Renewable Energy Update – July 2020

FocusHouse Democrats pass major clean energy bill as Senate GOP mulls timeline for economic stimulus Utility Dive – July 2The House this Wednesday passed a $1.5 trillion green recovery package, the Moving Forward Act, which includes the GREEN Act, a comprehensive bill that would boost federal tax incentives for solar, storage, offshore wind, electric vehicles, and more. The GREEN Act is the latest attempt by Democrats to include clean energy aid in federal recovery efforts, but bipartisan support for the legislation has not emerged. Before the GREEN Act’s inclusion, the Moving Forward Act would invest more than $70 billion in upgrading the electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy, integrate electric vehicle charging, and support greater resilience and energy efficiency. But the GREEN Act’s inclusion is a game changer, according to multiple clean energy industry groups. The bill would build on existing tax credit structures, expanding the solar and wind investment tax credits by five years, as well as the wind production tax credit. It would also include a direct pay incentive for solar and wind projects, as well as “enhanced incentives” for offshore wind investments and geothermal, and provide new tax credits to incentivize investments in energy storage, biogas, and waste-to-power.READ
NewsPolicy solutions for California’s grid of the future UC Berkeley School of Law – June 19Technologies like distributed renewable generation, microgrids, energy storage, building energy management, and vehicle-grid integration will be essential to promote community safety and resilience while advancing California’s effort to obtain 60 percent renewable power by 2030 and 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045. But these investments will require significant policy and financial support to achieve these dual state goals over the coming decade. To address this need, UC Berkeley School of Law and UCLA Law convened a group of California state energy regulators, local government leaders, grid experts, and clean energy advocates for a discussion on California’s electrical grid of the future, publishing a report on the group’s findings. The report highlights the top policy solutions the group identified to address the financial, regulatory, and data barriers to clean and resilient grid deployment.READArizona Public Service lays out its options for reaching zero-carbon energy by 2050 Greentech Media – June 30Arizona Public Service (APS), the state’s largest utility, has released its plan for reaching zero-carbon by 2050. In the nearer term, APS is aiming to hit 45 percent renewable electricity by 2030, with its Palo Verde nuclear power plant bringing the tally up to 65 percent carbon-free power. The utility’s massive integrated resource plan, filed with state regulators this week, would achieve those levels without building any new gas plants. Instead, APS wants to invest heavily in utility-scale solar and energy storage, along with customer-owned distributed energy and load flexibility.READCapital Dynamics continues solar splurge with 353-MW acquisition PV-Tech – July 1Asset management firm Capital Dynamics has purchased a 353-MW portfolio of North American solar projects from independent power product Coronal Energy. The portfolio comprises 16 individual projects in Arizona, California, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, and Ontario, Canada. Switzerland-headquartered Capital Dynamics acquired the projects through its Clean Energy Infrastructure business, which owns over 7 GW of projects in North America and Europe.READPG&E first gas-electric IOU to publicly support California’s all-electric construction Utility Dive – June 26In a letter filed with the California Energy Commission last Wednesday, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) officials expressed support for efforts to promote all-electric new construction, when feasible and cost-effective, as part of a 2022 update to California’s energy code. PG&E “welcomes the opportunity to avoid investments in new gas assets that might later prove underutilized as local governments and the state work together to realize long-term decarbonization objectives,” PG&E’s letter is “a really critical milestone for climate leadership among utilities,” since it is the first combined gas and electric investor-owned utility to publicly support all-electric new construction, Stephanie Greene, principal at Rocky Mountain Institute, told Utility Dive.READ
ProjectsCyrq Energy seeks geothermal ‘moonshot’ at Cascades volcano Bloomberg Law – June 29Cyrq Energy Inc. is seeking a geothermal energy “moonshot” on the slopes of Mt. Baker, a volcano in Washington State where the company hopes to refine drilling technology that could help spread geothermal power across the U.S. The company plans to bid on two leases in a national forest near Mt. Baker east of Bellingham in this week’s Bureau of Land Management geothermal lease sale—the Interior Department’s first geothermal leasing outside of California and Nevada since 2016. Cyrq and its partner AltaRock Energy Inc. hope to refine geothermal drilling technology that will allow energy companies to drill far deeper underground than currently possible.READWaste-to-hydrogen project set for California Power Magazine – June 30Ways2H, headquartered in Long Beach, and Ford, Bacon & Davis, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based firm, announced a joint effort this week to design and build a modular waste-to-hydrogen production facility in California by the end of 2020, “with a pipeline of additional projects to follow in 2021.” The companies said the California project will be the first U.S. modular waste-to-hydrogen production facility; Ways2H also has a project underway in Japan. The California Energy Commission in a June report said a lack of existing renewable hydrogen production is creating a gap with fast-growing demand for the fuel.READFresno enters solar agreement with hopes of saving $100M The Business Journal – June 25The Fresno City Council approved a renewable energy plan last Thursday that would provide more than 25 MW of solar energy and storage to power three of the city’s water treatment facilities. The plan, introduced by the City’s Department of Public Utilities and its Sustainability Division, is estimated to save the city more than $100 million, offsetting more than 64 percent of the plants’ energy consumption over the next two decades. ForeFront Power will provide the city with the development, financing, construction, and operation of the solar and energy projects at no upfront cost through a power purchase agreement.READ

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