The Almanac – February 11
Clean energy agencies Peninsula Clean Energy and Silicon Valley Clean Energy announced this Monday that they will join six other nonprofit agencies that buy clean energy on behalf of residents and form a new entity called California Community Power. The new entity, California Community Power, will be a Joint Powers Authority, which will allow its member agencies to buy new, cost-effective clean energy and resources to help make that energy more reliable, according to the statement. By joining, these agencies expect to be able to better negotiate for larger contracts for renewable energy and energy storage and mitigate risks.
The San Diego Union-Tribune – February 10
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors took the first steps toward developing renewable energy projects in the unincorporated areas of the county by voting unanimously Wednesday to streamline environmental review, permitting, and other bureaucratic processes. In a 5-0 vote, the board approved a pair of “regulatory and process” options designed to reduce time and costs for renewable energy developers, clarify requirements, and create a checklist for projects. The board also directed staff to come back in six months and report on exploring renewable projects in the county that go beyond wind and solar, including energy storage and microgrids.
Carlsbad Current Argus – February 9
A bill introduced in the New Mexico Legislature could block the construction of any new electricity generating facilities that burn natural gas, only allowing developments that generate “clean energy.” Clean energy was defined in Senate Bill 67 to include solar, wind, geothermal, carbon gas capture, biomass, or hydropower, and it excluded power created by nuclear energy, coal, or natural gas. If signed, the bill would apply to any new or replacement energy capacity constructed on or after July 1, 2021, restricting the Public Regulation Commission from approving facilities generating power from burning coal or natural gas.
Solar Industry Magazine – February 9
Masdar has completed the first closing on the acquisition of 50% stake of a 1.6-GW clean energy portfolio of projects in the U.S. from EDF Renewables North America. Masdar and EDF announced last year that they had agreed to partner on eight renewable energy projects, including five solar projects in California totaling 689 MW – two of which include energy storage systems representing 75 MW. Of the five California projects, four started commercial operations in December 2020, and one, Big Beau, a 128-MW DC solar PV and 40-MW/160-MWh battery energy storage system in Kern County, will reach commercial operation in December 2021.
The Tribune – February 10
An energy company that pulled a plan to build a battery storage plant in Morro Bay is back with a new proposal. Morro Bay Power Plant owner Vistra Energy had applied for a permit last year to build a 4-acre, 200-MW battery storage plant behind its mothballed power facility. Then last summer, the company withdrew the project from the city — without explanation. Now it’s back with a new 22-acre project, which, at five times the footprint and triple the power output, would be the largest in the country. The company is now working on a full environmental impact report for the project.
Desert Sun – February 9
Almost a year after Desert Community Energy (DCE) began serving Palm Springs customers, representatives of the community choice energy program ceremonially signed DCE’s first local wind power purchase agreement this Tuesday. DCE signed three multi-million dollar, 15-year agreements with Terra-Gen, LLC to purchase power from three wind farms located in Palm Springs.
Renewable Energy World – February 4
The wholesale energy subsidiary of Southern Co. is adding battery storage capacity to two of the solar facilities it operates in California. Southern California Edison awarded Southern Power two 20-year power purchase agreements for the projects. For the Garland Solar Facility in Kern County, 88 MW and 352 MWh of energy storage will be added, while 72 MW and 288 MWh will be added to the Tranquility Solar Facility in Fresno County.