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Small Victorian project tops performance rankings of Australian wind farms in 2022

Renew Economy - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 16:55

The Kiata wind farm in Victoria may be small, but it is perfectly located, and has topped the rankings of best performing wind farms in 2022.

The post Small Victorian project tops performance rankings of Australian wind farms in 2022 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Carnegie and Hewlett Packard extend deal to develop “self learning” wave energy

Renew Economy - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 16:15

Carnegie and Hewlett Packard to continue work on "self learning" technology that will boost output and lower costs of wave energy technology.

The post Carnegie and Hewlett Packard extend deal to develop “self learning” wave energy appeared first on RenewEconomy.

DOE, FEMA Release Puerto Rico Renewable Energy Study Progress Report

Solar Industry Magazine - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 08:03

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have released a one-year progress report for the Puerto Rico Grid Resilience and Transition to 100% Renewable (PR100) Study.

PR100, which launched in February 2022 with funding from FEMA, is a two-year study designed to help inform infrastructure investments that will provide Puerto Rico with clean, reliable and affordable power. The study aims to generate community-driven pathways to meet Puerto Rico’s target of 100% renewable electricity by 2050 and improving the resilience of the power system against future extreme weather events.

“DOE is supporting Puerto Rico in executing grid improvements that will deliver a better energy system that boosts reliability and savings for its residents,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “For far too long, Puerto Ricans have lived with an outdated and expensive electric system where needless obstacles and long delays have prevented critical improvements. We know that access to renewable energy can help save lives and I am proud of the DOE and FEMA teams that are working tirelessly to help put Puerto Rico on a path to a more resilient and reliable energy future.”

Since its launch, the PR100 team defined four potential scenarios through which Puerto Rico can meet its renewable energy targets. The team developed the scenarios following extensive engagement with diverse stakeholders, who expressed interest in studying different levels and applications of distributed energy resource deployment, such as rooftop solar and batteries. In the last six months, the project team performed initial modeling and analysis of the feasibility and tradeoffs of each scenario.

“FEMA’s investment in the PR100 study reiterates our shared commitment to building resilient infrastructure and creating clean energy solutions for Puerto Ricans that will have long-lasting benefits to communities and generations to come,” comments FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Thanks to the partnership the Department of Energy has with FEMA, we were able to evaluate and help fund the development of clean energy alternatives for the reconstruction of the power grid to help Puerto Rico meet its renewable energy targets. This study is one of several strategies that FEMA is collaborating with Puerto Rico on to support the recovery of the energy grid through equitable, sustainable and resilient solutions.”

Preliminary findings of the first year of study research and stakeholder input shows renewable energy potential in Puerto Rico significantly exceeds total energy demand now and through 2050. In addition, distributed energy resources and alternative system configurations (e.g., community solar, agrovoltaics) could ensure Puerto Rico meets its renewable energy targets while preserving agricultural land and protected areas. Significant additional generation capacity is needed immediately to improve reliability.

Smaller renewable resources spread across the power system could recover faster from disruptive events than the current system, which consists of fewer and larger power plants. Prioritizing stakeholder input and interagency coordination is key to overcome past challenges.

As dozens of new energy recovery projects move towards construction, the PR100 study helps DOE leverage the world-class expertise and advanced modeling capabilities of its National Labs to ensure that funded energy recovery actions align with Puerto Rico energy policy and resilience needs, are coordinated across sectors, and align with industry best practices. Led by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the study connects local decisionmakers and communities with tools, training, and analytical support to enable planning and operation of the Commonwealth’s power grid with greater resilience against disruption as it moves toward its 100% renewable energy goal.

The two-year PR100 Study relies on extensive input to ensure that the project team is providing effective and relevant technical assistance. DOE has convened an advisory group of nearly 100 individuals from 60 organizations representing the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In this way, PR100 will reflect and respond to a breadth of stakeholder perspectives and priorities and will support progress toward energy justice for all Puerto Ricans.

In October 2022, following devastating Hurricane Fiona, President Biden announced the Puerto Rico Grid Recovery and Modernization Team, led by Agustín Carbó, the former Chairman of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (now the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau), to work across the federal and local governments to identify and overcome impediments to rapid infrastructure deployment. These efforts are an outgrowth of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in February 2022 by DOE, the Departments of Homeland Security, FEMA, HUD, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to enhance collaboration between the agencies. 

