RECENT UPDATES

  • Developer of solar and storage on brownfield sites gets influx of cash

    Encore Renewable Energy said that the $1.8M it is getting from North Carolina’s Leyline Renewable Energy will accelerate its mission of developing solar and energy storage projects on underutilized property. Leyline, a renewable energy finance company based in Durham, provides development capital for early- to mid-stage renewable energy developers, which accelerates their development process and the growth of their project pipelines. Since 2017, Leyline has provided development capital to experienced developers across the U.S., accelerating the development of hundreds of megawatts of projects. The companies just closed a deal to loan Encore its next $1.8 million in capital to speed up development of community-scale solar arrays and energy storage facilities on sites such as brownfields, landfills, parking lots, and gravel pits that can be given a new lease on life by generating clean energy. Solar project development is part of the educational offerings at POWERGEN Inter...

  • Arizona utility finalizes RFP for wind, solar plants

    Developers: start your engines. This week, Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) issued two separate Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for solar and wind resources. These RFPs were first announced in late July and will help expand the company’s renewable energy portfolio to approximately 2,500 megawatts by 2021 – enough to power more than half a million Arizona homes, said APS. The first RFP is seeking competitive proposals for up to 150 MW of APS-owned solar resources to be in service by Dec. 31, 2021. Projects must employ commercially proven technology and must be designed with the flexibility to add energy storage as a future option. The second RFP will pursue up to 250 megawatts of wind resources to be in service as soon as possible, but no later than 2022. The company will consider both APS-owned resources, as well as those owned by third parties that would sell the output to APS under a power purchase agreement. Both RFPs will allow commercial customers to partner with APS...

  • Chicago startup will help test hyperlocal electric vehicle incentive in California

    Sacramento’s municipal utility will use blockchain software to track rewards for customers who charge with solar power. The city of Sacramento is preparing to test a hyperlocal electric vehicle charging program that will use a Chicago company’s blockchain software to track customer rewards. The pilot project will offer blockchain-based “tokens” for charging vehicles when there’s a surplus of solar power on the local grid. The value will fluctuate based on the amount of solar being produced within a specific substation. The project is a collaboration between the Sacramento Municipal Utility Department and a French utility, Électricité de France. It will use digital ledger software from Chicago’s Omega Grid to track customers’ tokens. “It’s part of our research and development strategy to engage with new technology providers,” said Denver Hinds, the municipal utility’s research and development manager for smart energy technologies.  If successf...

  • Blade-signing event held for construction of 242-MW wind farm in Missouri

    A celebration and blade-signing event took place this week for the 242-MW Tenaska Clear Creek Energy Center, a wind farm being built north of Maryville, Mo. Tenaska says this wind farm will contain 111 turbines, supplied by Vestas. Construction began earlier this year, and all turbines should be installed by the end of 2019, Tenaska says. Electricity produced will be supplied to the Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., which provides wholesale power to six regional cooperatives that serve 910,000 members. “We selected Tenaska’s Clear Creek project because of its value to our overall portfolio of generation assets and location adjacent to our transmission system,” said David J. Tudor, Associated’s chief executive officer and general manager. “This project will add to Associated’s existing 750 megawatts of wind resources under long-term power purchase agreements.” Vestas also will provide maintenance services for the project. Mortenson is the engineering, procurem...

  • Offshore wind prices plunge in latest UK auction

    By William Mathis, Bloomberg The cost of offshore wind in the U.K. could soon drop below the wholesale price of electricity as developers bid to supply energy in the latest round of an auction that has subsidized the nation’s renewables industry. Developers have submitted proposals in the so-called “contracts-for-difference” auction to win fixed prices for power produced from green sources. The result is due on Sept. 19. If the wholesale rate is at a higher level than the contract, generators pay the difference back, lowering costs for consumers. Iberdrola SA’s Scottish Power Renewables unit has submitted a bid for its 1.4-gigawatt East Anglia Three project, off England’s east coast. East Anglia One, which this week started to generate electricity from the first of its 102 turbines, won a similar auction in 2015, with a price of 119 pounds ($147) per megawatt-hour. This latest round could see bids less than half of that, according to an executive at the compa...

