By - Jim Vess

Solar PV capacity continues to grow in urban America led by California cities

Energize Weekly, April 17, 2019 American cities are continuing to be a beacon for solar generation as the number of large municipalities with more than 50 megawatts (MW) installed has tripled to 23, while 45 cities have doubled their photovoltaic (PV) solar capacity. Those were among the findings in the sixth annual survey of solar in large cities by the

By - Jim Vess

Energy storage had a record year in 2018, and growth is projected through 2024

Energize Weekly, April 17, 2019 The global energy storage market posted a record 120 percent year-on-year growth, with 6 gigawatt-hours (GWh) installed. The future looks strong with capacity growing thirteenfold by 2024, according to a Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables study. “From 2013 to 2018, we saw fledgling market growth” with a total of 12 GWh installed, Ravi Manghani, Wood

By - Jim Vess

New Jersey sets up online registry to promote offshore wind projects, attract investment

Energize Weekly, April 17, 2019 New Jersey has created an online supply chain registry to help develop 1,100 megawatts (MW) of new offshore wind projects—a priority for the administration of Gov. Phil Murphy. The registry will the enable companies “to publicly indicate their interest and ability to supply components and services,” according to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA),

By - Jim Vess

Global renewable generation rises in 2018 led by solar and wind

Energize Weekly, April 10, 2019 Global renewable electric generating capacity rose 7.9 percent in 2018, adding 171 gigawatts (GW), with wind and solar installations accounting for 84 percent of the new generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The majority of new renewable installations, 61 percent or 105 GW, were in Asia, giving the region 11.4 percent year-on-year

By - Jim Vess

Maryland once again wrestling with a push to raise the state’s renewable energy standard

Energize Weekly, April 3, 2019 The Maryland legislature is taking a second stab at raising the state’s standard for renewable electricity generation to 50 percent by 2030 from the current target of 25 percent in 2020. Last year, a similar effort stalled as a key committee—the House of Delegates’ Economic Committee—rejected the legislation. The 25 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS)

By - Jim Vess

Prices for lithium-ion batteries and offshore wind are dropping sharply, Bloomberg says

Energize Weekly, April 3, 2019 The cost of two of the most expensive clean electricity technologies—lithium-ion batteries and offshore wind turbines—are dropping in price more quickly than had been forecast, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysis. Since the first half of 2018, the levelized cost of lithium-ion batteries is down 35 percent to $187 per megawatt-hour (MWh)

By - Jim Vess

Majority of nation’s coal plants are undercut on costs by wind and solar, study says

Energize Weekly, April 3, 2019 Nearly three-quarters of the nation’s coal-fired electric generation could be matched or undercut on cost by local wind and solar installations, according to analysis by Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy. The report projects that the portion of the coal-fired fleet economically challenged by renewable generation will grow from 211 gigawatts (GW) in 2018 to

By - Jim Vess

New global wind generation hits 50 GW in 2018 led by China, Wood Mackenzie says

Energize Weekly, March 27, 2019 Global wind power generation grew by 50.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2018, a 4 percent increase over 2017, according to energy consultant Wood Mackenzie’s Global Wind Power Market Outlook Update: Q1 2019 report. It was the third biggest year for wind installations, and the pace was set by China, with a 37 percent year-on-year increase, as

By - Jim Vess

Renewable and nuclear generation each set records in 2018

Energize Weekly, March 27, 2019 Renewable and nuclear generation—which combined account for about 37 percent of the nation’s electricity—both set records in the U.S. in 2018, according the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Renewables generated a record 742 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2018, almost double the production in 2008 and accounted for 17.6 percent of electricity production for the year.

