landfills.

As of 2020, 20 solar farm projects had been completed at former landfill sites in New Jersey. This week, CEP Renewables began the development of a 25.6 megawatt (dc) solar project in Mount Olive, New Jersey at the former Combe Fill North Landfill site. Once completed, the solar project will be the largest on a capped landfill in North America.

The Mt. Olive Solar Field will provide clean power for over 4,000 homes.

“EPA Superfund sites are incredibly complex sites,” said Alyssa Sarubbi, project manager for CEP Renewables. “They take an exceptional amount of time, investment, and advanced expertise to bring from inception to interconnection. The company has the capability, experience, and tenacity to get these types of projects done.”

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Categories: Renewable Energy

Nomad Go’s AI technology could reduce building emissions by 30%

Renewable Energy - Thu, 2021-08-19 06:00

Nomad Go’s new version of its HVAC solution is designed to help the real estate industry reduce CO2 emissions and energy costs by over 30% in buildings.

Nomad Go’s vision sensor detects whether people are present in a commercial space before using data to warm, cool, and ventilate a room based on occupants. (Courtesy: Nomad Go)

The computer vision technology uses the intelligent vision sensor IMX500, commercialized by Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation and Microsoft Azure AIR, to reduce the carbon footprint of physical spaces.

The technology was developed with support from the Co-Innovation Lab operated by Microsoft and Sony.

“It turns out the No. 1 emitter of greenhouse gas emission is not industry. It’s not transportation. It’s buildings,” Nomad Go CEO David Greschler said. “And this summer, with heatwaves and severe droughts, it feels like we’ve reached a tipping point with climate change. The urgency to launch this product is absolutely there.”

Commercial buildings are a leading producer of global CO2 emissions — 39% according to the United Nations Environment Program. Nomad Go’s vision sensor detects whether people are present in a commercial space before using data to warm, cool, and ventilate a room based on occupants.

The technology uses AI to analyze additional factors like how much sunlight a room receives.

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Categories: Renewable Energy

Slovenian utility installing solar plant at 136-MW Zlatoličje hydroelectric plant

Renewable Energy - Wed, 2021-08-18 12:12

Slovenia’s Dravske elektrarne Maribor, which operates as part of the HSE Group, announced it is beginning construction of segment five of the Zlatoličje solar power plant on the left bank of the discharge channel for the 136-MW Zlatoličje hydroelectric plant.

DEM said this arrangement will add value to the country’s largest hydroelectric power plant while gaining gigawatt-hours of electricity for the country from a renewable source.

Segment five of the Zlatoličje solar power plant will be 905 m long, featuring nearly 6,000 photovoltaic modules with a total rated power of almost 2.7 MWp and planned annual production of about 3,000 MWh. The slope of the terrain, which in some places exceeds 30 degrees, will provide some challenges for contractor HTZ Velenje, which is also part of the HSE Group. An additional challenge is the proximity of the canal, where water flow is up to 550 cubic meters per second. The value of the project is €2 million.

Read more: Once an environmental and financial burden, New Jersey landfill being redeveloped as a solar field

Segment five is part of a larger emerging solar power plant with a total nominal capacity of about 30 MWp and an estimated annual production of 37,000 MWh, which will be built on the supply and discharge channels of Zlatoličje and 116-MW Formin hydropower plants in the coming years. The company independently, within the HSE Group and with external partners, is researching other suitable locations for the installation of solar power plants.

“With the construction of the first segment, the planned larger solar power plant, the company Dravske elektrarne Maribor and the HSE Group are following the state’s commitments to increase electricity production from renewable sources and the needs of households and the economy. We are convinced that it is worthwhile, in an environmentally and socially acceptable way, to use all the resources and knowledge available in Slovenia and thus enable the country’s energy independence in the future, ” said Andrej Tumpej, director of Dravske elektrarne Maribor.

Dravske elektrarne Maribor operates eight hydropower plants on the Drava River and produced 2,018 GWh of electricity in the first seven months of 2021, exceeding the plan by 24%. Together with other hydro companies of the HSE Group, 2,731 GWh of electricity from a water source was produced by the end of July.

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Categories: Renewable Energy

UK unveils hydrogen strategy based on offshore wind model

Renewable Energy - Wed, 2021-08-18 08:09
Plan to use contracts-for-difference model to incentivize projects

The UK government has today (Tuesday 17 August) unveiled its long-awaited strategy for developing a hydrogen energy economy.

By Kevin Ross, Editor-in-Chief of Enlit Europe and Power Engineering International

It comes at a time when there is high scrutiny of the country’s climate policies in the countdown to COP26 in Glasgow in November.

The strategy is intended to deliver 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 and central to it is a plan to mirror the success of the contracts-for-difference model that proved so successful for offshore wind around Britain.

The government has launched a public consultation on a preferred hydrogen business model which is built on a similar premise to the offshore wind CfDs.

According to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, this will be “designed to overcome the cost gap between low-carbon hydrogen and fossil fuels, helping the costs of low-carbon alternatives to fall quickly.”

The government is also consulting on the design of a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, which is intended to support the commercial deployment of low-carbon hydrogen production plants.

