DTE Energy installed seven Bigbelly units, the city of Detroit's first smart, solar-powered trash compactor and recycling units. The pilot program supports the company's Energize Detroit neighborhood revitalization initiative. Waste Management of Michigan installed the units and will maintain them for DTE Energy. The solar panel on the unit extracts energy from the sun to continuously charge the battery powering the system. When the unit needs to be emptied the smart system sends a signal to Waste Management of Michigan.
Renewable Energy News
Vivint Solar teamed up with Google for the newly announced Project Sunroof, a new online tool created by Google that provides homeowners with custom solar information for their home. The tool uses high-resolution aerial mapping to help calculate a roof's solar energy potential, without having to climb up a ladder. The online tool is being tested in San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno, and greater Boston.
SunEdison signed a definitive agreement with Dominion, establishing a joint venture for Four Brothers, a 420-MW DC, or 320-MW AC, solar project in Utah, developed by SunEdison. The project is now under construction and fully financed with an expected commercial operation date of mid-2016. The Four Brothers project is contracted under long-term PPAs for 20 years with PacifiCorp.
Pattern Energy Group completed approximately $205 million in project financing and the start of construction on its Conejo Solar PV power project in Chile. The 122-MW Conejo Solar PV power project is being constructed approximately 30 kilometers east of Taltal in Chile's Atacama Desert. Construction of the project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016. Conejo Solar has a 22-year PPA with Minera Los Pelambres, an affiliate of Antofagasta Minerals, for approximately 65% of the project's output over the term of the agreement.
Duke Energy Renewables acquired a 20-MW solar power project in Shawboro, N.C., from Ecoplexus Inc., lead developer of the project. The energy generated from the facility is enough to power about 4,000 homes and will be sold to Dominion NC Power through a 15-year agreement. Swinerton Renewable Energy will build the facility. The project is targeted for completion by year-end.
TerraForm Power signed a definitive agreement to acquire net ownership of 930-MW of wind power plants from Invenergy Wind (Invenergy). TerraForm Power intends to acquire net ownership of 460 MW of the wind power plants from Invenergy with the remaining 470 MW to be acquired by a new warehouse facility, for a combined $2.0 billion in aggregate consideration. Invenergy will retain a 9.9 percent stake in the U.S. assets and will provide certain operation and maintenance services for these power plants.
ABB won a contract worth around $25 million from the electrical transmission system operator RTE France to supply transformer products and services for ongoing offshore wind power projects. ABB will supply nine 400-megavolt ampere (MVA) booster transformers to help regulate the voltage of power transmitted from four large-scale offshore wind projects being built at various points along the Atlantic coast of France. Deliveries are scheduled from 2017 to 2020.
Consumers Energy launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near a Jackson County electric substation to help determine whether the emerging technology can improve how the company serves Michigan residents. Consumers Energy is the fourth energy company in the U.S. and the first in Michigan, to receive approval for UAV use from the Federal Aviation Administration. The UAV is being evaluated on its performance at inspecting wind turbines and above-ground utility equipment such as poles and transformers.
NRG Yield, through its subsidiary NRG Yield Operating, entered into an agreement with GE Energy Financial Services to acquire its 25 percent interest in the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm in Riverside, CA for $285 million, subject to customary working capital adjustments, plus the assumption of $287.4 million of non-recourse project level debt.
sPower acquired its first wind project, a 62.1-MW facility in Monticello, Utah. The project is scheduled to begin construction this summer and should start generating clean energy at the end of 2015. The project has a 20-year PPA with PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah.