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AfDB Commits $20Mn for Sub-Saharan Renewables Projects (Int'l.)
African Development Bank
Date: 2020-01-15
The Ivory Coast-headquartered African Development Bank (AfDB) reports it has approved a $20 million investment in the Metier Sustainable Capital International Fund II in support of renewable energy and resource efficient infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The investment is in line with AfDB's efforts to alleviate financing constraints in the renewable energy sector and will contribute to production of 178,5 MW of renewable power for commercial and residential use.

Metier is a well-established fund manager with a track record of deploying more than US$550 million in African countries, including solar, wind and hydro power projects in Southern and East Africa. Metier has been a key player in South African solar power, a maturing technology that offers significant benefits in terms of storage and dispatchability to the grid, unlike traditional photovoltaic options.

In other African renewable energy news , the AfDB has approved a $8.91 million grant drawn from the EU Africa Investment Platform (EU-AIP) to support Ruzizi IV, 287 MW Hydropower Project, to be situated on the Ruzizi River between Rwanda and Congo. The Ruzizi III, with a projected 147 MW output is under development with Bank support. (Source: African Dev. Bank, Chronicle, 14 Jan., 2020) Contact: AfDB, Amadou Hott, VP Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, +225 2026 3900, www.afdb.org/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News African Development Bank,  Africa Renewable Energy,  Renewable Energy,  


Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition Launched (Int'l Report)
Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition
Date: 2020-01-15
An international Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition has been formed to advance sustainable deployment of ocean-based renewable energy -- offshore wind, floating solar, tidal and wave power -- and at the same time mitigate the impacts of climate change while meeting roughly 10 pct of the annual greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed by 2050 to keep global temperatures under 1.5 degreeC above pre-industrial levels, according to a report released by the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Most of this climate change mitigation potential is expected to come from offshore wind.

The Action Coalition includes MHI Vestas, Orsted, Equinor, CWind, Global Marine Group, JERA, Shell, Mainstream Renewable Power, Siemens Gamesa, TenneT and The UK Crown Estate.

Download the The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change -- Five Opportunities for Action Report HERE. (Source: High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, Various Media, Maritime Executive, 13 Jan., 2020) Contact: High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, www.oceanpanle.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ocean Energy,  


Brookfield Bids for TerraForm Power (Ind. Report, M&A)
Brookfield Renewables,TerraForm
Date: 2020-01-15
Markham, Ontario-headquartered Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions is reporting a takeover bid for all outstanding shares of clean energy developer TerraForm Power, of which it and its affiliates presently own 62 pct.

TerraForm has stakes in 2,392MW of wind and 1,674MW of solar PV facilities in the US, Europe, Canada, Chile and Uruguay.

The deal is board, regulatory and other approvals. (Source: Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions, WindPower, 13 Jan., 2020) Contact: Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions, Gordon Hicks, CEO, (905) 943-4100, www.brookfieldgis.com; TerraForm Power, (240) 762-7700, information@terraform.com, www.terraform.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Brookfield Renewables,  TerraForm,  


NEC Providing 100MW of Grid Energy Storage in Ireland (Int'l.)
NEC Energy Solutions
Date: 2020-01-15
In the Bay State, Westborough-based energy storage specialist NEC Energy Solutions, Inc. reports it will provide 100MW of energy storage in Northern Ireland for the Gore Street Energy Storage Fund (GSF) and project developer Low Carbon.

The 100MW of energy storage is comprised of two 50MW projects now under construction in County Tyrone and County Armagh. The two projects are the largest projects to date in Northern Ireland and are expected to derive revenue from the new Irish "Delivering a Secure Sustainable Electricity System" (DS3) program to enable Ireland to meet its target of 75 pct non-synchronous and renewable (i.e. wind and solar) electricity across the all-island network. Both 50MW projects will be completed and commissioned in Q1 2021. (Source: NEC Energy Solutions, PR, 14 Jan., 2020) Contact: NEC, Roger Lin, (508) 497-7261, rlin@neces.com, www.neces.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News NEC Energy Solutions,  Energy Storage,  


Clean Energy Finance Corp. Touts Green Home Loan Program (Int'l.)
Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Date: 2020-01-13
In the Land Down Under, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is launching a green home loan program at 2.44 pct interest for borrowers who meet a minimum seven-star energy rating, which it says is the first loan to use energy efficiency measurement tools to determine eligibility. The Bank Australia -- the first lender to offer the scheme -- will draw on up to $60 million in CEFC finance, providing the interest rate discount to mortgages below $1.5 million

A minimum of seven stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) -- which rates the energy efficiency of a home based on its design -- exceeds the minimum standards of the National Construction Code, and homes built to this rating require less energy for heating and cooling.

At a later date, Bank Australia is expected extend the discounted loan program to finance green home improvements, including energy monitoring, energy storage systems, solar hot wate, energy efficient air conditioning and others. (Source: Clean Energy Finance Corp., Domain, 14 Jan., 2019) Contact: Clean Energy Finance Corporation, www.cefc.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Finance Corporation,  Energy Efficiency ,  


ExxonMobil -- Climate Change, the Work Ahead Opinions & Asides)
ExxonMobil
Date: 2020-01-13
"As we wrap up 2019, it's useful to take stock of the past year and keep looking ahead to the future and what we need to do to accomplish our energy goals. We need to do a lot. We are at a crucial inflection point with climate change, as is all too clear from the regular stream of updates in our news feeds every day. ExxonMobil’s annual Energy Outlook, which came out recently, discusses how the world is still offtrack to meet certain climate goals without a lot of additional effort.

"That further work means continued technology innovation. We have to keep finding and inventing solutions to the myriad of individual problems posed by the dual challenge. These different efforts -- both within and outside of our own research labs -- are all essential to moving us forward. They include the important renewables work being done with wind, solar and geothermal by so many around the world; they also include research focused on carbon capture technology and biofuels -- and everything in between. On ExxonMobil’s end, we are proud of our portfolio of innovative emission-lowering projects that have led to more than 10,000 patents in the last decade. Since 2000, we've spent $16.5 billion on this kind of R&D.

"Moving into 2020, we need to stay focused on several key themes related to solving the dual challenge: scale, speed, collaboration and training the next generation of scientists, engineers and other problem solvers. Scale is everything in our efforts. Reducing carbon emissions to fight climate change as we simultaneously deliver more and more energy to a growing world is a big job. And it's not just one job. As I said earlier this year, 'Not only are the sizes we are talking about so big they are sometimes unfathomable, but we must deploy solutions globally AND across countless end uses. It's not one equation with one unknown, but multiple equations with multiple unknowns.'

"As we work to solve for these multiple unknowns, we are pursuing projects big and small. What they share in common is the strict requirement that they must lead to a scalable solution. Energy is gigantic, from the infrastructure that supports it to the markets that drive its supply and demand. Any solution we find in the lab, however brilliant, must be ready to immediately scale.

