Renewable Energy Update – April 2018

Group pursuing floating wind farm off California coast
REUTERS – Apr 3 EDP Renewables and four other companies have joined with a Northern California power provider to develop the first U.S. offshore wind farm to boast advanced floating turbines, the group said in a statement on Tuesday. The Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), a local government authority that provides electricity to most of California’s Humboldt County, solicited bids for an offshore wind project earlier this year because it is seeking to generate more of its power needs locally. The group plans to submit an unsolicited lease application to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in May or June of this year, said Lori Biondini, director of business development for RCEA.

Commission recommends testing the renewable-energy market for Grayson project
LOS ANGELES TIMES – Apr 3 After reviewing the final environmental impact report on the proposed Grayson Power Plant renovation project, the Glendale Water & Power Commission voted Monday to recommend that City Council take no action on the report and instead test the renewable-energy market for additional alternatives. Commissioners are asking that instead of certifying the final impact report, which is expected to be discussed during a council meeting on April 10, city officials should issue a Request For Information that would collect a draft of renewable alternatives for Grayson from various firms within 90 days.

California leads nation in solar jobs, but industry has lost some of its glow
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER – Mar 30 California continues to surge past the rest of the nation with solar jobs – but the industry’s recent burst of green-power growth dimmed a bit last year, enduring a 14 percent decline in employment. A newly-released report from The Solar Foundation revealed that California employed 86,414 people in the solar industry last year. That was nearly seven and a half times the number of solar workers in Massachusetts, which ranked second with 11,530 jobs. The Solar Foundation report shows that installation of solar systems accounted for the lion’s share of solar employment in California last year, which supported 46,489 jobs.

NV Energy exceeds Nevada’s RPS once again
NORTH AMERICAN WINDPOWER – Apr 3 Las Vegas-based NV Energy says it has exceeded Nevada’s 20 percent renewable energy requirement for the eighth year in a row. NV Energy’s 2017 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Annual Report, recently filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, shows that the company achieved a 25.5 percent renewable energy and related credits level in northern Nevada and a 23.1 percent level in southern Nevada for a combined weighted average of 23.8 percent.

PG&E to test price signals, load management strategies in EV charging program
UTILITY DIVE – Apr 4 Earlier this year, PG&E launched a new EV Charge Network program, working with businesses and charging companies to install 7,500 level 2 chargers across Northern and Central California. A major focus of the program is on disadvantaged communities and areas more difficult to serve, like condominiums, apartment buildings, and workplaces. The utility began working on the pilot concept in 2013, and it filed an application the next year. It took about two years to get approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, and for the last year, PG&E has been preparing to roll it out. Now two months into the program, a few projects have been completed; about 140 applications have come in from businesses, office buildings, and apartment buildings; roughly three dozen are being reviewed; and almost 50 have passed through eligibility screening or are in construction.

Why Southern California Edison’s 125 megawatts of DER contracts may get rejected
GREENTECH MEDIA – Apr 4 Over the past decade, California has pushed utilities to invest in distributed energy resources like rooftop solar energy storage, demand response, electric-vehicle charging stations, and other pieces of its future grid. Now, state regulators are on the verge of a first-of-a-kind decision to cancel a major DER investment that’s been nearly two years in the making — an unexpected move that’s left contract winners facing the loss of nearly two years of effort and millions of dollars in future business. Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision that would deny Southern California Edison from collecting ratepayer funds to pay for 125 megawatts of contracted DERs that constitute the second phase of its Preferred Resources Pilot, dubbed “PRP 2.” The proposed decision is a sharp turnaround from the first round of 100 megawatts of PRP contracts approved in 2015.

L.A. plugs in giant solar array on roof of Convention Center, ranks No. 1 for solar power cities in America
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS – Apr 4 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled one of the largest rooftop solar projects in the city Wednesday, a 2.2 megawatt solar array atop the South Hall roof of the Los Angeles Convention Center in LA Live. The project takes Los Angeles to the top city in the nation for solar power. Altogether, Los Angeles has just under 350 megawatts of installed solar power, enough to provide power to 82,500 homes in L.A. for a savings of 187,304 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, or the equivalent of removing 40,108 automobiles from the road, the city reported. While hovering in second place for a few years, Los Angeles became the No. 1 city in total installed energy powered by the sun, bumping the city of San Diego from the top spot, according to a report from Environment America Research & Policy Center released Wednesday.

Strata Solar completes 28-megawatt solar array in Washington state
SOLAR POWER WORLD – Apr 4 As part of Strata Solar’s strategic expansion to the West Coast to develop and acquire more projects, the company is announcing the development of a 28-megawatt solar facility in the town of Lind, Washington. This facility will be the largest solar power plant in the state. The announcement comes as Strata has been rapidly growing its national footprint to include construction of several other projects in Arizona, New Mexico, and California, some with battery storage solutions. The Adams-Neilson solar farm in Lind is part of the Solar Select program, offered by local utility Avista, which allows commercial and industrial electric customers to participate in the benefits of solar energy through this centralized solar production facility.



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