By - Jim Vess

Florida Power & Light to build four solar facilities, adding nearly 300 MW of capacity

Energize Weekly, March 13, 2019 Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) announced last week that it plans to build four additional solar power installations, with a total of 298 megawatts (MW) of capacity. The plants are slated to go on line in 2020. The utility has committed to one of the largest expansions of solar in the eastern U.S., with

By - Jim Vess

North Dakota commission approves the state’s first commercial solar installation

Energize Weekly, March 6, 2019 The North Dakota Public Service Commission gave a green light to the state’s first commercial solar installation—a $250 million project—on Feb. 26. It is slated to begin operation in 2020. The commission, on a 2-1 vote, approved the plan by Edina, Minn.-based Geronimo Energy to construct the 200-megawatt (MW) facility on a 1,662-acre site in

By - Jim Vess

Renewables accelerator to help cities procure 2.8 gigawatts for clean energy in two years

Energize Weekly, March 6, 2019 A program to help cities obtain 2.8 gigawatts of renewable generation—more than the total existing solar capacity in Nevada, Florida and Texas—was launched Feb. 26. The program—a joint effort by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN)—will provide technical expertise in helping cities obtain large-scale

By - Jim Vess

DOE to spend $28 million developing deep water offshore wind turbines

Energize Weekly, March 6, 2019 The U.S. Department of Energy is funding a $28 million research program to tap an offshore wind resource—deep water—that has been technologically and economically out of reach. The program run by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is seeking to develop turbines and platforms “that maximize power to weight ratios while maintaining or increasing turbine

By - Jim Vess

Four turbine makers dominate 2018 wind market, which saw 45 gigawatts in new generation

Energize Weekly, February 27, 2019 Onshore wind projects commissioned in 2018 ticked down to 45 gigawatts (GW) from 47 GW a year earlier—with four manufacturers dominating the market, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. The four—Denmark’s Vestas, China’s Goldwind, American GE Renewable Energy and Spain’s Siemens Gamesa—accounted for 57 percent of the turbines deployed in 2018. The report

By - Jim Vess

Arizona Public Service to add 850 MW of battery storage and 100 MW of solar

Energize Weekly, February 27, 2019 Arizona Public Service (APS) plans to add 850 megawatts (MW) of battery storage, one of the largest storage projects in the country, and 100 MW of solar generation by 2025. The new storage is part of a broad plan to twin solar generation with storage, which includes adding 200 MW of storage to eight existing

By - Jim Vess

TVA sees growth in solar and natural gas generation, but no new wind, coal or hydro assets

Energize Weekly, February 27, 2019 The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is projecting greater reliance on solar, natural gas and storage to meet electricity demand—but no new coal, wind or hydro—in its draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). A long-term planning document, the watchword in the IRP is “flexibility” in the face of market and technological changes. The IRP will “enhance TVA’s

By - Jim Vess

Renewables will provide 50 percent of electricity generation by 2035, McKinsey says

Energize Weekly, February 27, 2019 Renewable generation will meet 50 percent of world electricity demand by 2035 as electricity consumption doubles until 2050, according to McKinsey & Co.’s 2019 energy analysis. “The role of renewable resources in power generation grows at an accelerated pace,” the consulting firm’s analysis said. “From 25 percent today, renewables will grow their share of global

By - Jim Vess

Wind power installations have a big 2018 fourth quarter, powered by corporate power purchases

Energize Weekly, February 20, 2019 Wind generation installations in the fourth quarter of 2018 hit 5,944 megawatts (MW)—the third highest quarter on record for new installations—driven by corporate and non-utility power purchases, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) market report. Corporate and non-utility wind procurement accounted for 68 percent of the total installations in the fourth quarter—a 66

By - Jim Vess

Solar jobs fell for the second year in a row on uncertainties over federal and state policies

Energize Weekly, February 20, 2019 Solar industry employment dropped for the second straight year in 2018 as the sector was roiled by uncertainties over federal and state policies, according to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census. As of November 2018, the sector employed 242,000 workers, a 3.2 percent decline, or 8,000 fewer jobs, over 2017, the census found. The

By - Jim Vess

Colorado PUC ruling sets stage for rural electric cooperative to leave Tri-State G&T

Energize Weekly, February 20, 2019 The Colorado Public Utilities Commission waded into a dispute between a Western Slope rural electric cooperative and the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association over the co-op’s efforts to leave the association. The commission’s decision will provide a new level of oversight for Tri-State, which provides wholesale electricity to 43 rural cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New