"And it needs to happen quickly. As we know, scientific discovery is an ongoing endeavor -- you can't put a deadline on invention. But we can accelerate innovation. First, we can follow the example of parallel processing from computer science. In our labs, we don't wait for the basic science to be definitively 'concluded' (if it even can be). We start the engineering while we're still doing the science and iterate between the two. That requires collaboration between different types of researchers and innovators – between our corporate lab and government and academic labs, for example -- and that's the other way we speed up scalable solutions: with partnerships. Partnerships are a force multiplier. They are absolutely key when it comes to solving the dual challenge. When I look back on the past year, I am proud of the scope and variety of partnerships we undertook as a company. To name just a few:

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (and other DOE-funded labs) -- in a 10-year, $100 million collaboration to bring advanced energy technologies to market at scale, focused on reducing carbon emissions.

  • IBM -- to collaborate on quantum computing that could help make energy exploration and extraction enormously efficient.

  • MIT Energy Initiative -- to extend our existing relationship supporting this project, which is committed to discovering new emission-reducing technology.

    Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) locations in Madras and Bombay -- to continue our research with scientists and students working on the ground in India to address the energy needs and challenges on the subcontinent, including studying life cycle greenhouse gas emissions in India's power sector.

  • Clariant and Genomatica -- to convert residue left over from farming into biofuel that can power trucks, ships and more. Clariant has expert processes to extract sugars from agricultural leftovers like wheat straw, while Genomatica turns sugars into biofuels.

  • Global Thermostat -- to evaluate the scalability of their innovative carbon capture technology, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and industrial sources.

  • Microsoft -- to digitally transform 1 million acres of unconventional oil and gas fields in the Permian Basin, making it the largest-ever oil and gas acreage to use cloud technology, and also making it more efficient. Energy efficiency is an often overlooked area when we think about the dual challenge.

    (Source: ExxonMobil, PR, , 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: ExxonMobil, Dr. Vijay Swarup, VP Research and Development , www.linkedin.com › dr-vijay-swarup-120a95159, (972) 444-1107, www.exxonmobil.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  ExxonMobil,  Vijay Swarup ,  


  • Ameresco, New Bedford Housing Authority Ink $12Mn EPC (Ind Report)
    Ameresco,New Bedford Housing Authority
    Date: 2020-01-13
    In the Bay State, Framingham-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco and the New Bedford Housing Authority are reporting a $12.7 million Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that is expected to save the Housing Authority $19.6 million in energy and water cost savings over its sixteen-year term.

    The project, which involves 15 public housing developments encompassing close to 1,500 households, includes water conservation, exterior and common-area lighting upgrades, boiler replacements, and roof-top mounted solar installations in conjunction with significant incentives available from the Commonwealth's Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program.

    With more than 30 years of experience, Ameresco has implemented improvements for over 130,000 households under performance-based energy and water services contracts, according to the company. (Source: Ameresco, New Bedford Housing Authority, Framingham Source, 12 Jan., 2020) Contact: New Bedford Housing Authority, 508-997-4829; Ameresco, Bob Georgeoff, VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Kresge Foundation Commitment to Advance Solar+Storage, Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report, Funding)
    Clean Energy Group
    Date: 2020-01-13
    The Kresge Foundation, the Montpelier, Vermont-based not-for-profit Clean Energy Group (CEG) and New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) are reporting a $3.3 million commitment to accelerate the market development of solar PV plus battery storage (solar+storage) technologies in historically under-served communities. The multiyear financing program guaranteed by the Kresge Foundation includes:
  • A $3 million loan guarantee to reduce credit risk for solar+storage projects in low- and moderate-income areas. Structured as a 50 pct payment guarantee to help ensure borrowers' loan payments remain current, this innovative credit enhancement reduces the risk of a payment default to lenders and their investors who provided capital for solar+storage loans.

  • $170,000 in a capacity-building grant to accelerate the participating lender's ability to finance solar+storage projects, build project pipelines and actively engage in information sharing.

  • $120,000 in technical-assistance grants to enable eligible project owners and developers to assess the technical and financial feasibility of new solar+storage projects.

    Clean Energy Group is a national, nonprofit advocacy organization working on innovative technology, finance, and policy programs in the areas of clean energy and climate change.

    Established in 2010 as the nation's first local green bank, NYCEEC is a 501(c)(3) mission-driven lender focused exclusively on energy efficiency and clean energy in buildings. (Source: Clean Energy Group, Vermont Business, 9 Jan., 2020) Contact: NYCEC, Jessica Luk, Director of Development, www.nyceec.com; Clean Energy Group, Robert Sanders, rsanders@cleanegroup.org, www.cleanenergygroup.org; Kresge Foundation, www.kresge.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Group,  Solar+Storage,  Energy Storage,  


  • NYC Mandates All Bldg. "Green" Roof, Solar Systems (Ind Report)
    New York City
    Date: 2020-01-13
    In the Big Apple, under recently enacted Climate Mobilization Act legislation, any roof undergoing major construction must now host either solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or a vegetation covered "green" roof system. Construction projects affected include new construction, vertical and horizontal extensions, and major modifications to any roof requiring a permit.

    Buildings are responsible for more than 70 pct of greenhouse gas emissions in NYC, according to the Climate Mobilization Act. (Source: silive, 12 Jan., 2020) Contact: NYC Climate Mobilization Act, www.council.nyc.gov/data/green

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Roof,  Solar,  Rooftop Solar,  NYC Solar,  


    Beijing Reportedly Ending Renewable Energy Support (Int'l Report)
    China Renewable Energy
    Date: 2020-01-10
    Shanghai Securities News is reporting Beijing is considering scaling back or even abolishing subsidies to the offshore wind power sector in 2022. Beijing would, however, still encourage regional-level governments to subsidize construction of local offshore wind farms. In 2019, the central government cancelled subsidies for the solar power industry.

    The cut backs are being viewed as a sign of the government's intention to completely eliminate financial support to renewable energy firms as their technology becomes more commercially competitive. (Source: Shanghai Securities News, CX Tech, 9 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China Renewable Energy,  China Wind,  China Solar,  


    Solar Array Slated for SWAECC's Texarkana HQ (Ind. Report)
    Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Today's Power
    Date: 2020-01-10
    Texarkana-based Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative (SWAECC) reports it is working with Little Rock-headquartered Today's Power, Inc. (TPI) on construction of a 1-MW solar array near SWAECC headquarters in Texarkana.

    The array will incorporate 3,800 solar panels and is slated to come online by mid-March, this year. (Source: Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative, KTBS ABC, 7 Jan., 2020) Contact: Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative, www.swera.com; Today's Power, Michael Henderson, Pres., 888-322-4275, www.todayspower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative,  Solar ,  


    NEFIN Nails Nanjing Solar PV Installation for BOSCH (Int'l.)
    BOSCH,NEFIN
    Date: 2020-01-10
    Bosch Automotive Aftermarket (China) Co., Ltd., in partnership with solar developer NEFIN, is reporting completion of the first phase of its solar photovoltaic project at its Nanjing plant.

    The project is divided into two phases, the first phase of which began in Aug, 2019, and incorporates 17,422 ground and roof-mounted solar modules producing 7,700,000 kWh solar energy per annum .

