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Renewable Energy Update
October 13, 2017

Renewable Energy Focus

Governor Brown signs bill directing utilities to plan storage, DERs for peak demand

Utility Dive - Oct 12 Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill directing utilities to plan carbon-free alternatives to gas generation for meeting peak demand. SB 338, authored by State Senator Nancy Skinner (D), would compel utilities to evaluate how storage, energy efficiency, and distributed energy resources can meet peak power needs "while reducing the need for new electricity generation and new transmission in achieving the state’s energy goals."

First Solar comes out in favor of import tariffs

Bloomberg - Oct 11 First Solar Inc. is no longer on the sidelines of a trade case that threatens the $29 billion U.S. solar industry, and it’s supporting tariffs on imports. Chief Executive Officer Mark Widmar said U.S. solar manufacturers face “unfair competition” from rivals in other countries that “underscores the need for a fair and effective remedy,” in a letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission. The stance places the biggest U.S. solar manufacturer in opposition to the Solar Energy Industries Association and most of the rest of the industry. 

Solar power is fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide

The Guardian - Oct 4 Solar power was the fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide last year, outstripping the growth in all other forms of power generation for the first time and leading experts to hail a “new era.” Renewable energy accounted for two-thirds of new power added to the world’s grids in 2016, the International Energy Agency said, but the group found solar was the technology that shone brightest. New solar capacity even overtook the net growth in coal, previously the biggest new source of power generation. The shift was driven by falling prices and government policies, particularly in China, which accounted for almost half the solar panels installed. While China dominates the expansion of renewables, the U.S. is still the second fastest-growing market despite Donald Trump’s pledge to revive coal and the uncertainties he has brought at a federal level.

Making renewable power more viable for the grid

MIT News - Oct 11 Wind and solar power are increasingly popular sources for renewable energy. But intermittency issues keep them from connecting widely to the U.S. grid: They require energy-storage systems that, at the cheapest, run about $100 per kilowatt hour and function only in certain locations. Now MIT researchers have developed an “air-breathing” battery that could store electricity for very long durations for about one-fifth the cost of current technologies, with minimal location restraints and zero emissions. The battery could be used to make sporadic renewable power a more reliable source of electricity for the grid.

California Energy Committee opposes gas power plant

Power Engineering - Oct 9 In a rare move, a California Energy Commission (CEC) committee says it will oppose construction of a new natural gas-fired power plant in Oxnard. The committee, consisting of two out of five CEC members, announced Thursday that it intends to recommend that the full commission deny approval of the Puente Power Project on grounds that it will have an environmental impact that can't be mitigated and won't meet various laws, ordinances, regulations, or standards. The $300 million plant is designed to replace two of three existing plants at the Mandalay Generating Station in Oxnard. Critics contend the fossil-fuel plant would damage coastal wetlands and dunes and degrade local air quality. They also argue that there are renewable energy alternatives. The two-member committee said California's power grid operator, known as Cal-ISO, believes that alternatives to the gas-powered plant are feasible. A Cal-ISO report in August said that solar and other energy sources could meet the expected demand, although they might be costlier options.

Edisun Microgrids and West Hills Construction announce 20MW PV rooftop pipeline

PV-Tech - Oct 12 Solar technology company Edisun Microgrids and West Hills Construction have formed a strategic partnership to develop up to 20 megawatts of commercial and industrial rooftop PV projects utilizing Edisun’s rooftop tracking technology — PV Booster. The first installation developed through this partnership is a 1-megawatt solar array installed on a 528,000-square-foot cold storage industrial building in Oxnard. The project will be comprised of more than 2,900 trackers — making it the world’s largest rooftop tracker installation.

SunPower completes 8.79MW solar project at Toyota’s Texas HQ

Solar Industry Magazine - Oct 11 SunPower has announced completion of an 8.79-megawatt solar system spanning across four parking garages at Toyota Motor North America’s new 100-acre headquarters in Plano, Texas. The project helped Toyota meet a major sustainability goal. The solar installation marks an important step toward meeting Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to eliminate carbon emissions in the company’s operations. 

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Barry H. Epstein Barry H. Epstein
Land Use & Development | Environmental & Natural Resources | Real Estate | Infrastructure | Energy & Utilities | Real Estate Transactions
San Francisco
(415) 273-7469
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Devine William R William R. Devine
Land Use & Development | Real Estate | Environmental & Natural Resources | Investment Management Group | Residential & Multifamily | Real Estate Transactions
Orange County
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use & Development
San Francisco
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