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Renewable Energy Update
February 24, 2017

Renewable Energy Focus

California Senate leader puts 100% renewable energy on the table in new legislation

Los Angeles Times - Feb 21 Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is proposing legislation, SB 584, that would require California to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources. If approved, 100 percent of the state’s electricity would need to come from clean sources such as solar and wind by 2045. The measure would also accelerate the state’s goal of reaching 50 percent renewable energy. Legislation approved two years ago set a deadline of 2030, but the new proposal would move that up to 2025.

Here’s how nearly 15 gigawatts of solar gets built in one year

Greentech Media - Feb 22 In 2010, the U.S. installed 852 megawatts-DC of solar photovoltaics from just over 53,000 individual projects. The non-residential (aka commercial) segment took the largest share (40 percent) of that capacity, and the largest state (California) accounted for 216 megawatts of new solar. In 2016, a year in which U.S. solar installations grew 95 percent over the previous high, the U.S. installed 14.6 gigawatts of solar from nearly 375,000 projects. The non-residential sector represented just 11 percent of that total, while utility-scale solar accounted for a massive 72 percent. California, still the leading state, installed over 5 gigawatts alone, over 2,000 percent growth relative to 2010. California’s renewable portfolio standard remains an enormous driver of the utility-scale solar market and accounted for nearly 25 percent of all solar built in 2016. While projects supported by this policy will continue to come on-line for the next couple of years, this source of growth is slowing down as utilities meet their mandated targets.

New study highlights need for California market refinements to better harness clean energy

Energy Collective - Feb 23 A new study, jointly conducted by the California Independent System Operator, the entity responsible for overseeing much of California’s electric grid, First Solar, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, demonstrates the untapped potential of utility-scale solar. The study shows that utility-scale solar can provide key services needed to ensure electric grid stability and reliability – better known as ancillary services – at levels comparable to conventional, fossil fuel driven resources.

Shell and Toyota partner on California fueling stations for hydrogen cars

Bloomberg - Feb 20 Royal Dutch Shell Plc will build seven fueling stations for hydrogen cars in California through a partnership with Toyota Motor Corp., laying down their latest bet on the demise of the internal-combustion engine. The stations will nudge the state closer to its goal of having 100 retail sites by 2024 where hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles can fill up. The California Energy Commission is considering $16.4 million in grants toward the stations, with Shell and Toyota contributing $11.4 million. Toyota plans to rely on hydrogen to all but rid its lineup of traditional-engine models by 2050. The lack of refueling infrastructure is a major hurdle to zero-emission cars catching on with consumers: California has just 25 stations right now.

San Diego school district to add solar at 24 sites

Proud Green Building - Feb 22 Continuing to outfit schools across the nation with solar panels, SunPower Corp. will install solar systems at 24 sites this spring in the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD), according to a press release. The solar installations in the El Cajon region of San Diego County totaling 4.6 megawatts will primarily include carports, as well as a few rooftop systems, and should be operational by the end of this year. CVUSD owns the solar power system, along with the associated renewable energy credits.

Apple nears completion of futuristic, solar-powered campus

Solar Industry Magazine - Feb 23

Tech giant Apple has announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus in Cupertino, will be ready for employees to begin occupying it in April. With 17 megawatts of rooftop solar, Apple Park will run one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world. Apple Park is also the site of the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, projected to require no heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year, according to Apple.

PG&E brings 2 MWh Tesla battery storage unit online at substation

Utility Dive - Feb 23 Pacific Gas and Electric has brought online Tesla’s 2 MWh energy storage facility in Browns Valley north of Sacramento, according to news reports. The facility has 22 Tesla Powerpacks, and it is scalable so it can meet demand if it rises in the future. PG&E will use the batteries to improve the management of peak demand and to reduce the need to call on peaking power plants.

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