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  • On a small island off the southern coast of Singapore, a French energy company is experimenting with what it hopes will be the future of renewable power storage. Engie SA is helping build a small, self-contained power grid on Semakau Island to demonstrate the usefulness of hydrogen gas in converting intermittent power from solar panels and wind turbines into stored fuel that can generate electricity days or even months later, when the need is higher.

  • U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in April requested a study to assess the effect of renewable energy policies on nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Some energy analysts responded with confusion, as the subject has been extensively studied by grid operators and the Department of Energy’s own national labs. Others were more critical, saying the intent of the review is to favor the use of nuclear and coal over renewable sources.

  • Colocating energy storage with renewable generation resources seems like a natural partnership to reduce the intermittency of renewable generators. Several projects have been built across the country combining storage with wind or solar projects. While the co-location of such facilities can yield many benefits, there are a number of legal and practical issues that need to be considered when deciding to acquire and co-locate storage facilities (particularly battery projects) with existing or new renewable generation. 

  • The average curtailment rate among wind power facilities across China remains a serious issue, at 17 percent, while full-year capacity of the idling facilities stood at 49.7 billion kWh for 2016, according to data from the China National Energy Administration. 

  • Speaking yesterday at WINDPOWER 2017 in Anaheim, Calif., the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) newly appointed chair, Tristan Grimbert, said that the U.S. power grid will evolve more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 100, becoming an “agile grid” with “tremendous opportunity for wind.”

  • Along with the increasing use of digitization to monitor and control energy assets comes the threat of cyber-attacks that could tamper with them. That’s why today’s announcement from AWEA WINDPOWER 2017 is an important one. 

  • Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla Inc. is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a quicker shift toward green power for both cars and utilities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday is scheduled to break ground at a 500 million-euro ($543 million) plant to assemble lithium-ion energy-storage units for Daimler AG, which produces Mercedes-Benz and Maybach luxury cars.  

  • Utilities are breaking away from traditional electricity products to offer customers access to large-scale renewable energy. Until very recently, utilities did not differentiate the sort of power they offered customers. With very few exceptions, everyone shared in the cost and used electricity from the same fleet of power generating stations.

  • While the all-in cost to build a wind farm has fallen dramatically over the years, due in part to larger and more powerful turbines that can harness more wind energy for less money, the cost of building the projects themselves has also fallen but still has a ways to go.

  • On May 11, Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.-2) introduced the Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development Act.

  • Wind energy professionals are gathering in California this week to showcase new products and services, network and discuss the issues relevant to the growth of wind energy at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA’s) annual WINDPOWER 2017 event. Renewable Energy World asked exhibitors and companies attending the event to tell us what they will be showing on the tradeshow floor. Here are just some of the announcements we received.

  • Portland, Ore., is one of the most recent municipalities to join dozens of cities and states across the U.S. in pledges to run on 100 percent renewable energy in the coming decades. Portland is taking a two-step approach toward its goal.

  • In the U.K., National Grid is the utility that owns the high voltage electricity network in England and Wales. It is also one of four British gas distribution companies. It’s a big player — “joining everything up” — within the UK’s overall energy system.

  • Ameren Corp. has completed an advanced utility-scale microgrid. The $5 million facility, located at Ameren's Technology Applications Center (TAC) adjacent to the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois, is capable of serving paying customer loads on a utility distribution feeder.

  • Prime Minister Theresa May ruled out new wind farms on land in England if her Conservative party wins the general election next month, tightening restrictions on the technology that’s spreading rapidly.

  • DONG Energy and its project partners PKA and LEGO Group parent company KIRKBI yesterday celebrated the commissioning of the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm.

  • There’s been a decade of talk about if solar (or wind) has reached grid parity. And now, with the increased use of batteries and storage, the question becomes more relevant, as renewables can supply electricity beyond the generation time. 

  • Answering a call for representation for women across all sectors of renewable energy, the nonprofit organization Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) has formally changed its name to Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE).

  • ENGIE group unit ENGIE Energia Chile will install a 2MW/2MWh energy storage system in Arica, Chile, later this year.

  • Scottish judges paved the way for as much as 10 billion pounds (US$13 billion) to be invested in offshore wind power by overturning a ruling that said projects may kill too many birds.  

  • Spain is seeking to lure investment of as much as 3.9 billion euros ($4.3 billion) through its biggest auction yet for contracts to supply electricity from clean-energy sources, part of an effort to meet European Union targets.

  • Calls from the industry and utilities including Vattenfall AB for Germany to auction more offshore wind blocs are unlikely to fall on sympathetic ears until voters elect a new parliament.  

  • ESCO Technologies Inc. has acquired NRG Systems, Inc. (NRG), doing business as Renewable NRG Systems, located in Hinesburg, Vt. NRG, founded in 1982, provides design and manufacture of decision support tools for the renewable energy industry, primarily wind.  

  • Kansas utility Westar Energy recently signed an agreement that will provide commercial and industrial entities access to power purchase agreements for a 250-MW wind farm project.

  • The Maryland Public Service Commission, in a May 11 decision, awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits (OREC) to two projects to be built off the coast of Maryland.

  • Figures for the deployment of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the U.S. over the past decade are truly breathtaking. Installed utility-scale wind power capacity in the U.S. has increased nearly sevenfold since 2007, reaching a cumulative level of more than 80,000 MW in 2016. Deployment of utility-scale solar has been even more impressive, reaching a cumulative level of more than 10,000 MW in 2016 from less than 160 MW in 2007.

  • AVANGRID Inc. subsidiary Avangrid Renewables has acquired a 50 percent ownership stake in Vineyard Wind, the offshore wind energy developer that is part of the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners portfolio.

  • Finding a new job can be tough. One way to maximize your odds is to look for opportunities in clean energy. It’s one of the fastest-growing, most innovative sectors of our economy.

  • Investment in new wind farms in Europe rose by more than a fifth last year, but activity is expected to slow in 2017 as governments revise subsidy policies and prices fall.

  • The statistics are clear: Wind energy is on the rise, with a 20 percent increase in wind energy jobs in 2016, compared to the year before. Wind infrastructure is becoming more commonplace and so are the benefits free power gives to landowners, investors and everyday Americans.