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UNSW rooftop solar mapping tool puts power in consumer hands – for free

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 17:58

Australian PV Institute launches new version of UNSW-developed online solar calculator, making it free to use for anyone seeking to install rooftop PV or a home battery.

The post UNSW rooftop solar mapping tool puts power in consumer hands – for free appeared first on RenewEconomy.

ACT switches on its first big battery on path to full electrification

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 16:59

ACT government switches on 10MW/20MWh Queanbeyan battery – one of at least two big batteries commissioned to aid the territory's shift to all-electric renewables.

The post ACT switches on its first big battery on path to full electrification appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Retired coal sites to be transformed into multi-day iron-air batteries

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 16:36

Two 10MW/1,000MWh multi-day iron-air battery storage systems will be deployed at two retiring coal plant sites in the US.

The post Retired coal sites to be transformed into multi-day iron-air batteries appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Energy Transformed Podcast: Amping up – Victoria’s energy transition

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 15:33

In the final part of our Energy Transformed podcast series we look at Victoria’s ground-breaking path from brown coal to green energy, and the role that the new public utility will play in the transition.

The post Energy Transformed Podcast: Amping up – Victoria’s energy transition appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Victoria’s biggest wind farm lures major new investor, with billions earmarked for renewables

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 14:40

Ikea buys into $3 billion wind and battery project in Victoria as part of multi-billion dollar renewable spend.

The post Victoria’s biggest wind farm lures major new investor, with billions earmarked for renewables appeared first on RenewEconomy.

WindServe Marine Obtains Working Capital from Washington Trust

North American Windpower - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 13:40

The Washington Trust Company says it has made a significant commercial loan to WindServe Marine LLC, a service provider for the offshore wind industry. The funding will enable WindServe to construct three new 88-foot crew transfer vessels (CTV), recently commissioned by offshore wind developer Ørsted.

“Washington Trust was founded on the southwestern shoreline of Rhode Island, and as a good corporate citizen, we are committed to protecting and preserving the local environment. Providing financing for alternative sources of energy that benefit this community aligns both with our business and sustainability benchmarks,” says Edward O. “Ned” Handy III, Washington Trust’s chairman and CEO.

WindServe’s new CTV fleet will initially support the design efforts of 12 new turbines at the Southfork Wind project, located off the coast of Long Island. Once the turbines’ construction is complete, the usage of the vessels will be expanded to the service and maintenance of similar wind farm projects, including Revolution Wind (RI and CT) and Sunrise Wind (NY).

Construction of the vessels will be led by North Kingstown, R.I.-based Senesco Marine, which has expanded its local workforce by approximately 100 new in-state jobs to support the commissioning of this project.

The completion date is projected for mid-to-late summer 2023.

The post WindServe Marine Obtains Working Capital from Washington Trust appeared first on North American Windpower.

Partners Form Joint Venture to Pursue Solar in New York State

Solar Industry Magazine - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 13:33

Vermont-based Bullrock Renewables has formed a joint venture with Missouri-based NXTGenREA and New York-based Delaware River Solar to construct, own and operate 250 MW of solar projects throughout New York state by 2025.

Bullrock CEO Ross Sanner says the partnership is part of an aggressive growth strategy at the company, which builds, owns and operates solar energy projects throughout the United States. The company says it takes a vertically integrated approach to solar, which allows for faster, more efficient engineering, construction, funding and utilization of tax equity.

The three companies have successfully delivered more than $1.5 billion of solar assets since 2012, making the group one of the largest private entities in the space.

The 250 MW of projects include 120 MW that will be completed by the end of 2024 and 130 MW that will be operational by March 2025. The partners are also negotiating acquisitions and partnerships totaling an additional 300 MW of projects nationwide.

The post Partners Form Joint Venture to Pursue Solar in New York State appeared first on Solar Industry.

Tigo Energy Triumphant in PV Rapid Shutdown Patent Issue

Solar Industry Magazine - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 13:27

Tigo Energy Inc. says the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied a SunSpec Alliance challenge to the validity of Tigo’s U.S. Patent No. 8,933,321 in its entirety, as well as denied the organization’s challenge to the validity of claims 14-16 of Tigo U.S. Patent No. 10,256,770.

