What We’re Reading This Week: Friday, January 20

January 20, 2017

Emily Jiles

Communications

ORISON 

Greentech Media: Energy Storage Startup Speed Pitch: Orison, Moixa, Kisensum

…”The most compelling thing about Orison is that we’ve gotten rid of all of the soft costs — no permits, no interconnect agreement and no electrician. We ship it to your door, you place it in your home and you plug it in.”

ENERGY STORAGE 

The New York Times: A Big Test for Big Batteries

…After racing for months, engineers here in California have brought three energy-storage sites close to completion to begin serving the Southern California electric grid within the next month. They are made up of thousands of oversize versions of the lithium-ion batteries now widely used in smartphones, laptop computers and other digital devices…

The Motley Fool: Why Hawaii Is Becoming the Proving Ground for the Future of Energy Storage

…According to the EIA, in October 2016 residential electricity prices in Hawaii were 27.54 cents per kWh, and on the island of Kaua’i rates are 32.78 per kWh starting this year. That makes solar extremely viable given the fact that power purchase agreements for residential projects can be found for less than $0.13 per kWh. Utility contracts are going for less than $0.05 per kWh. And the difference means energy storage can make financial sense as well…

Energy Storage News: UK battery storage pipeline stands at 2.3GW, report finds

…The UK’s energy storage sector has risen to international prominence over the past year due in part to the success of advanced energy storage projects in a tender to provide 200MW of enhanced frequency response (EFR) to the grid, as well as providing 500MW of a total 3.2GW of capacity procured in a recent capacity market auction, designed to ensure security of supply. More auction rounds are expected in various areas…

UTILITIES

Greentech Media: NV Energy Challenges Return of Net Metering, Citing Loss of $2.92M in Customer Savings

…Based on Sierra Pacific’s figures, adding 6 megawatts of new rooftop solar capacity under the old net metering rates would result in a cost shift of 26 cents per month. Meanwhile, the October agreement to save Northern Nevada ratepayers $2.92 million per year is expected to reduce customer bills by an average of 27 cents per month. So, based on utility figures alone, the average residential Sierra Pacific customer will still save 1 cent per month with the return of net metering, regulators wrote.…

PVTech: Cuomo announces US$360m for large-scale renewable energy projects in New York

…The projects include a 50MW utility-scale solar farm in Coxsackie, two wind farms, seven hydro projects and one fuel-cell project. The projects will leverage nearly US$1 billion in private investment and collectively generate enough clean energy to power more than 110,000 homes…

POLICY

Pacific Standard: A California Bill Would Require Solar Panels on All New Buildings

…California law already requires all residential and commercial buildings under 10 stories to have at least 15 percent of the roof clear of obstructions and shade—in other words, “solar ready.” Wiener’s legislation goes a step further, mandating that either solar photovoltaic or solar water panels actually be installed on any new rooftops…

Utility Dive: What will Trump’s EPA do? Scott Pruitt hearing offered few answers

… But in his hearing at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Pruitt told lawmakers those court challenges did not indicate a belief that EPA should not regulate harmful pollutants like mercury or carbon — simply that he disagreed with EPA’s approach…In the hearing, Pruitt affirmed the agency’s authority to regulate many pollutants that were the subject of his court challenges, including MATS and the CPP…

RENEWABLE ENERGY 

Greentech Media: How Military Microgrids Could Save the Country—on Energy Costs

The U.S. military could save hundreds of millions of dollars each year by switching its bases from diesel backup generators to more efficient microgrids. Furthermore, the military can enhance security against the threat of grid outages from extreme weather or cyberattacks, achieve its efficiency and renewable energy commitments, and even make money from microgrid-generated power in some states…

Utility Dive: Renewables, efficiency dominate robust job growth in energy sector

Electric power generation jobs grew 13% in the last year as utilities replaced aging infrastructure and invested in new power plants, according to the latest Department of Energy report on job growth in the energy sector released last week. Across the board, jobs in the “Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency industries” grew by 5%…

OilPrice.com: What Is Holding Renewable Energy Back?

… The most important component in the entire process of renewables overtaking fossil fuels for a cleaner future is grid modernization. According to T. Boone Pickens, “the electrical grid of the future will have to be built,” for renewable energy to overcome the above-mentioned hurdles. Renewable energy has incredible potential but, until power grids are modernized, they will lag behind fossil fuels…

Greentech Media: First Solar Proves That PV Plants Can Rival Frequency Response Services From Natural Gas Peakers

…The results, according to a report released last week, showed that First Solar was able to meet, and sometimes exceed, the frequency regulation response usually provided by natural-gas-fired peaker plants. First Solar was also able to provide inverter-based services throughout the day — and possibly even at night…

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