    Founded by core management team of DuPont Solar Business, legal experts and investment bankers, NEFIN has collectively delivered over 180MW of utility-scale, commercial and industrial rooftop solar systems worldwide. (Source: Viet Nam News, MediaOutreach, 8 Jan., 2020) Contact: NEFIN, nefinco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  


    €3.7Bn Invested in Ukrainian Renewables in 2019 (Int'l. Report)
    State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine
    Date: 2020-01-10
    Reporting from Kiev, the Ukrainian State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine is claiming €3.7 billion was invested in record high 4,500 MW of renewable energy capacities in Ukraine in 2019.

    According to the agency, 3,537 MW of solar power, 243 MW of wind power, 637 MW of biomass, 73 MW of biogas and 15 MW of mini hydropower facilities were installed in 2019. With these installation, Ukraine's total green energy capacity now stands at 6.8 GW, according to the agency's report. (Source: State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine, UNKRINFORM, Jan., 2020) Contact: State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine, www.saee.gov.ua

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


    Iberdrola Completes Europe's Largest Solar Plant (Int'l Report)
    Iberdrola
    Date: 2020-01-08
    Madrid-headquartered renewable energy giant Iberdrola is reporting completion of the 500-MW Nunez de Balboa solar project -- the largest in Europe -- according to Iberdrola. The facility is now being tested by Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana (REE) and is slated for full commercial operation in Q1, 2020.

    The €290 million ($325 million) facility incorporates solar panels from Chinese manufacturers Suntech, Longi and GCL-SI. The project was financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB)and the Spanish state-owned Instituto de Credito Oficial. (Source: Iberdrola, Various Media, GTM, 3 Jan., 2019) Contact: Iberdrola Renewables, Xabier Viteri, Dir. Renewables Business, www.iberdrolarenewables.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iberdrola,  Solar,  


    Canada's Largest Solar Project Set for Groundbreaking (ind. Report)
    Greengate Power
    Date: 2020-01-08
    On the oil-soaked Canadian prairies, Calgary-headquartered Greengate Power Corporation reports it will soon break ground on what it claims will be Canada's largest operating solar project -- the $500 million Travers Solar project with a total generating capacity of 400 MW. The project will incorporate approximately 2.5 million PV modules across 4,700 acres in Vulcan County, Alberta.

    Construction is slated to begin sometime during the first half of 2020, with full commercial operations targeted for 2021.

    Since 2007, Greengate has developed close to 600 MW of operating -- or near-operating -- wind energy projects in Alberta and Ontario, and is currently pursuing the development of close to 1,000 MW of new solar and wind energy projects. (Source: Greengate, Good News Network, 3 Jan., 2020) Contact: Greengate Power Corp., Dan Balaban, Pres., CEO, Dan Phaure, VP Bus. Dev., (403) 930-1300, www.greengatepower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greengate Power,  Solar,  


    Greenbacker Acquiring Empire State Solar Portfolio (M&A, Ind Report)
    Hecate Energy, Greenbacker Renewable Energy
    Date: 2020-01-08
    Kansas City, Missouri-based Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company, an externally managed energy company that acquires and manages income-generating renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and other energy-related businesses, reports that through a wholly-owned subsidiary, it has signed the rights to a 110 MW portfolio of solar projects located in Greene and Albany counties, New York, from Chicago-based Hecate Energy. Closings to take place throughout 2020 and the facilities are slated to be fully operational in 2021.

    The portfolio will sell a portion of the renewable energy credits generated to an investment grade off taker through a 20-year fixed price contract and will sell the remaining portion of energy and Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) attributes generated to two utilities through fixed price 20-year contracts. (Source: Greenbacker Renewables, Energy Global, 7 Jan., 2020) Contact: Greenbacker Renewable Energy, 888-292-3178 www.greenbackerrenewableenergy.com;Hecate Energy LLC, Chris Bullinger, CEO, Solutions@HecateEnergy.com, www.hecateenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hecate Energy,  Greenbacker Renewable Energy,  Solar ,  


    Duke's Mesteno Windpower Project in Texas Now On Line (Ind. Report)
    Duke Energy Renewables
    Date: 2020-01-08
    Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, reports its 200-MW) Mesteno Windpower project in Starr County, Texas began commercial operation on Dec. 31, 2019. It is Duke Energy's fourth wind generation facility in Starr County and its eleventh in Texas.

    The project's output will be sold into the ERCOT market and Duke Energy Renewables has entered into a long-term hedge agreement covering the majority of the expected wind energy production. The 200-MW Mesteño wind facility will generate sufficient power for about 60,000 average homes.

    Duke Energy Renewables, a non-regulated unit of Duke Energy, operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., with a total electric capacity of 3,000 MW. Duke Renewables also operates energy storage and microgrid projects. (Source: Duke Energy News Center, 6 Jan., 2020) Contact: Duke Energy Renewables, Rob Caldwell, Pres., www.duke-energy.com/renewable

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Duke Energy Renewables,  Wind,  


    N. America's Largest Certified Passive House Lauded (Ind. Report)
    Bright Power
    Date: 2020-01-06
    Energy and water management services specialist Bright Power along with its partner Omni New York, LLC, is reporting its Park Avenue Green low-income residential project in NYC has been recognized as the largest passive house standard building in North America. The building was designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects. The voluntary Passivhaus standard entails:
  • Annual heating and cooling needs of now more than 15 kWh/m2 (4,755 BTU/sq ft; 5.017 MJ/sq ft) -- or, alternately, a peak heat load of 10 W/m2 (1.2 hp/1000 sq ft);

  • Energy needs of no more than 60 kWh/m2 (19,020 BTU/sq ft; 20.07 MJ/sq ft) per year;

  • Near-complete air-tightness -- leaking under 0.05 cubic feet per minute -- less than 0.6 times the house volume per hour at 50 Pascals;

  • Passive solar design (primary windows facing towards winter sun, compacts house design, etc.);

  • Insulation and/or super-insulation;

  • exterior wall color choices made based on specific climate;

  • Possible low-volume heat recovery ventilation systems;

  • Windows with very high R-values -- triple-pane, glazed, etc.

  • Eliminated thermal bridges, possible passive natural ventilation, possible mechanical heat recovery ventilation systems and insulated ventilation ducts, and many others.

    Generally Passivehaus standard buildings annual energy needs can be reduced by can cut energy consumption by 60 pct or more as compared to conventional design. Average construction costs for a building based on Passivhaus standards runs roughly 10 pct higher than conventional construction costs in the U.S. (Source: Bright Power, Passivhaus Inst., CleanTechnica, 1 Jan., 2019)Contact: Bright Power Inc., Andrea Mancino, Dir. New Construction, 212.803.5868, 415.914.7171, www.brightpower.com; Passive House Institute US, (312) 561-4588, info@phius.org, www.phius.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bright Power,  Passive House Institute,  


  • Renewables 46 pct of Germany's 2019 Energy Mix (Int'l. Report)
    Fraunhofer
    Date: 2020-01-06
    Reuters is reporting renewable energy accounted for 46 pct of Germany's power in 2019 -- up roughly 5 pct from the previous year. Germany, which is Europe's biggest economy, is aiming for renewables to provide 65 pct of its power mix by 2030. The country also plans to completely abandon nuclear power by 2022 and is planning an exit from coal.