Beginning in 2023, Secretary Granholm will participate in a road tour of Puerto Rico to listen and learn about the issues impacting the island’s grid resilience and recovery from communities through personal engagements, townhalls, and listening sessions. During the events, DOE will seek to identify ways to address existing short-term hurdles that will help enable priority and urgent projects to break ground ahead of the next hurricane season.

The post DOE, FEMA Release Puerto Rico Renewable Energy Study Progress Report appeared first on Solar Industry.

DOE launches $10M prize to increase community solar in underserved communities

Utility Dive - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 07:12

The agency's goal is to enhance a "robust ecosystem" of community solar developers by funding up to 25 winners.

Constellation, NRG and other generators urge FERC to reject PJM’s mid-capacity auction rule change

Utility Dive - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 06:04

The PJM Interconnection’s proposal to change its market rules could set a precedent for all wholesale markets, companies and trade groups told the federal agency Friday.

3 big advances coming as distributed energy resources take newer, bigger roles in 2023

Utility Dive - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 06:00

Analysts foresee DER growth in 2023 at the wholesale market and retail distribution system levels as communities and local leaders demand more reliability and resilience.

California PUC proposal would order an additional 4 GW of clean energy resources to bolster grid reliability

Utility Dive - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 05:20

The proposed 4 GW would be in addition to the 11.5 GW of clean energy resources that state regulators ordered in mid-2021.  

PJM generator average interconnection costs soar 728%, driven by network upgrades: DOE Lab

Utility Dive - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 04:43

Average interconnection costs for projects in PJM’s interconnection queue have increased eightfold, to $240/kW in 2020-2022 from $29/kW in the previous two years, according to a report released Thursday.

Australia’s top 10 best performing solar farms in 2022 include some originals

Renew Economy - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 03:16

Australia's best performing solar farms in 2022 include some of the very first assets built up to a decade ago.

The post Australia’s top 10 best performing solar farms in 2022 include some originals appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Greener and cheaper:” Deakin Uni extracts silicon from solar panels to make batteries

Renew Economy - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 03:00

Landmark discovery to extract silicon from solar panels for use in building better batteries helps to solve two long-term challenges in the clean energy transition.

The post “Greener and cheaper:” Deakin Uni extracts silicon from solar panels to make batteries appeared first on RenewEconomy.

A Severe Winter Means High Energy Bills

Rocky Mountain Institute - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 03:00

This past summer, one in six US households were behind on energy bills, and unfortunately they won’t be getting much in the way of relief come winter. High fossil fuel prices are slamming against a forecast for a colder winter, leading to average estimated increases in household energy bills of 10 percent for electricity and 28 percent for natural gas. The possibility of further extreme events, like December’s brutal Arctic blast, poses a risk of continued volatility.

These costs get passed on to customers in fuel cost pass-throughs, meaning low-income customers are taking a disproportionate hit. The financial pressure brought on by this energy affordability crisis will force a significant portion of these households to make harrowing economic decisions that put their wellbeing at risk, such as choosing between paying for vital necessities such as food and healthcare and making their monthly energy payments. According to a Census Bureau survey in November 2022, 43.4 million US households were unable to pay their energy bill for at least one month in the past year leading to staggering rates of decision-making informed by energy insecurity. Over 20 million households reported reducing or forgoing expenses for household necessities, such as medicine or food, almost every month to pay an energy bill in that same period, representing a 25 percent increase from 2021 numbers.

Fortunately, state utility regulators can take some immediate steps to alleviate energy burdens by expanding outreach for existing discount rates, payment plans, and programs; collecting data on shutoffs and instituting shutoff moratoriums; and considering fuel cost-sharing structures.

How Big Is the Problem this Winter?

The key drivers of the current energy affordability crisis are high fossil fuel prices and rising electricity rates. Gas prices were 40 percent higher in 2022 than in 2021.

