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US plans 7GW offshore wind lease sale in New York Bight

Wind Power Monthly - 11 hours 52 min ago
US government considers sale of eight sites in shallow waters between Long Island, New York and New Jersey
Categories: Wind Power

Oil major BP targets Norwegian offshore wind

Wind Power Monthly - 12 hours 45 min ago
Trio of BP, Statkraft and Aker Offshore Wind set sights on bottom-fixed offshore wind in Sørlige Nordsjø II region
Categories: Wind Power

Japan picks winner for first floating offshore wind tender

Wind Power Monthly - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 14:21
A consortium of six companies led by Toda Corporation was the only bidder for the 16.8MW project off Goto City, Nagasaki
Categories: Wind Power

ABB and SMC partner on 80-MW energy storage project in Philippines

Renewable Energy News - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 13:47

SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. (SMC), a major supplier of power to the national grid in the Philippines, has partnered with ABB to install battery energy storage systems (BESS) as part of its BESS Project.

In countries such as the Philippines, several challenges negatively impact grid performance, such as the length of power lines required to connect the diverse archipelago, as well as intermittent energy supply from wind and solar, which needs storage to act as a frequency regulator. The BESS solution, the largest of its kind in the region according to ABB, is designed to avoid large frequency deviations, which can result in costly equipment damage and disruptive power system failure.

Not only will the system increase grid reliability, it will also support the Philippines’ ambitious plans to decarbonize energy generation, ensuring that 54% of its energy mix comes from renewables by 2040.

“Battery energy storage systems are transforming the market, driving wider adoption of renewable energy solutions, and helping to improve grid performance across the globe,” said Alessandro Palin, president of ABB’s Distribution Solutions Division. “In support of ABB’s 2030 sustainability commitments, pioneering solutions like the one in the Philippines will ensure that grids are more stable and will satisfy the reliability challenges associated with moving to a stronger mix of renewables.”

The contract with ABB, won in 2019, will support two 20-MW sites and a further 40-MW site, to be commissioned in 2021. The remaining sites will be commissioned in 2022.

One system will support the local grid on Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the archipelago, as well as the island of Visayas. Both these fast-developing regions will benefit from BESS as part of the government’s “Build, build, build” program that aims to establish a “golden age of infrastructure” to boost industry and tourism.

The Philippines project uses ABB’s proprietary software platform ABB Ability Zenon to act as the intuitive interface to the BESS, allowing users to make real-time decisions based on grid parameters to ensure performance stability.

The scalable and modular building block design includes an integrated combination of energy storage modules and power distribution equipment, that can be increased or reduced in capacity to suit specific site location requirements.

The BESS includes the provision of battery enclosures, ABB EcoFlex eHouse, UniGear ZS1 medium-voltage switchgear, integrated skid units, transformers and inverters in one single skid, with a connection to the grid.

RWE launches construction for 1.4GW Sofia offshore wind farm

Wind Power Monthly - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 12:18
Enabling works have started at the site of the 100-turbine wind farm’s converter system in Teesside, north-east England
Categories: Wind Power

Charging forward with the EV revolution in the US

Renewable Energy News - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 12:00

By Robert MacDonald, Smarter Grid Solutions

As individual states across the U.S. work towards increasingly ambitious net zero emissions targets, the logistics of how these targets can be achieved and where investment should be made is at the forefront of decision-makers’ minds. To date, considerable efforts have been made to look at solutions that implement more renewables and clean energy into a modern and sustainable electricity system – and electric vehicles (EVs) have an important role to play.

EV adoption has been accelerating in the United States – by 2030 an estimated 18.7 million EVs will be on U.S. roads, up from 2 million in 2020. An increasing portion of EVs will be composed of full battery electric vehicles (BEVs), leading to significant increases in electricity consumption – estimated to grow from 6 to 53 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year by 2030. At the same time, EV charging infrastructure remains limited, with an estimated 9.6 million EV charging stations needed to meet the growing demand.

The slow rollout of EV charging infrastructure can be attributed to a combination of investment certainty, finance and incentives but also physical system limits around today’s grid infrastructure and a lack of interoperable technologies to understand and manage charging. Today’s electrical grid has limited capacity to supply significant new EV charging demand without requiring extensive equipment upgrades, such as power transformers and circuits. 

