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Renewable Energy Update
April 25, 2018


Wind and solar provided 98% of new U.S. generating capacity in January and February

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD - Apr 24 Wind and solar accounted for more than 98 percent of all new U.S. electrical generation placed into service in the first two months of this year, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of data just released by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The report also reveals that the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources, including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind power, now provides over one-fifth (20.4 percent) of total available U.S. generating capacity. Combined, wind and solar alone exceed one-tenth (10.2 percent) of installed capacity — a share greater than either nuclear power (9.1 percent), hydropower (8.5 percent), or oil (3.6 percent).

Bill seeks to repeal solar tariffs

PV MAGAZINE - Apr 23 A bill, HR 5571, has been introduced to Congress with the goal of repealing the 30 percent tariff applied to all imported solar panels and some solar cells. Additionally, the bill calls for refunds for any companies that have paid tariffs. Last week, U.S. Representative Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada) introduced the Protecting American Solar Jobs Act. Four other representatives have signed on to the bill as co-sponsors: Jared Huffman from California, Mark Sanford and Ralph Norman from South Carolina, and Steve Knight from California. Huffman is a Democrat, but the other three are members of the Republican Party. In introducing the bill, the representative from Nevada focused her comments on the economic benefits of solar power – “new jobs, cheaper power bills, and the growth of a new industry that is diversifying our state’s economy”. The Nevada solar industry lost 1,800 solar jobs in 2017, which was widely attributed to changes to net metering imposed by state regulators.

BLM seeks input on solar leasing area near Vegas

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - Apr 19 The Las Vegas Field Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comments on a proposed designated leasing area (DLA) east of the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, located north of Las Vegas. The proposed DLA would allow BLM to conduct a competitive lease auction for solar development. Up to 150 megawatts of solar power could be generated from the DLA, the BLM notes.

Wells Fargo funds more NextEra wind power


Wells Fargo’s Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance unit has announced the completion of $70 million in tax equity funding for NextEra’s Pacific Plains wind projects, including facilities in Indiana, Nebraska, and California. NextEra Energy developed and built the Pacific Plains wind projects and also operates and manages the new facilities, which supply power to local utilities: the 20-megawatt Bluff Point wind facility in Jay and Randolph counties, Indiana; the 90-megawatt Cottonwood wind facility in Webster County, Nebraska; and the 46-megawatt Golden Hills North wind facility in Livermore, California.

Sonoma Clean Power scraps plan for solar power array on wastewater ponds

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT - Apr 23 A combination of factors, including President Donald Trump’s tariff on imported solar panels, has prompted cancellation of a major solar power project on six wastewater holding ponds in Sonoma County. Sonoma Clean Power, the county’s public power supplier, also cited requirements by PG&E and the state Division of Safety of Dams as reasons for terminating a contract approved in 2015 for development of a 12.5-megawatt solar power system on the holding ponds owned by the Sonoma County Water Agency. The developer, San Francisco-based Pristine Sun, missed its latest deadline to complete the project March 31, prompting Sonoma Clean Power to cancel the deal five days later, said Deb Emerson, the electricity provider’s director of power services.

Army Corps to issue RFP for microgrid at California’s Fort Hunter Liggett Base

MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE - Apr 20 Another military microgrid is on the drawing board, this one at California’s Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett, which expects to issue a solicitation next month for a contractor to build the $10-to $20 million facility. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to issue a request for proposals May 30 for the training base, which is about 150 miles south of San Francisco. The base-wide microgrid will provide power when utility service is down. It also is intended to help Fort Hunter Liggett achieve net zero energy with installation of solar and energy storage.

Toyota, Shell move forward with hydrogen facility at Port of Long Beach

L.A. BIZ - Apr 20 Toyota Motor North America Inc. and energy company Shell are moving ahead with building the first hydrogen-truck refueling station at the Port of Long Beach. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has provisionally awarded $8 million to Equilon Enterprises LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products U.S., and Toyota for the project. The funding, which is contingent upon the approval of the project at an upcoming CEC meeting, forms part of the CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which helps develop hydrogen and electric infrastructure at ports, warehousing, and distribution centers in California. Shell and Toyota said they expect the facility to encourage the use of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in and around Long Beach, one of the world's largest freight hubs.

MGM Resorts will use solar array to power Las Vegas casinos

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL - Apr 18 MGM Resorts International plans to power its sizable share of the Strip with a dedicated solar array capable of supplying up to 90 percent of daytime demand at the company’s 13 Las Vegas casinos. MGM Resorts is partnering with Chicago-based renewable developer Invenergy on a new 100-megawatt photovoltaic array set to go online in 2020, about 25 miles northeast of Las Vegas. All of the electricity generated by the array will go to MGM Resorts under a 20-year agreement.

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Barry H. Epstein Barry H. Epstein
Land Use & Development | Environmental & Natural Resources | Real Estate | Infrastructure | Energy & Utilities | Real Estate Transactions
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Devine William R William R. Devine
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
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