  • T Boone Pickens, oil champion turned renewable energy investor, dies at 91

    By Laurence Arnold, Bloomberg T. Boone Pickens, the onetime Texas oil wildcatter turned corporate raider who became a billionaire energy investor and television pitchman for wind and natural-gas power, has died. He was 91. He died Wednesday of natural causes, according to spokesman Jay Rosser. Pickens’s primary residence was in Dallas. In late 2016, he posted a message on his LinkedIn page announcing he had “several strokes” and then had a “Texas-sized fall” requiring hospital treatment. He said he was still mentally strong but in declining health, adding, “I clearly am in the fourth quarter.” In late 2017 he put his 65,000 acre (26,305 hectares) Mesa Vista Ranch in the Texas Panhandle up for sale, with an asking price of $250 million. Soon afterward Pickens closed his hedge fund, writing on his website that he wanted to invest instead in “personal passions like promoting unbridled entrepreneurship and philanthropic and political e...

  • Operations achieved at 290-MW Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower plant between Laos and Thailand

    Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc. announces that the 290-MW Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower plant has begun commercial operations. The plant is operated by Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company, which received the Commercial Operation Date certificate from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand on Sept. 5. Nam Ngiep 1, on the Nam Ngiep River between Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand, consists of a dam 167 m high and 530 m long at its crest and two power stations, the Main Power Station with a capacity of 270 MW and the Re-Regulation Power Station with a capacity of 20 MW. Electricity from the Main Power Station is supplied to EGAT, and electricity from the Re-Regulation Power Station is provided to Electricite du Laos. Construction of the project began in October 2014. Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company is a joint investment of Kansai, EGAT International and Lao Holding State Enterprise. In August 2013, Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company entered into the power purchase agreement with EGAT an...

  • Holtec, Eos create battery manufacturing JV

    Eos Energy Storage and energy equipment firm Holtec International are creating a joint venture to produce Eos’ next generation of large-scale zinc batteries. HI-POWER LLC will combine Eos’ automated battery manufacturing design and Holtec’s infrastructure experience to build a facility in Pittsburgh. The multi-GW manufacturing site will produce the new aqueous zinc batteries. “We are excited to partner with Holtec to establish a world-class manufacturing facility and also work together to bring our DC system to Holtec’s existing customer base in addition to meeting the rapid global growth of battery storage,” Eos CEO Joe Mastrangelo said in a statement. New Jersey-based Eos’ next generation batteries are zinc hybrid cathodes which not only provide an alternative to lithium-ion, but they also operate across a wide temperature range without HVAC and without the risk of fire or explosion, according to the company. Eos says the batteries feature over fo...

  • Australia in planning for multiple massive battery projects

    James Thornhill,  Bloomberg France’s Neoen SA has outlined plans to build a giant renewables complex in South Australia, including battery storage with up to nine times more capacity than the Tesla Inc. design at its nearby Hornsdale plant, which is billed as the world’s largest lithium-ion battery. The Goyder South project will include up to 1,200 megawatts of wind generation, 600 MW of solar and 900 MW of battery storage, with an initial investment of up to A$1 billion ($687 million), Neoen said in a statement Wednesday. The company plans to draw on its experience with the Hornsdale Power Reserve, which it said had saved consumers over A$40 million since its 2017 start by bolstering grid stability. The project, slated to begin construction in 2021, is expected to utilize a planned electricity interconnector between South Australia and the eastern state of New South Wales. That transmission line “will provide a freeway for renewable energy from South Austra...

  • UK closes in on first geothermal power after successful drilling outcome

    By Jeremy Hodges The U.K. could be producing electricity from a geothermal plant for the first time early next decade after drilling at a site in southwest England showed it could become a viable part of the renewable energy mix. Initial tests by Geothermal Engineering Ltd. at the 5.1 kilometer (3.2 mile) deep well suggest that the United Downs project in Redruth, Cornwall is capable of producing power, the company said. Once fully operational, it could supply as much as 3 megawatts of electricity. Tests will continue at the site until the end of the first quarter in 2020 with construction scheduled to begin thereafter, GEL said. The well is the deepest ever drilled and hottest recorded in the U.K. with temperatures of 195 degrees Celsius (383 degrees Fahrenheit). GEL secured more than 10 million pounds ($12.3 million) from the European Regional Development Fund to research the viability of geothermal power in Cornwall. Water is pumped through granite rocks below the E...

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