A Massachusetts Senate proposal to set aside funding for solar projects in low-income neighborhoods will do little to improve access without bigger changes to the state’s solar incentive program, advocates say.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and EDP Renovaveis SA agreed to sell power from a wind farm they’re building in the Atlantic Ocean for a record-low price. The 804-megawatt Mayflower wind farm, located south of Martha’s Vineyard, will supply electricity to utilities in Massachusetts for $58 a megawatt-hour over the life of the contract.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said its review of the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project would be completed by June 12 and a final decision on the project issued by December 18 — 15 months later than originally projected.
Rocky Mountain Power contends that rooftop-generated power is not worth much, while clean-power advocates and the solar industry counter that rooftop systems provide broad benefits to the public at large and to the utility in the form of reduced stress on the electrical grid and power-generation needs.
A study by Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance identified two ways distributed energy resources can reduce costs: act as non-wires alternatives to avoid investment in tranmission and distribution ($2.45 billion over ten years), and decrease peak energy costs in the wholesale market which is worth $3.01 billion.
Industrial giant General Electric is investing in wind power, hoping its offshore products can soon rival the might of its onshore sector. In Massachusetts this week, it received a 351-foot blade that will be part of the Haliade-X windmill, what it is calling the most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world. The blades will undergo fatigue tests over the coming months.
Soleil Lofts, an under-construction luxury apartment complex in the Utah city of Herriman, announced that it will host the largest renewable energy setup of its kind. The 600-unit complex will feature five megawatts of solar panels. Each unit will also host a Sonnen EcoLinx battery to store the energy, combining together to offer 12.6 megawatt-hours of storage.
Texas offers an instructive case study for the growth of renewable energy. Most of the state’s electricity is delivered through the deregulated Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. The state has long since surpassed its mandated renewable portfolio standard, so market dynamics dictate the ongoing pace of renewables growth. Nonetheless, Texas is by far the country’s largest wind power generator and is slated to see major growth in solar capacity as well.