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jpak

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 40,876

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Government clears RWE to build world's biggest offshore wind farm (UK)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/07/11/uk-britain-power-wind-idUKBRE96A0F120130711

(Reuters) - The government has approved RWE Innogy's 1,200 megawatt Triton Knoll offshore wind farm, a project with capacity comparable to that of a large nuclear power plant.

The 3.6 billion pound project will house 288 wind turbines 20 kilometres off the coast of Lincolnshire in the east of England.

When it opens towards the end of the decade the offshore wind farm will be the world's biggest, surpassing the London Array project officially opened by Prime Minister David Cameron last week.

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The Triton Knoll project will create about 1,130 jobs in Britain and produce enough power for 820,000 homes.

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Xcel: Wind deals to save $590M

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2013-07-10/xcel-customers-save-590m-wind-deals

Xcel Energy expects to save customers about $590 million in fuel costs over the next 20 years with new wind energy contracts it announced Wednesday.

The company’s subsidiary, Southwestern Public Service, has made three deals that will more than double its wind energy purchased under contracts to nearly 1,300 megawatts. The company will have a total of 2,200 megawatts in its system serving Texas and New Mexico.

“The rest of the wind energy on our system is not under contract but instead is purchased daily at market prices,” Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves said.

The company’s Harrington and Nichols generation stations northeast of Amarillo have a generation capacity of almost 1,500 megawatts using natural gas and coal. The deal will add almost 700 megawatts of wind energy.

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An Epic Battle Between Solar Firms and Power Utilities Could Leave One Side Unplugged

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2013-07-11/news/an-epic-battle-between-solar-firms-and-power-utilities-could-leave-one-side-unplugged/

The nonprofit company, which manages bowling alleys and seven recreation centers in the politically powerful Phoenix-area retirement community, has a large solar-panel project going up at its facilities.

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"The anticipated savings is about $15 million," Higgins says from the lobby of RSCS' corporate office at Lakeview. She adds that the electricity generated from the photovoltaic panels could power an estimated 347 homes.

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Rooftop solar is a no-brainer to power utilities like APS, too.

They say they're getting screwed in deals like these.

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Solar Market Seen Exceeding $134 Billion by 2020, Navigant Says

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-10/solar-market-seen-exceeding-134-billion-by-2020-navigant-says.html

Developers will spend more than $134 billion annually by 2020 on solar-energy systems, up 51 percent from this year, as falling panel prices make electricity produced from sunlight cost-competitive with power from other sources, according to a report from Navigant Consulting Inc. (NCI).

Growing demand for photovoltaic systems in emerging markets including Chile, South Africa and Saudi Arabia will be bolstered in other regions by increased use of both large, utility-scale power plants and smaller, distributed generation systems, the Chicago-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

“By the end of 2020, solar PV is expected to be cost-competitive with retail electricity prices, without subsidies, in a significant portion of the world,” Dexter Gauntlett, a Navigant analyst, said in the statement.

The company expects a total of 438 gigawatts of solar capacity to be installed from this year through 2020.

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Rooftop solar takes off across California as costs come down

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_23635595/costs-come-down-rooftop-solar-takes-off-across

California's groundbreaking efforts to encourage homeowners and businesses to install rooftop solar panels were so successful in 2012 that the program is now effectively winding down, according to a new report.

A record 391 megawatts of solar power were installed statewide in 2012, a growth of 26 percent from 2011, according to a report by the California Solar Initiative released Wednesday.

"The program has made solar affordable for ordinary Californians," said Susannah Churchill of the San Francisco-based solar advocacy group Vote Solar. "Solar is a classic California success story."

In January 2007, California launched an unprecedented $3.3 billion effort to install 3,000 megawatts of new solar over the next decade and transform the market for solar energy by reducing the cost of solar-generating equipment.

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IPA concedes wind farms successful in displacing coal

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/ipa-concedes-wind-farms-successful-in-displacing-coal-53517

The anti-wind campaigners sometimes have difficulty getting their facts in the right order. One of their most common complaints is that wind energy does nothing to reduce emissions as it doesn’t actually result in any fossil fuel generation being switched off, because fossil fuel needs to keep running as “back-up” in case the wind stops blowing.

Of course, this is not true. As the Australian Energy Market Operator notes in South Australia, where wind energy accounts for around 25 per cent of both capacity and demand, coal fired generation – both local and imported from Victoria – has fallen dramatically. There hasn’t even been any need for new peaking power stations and the use of gas has not increased since the state started building the first of its 1,200MW of wind energy.

