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Renewable Energy Update
June 30, 2017

Renewable Energy Focus

U.S. mayors back 100% renewable energy, vow to fill climate leadership void

InsideClimate News - Jun 26 As the nation's mayors closed their annual meeting on Monday in Miami Beach, they sent a clear signal that cities are looking for action on climate change and are eager to fill a policy gap created by the Trump administration. The United States Conference of Mayors, which includes both Republican and Democratic mayors from cities across the nation, adopted a series of resolutions that are far more assertive than federal climate policy, including a pledge supporting cities' adoption of 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. The resolutions passed Monday include ones that: urge Congress and the Trump administration to support the Paris Agreement and the Obama administration's stalled Clean Power Plan, which would cut carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector and which Trump has been working to repeal; call for a quick electrification of the nation's transportation sector; support greater investment from all levels of government in wind energy; and encourage Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, a defunct federal program that sent money to local governments.


States betting on giant batteries to cut carbon

Climate Central - Jun 28 A growing number of states are requiring large batteries to be used to store electricity to help expand wind and solar power. The trend is catching on quickly as at least three states have created energy storage targets or incentives so far this year. Lawmakers in New York passed a bill last week requiring the state to create an energy storage target. Nevada passed a bill incentivizing energy storage in May, and Maryland passed an energy storage tax credit in April. Those measures follow California, Oregon, and Massachusetts, which have mandates for electricity storage in batteries. As more wind farms and solar power plants are built to help reduce climate pollution, electric power companies encounter one of the fundamental challenges with renewables: The flow of electricity from wind and solar farms isn’t steady — it fluctuates as the wind blows and the sun sets. 

Suniva and SolarWorld trade dispute could halt two-thirds of U.S. solar installations through 2022

Greentech Media - Jun 26 The trade dispute between Suniva and SolarWorld could strike a devastating blow to the U.S. solar market, erasing two-thirds of installations expected to come on-line over the next five years. If the petition is successful, shockwaves will be felt across all segments of U.S. solar. Utility-scale solar is most at risk, with more than 20 gigawatts already at risk of cancellation if module prices fall back to 2012 levels. GTM Research crunched the numbers based on Suniva and SolarWorld's requested penalties for imported solar equipment ($0.40/watt tariff for cells and a floor price of $0.78/watt on modules) and found that they would cause unprecedented demand destruction.

CAISO defers proxy demand response resource sought by storage companies

Utility Dive - Jun 30 A proceeding at the California ISO is looking at introducing new products to the state’s grid in order to better manage generation oversupply and solar curtailments. Energy storage stakeholders such as the California Energy Supply Association, eMotorWerks, Stem, and Tesla are pushing for a bidirectional Proxy Demand Resource (PDR) product that would allow storage resources to consume excess load on direction from an ISO dispatch. CAISO says consideration of a PDR product is now likely to be deferred to a third phase of its proceeding as the grid operator assesses the limits of battery resources and other multi-use storage issues.

Los Angeles completes 16.4MW rooftop project

PV-Tech - Jun 29 Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday in a joint celebration with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) the completion of a rooftop project that can generate enough renewable energy to power nearly 5,000 homes. The 16.4-megawatt Westmont Solar Energy project in San Pedro will generate more than 28 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, making it one of the most powerful rooftop solar projects in the world. The project is part of Los Angeles’ rooftop solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program — the largest of its kind in the U.S. The FiT program allows building owners to install solar panels on their roofs and sell the power they generate back to LADWP for distribution into the power grid. The rooftop project was developed by PermaCity Solar, together with building owner BlackRock and financial partners True Green Capital and GAF. 

Ikea installs solar array at its new Burbank store

L.A. Biz - Jun 27 Ikea has taken another step toward its goal of energy independence, having plugged in a solar panel array atop its new Burbank store that it says is nearly three times the size of its previous installation. The retailer said the new store’s 71,000-square-foot solar array consists of a 646-kilowatt system, built with 1,872 panels, and will produce more than 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year for the store. The project will have the effect of reducing 726 tons of carbon dioxide, equal to the emissions of 153 cars or providing electricity for 77 homes yearly.

Southern Company advances national microgrid strategy

Microgrid Knowledge - Jun 28 Another major utility is on the move advancing a microgrid strategy to build projects beyond its regulated service territory, this one Georgia-based Southern Company. With assets of $109.7 billion, and 32,000 employees in four states, Southern Company, one of the largest U.S. electric utilities, is pursuing a national microgrid strategy through its subsidiary PowerSecure in partnership with California-based Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS). A Southern Company spokesman said that PowerSecure plans to focus on areas of the country where distributed energy resources are most economically viable. With the intent to build sustainable microgrids, the partnership will use energy storage and various generation resources, designed to customer needs. In partnering with AMS, Southern Company joins one of the early innovators in use of battery storage and distributed energy as an aggregated resource.

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