Diane Cardwell for The New York Times: Brooklyn is known the world over for things small-batch and local, like designer clogs, craft bourbon and artisanal sauerkraut. Now, it is trying to add electricity to the list.
In a promising experiment in an affluent swath of the borough, dozens of solar-panel arrays spread across rowhouse rooftops are wired into a growing network. Called the Brooklyn Microgrid, the project is signing up residents and businesses to a virtual trading platform that will allow solar-energy producers to sell excess-electricity credits from their systems to buyers in the group, who may live as close as next door.
The project is still in its early stages — it has just 50 participants thus far — but its implications could be far reaching. Cont'd...
Elle Hunt for The Guardian: Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of electric car giant Tesla, has thrown down a challenge to the South Australian and federal governments, saying he can solve the state’s energy woes within 100 days – or he’ll deliver the 100MW battery storage system for free.
On Thursday, Lyndon Rive, Tesla’s vice-president for energy products, told the AFR the company could install the 100-300 megawatt hours of battery storage that would be required to prevent the power shortages that have been causing price spikes and blackouts in the state.
Thanks to stepped-up production out of Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Nevada, he said it could be achieved within 100 days. Cont'd...
Megan Geuss for ArsTechnica: Pumped storage is a decades-old technology with a relatively simple concept: When electricity is cheap and plentiful, use it to pump water up into a reservoir above a turbine, and when electricity is scarce and expensive, send that pumped water down through a turbine to generate more power. Often, these pumped storage facilities are auxiliary to other electricity-generating systems, and they serve to smooth out fluctuations in the amount of power on the grid.
A German research institute has spent years trying to tailor pumped storage to ocean environments. Recently, the institute completed a successful four-week pilot test using a hollow concrete sphere that it placed on the bottom of Lake Constance, a body of water at the foot of the Alps. The sphere has a diameter of three meters and contains a pump and a turbine. Much like traditional pumped storage, when electricity is cheap, water can be pumped out of the sphere, and when it’s scarce, water can be let into the sphere to move the turbine and generate electricity. Cont'd...
Mike Munsell for GTM: “The fourth quarter marked a turning point in the U.S. utility-scale energy storage market reflected by the burst of deployments over an extremely short period from inception to interconnection,” said Ravi Manghani, GTM Research’s director of energy storage. “California will play a significant role in the future as utilities there continue to contract energy storage under the state’s 1.3 gigawatt mandate. While California took over the pole position in 2016 from PJM, the market shift was also transformational in terms of applications -- from short duration ancillary services to longer duration capacity needs.”
As a result, even though the market stayed roughly flat in megawatts, it grew 100 percent in megawatt-hours. Cont'd...
Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota all sourced more than 20 percent of their electricity generation from wind power during 2016, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). It shows wind supplied over 5.5 percent of electricity nationwide, up from 4.7 percent in 2015.
With 99 percent of wind turbines located in rural areas, wind power's steady growth as a share of the nation's electricity supply has been accompanied by a surge of investment in rural America. The industry invested over $13.8 billion in new turbines last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), in addition to operating a fleet now over 52,000 turbines. Full AWEA Press Release:
Shoshanna Delventhal for Investopedia: The Trump administration’s stance on climate change and the environment can be summed up by the chief White House strategist’s recent criticism of government support of green energy as “madness.”
Despite a 180-degree shift from Obama administration’s environmental agenda, the Department of Defense, plans to move forward with a decade-long effort to “convert its fuel-hungry operations to renewable power,” senior military officials told Reuters.
Yet apart from the controversial debate on climate change and the need for environmental protection, the Department of Defense has a strictly nonpolitical incentive to carry out the transition. Weaning reliance off petroleum means improved safety for U.S. troops and the American public. Cont'd...
Morgan Sherburne for U of Michigan News: An issue that has long plagued renewable energy facilities is how to efficiently store energy collected from sun or wind.
Now, University of Michigan and University of Utah chemists have developed an energy-storing molecule that is 1,000 times more stable than current compounds, potentially leading to a longer-lived, more efficient battery.
The researchers are working to develop industrial-scale batteries that can store large amounts of energy for deployment when the sun sets or the wind stops blowing.
Deep-cycle lead batteries or lithium ion batteries are already on the market, but each type presents challenges, including the significant environmental hazards of disposal. Also, these kinds of batteries wear out relatively quickly. Cont'd...
Today, SDG&E is showcasing the world's largest lithium-ion battery energy storage facility in partnership with AES Energy Storage, which will enhance regional energy reliability while maximizing renewable energy use. The 30 megawatt (MW) energy storage facility is capable of storing up to 120 megawatt hours of energy, the energy equivalent of serving 20,000 customers for four hours.
Last year, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) directed Southern California investor-owned electric utilities to fast-track additional energy storage options to enhance regional energy reliability. In response, SDG&E expedited ongoing negotiations and contracted with AES Energy Storage to build two projects for a total of 37.5 MW of lithium ion battery energy storage. In addition to the 30 MW facility built in Escondido, Calif., a smaller 7.5 MW installation was built in El Cajon. Full Press Release:
Today, national business groups representing the range and breadth of clean energy companies in the United States cheered government statistics showing their industries support more than 3 million American jobs - equal to the employment of retail stores across the country, and twice as many jobs as involved in construction of buildings. This is based on 2016 data recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in its second annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report. Full Press Release:
Nichola Groom for Reuters: A firm controlled by Philip Anschutz, the billionaire entertainment and pro sports magnate, will soon build the largest wind farm in the United States to serve utilities in California, where officials have set ambitious green power goals.
The $5 billion project, however, will be constructed 700 miles away in Wyoming, a state better known for coal mines and oil fields.
The vast distance between the two states provides a different Anschutz-owned firm with another big opportunity: a $3 billion project building transmission lines to deliver the power - one of a dozen similar power-line projects by other companies across the West. (Map: How wind power will get from Wyoming to California click here)
In all, about 5,700 miles of transmission lines are in development with the goal of delivering renewable energy to California from other states, according to the Western Interstate Energy Board. Cont'd...
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