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Sarens PSG to Perform Monopile Installation for Moray West

North American Windpower - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 16:36

Moray West has selected Sarens PSG, a joint venture between Sarens and PSG Marine & Logistics established in summer 2022, to undertake the marshalling work at Invergordon of all 62 monopiles prior to installation as part of the Moray West offshore wind farm. Ocean Winds, created as a 50-50 joint venture owned by EDP Renewables and ENGIE, is developing the Moray West project.

The monopiles will be the largest and heaviest XXL monopiles ever handled in the U.K., with weights close to 2,000 tonnes. Offloading and marshalling for storage and load out of the monopiles will be undertaken by Sarens PSG using their fleet of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). The monopiles will start to arrive in Invergordon in mid-2023 with installation complete approximately one year later.

The agreement to use Sarens PSG will support the growth plans in Scotland of the new heavy lift and transport logistics joint venture, based out of the Invergordon Service Base.  The joint venture offers an extensive heavy lift design and implementation capability together with a broad range of transport and logistics support services to customers in the fixed and floating offshore wind market across Scotland.

“From the successful working with PSG on the Moray East project we are delighted that the capabilities of the Sarens PSG joint venture have enhanced the offering to meet the needs of Moray West,” says Pete Geddes, EPC director for Ocean Winds in the U.K. with responsibility for Moray West. “Handling the XXL monopiles will be a first. The track record of Sarens and PSG, together with their large fleet of SPMTs, provided key confidence to make this selection. The ambitious delivery program will mean that from this summer we’ll start working with Sarens PSG to offload and marshall the monopiles.

“We hope that this demonstration of confidence in Sarens PSG supports their investment plans to prepare for the wave of ScotWind sites that are in the development pipeline,” continues Geddes. “This includes the Ocean Winds ‘Caledonia’ project that should be in construction well before the end of the decade.”

“The combination of strategically located deep-water heavy lift quaysides and vast adjacent laydown combined with Sarens PSG’s heavy lift and transport experience, engineering capacities, and market leading equipment provision, makes Invergordon and Sarens PSG the ideal and compelling choice for this project and for the delivery of large-scale storage and marshalling of both fixed and floating offshore wind projects,” comments Steve Clark, at Sarens PSG.

“We are delighted to be supporting the Moray West Project team as they move into the offshore construction phase,” adds Clark. “Securing this major project allows Sarens PSG to showcase our capabilities and innovative solutions to Ocean Winds and indeed the larger market at this critical time in the energy transition, and we look forward to welcoming the foundation structures to the  Invergordon Facility in the coming months.”

The post Sarens PSG to Perform Monopile Installation for Moray West appeared first on North American Windpower.

Solar Developer Selects PanelClaw for 150 MW Project Portfolio

Solar Industry Magazine - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 15:36

DSD Renewables, a commercial solar developer, operator and asset owner, has signed a one-year agreement with PanelClaw, a manufacturer of solar panel mounting systems, to supply panel racking for a 150 MW portfolio DSD will begin deploying this year.

DSD says its partnership with PanelClaw ensures a secure supply of domestically sourced racking systems to efficiently deploy solar projects over the next year and maintain market competitiveness as demand rises for projects, while also supporting domestic manufacturing and labor.

“Volatility will continue in the supply chain short-term,” says Robb Jetty, COO at DSD. “Fortunately, DSD’s partnership with PanelClaw will mitigate delays, standardize our engineering processes, provide predictability on some hard costs and ensure we have access to the materials necessary to deploy our portfolio of projects.”

With a fixed supplier of racking systems, DSD says it can reduce design times and speed up permitting processes for projects, while eliminating the need to find new suppliers for each deployment. The portfolio that the agreement will support, which includes solar installations with The Home Depot, allowed PanelClaw to work with its domestic suppliers to lock in competitive pricing and strategically look beyond a single project at a time.

Work on the projects will begin early this year. DSD is exploring a second long-term supplier agreement with PanelClaw next year to support its 2024 build plan.

The post Solar Developer Selects PanelClaw for 150 MW Project Portfolio appeared first on Solar Industry.

NSW shortlists 4.3GW of wind, solar and storage projects in first renewables auction

Renew Economy - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 14:58

NSW shortlists 4.3GW of wind, solar and storage projects in first auction in its plan to replace coal with renewables.