The Tigo patent claims upheld by the USPTO are relevant to the SunSpec Alliance Rapid Shutdown Specification. Rapid shutdown is a safety function for photovoltaic systems on buildings, designed to reduce the risk of electrical shock to emergency responders, and is mandated by building codes and regulatory bodies in the U.S. and in a rapidly growing number of countries around the world.

In its two inter partes review filings from February 2022, SunSpec Alliance challenged 11 claims in Tigo’s ’321 and ’770 patents, attempting to show those claims as being invalid based on prior art. In its ruling, the USPTO overwhelmingly rejected the SunSpec Alliance filings by upholding nine of the Tigo patent claims it challenged. The ruling on the two other claims has no effect on the applicability of the 18 remaining claims in the ’770 patent to the SunSpec Rapid Shutdown Specification.

“We welcome this ruling by the U.S. Patent Office, which not only demonstrates the value and strength of our IP portfolio, but also allows Tigo and the rest of the solar industry to continue bringing solar installers the high-quality equipment on which they rely,” says Zvi Alon, chairman and CEO of Tigo Energy.

“For many years, Tigo has deployed financial and human capital to develop novel technologies that deliver safe and reliable solutions for the solar industry,” Alon adds. “Our patents reflect the advancements and contributions we have made to solar. And as with previous patent challenges, Tigo will offer reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms to SunSpec Alliance members.”

The post Tigo Energy Triumphant in PV Rapid Shutdown Patent Issue appeared first on Solar Industry.

Westbridge Acquires Large Canadian Solar+Storage Project

Solar Industry Magazine - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 13:17

Westbridge Renewable Energy Corp. has added the 295 MWp solar PV / 100 MW/200 MWh Red Willow Project, located in Stettler County No. 6 in central Alberta, Canada, to the company’s portfolio.

The project is in Stage 2 of the Alberta Electric System Operator interconnection process. Westbridge recently submitted environmental and wildlife field studies to Alberta Environment and Parks, in a request for a referral letter, which will be then submitted to the Alberta Utility Commission as part of Red Willow’s application for power plant approval.   

“The Red Willow Project has secured site control in the form of a long-term solar lease with private landowners,” explains Maggie McKenna, Westbridge’s director and chief operating officer. “We look forward to kicking off engagement with stakeholders and the local community.”

Westbridge’s current portfolio includes projects in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

The post Westbridge Acquires Large Canadian Solar+Storage Project appeared first on Solar Industry.

DSD Buys Solar-Plus-Storage Project from New Leaf Energy

Solar Industry Magazine - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 12:37

DSD Renewables has acquired an 11.8 MW community solar-plus-storage project from New Leaf Energy in Dartmouth, Mass.

The project will be part of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program – a long-term solar incentive program to promote cost-effective solar development across the state – and qualifies for Massachusetts’ Low Income Community Shared Solar program, providing electricity bill credits to low-income subscribers as well as local businesses.

Offtake for the project will be made up of 50% low-to-moderate income (LMI) customers that will receive a monthly savings on their electricity bill, with the remainder going to a corporate offtakers in the Dartmouth area.

“This project represents the continued growth and success of our work in this region,” says Ryan Lloyd, DSD’s director of acquisition. “We’re proud to deliver yet another project backed by Massachusetts’ solar programs that will deliver a positive impact to the local community.”

The site will include a solar array and a ground-mount energy storage system totaling 5 MWh, and marks the seventh project DSD and New Leaf Energy (formerly Borrego) have partnered on in the last 12 months. New Leaf Energy is a newly independent solar development company, resulting from the spin out of Borrego – previously a leading developer, EPC, and O&M provider for large-scale solar and energy storage projects – after the sale of its development business last year.

DSD will own and operate the project long-term, while Arcadia Power is handling LMI customer acquisition and management, as well as managing the anchor customer subscription.

The post DSD Buys Solar-Plus-Storage Project from New Leaf Energy appeared first on Solar Industry.

