SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE – Sep 4 Assembly Bill 813 , a bill that sought to expand California’s electric grid and integrate it with the transmission systems of neighboring states, was rejected on Friday by the California legislature, which adjourned without passing the bill. Though a regional grid would help all participants integrate more clean energy, it would have been particularly helpful in California, where excess clean energy could have been sold instead of turned off or given away to nearby states for free, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. The failure of Assembly Bill 813 came just two days after the legislature passed Senate Bill 100, which mandates that California obtain 100 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2045 and requires electric providers to generate 60 percent of their electricity from clean sources by 2030.
PV MAGAZINE – Sep 3 MIT researchers have developed methods for measuring the impact of air pollution on the performance of a solar installation. Data collected over a two year period in Delhi, India, demonstrated that haze resulting from the presence of fine particulate matter in the air, reduced PV panel output in the city by an average of 12 percent. The study, published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, goes on to estimate haze-related reductions for 16 more cities, ranging from 2 percent in Singapore, to 9.1 percent in Beijing. The study estimates that in Delhi alone, lost revenue from PV generation due to air pollution could amount to $20 million a year.
THE TRIBUNE – Sep 3 Morro Bay city administrator Eric Endersby has been working to help Seattle-based Trident Winds find a home in Morro Bay for a multimillion dollar project that would tie into the grid in the city where the Dynegy power plant has sat idle since 2014. The sticking point for wind energy in the Pacific Ocean has been a U.S. Navy map that shows virtually all of the California coast in a red zone, meaning those sectors were “not compatible” with military operations and “off limits” to ocean wind farms. The map appeared to jeopardize plans by Trident and other companies to build up to a 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power generated by giant 700-foot floating wind turbines out of view some 30 miles off the Cambria coast. But there are signs of progress on the horizon: Trident is continuing to work with local stakeholders, the Department of Defense has been willing to listen to proposals lately, and a state and federal task force is planning its first meeting in a year later this month.
SOLAR POWER WORLD – Aug 29 In a bipartisan victory for local clean energy, the California Assembly passed Senate Bill 700 (SB 700) last week, which would result in nearly 3,000 megawatts of behind-the-meter energy storage systems at schools, farms, homes, nonprofits, and businesses in California by 2026. SB 700 would achieve these goals by re-authorizing the Self-Generation Incentive Program for an additional five years, extending rebates for consumers through 2025. It would add up to $800 million for storage and other emerging clean energy technologies, resulting in a total investment of $1.2 billion for customer sites energy storage.
NORTH AMERICAN WINDPOWER – Sep 5 NextEra Energy Partners LP has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC to acquire a geographically diverse portfolio of 10 wind projects and one solar project, collectively consisting of approximately 1,388 megawatts, including Golden Hills North Wind Energy Center, a 46-megawatt wind plant in Alameda County, California. NextEra Energy Partners intends to initially finance the acquisition through a combination of $573 million proceeds from the sale earlier this year of its Canadian assets and capacity under an existing credit facility.
UTILITY DIVE – Aug 22 Global infrastructure firm AECOM has begun construction on an energy storage system at Fort Carson, Colo., that will utilize a 4.25-megawatt lithium-ion battery developed by Lockheed Martin to help reduce energy costs and improve resilience at the base. Once completed, the Battery Energy Storage System will be the largest stand-alone commercially contracted battery at an army base, according to the developers. The U.S. military is still dependent on petroleum, but is expected to accelerate its investments in clean energy and grid security over the next decade. Navigant expects the military’s annual spending on microgrids to rise from $453 million in 2017 to $1.4 billion in 2026.
ENERGY MANAGER TODAY – Aug 28 The city of Novato and Sonoma-based SolarCraft recently completed the installation of a 111-kilowatt solar system at New Life Christian Center in Novato. The system is designed to offset close to 93 percent of the annual utility bills for the church and school facilities. During the life of the system, more than 6 million pounds of carbon dioxide generated by New Life Christian Center’s operations will be eliminated.
MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE – Aug 23 Snohomish County PUD, a sizeable public utility north of Seattle, has broken ground on a $9.5 million microgrid that it will use for emergency operations. The utility sees the project as a way to ensure it will have an electrified base for operations should an earthquake or other calamity take down transmission lines, according to Neil Neroutsos, utility spokesman. Having an electrified base makes it easier for the utility to restore power to others in its 2,200 square-mile service territory. Scheduled for completion in 2020, the utility microgrid will include a 1-megawatt battery energy storage system, 500-kilowatt solar array, electric vehicle charging, and eventually a utility office building.