By - Jim Vess

Concentrating solar could play a bigger role in electricity generation if costs are pared

Energize Weekly, February 13, 2019 Concentrating solar power (CSP), which has lagged in deployment behind photovoltaic solar, could play a bigger role by 2050 if the price of the technology could be halved, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), under its SunShot Initiative, has set a target of reducing

By - Jim Vess

Coal and oil all but disappear from New England electricity generation

Energize Weekly, February 13, 2019 Oil and coal, once the dominant sources of electricity generation in New England, have all but disappeared, primarily replaced by natural gas, according to ISO New England, the region’s grid operator. Since 2000, coal’s share of energy production has dropped to 1 percent from 18 percent, and oil is now 1 percent compared to 22

By - Jim Vess

Duke Energy adds 565 MW of solar in the Carolinas, plans another 680 MW in 2019

Energize Weekly, February 6, 2019 Duke Energy installed 565 megawatts (MW) of solar in North and South Carolina in 2018, and the company says it has plans to roll out even more solar projects in 2019. The 2018 projects bring total solar capacity installed in the two states in the last four years to 2,500 MW, enough to power about

By - Jim Vess

Corporate purchases of clean energy soar to a new record in 2018

Energize Weekly, February 6, 2019 Corporations bought a record 13.4 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy through power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2018, more than double the record set in 2017. Analyses by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables reported on the trend. Facebook, Google and Amazon continued to be the largest customers, accounting for a

By - Jim Vess

Renewable energy advances in the European Union as coal-fired generation continues to decline

Energize Weekly, February 6, 2019 Renewable energy generation became cost competitive with coal in the European Union (EU) in 2018 and continued to increase its share of the continent’s electricity production, according to an analysis by two energy think tanks. The growth in renewables is coming at the expense of coal, and that is leading to a continued decline in

By - Jim Vess

New Jersey creates community solar pilot, a first step in a establishing a permanent program

Energize Weekly, January 30, 2019 The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has approved a three-year pilot for developing community solar projects, also known as solar gardens, which is seen as a key component in newly elected Gov. Phil Murphy’s clean energy agenda. The “Community Solar Pilot” will provide for up to 75 megawatts (MW) of solar installations in

By - Jim Vess

Led by wind and natural gas, 49,000 megawatts of new generation to come on line in 2019

Energize Weekly, January 30, 2019 New generation is slated to grow by 49,000 megawatts (MW) in 2019 while 8,050 MW of coal-fired units will be closed or converted to natural gas, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Wind will account for the largest portion of new generation at 22,475 MW—45 percent of all planned additions. The biggest of the wind

By - Jim Vess

Global clean energy investments fall in 2018 as solar takes a big hit

Energize Weekly, January 23, 2019 Global clean energy investments were down slightly in 2018 to $332 million, but it still marked the fifth year in a row with more than $300 billion in expenditures, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Investments were off 8 percent when compared to 2017, led by a fall in solar financing, which was down

By - Jim Vess

NY Gov. Cuomo proposes Green New Deal with $1.5 billion in energy grants

Energize Weekly, January 23, 2019 New York Gov. Mario Cuomo has begun to roll out specifics of his proposed “Green New Deal,” including $1.5 billion in grants for large-scale renewable energy projects and a $70 million fund to help communities absorb tax losses from shuttered coal-fired power plants. The programs were outlined in Cuomo’s State of the State address Jan.

By - Jim Vess

Transportation bottlenecks pose a $2.1 billion risk to wind industry, Wood Mackenzie says

Energize Weekly, January 16, 2019 The wind industry’s practice of end-loading projects to the fourth quarter of each year could lead to serious bottlenecks and jeopardize some of the 23 gigawatts in the pipeline over the next two years, according to a Wood Mackenzie study. Nearly a quarter of the 23 gigawatts (GW) projected to be developed in the next

By - Jim Vess

Floating solar in U.S. reservoirs could produce 10 percent of the nation’s electricity