    Out of last year's total power production of 515.6 TWh, solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation together produced 237.4 TWh. In 2019, wind power, both onshare and offshore, produced 127.2 TWh for a 24.6 pct share of the total mix. Solar produced 46.5 TWh, biomass producers generated 44.4 TWh while hydropower generated 19.2 TWh of power, according to data from the Fraunhofer organisation of applied science. (Source: Successful Farming, Reuters,3 Jan., 2019) Contact: Fraunhofer, +49 36601 93010, www.fraunhofer.de/en.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fraunhofer ,  Renewable Energy,  German Renewable Energy,  


    Enel Announces US Wind, Solar Project Startups (Ind Report)
    Enel Green Power North America
    Date: 2020-01-06
    Enel Green Power (EGP) reports it has begun operations at two renewable energy plants in the United States. The projects include the first 252 MW phase of the 497-MW Roadrunner solar project in Upton County, Texas, and the 66 MW Whitney Hill wind power project developed by Swift Current Energy in Logan County, Illinois.

    This announcement follows the recent start of operations of 450 MW of EGP's High Lonesome wind farm in Texas bringing the company's total new renewable capacity added in the US in 2019 to nearly 800 MW with another 1 GW currently under construction across six renewable energy projects. (Source: Enel Green Power North America, PR, reve,3 Jan., 2019) Contact: Enel Green Power North America, Georgios Papadimitriou, Connor Branch, Bus. Dev., (978) 681-1900, www.enelgreenpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enel Green Power North America,  Wind,  


    Canon City Colorado Community Solar Garden Completed (Ind Report)
    Clean Energy Co, Black Hills Energy
    Date: 2020-01-06
    Cheyenne, Wyoming-headquartered utility Black Hills Energy and its approved third-party partner, Louisville, Colorado-based Clean Energy Co are reporting completion of a 2-MW community solar garden in Canon City, Colorado -- the fifth community solar garden in Black Hills' service territory.

    Canon City holds roughly 40 pct of the solar garden's subscription capacity and the county has about 15 pct with remaining subscribers in Fremont, Custer and Pueblo counties. (Source: Black Hills, Carson City Daily Record, Jan., 2019) Contact: Clean Energy Co., 844-232-7253, info@cleanenergyco.com, www.cleanenergyco.com; Black Hills Energy, 888-890-5554, www.blackhillsenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Black Hills Energy,  Solar Garden,  Community Solar,  


    Energy Efficiency Now Key to NM GSD Building Leases (Ind. Report)
    New Mexico General Services Department
    Date: 2020-01-03
    In Santa Fe, the New Mexico General Services Department (GSD) reports it is now considering a building's energy efficiency, energy efficiency recycling programs, eco-friendly cleaning products, solar energy installations and other environmentally focused measures when leasing office space.

    To that end, the agency asks prospective property managers to list eco-friendly attributes of their spaces. The environmental measures will be scored by an evaluation team, which also will consider lease costs, property locations, building quality and available parking. (Source: New Mexico General Services Department , WRAL, 2 Jan., 2019) Contact: New Mexico General Services Department, Ken Ortiz, Sec., 505-827-2000, www.generalservices.state.nm.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Building Energy Efficiency,  


    Renewables Topped Coal in April 2019 US Power Mix (Ind. Report)
    US EIA
    Date: 2020-01-03
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reporting utility-scale hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass accounted for 23 pct of the U.S. energy mix, while coal was only 20 pct in April, 2019. The EIA report noted that although generation output from large coal, gas and nuclear plants is typically lower during April and other demand lull periods, renewable capacity has been growing and coal-fired power falling in recent years.

    Each renewable resource set record high generation outputs sometime during 2018. Wind power generated 30.2 million MWh in April, a new monthly high, while a combination of utility-scale solar photovoltaics and solar thermal made history in June with 7.8 million MWh, the EIA report shows. (Source: US EIA, Power Eng., Jan., 2020) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  US EIA,  Coal,  


    State ‘net energy’ proposal raises static among developers

    Date: 2019-12-31
    A proposal that would require new commercial construction projects in Massachusetts to use only renewable energy has opponents and proponents drawing a line in the sand. Supporters say the net zero net energy proposal is needed to address global warming more quickly. Opponents argue that there is not sufficient technology and capacity to increase electrification to meet the demand. Opponents also say the proposal would greatly diminish housing development during the state’s housing crisis and that electricity bills for tenants would skyrocket. “As housing costs continue to skyrocket, we need more housing. To add an additional cost to housing production is essentially a barrier ... We’ll see a slowdown in housing production,” said Tamara Small, CEO of Needham-based NAIOP, the state’s commercial real estate development association. NAIOP has about 1,700 members in Massachusetts. The proposal basically requires new commercial construction and significant commercial renovations to generate as much renewable energy as needed on-site. What can’t be generated on-site can be purchased off-site. Only energy from solar, wind and hydro would be allowed. The use of all fossil fuels, including natural gas, propane, oil, coal and wood pellets, would be banned. While the proposal is primarily for commercial construction, it would affect some housing as well. The exemptions are single-family houses, multifamily homes of three stories or less, and mobile and modular homes. The proposal was written by the American Institute of Architects and submitted to the International Code Council to be considered for codes being compiled for 2021. All 50 states adopt some version of ICC’s residential, commercial and other codes. The AIA’s Massachusetts Chapter in November also submitted the proposal to the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards for consideration for inclusion in the 10th edition of the state’s building code. Massachusetts in 2009 became the first state to adopt a “stretch code,” an enhancement to its base building energy code that provides for more energy-efficient construction. To be designated as a Green Community, municipalities have to comply with the stretch code. While the stretch code initially resulted in a 10% jump in energy efficiency, that has decreased after two subsequent editions of the code, in part because the base energy code has gotten more efficient. “Now about 80% of the 351 cities and towns have become designated as Green Communities. A good majority are saying we need to take the next step, which is net zero,” Nunnari said. This would be another tool in their quest toward mandating a higher level of energy efficiency, he added. The hope, he said, is if ICC agrees to include the proposal in its 2021 documents, all 50 states would have the opportunity to adopt the net zero regulation or amend it to their liking. California, he noted, has already imposed a net zero energy requirement for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030. Similar regulations are being considered by several other states and regions, he said. The proposal has the backing of several hundred organizations. (Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 28 Dec., 2019)


    Credit Agricole CIB Offering Green Securities (Int'l Report)
    Credit Agricole,Daiwa Securities
    Date: 2019-12-30
    Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (Credit Agricole CIB) and Daiwa Securities Group have jointly announced the issuance and sales of Green Securities. This is the first time that Credit Agricole CIB will issue index-linked structured uridashi as green bonds denominated in Japanese yens and distributed by Daiwa Securities Co Ltd to Japanese individuals and institutional investors.

    An amount equal or equivalent to the net proceeds of the Green Securities will be used to finance and/or refinance one or more of the new or existing loans and investments including renewable energy -- wind and solar projects, bioenergy, energy efficiency, waste and water management, building sustainability, clean transportation and other "green" projects.