The Institute of Public Affairs, one of the most powerful and influential anti-wind groups, whose former head is now the WA state energy minister, is a strong proponent of the “continuous” back-up claim. But at the recent, lightly attended anti-wind rally in Canberra, its director of deregulation, Alan Moran made a crucial admission: wind energy is forcing conventional coal generation out of the market, because it is making it uneconomic.

“(Renewables) are in fact squeezing out conventional energy, conventional, predictable and reliable energy, because they are “must run”, and conventional energy is automatically backed off,” Moran said, according to a transcript published on the anti-wind website Stop These Things. “This is leading to the retirement of coal fired stations, as subsidised wind makes them not profitable.”

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Sioux Tribes Collaborate on Biggest US Wind Farm (1-2 GW)

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25036

In an unprecedented move, six Sioux tribes are coming together to develop the largest wind farm in the US and one of the world’s largest.

The six South Dakota tribes want to develop an interconnected grid of wind farms totaling a massive 1-2 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, over at least six reservations.

Funding for the project, which will cost between $1.75 billion to $3 billion, would come from the sale of bonds by a new Multi-Tribal Power Authority.

The project was revealed during the Clinton Global Initiative last month. "It gives Native tribes who aren't in populous areas and don't have casino revenue a chance to earn some real money that can then be used to reinvest into the community to diversify the economic base that exists," said President Clinton at the event, according to SF Gate.

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Los Angeles Goes All In on Rooftop Solar Panels

http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/07/los-angeles-all-rooftop-solar-panels/

Don’t think it’s possible to provide clean and renewable energy that creates jobs and fuels private investment? Think again and then check out CLEAN LA Solar.

A program developed and supported by the Los Angeles Business Council, a coalition of environmental, business, health and research organizations, and the CLEAN LA Coalition, it’s the largest urban rooftop solar program in the nation. Its five-year goal is to power more than 34,000 homes while creating some 4,500 construction, installation, design engineering, maintenance and administrative jobs in Los Angeles.

CLEAN LA Solar allows businesses and commercial property-owners to generate energy for the city’s power grid through rooftop solar panels, and then sell the power to the Department of Water and Power (DWP). This policy is known as a feed-in-tariff (FiT), and is a great way to promote clean, solar energy.

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The goal is to generate 150 megawatts of solar electricity, or enough power for 30,000 homes. The business council hopes to attract investments totaling about $500 million from a group of companies that want to invest in the city’s push to go green. The program’s first project site is an 80-unit apartment building in North Hollywood that went online with 336 250-watt panels (for 84 kW of installed capacity) on June 26.

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Solar Power Cheaper Than Coal Foreseen By German Solar CEO

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/10/solar-power-cheaper-than-coal-foreseen-by-german-solar-mogul/

In a new interview with Deutsche Welle, the CEO of a Germany-based global solar developer made a good case for the potential for solar power to become cheaper than coal sooner rather than later.

That would be Bernhard Beck, CEO of BELECTRIC. In the interview Beck had some interesting things to say about the direction of the global solar market and the potential for growth in large-scale solar power generating plants, and if anything, we think his forecast could come true even sooner than he thinks.

BELECTRIC specializes in utility-scale solar power plants as well as rooftop solar, and the former area is where the focus of the Deutsche Welle interview takes place.
According to Beck, large scale solar power in Germany is already “approaching the costs” of conventional power, at 10 euro cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Beck was reluctant to lay out a specific timetable, but he did predict that with additional technological improvements, the cost of solar power in Germany (and by extension, other relatively sun-poor countries), will ultimately fall below the cost of conventional energy.

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World's Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Switched On in Britain

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/wind/worlds-biggest-offshore-wind-farm-switched-on-in-britain

Around a year and a half ago, the Walney wind farm in the Irish Sea started spinning and prepared to relish the title of being "biggest in the world." It ended up enjoying that status a bit longer than expected, but the London Array, off the coast of Kent, now leaves Walney and its 367 megawatts in the dust.

Some numbers: 175 turbines. 630 megawatts. Half a million homes. 100 square kilometers. 450 kilometers of offshore cabling.

In other words, it's pretty big. The speed at which these enormous projects are popping around in the waters around the U.K. is impressive, especially considering the ongoing difficulties with getting even a single offshore turbine up and running in the U.S. (Cape Wind might have one by next year! Maybe!) There are now around 20 distinct offshore wind farms around the U.K., generating enough power for 2.3 million homes; when all offshore turbines that are spinning, in construction, or planned are combined, they total 15 gigawatts of capacity—about a quarter of the entire U.S. onshore wind power capabilities.

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