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Electricity rates are also on the rise across the country. This past November, National Grid increased the residential electricity rate that raised electricity bills for their Massachusetts customers by 64 percent. Florida Power and Light, which serves over four and half million customers in Florida, is set to increase electricity rates at least three times in 2023, with utility officials citing the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on gas prices as one reason for the increases. Aside from these pressures, other efforts such as resilience build out, grid modernization, and decarbonization also influence calls for rate increases.

Short-Term Regulatory Solutions

Regulators at state public utility commissions (PUCs) are responsible for ensuring that utilities provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy. While they can’t have direct influence over global energy markets or the weather, they do have tools available to take immediate action to soften the blow of rising energy prices, especially for the most vulnerable customers and communities, and reduce the devastating impacts brought on by the energy-poverty cycle.

A shutoff moratorium can protect households — especially vulnerable customers — from having their power disconnected during extreme weather and helps maintain the safety and well-being of all customers. Shutoffs have catastrophic effects on the physical and financial health of families and disproportionately impact Black and Latinx households. At a minimum, utilities should be required to disclose data on shutoffs; currently, only 20 states require regulated utilities to disclose shutoff information, leaving regulators, communities, and advocates in the dark.

Encouraging utilities to deploy arrearage management programs (AMPs) that are flexibly designed to reduce or forgive customer debt will also assist customers. For example, the successful Massachusetts AMP included key design choices such as automatic enrollment, incorporating fuel assistance in payment projections, swift payment forgiveness, trainings for customer service representatives, and allowing for the reinstating of customers into the program. The program resulted in reduced customer disconnections and the AMP customers paid more toward their bills than unenrolled low-income customers.

Getting Out Ahead of Unpaid Bills

In addition to options to support customers once they’re facing unpaid bills, regulators can take action to offer changes to rates, customer programs, and fuel cost riders to improve a customer’s ability to pay their utility bills before they accrue an arrearage.

Regulators can influence the increased uptake of existing energy assistance, namely the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). RMI analysis of multiple years of LIHEAP data found that millions of eligible households are not receiving any assistance and most states have less than 20 percent participation in LIHEAP. Utilities and commissioners should partner with community-based organizations for robust outreach to ensure qualified customers have reliable access to these resources and use available data to target households in most need of assistance.

Regulators can direct utilities to expand the availability and uptake of existing energy efficiency and weatherization offerings, especially for vulnerable customers. During the COVID-19 lockdown, states like Connecticut and New York moved quickly to adjust incentives and financing terms to enable participation at risk from rising prices. In addition to reducing customer bills and reducing the risk of shutoffs and further debt, energy efficiency measures such as weatherization and replacement of electric resistance heating for heat pumps can also support electric grid reliability by reducing the severity of demand and price spikes.

Discount rates can also alleviate energy burdens for low-income customers — and 20 states currently allow them. Commissions can either establish these rates, where they have the authority do so, or require updates to existing outreach and education about the rates, since uptake can be a challenge. This year, we’ve seen a wave of action to adopt new or improve existing discount rates to make them more accessible, including adoption of tiers of electric discount rates based on income in Connecticut and a requirement for large utilities to include discount rates in Illinois.

As noted above, gas prices have increased significantly resulting in higher costs to generate electricity and, for those that rely on gas for home heating, higher natural gas bills at households across the country. But it isn’t just gas. According to data from the US Energy Information Administration, coal prices have on average increased nearly fourfold. These price increases get passed on directly to customer bills. While utility companies don’t earn a profit margin on fuel costs, they also don’t bear any risks associated with fluctuating fuel prices. This means if a utility invests in fossil fuel infrastructure, like a gas pipeline or power plant, it effectively locks in its customers to volatile fossil fuel prices.

This has led to many experts calling for fuel cost-sharing structures that would change how fossil fuel costs are recovered from ratepayers. “Cost sharing” between customers and their utilities could have saved ratepayers at least $2 billion during the height of the pandemic. Versions of fuel cost sharing have been implemented in a range of states, with different approaches. In Hawaii, a state still reliant on very expensive fuel oil to generate electricity, the utility is responsible for 2 percent of the difference between projected and actual fuel cost expenditures, up to a cap of $2.5 million. The cap mutes the signal for cost control where prices are highly volatile, an issue that the Hawaii PUC has directed Parties to the proceeding to investigate. In Montana, a state heavily reliant on coal, the commission approves fuel price bands where the utility is responsible for a portion of the costs above the dead band and gets to profit if fuel prices fall below expectations.

