Gas, Renewables, Solar, Wind

Industry News

Issue 3 and Volume 122.

Tesla Plans to Triple Energy Storage Deployments

During the announcement of its quarterly results, Tesla announced the company plans to triple the volume of its energy deployments this year compared to 2017.


The company deployed 143 MW of energy storage projects in its fourth quarter, with the company’s 100-MW energy storage project in South Australia expected to be recorded in the first quarter of this fiscal year.

Tesla’s investment letter indicated the South Australia project, currently the biggest battery in the world, is already generating “substantial benefit” during the country’s summer months and has driven an increase in the company’s Powerpack energy storage system.

NRG Energy Selling NRG Yield for Nearly $3 Billion

NRG Energy announced a series of asset sales, including renewable energy subsidiary NRG Yield, for a combined $2.8 billion.

Global Infrastructure Partners has agreed to purchase NRG Yield and NRG’s renewable platform for $1.375 billion. The sale includes NRG’s renewable energy development and operations platforms and NRG’s renewable energy backlog, with the exception of four assets which secured separate agreements.

The deal with Global Infrastructure Partners is expected to close in the second half of the year.

The 527-MW Carlsbad Energy Center and the 154-MW Buckthorn Solar will be purchased by NRG Yield for $407 million. Both projects are still under development.

Freeborn Project Progresses Toward Permit

Invenergy’s proposed 200-MW Freeborn Wind Project in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa took another step forward with a presentation to the city council of Albert Lea, Minnesota.

During the presentation, consultant Mariah Lynne said a permit application has been submitted to the Minnesota Public Utility Commission with a final decision expected in June.

Invenergy currently expects construction to begin in mid-2020 with operations by the end of that year.

APS, First Solar Partner on Battery-Solar Project

Arizona Public Service and First Solar announced a ٥٠-MW battery storage project to be coupled with a ٦٥-MW solar field. The two companies called it one of the largest battery storage systems in the country.

First Solar will build and operate both the solar and battery storage components. APS has signed a 15-year power-purchase agreement with First Solar that will enable APS to use the stored battery power when energy use is at its peak later in the day.

The facility will be constructed adjacent to the existing APS Redhawk Power Plant in western Maricopa County, and is set to begin service in 2021.

FPL Unveils Solar-Storage System to Boost Output

Florida Power & Light Company today unveiled a new solar-plus-storage system that is believed to be the first in the country to fully integrate battery technology with a major solar power plant in a way that increases the plant’s overall energy output.

By incorporating this new technology into the 74.5-MW FPL Citrus Solar Energy Center, FPL expects to increase the amount of solar energy that the plant can deliver to the electric grid by more than half a million kilowatt-hours a year.

The new system features a 4,000-KW/16,000-KWh storage capacity comprised of multiple batteries integrated into the operations of the FPL Citrus Solar Energy Center.

AT&T Buys Output from Wind Farms in OK and TX

AT&T announced two power purchase agreements with subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources that total ٥٢٠ MW.

The purchases include 220 MW from the Minco V Wind Farm in Caddo County, Oklahoma, and 300 MW from an unnamed wind project in Webb and Duval counties in Texas.

“As one of the world’s largest companies, we know how we source our energy is important,” said Scott Mair, President, AT&T Operations. “

AT&T has stated it has set a goal to enable carbon savings of ten times the footprint of its operations.

California Regulators Adopt Plan to Lower Emissions

The California Public Utilities Commission has adopted a planning process to ensure the electric sector is on track to help the state meet its ٢٠٣٠ greenhouse gas reduction target, at least cost, while maintaining electric service reliability.

The decision establishes a two-year integrated resource planning cycle for electricity providers. The first year of the cycle is designed to evaluate the appropriate emission planning targets for the electric sector, and to identify the optimal mix of system-wide resources capable of meeting these targets. The second year is designed to consider the suite of actions each electricity provider proposes to take.

The CPUC adopted a statewide electric sector carbon reduction target of 42 MMT by 2030, which represents a 50 percent reduction in electric sector carbon emissions from 2015 levels and a 61 percent reduction from 1990 levels.