    Credit Agricole Group, sometimes called "la banque verte" due to its historical ties to farming, is the world's largest cooperative financial institution. It consists of a network of Credit Agricole local banks, the 39 Credit Agricole regional banks, and a central institute, the Credit Agricole S.A.. Credit Agricole supports environmentally engaged companies and projects which implement best practices in terms of energy transition and climate change strategies in line with the COP25 Paris Agreement. (Source: Daiwa Securities, Credit Agricole, PR, 23 Dec 2019) Contact: Daiwa Securities , www.daiwa-grp.jp › english; Credit Agricole, www.credit-agricole.fr

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Credit Agricole,  Green Bond,  Green Securities,  Daiwa Securities ,  


    EDP Renewables, ConnectGEN Complete First Solar Acquisition (M&A)
    EDP Renewables,First Solar, ConnectGen
    Date: 2019-12-23
    Following up on our 13th November report, First Solar reports EDP Renewables and Houston-headquartered ConnectGEN LLC's acquisition of three First Solar projects totaling 278MW AC in the US has been completed . The projects include the 154MWAC Sun Streams 1 project in Maricopa County, AZ, the 20MWAC Windhub A project in Kern County, CA, and the 103MWAC Sunshine Valley project in Nye County, Nevada.

    EDP Renewables North America commissioned its first two solar parks in California in January 2015, subsequently adding three solar parks in South Carolina to its operational portfolio.

    Houston-headquartered ConnectGen develops renewable energy and energy storage projects across North America. The company is backed by Quantum Energy Partners, a provider of private equity capital to the global energy industry. (Source: EDP Renewables, First Solar, Printed Electronics, 30 Dec., 2019) Contact: EDP Renewables North America, Miguel Prado, CEO, (713) 265-0350 - Houston, +351 21 001 25 00, www.edpr.com; First Solar, Kathryn Arbeit, VP, Project Dev., David Brady, Inv. Rel., (602) 414-9315, dbrady@firstsolar.com, www.firstsolar.com; ConnectGEN LLC, (346) 998-2020, www.connectgenllc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EDP Renewables ,  Solar,  First Solar,  ConnectGen ,  


    Meyer Burger Mothballs German Manufacturing Plant (Int'l. Report)
    Meyer Burger
    Date: 2019-12-23
    Switzerland-based PV manufacturing equipment supplier Meyer Burger Technology Ltd. is reporting discontinuance of production at its plant in Zulpich, Germany by mid-2020. In the future, the systems for optical measuring and testing technologies for industrial manufacturing sold under the Hennecke brand will be produced entirely and sold at at Meyer Burger's largest site in Hohenstein-Ernstthal. (Source: Meyer Burger, Printed Electronics, Dec., 2019) Contact: Meyer Burger, Hans Brandle, CEO, +41 33 221 28 00, www.meyerburger.com/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Meyer Burger,  Solar,  


    Rutgers Engineering Hall Rated USGBC LEED Gold (Ind. Report)
    Rutgers University,USGBC
    Date: 2019-12-23
    In the Garden State, Piscataway-based Rutgers University reports its 106,000 sq-ft Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering -- Busch campus, was recently awarded LEED™ Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

    The Richard Weeks Hall energy efficiency features include: energy cost savings of 29 pct through solar orientation and superior envelop design; mechanical systems include active chilled beams; ventilation with 100 pct outdoor air with energy recovery; occupancy controled LED lighting; a 38 pct reduction of potable water use; diversion of 97 pct of construction waste from landfills, and other energy efficiency and sustainability features. (Source: Rutgers University, School Construction News, 18 Dec., 2019) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rutgers University,  LEED Certification,  USGBC,  Energy Efficiency,  


    SETO Awards Eaton $3Mn for Solar, Storage R&D (Ind. Report, R&D)
    DOE SETO
    Date: 2019-12-20
    Cleveland-headquartered power management specialist Eaton Corp is reporting receipt of $3 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to pursue research and development initiatives that enable more widespread adoption of solar power and energy storage.

    Eaton's research will focus on developing a real-time controller for behind-the-meter distributed energy resources and loads, such as solar generation and battery storage. The project will integrate data from smart meters to enable enhanced grid services that improve reliability in distribution systems with high solar penetration.

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, Pecan Street, Provo City Power and Commonwealth Edison will participate in Eaton's research. m will work with existing utility infrastructure.

    SETO supports early-stage R&D to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. (Source: Eaton, PR, BusinessWire, 19 Dec., 2019) Contact: Eaton, Cara Klaer, Media, (248) 226-1755, CaraLKlaer@eaton.com, www.eaton.com; DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eaton Corp,  SETO,  U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies ,  


    Azure Power Raises $75Mn from Quebec Pension Fund (Int'l Report)
    Azure Power
    Date: 2019-12-20
    New Delhi-based independent Indian solar power producer Azure Power Global Limited is reporting closure of its previously announced $75 million (US) private placement.

    The total was raised from Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) through sale of 6,493,506 equity shares at $11.55 per share. CDPQ's equity interest in Azure Power now stands at 49.4 pct. Azure Power has a pan-India portfolio of more than 3 GW. (Source: Azure Power, PV Mag., 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Azure Power, Ranjit Gupta, CEO, +91-11-4940-9854, pr@azurepower.com, www.azurepower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Azure Power,  Solar,  


    NV Energy Fined for Ignoring Energy Storage Targets (Ind. Report)
    NV Energy
    Date: 2019-12-20
    In Carson City, the Nevada Public Utility Commission reports it will to fine NV Energy $100,000 for failure to comply with an agreement to allocate $10 million in incentive payments for energy storage systems.

    The PUC claims the utility essentially ignored commission orders implementing a 2017 state law that required the company to put aside $10 million -- $5 million each in incentive payments for small and large scale energy storage systems -- instead using the funds to pump up subsidy payments for solar installations. (Source: Nevada Public Utility Commission, The Nevada Independent, 18 Dec., 2019) Contact: Nevada PUC, (775) 684-6101, www.puc.nv.gov; NV Energy, Doug Cannon, Pres., CEO, Kristen Saibini, Corporate Communications, 775-834-3891, ksaibini@nvenergy.com, www.nvenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NV Energy,  Energy Storage,  


    NJ BPU Solar Transition Incentive Program Now In Force (Ind. Report)
    New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
    Date: 2019-12-20
    On December 6, 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) issued an order effective December 16, 2019, establishing a Solar Transition Incentive Program (TREC), the key provisions of the Order are as follows:
  • The TREC Program will be available to all solar projects that submitted complete SREC Registration (SRP) Applications after October 29, 2018 that have yet to commence operations but otherwise remain in good standing in the SRP pipeline at the time the BPU determines that 5.1 pct of all electricity sold in New Jersey comes from solar generation;

  • All TREC Program projects will generate a factored Transition Renewable Energy Certificate for each MWh of electricity generated;

  • TRECs will be generated for 15 years and will be purchased by a TREC Administrator who will allocate the TRECs amongst the load serving entities;

  • The Clean Energy Act of 2018 established a cap that prohibits the cost of Class 1 RECs (excluding the cost of offshore wind RECs), which includes the TREC, from amounting to more than 9 pct of the total electric sales during Energy Years 2020 and 2021, and amounting to more than 7 pct of total electric sales during subsequent energy years;

  • The TREC is valued at $65 for energy years 2021, 2022 and 2023, and $189 for each remaining energy year of the projects' 15 year TREC eligibility. The BPU will provide further guidance as to whether the TREC value will remain as set forth above or will be changed to a flat $152 for all 15 years of generation eligibility;

  • TRECs may be sold in the energy year (June 1 -- May 31) in which they are generated and the following energy year. If the TREC is not sold within the applicable window, they may be sold as Class 1 RECs.