Paradoxically, existing grid infrastructure experiences overall low utilization rates, or load factor, from EV charging due to short-duration, high-demand usage patterns. For EV supply equipment (EVSE) developers, EV consumers, and utility customers the potential over-build and underutilization of grid assets can result in high costs that prevent or delay expansion of charging infrastructure.

Managed EV charging could address both these issues.

Three essential elements are needed to allow the rapid build-out of EV charging infrastructure:

  1. Connectivity to EV chargers: Today’s EV charging infrastructure has little or no connectivity for data collection and charge management. Public charging is dominated by charging network operators (CNO) that work on closed, private networks while workplace and home chargers are largely stand-alone installations, unconnected to any network. Operators of energy markets, transmission networks, and distribution networks will require pathways to communicate and manage EVSEs to maximize value for EV customers, providing availability and affordability, while maintaining safety and reliability.  There are a number of connectivity and control technologies that can be deployed effectively to meet this challenge.
  2. Real-Time Grid Awareness & Coordination: As EV charging increases, the existing grid infrastructure will become increasingly constrained. Grid operators will require enhanced visibility of grid power flows and awareness of EVSE activity to ensure system safety and reliability. At high penetration levels, EV charging demand will need to be managed in real-time against grid constraints; for instance, voltage levels or thermal overload.
  3. Smart Charging Methods: New, intelligent methods of EV charging can provide broad benefits to consumers. Consumers with flexible charging needs can lower charging costs by taking advantage of times with low energy demand or excess energy production; for example, by charging at nighttime or when solar or wind power production is high. At the same time, the rollout of EV charging infrastructure can be accelerated if charging can be managed and coordinated alongside grid operations, allowing for faster interconnection and permitting. The technical and commercial solutions required are now only starting to be trialed and implemented.

Meeting the Challenge

Distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) software can help accelerate the build-out of EV charging infrastructure, by enabling managed charging solutions.

A DERMS platform acts as the central coordinating entity that manages, automates, and optimizes EV charging across the grid. To start, DERMS enables end-to-end connectivity between the operator and the EVSEs by communicating with private charging network operators as well as disparate, stand-alone EVSE installations. Not only must DERMS have the flexibility to interface through various telecommunications pathways – such as broadband, cellular or private networks and proprietary or standard communications interfaces — they must also manage many different monitoring and control signals in order to aggregate EVSEs into potential demand reduction resources.

Once EVSEs are linked, DERMS can be used to implement a variety of intelligent charging programs across the entire connected fleet. These include basic programs such as scheduled charging (e.g. target charging from 12am to 6am), shared charging (e.g. demand shared across multiple charging stations), and coordinated charging (e.g. charging during periods of excess on-site solar production). But they also entail more sophisticated programs which employ elements of forecasting and optimization, such as real-time management against grid constraints or price signals.

A managed EV charging strategy using DERMS can bring significant benefits for grid infrastructure. DERMS can be integrated with operational systems such as Energy Management Systems (EMS), Distribution Management Systems (DMS), and utility SCADA to obtain real-time grid telemetry, identify potential grid constraints, and take actions to manage EV charging levels. A properly implemented DERMS system should be able to monitor EV charging demand, calculate potential for demand reduction, and coordinate the reduction in line with the grid’s physical limits. 

At the same time, DERMS can also manage the complexities of coordinating and dispatching a large number of EVSE with different control points; this may involve requesting demand reduction of a fleet of EVSE from a charging network operator, directly controlling individual EVSEs, or a combination of the two. Grid operators at distribution and transmission levels with increased visibility and control of EV charging will allow for expanded grid hosting capacity for new charging stations, increased utilization of existing grid infrastructure, and minimized grid upgrade costs – all while maintaining system safety and reliability. This creates benefits for EVSE developers in more grid hosting capacity and quicker interconnections, at lower cost.

For the broader energy system, DERMS can be integrated to manage reduction in demand and utilize market pricing signals to coordinate optimal EV charging times. The benefits include supply/demand alignment, reduced resource requirements, and lower energy prices. As the system incorporates more renewable generation, DERMS can also incorporate weather forecasts that anticipate times of high renewables availability in coordination with EV charging needs, providing benefits of lower charging costs while maximizing the use of low carbon electricity.

