sPower and MCE complete largest operational CCA solar project in California
■PV-Tech – April 29
sPower and MCE have commenced commercial operations at the 130-megawatt Antelope Expansion 2 PV project in Lancaster. The installation, which was completed in December 2018, will sell output to MCE under a long-term power purchase agreement. This stands as the largest PV project completed in California with a community choice aggregator (CCA). Antelope Expansion 2 will generate enough energy to power over 26,000 homes and eliminate over 217,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
California adopts 2030 Preferred System Portfolio with 12 GW of new wind, solar, storage, and geothermal
■Utility Dive – April 29
The California Public Utilities Commission last Friday voted 5-0 to adopt a Preferred System Portfolio that includes 12 gigawatts of new solar, wind, battery storage, and geothermal resources the state will need to procure by 2030 to meet ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. The decision caps a two-year process aimed at developing the state’s benchmark portfolio. The Integrated Resource Plan docket sought to balance resources needed to move to 100 percent zero carbon energy by 2045, versus capacity needed for near-term reliability. Community choice aggregators are expected to procure the majority of new resources in California in the next decade, and their renewables-heavy portfolios must be balanced against broader system needs, regulators said.
Los Angeles announces Green New Deal to drastically slash emissions
■Fast Company – April 29
While Congress talks about the Green New Deal, a version of it is already underway in Los Angeles. The city may be known for its gridlock and smog, but it also has an ambitious plan to transform itself to tackle climate change. Last week, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced how the city is accelerating its plans, moving to renewable energy, emissions-free buildings and vehicles, and reducing its water use—all while creating green jobs for its low-income communities. By 2025, Los Angeles plans to run on 55 percent renewable electricity and stop using coal power entirely. By 2030, all new buildings in the city will have to be emissions-free. By 2050, every existing building will have to be retrofitted to meet the same goal. The city is also building the infrastructure to help people who keep driving make the switch to electric cars—including 25,000 new electric charging stations by 2025.
Hydropower bill would sabotage California’s clean energy mandate, critics say
■Los Angeles Times – April 30
The Don Pedro hydropower project, just west of Yosemite National Park, has been churning out carbon-free electricity for nearly a century. None of the electricity is counted toward California’s push for more renewable energy on its power grid. A new bill advanced by state lawmakers last week would change that. Under Senate Bill 100, which was signed last year by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, California is required to get 100 percent of its electricity from climate-friendly sources by 2045. But the details of how to get to 100 percent still need to be worked out. Senate Bill 386, which was written by state Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), would single out Don Pedro Dam for special treatment, allowing the two Central Valley irrigation districts that own and operate the 203-megawatt hydropower facility to count the generation toward their renewable energy goals. But if lawmakers carve out an exemption for the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts, the bill’s critics say, other utilities will come clamoring for the same treatment for their large dams.
Navigant: Microgrids and virtual power plants will come to rely upon electric vehicles
■Microgrid Knowledge – April 29
When Navigant Research examined nine California microgrids that have a total of 21 megawatts of generating capacity, it found that the biggest value propositions were renewable energy integration, resiliency, and bill savings. But it also found emerging benefits from incorporating charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Within five years, Peter Asmus, research director with Navigant Research says, the concept will have fully emerged. “As we get more electric vehicles, that means grid reliability becomes more important,” says Asmus. “If there is an outage, that could affect transportation. Microgrids therefore become more important. We will need to get those electric vehicles charged up. So, a microgrid could have charging stations built into them.”
Southern California Edison picks 195-MW battery portfolio in place of Puente gas plant
■Greentech Media – April 25
Last week, utility Southern California Edison (SCE) selected a roster of energy storage projects to supply local capacity needs around the coastal city of Oxnard, instead of the 262-megawatt natural-gas peaker plant it had chosen previously. If regulators give their approval, Strata Solar will build and own a 100-megawatt/400-megawatt-hour system in Oxnard, and dispatch it on behalf of SCE. This system will tie for largest lithium-ion battery in the world when it comes online in December 2020; the AES Alamitos plant of the same size is due around the same time.
BOEM reveals California offshore interest
■ReNews – April 26
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has revealed that 14 companies have shown an interest in developing offshore wind projects off the coast of California. The responses came to a call for information and nominations for leasing up to three sites on the outer continental shelf. Companies that responded include Algonquin Power Fund, WPD Offshore Alpha, Avangrid Renewables, Castle Wind, Cierco Corporation, EDF Renewables North America, EC&R (eON) Development, Equinor Wind, Mission Floating Wind, Northcoast Floating Wind, Northland Power America, Redwood Coast Energy Authority, and U.S. Mainstream Renewable Power. BOEM said that no decision has been made to offer leases for the Humbolt, Morro Bay, and Diablo Canyon sites.