Sonoma Clean Power will build the largest floating solar array in the U.S., a project that’s scheduled to be completed in 2016 and will create enough energy to power 3,000 houses. The array will span six wastewater ponds filled with treated sewage. Floating solar, which typically involves installing solar panels on pontoons that rest on the surface of a body of water and is also called “floatovoltaics”, has been installed in California before.
AEP Energy began installation of a 101-kW solar array on the roof of The Ohio State University's Student Life Recreation and Physical Activities Center (RPAC). AEP Energy will fund, build, own and operate the approximately 10,000-square-foot array, made up of 367 solar panels. The solar array is valued at approximately $400,000, and the electricity produced by the array – approximately 116,000 kWh annually – will be supplied to Ohio State at a rate of $.04 per kWh throughout the next eight years.
Washington Gas Energy Systems completed two solar projects: one for Western University of Health Sciences and one for Corcoran Unified School District, both located in California. Both facilities will be owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Systems under 20-year PPAs. The solar array at Western University is a 672-kW project with a roof-mounted system composed of 2,688 solar panels. Green Energy Partners developed the project; Conergy managed EPC activities. The 1,269-kW solar array at Corcoran Unified School District consists of 4,422 solar panels.
(May 2012) Entergy Louisiana starts construction on gas-fired power project; Virginia Commonwealth University and Dominion partner on a test site for efficient energy technologies; Burlington Electric Department selects Siemens for meter data management platform; IKEA commissions four Blink electric vehicle charging stations; Edison Mission Energy, TIAA-CREF and Cook Inlet Region Inc. form partnership, and others.
Renewable M&A lives on despite death of Treasury cash grants.
The U.S. Treasury cash grants for new renewable power projects expired at the end of 2011. These incentives, which were implemented under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, helped to support continued capacity additions throughout the recession. The impending expiration of these grants caused a wave of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity during 2011 as developers and financiers rushed to get deals done and to begin construction in order to meet the Section 1603, 5-percent safe harbor threshold by the Dec. 31, 2011 deadline.
(February 2012) Siemens acquires eMeter; Long Island Power Authority selects PSEG to manage T&D system; Mountain Parks Electric awards SCADA/DMS contract to Open Systems International; Kiewit and Sargent and Lundy award contract to Hitachi; plus announcements and contracts involving SAIC, Shell, Landis+Gyr, and others.
(December 2011) Lafayette Utilities System selects Elster’s EnergyAxis as its AMI system; ABB wins contract from Hydro-Quebec; Sapphire Power Holdings acquires gas-fired power generation from Morris Energy Group; Consumers Energy awards contract to Babcock & Wilcox; plus announcements and contracts involving BP Wind Energy, Abengoa Solar, Samsung C&T and others.
Distribution management at the smart grid frontier.
The hype over smart grid has become focused on the idea of “advanced distribution management systems” (ADMS). But so far, few utilities have implemented ADMS beyond pilots and incremental tests. Fortnightly analyzes the technology trends and profiles examples of true ADMS in action.
(October 2011) Wind Capital group selects RMT Inc. to design and construct wind energy facility; MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. and SunEdison acquire Fotowatio Renewable Ventures; Solar Community and Reliant Energy team up to offer financing options; KEMA selects Green Energy Corp.’s software; Leviton unveils commercial electric vehicle charging stations; plus announcements and contracts involving Science Applications International Corp., Tantalus, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. and others.
A century or so ago, Thomas Edison’s commercialization of electricity unleashed an unprecedented cascade of change, altering the way humanity worked, lived and interacted. Today, with the convergent rise of the smart grid, renewable energy and electric vehicles (EVs), the power sector is embarking on a second era of transformation that promises to deliver a smarter, greener and more efficient 21st century.