The post NSW shortlists 4.3GW of wind, solar and storage projects in first renewables auction appeared first on RenewEconomy.

EnCap Investments Enable Linea to Grow Renewable Energy Deployments

Solar Industry Magazine - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 12:46

Linea Energy, an independent renewable energy developer and power producer, has secured a significant capital commitment from EnCap Investments L.P., a provider of growth capital to the independent sector of the U.S. energy industry.

Linea is a newly formed independent power producer modernizing how clean energy is developed and financed to rapidly increase the speed of deployment. Linea’s partnership with EnCap positions the company to execute on its growth strategy of accelerating the decarbonization of the U.S. electricity grid through developing, owning, and operating utility-scale wind, solar, and battery energy storage projects. Linea will build its portfolio through greenfield development and strategic project acquisitions with an initial market focus on MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator), PJM (Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection) and ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas).

“We are delighted to partner with the EnCap Energy Transition team to develop and operate a world class portfolio of renewable energy and battery energy storage projects,” says Cassidy DeLine, CEO of Linea. “With EnCap as our partner, we have the capital and strategic positioning to develop and manage a technology-diverse renewables portfolio in key liquid power markets across the U.S.”

“We are focused on how we can accelerate the clean energy transition through relentlessly efficient development and innovation,” adds DeLine. “We are excited to immediately begin contributing to the transition to a lower carbon clean energy system that will meet the needs of electricity consumers across the country.”

“The partnership with Linea Energy is a strong fit within EnCap’s strategy to create and grow platforms that decarbonize the U.S. electricity grid and address the changing U.S. electricity market,” states Kellie Metcalf, EnCap’s energy transition managing partner. “Linea’s management team members have demonstrated individual track records and complementary skill sets. We are delighted to be working with the Linea team and are confident that they will build a world-class renewable energy platform.”

Linea brings together Cassidy DeLine (Cypress Creek), Benoit Vallieres (Brookfield, BP, DTE Energy) and Jonathan Vesdekas (Orsted, Invenergy). The company has added additional renewable energy professionals since its formation and will continue to grow the team throughout 2023.

The post EnCap Investments Enable Linea to Grow Renewable Energy Deployments appeared first on Solar Industry.

Duke Brings Idaho’s Largest Solar Facility Online

Solar Industry Magazine - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 12:20

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, a nonregulated commercial brand of Duke Energy, has placed into commercial operation the 120 MW Jackpot Solar project in Twin Falls County, Idaho.

This is the organization’s first utility-scale renewable energy project in the state and is the largest solar facility in operation in Idaho. It will provide energy to Idaho Power through a 20-year power purchase agreement. At 120 MW of capacity, the plant will generate enough electricity annually to serve the energy needs of roughly 24,000 homes.

“Entering the Idaho solar market with such a major renewable project is very exciting for Duke Energy,” says Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions. “Jackpot Solar will help strengthen the energy diversity in the state, and bring additional economic benefits to the state and Twin Falls County, while also supporting Idaho Power’s clean energy goals.”

Jackpot Solar will move Idaho Power toward its Clean Today, Cleaner Tomorrow target of providing 100% clean energy by 2045.

“This project continues our commitment to clean energy while also helping us address the rapidly growing need for new resources to ensure we can provide reliable, affordable electricity to our customers,” states Idaho Power senior vice president and COO Adam Richins.

SOLV Energy completed the engineering and construction of the project, which is located on 952 rural acres south of the city of Twin Falls. Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions will own and operate the project.

The post Duke Brings Idaho’s Largest Solar Facility Online appeared first on Solar Industry.

“We could do better:” Forrest to use own tech after US partner pulls Plug on electrolyser factory

Renew Economy - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 11:58

Fortescue to use its own hydrogen technologies at Gladstone factory after US-based Plug Power pulls out, saying the economics did not make the project worthwhile.

The post “We could do better:” Forrest to use own tech after US partner pulls Plug on electrolyser factory appeared first on RenewEconomy.

OYA Renewables Projects Selected for Expanded Solar For All Program

Solar Industry Magazine - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 07:21

Two of OYA Renewables’ new community solar projects have been selected as part of the first round of a community solar program, known as Expanded Solar For All (E-SFA), that delivers the benefits of clean energy to underserved New Yorkers. The awarded solar projects, which will generate over 13 MW of clean energy, will be automatically fully subscribed with National Grid customers enrolled in its Energy Affordability Program (EAP).

