News Headlines: Renewable Energy

Global news headlines on renewable energy

Economic benefits of wind, solar in rural Appalachia could top $65 billion
A recent report shows that rural communities in Appalachia could benefit the most from wind and solar development. The group looked at expected local tax revenues, land lease payments, and employee wages generated by new solar and wind projects over time.

Multi-array solar project directly powers interstate commuter train
In 2018, the DRPA commissioned a 22-MW solar portfolio built across seven different sites in its New Jersey territory that is now powering the PATCO Speedline. The six carports and one rooftop array started commercial operations in April 2022. While using solar to power electric trains isn’t a new concept globally, this project is the first and largest in the Northeast United States that is not grid-tied, and instead supplies power directly to the rail line.

Solar Powering South Australia Completely For Several Hours A Day
“The Western Australia main grid, known as the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), is expected to phase out the last of its state-owned coal generators by 2028, mainly because they are dirty and polluting, and because they struggle to deal with the big bite of the energy pie taken by rooftop solar in the middle of the day.”

A City in China is Planning an Offshore Wind Farm So Big It Could Power All of Norway
Located in Guangdong Province, and neighbor to the largest inhabited city on Earth in Guangzhou, Chaozhou has unique offshore topography that creates gusty seas ideal for harvesting wind energy. Capable of running the turbines around 49% of the year, it’s to be located between 47 and 115 miles (75 and 185 km) off the city’s coast.

Ambitious Project Will Create Step Change for Wave Energy Industry
WEDUSEA is a pioneering collaboration among 14 partners, spanning industry  and academia from across the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain. It is coordinated by the Irish company OceanEnergy. OceanEnergy has developed the OE35, which is the world’s largest capacity floating wave energy device.

Floating solar combined with wave, tidal, wind power
A consortium of Singaporean universities and companies will study the feasibility of integrating a hybrid floating solar project with ocean, tidal, and wind capacity. If successful, the parties plan to deploy a pilot system with at least 100 MW of renewables capacity.

4.7-MW solar array now completed atop Maine capped landfill
The City of South Portland, Maine, has completed a 4.7-MW solar array atop the city’s capped landfill. The project should offset 63% of the city’s municipal electrical load. “Thanks to this extraordinary collaborative effort, solar energy now powers the vast majority of municipal operations — a win for both the environment and taxpayers,” said City Manager Scott Morelli.

Minnesota utility wants to expand work on community microgrids
Resiliency systems with microgrids are considered a key technology for a clean energy transition. By connecting solar energy with backup battery storage, microgrids allow buildings to create, consume, store and share electricity. During grid outages, they can continue operations — an essential asset for hospitals, law enforcement agencies, data centers and other organizations — providing a clean alternative to generators typically powered by diesel fuel.

Annual added PV capacity will more than quadruple to 650 GW in 2030, says IEA
PV and wind power are the most important way to reduce emissions in the electricity sector, the IEA said in its new “World Energy Outlook 2022” report. Their share of electricity generation will increase from 10% in 2021 to 40% in 2030, reaching 70% in 2050, according to the agency.

Vertical solar array installed on wall of Milwaukee high-rise building
“Being an office building — where typical working hours are when the most energy is used — a proportion of the building’s energy will come from solar. This means our tenants can enjoy savings on their energy bills, particularly important today as the cost of energy continues to skyrocket. This project is the first of many, and we hope that it will encourage other developers to make use of otherwise wasted space on high-rise buildings by embracing solar as a clean, cost-saving energy source,” said Mike O’Connor, cofounder of Dominion Properties.

First Solar to accelerate American thin film PV innovation with $270 million investment in dedicated R&D  innovation centre
First Solar, which has already invested over $1.5 billion in R&D, currently operates a dual purpose manufacturing line at its Perrysburg, Ohio facility which handles both commercial production of solar modules and the company’s product development efforts. First Solar is unique among the world’s ten largest solar manufacturers for being the only US-headquartered company and only manufacturer of thin film PV modules. 

Investment Bank ‘Mobilizing’ up to $115 Billion for Renewables, Energy Storage and More in EU
Initial investment of €30 billion ($30.2 billion) in loans and equity financing to move the EU away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner forms of energy over the next 5 years. Funding will be directed to renewable energy resources, energy efficiency measures, power grid upgrades, energy storage, electric-vehicle charging infrastructure, and what it calls “breakthrough technologies,” such as low-carbon hydrogen.

Walmart suppliers join forces to buy renewable electricity
It took two years of education and negotiation, but the ink is drying on the first aggregated power purchase agreement orchestrated under Walmart’s renewable energy acceleration for suppliers, officially known as Gigaton PPA. Under Gigaton PPA, a diverse group including Amy’s Kitchen, Great Lakes Cheese, Levi Strauss & Co., The J.M. Smucker Co. and Valvoline is contracting for 250,000 megawatt-hours of power annually.

X1 Wind Successfully Installs Floating Wind Platform in Spain
The X30 platform has been developed with several key design features to streamline the installation process, including a light-weight and stable floater which can be easily wet towed by local vessels. The PivotBuoy Project focuses on demonstrating an innovative mooring system configuration that combines the advantages of a SPM (single point mooring) with a small TLP (Tension-Leg Platform) mooring system, allowing the ability to reach deeper waters and minimizing the footprint and impact on the seabed.

Commercial building owners are about to get a new tool to fight climate change in Maine
Loans known as C-PACE — or commercial property-assessed clean energy — eliminate down payments and spread the cost of solar, energy efficiency, and other projects over longer terms than conventional bank loans. When a property is sold, repayment responsibility transfers to the buyer, allowing owners to invest without worrying whether they will own long enough to fully recoup the cost savings. 

Wales announces the establishment of a publicly-owned renewable energy developer
Surplus funds generated through the new developer will go back into the public purse to be reinvested in improving energy efficiency in homes in Wales and creating good quality, home grown, clean energy jobs. “We are in a climate emergency and our approach is in stark contrast to the UK Government that is focusing on fracking and fossil fuels – opposed by most communities and incompatible with our international obligations. This is an historic moment for Wales,” said Welsh Minister for Climate Change, Julie James.

Nexamp installs 220-kW solar + storage project at Massachusetts electrical union headquarters
“Today marks a historic day for our union,” said Lou Antonellis, business manager of IBEW Local 103. “We are committed to building a sustainable, resilient and energy-efficient future for our members and our communities. The completion of this project demonstrates that IBEW electrical workers are leading the way in transitioning to clean energy and resilient infrastructure.” The project will provide IBEW with annual savings on energy costs and supplemental power in the event of a local power outage.

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