2015-2-19 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, February 12:

  • Apple Inc will buy about $850 million of power from a new California solar farm to cut its energy bill. The First Solar Inc plant, with the capacity to power the equivalent of 60,000 homes, will be used to supply electricity for Apple’s new campus in Silicon Valley and all offices and stores in the state. [Christian Science Monitor]
  • New York is looking at new energy laws, and might consider emulating Vermont’s Cow Power program. The manure from half the cows in New York could power about 45,000 homes. Capturing and utilizing this methane is equivalent to eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions from about 120,000 cars. [Albany Times Union]
  • Gulf Power filed a petition asking the Florida Public Service Commission to approve an agreement that would make the utility a leading purchaser of wind generation among Florida utilities. The project, called Kingfisher Wind, would be sited in Oklahoma, where conditions are favorable for wind energy. [NorthEscambia.com]

Friday, February 13:

  • Google is partnering with NextEra Energy to power its Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View at California. Beginning from 2016, Google will receive approximately 43 MW of wind energy from plants at Altamont Pass. As part of the deal, 370 old turbines will be replaced with 24 advanced ones. [Greentech Lead]
  • European utilities shut more coal and natural gas power plants in 2014 than in any year since at least 2009 amid falling demand for electricity and tougher pollution curbs. European Union power companies turned off 63% more coal- and gas-fed generation than they started; net decommissioning was 5 GW. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]
  • Tesla’s crusade against fossil fuels could soon hit home with a battery-powered energy pack. The company plans to start producing a home battery within six months, Bloomberg reports, and will reveal more details in the next month or two. Backup power is one application, but there are a number of others. [TechHive]

Saturday, February 14:

  • Leaders of the UK’s three main political parties pledged a cross-party fight against climate change. David Cameron of the Conservatives, Ed Miliband of Labour and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats agreed to “seek a fair, strong, legally-binding global climate deal which limits temperature rises to below two degrees celsius”. [reNews]
  • Inverter load rejection overvoltage tests completed by the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of a cooperative research agreement with SolarCity have proven so successful that a testing partner, Hawaiian Electric Companies, has proposed to double its hosting capacity for solar energy. [Phys.Org]
  • New York ratepayers will subsidize operation of the Ginna nuclear facility near Rochester, under terms of an agreement with the plant’s operators, Exelon. The Ginna Nuclear Generating Station will be allowed to charge customers above-market rates until 2018, because the plant has been losing money. [Capital New York]

Sunday, February 15:

  • “Arthur Berman: Why Today’s Shale Era Is The Retirement Party For Oil Production” – Podcast guest Arthur Berman, a geological consultant with 34 years of experience in petroleum exploration and production, sees the recent US oil production boost from shale drilling as short-lived and somewhat desperate. [peakprosperity.com]
  • Indian prime minister Modi inaugurated the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet. On the first day of the three-day event, 293 companies committed to set up plants to generate 266 GW of renewable energy in 5 years, while banking major SBI said it will finance 15,000 MW renewable energy. [India.com]
  • The White House has backed solar and wind power projects and touted the benefits of the country’s surging production of natural gas, which burns about 50% cleaner than coal, still the largest source of electricity in the US. It had backed clean coal, but now, the US DOE is beginning to withdraw that support. [Bloomberg]
  • One thing energy companies leave out of their talking points for expanding pipelines in New England is an effort to deliver natural gas to Canada for export. Developers are already moving to send natural gas through Massachusetts to Nova Scotia, where it would be converted to liquefied natural gas and exported. [ecoRI news]

Monday, February 16:

  • China raised its total grid-connected solar power capacity to 28.05 GW in 2014, up 60% on the year, and aims to raise the total by more than half this year. The figure is equivalent to about 2.1% of China’s total power capacity of 1,360 GW at end 2014, while wind power is about 7% of the total. [Business Recorder]
  • India is all set to have world’s largest solar power plant in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh. It will be completed next year on Independence Day. The 750 MW will be constructed and operated as a joint venture of the state government and Solar Energy Corporation of India. It will occupy 1,500 hectares of land. [indiatvnews.com]

Tuesday, February 17:

  • In Geneva, Switzerland just three weeks after the US Senate’s 98-1 vote that climate change is not a hoax, the first round of the 2015 United Nations talks among 194 nations produced the first-ever universally agreed negotiating text on how to limit global warming to 2°C (3.6°F) above preindustrial temperatures. [CleanTechnica]
  • To store power from Washington State solar and wind generators, the Klickitat PUD has begun applying for a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to pursue a pumped storage project, which will cost an estimated $2.5 billion. When completed, the project would have a capacity of 1200 MW. [Yakima Herald-Republic]
  • Solar power brought 3,500 new jobs to Nevada in 2014, a 146% increase over 2013 that pushed the state to number 1 in the nation in solar jobs per capita, according to a report released Thursday by the Solar Foundation. It ranked Nevada seventh nationally with 5,900 total jobs in the solar industry. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Wednesday, February 18:

  • The three-day ‘First Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet and Expo (Re-Invest)’ concluded in India on Tuesday with commitments of 266,000 MW of renewable power, including 10,000 MW from state-run NTPC. This makes it the “take off” conference towards revolutionising India’s energy sector. [Web India]
  • Fires continued to burn for hours Tuesday after a train carrying 109 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm alongside a West Virginia creek, threatening the nearby water supply. Cars carrying volatile Bakken crude from North Dakota’s shale fields had left the tracks Monday afternoon, and 19 caught fire. [AOL]
  • In Vermont, after three weeks of deliberation, the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee voted 10-1 to pass H.40, a bill requiring utilities to sell renewable power. According to the bill, 55% of a utility’s electricity must come from renewables such as wind, solar or hydro power by 2017, and 75% by 2032. [vtdigger.org]

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