Spearheaded by the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in partnership with energy delivery company National Grid, the E-SFA program will deliver the benefits of clean energy to nearly 175,000 income-eligible customers in upstate New York once complete.

“E-SFA is a program we’re excited and very proud to be a part of,” says Manish Nayar, chairman and founder of OYA Renewables. “Its progressive approach to delivering clean energy to underserved communities is smart and commendable, and we applaud the State of New York for continuing to lead innovative programs that support its constituents. OYA’s exceptionally strong track record is a key reason our projects were selected, and why OYA has so quickly become one of the most impactful solar developers in the New York region. We look forward to continuing to expand this reach and impact into multiple new markets across the US as they advance towards a net zero future.”

OYA received more than $4.3 million in support from NYSERDA through its signature NY-Sun Program, which is helping make solar more accessible to families, businesses and communities across the state. Its participation and engagement with NYSERDA and National Grid, as a result of its awarded projects, will last throughout the 25-year lifetime of the program and contribute millions in bill credits to New York communities.

“New York’s Expanded Solar For All program helps underserved New Yorkers save on their monthly electricity bill and become a part of the clean energy transition,” says Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA’s president and CEO. “We are excited to partner with OYA and National Grid on these community solar projects that will extend the benefits of solar to more homeowners and renters across the state.”

The post OYA Renewables Projects Selected for Expanded Solar For All Program appeared first on Solar Industry.

Demand for Tesla storage products exceeds supply as Q4 deployments rise 152% to 2.5 GWh

Utility Dive - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 06:38

The “stock appears fairly priced,” according to analysts at Bank of America.

6 reasons why grid access charges should not be part of utility rates

Utility Dive - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 06:00

Although GACs are extremely effective in recovering utility fixed and demand costs and reducing cross-subsidies, they do so regressively, posing a serious risk to the sustainable diffusion of rooftop solar technology.

EPA proposes rejecting DTE, SRP and other generator requests to keep using coal ash basins

Utility Dive - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 05:44

Any final deadlines to stop putting coal ash in unlined basins could be delayed if they would cause power plants to shut and threaten grid reliability, according to the EPA.

‘We got lucky.’ A stronger 2022 storm season could have threatened grid recovery: EEI

Utility Dive - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 04:06

The evolving power grid faces a host of challenges, speakers at the North American Electric Reliability Corp.’s 2023 Reliability Leadership Summit said Wednesday.

What Happens When Utilities Start to Integrate the IRA into Planning?

Rocky Mountain Institute - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 03:00

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was one of the climate highlights of 2022. As we enter 2023, our attention shifts toward implementation — and uncovering what’s possible when regulators and utilities leverage the full set of resources the IRA offers to accelerate an equitable energy transition.

One of the places we expect to see changes emerge as a result of the IRA is in utility integrated resource plans (IRPs). IRPs are where utilities evaluate their long-term options for meeting energy needs, such as when to retire existing resources and what to build next. They typically happen every 2–5 years and look 10–30 years into the future.

We would expect that plans that incorporate the IRA would look quite different than they did in their prior iteration. Changes include:

  • Lower renewables costs due to the production and investment tax credits, which also incentivize stand-alone storage, drive more near-term buildout, and prompt utilities to reconsider the economics of new proposed gas
  • Accelerated electrification as a result of customer incentives for EVs, heat pumps, and more
  • Additional energy efficiency savings, as a result of funding for more affordable retrofits
  • Accelerated coal retirements due to new financing options for asset transition and the falling cost of renewables and storage
  • Deeper consideration of emerging technologies that could also play a long-term role in reliability

The IRP filed by Michigan’s largest investor-owned electric utility, DTE, in November 2022, is the first resource plan in the country that has attempted to demonstrate some of those expected changes. By incorporating assumptions related to IRA tax credits, DTE executives projected that they will be able to save customers about $500 million over the course of the 20-year plan. Branded as the Clean Vision, the plan outlines DTE’s pathway to meet both Michigan and federal goals for emissions reductions of 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, 52 percent by 2030, and be carbon neutral by 2050.