Petersen Joins ERM from Wind Division of Ramboll

North American Windpower - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 07:30

Sustainability consultancy ERM has appointed Søren Juel Petersen to lead renewable energy business development and client service in the Nordic region, based in ERM’s newly opened office in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Petersen joins ERM from the wind division of Ramboll Group, a Danish architecture and engineering consultancy. He has more than 25 years of experience with large onshore and offshore wind projects, managing major international wind installations from development through to implementation. His experience also includes major regional infrastructure projects, such as the Great Belt and the Øresund Link, a combined railway and motorway bridge across the Øresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden.

“We are thrilled that Søren has joined ERM,” says Gareth Lewis, EMEA managing partner for renewables at ERM. “He brings a wealth of industry knowledge and real-life experience at a key moment for ERM as we experience increased client demand for renewable energy projects. By strengthening ERM’s presence in Denmark, the gateway to the Nordic region, we will be well-positioned to support our clients and their supply chains as we work towards the energy transition in Europe.”

The post Petersen Joins ERM from Wind Division of Ramboll appeared first on North American Windpower.

SEIA Pushes Back Against Grid Operator’s Stance on Solar

Solar Industry Magazine - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 07:12

Earthjustice has filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on behalf of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), challenging a rule that prohibits renewable energy from providing grid ancillary services.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. (MISO) is the only FERC jurisdictional grid operator to explicitly prohibit wind, solar and battery hybrid resources from providing ancillary services. MISO serves 45 million people in 15 states and Manitoba.

The amount of energy produced from wind and solar is expected to increase significantly in the MISO region in the coming years. Wind, solar, and battery hybrid resources have proven they can provide ancillary services.

The temporary prohibition was instituted in 2011 by MISO and never revisited; the complaint seeks to lift this blanket prohibition.

“Regional transmission authorities should not restrict the services that renewables can provide,” says Aaron Stemplewicz, Earthjustice attorney. “FERC must order MISO to reform the current tariff provisions and business practices manual to allow wind and solar resources to participate fully and equitably in MISO’s wholesale market. Earthjustice will also challenge any attempts to strip wind, solar and battery hybrid resources from providing ramp capability. Any backsliding will be rigorously challenged with regard to the eligibility of renewable resources to provide all the services they are capable of providing.”

“For the last decade, the MISO has been discriminating against renewable generators, and it’s time that FERC corrects the record and gives renewables a fair shot,” adds Melissa Alfano, director of energy markets and counsel at SEIA. “The fact is, the grid is changing, and energy markets need to keep up. Renewable assets like solar, storage, and wind have more than proven themselves as reliable, and we need to recognize the full scope of their benefits if we want to rapidly decarbonize in the next 10 years.”

Ancillary services are critical components of ensuring the stability and reliability of the electric grid, as well as enabling the integration of renewable energy sources with variable output. Allowing wind, solar and battery hybrid resources to be eligible to provide ancillary services could lower overall system costs, and could make the grid more reliable and resilient to extreme weather and climate disasters.

MISO plans to file a request with FERC to remove ramp capability eligibility for renewable resources as well. Ramp capability refers to the ability of a power system to quickly increase or decrease its output to accommodate changes in electricity demand. Ramp shortages are the most common cause of short-term scarcities and price spikes.

The post SEIA Pushes Back Against Grid Operator’s Stance on Solar appeared first on Solar Industry.

Mayflower Wind Renamed to SouthCoast Wind Energy

North American Windpower - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 07:00

SouthCoast Wind Energy LLC, a joint venture of Shell New Energies US LLC and Ocean Winds North America, is the new name for Mayflower Wind.

The organization says the change better reflects the company’s commitment to the people, businesses and communities of the SouthCoast, all of whom will benefit from the growing offshore wind industry.

“We are proud to call the SouthCoast home and recognize the importance this area has to the success of our project,” says Francis Slingsby, CEO, SouthCoast Wind. “SouthCoast Wind remains steadfast in its commitment to being an integral community partner and investing in economic development, education and training.”

From Rhode Island’s Sakonnet River to Buzzard’s Bay, SouthCoast Wind will provide jobs and opportunity for all who wish to participate while providing support to low-income communities throughout the SouthCoast region, the company says.