A well-coordinated EV charging strategy ultimately benefits EV consumers through lower charging costs, accelerated deployment of EV charging stations, and increased environmental benefits enabled by DERMS technology.

Making EVs mainstream 

If governments are to achieve net zero targets, investment in EVs is critical. While progress has been made to encourage the uptake of EVs, more can still be done. 

To create a sustainable EV charging infrastructure, increasingly intelligent operational systems such as DERMS must be put in place that are flexible and adaptable to the needs of the fleet operators, grid operators and EV users. By implementing managed charging solutions, not only will EVSE operators be able to collect valuable data to inform future solutions, but by pairing this with renewables, they can create new flexible tariffs and implement a variety of new incentives. In turn, this will boost the market and make EVs and the necessary smart charging infrastructure a more attractive investment. 

About the Author Picture Copyright Chris Watt.

Robert MacDonald is the global lead for the Planning and Analysis practice at Smarter Grid Solutions.

Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park to use hydropower for operations

Renewable Energy News - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 10:38

Work is under way at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska to tie into a hydropower network to provide renewable power to the headquarters complex.

More than 20 years in the making, this project – known as the intertie – will connect the park’s existing power system with the 800-kW Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project, which powers much of the southeast Alaska community of Gustavus. This effort is a public-private renewable energy partnership between the National Park Service and Alaska Power and Telephone. Sharing an interconnected grid will provide power reliability and redundancy for both the park and Gustavus.

The park is powered by diesel-fired generators located in a central powerhouse in Bartlett Cove. Access to clean, renewable power will eliminate the need to ship more than 38,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually through the sensitive marine environment of southeast Alaska. The project will also reduce the park’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 600 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Carbon dioxide emissions generated by human activity are a primary driver of global climate change, which is significantly impacting park resources, including its glaciers.

The intertie project requires laying buried electrical line and fiber optic cable from the park’s “Depot” and recycling area about 8.5 miles to the Falls Creek plant following a route along existing roadways. Trenching outside the park will take place within the State of Alaska’s Department of Transportation right-of-way. The trench will typically be 18 to 24 inches wide and 4 feet deep and situated 6 to 10 feet from the road pavement edge.

This renewable energy partnership between the park and AP&T has its roots in a 1998 land exchange that made way for a run-of-river hydro system installed at Falls Creek, a stream flowing out of the Chilkat Range. Operating since 2009, the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project eliminates the need to import an estimated 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually to Gustavus.

A 2013 feasibility study conducted by the NPS — followed by additional studies and stakeholder engagement, including with city officials and Gustavus community members — determined that integrating existing park electrical facilities with the community electrical grid would be positive for the park and community. In addition to the environmental benefits, the project will reduce infrastructure costs and is expected to result in lower power rates for the community.

The intertie will be owned, operated and maintained under a contract between the park and AP&T, which will also maintain the park’s generators to work along with existing AP&T generators in Gustavus for use as backup in case of drought or emergency. The fiber optic cable laid with the power cable will allow AP&T to monitor and control connections with the park. The construction contract and related maintenance agreement are being managed by the Denver Service Center, the central planning, design and construction management office for the NPS.

The intertie connection is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2021.

TransWest transmission line 'will open for service in 2025'

Wind Power Monthly - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 09:22
Construction for $3bn line to take power from 3GW wind cluster in Wyoming to California and beyond expected to start next year
Categories: Wind Power

National Grid Renewables announces operations at Bingham and Temperance solar plants

Renewable Energy News - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 18:46

Two new Michigan solar projects are now operational and delivering up to 40 MW of carbon free power to the region.

National Grid Renewables announced work was completed at Bingham Solar and Temperance Solar, both part of the company’s MiSolar Portfolio. National Grid Renewables owns both projects, which will generate under power purchase agreements with utility Consumers Energy.

The developer kept the construction work as local as possible. Michigan-based contractor J. Ranck Electric handled engineering, procurement and construction duties, employing about 160 workers, most of which came from within 100 miles of each site.