How DTE’s Plan Shifted

In its 2022 IRP, DTE expanded its clean energy pathway beyond its 2019 plan, with several major changes:

  • If approved, the proposal would add over 15 GW of solar and wind by 2042 — bringing renewables to about 60 percent of DTE’s portfolio, up from 10 percent today — and represent a major increase from the 2019 plan, which included about 3 GW of proposed renewables investment.
  • Battery storage increased in the 2022 plan with nearly 3 GW proposed before 2042, a number bolstered by IRA tax credits, improving upon DTE’s tentative exploration of battery pilots in the 2019 IRP.
  • The 2022 IRP includes an updated, phased retirement date for the Monroe Power Plant — the fourth largest coal plant in the United States — in 2028 and 2035, earlier than the 2019 IRP’s proposal to close Monroe in 2040.
What DTE Did to Include IRA Impacts

Ahead of filing its IRP, DTE made updates to its reference planning scenario to include the impacts of the IRA. The “REFRESH scenario” assessed the impacts of the tax credits for wind, solar, battery storage, nuclear, and carbon capture by updating the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of these resources (see chart). The scenario also updated other planning assumptions that had changed while DTE conducted its analysis, including increases in gas prices and wholesale electricity prices. The REFRESH scenario also imposed constraints on renewables build-out based on planning factors such as supply chain, interconnection issues, and siting considerations. Including IRA tax credits resulted in all portfolios from the REFRESH scenario — with the exception of one that kept Belle River Power Plant on line past 2028 — being more affordable than the base case.

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Using “All the Carrots” of the IRA in a Resource Plan

Beyond the tax credits, there is further opportunity for utilities, including DTE, to demonstrate how they will use all the incentives (the carrots) in the IRA in their resource plans.

Assessing the opportunity to use new loans to reduce the cost of transitioning existing fossil assets could shift retirement timelines in IRPs. The Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment (EIR) program, for example, appropriates $5 billion through 2026, which will guarantee loans to projects that retool, repower, repurpose, or replace decommissioned energy infrastructure and help build energy infrastructure to avoid, reduce, utilize, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. For example, incorporating the EIR could allow DTE to retire its remaining coal plant on an accelerated timeline to align with the state’s proposal to phase out coal by 2030.

Understanding the options and costs of emerging technologies that will receive IRA tax credits could bring them into the planning horizon, and potentially compete with new gas investment. DTE, for example, has proposed a conversion to natural gas from coal at Belle River in 2026 and identified the potential need for a 950 MW dispatchable resource in 2035. DTE says it will continue to evaluate the affordability of emerging dispatchable, low-carbon resources as those technologies mature before selecting a resource to fill this possible need in future IRPs.

The IRA also includes incentives for further deployment of energy efficiency and demand response, which can be included in an IRP. DTE’s 2022 IRP, for example, uses a 2021 Michigan statewide potential study, but new IRA programs for home retrofits and efficiency incentives will enable more savings, especially for low-income customers. Utilities must work with state and federal agencies to understand the impacts of these programs and maximize the benefits from energy efficiency investments.

What Regulators Can Do

DTE’s proposed plan demonstrates both the opportunity and the learning curve that utilities and regulators face in using the IRA to support rapid decarbonization of the energy sector. In 2023, several other utilities — including PacifiCorp, Santee Cooper, Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Energy Progress, and Duke Energy Carolinas — will file or finalize long-term plans and should consider how to reflect IRA provisions.

Further regulatory action may be needed to ensure that these plans make the most of IRA incentives and maximize ratepayer savings. Regulators can review plans with an eye to utilizing IRA provisions, or require changes to future utility plans with IRA provisions in mind. Regulators can also start building expertise to support their evaluation of utility plans with IRA provisions — including engaging with local, state, and federal agencies to coordinate on implementation.

DTE’s IRP starts to show us the transformational potential of the IRA to accelerate renewables deployment and deliver customer savings — it’s time to build on that and deliver more examples in 2023.

The post What Happens When Utilities Start to Integrate the IRA into Planning? appeared first on RMI.

Siana and Zsaria: Speeding the Caribbean’s Energy Transition

Rocky Mountain Institute - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 03:00

While in their respective universities, an impactful career in clean energy and climate-related issues seemed out of reach for Zsaria Diaz and Siana Teelucksingh. Both grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean’s southern-most island country.  As one of the region’s top producers of oil and gas, fossil fuel jobs and businesses dominate the economy.