“The SouthCoast region is serving as a strong anchor for the offshore wind industry and today’s announcement serves to recognize SouthCoast Wind’s growing presence, along with their many partnerships and investments in our communities throughout our region,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues, D-Westport, 1st Bristol & Plymouth District. “Moving forward,

“I remain committed to continuing to work collaboratively with SouthCoast Wind, our communities, public higher education institutions, local businesses and residents to further deepen our region’s thriving partnership with the growing offshore wind industry, ensuring we create and support opportunities that impact our SouthCoast region for many years to come,” says State Sen. Michael J. Rodrigues.

The company has grown significantly since its inception in 2019, leveraging its parent companies’ extensive experience in developing offshore wind projects across the globe. The joint venture comprises a diverse workforce of more than 80 employees dedicated to delivering a robust portfolio of offshore wind energy to New England.

SouthCoast Wind’s full offshore wind lease area has a capacity of 2.4 GW – enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes and businesses. The first 1.2 GW will connect to the electric grid at Brayton Point in Somerset, Mass., the former home of the region’s largest coal plant. SouthCoast Wind also plans to connect to the regional electric grid at a second location in Falmouth, Mass.

Photo credit

The post Mayflower Wind Renamed to SouthCoast Wind Energy appeared first on North American Windpower.

ChargePoint, Stem strike EV charging and battery storage deal for highway corridor fast-charging networks

Utility Dive - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 06:51

Combining charging, battery storage and AI-driven energy management will save money for EV site operators, the companies say.

EV transition not keeping pace with US climate goals: report

Utility Dive - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 06:50

Gas-powered cars need tighter regulations for the U.S. to meet its 2030 emissions target, while not enough urban charging or utility upgrades could constrain electrification, one report author said.

Moody’s lowers Tri-State’s outlook to ‘negative’ as three members seek to exit, cost recovery stalls

Utility Dive - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 06:44

The revised outlook issued Tuesday also reflects a rate decrease for Tri-State’s members, which prevents the wholesale power supplier from fully recovering its expenses.

First Solar brings US manufacturing investment to $4B after selling out of panels through 2025

Utility Dive - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 06:31

The company wants to bring its annual domestic manufacturing capacity to 10.6 GW by 2025.

Getting politics out of utility bills

Utility Dive - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 06:25

Public utility commissions should explicitly bar utilities from spending customers' money on politics, using clear and common-sense definitions of political activity. 

Maine PUC OKs 1-GW Longroad wind farm, LS Power transmission line amid equity and cost concerns

Utility Dive - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 04:46

A Maine regulator warned the cost of the energy transition may pose an unfair burden to low- and middle-income people.

How to Get Your Local Government to 100 Percent Clean Electricity

Rocky Mountain Institute - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 03:00

Hundreds of cities across the United States have announced 100 percent renewable energy or carbon-neutrality goals. While setting a target is a critical first step, many local governments struggle to determine what comes next — how should they prioritize various energy projects to meet their goals efficiently?

With unprecedented funding quickly becoming available from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), local governments need a more nimble, iterative planning process that can help them determine which energy actions to implement. Here are two fundamental questions cities and counties need to answer:

  1. Which facility types (e.g., office buildings, wastewater plants, airports, fire stations, etc.) should be prioritized?
  2. Which energy actions (e.g., electrification, energy efficiency, renewable energy procurement, etc.) should be prioritized?

To help local governments answer these questions and make progress toward their decarbonization goals, RMI developed the Local Energy Action Framework (LEAF) with six cities and counties across the United States, including Alexandria, VA; Ann Arbor, MI; Atlanta, GA; Boise, ID; Cincinnati, OH; and Miami-Dade County, FL.

What Is LEAF?

LEAF is a step-by-step process that helps local governments map out current and future electricity needs in an integrated, holistic fashion. Planning various decarbonization projects in isolation could lead to sub-optimal outcomes. For example, local governments might buy less renewable energy than they ultimately need if they do not consider the added demand that will come from electrifying buildings and vehicles. Or they could wind up generating massive peak loads, and thus inflating costs unnecessarily, if all of their electric vehicle charging and heat pumps turn on at the same time.

By helping local governments compile the necessary data and develop holistic clean energy plans, LEAF helps cities and counties understand not only the impact of individual energy actions but also how each action will interact with others.