And it has unveiled a £105 million funding package via its Net Zero Innovation Portfolio designed to help industries develop low-carbon alternatives for industrial fuels.

Read more:

Massive 50-GW wind, solar, hydrogen power plant with unique ownership model announced in Australia

New York announces initiatives to explore green hydrogen for decarbonization

Major hydrogen initiatives underway at US Department of Energy

Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the launch of the strategy “marks the start of the UK’s hydrogen revolution. This home-grown clean energy source has the potential to transform the way we power our lives and will be essential to tackling climate change and reaching Net Zero.”

He added that hydrogen has “the potential to provide a third of the UK’s energy in the future”.

The government is taking what it calls a ‘twin track’ approach in the strategy, by supporting and incentivizing both so-called blue and green hydrogen production, and the focus is heavily on decarbonizing industry.  

The £105m funding package comprises £55m to a switch from high to low carbon fuels such as natural gas to clean hydrogen; a £40m Red Diesel Replacement Competition for the construction, quarrying, and mining sectors; and a £10m Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator, offering funding to install and test solutions for reducing UK industry’s energy and resource consumption.

There are also plans to assess the safety, technical feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of mixing 20 percent hydrogen into the existing gas supply, which BEIS says “could deliver a seven percent emissions reduction on natural gas.”

The government is bullish on the predicted outcomes of all these measures: it says “a booming, UK-wide hydrogen economy could be worth £900m and create over 9000 high-quality jobs by 2030, potentially rising to 100,000 jobs and worth up to £13bn by 2050.”

In a statement, it added that by 2030, “hydrogen could play an important role in decarbonizing polluting, energy-intensive industries like chemicals, oil refineries, power and heavy transport like shipping, HGV lorries, and trains.”

BEIS says that its own analysis suggests that 20-35 percent of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based.

Energy & Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that the Hydrogen Strategy “sends a strong signal globally that we are committed to building a thriving low carbon hydrogen economy.”

National Grid’s Hydrogen Director, Antony Green, said the strategy “signals the UK’s commitment to hydrogen and provides the certainty needed to boost consumer and investor confidence and support commercial solutions”.

“Importantly, unlocking the potential of hydrogen as a clean energy solution requires significant pace and innovation to scale up production, and the guidance from the government today will be key to triggering the investment and buy-in needed to achieve this.”

Matthew Fell, Chief Policy Director at the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), said: “As a leader in high-skilled manufacturing – and with an extensive legacy in energy production – the UK stands perfectly positioned to capitalize on the opportunities provided by hydrogen.

“Hydrogen is an area where the UK can lead by example on the global stage, showcasing the value of strong partnerships between government and the private sector on the road to reducing emissions.”

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Categories: Renewable Energy

Once an environmental and financial burden, New Jersey landfill being redeveloped as a solar field

Renewable Energy - Wed, 2021-08-18 06:01

A retired New Jersey landfill – once an environmental and financial burden to the community because of its improper closure in the 1980s — will soon become home to the largest solar project of its kind in North America.

CEP Renewables began the development of a 25.6 megawatt (dc) solar project in Mount Olive, New Jersey at the former Combe Fill North Landfill site. Once completed, the solar project will be the largest on a capped landfill in North America.

“New Jersey Governor Murphy’s dedication to continuing to advance New Jersey’s leadership role in the renewable energy industry demonstrates foresight for the state’s future, better positioning it economically and preparing it to withstand climate-driven challenges,” said CEP Renewables CEO Gary Cicero. “The Mount Olive solar project will contribute substantially to New Jersey’s renewable energy mandate of 50% clean energy by 2030.”

Read more:

Massive 50-GW wind, solar, hydrogen power plant with unique ownership model announced in Australia

New York announces initiatives to explore green hydrogen for decarbonization

Major hydrogen initiatives underway at US Department of Energy

Combe Fill North Landfill was placed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List of Superfund sites after the property’s owner went bankrupt and abandoned the site.

The Mt. Olive Solar Field will provide clean power for over 4,000 homes.

“EPA Superfund sites are incredibly complex sites,” said Alyssa Sarubbi, project manager for CEP Renewables. “They take an exceptional amount of time, investment, and advanced expertise to bring from inception to interconnection. The company has the capability, experience, and tenacity to get these types of projects done.”

CEP Renewables specializes in developing solar power projects on unusable lands.

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Categories: Renewable Energy

The role of antitrust law in creating energy democracy

Renewable Energy - Wed, 2021-08-18 06:00

Originally published at ILSR.org

For this episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, a rebroadcast of episode 127 of the Building Local Power Podcast, host John Farrell speaks with guest Jean Su. Su, an attorney and Director of the Energy Justice Program at the Center for Biological Diversity, represented the Center in an antitrust suit against Arizona utility Salt River Project. Farrell and Su discuss how legal advocacy for energy democracy can overcome utility barriers to a renewable energy economy.

Listen to the full episode and explore more resources below — including a transcript and summary of the conversation.

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Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | RSSEpisode Transcript

Injustice grows as the climate changes

Since completing her undergraduate studies at Princeton University, Jean Su has largely dedicated herself to climate justice work. After witnessing natural disasters in Madagascar and the devastation they left on the communities she worked with, Su came to understand climate change as the main threat to under-resourced communities across the globe.

