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Renewable Energy Update
January 12, 2018


FERC rejects Perry's plan to boost coal

Politico - Jan 8 Federal energy regulators on Monday rejected Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up struggling coal and nuclear power plants, a major defeat for the former Texas governor and the coal companies that have urged the Trump administration to help them. Perry had ordered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to act by this week to guarantee financial payments to the plants that could be facing retirement because of the rise of natural gas and renewable energy, a strategy that many critics said would undermine the power markets the regulator has spent decades building. But in a 5-0 decision announced Monday, FERC formally axed Perry’s proposal and instead ordered the nation’s regional grid operators to submit information about their ability to judge "naturally occurring and man-made threats" to their systems within 60 days. That order essentially puts off any action until at least April, if the agency decides to implement any measures at all.

Diablo Canyon will close in 2025

The Tribune - Jan 11 In a landmark decision, the California Public Utilities Commission has decided PG&E can close Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in 2025 — and San Luis Obispo County still won’t get its much-desired $85 million mitigation settlement to support the community through the shutdown. The commission unanimously voted to approve the application Thursday, saying the utility company presented a reasonable pathway toward a more energy-efficient future. PG&E announced in June 2016 that it planned to close the state’s only remaining nuclear power plant by 2025 as part of a joint agreement with labor and environmental organizations. The company agreed to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewable power, and electricity storage to offset the power that will no longer be produced by the nuclear plant.

Nearly 500 MW of large batteries installed on the U.S. grid over past three years

PV Magazine - Jan 10 The latest report from the U.S. Department of Energy, looking at installed battery capacity through the end of 2016, shows an acceleration in the deployment of batteries over the last three years. Lithium ion chemistry is increasingly dominating battery deployment, representing all of the new batteries deployed in 2016 and nearly all capacity put online in 2015. As it led in solar deployment, California is leading in large-scale battery deployment, accounting for 29 percent of the overall battery capacity deployed through the end of 2016. However, the largest battery recorded by capacity is located in Alaska, the 40-megawatt Fairbanks North Star.

Proposed bill would ban new gas, diesel-powered cars in California by 2040

San Jose Mercury News - Jan 10 San Francisco assemblymember Phil Ting introduced a bill last week that would ban the sale of fossil fuel cars in California after 2040. It doesn’t apply to vehicles over 10,000 pounds. The ambitious goal has support from environmental groups, but not everyone is convinced the requirement is ready for implementation, even if it wouldn’t go into effect for another two decades. Some question whether the state has enough electric charging and hydrogen fueling stations so everyone can participate in this new, proposed mandate. Greenhouse gases emitted from transportation-related activities contributed to nearly 40 percent of all emissions in the state in 2015, according to the California Environmental Protection Agency, the single largest source of pollution.

Ventura County joins clean energy program

Ventura County Star - Jan 10 The Ventura County Board of Supervisors took final action Tuesday to join a clean energy program that would provide an alternative to Southern California Edison, approving an ordinance to bring residents of unincorporated Ventura County into the energy authority initiated by Los Angeles County. Also joining are several cities in Ventura County, unincorporated Los Angeles County and more than a dozen cities in Los Angeles County. The program is scheduled to begin this year.

NV Energy seeking up to 330 MW of renewables

North American Windpower - Jan 10 NV Energy has issued a request for proposals that could add up to 330 megawatts of new renewable energy in Nevada. The utility says this additional commitment to renewable energy, which includes the potential integration of battery energy storage systems, will provide enough carbon-free electricity to power approximately 200,000 Nevada homes. The utility’s RFP seeks solar, geothermal, wind, biomass, and biogas technology projects that are compliant with Nevada’s existing renewable portfolio standards. NV Energy will also, for the first time, consider adding supplemental battery energy storage systems that are integrated with the proposed renewable energy resource. 

California solar project to benefit thousands of low-income customers

Solar Industry Magazine - Jan 10 Boston-based nonprofit Citizens Energy Corp. will build a $46 million solar project in California’s Imperial Valley, following a unanimous vote by the local utility’s board of directors this week. Citizens Energy will own and operate the 30-megawatt project, which is being built on 200 acres of land leased from the publicly owned utility Imperial Irrigation District (IID). The partners say that under IID’s “eGreen” program, based on a community-shared solar model, affordable power will yield significant savings to 15,000 low-income households.

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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
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Barry H. Epstein Barry H. Epstein
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