“Our company has a long history in Michigan, and we are proud to support the state and local economies through the creation of new tax revenue and jobs that result from these projects,” stated David Reamer, Head of Development, US Onshore Renewables for National Grid Renewables. “Thank you to the residents of Clinton and Monroe Counties for welcoming us into your communities.”

Subcontractors included Michigan-based The Hydaker-Wheatlake Company, based out of Reed City.

“The Hydaker-Wheatlake Company was proud to help construct the MiSolar Portfolio,” stated Neil Wallerstrom, General Foreman, The Hydaker-Wheatlake Company. “Solar projects like the MiSolar Portfolio provide economic benefits for Michigan residents at the local and state level. Throughout the construction process of both project substations, we were able to hire Michigan residents and were pleased to support local hardware stores, hotels, and restaurants.”

Now operational, three full-time operations and maintenance staff work at the MiSolar project sites. During the first 20 years of operation, MiSolar is projected to further benefit the community through the creation of approximately $6 million in new tax revenue, based on current Michigan law.

Throughout that same time period, using the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, the combined projects are estimated to offset carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50,000 metric tons annually.

South America’s largest wind farm goes live in Brazil

Wind Power Monthly - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 16:23
Enel Green Power Brasil Participações brings its 716MW Lagoa dos Ventos I and II wind farm in Piauí online
Categories: Wind Power

New UK database aims to speed up offshore wind site surveys

Wind Power Monthly - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 14:47
Database hopes to avoid duplication work on environmental permits while protecting flora and fauna in marine environment
Categories: Wind Power

Consumers Energy announces new EV program

Renewable Energy News - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 14:28

Michigan-based Consumers Energy is accelerating the electric vehicle (EV) transformation with a new program to help businesses statewide transition to carbon-free EVs. The utility’s PowerMIFleet program will focus on Michigan businesses, offering expertise and $3 million in rebates for charging locations throughout the state.

“Michigan was the birthplace of the American auto industry. Now, we are the center of the industry’s clean energy revolution,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president for customer experience. “With PowerMIFleet, we at Consumers Energy are taking our success with EVs to the next level, making it easier for other businesses to join us on this Clean Energy journey.”

Through PowerMIFleet, Consumers Energy will provide expertise and consultation services to Michigan businesses, governments and school systems that are looking to electrify their vehicle fleets and charge overnight through cost-saving use rates. Consumers Energy is launching PowerMIFleet to build on its existing EV program, PowerMIDrive, which makes EV cost savings simple by providing time of use rates for EV drivers, and more than 800 rebates for home, business and public charging stations in the last two years.

“Consumers Energy will connect Michigan businesses, local governments and school bus fleets with the planning resources, expert guidance and financial incentives to easily and cost-effectively transition to electric vehicles,” Youngdahl Snyder said.

Through all of Consumers Energy’s vehicle programs, Michigan’s largest energy provider plans to help power 200 fast charging locations, along with more than 2,000 chargers at homes and businesses, over the next three years in Michigan.

Those vehicles will be powered by an electric grid that is moving toward being carbon neutral. Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan calls for eliminating coal, eliminating energy waste and adding more renewable energy sources.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

GE aims to use recycled turbine blades for new wind farms

Wind Power Monthly - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 13:51
Deals with LafargeHolcim and Neowa will explore options to use recycled wind turbine blades for construction materials
Categories: Wind Power

US offshore wind’s first movers’ lessons for future development

Wind Power Monthly - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 12:24
Developers of early US offshore wind farms hope their experiences can help others as the sector prepares to grow
Categories: Wind Power

New technologies can help connect more wind to grid

Wind Power Monthly - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 12:22
Grid-enhancing technologies make existing powerlines work smarter so they can carry more renewable capacity, saving time and money
Categories: Wind Power

FPL reaches major solar installation milestone

Renewable Energy News - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 11:39

Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) achieved a major milestone by surpassing 40% completion of its “30-by-30” plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030. To date, FPL has installed more than 12 million solar panels in Florida, putting the company well on its way to achieving its “30-by-30” plan. FPL says this is one of the largest solar expansions in the U.S.

By the end of this month, FPL is on track to have 42 solar energy centers in Florida, including its Discovery Solar Energy Center at Kennedy Space Center, which just became operational. The solar panels installed across the company’s sites are expected to save customers about $421 million over the lifetime of the assets, while making Florida third in the nation for solar generation, with a trajectory to be a world leader in solar capacity by the end of the decade, according to FPL.

