Utility Dive – January 25
California regulators are on the lookout for cleaner energy alternatives to replace the widespread use of back-up diesel generation — particularly among data centers in Silicon Valley and other areas of the state. Some industry players think hydrogen could be the answer. According to Roy Segev, Director of Business Development for Ballard Power, “data center back-up applications [are] probably the most immediate business for hydrogen fuel cells today, primarily as green hydrogen cost has less impact on the total cost of ownership.” Moreover, hydrogen fuel cells come with a set of advantages, “they occupy less space than batteries, are quiet, reliable and 100% zero-emission,” according to Segev who participated in a recent stakeholder workshop hosted by the California Energy Commission. Regulators are now soliciting information on possible alternatives to diesel, with an eye to providing funding to develop and commercialize cleaner energy technologies.
Power Technology – January 26
The coronavirus pandemic and resulting global economic slowdown curtailed some energy projects in 2020, but corporations worldwide still bought a record 23.7 GW of clean power through long-term purchase agreements, according to a report published on January 26 by BloombergNEF. The 2020 record for corporate clean energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) topped the 20.1-GW level of 2019, and was nearly 75% higher than the 13.6 GW bought in 2018. The U.S. once again was the largest market for corporate power purchases, though the 11.9 GW of PPAs announced in 2020 was down from 14.1 GW in 2019, the first year-over-year decline since 2016. The report comes one day after a group of 36 U.S. companies representing the nation’s largest buyers of renewable energy released a joint statement asking the federal government to make the transition to a zero-carbon power generation sector a national priority. The companies include General Motors, Target, Walmart, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and PepsiCo.
Solar Industry Magazine – January 26
Ingeteam Inc. has supplied and commissioned 53 of its solar PV power stations for the 160-MW Rancho Seco II solar plant in Sacramento. The photovoltaic (PV) facility, built by Rosendin Electric for DE Shaw Renewable Investments, is the largest fixed-tilt solar plant in Sacramento County. The solar PV plant was built on the premises of the decommissioned Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, which ceased operations in 1989. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District will buy the energy generated at the Rancho Seco solar PV plant through a long-term PPA.
Energy Storage News – January 27
A 100-MW/400-MWh standalone battery energy storage system (BESS) has commenced operations in southern California, where it will help the state overcome electric system reliability issues as it pursues its goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045. It ranks among the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery projects so far, and has been switched on by electric power generation and distribution company, AES Corporation, which developed the project and signed a long-term agreement with Southern California Edison for the off-take of its stored energy. The project’s energy storage system was supplied by Fluence, the technology provider and system integrator which AES Corporation owns in a joint venture with engineering company Siemens.
The Hill – January 25
Vineyard Wind, the developer behind a major offshore wind project is asking the Biden Administration to jump start federal review of its plan to construct the nation’s first industrial-scale offshore wind farm. Vineyard Wind is working on a $2.2 billion, 800-MW wind farm located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The project, planned for completion by 2023, will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts. It will also create thousands of jobs and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.
PV-Tech – January 27
Lightsource BP has closed on a $380 million financing package for two solar projects in Texas with a combined capacity of 316 MW. The developer said it broke ground on the 163-MW Elm Branch plant and on the 153-MW Briar Creek plant, both of which are located about 40 miles south of Dallas. The company recently secured a virtual PPA with the aerospace company, L3Harris Technologies, for up to 100 MW from the Elm Branch plant. The company also reportedly entered a proxy generation PPA with the investment group, Allianz Global, for electricity generated by the Briar Creek plant.