PV-Tech – January 11
A record amount of utility-scale PV capacity is expected to be connected to the grid in the U.S. this year, with Texas accounting for more than a quarter of solar additions, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Developers and plant owners forecast 15.4 GW of new utility-scale PV coming online in 2021, compared to 12 GW last year. Solar will account for the largest share of new capacity at 39%, followed by wind at 31%. More than half of the new utility-scale PV capacity is planned for four states: Texas (28%), Nevada (9%), California (9%), and North Carolina (7%).
Solar Power World – January 14
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a draft environmental impact statement and plan amendment for the three plans that underlie the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The public comment period will end on April 15, 2021. The targeted amendments provide flexibility and streamlining for siting renewable energy development within designated Development Focus Areas in an effort to continue to assist the state in their mandate of 60% energy from wind or solar by 2030. The public comment period will end on April 15, 2021.
Greentech Media – January 8
Numerous studies over the past decade have concluded that expanding the U.S. transmission grid will play a key role in decarbonizing the country’s electricity system. But a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology report indicates that a massive U.S.-wide transmission build-out could also slash the costs of reaching a zero-carbon grid with wind, solar, and battery technologies that are cost-effective today. According to the MIT researcher who conducted the study, the costs of doing so would be much lower than forcing regions without transmission connections to overbuild renewables and energy storage to reach the same decarbonization goals.
S&P Global – January 6
Legislation developed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s office could substantially reduce — and potentially eliminate — natural gas utilities’ role in delivering energy to many state ratepayers over the next 30 years. Washington House Bill 1084, the Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act, would require all new buildings in Washington to be zero-carbon by 2030 and seek to eliminate fossil fuel consumption in existing buildings by 2050, according to a December 15, 2020, policy brief from Inslee’s office.
Solar Industry Magazine – January 13
Recurrent Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, has completed the sale of the Slate project to Goldman Sachs Renewable Power. Slate is a 300-MW AC solar plus 140.25-MW/561-MWh storage project located in Kings County, which has commenced construction. The project has signed PPAs with five different off-takers.
KCLU – January 11
A new 5-MW solar farm is cutting power consumption by the Los Virgenes Municipal Water District in Conejo Valley. The district is also obtaining this green electricity at a cheaper rate than it is getting from Southern California Edison. Las Virgenes officials say the deal will save the district ten million dollars over the next 25 years.
The San Diego Union-Tribune – January 8
A battery storage project aimed at adding more carbon-free power to California’s electric grid is about to launch in the San Diego area. EnerSmart, a renewable energy company based in San Diego and Boulder, Colorado, has signed a $20 million order with Eos Energy to install 10 facilities of 3 MW each that will employ zinc battery storage technology. Seven of the 10 storage sites will be located in San Diego County.
Microgrid Knowledge – January 8
Smarter Grid Solutions has proposed building networked microgrids for the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Hoopa, California, a remote area where the tribe is subject to outages because of public safety power shutoffs. The project would network, behind the meter, a number of small microgrids located in critical buildings. The Hoopa Valley Tribe’s microgrid effort differs in important ways from Blue Lake Rancheria’s well-known tribal microgrid, also located in California. In the Hoopa Valley project, the assets are spread out, and there is no infrastructure on the tribal land that’s available for the tribe to use. If a community or tribe doesn’t own the infrastructure, another option is to network small pockets of energy, as Smarter Grid Solutions has proposed.