“Reaching this milestone is an important step in our commitment to increase zero-emissions energy as FPL builds a more resilient and sustainable energy future all of us can depend on, including future generations,” said Eric Silagy, FPL’s president and chief executive officer. “Despite the pandemic, our team has stayed laser-focused on executing our ’30-by-30′ plan. Eight new solar energy centers have begun powering customers with clean energy so far this year, and three more are scheduled to come online before the end of this year.

“Nobody in the country is building more solar than FPL,” Silagy continued. “We’re dedicated to providing our customers with clean, affordable and reliable energy, while keeping bills among the nation’s lowest – and our rapid solar expansion helps us consistently deliver on this promise.”

By the end of this month, the company will have more than 3,000 MW of solar capacity in operation, which, according to FPL, is more than any other utility in the U.S. Nearly every solar energy center that becomes operational in 2021 will also support FPL SolarTogether™ – the company’s community solar program, which is the nation’s largest.

By the end of 2030, FPL plans to have more than 11,700 MW of universal solar capacity. To support its solar buildout, the company recently began installing the first components of the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system, the 400-MW FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center. In addition, later this month, the company will demolish its last coal-fired plant in Florida, with plans to replace it with more clean, emissions-free solar energy power facilities.

“Since FPL first pioneered large-scale solar development in 2009, our industry has seen a transformation of what was once considered niche technology to solar becoming a dominant source of energy,” Silagy said. “Solar helps us reliably power our millions of customers, fuels our economy with jobs and benefits our environment.”

NextEra Energy Inc., FPL’s parent company, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage.

RWE’s 250-MW Scioto Ridge Wind Farm in Ohio now operational

Renewable Energy News - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 10:26

Last week, RWE Renewables said it has started commercial operation on its 250-MW onshore Scioto Ridge Wind Farm, located in Hardin and Logan Counties in Ohio.

The project uses 75 Siemens Gamesa turbines and represents RWE’s first wind project in Ohio.

“The ongoing transition to lower carbon technologies and a more diverse energy portfolio represents a significant economic development opportunity for our state,” said Stephanie Kromer, Director of Energy and Environmental Policy at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited for RWE’s successful completion of their first Ohio-based project of over $300 million and look forward to their continued cooperation.”

Ohio has enormous potential for future projects, as wind power provides less than two percent of the total electricity generation in the state. In addition Ohio has a long history of industrial manufacturing, including approximately 52 wind-related factories — the most of any single state in the U.S., according to RWE.

The U.S. accounts for more than one third of the RWE Group’s renewables capacity playing a key role in the company’s strategy to grow its renewables business and get to net zero by 2040. RWE constructs, owns and operates wind, solar and energy storage projects in the U.S.

In related news, RWE said it recently entered into a joint venture, New England Aqua Ventus, focused on floating offshore wind in the state of Maine. 

Silvia Ortin, COO Onshore Wind and Solar PV Americas, RWE Renewables: “Scioto Ridge marks our successful entry in the Ohio market. The state’s location in the heartland of the U.S. offers ideal conditions for renewable energy and we are happy to bring this project online as part of our focus on the U.S. market.”

“We’re proud to be a member of the local community, contributing more than $75 million in new payments over the next 25 years to the local governments, school districts and landowners,” added Ortin. “We created approximately 250 construction jobs and will hire up to 10 full-time, long-term operations and maintenance people who will live and work in the area.”

North Carolina eyes offshore wind opportunity

Wind Power Monthly - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 09:49
State governor’s executive order asks for 2.8GW by 2030 and 8GW by 2040 as momentum builds in the US's nascent offshore sector
Categories: Wind Power

Toshiba Completes ITER Field Coil

Nuclear Power - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 19:04
Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation of Japan said Tuesday it had completed its first manufacturing of toroidal field coils for ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, which is under construction in southern France.(read more)

Tianwan Unit 6 Reaches Commercial Operation Status

Nuclear Power - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 18:34
The China National Nuclear Corporation said its 24th commercial reactor had reached commercial operations status after completing 100 continuous hours of operations at full power.(read more)