Longer-Term Fixes

The solutions outlined above will mitigate some of the affordability challenges we face in the near term, but won’t go far enough to solve the underlying incentives and challenges that got us here. For that, states must deploy tools that target long-term structural change. Ratemaking tools such as totex ratemaking can address energy burden by supporting proactive planning. Performance-based regulation can align utility incentives with affordability goals — six of the seven most recent pieces of state legislation focused on affordability and cost control as key objectives.

Utility commissions should also take steps to encourage utilities to stop selling customer debt and instead start forgiving it. This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways and ultimately, if utilities continue to sell their customer debt to third-party collectors, regulators should stop allowing utilities from recovering the costs associated with unpaid bills by charging those customers that do pay their bill.

Lastly, as we ring in the new year there is an incredible opportunity to leverage federal funds with enormous potential to accelerate the transition toward a clean, reliable, and equitable electricity system. Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has an incredible suite of tax credits and financing options that make investments to develop clean energy and transition away from fossil fuel infrastructure more economical and feasible at scale. It also includes the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Program, which provides low-cost loans to energy communities to “retool, repower, repurpose, or replace” energy infrastructure sites. This program has the potential to power projects beyond the electricity sector, with opportunities such as retrofitting natural gas delivery infrastructure for electric-ready buildings.

We Have the Solutions

The affordability crisis can feel overwhelming and acute, especially this winter. But state utility regulators have solutions they can deploy immediately as well as more structural changes available to consider. By looking to peer states and the examples we outline here, these leaders can move forward a set of policies that buttress their ability to ensure that everyone has access to affordable energy.

The post A Severe Winter Means High Energy Bills appeared first on RMI.

New California-Arizona Ten West Link Transmission Line Breaks Ground

Solar Industry Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 10:24

Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi broke ground for Ten West Link, a new 500 kV high-voltage transmission line that will connect Southern California and central Arizona and deliver clean electricity.

The Department of the Interior approved construction of the line in July 2022.

“The Ten West Link in Arizona demonstrates a very important point: when we invest in climate, we invest in families, in communities, in opportunity and prosperity for all people,” says Harris. “When we invest in climate, we build a safer, cleaner, healthier, more just, and more prosperous country. When we invest in climate, we invest in America.”

The Ten West Link route traverses a region with some of the highest potential for utility-scale solar photovoltaic energy development in the nation. The project will provide critical transmission infrastructure to support the development of future utility-scale solar energy resources and will boost the reliability of the bulk power system for millions of customers in central Arizona and Southern California. The project will have a conductor capacity to transmit 3,200 MW of solar capacity and provide interconnection capability for new energy projects located in the region. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

“The Ten West Link will accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy by unlocking renewable resources, creating jobs, lowering costs, and boosting local economies,” comments Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “Through robust engagement with states, cities and Tribes, the Biden-Harris administration is committed to diversifying the nation’s renewable energy portfolio while at the same time combatting climate change and investing in communities.”

Following the project’s initiation in 2014, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arizona worked closely with a variety of stakeholders as the lead federal permitting agency to develop the best possible route. By collaborating closely with partners, the BLM was able to avoid impacts to military readiness and operations, local communities, popular recreation areas, Tribal lands and the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. The BLM approved the project in November 2019 and authorized construction in July 2022.

“This announcement showcases the exciting potential of building reliable energy infrastructure that harvests abundant American-grown clean energy. The Biden-Harris administration is determined to create good-paying, unions jobs while addressing climate change head-on – and we’ll continue to see projects like Ten West being made in every pocket of the nation for years to come,” adds Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic clean energy and climate laws, we finally have the resources we need to build out this new economy on American soil, with American workers.”

The project will have a conductor capacity to transmit 3,200 MW of solar capacity and provide interconnection capability for new energy projects located in the region. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

“The local IBEW workers putting steel in the ground for the Ten West project are delivering on President Biden’s vision for cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable energy for all Americans,” concludes National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. “The Biden-Harris administration will always be a partner to the workers that are building a clean energy economy that’s made in America.”

