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September 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • During the Berlin InnoTrans trade show, France’ Alstom unveiled the Coradia iLint, the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train, and it is bound to make its home in Germany. The train essentially emissions-free, and the only sounds it makes come from air resistance and the wheels making contact with the track. [German Pulse]
Alstom iLint (Alstom image)

Alstom iLint (Alstom image)

  • With the cost of harnessing the power of the sun finally becoming competitive with other energy sources, solar panels are popping up on roofs all over the Chippewa Valley in western Wisconsin, but perhaps the most noticeable developments are the huge, utility-operated solar gardens sprouting around the region. [Leader-Telegram]
  • “How the jaw-dropping fall in solar prices will change energy markets” • Every time solar prices have been bid lower, they have been met with howls of derision by less cost-competitive rivals. The multiple bids for solar power below $30/MWh on a 350-MW tender in Abu Dhabi suggest the projects are financially viable. [RenewEconomy]
  • Talking to an Indian media outlet, Suzlon Energy’s Chief Technology Officer said that his company will soon become the first in India to set up projects in which solar, wind, and storage capacities will be integrated. Suzlon Energy will take first steps towards research and development in this regard next year, he said. [CleanTechnica]
  • SaskPower works in partnership with the First Nations Power Authority on a third of the large solar power projects it plans to roll out over the next five years. This could have significant economic benefits for the province. SaskPower said it plans to add 60 MW of solar PV generation to the province’s electrical grid by 2021. [Saskatoon StarPhoenix]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

September 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Opinion: “Celebrate national parks by fighting climate change” • This year our country is celebrating 100 years of national parks. They are special places woven into the fabric of American life, from the iconic view of California’s Yosemite Valley to our own Crater Lake. Yet these places are increasingly threatened by climate change. [OregonLive.com]
Hikers in Olympic National Park in Washington. (Ralph Arvesen/Flickr)

Hikers in Olympic National Park in Washington. (Ralph Arvesen/Flickr)

  • Opinion: “Distributed Biogas: $11.8 Billion Market Hidden in Plain Sight” • Every year in the US, 37 million tons of food waste are sent to landfills. At a $125-per-ton tipping fee, this costs $4.6 billion annually. Used to make biogas, at 4,200 cubic feet per ton, this same amount of waste could power five million homes for an entire year. [Biomass Magazine]
  • Southern Vermont College announced its participation in the local effort to bring back hydroelectric generation to Vermont. The college its campus neighbor Southwestern Vermont Medical Center both signed on with the Pownal Tannery Hydroelectric Net Metering Group to get power from the local renewable resource. [Vermont Biz]
  • The Lake Erie Energy Development Co has selected MHI Vestas to supply six V126-3.45MW turbines for the 20.7-MW Icebreaker freshwater offshore project in Ohio. Leedco’s president told reNews a decision has been made to use the Danish hardware, completing a shift away from the previously selected Siemens. [reNews]
  • Xcel Energy announced that it is seeking proposals to grow its wind energy portfolio dramatically and bring up to 1,500 MW of new wind power to its customers. This announcement is another step in the company’s long-term plan to transform its energy fleet, and represents one of the nation’s largest wind energy proposals. [Windpower Engineering]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

senator-windows-energy-efficiency-ig

 

Graphic courtesy of Jane Crosbie at Senator Windows

September 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Green Mountain Power announced that it has filed with the Public Service Board an agreement with Enel Green Power NA to acquire 14 of Enel’s small hydroelectric power stations located mainly in northern New England, with an approximate total capacity of 17 MW. The deal will create low cost resources for GMP. [Vermont Biz]
Taftsville site on the Ottauquechee River in the town of Woodstock (GMP image)

Taftsville site on the Ottauquechee River in the town of Woodstock, Vermont (GMP image)

  • For the first time ever, investment in new renewables was more than enough to cover rising global electricity demand in 2015. That is according to the first World Energy Investment report, published by the International Energy Agency. The IEA says changes in investment indicate “reorientation of the energy system.” [CleanTechnica]
  • Entrepreneurs in China, Russia, Japan and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out plans to create an Asian Renewable Energy Super Grid. The Super Grid will transmit electrical power from renewable sources from areas in the world that are best able to produce it to distant consumers. [Climate Action Programme]
  • The world’s largest solar power plant in one single location kicked off operations in India. A project of Adani Green Energy (Tamil Nadu), the renewable energy wing of the Adani Group, the plant has a capacity of 648 MW and has been set up with an investment of around ₹4,550 crore ($842.6 million). [The New Indian Express]
  • A group of 375 “concerned” scientists, including the famed physicist Stephen Hawking, released an open letter sharply criticizing Donald Trump, citing the threat of climate change and blasting his push for the US to leave the Paris Accord. CNN reached out to the Trump campaign for a response to the letter, but has not received one. [CNN]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Public Service Department Announces the Implementation of a New Complaint Protocol

Montpelier, Vermont – Vermonters are now encouraged to file complaints directly with Consumer Affairs and Public Information (CAPI) at the Department of Public Service about a company or developer’s  potential failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a Certificate of Public Good (CPG). CPG’s are issued by the Public Service Board for the construction and operation of telecommunications and energy facilities.  CAPI Director, Carol Flint, says, “Our Division is pleased to announce this protocol in order to give Vermonters clear direction on who to call and how their complaints will be addressed when they have concerns about the construction, operation, and maintenance of energy and telecommunications facilities. In developing this protocol, we consulted with numerous interested stakeholders including some who have previously made complaints. The Department continues to encourage public feedback over the next several months as we begin using the protocol, and will continue to modify it in the future as experience warrants.”
 
