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Renewable Energy Update
November 2, 2018
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San Diego Mayor Faulconer calls for government alternative to SDG&E

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE - Oct 25 San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced last Thursday his support for the creation of a government-run alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The highly anticipated decision follows debate about how best to satisfy the city’s pledge to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 — a decade before California mandates that all utilities run on zero-emission electricity. Faulconer said at a press event that the alternative energy model, known as community choice aggregation, would not only help the city reach its goal laid out under its 2015 Climate Action Plan, but it would also save customers money. SDG&E would continue to operate the electrical grid, and consumers could choose to return to the utility’s service if they were dissatisfied with the city’s program. The program could be in effect as early as 2021, with planning and implementation starting early next year.


Solar and wind have helped curb CO2 power emissions 28% since 2005

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - Oct 30 According to new findings from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. electric power sector carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have declined 28 percent since 2005 because of slower electricity demand growth and an increase in wind and solar energy. EIA calculated that CO2 emissions from the electric power sector totaled 1,744 million metric tons in 2017, representing the lowest level since 1987. In the U.S., the agency says, most of the changes in energy-related CO2 emissions have been in the power sector. Since 2005, as power sector CO2 emissions have fallen by 28 percent, CO2 emissions from all other energy sectors have fallen by only 5 percent.

San Diego airport microgrid eliminates blackouts and saves $6.4 million annually

MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE - Oct 26 Before the San Diego International Airport microgrid was built, the airport experienced four to five blackouts a year, each which lasted two to eight hours, according to Darr Hashempour, CEO of DH Green Energy, the consulting firm that designed and constructed the microgrid. The blackouts, which occurred during San Diego Gas and Electric’s outages, embarrassed airport executives, upset airport customers, and spurred losses for airlines, he said. Now, thanks to the utility-scale microgrid, the airport operates 24-7. The microgrid has also saved the airport about $6.4 million a year in energy costs and reduced the airport’s carbon dioxide emissions by 24,000 tons per year. The microgrid will be able to island when enough solar and storage are installed to serve the facilities, within the next two to three years.

Projects

California community groups sign PPAs for Canadian Solar’s 150-MW solar-plus-storage project

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS - Oct 31 Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SCVE) and Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) have partnered to buy the energy output of Slate, a 150-megawatt solar farm with 180 megawatt-hours of battery energy storage in Kings County, from Recurrent Energy, the U.S.-based utility-scale solar project developer subsidiary of Canadian Solar. SCVE will offtake 55 percent of the farm’s combined output, and MBCP the remaining 45 percent. Slate is scheduled to reach commercial operation during 2021.

Swinerton breaks ground on 200-MW Imperial Valley solar project

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY EXECUTIVE - Oct 30 Swinerton Renewable Energy, in partnership with New Energy Solar and D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, broke ground on Mount Signal 2 in Southern California’s Imperial Valley. Completion is estimated for December 2019. Mount Signal 2 will be set on 1,200 acres, about 6 miles west of Calexico, California, in Imperial County. For the project, more than 200 people will be hired locally throughout the construction phase, impacting the county’s high unemployment number, estimated at 19.8 percent in September.

Avista, Strata complete new 28-MW solar farm in eastern Washington

POWER ENGINEERING - Oct 26 Spokane, Washington-based utility Avista Utilities and partner Strata Solar this week celebrated the completion of the Adams Neilson solar farm, bringing 28 megawatts of renewable electricity from eastern Washington into the grid. Construction began in June on the 200-acre solar farm. Adams Neilson is reportedly Washington state’s biggest solar farm.

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Barry H. Epstein Barry H. Epstein
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Devine William R William R. Devine
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
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