If we were going to try to tackle extreme poverty issues and the wealth gap, internationally and nationally, it would have to be through the lens of climate.

After her time in Madagascar, Su worked extensively in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Ultimately, Su’s call to be an agent of change in her community drew her back to the United States as an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit membership organization known for its work protecting endangered species through legal action, scientific petitions, creative media, and grassroots activism.

Energy Justice and the Center for Biological Diversity

One way that the Center for Biological Diversity centers justice and equity in its work is by addressing energy policies and utility companies that disproportionately harm communities of color. The center does this in three ways: strategic litigation, the mobilization of people power and movement building, and effective policy advocacy.

Law is one very important way of addressing the challenges of climate change. The myth of the regulatory compact

A century ago, electric utilities were granted monopolies because it was in the public interest to only build one set of transmission and distribution lines. However, many regulated utilities have abused this license — what they call the “regulatory compact” — to consolidate power and fend off any local power suppliers.

As more and more homeowners, businesses, and communities turn to solar power, utilities are employing many tricks to fight off what they see as competition. The thing is, the regulatory compact does not exist and local, resilient, renewable energy is in the public interest.

When monopoly utilities go out of their way to squash competition, solar advocates can use antitrust law to secure their rights.

Read about How Big Utilities are Impeding Clean Energy, and What We Can Do About It in our summary report.

The Salt River Project

The Salt River Project (SRP) is a public utility, though essentially a private corporation, and the primary electric provider for central Arizona. Although Arizona allows rooftop solar through net metering, SRP found a way to make installing rooftop solar prohibitively expensive.

For customers who have installed their own rooftop solar, SRP instituted a 65 percent rate increase on any electricity they need to buy beyond their own generation. Through this rate hike alone, SRP “decimated the market for rooftop solar” in one of the nation’s sunniest states, says Su.

The idea was definitely to decimate competition in a competing source of energy, and SRP succeeded in it, really well. Then the question became, how do we fight back against this?

As solar advocates were readying to take SRP to court, automotive and solar company Tesla purchased what was then Solar City. With the backing of the Tesla behemoth, Arizona solar advocates could take on a very expensive antitrust lawsuit against the Salt River Project. Su was one of the attorneys representing the Center for Biological Diversity in this suit.

In the electric utility sector, this is a sector that has not quite yet been touched [by modern antitrust reform]. And in fact, that’s why SRP is actually a pivotal case for this right now.

Unfortunately, after a technical stumble, Tesla settled with SRP before the case reached the supreme court.

Antitrust reform is not enough

To conclude, Su emphasizes that electricity is a human right. Private corporations with a profit motive are, she says, the wrong people to provide that basic service. Su is excited to reenvision the electricity sector and has hope in public power as an alternative.

I don’t think antitrust is enough. I think we are in a moment where we really need to question the system. The foundational principles of monopoly utilities no longer make sense because they are not serving the public interest… I do not think that corporations whose sole mission is to generate shareholder profits are acceptable anymore for delivering a basic human right. Episode notes

See these resources for more behind the story:

For concrete examples of how towns and cities can take action toward gaining more control over their clean energy future, explore ILSR’s Community Power Toolkit.

Explore local and state policies and programs that help advance clean energy goals across the country, using ILSR’s interactive Community Power Map.

This is the 136th episode of Local Energy Rules, an ILSR podcast with Energy Democracy Director John Farrell, which shares powerful stories of successful local renewable energy and exposes the policy and practical barriers to its expansion.

Local Energy Rules is Produced by ILSR’s John Farrell and Maria McCoy. Audio engineering by Drew Birschbach.

This article was originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter, our energy work on Facebook, or sign up to get the Energy Democracy weekly update

Featured Photo Credit: Joe Gratz via Flickr (CC0 1.0)

Categories: Renewable Energy

What is the Clean Electricity Payment Program?

Renewable Energy - Wed, 2021-08-18 05:01

Congress is considering a Clean Electricity Payment Program in the massive reconciliation package. It’s not a Clean Energy Standard, but it can accomplish the same goal, advocates say.

Congress is considering landmark legislation to address climate change and the clean energy transition through a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. Only a simple majority of Democrats in both the House and Senate must approve for the bill to pass.

Often mistaken for a Clean Energy Standard (CES), the bill includes a Clean Electricity Payment Program (CEPP) to reach President Biden’s goal of 80% clean electricity by 2030.

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To understand the difference, Renewable Energy World interviewed Lindsey Walter, the deputy director of climate and energy for the think tank Third Way. The organization is actively advising budget negotiators.

A CES is a regulatory mandate and would not pass through reconciliation. The CEPP, on the other hand, uses incentives and fees to accomplish many of the same goals. Utilities receive payments for selling increasing shares of clean energy, while those that fail to do so must pay a fee for falling short.

Utilities must use payments to “fund additional clean energy projects, retire dirty sources, or lower customer bills,” according to Walter’s analysis of the legislation. And while changing political winds could damage the reconciliation package in the future, Walter doesn’t see Congress reversing course.