A copy of the protocol and information about how to file a complaint may be found at http://publicservice.vermont.gov/cpg-complaint-protocol. Complaints or concerns may be mailed to CAPI at the Department of Public Service, 112 State St., Montpelier, VT 05620-2601, e-mailed to CAPI’s consumer mailbox at psd.consumer@vermont.gov or by calling 800-622-4496 or 802-828-2332.  
 
“As we work to achieve our energy and communications goals, local energy projects and cell towers are increasingly numerous and distributed  across Vermont. While a majority of projects are constructed and maintained well, there will inevitably be problems to be addressed.  This protocol helps to provide a consistent process for the handling of complaints, pursuing their resolution, and the associated data collection to facilitate public reporting,” says Christopher Recchia, Commissioner of the Department of Public Service. 
 
The Department’s new protocol will be used for handling complaints about the potential failure of an entity to comply with the terms and conditions of a CPG issued by the Public Service Board under 30 V.S.A. §§ 248 or 248a.  The purpose of this protocol is to ensure compliance with CPG conditions and to enable Vermonters to easily and effectively report on conditions they believe may not be in compliance with applicable CPG conditions.  The Department will use the protocol to keep a record of such complaints, research and investigate concerns, track progress with compliance and resolution and respond to the people who have made complaints. The first report of complaints tracked under this new protocol is due to the legislature in January of 2017.

Green Mountain Power Reaches Deal for More Hydropower

COLCHESTER, VT… Green Mountain Power announced that it has reached an agreement with Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGP-NA) to purchase 14 small hydroelectric plants for a total installed capacity of 17 MW. These hydro plants are located in New England and will provide GMP customers with locally-generated, cost-effective energy. In addition, Green Mountain Power has reached two long-term power purchase agreements with EGP-NA for power from Sheldon, Vermont and in Ticonderoga, New York.
 
“This is a great deal for our customers and for our overall commitment to provide the cleanest, most cost-effective and reliable power we can as we’re empowering customers to take control of their energy use,” said Mary Powell, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power. “To become more energy independent as we transform the future of energy to more local generation, we appreciate the value of adding more of a resource long valued as a foundation of energy generation in Vermont – local power from our rivers.”
 
The deal will create one of the lower cost renewable resources in GMP’s energy portfolio. GMP expects to sell a limited number of renewable energy credits from some of the plants to reduce costs for customers in the short term.  GMP has now filed for all state and federal regulatory approvals that will enable it to go forward with the agreement with EGP-NA. 
“This is a great, cost effective way for GMP to help meet the renewable energy standards and goals set by the state,” said Tony Klein, a Vermont Representative and chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. “Growing Vermont’s renewable portfolio for ratepayers is critical and this new agreement will help ensure that happens for Vermont and Vermont rate payers.”
 
Green Mountain Power currently owns 32 hydro plants in Vermont. The addition of the 14 plants and the power purchase agreements adds enough energy to power 21,000 homes, and all together, more than half of the power is sourced from Vermont resources.
Neale Lunderville, General Manager of Burlington Electric Department, who understands the value of local, renewable generation, stated: “Hydroelectric plants are a long-lasting, dependable source of clean, environmentally responsible energy operating at stable and predictable costs. With the acquisition of the Winooski One Hydro Plant in 2014, BED was able to source 100% of its power from renewable generation. For utilities like Green Mountain Power, leveraging hydro power creates tremendous value, providing affordable, stable rates for Vermont customers, while growing the renewable portion of its portfolio.”
The agreement is subject to state and federal regulatory approval, and is expected to be completed in 2017.

September 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A revolution is taking place in the global energy sector, with investments in oil and gas declining by 25% in 2015 while energy produced from renewables rose by more than 30%. “We have never seen such a decline [in oil and gas investment]”, said Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. [AlterNet]
Offshore oil workers (Credit: iurii/Shutterstock)

Offshore oil workers (Credit: iurii/Shutterstock)

  • “Democratic and Republican Platforms Present Contrasting Energy Planks” • At their respective national conventions in late July, the Democratic and Republican Parties established the policy platforms on which their respective federal, state and local candidates will base their election campaigns. Those platforms are very different. [JD Supra]
  • As an outcome of the recent G20 meeting in China, both China and the US volunteered to publish peer reviews of their current fossil fuel subsidies. Together, the two countries are annually providing over $20 billion in inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Of this, $8.1 billion comes from the United States, and $14.5 billion from China. [CleanTechnica]
  • Twenty US Governors sent an open letter to President Obama to suggest actions his administration can take to expand the wind and solar energy production of their states. They are members of the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, a bipartisan group committed to developing the country’s wind and solar energy resources. [CleanTechnica]
  • Three more large companies, Apple, Bank of America, and Amalgamated Bank, have pledged to get 100% renewable energy, joining the RE100 group. Bank of America further announced it will be “carbon neutral” by 2020. Meanwhile, Apple announced new commitments to power its supply chain with renewable energy. [EcoWatch]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

