A proposed “tower power” solar power plant near Joshua Tree National Park that drew heavy opposition from environmental groups has been scrapped.
An application to state regulators for the Palen solar power project, a joint venture by Oakland-based BrightSource and the Spanish solar power giant Abengoa Solar, was withdrawn recently.
Two 750-foot towers were originally proposed for a nearly 2,000-acre east Riverside County project that would have been near Joshua Tree National Park and the Pacific Flyway, a path migrating birds travel that often includes a rest in the Salton Sea.
David Lamfrom, California Desert programs manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, said the project had the potential to be more damaging to wildlife than the 450-foot Ivanpah towers.
State regulators recently ordered the project scaled back from two towers to one.
“After carefully reviewing the proposed decision recommending approval of one tower, as well as other aspects of the development, we determined it would be in the best interest of all parties to bring forward a project that would better meet the needs of the market and energy consumers,” Joe Desmond, senior vice president of marketing and government affairs at BrightSource, said in a statement.
An 8.6 kWh lithium-ion solar energy storage system for residential and commercial use has been launched by JuiceBox Energy. It is designed to work with grid-tied or off-grid solar systems. It features a system controller so the battery can be used as back-up power to a grid, thus enabling peak shifting and demand charge reduction. Notice these capabilities go beyond mere storage.
For Southern California Edison (SCE), building a smarter grid started many years ago with smart meters and upgrades in distribution equipment. Today, the company takes another leap forward with the opening of the largest battery energy storage project in North America — the Tehachapi Energy Storage Project — to modernize the grid to integrate more clean energy.
The 32 megawatt-hours battery energy storage system features lithium-ion batteries housed inside a 6,300 square-foot facility at SCE's Monolith substation in Tehachapi, Calif. The project is strategically located in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area that is projected to generate up to 4,500 MW of wind energy by 2016.
"This installation will allow us to take a serious look at the technological capabilities of energy storage on the electric grid," said Dr. Imre Gyuk, energy storage program manager in the energy department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. "It will also help us to gain a better understanding of the value and benefit of battery energy storage."
The project costs about $50 million with matching funds from SCE and the energy department. Over a two-year period, the project will demonstrate the performance of the lithium-ion batteries in actual system conditions and the capability to automate the operations of the battery energy storage system and integrate its use into the utility grid.
The Obama administration unveiled a slew of actions Thursday aimed at improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of solar power in homes and businesses, including $68 million in spending.
A new study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that wind energy could stabilize the energy grid of the eastern U.S. Grid stabilization is often an issue where renewable energy is concerned. At times, clean energy systems can generate more electrical power than an energy grid can handle. Frequency regulation plays a major role in grid stabilization in the U.S., and wind turbines may be a new solution to the stabilization problem.
Sharp Corp is looking to sell its U.S.-based solar energy development unit Recurrent Energy, Bloomberg reported on Monday, as the Japanese firm winds down its involvement in the solar industry to focus on profitable businesses.
Sharp paid $305 million in cash in 2010 to acquire Recurrent Energy. Selling the company now would help Sharp to raise capital as it struggles to raise its equity ratio to a healthy level.
This year, Sharp shut down its UK solar plant and also pulled out of a venture with Italian energy firm Enel SpA
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