“Once this program is in place, utilities will see the massive benefit and I think there will be continued political will to keep the proposal in place,” Walter told Renewable Energy World. “We’re paying people to build out clean energy and create jobs in their states.”

E&E News reported Monday that the CEPP is at risk of being removed from the budget reconciliation bill, though Walter remains optimistic that it will make the final cut.

Categories: Renewable Energy

Analysis: U.S. needs 1 million new electric vehicle charging stations to meet Biden’s goal

Renewable Energy - Tue, 2021-08-17 13:23

The U.S. needs 1.03 million new charging stations to support President Biden’s goal of electric vehicles making up 50% of car sales by 2030, new analysis shows.

The analysis by policy think tank Third Way comes as major automakers have made (non-binding) agreements to significantly boost the share of EVs sold to meet pressing climate goals. But current EV charging infrastructure is extremely inadequate.

“While private companies are building out more and more EV charging infrastructure to accommodate the accelerating shift towards EVs, we need federal support to ensure a robust buildout and to make sure this infrastructure is available to all drivers, including those in rural and underserved communities,” authors Ellen Hughes-Cromwick and Alexander Laska wrote.

The report estimates that $7.5 billion set aside for EV charging infrastructure in the bipartisan infrastructure deal could help fund as many as 600,000 charging stations. The authors recommend an expansion of the 30C Alternative Fuel Refueling Property Credit through budget reconciliation to finish the job.

There are 96,000 public chargers, and 14,000 private ones, in the U.S., according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Third Way projections:

  • 50% of light-duty vehicle sales must be Evs to meet 2030 goal
  • 27 million EVs on the road in 2030 to meet 50% sales goal, requiring 1.125 million public chargers
  • $6.5 billion funding needed in addition to the bipartisan infrastructure deal to support EV infrastructure buildout

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Categories: Renewable Energy

U.S. onshore wind construction costs declined 27% from 2013-19

Renewable Energy - Tue, 2021-08-17 07:35

Construction costs for U.S. onshore wind generators declined by 27% from 2013-2019, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But new guidance from Wood Mackenzie signals turbulent costs over the next year and a half.

The average construction cost per kilowatt fell from $1,895 in 2013 to $1,391 in 2019. The report acknowledges that wind capacity and construction costs vary significantly by region.

Average constructions costs for onshore wind generators in the ERCOT region were $1,114/kW in 2019 – lower than the national average of $1,391. ERCOT added 3.5 gigawatts of wind capacity that year, the most of any region, according to EIA.

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Turbulent prices for next 12-18 months

A new report from Wood Mackenzie estimated that wind turbine prices could increase by up to 10% over the next 12-18 months. Rising prices for steel, copper, aluminum, and fiber, as well as a four-fold increase in logistics costs, are to blame.

Wood Mackenzie reports that companies such as Vestas, SGRE, and Nordex have been forced to explore alternative supply hubs due to ongoing trade disputes between the U.S. and China.

“Turbine OEMs and component suppliers face a double whammy of cost increases and demand softening over the coming two years due to the US PTC (Production Tax Credit) and China feed-in-tariff (FiT) phase-outs,” said Shashi Barla, a Wood Mackenzie principal analyst. “Despite this rise in costs, we expect turbine prices to return to normal levels by the end of 2022.”

Read more:

WATCH: A conversation with Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk

CS Energy building three new solar + storage projects in Florida

Facebook building solar-powered data center in Arizona

The report warned that supply chain bottlenecks for imported materials will emerge over the next 4-5 years, forcing OEMs to adopt next-generation technologies and materials.

Categories: Renewable Energy

CS Energy building three new solar + storage projects in Florida

Renewable Energy - Tue, 2021-08-17 06:00

CS Energy is expanding its footprint in the Southeast with three new solar + storage projects under construction in Florida.

Two of the projects are standalone battery energy storage systems with 5.5 MWh and 11.5 MWh in capacity, installed for a leading U.S. utility as part of a technology pilot program “to address growing peak demand and reduce congestion on the distribution grid,” the company said.

The third project is a 1 MW solar carport paired with 23 MWh of energy storage at a school. The project will provide savings to the school year-round and provide resiliency and support during natural disasters.

Read more:

WATCH: A conversation with Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk

CS Energy building three new solar + storage projects in Florida

Facebook building solar-powered data center in Arizona

The report warned that supply chain bottlenecks for imported materials will emerge over the next 4-5 years, forcing OEMs to adopt next-generation technologies and materials.

“We are excited to add to our solar and energy storage project portfolio in the Southeast region,” said Eric Millard, the chief commercial officer of CS Energy. “Utilities, project owners, and developers can rely on our track record, reliability, and expertise to efficiently and cost-effectively complete their projects.”

CS Energy’s national energy storage installation base will reach over 200 MWh with the completion of the projects in Florida. Each will utilize Doosan GridTech’s digital energy management solution.

The solar and storage projects in Florida will be completed in advance of hurricane season, the company said.

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Utility-led expansions, competitive prices, and favorable state policies are developing Florida into the Southeast’s leader for solar capacity, according to a new report by S&P.