Yet they both grew increasingly aware of the high prices Caribbean islands faced for imported fossil fuels. Expensive energy sources not only hamper the region’s prosperity, but their carbon emissions are contributing to climate change — a particular threat to island nations.

The motivation to make a positive difference led them to RMI. Today, both work on the institute’s Islands Energy Program where they help Caribbean nations transition to clean energy. They are currently working on solar-plus-storage microgrid projects that will reduce energy costs and improve the resilience of islands’ power grids to storms, blackouts, and other disruptions.

Resilience for Island Nations

Diaz initially studied chemical engineering, and when it was difficult to find a job in Trinidad and Tobago, she took an online course on organic solar cells. Her new interest led her to earn a master’s degree in renewable energy technology. She was excited to join RMI as an associate to help others living on islands have access to affordable energy. “In some rural areas, it’s not easy to connect people to the grid,” Diaz says. “They can have so many more opportunities when they have access to renewable energy.”

Teelucksingh started her career in oil and gas, working as a geoscientist. But after a few years, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in sustainable energy at Imperial College London. Upon returning to Trinidad, she dove straight into renewables, developing a feasibility study for a solar panel manufacturing facility in Trinidad and Tobago, and managing the installations of off-grid solar and storage systems for homes in the Caribbean.

As a part of her efforts, Teelucksingh had a passion for increasing awareness and understanding of renewable energy at a national level. She collaborated with IAMovement, a local nonprofit organization, to produce the “Rethinking Energy” video series to help the general public better understand the energy sector, what goes into their electricity bills, and the barriers and opportunities for renewable energy.

As a manager for RMI’s Islands Energy Program, Teelucksingh now guides utilities, governments, and regulators to untangle the complexity inherent in designing customer-owned rooftop solar programs and ownership models for utility-scale projects, as well as building battery energy storage system models to optimize microgrids. In the photo at the top of this page, Teelucksingh is tightening the final screws on a solar project in Trinidad, after managing the entire design, procurement, and installation process.

One of the projects that Diaz and Teelucksingh are working on is a 2.5 megawatt (MW) solar plus 8.5 MW storage microgrid in Paraquita Bay in the British Virgin Islands. RMI, along with the islands’ electric utility — British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) — and the Caribbean Development Bank began exploring the feasibility and benefits of a microgrid after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the islands in 2017. The two category 5 hurricanes caused $US 3.6 billion in damage and left some residents without electricity for six months.

Zsaria Diaz Siana Teelucksingh

The microgrid will connect with the national grid and power the Paraquita Bay Community, including a community college that is a designated hurricane shelter, a water pumping station, and a water treatment plant. If there is a grid disruption, whether due to a hurricane or an electrical fault, the microgrid can decouple from the national grid and continue to provide power to the Paraquita Bay Community and the facilities that provide essential services.

Designing this microgrid presented the opportunity to develop an energy storage (battery) optimization study that examines the value streams linked to such a project, quantifying primary and secondary financial benefits that batteries can bring to small island grids. For example, spinning reserve support can help conventional generators perform at their optimal operating point, reducing fuel consumption and leading directly to lower bills to customers.

As more intermittent renewable sources are integrated into island grids, batteries can help smooth out the intermittency of renewable energy, keeping voltage levels steady even when solar or wind power output fluctuates. If there is an outage on the wider grid due to an event at the main power plant or a downed distribution or transmission line, a battery can also provide emergency backup services. This analysis can be used as a blueprint for battery optimization studies for other island nations.

“Renewable energy microgrids can increase the resilience of many islands in the territory by providing a decentralized source of power to critical facilities, which can then provide the community with essential services during times when they are especially needed, such as after hurricanes or other disruptive events,” said Symorne Penn, deputy general manager of BVIEC.

Alignment Is Key

Both Diaz and Teelucksingh say there is keen interest in renewable energy in the region, but one of the key issues is creating alignment among the government, regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders. “The stakeholders involved don’t have to agree perfectly on everything but need to align on key aspects to move things forward,” says Diaz. “If they don’t see eye to eye, projects can come to a standstill. That’s where I see RMI’s support and technical expertise is most valuable. We are able to understand the needs of different stakeholders and align critical interests. We all have to work together to make this transition happen.”

