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Renewable Energy Update
November 29, 2018
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Focus

Federal climate report lays out wide-reaching impacts for an energy system in flux

GREENTECH MEDIA - Nov 26 A federal climate report released last Friday forecasts sweeping, climate-linked threats to many sectors of the U.S. economy. The authors, drawn from 13 federal agencies under the U.S. Global Change Research Program, note negative impacts of extreme weather events on power generation and transmission systems, predicting more and longer-lasting power outages that could cost billions of dollars. As threats to the energy system increase, the energy system itself is changing, with solar, wind, and natural gas driving that transformation. Scientists note that solar generation grew by 44 percent in 2016 and wind generation by 19 percent that same year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. In the last decade, generation from wind and solar grew from 1 percent to over 5 percent. While many renewables don’t face the challenges tied to fuel deliveries that thermal resources do, solar and wind infrastructure can also be impacted by extreme weather. Climate change also threatens hydropower — especially in western areas where declining mountain snowpack means less water — from more variable water accessibility as climate change progresses.


SEIA and ESA urge Congress to give energy storage same tax incentives as wind and solar

FORBES - Nov 28 A coalition of lobby groups from the U.S. clean energy industry is pressing Congress to make standalone energy storage projects eligible for investment tax credits. The credits, awarded at a rate of 30 percent, lit the fuse for domestic wind and solar power projects and could in theory grease the wheels of the nascent sector. At the moment, there is ambiguity over the eligibility of storage equipment when paired with solar, wind, or other compatible technologies. It does not qualify in its own right. Groups including the Energy Storage Association (ESA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) signed the letter to the leaders of both houses of Congress.

California CCAs have chosen 2 GW of renewables

PV MAGAZINE - Nov 27 California community choice aggregators have signed 59 power purchase agreements now totalling greater than 2 gigawatts of capacity. Of the 59 projects, 43 of them were solar power facilities totalling 1,360 megawatts. The final two projects signed included a 15-year PPA on a 150-megawatt solar plus energy storage power plant in Kings County, California, and the 128-megawatt Big Beau solar plus storage project in nearby Kern County.

Study finds Los Angeles is getting hotter, threatening electric reliability

MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE - Nov 21 Los Angeles County’s electricity infrastructure may suffer capacity losses as high as 240 megawatts, as population grows and temperatures rise from 2021-2060, according to “Climate Change in Los Angeles County: Grid Vulnerability to Extreme Heat,” a study by the University of California, Los Angeles and Arizona State University. Investing in energy efficiency measures — related to air conditioning in particular — non-wires alternatives and clean distributed energy, such as solar plus storage microgrids, can serve as alternatives to conventional solutions. Climate-smart land use planning also needs to figure prominently in the county’s electric resource planning, according to the study.

Projects

Customer demand drives Arizona’s SRP to add 1 GW of new solar by 2025

UTILITY DIVE - Nov 19 Arizona's Salt River Project (SRP) plans to add 1 gigawatt of new utility-scale solar energy to its system by the end of fiscal year 2025, and it will be looking for battery storage to fit alongside the new renewable resources. The utility plans to build deliberately, adding approximately 200 megawatts of new solar annually through 2025, to ensure the grid remains reliable and to build on its growing solar operating experience. Customer requests for more renewable energy led SRP to the decision.

Exxon will use wind and solar power to produce crude oil in Texas

BLOOMBERG - Nov 28 Exxon Mobil Corp. will use renewable energy to produce oil in West Texas. Under 12-year agreements with Denmark’s Orsted A/S, Exxon will buy 500 megawatts of wind and solar power in the Permian Basin, the fastest growing U.S. oil field. It is the largest ever renewable power contract signed by an oil company, according to Bloomberg NEF. Exxon, which was sued by investors who alleged the company downplayed risks of global warming, is turning to clean energy as it becomes cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels.

Planners to discuss proposed solar power project near Baker City, Oregon

BAKER CITY HERALD - Nov 26 The Baker County Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for December 11 to consider a California company’s application to install solar power panels on private land near Baker City, Oregon. Oakland-based Enerpac Inc. has applied for a conditional-use permit on behalf of the property owner, Hat Brand Land & Livestock LLC of Baker City. The solar power array would consist of 45,000 to 55,000 panels installed on 90 to 100 acres of rangeland, and it would generate about 15 megawatts of power, which would be sold to Idaho Power Company.

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