The state is expected to add more than 13,000 MW of solar generation installed over the next decade, the author’s stated, citing state regulators, with enough capacity coming online this year to top region-leader North Carolina.

The U.S. could add 10,000 MW of large-scale battery power capacity from 2021-23 – 10 times the total in 2019 – according to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

EIA expects most of the new storage capacity to come from systems co-located or connected to solar projects. By the end of 2020, most large-scale battery storage systems were built as standalone facilities.

Categories: Renewable Energy

Company claims successful carbon capture and storage test pilot

Renewable Energy - Tue, 2021-08-17 06:00

On its quest to develop negative carbon footprint projects, Strategic Biofuels claims to have successfully completed a carbon capture and storage test at its diesel fuel plant in Louisiana.

The test pilot has completed at the company’s Louisiana Green Fuels Project in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana — the first renewable diesel fuel project to achieve such a feat, according to the company.

“Carbon capture and permanent geologic sequestration is no longer a hypothetical scenario for Louisiana Green Fuels — successful completion of the test well is a major milestone that’s not been achieved by any other renewable diesel project,” Strategic Biofuels CEO Dr. Paul Schubert said in a statement. “These results enable us to move forward knowing that combining CCS with conversion of sustainable forestry waste to renewable diesel at our project site will enable us to achieve our deeply negative carbon footprint goal.”

Read more:

WATCH: A conversation with Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk

CS Energy building three new solar + storage projects in Florida

Facebook building solar-powered data center in Arizona

The report warned that supply chain bottlenecks for imported materials will emerge over the next 4-5 years, forcing OEMs to adopt next-generation technologies and materials.

Once in full operation, the plant is expected to convert forestry waste feedstock into 33.7 million gallons per year of “cleaner-burning renewable diesel.”

The company said Strategic Biofuels COO Bob Meredith worked with Geostock Sandia on the project and used oil field workers and traditional oilfield equipment.

The project now moves into an engineering and design phase to better understand long-term costs, apply for regulatory permits, and secure third-party contracts. The plant is expected to reach full commercial operation in late 2025.

“It’s easy to get excited about what the success of this sequestration test well means to the economic development for Caldwell Parish and the State of Louisiana, but we still have a lot of work to do entering an aggressive capital raise,” Meredith said. “What we have been able to accomplish could very well be a blueprint for the renewable energy industry that is working to address our country’s carbon footprint far into the future.”

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Categories: Renewable Energy

FPL makes progress on battery installations at solar-powered facility

Renewable Energy - Tue, 2021-08-17 06:00

Florida Power & Light crews have installed the first battery modules and more than two-thirds of the containers for its massive Manatee solar-storage hybrid project.

The NextEra Energy-owned utility has installed 100 of 132 containers for the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center. The plant will have 409 MW/900 MWh of capacity, enough to power 329,000 homes for more than two hours.

Those batteries will be charged by the existing Manatee Solar Energy Center, thus offering grid predictability and emissions reductions avoiding power plant generation for the system.

Read more:

WATCH: A conversation with Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk

CS Energy building three new solar + storage projects in Florida

Facebook building solar-powered data center in Arizona

The report warned that supply chain bottlenecks for imported materials will emerge over the next 4-5 years, forcing OEMs to adopt next-generation technologies and materials.

“With one milestone after another, FPL is following through on its steadfast commitment to make Florida a leader in sustainability and resiliency as we consistently deliver America’s best energy value – electricity that’s not just clean and reliable, but also affordable,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “In June, we said goodbye to coal by dismantling FPL’s last coal plant in Florida just as we surpassed 40% of the way toward completing our ’30-by-30’ plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030. Soon, the world’s largest solar-powered battery will begin serving customers, and we’ll turn our attention to an innovative green hydrogen pilot project – which could unlock the potential for a 100% carbon-free energy future.”

Each battery module weighs more than 200 pounds and is capable of storing an amount of solar energy equivalent to roughly 2,000 iPhone batteries. Combined, the battery system will be equivalent to approximately 100 million iPhone batteries. In addition to installing the project’s first battery modules, FPL announced the company has already installed 100 of 132 energy storage containers and set all 132 of the project’s inverters.

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The original construction to build the solar center started in 2019.

“With more than 12 million solar panels installed and more than 40 solar energy centers in operation, FPL is building on its rapid solar expansion with the world’s largest solar-powered battery,” said FPL Vice President of Development Matt Valle, who delivered today’s construction update. “But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. FPL is implementing innovative battery storage projects across the state, transforming Florida’s transportation landscape with more than 1,000 EV chargers and partnering with universities and municipalities on battery systems that leverage cutting-edge microgrid technology.”

Ultimately, the battery system will consist of 132 energy storage containers organized across a 40-acre plot of land or the equivalent of 30 football fields. Each container will hold roughly 400 battery modules.

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Categories: Renewable Energy

‘Green Fleet’ initiative aligns Dominion Energy with Biden’s electric vehicle order

Renewable Energy - Mon, 2021-08-16 08:43

By Nicholas Nhede, Smart Energy International

Dominion Energy has announced a new target to convert its vehicle fleet of more than 8,600 units to electric models.