Energize Weekly, January 9, 2019 Floating solar panels on 24,000 man-made reservoirs in the U.S. could generate 10 percent of the nation’s electricity and avoid gobbling up 8,100 square miles of land with ground installations. One of the challenges with large-scale deployment of wind and solar generation is the land requirements but shifting to floating photovoltaics (PV) could offer one

By - Jim Vess

Texas could generate almost all its electricity with wind, solar and very little storage, study says

Energize Weekly, January 9, 2019 Texas—by taking advantage of its geographical diversity—could deploy enough wind and solar generation to meet the state’s electricity demand with little storage or fossil fuel backup, according to Rice University researchers. “One way to reduce the need for costly storage and for polluting fossil generation is to deploy wind and solar capacity in a way

By - Jim Vess

Wind, solar and storage could competitively provide 70 percent of Minnesota’s electricity by 2050, study says

Energize Weekly, January 2, 2019 Minnesota can economically reach a mix of 70 percent wind and solar electric generation with storage by 2050, according to a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored report. The report done by Clean Power Research for MN Solar Pathways, a group of non-profit clean energy advocacy organizations and the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Clean Power developed a

By - Jim Vess

Drought leads to higher carbon emissions from utilities in the West, study finds

Energize Weekly, January 2, 2019 Drought across the West between 2001 and 2015 led to reduced hydropower and a 10 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions as utilities shifted to fossil fuel generation, according to a study by Stanford University researchers. In total, drought conditions led to 100 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) being emitted during the 15-year period

By - Jim Vess

New York sets goal of carbon-free electricity by 2050 as clean energy pace picks up

Energize Weekly, December 26, 2018 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set a target of net-zero-carbon electricity generation by 2040, as a broad array of clean energy initiatives continue to move forward in the state. “The federal government still denies climate change, remarkably turning a blind eye to their own government’s scientific report,” Cuomo said in a statement. “New York

By - Jim Vess

Trump tariffs take a bite out of U.S. solar market, but future prospects still appear bright

Energize Weekly, December 19, 2018 The Trump administration solar panel tariffs have taken a bite out of the market with third quarter 2018 installations down 15 percent year over year and additions of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) cells falling below 1 gigawatt (GW) for first time since 2015. The growth rate for 2018 compared to 2017 is projected to be flat

By - Jim Vess

Washington clean energy plan ends coal-fired generation, looks to electrify transportation

Energize Weekly, December 19, 2018 Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has unveiled a legislative package aimed at reducing the state’s carbon emissions by 25 percent over 1990 levels, led by phasing out fossil-fuel electricity generation by 2035. The plan focuses in five initiatives: 100 percent clean energy by 2045, moving to electric transportation, a clean fuel standard, constructing energy efficient buildings

By - Jim Vess

PacifiCorp says it could save money closing 13 of its 22 coal-fired generating units

Energize Weekly, December 12, 2018 The majority of PacifiCorp’s 22 coal-fired units are more expensive to run that other power market options, the company said in a resource analysis. A total of $586 million could be saved by closing 13 units by 2022, according to the analysis, which is part of the utility’s bi-annual integrated resource planning. Running the plants

By - Jim Vess

Xcel Energy sets a zero-carbon electricity target for 2050, with an 80 percent cut in emissions by 2030

Energize Weekly, December 12, 2018 Xcel Energy has set a goal of producing 100 percent “carbon-free” electricity by 2050—making it the first large U.S. utility to set a net-zero carbon standard. The investor-owned utility, which operates in eight western and midwestern states, has set a target of an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions, from 2005 levels, by 2030 and

By - Jim Vess

Coal-fired power plants quickly becoming uneconomical around the world, Carbon Tracker says

Energize Weekly, December 5, 2018 Coal-fired power plants around the world are quickly becoming unprofitable, with 42 percent already operating in the red—a number that is projected to grow to 72 percent by 2040, according to Carbon Tracker. “Over the long-term coal power will become a net liability,” said the London-based financial think tank, which is focused on clean energy

By - Jim Vess

AEP’s $33 billion capital improvement plan focuses on transmission and distribution