Additionally, the BLM is currently processing 64 utility-scale onshore clean energy projects proposed on public lands in the western United States. This includes solar, wind and geothermal projects, as well as interconnected gen-tie lines that are vital to clean energy projects proposed on non-federal land. These projects have the combined potential to add over 41,000 MW of renewable energy to the western electric grid. The BLM is also undertaking the preliminary review of 90 applications for solar and wind development, as well as 51 applications for wind and solar energy testing.

The Ten West Link Transmission Line is an infrastructure project covered under Title 41 of the FAST Act (FAST-41).

The post New California-Arizona Ten West Link Transmission Line Breaks Ground appeared first on Solar Industry.

AMP Smart, Titanium Merge to Offer Smart Home and Solar Solutions

Solar Industry Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 10:15

Smart home company AMP Smart and solar installer Titanium have finalized their merger and now offer consumers a complete smart home and solar sales and installation solution.

Together, AMP and Titanium offer a spectrum of products, including rooftop solar, meter monitoring, smart thermostats, video surveillance, feature-rich smart home panels, automated lights and door locks, and a full suite of cutting-edge monitored security products.

“This merger was very strategic,” says Executive Chairman Allen Bolen. “AMP’s operational strength, combined with Titanium’s powerhouse sales engine, creates an ideal platform to drive growth.”

The company is actively recruiting new sales and operations talent to take advantage of the rapid expansion in the smart home and solar industries.

“I believe our growth will continue to accelerate and may even surpass 50 percent in 2023,” states CEO Josh Sutherland. “We look forward to hiring people in a challenging economy, and we plan on healthy expansion throughout the year.”

The transaction was financed by AMP Smart’s existing investors, Seacoast Capital and St. Cloud Capital. Global Power Partners LLC and Stang Capital Advisory LLC acted as financial advisors in the transaction.

The post AMP Smart, Titanium Merge to Offer Smart Home and Solar Solutions appeared first on Solar Industry.

DOE Supports Equitable Community Solar Projects with Accelerator Prize

Solar Industry Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 09:47

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) has launched a slate of initiatives to support the deployment of equitable community solar projects and recognized projects exemplifying best practices in community solar. Community solar allows any household to access the benefits of renewable energy, with an emphasis on those that cannot access rooftop solar.

The Community Power Accelerator and its $10 million prize will leverage $5 billion in private-sector financing commitments to help community-based organizations and other mission-aligned project developers access financing and build community solar projects, particularly in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities. The department is also launching a new campaign to highlight the connections between solar energy and its long-term benefits, beginning with community solar. Community solar will play a vital role in supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that every community benefits from the clean energy transition and in achieving the President’s goals of a 100% electric grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“The National Community Solar Partnership provides yet another exciting opportunity to harness the power of the sun to power our communities – helping make our climate goals a reality while lowering energy costs and reducing local air pollution,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The President’s historic clean energy laws are supercharging access to renewable energy, and DOE is seizing the moment by accelerating community solar deployment to ensure affordable, clean energy is available whenever and wherever to everyone.”

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act established tax credits for solar energy projects, including a 20% bonus credit for solar power projects that sell their electricity to low-income households. This tax credit could support up to 18 GW of additional community solar projects over the next 10 years, enough to power over 2.5 million homes. The critical challenge is ensuring that all types of organizations and communities have access to the funds to develop community solar and that the projects deployed deliver “meaningful benefits” to communities and subscribers, like electricity bill savings, community ownership and wealth-building, resilience, equitable workforce development, and low- and moderate-income household access.

DOE’s National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) launched the Community Power Accelerator to bring together investors, philanthropic organizations, developers, community-based organizations, and technical experts to work together to get more equitable community solar projects financed and deployed. The Accelerator will support developers with technical assistance and a Learning Lab to build a pipeline of verified, credit-ready projects that will connect with investors seeking to fund community solar in disadvantaged communities. Financial institutions and philanthropic organizations participating in the Accelerator have committed $5 billion in private sector financing for projects that are credit-ready.