The launch of the utility’s ‘Green Fleet’ initiative follows President Joe Biden’s executive order to make 50% of all vehicle sales in the US electric by 2030. The utility’s plan will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the 16 states the company operates in, a development that will help Dominion Energy to move closer to its net-zero goal.

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The Green Fleet initiative will enable Dominion Energy to:

  • Convert 75% of passenger vehicles, including sedans and SUVs, to electric power by 2030.
  • Convert 50% of work vehicles – from full-size pickups and bucket trucks to forklifts and ATVs – with plug-ins, battery electric vehicles, or vehicles fueled by cleaner-burning alternatives, such as hydrogen, renewable natural gas, and compressed natural gas, by 2030.
  • Ensure 100% of all new vehicles – from sedans to heavy-duty vehicles – purchased will be powered either by electricity or alternative fuels, after 2030.

With the lack of charging infrastructure having been identified as the main barrier to clean transportation, Dominion Energy has joined the Electric Highway Coalition, which is designed to increase charging stations in US roadways.

Diane Leopold, the COO of Dominion Energy, said: “Over the years we have made significant progress cutting carbon and methane emissions in our operations to help us reach our goal of net-zero. But we wanted to go even further by slashing emissions from our vehicle fleets, too, while simultaneously developing the infrastructure needed to support EV charging access more broadly.”

Wendy Wellener, Dominion Energy’s vice president of shared services, added that customers “are telling us that they want a company that is mindful of its impact on the world around us. They want a company that leads on clean energy. But they also want safe, reliable and affordable service.”

Categories: Renewable Energy

10,000 MW large-scale battery power capacity to be added to the grid from 2021-23, EIA says

Renewable Energy - Mon, 2021-08-16 08:26

The U.S. could add 10,000 MW of large-scale battery power capacity from 2021-23 – 10 times the total in 2019 – according to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

EIA expects most of the new storage capacity to come from systems co-located or connected to solar projects. By the end of 2020, most large-scale battery storage systems were built as standalone facilities.

Based on planned projects by utilities over the next two years, U.S. battery storage that is co-located with generation is expected to increase from 30% to 60%.

“Growth in U.S. battery systems is critical as the United States faces new hurdles to reliable electricity delivery,” said EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley. “Energy stored in batteries can react to second-to-second fluctuations in the electric grid, protecting grid power quality and improving the grid’s efficiency.”

U.S. battery power capacity reached 1,650 MW by the end of 2020, a 35% increase.

EIA battery storage report 2020Download

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Categories: Renewable Energy

Facebook building solar-powered data center in Arizona

Renewable Energy - Mon, 2021-08-16 07:17

Facebook will build its newest data center in Mesa, Arizona – powered by 100% renewable energy.

The social media giant announced a collaborative effort with the City of Mesa, Arizona Commerce Authority, and the Salt River Project to bring three new solar projects, totaling 450 megawatts, to the local grid in support of the facility.

“Once completed, this data center will represent an investment of more than $800 million and will support roughly 100 jobs,” Rachel Peterson, Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure, said in a video announcement. “This data center will be supported by 100% renewable energy.”

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Categories: Renewable Energy

S&P: Why Florida will become the Southeast’s solar leader

Renewable Energy - Mon, 2021-08-16 06:30

Utility-led expansions, competitive prices, and favorable state policies are developing Florida into the Southeast’s leader for solar capacity, according to a new report by S&P.

The state is expected to add more than 13,000 MW of solar generation installed over the next decade, the author’s stated, citing state regulators, with enough capacity coming online this year to top region-leader North Carolina.

Read more: Utility giant NextEra adds 1.8 GW of renewables, storage to backlog

Fast facts:

  • Total capacity in the Southeast in 2020: 12,696 MW
  • Southern Alliance for Clean Energy expects capacity to double by 2025
  • Florida has 3,909 MW solar capacity

“Utility-scale solar is now the most affordable new electricity generation infrastructure and we are seeing all utilities — municipal, electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities — in Florida rapidly investing in this resource,” Heather Campbell, Florida program director for Vote Solar, told S&P Global. “Some are also setting aggressive renewable energy goals, [for example,] Florida Power & Light Co.”

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S&P noted a Florida Supreme Court decision in 2019 that allowed Florida Power & Light to recover solar project costs as an additional incentive for utility-scale investment.

Read S&P’s full report, State policy, aggressive utility plans to make Florida top Southeast solar state, here.

Categories: Renewable Energy

Heliene brings HJT solar cell module manufacturing back to the U.S.

Renewable Energy - Mon, 2021-08-16 06:00
Heliene heterojunction solar cell module (Courtesy: Heliene)

Canadian-based solar panel module manufacturer Heliene is taking another step in its mission to advance the North American supply chain with the launch of a new facility in Riviera Beach, Florida next month.

The Riviera Beach facility – the company’s third in North America – will be the only in the U.S. to manufacture super high-efficiency heterojunction solar cell modules, capable of delivering more power per unit areas, more units of electricity over the life of the module, and greater reliability compared to conventional high-efficiency modules.

Heliene is taking over the facility previously occupied by SolarTech Universal, which closed over a year ago, to produce its 66-cell HJT 370W module.