    The order now provides some certainty to solar developers and will provide a transition program until the BPU establishes a new long-term incentive program. (Source: NJ BPU, Dec., 2019) Contact: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, 800-624-0241, www.bpu.state.nj.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Solar Incentive,  New Jersey Board of Public Utilities ,  


  • Sonnedix Expands Italian Solar Power Portfolio (Int'l, M&A)
    Sonnedix Power Holdings
    Date: 2019-12-20
    Global independent solar power producer Sonnedix Power Holdings Ltd is reporting the purchase of six Italian photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the Apulia region from Fondo PPP Italia, an Italian closed end fund active in the infrastructure sector.

    With the new solar additions, Sonnedix's total Italian operating capacity stands at 194 MW. (Source: Sonnedix, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Sonnedix, Axel Thiemann, CEO, enquiries@sonnedix.com, www.sonnedix.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  


    Cuomo Announces $1.5Bn in Energy Efficiency Funding (Ind. Report)
    BuildSmartNY ,New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
    Date: 2019-12-20
    In Albany, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees reports approval of $1.5 billion over seven years in additional program funding for energy efficiency as part of the Governor's BuildSmartNY program.

    The funding will support a wide variety of energy technology and renewable energy services, including energy audits, project engineering, design, installation and construction management. This strategic support will ensure that NYPA continues to meets its goal of substantially reducing energy usage by investing $300 million annually on energy efficiency and renewable measures at public facilities.

    BuildSmartNY energy efficiency projects include high efficiency lighting retrofits, occupancy and day-lighting and lighting sensors, building and energy management systems, boilers, chillers, air-handling systems, thermal storage, micro-grids, solar photovoltaic systems, digester gas systems, and emerging energy technologies.

    Over the last 20 years, the NYPA has approved nearly $4 billion in spending on energy efficiency and energy saving projects statewide. (Source: Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, RE Mag., 19 Dec., 2019)Contact: NYPA, Gil C. Quiniones, CEO , Pres., www.nypa.gov; BuildSmartNY, www.buildsmart.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BuildSmartNY,  NYPA,  Cuomo,  Energy Efficiency Funding,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Calif. Rooftop Solar Requirement Effective Jan. 1 (Ind. Report)
    California Rooftop Solar
    Date: 2019-12-18
    In the Golden State, on Jan. 1, new state building codes requiring all new new homes constructed in the state to include solar collection panels will come into force on Jan. 1, 2010.

    The new solar rules were approved by the legislature and former California Governor Jerry Brown in 2018, making California the first state to mandate solar. The California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates the new mandates will add about $9,500 to the price of an average house while saving roughly $19,000 in reduced energy bills over 30 years. (Source: CEC, CBS SF Bay, 16 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Jerry Brown,  Solar,  California Rooftop Solar,  


    Costa Rica Increasing Renewable Electricity Generation (Int'l.)
    Costa Rica
    Date: 2019-12-18
    In Costa Rica, the Costa Rica National Center for Energy Control (CENCE) reports the National Electric System (SEN) added more than 99 pct more renewable power generation from run-of-river water, wind, geothermal energy, biomass and solar energy in 2018.

    Since 2015, Costa Rica has exceeded 98 pct of electricity generation with clean resources. Presently, Costa Rica has 18 wind plants managed by public, private, municipal and cooperative companies as well as the third-largest geothermal park on the continent with 262 mw. (Source: National Center for Energy Control, PR, bnamericas, 16 Dec., 2019) Contact: Costa Rica National Center for Energy Control, www.energetskiportal.rs/en/tag/costa-ricas-national-centre-for-energy-control-cence

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


    Bronx Bldg, N.A.'s Largest Certified Passive House (Ind. Report)
    Passive House Institute,Bright Power
    Date: 2019-12-18
    Bright Power, a provider of energy and water management services for real estate owners, investors, and operators, along with its partner Omni New York, LLC, was recognized by Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) for the $48.4 million, 15-story, 154-unit mixed-income community development in the South Bronx. Park Avenue Green, the largest certified Passive House in North America, also received honorable mention recognition in the Multifamily category.

    Bright Power's work on Park Avenue Green included: 34 kW solar photovoltaic design & installation; Passive House Certification (PHIUS+); Passive House Verifier; Enterprise Green Communities Certification; energy efficiency and cogeneration consulting; commissioning and qualifying for $138,000 anticipated NYSERDA MPP NC incentives.

    Park Avenue Green is also is the recipient of the 2019 Downstate Project of the Year from the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) Awards for Excellence and is a 2019 New York Energy Consumers Council (NYECC) Energy New York Award (ENYA) honoree. (Source: Passive House Institute, Env. & Energy Leader, 16 Dec., 2019) Contact: Bright Power Inc., Andrea Mancino, Dir. New Construction, 212.803.5868, 415.914.7171, www.brightpower.com; Passive House Institute US, (312) 561-4588, info@phius.org, www.phius.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bright Power,  Passive House Institute,  


    Danville Solar Plans Set for Construction (Ind. Report)
    TurningPoint Energy,Navisun
    Date: 2019-12-18
    In the Old Dominion State, the city of Danville (pop. 42,800) reports construction work is set to begin on two 5MW AC solar power plants -- the city's third and fourth solar power facilities.

    In collaboration with TurningPoint Energy and solar partner Navisun LLC, the combined 10MW projects will begin construction for completion and commissioning in mid 2020. Power from the two solar facilities will be sold under power purchase agreements to Danville Utilities. (Source: City of Danville, Env. & Energy Leader, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: TurningPoint Energy, www.turningpoint-energy.com; Navisun LLC, www.navisunllc.com; City of Danville, www.danville-va.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TurningPoint Energy,  Solar,  Navisun,  


    Triton Touts Compact Solar Battery, Inverter (New Prod & Tech)
    Triton Solar
    Date: 2019-12-16
    Cherry Hill, New Jertsey-headquartered solar cell, solar battery and energy management solutions provider Triton Solar is touting its Triton Pandora Box for residential applications.

    The Triton Pandora Box can operate efficiently at a maximum input voltage of 600 V from solar PV & wind turbines and includes builtin wireless monitoring (GSM/Wi-Fi) via Triton CMS online and mobile platform.