Energize Weekly, November 21, 2018 American Electric Power (AEP) is planning to invest $33 billion in capital projects between 2019 and 2023 with three-quarters of the money focused on transmission and distribution, the company said. The company will also spend $2.7 billion on renewable generation and another $2.2 billion on competitively bid contracted renewable projects. “AEP’s capital investments over the

By - Jim Vess

Texas sets a record for electricity generated from wind turbines at 17,920 MW

Energize Weekly, November 21, 2018 Texas—the nation’s leader in wind generation—set an output record of 17,920 megawatts (MW) the afternoon of Nov. 12, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Driven by sustained winds of 18 miles per hour (mph) with gusts up to 36 mph, measured at San Angelo, the state’s 12,500 turbines provided about 40 percent

By - Jim Vess

Thin-film solar can grow in high-value markets like aerospace and building materials, NREL study says

Energize Weekly, November 21, 2018 Silicon solar cells account for 95 percent of the global market, but there are potentially multi-billion dollar markets for flexible, thin-film cells, according to an analysis by researchers at the federal National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “Multiple markets are emerging for renewable, low-cost power generation including aerospace and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), portable charging, micro-integrated

By - Jim Vess

Sunrun sets a record for installations in Q3, but its stock slides on a $2.9 million loss

Energize Weekly, November 14, 2018 Sunrun, the country’s largest solar installer in 2017, set a record in the third quarter of 2018 with 100 megawatts of installations, but a $2.9 million loss for the period sent its stock plunging. The 100 MW—13,000 solar arrays—surpassed the previous record of 91 MW, set in the second quarter of 2018. The company said

By - Jim Vess

Lazard analysis shows wind and solar becoming the cheapest new generating capacity

Energize Weekly, November 14, 2018 The cost of building and running wind and utility-scale solar projects is now beginning to undercut the major forms of baseload generation—natural gas, coal and nuclear, according to analysis by the financial consulting firm Lazard Ltd. Lazard’s 12th annual “levelized cost of energy” (LCOE) analysis, released Nov. 8, for the first time shows large-scale wind

By - Jim Vess

U.S. wind turbine market sets construction and sales records in the third quarter of 2018

Energize Weekly, November 7, 2018 The U.S. wind industry installed 612 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity during the third quarter of 2018, a 15 percent increase over the third quarter of 2017, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) quarterly market report. Project construction activity in the third quarter also set a new record with a total

By - Jim Vess

Dominion Energy calls for 500 MW of onshore wind and solar projects in Virginia

Energize Weekly, October 31, 2018 Dominion Energy issued a request for bids on Oct. 24 for 500 megawatts (MW) of solar and onshore wind generation as part of a plan to develop 3,000 MW of renewable resources in Virginia. Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Energy pledged to develop the wind and solar resources, enough to power 750,000 homes, under state’s new Grid

By - Jim Vess

Colorado, the leader in community solar, set to get six more solar gardens on Western Slope

Energize Weekly, October 31, 2018 Colorado—the leading state in the nation for community solar gardens—is set to get six more of the shared arrays, with a total of 10.3 megawatts (MW) of generation, on the state’s more rural Western Slope. The sites are all located along the Interstate 70 corridor and are being developed by Pivot Energy and Standard Solar.

By - Jim Vess

Corporate renewable power purchases set a record in 2018 with the tech sector leading the way

Energize Weekly, October 24, 2018 Corporate renewable energy power purchases—which have spurred $15 billion in capital investment in the last eight years—have already set an annual record in 2018 led by tech companies. So far this year, corporate customers have purchased 4.96 gigawatts of renewable electricity through 59 deals, according to the Business Renewables Center, a program run by the

By - Jim Vess

Wind and solar provided 10 states with 20 percent or more of their electricity in 2017

Energize Weekly, October 17, 2018 Wind and solar electric generation make up an average of only 8 percent of U.S. power supplies, but in 10 states these renewable resources provided 20 percent or more of the electricity supply in 2017, according to Federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. This group is led by Iowa and Kansas where wind generation respectively

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