In line with local governments’ desire to support their own communities, a core principle of LEAF is to maximize local resources and investment first. Some examples are electrifying buildings and vehicles, upgrading streetlights with LED lighting, and installing on-site solar with battery storage, etc. These local solutions can increase the flexibility of local electricity systems, create local green jobs, reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, and improve air quality.

Four Things Local Governments Need to Know to Reach Their Decarbonization Goals

Using the LEAF framework, we worked with six US local governments to identify the biggest electricity savings opportunities and evaluate how each energy action fits into the bigger picture. Building upon the data from these cities and counties, here are the most important takeaways cities can use in their own holistic clean energy planning:

1. Prioritizing energy efficiency improvements in facilities with the highest electricity demands leads to more energy savings.

Higher electricity usage often indicates greater potential for energy savings. Water and wastewater facilities are usually among the largest electricity users for most cities and counties — accounting for up to 70 percent of city electricity usage. However, local governments that operate a large airport, like Atlanta, may see that as the largest driver of demand. Other electricity loads, such as office space and outdoor lighting, often account for only a small fraction of overall usage, yet this can vary substantially between communities.

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2. Electrifying heating and vehicle fleets can significantly decrease carbon emissions but will increase building load (excluding water facilities) by 5-17 percent annually.

Electrification has a notable impact on municipal carbon emissions reductions. According to the LEAF analysis, building and vehicle electrification could account for up to 52 percent of the total carbon emissions reductions resulting from all planned decarbonization efforts in these cities by 2030. However, the climate impact of electrification depends on how clean the grid is and will be in the future. Local governments should collaborate with local utilities to ensure the grid is decarbonizing in line with their decarbonization needs and timeline.

Meanwhile, building electrification, especially for heating systems, will significantly increase electricity demands for some local governments at certain times. For cities and counties in a cold climate zone, such as Boise, electrifying heating could increase their winter building load by 170 percent, and particularly drive load peaks in the early morning hours. The impact of building electrification will also tend to be higher for cities and counties that have more large office spaces. Local governments should therefore electrify buildings with efficient technologies, such as heat pumps, to mitigate the impact of increased load.

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3. To achieve 24×7 clean electricity, flexible loads and batteries can help shift demand to hours of the day with lower electricity usage or when more renewable energy will be available.

Across all six local governments, 60–80 percent of their electricity consumption occurs between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., when solar resources are limited, due to large overnight loads of water treatment plants and outdoor lights. To achieve a 24-hour clean electricity supply, cities and counties may need to shift the operating hours of some flexible loads from night to daytime. In addition, using batteries charged with solar resources allows municipal facilities to operate on clean energy in the evening.

Smart electric vehicle (EV) charging is a great example of how deploying flexible electricity loads can have a positive impact. Municipal vehicles such as garbage trucks typically only run in the early morning to avoid traffic, while others, like patrol cars, need to run throughout the day. Cities and counties should identify which types of vehicles can be charged flexibly and optimize EV charging time to avoid charging during peak demand hours or hours without a clean energy supply.

4. Local governments should purchase off-site renewable energy, especially non-solar resources, to fill the remaining gap.

Most local governments do not have enough roofs or local land space to deploy on-site solar to power all their municipal operations. To achieve their 100 percent clean electricity goals, they will need to look to off-site solutions. Non-solar energy, including wind and geothermal resources, can be a good option to power large overnight loads such as streetlights and water facilities. Most US cities and counties will need to procure renewable energy through an off-site power purchase agreement (PPA), virtual PPA, and/or green tariff to fill the gap efficiently.

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Accelerate Municipal Decarbonization Efforts with a Holistic Mindset

For many US local governments at the starting line of the decarbonization journey, the insights derived from LEAF can jump-start decarbonization planning in addition to saving time and money during implementation. Watch our webinar, view our PowerPoint guide, or reach out to Ali Rotatori at arotatori@rmi.org to learn more about how LEAF is helping local governments take charge.

Not sure how to start taking advantage of the upcoming funding from the IIJA and the IRA for your city’s decarbonization projects? Check out RMI’s Federal Funding Opportunities for Local Decarbonization (FFOLD) tool and new Funding Guidance to better understand where to start and which opportunities make the most sense for your local government.

The post How to Get Your Local Government to 100 Percent Clean Electricity appeared first on RMI.

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