    The transformerless Triton Pandora Box for both indoor and outdoor installation is the ideal compact single-phase inverter for residential and small-scale commercial applications with a power category of 5 kW Industry-leading features now come standard with the Triton Pandora Box. (Source: Triton Solar, PTI, Business Wire India, 15 Dec., 2019) Contact: Triton Solar, (856) 390-0066, info@tritonsolar.com, www.tritonsolar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Triton Solar,  Solar Battery,  


    Idaho Cedar Creek Wind, Solar Project OKd for Completion (Ind Report)
    rPlus Energies
    Date: 2019-12-16
    Salt Lake City-based rPlus Energy reports receipt of Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission approval to complete the last phase of its Cedar Creek Wind Project east of Goshen, Idaho.

    The commission approved Conditional Use Permits for the installation of 19 commercial-scale wind turbines and up to 40 PV panels -- including support structures and electrical transmission equipment -- for the adjoining Cedar Creek Solar Project. (Source: rPlus Energies, Bingham County Chronicle, 14 Dec., 2019) Contact: rPlus Energies, www.rplusenergies.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  


    NY PSC OKs Community Solar Consolidated Billing (Ind. Report)
    New York State,Community Solar
    Date: 2019-12-13
    In Albany, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) reports the issuance of an order allowing consolidated billing for community solar projects. The ruling is expected spur the cost-effective completion of over 1 GW of community solar projects currently in development, which in turn will help the state reach its goal of 6 GW of distributed solar by 2025, as required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CPCLA).

    Consolidated billing has another benefit as well. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs, which allow local communities to leverage their combined demand to purchase renewable forms of power and other energy services, have not included community solar projects in their portfolios because of the high customer acquisition costs and because CCA programs typically use an "opt-out" model, in which customers are enrolled in the CCA unless they specifically decline to participate. (Source: New York Public Service Commission, NRDC, 12 Dec., 2019) Contact: New York Public Service Commission, www.dps.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Community Solar,  Solar,  


    APS Solar Installation Slated for Sedona (Ind. Report)
    APS Solar Communities
    Date: 2019-12-11
    In Arizona, the Sedona City Hall reports it will host a 150 kilowatt solar system under the Arizona Public Service's (APS) Solar Communities program that is expected to save the city roughly $90,000 and produce clean energy over the next 20 years.

    APS will install, operate, and maintain the city's solar photovoltaic system free of charge, and the city will receive a monthly bill credit from APS. The program, which is designed to enable non-residential customers as well as limited- and moderate-income customers take advantage of clean solar energy. The project is scheduled for completion in late January. (Source: City of Sadona, APS Solar Communities, Signals AZ, Dec., 2019) Contact: City of Sedona, www.sedonaaz.gov; APS, Solar Communities; www.aps.com/solarcommunities, www.aps.com/en/About/Sustainability-and-Innovation/Technology-and-Innovation/Solar-Communities

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  APS Solar,  Community Solar,  


    Energia Acquiring Irish Solar Projects (Int'l. Report, M&A)
    Energia Group
    Date: 2019-12-11
    The Dublin-headquartered Irish energy provider and infrastructure investor Energia Group is reporting acquisition of two new solar projects in Glenamoy and Darthogue, Co Meath , the first investment under the group's €3 billion renewable energy programme. Energia Group will also acquire the Irish solar developer, Solfar Farmers Ltd, which has solar projects at Glenamoy and Darthogue in County Meath. Together, the projects will generate sufficient energy for 58,000 homes.

    The group plans to develop the two projects, as both sites have secured planning permission for the construction of solar infrastructure that will generate up to 32MW of exported power, with the potential for future expansion to 220MW.

    Energia Group presently powers more than 763,000 homes in Ireland. (Source: Energia Group, Silicon Republic, 9 Dec., 2019) Contact: Energia Group, Garrett Donnellan, Corporate Development, contact@energiagroup.com, www.energiagroup.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energia Group,  Solar,  


    EBRD Loans €45Mn for Moroccan Hybrid Solar Project (Int'l.)
    European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
    Date: 2019-12-11
    In London, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is reporting it will loan €45Mn for the development of the Noor Midelt I hybrid solar project in central Morocco.

    The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), a member of the consortium developing the project, owns 30 pct of the project and guarantees the EBRD loan. Other consortium members include: EDF Renouvelables which holds 35 pct of the project and the Moroccan company Green of Africa with 10 pct; Moroccan Sustainable Energy Agency (Masen) owns the remaining 25 pct of the Noor Midelt I hybrid solar project. The Noor Midelt I power plant will combine PV solar energy and concentrated solar energy.

    The project, which is expected to come in at €740 million, will be designed and constructed by Gijon, Spain-based TSK and is expected to be completed in 2022.(Source: EBRD, Afrik21, 9 Dec., 2019)Contact: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, +44 (0) 207 338 6000, www.ebrd.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,  Solar,  


    Maui Electric Seeking Renewable Energy Bids (Ind. Report)
    Maui Electric,HECO
    Date: 2019-12-09
    In the Aloha State, the Public Utilities Commission reports it has approved Maui Electric's planned RFP for Molokai to be supplied with 78 pct renewable sources and Lanai 55 to 61 pct by 2023 under a procurement process started by Maui Electric Co. The projects would come online in 2023.

    Estimated targets of the new renewable generation for Molokai are the equivalent of approximately 4 MW of solar or 3.6 MW of small wind, specified as turbines 100 kilowatts or less, and paired with energy storage. On Lanai, the company is seeking renewable energy generation equivalent up to 9.5 MW of solar paired with energy storage on land owned by Pulama Lanai.

    The procurement efforts for Molokai and Lanai are part of the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) largest-ever renewable energy push for Maui County, Oahu and Hawaii Island.

    Proposals are due by Jan. 31 with final awards announced March 31 for Lanai and July 14, 2020 for Molokai. (Source: Maui News, Maui Electric, HECO, PR,5 Dec. 2019) Contact: HECO, Shelee Kimura, VP Bus. Dev., (808) 543-7780, andrfi@hawaiianelectric.com, www.hawaiianelectric.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Maui Electric,  Solar,  HECO,  


    Packard Foundation Warns Put a Brake on Bioenergy by 2050 to Avoid Negative Climate Impacts (Ind. Report)
    Packard Foundation
    Date: 2019-12-09
    According to the newly released Global Change Biology study from the Los Altos, California-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the burgeoning bioenergy sector must peak and decline in the next 30 years to alleviate extreme pressure on land. The study researchers assert that projections envisioning the use of biomass from crops, trees or grasses for fuel through 2100 overlook the technology's high carbon footprint and excessive land use.

    An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last year found that many scenarios capable of reducing the threat of climate change relied heavily on bioenergy, predicting that energy from biomass could make up 26 pct of primary energy in 2050 -- up from 10 pct in 2020 -- and predicting that solar and wind combined would likely only account for 22 pct. Those scenarios often relied on significant use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which involves growing trees across a large area of land to produce wood pellets burned for energy, then capturing and sequestering the carbon emissions. In its analysis, though, the IPCC found significant challenges associated with a high reliance on bioenergy, noting in particular that the vast areas of land required to produce biomass for energy would compete with food production and other human needs.