The Community Power Accelerator Prize is a new $10 million competition that will provide pre-development funds to organizations to build the expertise, experience, and capacity required to develop community solar projects at scale.

An online platform, developed by DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, that will enable community-based organizations, intermediaries, and other mission-aligned project developers to connect with investors and philanthropic organizations seeking to fund a more diverse and community-based pipeline of community solar projects.

A Learning Lab and technical assistance program will prepare community-based organizations, small or new solar developers, and others to develop, finance and build “credit-ready” community solar projects – projects that are ready for financing.

During the NCSP Annual Summit, DOE announced the winners of the Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar, an awards program that recognizes best practices in community solar projects and programs that increase equitable access and ensure benefits – such as greater household savings, good-paying jobs, and enhanced energy resilience – go to subscribers and their communities.

Five teams were selected for Grand Prize awards. Across the board, these five winners will help households achieve a projected combined total savings of $4.3 million on their energy bills. The projects provide clean energy access for 7,300 low- to moderate-income households and demonstrate best practices in increasing resilience, expanding community ownership, building a more equitable workforce, and leading community engagement.

The Shungnak-Kobuk Community Solar Battery IPP (Shungnak, Alaska) solar and battery project, led by the Shungnak and Kobuk tribes in the Northwest Arctic Borough region in Alaska, aims to stabilize the cost of electricity and allow the communities to take charge of their energy future.

The Faribault Community Solar project (Faribault, Minn.) is a cooperatively-owned community solar array serving mostly low-to-moderate income residents in southern Minnesota.

Community Power – Jobs and Savings for LMI Households (Brooklyn, N.Y.) delivers energy savings to 500 households, provided workforce training and offered paid jobs to public housing residents.

District of Columbia’s Solar for All (Washington, D.C.) is a program designed to reduce electricity bills for households in Washington, DC, through single-family and community solar projects.

JOE-4-SUN Ashland (Ashland, Mass.) is a 6 MW community solar project that saves low-to-moderate income households over $400 per year on electricity costs and brings the benefits of clean, renewable energy to a superfund site.

DOE also launched a new campaign to highlight the many benefits of solar energy to individuals and communities and provide a resource hub so that the public can learn about how solar will positively impact the nation’s future. The Inflation Reduction Act lowers the cost of solar energy for consumers and businesses while creating good paying jobs as deployment and manufacturing capacity grows across the country. Over the next few years, millions of households are expected to join the nearly 4 million American households that have gone solar—either through installing solar on their rooftops or by joining a community solar program. The Connect the Dots on Solar Energy campaign will focus on making connections between solar energy investments and their enduring, long-term benefits.

The post DOE Supports Equitable Community Solar Projects with Accelerator Prize appeared first on Solar Industry.

Greentown Labs and Vineyard Wind Announce Go Energize 2023

Renewable Energy Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 09:04
Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech incubator in North America, and Vineyard Wind, developer of the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in the United States, are now accepting applications for Greentown Go Energize 2023, a program supported by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). Greentown Labs and Vineyard Wind are seeking submissions from startups that are innovating solutions for offshore turbine monitoring and ecological data collection, as well as digital solutions to improve turbine efficiency and longevity.

Aboitiz Power Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for 17MW Binary Geothermal Plant

Renewable Energy Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 09:04
Aboitiz Power Corporation, through its subsidiary AP Renewables Inc., hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Tiwi Binary Geothermal Power Plant Project on Jan. 17, 2023, in Tiwi, Albay. The 17 megawatt (MW) binary plant is within the 1.5-hectare of land where the Tiwi Geothermal Power Plant, the oldest geothermal power plant in the Philippines, is located.

DSD and The Home Depot to install 13 MW solar portfolio in California

Renewable Energy Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 09:04
DSD Renewables (DSD) will work with The Home Depot to install 13 megawatts (MW) of rooftop solar across 25 store locations in California which is expected to generate more than 17 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy annually for The Home Deport stores.  

Madagascar-Axian-owned WeLight secures funding to connect 250,000 in Africa to clean power

Renewable Energy Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 09:04
WeLight, a company co-owned by Axian Group, has secured 19 million euros ($21 million) in funding from a group of lenders including the European Investment Bank (EIB), to help 250,000 people in rural Madagascar gain first-time access to clean electricity.  

