Associated Press – January 26
The future looks bright for solar and other renewable energy technology. FirstSolar, Enphase, and SunPower are among the renewable energy stocks that are benefiting from a new focus on climate change and green energy in the White House. Developers and plant owners expect the addition of utility-scale solar capacity to set a record by adding 15.4 gigawatts of capacity to the grid in 2021, up from about 12 gigawatts in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency said solar power will account for the largest share of new capacity in 2021, exceeding wind power growth for the first time.
Greentech Media – February 3
This Wednesday, Democrats in Congress reintroduced the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator Act, which would direct $100 billion to the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator, a nonprofit entity tasked with making loans and investments into sectors of the economy that need to grow rapidly to meet the Biden-Harris administration’s aggressive decarbonization goals. Projects authorized for funding under the bill include renewable power, building efficiency, and grid infrastructure.
Microgrid Knowledge – January 27
The U.S. House of Representatives has reintroduced the Energy Resilient Communities Act, offering $1.5 billion to help fund clean energy microgrids for critical infrastructure, with a focus on low-income communities and communities of color. With 39 co-sponsors, the bill authorizes $1.5 billion in annual grants for clean energy microgrids to support critical infrastructure needed after extreme weather events. It also offers $50 million a year for technical assistance.
San Diego Reader – February 2
Where’s the best place for renewable energy? Many backcountry locals think San Diego rooftops would be ideal. The county, however, is eyeing the wide open spaces of the desert. Officials say large scale wind and solar are needed to meet the county’s goal to achieve 90 percent renewable electricity for the unincorporated area by 2030, a plan that will include community choice energy. Last week, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to continue a discussion on options for streamlining permits for solar and wind to a February meeting and agreed to add Anza Borrego Desert State Park as a stakeholder.
Solar Industry Magazine – January 26
According to a new Rocky Mountain Institute report, by 2030, renewable energy capacity in the U.S. will at least double and potentially grow by a factor of seven or higher. Rural communities, which host 99% of onshore wind and a growing share of utility-scale solar projects, stand to receive a sizeable boost to their local economies. Annual revenues from wind and solar projects could exceed $60 billion dollars by 2030 – on par with expected revenues from the top three U.S. agricultural commodities: corn, soy, and beef production.
The San Diego Union-Tribune – January 28
A battery storage demonstration project already providing a carbon-free source of electricity to California’s grid is about to be tested to see how well it can work on microgrids. Located at a San Diego Gas & Electric substation in Bonita, the project uses vanadium redox flow battery technology that stores electricity when the grid has excess supply and then discharges the energy when the power system needs it. Testing is expected to start in the late second quarter 2021.
Solar Power World – January 29
EDF Renewables North America completed and reached commercial operation of the Desert Harvest 1 (114 MW) and Desert Harvest 2 (100 MW) Solar Projects. Desert Harvest 1 provides electricity to MCE under a 20-year PPA, while Desert Harvest 2 supplies energy and renewable attributes to Southern California Public Power Authority under a 25-year renewable energy credit and index structure contract.
Arizona Daily Star – January 30
The biggest solar farm built to serve Tucson Electric Power customers is rising from the desert floor south of the city. The Wilmot Energy Center, a 100-MW photovoltaic project with 30 MW of linked battery storage, is under construction by developer NextEra Energy Resources and is scheduled to begin operations as early as April 2021.