    The Global Change Biology assessment examine a flurry of recent reports that suggest even more problems with large-scale bioenergy projects reliant on large tracts of land, and also show that more cost-effective alternatives will be available in the coming decades. Pulling from these recent studies, the authors establish three reasons why large-scale bioenergy must and can peak and decline in the next 30 years:

  • Large-scale bioenergy emits carbon. Carbon emissions from bioenergy can be greater in the near-term than emissions from the fossil fuels it is replacing, undermining the assumption that bioenergy is always a relatively low-emission and low-cost form of energy. Burning wood pellets, for example, creates a "double climate problem." Manufacturing and shipping wood pellets entails substantial emissions of fossil CO2, and it can take decades or centuries for harvested areas to return to pre-harvest carbon stocks.

  • Large-scale bioenergy puts a squeeze on land. Land is already a scarce resource, and it will become even scarcer with time due to an increase in the human population and a rise in the appreciation of the conservation value of natural and mostly-natural ecosystems--even if agricultural yields continue to increase. Because land is so limited, we should use it as efficiently as possible for energy production. In contrast to land-intensive bioenergy, the amount of electricity that can be produced from a hectare of land using photovoltaics is at least 50-100 times that from biomass.

  • Large-scale bioenergy is inferior to other solutions. And, by mid-century, land-intensive bioenergy will face fierce competition from superior technologies such as wind and solar energy, the development of efficient storage and other flexibility solutions, and the advent of more effective carbon removal technologies such as direct air capture with carbon storage.

    The assessment comes at a time when the bioenergy industry is ramping up worldwide, with the EU in the lead. Bioenergy currently accounts for 10 pct of the world's energy, and 50 pct of our renewable energy. In the EU, bioenergy accounts for two-thirds of all renewable energy (nearly half from wood). Two-thirds of the EU's "20 pct Renewable Energy by 2020" target depends on bioenergy. And the bloc is also about to greenlight the conversion of five large coal plants to bioenergy plants that burn imported wood pellets from overseas forests.

    Land-intensive electrical power projects in particular are picking up steam as governments and industry leaders seek to transform disused coal factories into new profit centers. Between 2006 and 2015, the production of wood pellets for biomass energy use quadrupled to 26 million tons. Worldwide, demand for globally traded wood pellets destined for use in phased-out coal plants or new dedicated bioenergy plants is expected to rise 250 pct by 2027.

    The study lays out a bioenergy trajectory that policymakers can use to encourage sustainable bioenergy while also opening the door for new technologies to replace land-intensive bioenergy in the very near future. These recommendations include improved accounting of the actual carbon emissions associated with the use of biomass, favoring biomass from waste, residues or land management practices that enhance carbon storage, and providing incentives for energy storage, direct air capture technologies, and low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels. Above all, the authors argue that bioenergy projects should be avoided if they involve natural forests, such as converting natural forests to bioenergy plantations, or use land best suited for food crops. And the authors caution that claims that bioenergy projects are a zero-carbon form of energy should be met with skepticism.

    The Packard Foundation through 2020, will have awarded nearly $1 billion in grants to reduce carbon emissions, one of the its greatest program commitments in its 55-year history. (Source: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Dec., 2019) Contact: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Walt Reid, Director Conservation and Science Program, Report Author, 650-948-7658, www.packard.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  CO2,  CCS,  Biofuels,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • BP Brightens its Lightsource Solar Stake (Int'l, M&A)
    Lightsource
    Date: 2019-12-09
    British energy, oil and gas giant BP is reporting it will increase its stake to a 50-50 joint venture position in UK-based solar developer Lightsource BP, originally known as Lightsource Renewable Energy.

    BP acquired a 43 pct stake equity share in Lightsource in 2017 for $200 million over three years, and the company was then relabelled Lightsource BP. (Source: BP, Renewables, 9 Dec., 2019) Contact: Lightsource BP, Carl Jackson, Director Utility-scale Solar Initiatives, +44 0 333 200 0755, www.lightsourcebp.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  BP,  Lightsource,  


    ExxonMobil Contributes $1Mn to Promote Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    EXXON, Climate Leadership Council
    Date: 2019-12-09
    The Americans for Carbon Dividends (ACD) political action group is reporting Houston-headquartered oil industry giant ExxonMobil Corp. has made a $1 million donation to ADC's lobbying campaign to promote a U.S. tax on CO2 emissions, a central factor in global warming. The contribution came less than a month after the oil giant agreed to contribute $100 million to oil companies' efforts to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The ADC aims to spend $5 million on an initial lobbying campaign to win support for the tax, said , senior vice president at the group. PAC is looking to build legislative support for its carbon tax. It proposes an initial $40 a ton tax on carbon dioxide that would increase over time, with the money raised to be returned to consumers. The PAC has raised $1 million each from Exelon Corp, First Solar Inc and the American Wind Energy Association and expects to reach its goal of a $5 million in coming months. (Source: Exxon, Denton Daily, Reuters, 8 Dec., 2019) Contact: Climate Leadership Council, Greg Bertelsen, www.clcouncil.org; Americans for Carbon Dividends, www.afcd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Leadership Council,  Exxon,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Hydro-Quebec Decrbonization Effort Supports Clean Hydrogen (Ind Report)
    Hydro-Quebec
    Date: 2019-12-09
    Hydro-Quebec operates some 60 hydroelectric generating stations, making it one of the largest hydroelectricity producers in the world. Decarbonizing the economy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is one of the company's priorities.

    Hydro-Quebec's Strategic Plan 2020-2024 identifies various applications for clean hydrogen, including renewable natural gas (RNG), carbon-neutral synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, and others Overall, GHG emissions from Quebec hydropower (run-of-river generating stations and generating stations with reservoirs) are similar to those from wind, five times lower than those from photovoltaic solar, 50 times lower than those from natural gas-fired plants and 70 times lower than those from coal-fired plants. (Source: HydroQuebec, Green Car Congress, Dec., 2019) Contact: Hydro-Quebec, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, (514) 289-5005, www.hydroquebec.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydro-Quebec,  Hydrogen,  Clean Hydrogen,  RNG,  Wthanol,  


    Mich. Renewable Energy Installations Up 57 pct 2018 (Ind. Report)
    Michigan Public Service Commission
    Date: 2019-12-09
    According to the Michigan Public Service Commission's annual report, participation in the state's legacy net metering program has grown every year since 2006. The 2018 Distributed Generation and Legacy Net Metering Programs Report found that the number of projects grew to 5,379 installations in 2018 from 3,427 in 2017. The number of customers participating in the program increased to 5,219 in 2018 -- up 59 pct from 3,277 in 2017. The total number of installations exceeds the number of customers because some participants have multiple installations.

    By the end of 2018, the total capacity of the installations was approximately 43,481 kilowatts (kW), an increase of 13,910 kW -- a 47 pct increase year over year. Even so, legacy net metering projects remain a small portion of Michigan's total retail electricity sales at .0048 pct. The legacy net metering program allows customers to generate their own electricity, mainly through solar and wind projects, to reduce their energy needs or electric bills. Michigan law allows utilities to limit participation in the program at 1 pct of their five-year average peak electricity sales, with half of this amount allocated to residential-sized systems, and the other half for larger projects. (Source: Michigan Public Service Commission, MITech News, Dec., 2019) Contact: Michigan Public Service Commission, 800-292-9555, 517-284-8100, www.michigan.gov/mpsc

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