The ERCOT region remains a living example of how to make a successful transition to restructured wholesale and retail markets for electricity. At the same time, the market continues to witness...
credits generated by one of Juhl’s operating wind facilities. The credits are intended to match the electricity used at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for all Vikings home games during the 2012 and 2013 season. The agreement started with the Vikings first home game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. Juhl expects to provide 520 MWh of renewable energy over the course of the team’s eight regular season home games.
The California Independent System Operator (ISO) board of governors in September approved a proposed rule to ensure the ISO can keep existing flexible power plants from prematurely retiring if they’re found to be needed for reliability in future years. The need for the ISO to address this issue was highlighted earlier this year when the owners of the Sutter Energy Center informed the ISO it hadn’t been able to secure a power contract and would have to shut down the plant. ISO analysis showed the 525-MW plant would be needed for grid reliability in 2017 and 2018. The California Public Utilities Commission required utilities to enter into power contracts with the Sutter Energy Center for 2012, but the situation prompted changes to the ISO tariff as it currently only provides for capacity compensation under specific circumstances to resources determined to be needed in the next operating year. The approved at-risk of retirement provision allows the ISO to contract for capacity determined to be needed for reliability reasons two to five years in the future. The price for the capacity is based on the resource’s “going-forward” costs. The ISO would only use the special designation after the plant operator has made a good faith effort to secure a utility contract.
Progress Energy Carolinas officially retired two coal-fired power plants, including the utility’s first coal-fueled facility built in 1923. The utility closed the Cape Fear power plant, near Moncure, N.C., and the H.B. Robinson Unit 1 power plant, near Hartsville, S.C., as part of its ongoing fleet-modernization program.
SunPower extended its long-standing partnership with Toshiba for the next several years. Under the terms of the master supply agreement, Toshiba will place orders of more than 100 MW for SunPower’s high efficiency solar panels to support the rapidly growing residential solar market in Japan. Since SunPower first partnered with Toshiba in 2010, it has delivered approximately 70 MW of solar panels.
Ameresco began construction on a 1.5-MW ground-mounted PV system at the site of a capped landfill near Lowell, Mass. The project is the latest phase of an Ameresco project that includes energy-saving building upgrades and PV systems allowing Lowell to manage and control its electricity budget over 20 years. Ameresco installed and now operates five rooftop PV systems at Lowell schools and an auditorium.
Bangor Hydro Electric verified that electricity is being delivered to the grid from Ocean Renewable Power’s (ORP) Cobscook Bay tidal energy project. ORP says it’s the first power from any ocean energy project—including offshore wind, wave, and tidal—to be delivered to an electric utility grid in the United States. This summer, ORP installed the first TidGen system,