WATCH: Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk joined Renewable Energy World Content Director John Engel to discuss the new facility, global solar supply chain pressures, and the growth opportunity with heterojunction solar cell modules.

Martin Pochtaruk, CEO of Heliene, described the HJT facility as a “bet” by the company on the evolution of the industry– noting that monocrystalline PERC solar modules make up 95% of global manufacturing.

“We’re plateauing, coming to the maximum efficiency that this type of wafer cell can obtain,” Pochtaruk told Renewable Energy World in an interview. “So, what are the technologies going to look two years, five years down the line. There are two streams: one is the addition of another thin film to PERC, commonly known as TOPCon, and the other is heterojunction.”

Pochtaruk said, with the addition of the HJT facility, Heliene will be able to capitalize on both streams, pivoting between the two when necessary.

Heliene is currently accepting orders for the 66 cell Heterojunction 370W module (Courtesy: Heliene)

Heliene will begin manufacturing operations at the new 75,000 sq. ft. facility in September—increasing the company’s manufacturing capacity by an additional 100 megawatts.

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Bill Gates-backed Ambri raises $144 million to finance long-duration energy storage projects

Renewable Energy - Fri, 2021-08-13 08:05

Energy storage developer Ambri announced a $144 million financing round, backed by India’s Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd, Paulson & Co. Inc, and the company’s largest shareholder, Bill Gates, among others.

The funds will be used to finance and commercialize Ambri’s daily cycling, long-duration system technology and to build a domestic manufacturing facility, the company said in a press release. Ambri’s mission is to meet the needs of the grid-scale energy storage market and industrial energy customers, while supporting the transition to renewable energy sources.

Read more: LS Power launches Rev Renewables to operate energy storage and renewable projects

“This financing supports the commercial growth of our company and technology,” said Dan Leff, Ambri executive chairman. “Further, these funds are instrumental to driving our efforts to scale the company’s operations and establish our manufacturing infrastructure to meet rapidly expanding customer demand. We are delighted that our newest shareholders, who are world-class investors and strategic partners, are joining Ambri’s journey.”

Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, the largest private-sector company in India, will serve as Ambri’s strategic partner to develop and manufacture batteries in India.

Ambri manufactures calcium and antimony electrode-based cells and containerized systems—a business model that targets cost and longevity issues with lithium-ion batteries. The company is now able to scale for projects from 10 MWh to over 2GWh.

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Categories: Renewable Energy

LS Power launches Rev Renewables to operate energy storage and renewable projects

Renewable Energy - Fri, 2021-08-13 06:03

LS Power announces the formation of Rev Renewables LLC to develop, acquire and operate energy storage and renewable projects, including conventional hydropower and pumped storage.

Rev brings together the storage and renewable assets of parent company LS Power – a firm with three decades of investment, innovation and development experience in the U.S. power and energy infrastructure industries – along with a team of seasoned industry professionals to create a differentiated clean energy growth platform, according to a press release.

Read more: LS Power launches Rev Renewables to operate energy storage and renewable projects

Rev has a 2.4-GW portfolio of operating storage, solar and wind projects, including a California-based battery storage portfolio (615 MW by the end of 2022) that includes Gateway, the world’s largest battery at 250 MW when it was energized in 2020; the largest non-utility pumped storage hydro portfolio in the mid-Atlantic region of PJM (1,620 MW); wind assets (132 MW); and 25 solar power facilities spanning 14 states (467 MWdc/365MWac).

Rev also has a robust development pipeline of projects underway across the country, according to a release, but the specific projects were not detailed.

“Energy storage and renewable generation are essential components in meeting our decarbonization goals while maintaining affordability, reliability, and resilience,” said Paul Segal, chief executive officer of LS Power. “The rising demand for clean energy solutions presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Rev Renewables to deploy its human and capital resources into storage, solar, and wind projects. Rev is the latest effort by LS Power to support the commercialization and deployment at-scale of clean energy technologies.”

An EVgo fast-charging station — powered by 100% renewable energy

LS Power’s growing family of clean energy investments includes EVgo, a public fast-charging network for electric vehicles and the first powered by 100% renewable energy; Endurant Energy, a provider of sustainable, resilient, and cost-effective distributed energy infrastructure solutions; CPower Energy Management, a demand-side energy management solutions provider; Primary Renewable Fuels LLC, a landfill gas-to-renewable natural gas development and operating platform; and 600+ miles of high-voltage transmission lines.

Rev is dedicated to solving a critical challenge in the transformation of energy systems: decarbonizing electricity supply while maintaining affordability, reliability and resilience.

“Rev Renewables will further drive the electrification of our economy and support the transition to a cleaner energy grid,” said Rev Renewables CEO Ed Sondey. “The establishment of Rev Renewables is a significant milestone and extension of LS Power’s renewable energy focus. I am excited to work with our impressive team to drive Rev’s continued expansion as we embark on this mission-critical journey to decarbonize our nation’s grid.”

“With our team’s track record of developing and operating renewable assets and successfully executing in markets with high barriers to entry, Rev Renewables is well equipped to reimagine the future of renewable energy generation and storage,” Sondey said.

