Leading battery maker cuts staff, delays shipments

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 14th, 2015

leading manufacturer of advanced grid-scale energy storage batteries has encountered a technical glitch, causing a delay in shipments and staff cuts in a further setback for the industry, which has seen many startups fail. Ambri Inc. is one of the leaders in the race to make affordable energy storage for the grid to shore up intermittent renewables and help smooth out load. The company’s technology is a “liquid” metal battery that relies on a molten salt electrolyte — and costs about one-third of the current cost of lithium-ion batteries.

Big Colorado energy players to build project in North Dakota

Source: By Cathy Proctor, Denver Business Journal • Posted: Monday, September 14th, 2015

Two of Colorado’s biggest players in the energy sector are teaming up to build a wind farm — in North Dakota. Vestas Wind Systems, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer with four factories in Colorado, on Friday said it had landed a “firm and unconditional order” for 100 of the company’s V100-2.0 megawatt turbines. Collectively, the turbines are capable of generating up to 200 megawatts of power.

Vestas gets 200 MW order in the USA

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Monday, September 14th, 2015

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems said late on Friday it had received a 200 megawatt turbine order from Xcel Energy Inc. for a wind project in the United States.
The order was for 100 units of the V100-2.0 MW turbine for the Courtenay Wind Farm project in North Dakota, Vestas said in a stock exchange announcement. The contract includes delivery, installation and commissioning of the wind turbines, as well as a three year service agreement.

Comment: An opportunity for Montana to shape our energy future

Source: By Jeff Fox, Great Falls Tribune • Posted: Monday, September 14th, 2015

Montana’s clean energy developers will also benefit from the certainty of a state-developed compliance plan. Montana has one of the best wind energy resources in the nation. We have already developed about 670 megawatts of wind energy in the state, creating hundreds of jobs, and millions of dollars in rural county tax revenues and landowner payments. But that development is a mere fraction of the wind energy potential that is economically viable in Montana. Unfortunately, our wind energy resource has been held back from greater development by an inability to precisely match energy demand with new energy transmission, a particularly tricky problem for expensive and time consuming transmission projects. In order to successfully develop our wind energy resource we will need greater cooperation, creativity and openness to Montana wind from the region’s largest transmission provider, the Bonneville Power Administration.

Wind industry pushes back against PTC opposition

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 14th, 2015

Hoping to woo a rested and reconvened Congress, the wind power industry yesterday opened a new front in its effort to extend the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind generation, crediting the subsidy for driving down the costs of clean energy while aiding in the U.S. economic recovery since 2010. “The PTC has been an effective, market-based policy that has enabled renewable energy development to meet the demands of American consumers,” the American Wind Energy Association said in a nine-page white paper. “While successful, however, the policy is still needed to encourage private sector investment in an industry that is still a relative newcomer when compared to traditional sources of energy.”

California Legislature Passes Bill Setting Target of 50 Percent Renewables by 2030

Source: By Pete Miller, NRDC • Posted: Monday, September 14th, 2015

On Friday, the California Legislature passed SB 350 requiring utilities to procure at least 50 percent of their electricity from eligible renewable energy sources such as wind and solar by 2030. This legislation, which is expected to be signed into law later this month by Governor Jerry Brown, is a historic step in the state’s groundbreaking plan to cut climate-warming pollution, and ranks among the most significant environmental bills in California history.

Comment: Another smear by Big Oil on wind power

Source: By Michael Goggin, The Hill • Posted: Friday, September 11th, 2015

Koch-funded Kathleen Hartnett White’s Aug. 31 commentary on the Clean Power Plan ignores how low-cost wind energy helps states cost-effectively and reliably cut carbon pollution.
Unable to criticize American wind energy, among the lowest-cost and most productive in the world, White instead focuses on Germany. Her argument has little relevance as U.S. wind plants are nearly twice as productive as those in Germany, allowing the cost of wind in the U.S. to be a fraction of what it is in Europe.

BLM strategy aims to spark development in Ariz. desert

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 11th, 2015

The Bureau of Land Management has released a draft regional mitigation strategy designed to help solar power developers offset environmental damage caused by building commercial-scale projects across western Arizona. The focus of the draft mitigation strategy centers on three federally designated solar energy zones (SEZs) on the state’s west side. The goal is to reduce industry uncertainty by identifying mitigation strategies upfront, thus enticing energy developers to build utility-scale solar projects inside the three zones.

Advocates say Texas is squandering its sunshine

Source: Edward Klump, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 11th, 2015

Texas earned a top 10 ranking in cumulative U.S. solar power capacity through 2014, but the state didn’t crack the top 20 in a per-capita calculation, according to a new study. The report, written by representatives of the Frontier Group and Environment America Research and Policy Center, was released last week and touted in the Lone Star State by Environment Texas.

Reid takes the long view on clean energy — and Nev. prospers

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 11th, 2015

Heading south on U.S. Route 95 from Las Vegas, drivers gradually become aware of a vast, shimmering presence far off in the distance. Continue on a few miles farther down into the valley, and the source of the shiny apparition becomes apparent. Tucked between the highway and the peaks of the McCullough Range is the Copper Mountain Solar complex, a sprawling collection of panels stretching across 3,000 acres of this high-desert valley. By catching the sun’s rays — and it’s almost always sunny here — the facility generates enough electricity to power 142,000 homes in nearby Southern California.