September 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Opinion: “Oil Investment Crash Could Continue For Another Year” • Investment in upstream operations in the oil and gas industry shrank by a quarter last year and is expected to continue to shrink this year by another 24%. Next year the trend could continue, for the longest investment decline period in the history of the industry. [OilPrice.com]
Offshore oil rig

Offshore oil rig

  • The price of solar PV continues to fall. On Monday, a new record low of 2.42¢/kWh was set in a tender for a large solar park in Abu Dhabi, not by an industry outlier but by the biggest manufacturer of solar modules in the world, JinkoSolar. Even this could be beaten, as there are reports of another, lower bid coming. [RenewEconomy]
  • Canada’s federal environment minister made a huge announcement on Canadian television’s Question Period. The central government has come out for nationwide carbon pricing. It will soon levy a minimum national carbon price on any province that lacks adequate plans to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions. [CleanTechnica]
  • A federal appeals court ruled it will take more time to consider a request from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for an emergency injunction against the Dakota Access pipeline. But at the same time, the US Army Corps of Engineers issued a Special Use Permit for protesters to legally occupy federal land at Lake Oahe. [CleanTechnica]
  • Avangrid Renewables representatives, joined by Vermont Governor Shumlin and local elected officials, broke ground on Deerfield Wind today in Searsburg, on US Forest land. The 30-MW project will include 15 Gamesa wind turbines, and it will provide enough energy each year for about 14,000 Vermont households. [Vermont Biz]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Energy Storage Presentation

Pease Public Library, Plymouth, NH
Wednesday, September 28th

The Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI) will be hosting a presentation about energy storage and batteries. Tracy Abbott, Territory Manager for Northeast Battery, Kaylan Jana, Senior Applications Engineer for Trojan Battery Company and Brian Jaibur, Director of Sales-Master Distribution for Trojan Battery Company will present information about the latest battery technology, industry trends and practical uses for energy storage in homes and businesses. “Energy storage systems provide ways to manage and store our power whether it comes from the grid or renewable energy systems” said Sandra Jones, Co-Director of PAREI, “We wanted to provide an opportunity for our members and the general public to learn more about energy storage from experts in the field.”

The presentation will be held on Wednesday, September 28th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Pease Public Library in the Community Meeting Room located off Russel St in Plymouth. It will start with a group presentation and then the presenters and PAREI Staff will run table presentations about products and project examples. The night will close with an opportunity for Q and A. The doors open at 5:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary. Refreshments will be served. For more information call PAREI at 603-536-5030 or e-mail Adam Hoyng, PAREI Program Assistant at alhoyng@gmail.com .

Read the All About Batteries article from a previous issue of Green Energy Times by clicking here.

PESSAMIT INNU FIRST NATION BEARS WITNESS TO HYDRO-QUEBEC RIVER FLOODING AND PROPOSED NORTHERN PASS

PLYMOUTH, NH – Chief Rene Simon and a delegation from the Pessamit Innu First Nation will lead a presentation and discussion called Pessamit Innu First Nation Witness: What Northern Pass in New Hampshire Means to First Nations in Canada on Thursday, September 29th at 7PM in Room #144 in Boyd Hall at Plymouth State University. The doors open at 6:30PM. People can sign up online at http://tinyurl.com/jjt6ed7 .

Since 2010 Eversource Energy has promoted the Northern Pass international transmission line proposal to carry electricity generated by Hydro-Quebec’s massive reservoir system of dams from Canada through New Hampshire to the New England regional grid system. The Pessamit Innu First Nation live on the Pessamit Reservation on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in the Quebec Province of Canada. For years Eversource has claimed that Northern Pass would be environmentally friendly, green, and sustainable. The Pessamit have witnessed otherwise.

Plymouth State University’s Common Ground Student Organization and New Hampshire Sierra Club partnered with The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club and others to host the event. Free and open to the public. Non-students are encouraged to park by the ice-arena and welcome center off of Holderness Road Route 175A and take the shuttle to Lamson Library directly across from Boyd Hall on campus.

DATE: September 29, 2016

TIME: 7PM to 9PM Doors: 6:30

WHERE: Plymouth State University, Boyd Hall #144

Of the utmost concern of the Pessamit is the future of the rivers and wildlife. As protectors of the land and environment, they have witnessed dramatic destruction of the rivers caused by the electricity production and fear the extinction of the salmon on the Betsiamites River. Chief Simon and the delegation will share the story of the Pessamit Innu First Nation and environmental impacts they have witnessed on the river, as well as the conflicts they have with Hydro Quebec.