LS Power is a development, investment and operating company focused on the North American power and energy infrastructure sector. Since its inception in 1990, LS Power has developed, constructed, managed or acquired more than 45,000 MW of power generation, including utility-scale solar, wind, hydro, natural gas-fired and battery energy storage projects.

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Categories: Renewable Energy

Will NIMBYs sink new clean energy projects? The evidence says no – if developers listen to local concerns

Renewable Energy - Fri, 2021-08-13 06:00

Sanya Carley, Indiana University and David Konisky, Indiana University

As Congress debates billions of dollars in new infrastructure investments, advocates are touting the social and economic benefits of building new high-voltage transmission lines, clean energy plants and electric vehicle charging stations, along with fixing aging roads and bridges. But when it’s time to break ground, will people accept these new projects in their communities?

Local public acceptance is critically important for siting and developing energy infrastructure. Strong opposition can delay project siting approval and permits. Sometimes it can sink projects altogether.

When communities oppose projects, some people are quick to point to NIMBY, or not-in-my-backyard, sentiments as a formidable and pernicious obstacle. While there’s no official definition of NIMBYism, a traditional definition frames it as someone saying that something is fine in the abstract, but not near me or my home.

But our close examination of opposition has not yielded much evidence of such NIMBYism. First, when someone is generally supportive of an energy infrastructure project, we find no evidence that they are opposed to the same type of project near their home. Second, we find that opposing energy projects generally is not an irrational or knee-jerk response.

Rather, we find that public opposition to energy infrastructure projects tends to be quite rational and understandable. While there is local opposition to some projects, typically people oppose projects when they affect their property value or sense of place, when they are concerned about their local environment, and when they do not trust the energy company.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=zkpPIzCakno%3Fwmode%3Dtransparent%26start%3D0 Jane Kleeb, executive director of the advocacy group Bold Nebraska, testifies at a U.S. State Dept. hearing on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in Grand Island, Nebraska, on April 18, 2013. The public gets a voice

Giving the public a voice in decisions about new energy projects has been official U.S. policy since the 1970s. Laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act and state equivalents provide for public involvement in decisions about many major projects. For example, utilities that want to build or expand a power plant often have to invite and consider public comments in order to obtain their permits.

Environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Endangered Species Act also can affect energy-related projects. Opponents may sue to block new projects that they argue will violate the relevant laws.

People and groups also often mobilize outside formal channels to oppose major developments. Recent examples include the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast, and the Northern Pass high-voltage transmission line from Canada to southern New England, both of which were ultimately canceled.

Opponents argued that both projects threatened local resources – water supplies in the case of the pipeline, and scenic views in the case of the transmissions lines. They also argued that there were better energy choices than the oil the pipeline would carry or the electricity from large-scale Canadian hydropower projects that the transmission line would deliver.

Why do people oppose energy projects?

When news reports, project supporters and others assert that local resistance to energy infrastructure is due to NIMBY sentiments, the underlying assumption is that these residents are either irrational or selfish.

Yet, in surveys of over 16,000 people, including large numbers living near power plants, pipelines and transmission lines, we found no statistical evidence of NIMBYism. People who support energy infrastructure projects in general are likely also to support specific projects, regardless of whether they are nearby or farther away.

Projects like offshore and onshore wind turbines, pipelines and waste-to-energy facilities often meet significant local resistance. But often that resistance reflects a rational reaction to how a new infrastructure project affects residents’ property values or disrupts their attachment to their local landscape or community.

A truck carries a wind turbine blade in southern California. Chuck Coker/Flickr, CC BY-ND

Our research shows that people are more favorable toward cleaner energy technology infrastructure, such as solar or wind farms, than they are toward fossil fuel-based infrastructure, such as natural gas power plants or oil and natural gas pipelines. This is true when people think about such technologies in the abstract and when they think about specific local projects.

These views are rooted in people’s perceptions of various energy sources’ economic costs and environmental impacts. Simply put: Americans are more receptive in general to energy sources they perceive as cheap and clean.

It’s easier to apply these categories to renewable and fossil fuel energy sources, since they have distinctive carbon and cost attributes, than to delivery systems, such as electric transmission lines or pipelines. We have found that on average, people are fairly neutral toward power lines and pipelines, but that acceptance grows significantly when the infrastructure is associated with a clean energy project and shrinks when connected to a fossil fuel power plant.

Our research and a comprehensive review we conducted of 30 years of studies show that people oppose energy projects due to specific factors, such as concern that the projects will alter their local environments, landscapes and economies. We also find that people who have higher levels of trust in energy companies are more likely to support all types of energy projects. Others who are concerned about climate change are generally more supportive of renewable energy projects and less supportive of fossil fuel projects.

Creating a 100% clean-energy economy and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as President Joe Biden has proposed to slow climate change, will require massive deployment of cleaner energy sources, plus upgraded and expanded distribution and storage systems. Some of these projects will spark local opposition.

In our view, it is imperative for government agencies and energy companies to work with communities to build trust and open dialogue. The most effective way to address opposition is through genuinely addressing concerns about how energy projects affect the places where they are built.

[Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter.]

Sanya Carley, Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University and David Konisky, Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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