Teelucksingh has seen this alignment happen in various Caribbean Island Nations over her career. “The key to a successful energy transition is based on stakeholders sharing perspectives, understanding the constraints and incentives of each agency, and unlocking the complexity of the energy sector in a collaborative way,” she says. “At the end of the day, the energy sector is the foundation of a nation’s economy. A strong foundation leads to a prosperous future.”

In the British Virgin Islands, as in many Caribbean islands, most stakeholders recognize that adoption of renewable energy sources is in the nation’s best interest as the benefits are numerous and far outweigh the drawbacks. This is a powerful boost to future project development as this means that the conversation gets off the starting blocks of “if” renewable energy should be pursued in the first place and moves quickly into the discussion phase of “how best” it should be pursued. It is within this discussion phase that collaboration among various stakeholders can give rise to innovative methods and mechanisms that facilitate successful uptake of renewables in the island context.

Women Making Change

“It’s also important to get different perspectives, including from different genders,” says Diaz, stressing the importance of including women in the energy transition. Women around the world are disproportionately impacted by climate change but make up only 32 percent of the renewable energy industry globally. That’s why, in 2016, Teelucksingh helped found the Women in Renewable Energy (WIRE) Network when she was at the Clinton Climate Initiative. WIRE, now run by RMI, is a professional development group for women working in energy in island nations and it provides mentorship, peer-to-peer learning, and capacity development.

RMI’s Siana Teelucksingh (farthest left) at the first ever WIRE convening in Aruba in October 2015.

We can’t leave out half the population when it comes to tackling climate change and increasing resilience. As these two women from Trinidad and Tobago have shown, women have a lot to offer. Through their hard work and effective collaboration, Diaz and Teelucksingh are showcasing how prioritizing local needs and aligning stakeholders is helping island nations combat high energy prices, increase their resilience to storms, and foster energy independence — moving toward a cleaner, healthier future.

The post Siana and Zsaria: Speeding the Caribbean’s Energy Transition appeared first on RMI.

Wind turbine catches fire in one of Australia’s oldest wind projects

Renew Economy - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 02:33

A wind turbine caught fire at one of the country's oldest wind projects, not for the first time.

The post Wind turbine catches fire in one of Australia’s oldest wind projects appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Understanding changes to Alberta’s industrial carbon pricing system (publication)

Pembina Institute News - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 08:47
The federal and provincial governments recently concluded negotiations on strengthening and updating carbon pricing systems across the country. In December 2022, the Government of Alberta provided details about the updates to its Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) regulation. Having reviewed those details, the Pembina Institute is pleased to see some updates to TIER that will strengthen the signal for companies to invest in emissions reductions.

NextEra Energy Names Armando Pimentel as FPL President, CEO

Solar Industry Magazine - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 07:31

Eric Silagy, chairman, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL), has notified the company of his intention to retire after 20 years with the company, including 11 years leading FPL. Armando Pimentel, who previously served in several senior executive roles with NextEra Energy Inc., will rejoin the company as president and CEO of FPL. John Ketchum, chairman, president and CEO of NextEra Energy, has been named chairman of FPL.

“I want to thank Eric for his 20 years of dedicated service to our company, our customers and the communities where we do business,” says Ketchum. “Eric is a passionate advocate for continuous improvement and under his leadership FPL has transformed into the nation’s largest electric utility, providing our customers with the country’s most reliable service with bills significantly lower than the national average. His commitment to putting customers first was on full display last year during hurricanes Ian and Nicole, where his dedication, commitment and compassion drove the FPL team to restore power in record time and quickly put the state of Florida back on its feet.”

Silagy has worked for NextEra Energy for nearly two decades. Prior to his appointment as president of FPL in 2011, he served as senior vice president of regulatory and state governmental affairs and as chief development officer, managing all generation development, including solar, natural gas and nuclear energy projects. Silagy also spent time working for NextEra Energy Resources LLC, where he served as vice president and general manager of the southern region, and vice president of business development.

Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Silagy served as vice president, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures at Entergy Wholesale Operations, and as vice president and managing director at Southeast Asia, for The Wing Group, a subsidiary of Western Resources. He also worked for U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana in several capacities, including chief of staff.

