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Renewable Energy Update
March 15, 2018
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California could get more solar, geothermal power from Imperial Valley following lawsuit

The Desert Sun - Mar 7

As Governor Jerry Brown looks to neighboring states for cheap sources of clean energy, a legal settlement could result in coastal cities like Los Angeles and San Diego getting more climate-friendly power from California's own Imperial Valley. Three years ago, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) sued the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the nonprofit corporation that manages most of California's power grid, accusing it of stifling clean energy development in one of the state's poorest counties. IID also sued the grid operator under the California Public Records Act, demanding documents that the public utility suspected would undermine Brown's efforts to start a regional power grid. Those lawsuits have now been settled — and both sides are pleased with the outcome. CAISO has agreed to upgrade a power line that will allow more electricity to flow from the Imperial Valley to the rest of the state. That should make it easier for companies to build solar projects in the region and sell the electricity to coastal population centers. Outside the legal settlement, CAISO says it has done more to promote development of geothermal energy — a top priority for IID, which wants to see new geothermal power plants build by the southern shore of the Salton Sea.



Canadian Solar sells 235-MW California solar portfolio to Korean utility

Clean Technica - Mar 14

One of the world’s largest solar companies, Canadian Solar has completed the sale of its interests in three California solar PV projects held by its subsidiary Recurrent Energy to Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), the country’s largest electric utility with an installed capacity of 79 gigawatts. KEPCO has acquired interests in the 100-megawatt Astoria project, the 75-megawatt Astoria 2 project, and the 60-megawatt Barren Ridge project, each located in Southern California in Kern County.

Power-to-gas in microgrids: competitive with batteries?

Microgrid Knowledge - Mar 7 Power-to-gas, a technology that converts excess renewable energy to hydrogen or methane gases that can be stored, is cost-competitive with lithium-ion batteries in microgrids, according to Matt Gregori, technology development manager, Southern California Gas, who spoke at a solar conference last week at the University of California, Riverside. Southern California Gas recently conducted a computer simulation of using power-to-gas in an existing microgrid at University of California Irvine, and concluded that the amount of renewable energy used could jump from 3.5 percent to 35 percent, Gregori said. In addition, researchers at University of California in Irvine created a sophisticated financial model comparing power-to-gas to lithium-ion batteries. “They found that power-to-gas, using a natural gas pipeline, is cost effective with lithium-ion batteries,” he said.

Study shows Los Angeles can reach 100% renewable energy by 2030 with help from solar

Solar Power World - Mar 8 A new report by Synapse Energy Economics and Food Water Watch shows that with a combination of new wind and solar sources, investments in storage and energy efficiency, and smart management of the grid, the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water (LADWP) can achieve a 100 percent clean energy system by the 2030. The research shows that the transition to an electricity grid fully powered by renewable energy can be accomplished quickly, without costing ratepayers more than they would otherwise pay. The study comes as LADWP, the nation’s largest municipal utility serving almost 1.5 million residential customers and businesses, considers scenarios for moving Los Angeles to a 100 percent renewable energy grid, at the request of the City Council.

Pasadena adopts a climate action plan, but some wonder why it doesn’t commit to 100 percent renewable energy

Pasadena Star-News - Mar 6 Pasadena last Monday adopted a road map to reduce its carbon footprint, but local activists said the plan doesn’t go far enough. The plan, required by the state, lays out how the city will cut greenhouse gas emissions so they are 83 percent below 2009 levels by 2050. But residents who spoke at Monday’s City Council meeting said the plan was “a great disappointment” because it relies on businesses and homeowners to voluntarily move to green energy without requiring the city’s power supplier to make similar changes.

Electric buses are coming to Porterville

Valley Public Radio - Mar 13 When you think of electric vehicles, you probably think of Tesla, Silicon Valley, and automakers in Southern California like Toyota. It’s likely that you aren’t thinking of Porterville, a small city near the foothills of Tulare County. But that could change. With the help of a grant from the California Air Resources Board, Porterville bought ten electric buses from Canadian startup, GreenPower Motor Company Inc. These battery-powered buses will replace nearly half of their fleet, and they’re one of the first valley cities to make such a dramatic switch. At the same time, GreenPower is building its first North American assembly plant in Porterville.

Greenbacker acquires Vermont and California wind farms

ReNews - Mar 13 Greenbacker Renewable Energy has acquired two wind farms in Vermont and California totaling 16 megawatts. The 10-megawatt Georgia Mountain project is located in Chittenden and Franklin Counties in Vermont and has been operational since 2012. The 6-megawatt Wagner wind farm is located in Palm Springs, California, and sells power to the City of Riverside under a 20-year PPA, with 15 years remaining.

Bakersfield City School District getting major solar expansion

Solar Industrial Magazine - Mar 13 ForeFront Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., and Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) in California have announced an expanded solar energy partnership that will see 2.3 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity installed across 10 schools. This latest deal builds upon an existing 1.7 megawatts of capacity across five BCSD schools. This expansion is expected to save the district approximately $4 million over 20 years.

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