Rhode Island Governo Orders Utilities to Procure 400 MW of Renewables

As part of her initiative to bring an additional 1,000 MW of renewable energy into the state, Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo has directed state utilities to issue an RFP for up to ٤٠٠ MW of renewable energy by this summer.

The Office of Energy Resources will collaborate with the state’s utilities to design a request for proposals. The specific details of the RFP will be released at a later date.

“Our commitment to a greener energy future is good for our environment and good for our economy. Since announcing our goal to make our energy system 10 times cleaner, we’ve more than doubled the amount of renewable energy in the state, from roughly 100 MW to 230,”Raimondo said.

The 1,000 MW goal is slated to involve a mix off offshore and onshore wind, hydropower and solar.

SNC-Lavalin Awarded $38 million in Nuclear Contracts

SNC-Lavalin was awarded $38 million worth of contracts from Bruce Power from July to the end of December in 2017 to support its operational objectives. The work awarded was won under a Master Services Agreement signed by the two companies in 2016 and is in addition to $28 million and $45 million of work announced respectively in February and August of last year.

Highlights from the awards include contracts covering:

  • Work supporting Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement program: further design of reactor components, qualification testing, procurement engineering, and detailed design of tooling

  • Engineering and field services work to support the ongoing operation of Bruce Power’s 8 reactors

  • MODAR improvements

Turkey Point is First U.S. Nuclear Plant to Apply for Second Renewal

Turkey Point has officially become the first U.S. nuclear power plant to apply for a second 20-year license renewal, Daily Energy Insider reported.

New nuclear facilities are licensed for 40-year terms, while extensions are granted in 20-year increments. Eighty-six nuclear reactors have received extensions while only the 2,200-MW Turkey Point has applied for a second.

“In 2018, the company plans to conduct additional upgrades on the existing nuclear units that are expected to further boost their output by a combined 40 megawatts of capacity, and it also will file with the NRC to renew the units’ operating licenses,” FP&L said in a statement. Turkey Point’s two nuclear reactors were granted initial license renewals in ٢٠٠٢ and would be in operation through ٢٠٣٢ and ٢٠٣٣, respectively.

UK Built Half of All European Offshore Wind Facilities in 2017

Offshore windpower boomed in Europe last year, and the United Kingdom built just over half of the total capacity.

WindEurope concluded a full 1,679 MW of offshore wind was built in the UK, The Guardian reported. Another ١,٢٤٧ MW came from Germany, with the remaining ٢٢٧ MW from Belgium, France and Finland combined.

The European total of 3.15 GW in 13 separate wind farms represented a 25 percent increase in construction volume from 2016. The region now has over 4,000 wind turbines in 11 countries with a total capacity of 15.8 GW.

Electric Demand Set for Moderate Growth

Though electricity demand fell last year, the new long-term energy outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicated demand is set for an average annual growth of ٠.٩ percent through ٢٠٥٠.

However, the administration predicted direct-use generation will outpace the growth of utility-based generation thanks to rooftop solar and natural gas-fired combined heat and power systems.

Electricity prices are set to stay relatively flat, ranging between 10.6 cents and 11.8 cents per kWh, depending on the amount of economic growth and the performance of oil and gas prices and availability.

In all cases, generation costs are set to fall by 10 percent over the study period in response to low natural gas prices and increased generation from renewables. Transmission costs will grow 24 percent and distribution will grow 25 percent thanks to the need to replace aging infrastructure and accommodate new reliability standards.

Natural gas will remain the top fuel source for generation in most scenarios, though a scenario with low oil and gas resources and technology would see it drop below coal and renewables.

AES to Reorganize, Consolidate Units

The AES Corporation announced a reorganization as part of its ongoing strategy to simplify its portfolio, optimize its cost structure and reduce its carbon intensity.

Specifically, AES is consolidating its five Strategic Business Unit structure and will now manage its global operations and infrastructure activities under executive vice president and COO Bernerd Da Santos.

The company also has reorganized its growth and commercial activities into three new units. These units will be led by three existing executives.

Executive vice president and CFO Tom O’Flynn will continue in his current role and assume additional responsibility for leading the US Renewables growth unit; Manuel Pérez Dubuc will lead a consolidated South America growth unit that includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia; and Juan Ignacio Rubiolo will lead the Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean growth unit.