“It has been an honor and privilege to lead the FPL team for more than a decade and I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments we have delivered to our customers and the state of Florida,” states Silagy. “Over the last decade, we have transformed FPL’s generation fleet into one of the cleanest, most reliable and lowest-cost portfolios in the country, delivered award-winning customer service, ensured bills are significantly lower than the national average and provided our customers the best grid reliability in the country. These results are the consequence of the hard work and dedication of our nearly 10,000 FPL employees, who every day put the customer first and always strive to innovate and do better. I know the future is bright and that I am leaving the company in great hands.”

“When John became CEO of NextEra Energy last year, I committed to him that I would stay in my role for at least one more year and I’ve now satisfied that commitment,” continues Silagy. “While saying ‘goodbye’ to such a great organization is always difficult, I know that now is the right time for me to hand over the reins of FPL.”

“We welcome Armando back to our company,” Ketchum says about Pimentel rejoining NextEra Energy. “He is a good friend and colleague who I’ve worked closely with for many years and I am delighted that he will be rejoining our team. Armando has deep knowledge of our company and our culture and he will bring incredible discipline and industry experience to his role leading FPL. He is also a life-long Floridian who cares deeply about serving our customers. His previous experience as chief financial officer (CFO) for both NextEra Energy and FPL will allow him to quickly hit the ground running with a focus on delivering value to our many stakeholders.”

From May 2008 to March 2019, Pimentel was a member of NextEra Energy’s senior executive team. Initially, he served as NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s CFO. In October 2011, he was named president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, the company’s competitive power generation subsidiary, a position he held until March 2019 when he retired. He also served as president and a member of the board of NextEra Energy Partners LP from June 2014 until March 2019.

Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Pimentel was a senior partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP. He also previously worked as an accounting fellow with the Office of the Chief Accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pimentel currently serves on the board of Ameriprise Financial, Inc.

Pimentel will officially take up his new role at FPL on Feb. 15, 2023, after which he and Silagy will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. Silagy’s last day with NextEra Energy will be May 15, 2023.

The post NextEra Energy Names Armando Pimentel as FPL President, CEO appeared first on Solar Industry.

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Electrify Your Fleet

Rocky Mountain Institute - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 03:00

The confluence of steeply declining battery costs, automaker announcements of new and varied electric vehicle (EV) models, and new federal funding presents a compelling opportunity for fleet operators to cash in on the dividends of electrification. EVs can lower operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and local air pollution, all while providing enhanced performance.

Both private and public fleet operators, including the approximately 3,000 counties and 36,000 municipalities or townships across the United States, are recognizing this opportunity and beginning to plan in earnest for EVs. However, many fleet managers do not have experience with EVs, leading to a variety of common questions. For example, what are some of the basic approaches and key decisions to consider regarding EV charging infrastructure? What role does the electric utility play? How do capital and operating costs between EVs and conventional vehicles compare over time? These new questions and required areas of expertise can serve as a meaningful impediment to fleet electrification, especially for local governments that may not have the staff or resources to explore each area thoroughly.

In recognition of this challenge, RMI recently conducted an eight-month workshop series for local governments in Texas, distilling what we’re calling the three key elements of fleet electrification: (1) policy and process steps essential for gaining support, (2) technical analyses needed for an effective and strategic transition, and (3) financial considerations critical to do so cost-effectively. Our new paper— How Cities and Counties Should Electrify Their Fleets — summarizes learnings from the workshop series, highlighting the most important practices for each of these three components of a successful fleet electrification strategy.

Policy and Process Steps

Just as the motivation for fleet electrification varies across jurisdictions, the particular processes and policies that influence this transition are inherently local. Securing buy-in from leadership based on their motivating factors can serve as the starting point for subsequently identifying the key process levers that must be pulled to transition your jurisdiction’s procurement to EVs. A good starting point is the implementation of a green fleet policy to establish the prioritization of EVs over internal combustion engine vehicles as the default approach. Another key planning consideration is simply to dedicate sufficient staff time and resources to supporting the transition; the challenges are far from insurmountable, but they will take time to work through, and the importance of securing leadership buy-in to spend that time should not be overlooked.