Renewable Energy Plays Growing Role in Reducing Coal, Natural Gas Generation

Solar Industry Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 08:31

In the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, it expects that increased U.S. power generation from new renewables capacity – mostly wind and solar – will reduce generation from both coal-fired and natural gas-fired power plants in 2023 and 2024.

With the new solar and wind projects coming online this year, EIA forecasts these two energy sources will account for 16% of total generation in 2023, up from 14% last year and 8% in 2018. In contrast, EIA’s forecast share of generation from coal falls from 20% in 2022 to 18% in 2023; the forecast share from natural gas declines from 39% to 38%.

One of the most significant shifts in the mix of U.S. electricity generation over the past few years has been the rapid expansion of renewable energy resources, especially solar and wind. The U.S. electric power sector operated about 74 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity at the end of 2022, which is about three times the capacity at the end of 2017. U.S. wind power has grown by more than 60% since 2017 to about 143 GW of capacity.

Based on planned additions reported to EIA, solar capacity will expand another 63 GW (84%) by the end of 2024, which is consistent with its declining construction costs and favorable tax credits. As a result of this expected increase in solar capacity, EIA forecasts that the solar generation share will rise from 3% of U.S. generation last year to 5% in 2023 and 6% in 2024. Scheduled growth in wind power is slightly slower this year than in recent years, at about 12 GW of new planned capacity over the next two years. The forecast wind generation share in 2023 remains relatively similar to last year, averaging 11%, and then increases to 12% in 2024.

Much of the growth in solar capacity is in Texas and California, where natural gas has been the primary source of electricity. A growing share of generation from renewables, combined with EIA’s forecast of less overall electricity demand this year, displaces some natural gas generation, which will decline slightly, falling from 39% in 2022 to 38% this year and to 37% in 2024. EIA also expects that the coal generation share will decline by two percentage points to 18% this year, as lower natural gas fuel costs make coal a less competitive source for electricity supply. EIA’s forecast of coal generation falls again in 2024 to 17%.

Image: Andreas Gücklhorn on Unsplash

The post Renewable Energy Plays Growing Role in Reducing Coal, Natural Gas Generation appeared first on Solar Industry.

Entegrity Energy Partners Set to Install 4.15 MW Solar Array for Cal-Maine Foods

Solar Industry Magazine - Fri, 01/20/2023 - 08:01

Cal-Maine Foods Inc., a producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the United States, is partnering with Entegrity Energy Partners, an energy services, sustainability and solar development provider. Cal-Maine Foods has engaged Entegrity to install a 4.15 MW DC solar array at the company’s egg production and processing operation in Searcy, Arkansas. The 28-acre solar array is projected to offset approximately 91% of the facility’s current electrical usage and expected to enhance the company’s energy self-sufficiency and lessen the Searcy location’s reliance on the electrical grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Pending approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Entegrity is expected to begin construction during the second quarter of 2023.

“We are proud of our mission to be the most sustainable producer and reliable supplier of high-quality fresh shell eggs and egg products in the United States, demonstrating a ‘Culture of Sustainability’ in everything we do,” says Tim Thompson, vice president of operations of Cal-Maine Foods. “The team at Searcy is excited to support this project, and to be a part of the forward-looking operational story at Cal-Maine Foods. We believe that this solar investment helps augment the Searcy farm’s commitment to sustainability and helps us become more resilient in our ability to meet customers’ needs.”

“We have recently seen an increased drive for solar solutions in Arkansas given the constructive regulatory environment, attractive potential returns on investments and enhanced commitment to sustainability goals,” comments Michael Parker, president of Entegrity. “For more than 15 years, and through nearly 350 projects, we have strived to partner with companies that share our vision of a sustainable future. With Cal-Maine Foods, we can deliver our energy expertise to help prepare the company for a more sustainable future. Their enthusiasm for this project speaks to their values and who they are as a company.”

The post Entegrity Energy Partners Set to Install 4.15 MW Solar Array for Cal-Maine Foods appeared first on Solar Industry.

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