In most jurisdictions, however, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to make the finances pencil out, especially given that traditional procurement policies focus heavily on upfront costs. Identifying how to amend processes to fully realize lifetime cost savings from EVs is therefore the lynchpin of most successful fleet electrification strategies. To do so, a key resource will be civil servants across the different departments involved in the current process, as no one knows existing practices better than those who carry them out. These stakeholders — who should be engaged from the beginning — can help to identify the specifics of what needs to change to support EV procurement and charging infrastructure development, which often takes longer than many local officials realize.

Technical Analyses

There are many technical aspects to electrifying fleets, some of which can seem like huge barriers to overcome. EVs are a different technology than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles and have different technical considerations. However, following the structured path detailed in our report — from fleet assessment and right-sizing to identifying early candidates for electrification through to site evaluations and developing charging infrastructure in coordination with your facilities team and the local electric utility — enables a methodical approach for both your early electrification efforts and subsequent procurements as you transition larger portions of your fleet.

As local governments move through this process, key aspects to keep in mind relate to lead times and planning ahead. For example, engaging early and often with the electric utility is one of the best strategies to reduce delays and ensure projects are developed on schedule — identify any site-specific challenges early and find ways to work around them. Additionally, future-proofing your facilities with additional electrical capacity and make-ready components such as conduit and wiring to easily be able to add more EV chargers as your fleet transitions will save time and money in a few years. Getting a start on the infrastructure component of your strategy and envisioning both today’s and tomorrow’s charging needs is a winning strategy for any fleet manager serious about electrification.

Developing EV Charging for Municipal Fleets

Financial Considerations

Financing your fleet’s electric transition can seem like a daunting challenge, especially for those new to the process. However, several key strategies can help local governments make a case for the favorable economics of electrification and chart a cost-effective path forward.

  • Planning ahead to apply for and utilize available federal and state incentive funding can be critical for addressing the upfront cost of EVs, which are often higher than conventional vehicles in today’s market. This requires seeking out funding opportunities, and submitting well-crafted applications to secure available incentives.
  • Accounting for lifetime operational savings from lower fueling and maintenance costs also helps to offset any higher upfront capital costs for EVs. Total cost of ownership analysis allows for direct comparisons between different vehicles over their full useful lifetime, effectively recognizing these operational savings, unlike many conventional procurement processes which only consider upfront costs.
  • Scaling procurement to access bulk discounts and utilizing innovative financing approaches can also significantly reduce the upfront capital burden and bring EV costs down to parity with — or even less than — conventional vehicles.

Finally, it is a best practice to engage with and learn from peer local governments that have had successful experiences procuring EVs cost-effectively through grant funding awards, cooperative purchases, and/or leasing contracts. Keep in mind: procuring the vehicles is often the hard part; the savings will follow.

Take Advantage of the Opportunity

Electrifying municipal fleets requires thoughtful planning, staff time and resources, and a commitment to exploring technology that is new to many stakeholders. However, the benefits are well worth the effort, and there has never been a better time to begin this transition. Current funding and incentive opportunities, paired with automaker commitments and growth in the EV market, make this opportunity more compelling than ever. The hardest part may simply be getting started. Our new guide — How Cities and Counties Should Electrify Their Fleets —aims to make that first step easier and serve as a resource for understanding what the end-to-end process can look like. Time to take the first step.

The post There’s Never Been a Better Time to Electrify Your Fleet appeared first on RMI.

AEMO report confirms wind and solar best cure for fossil fuel hyper-inflation

Renew Economy - Tue, 01/24/2023 - 20:30

Coal and gas are in a long structural terminal decline, renewables are booming and pushing expensive, unreliable, polluting fossil fuels out of the market.

The post AEMO report confirms wind and solar best cure for fossil fuel hyper-inflation appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Palaszczuk announces Australia-first critical minerals facility for battery storage

Renew Economy - Tue, 01/24/2023 - 20:10

Queensland says $75 million facility represents a "Eureka" moment for the shift to critical minerals to support renewables and battery storage.

The post Palaszczuk announces Australia-first critical minerals facility for battery storage appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Another two big battery projects jostle for position and contracts in Hunter Valley

Renew Economy - Tue, 01/24/2023 - 19:42

RES has begun dipping its toes into the battery market, and has added another storage project to the growing pipeline in the Hunter Valley.

The post Another two big battery projects jostle for position and contracts in Hunter Valley appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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