BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. and Maui Electric Company Limited (collectively referred to as Hawaiian Electric), subsidiaries of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. have provided additional extensive details on NextEra Energy’s plans for its merger with HEI, including a comprehensive package of 85 commitments, of which more than 50 are new, that would accelerate the achievement of Hawaii’s goal of an affordable, 100 percent renewable energy future by 2045.
  • Hydro-Québec and Eversource Energy have underscored their firm commitment to help solve New England’s energy challenges through their long-standing partnership. The two companies are working together to build the Northern Pass Transmission project, which will export 1,000 MW of hydropower from Québec’s world-class generation fleet to New England, increasing clean energy trade between the Northeast U.S. and Eastern Canadian electricity markets, a primary goal of the New England Governors and the Eastern Canadian Premiers.
  • Canadian Solar has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, one of North America’s largest solar project developers, signed an agreement with Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company. Southern Power will acquire a controlling interest in the 200-megawatt (MW) Tranquility Solar Power Project in California. The project, developed by Recurrent Energy, is currently under construction.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Greensmith, a leading provider of grid-scale energy storage software and integration solutions, announced that it has completed its $12.3 million Series C round of financing. The round was led with a $5 million dollar strategic investment from American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, serving nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states.
  • Following Fuels America’s full page ad in the Las Vegas Review-Journal last Monday and in the New Orleans Advocate last Thursday aimed at President Obama’s broken commitments on the Renewable Fuel Standard, the renewable fuel advocates are running a third version of the ad. In a full page ad in the Alaska Dispatch News, Fuels America continues to target the President to hold his administration accountable for proposing to gut the only law combating climate change, the RFS. The ad is keyed to the President’s visit to Anchorage as he tours the nation speaking about climate.
  • Malama Composites, Inc. has earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label and is identified for Federal preferred purchasing for its Pacific BioFoam™ product. The label verifies that the product’s amount of renewable bio-based ingredients meets or exceeds levels set by USDA.
  • Benson Hill Biosystems announced it has secured an investment of $7.3 million in its Series A round of financing. The funding will be used to further advance its PSKbase™, a computational and systems biology-based platform that helps technology developers and breeders identify promising strategies to increase genetic gain in crop plants. The capital will also support additional field trials and other product development activities for traits that increase crop productivity by improving photosynthesis. The financing was led by Middleland Capital, an agriculture-focused venture capital firm, with co-investors Mercury Fund, Prelude Ventures, Prolog Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, Cultivation Capital, and TechAccel. Existing investors Missouri Technology Corporation and Biogenerator also participated in the round.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1New York State Assembly members Kevin Cahill and Barbara Lifton introduced a carbon tax bill into the Assembly this week. The bill would tax carbon emissions with the ultimate goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This is an ambitious effort that starts a discussion at the state level on what a market-based solution to climate change should look like. The bill would implement a carbon tax that would start at $40 per metric ton of carbon dioxide and increase in $10 increments annually up to $180 per metric ton, which would entirely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions in New York State.
  • JA Solar Holdings has announced that Australia’s 70 MW Moree Solar Farm (MSF) has begun to install the batches of solar modules provided by JA Solar since June. MSF is located 10 km south of Moree, in northern New South Wales. The project is owned by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures. Project financing totaling $164 million, including a $102 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and $47 million of debt financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, was secured in August 2014, and construction of the farm broke ground in November 2014.
  • China Ming Yang Wind Power Group has announced that it entered into a framework agreement with CGN Wind Energy, one of the new energy arms of China General Nuclear Power Group and Shenzhen Energy to jointly invest in a fund management company, namely Guangdong Oriental Millennium Renewable Energy Industry Fund Management Co. Ming Yang expects to make a limited partner capital commitment of up to RMB1 billion to the Guangdong Renewable Energy Industry Fund to managed by Oriental Millennium.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1ReneSola has announced that it has sold its 34.6 MW Port Farms utility scale project in the United Kingdom to Foresight Solar Fund Limited. This represents ReneSola’s second project sale to Foresight Group, a leading, independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager, following the sale of its 6.4 MW Field House project in July 2015 to other funds managed by Foresight.
  • A survey commissioned by an environmental group found that 6 in 10 voters support President Obama’s landmark climate rule for power plants. The poll, released by the League of Conservation Voters, also concluded that 70 percent of United States voters want their state governors to comply with the regulation. Only 31 percent disagreed with the rule, and 17 percent said their states’ governors should not comply. The group characterized the support for the rule as an “overwhelming majority.”
  • Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) and Climate Investment Funds have released analysis on “the Role of Public Finance in Deploying Geothermal Energy in Developing Countries.” The research relied on stakeholder dialogue as well as three case studies on geothermal projects of different sizes and development models in Turkey, Kenya and Indonesia. Among the key findings, the researchers estimate public finance for geothermal “needs to increase 7-10 fold (from USD 7.4 billion currently to USD 56-73 billion) in order to drive enough private investment to meet developing countries’ deployment targets of 23GW out to 2030.” Policy recommendations include ambitious deployment targets, feed-in tariffs and centralized data-sharing.
  • In a supplement to federal loan guarantee solicitation announcements, the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) has issued guidance for potential applicants who are looking for support on distributed energy projects. This supplement joins the existing Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects and Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitations. Distributed thermal heating and/or cooling installations, including solar thermal and groundsourced geothermal, are included.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1The Public Utilities Commission voted to keep solar net metered customers on existing rates until the Commissioners determine long-term rules by December 31. The Commission’s decision allows Nevadans to go back to work. The solar market shut down last Thursday when NV Energy declared that the previous cap had been hit. Hundreds of solar workers appeared before the Commission during several hearings over the last month to tell their personal stories about the impact of NV Energy’s attempt to stop solar competition.
  • The World Wildlife Fund and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA recently highlighted the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing model as one of five top priorities to be addressed at the state and national levels, in order to support cities in their fight against climate change. PACE programs provide financing for energy- and water-efficiency improvements and enable property owners to pay for them over time through their property taxes. Meanwhile owners see immediate savings on their utility bills, while reducing their greenhouse gas footprint or their water use.
  • Marathon Capital has announced the successful sale of OwnEnergy, a leader in locally-owned renewable energy systems, to EDF Renewable Energy. The acquisition of OwnEnergy’s team, development platform, and pipeline of wind projects will add to EDF RE’s already extensive North American portfolio containing 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of wind, solar, biomass, and biogas projects.
  • PosiGen Solar Solutions, marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by making a clean energy contribution to the City of New Orleans to help create a resilient City Hall. PosiGen, with partners SimpliPhi Power and Schneider Electric, is providing 25 kW of solar PV panels, energy storage and an educational monitoring display for the public. The rooftop solar installation will deliver clean power for City Hall to reduce energy costs, as well as provide backup power in the event of power disruptions or a future natural disaster.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1The Ross Solar Group has completed two record setting solar installations for Gengras Motor Cars at the dealership group’s Volvo and Chevrolet facilities on Connecticut Blvd., in East Hartford Conn. Comprised of 1,280 high efficiency SunPower E-Series solar panels, the two systems, are the largest single SunPower rooftop solar installations to date in East Hartford.
  • FFP New Hydro LLC has announced the continued expansion of its hydroelectric power portfolio in the U.S. with its closing of a senior loan facility with Crestline Investors, Inc. and the acquisition and integration of Rye Development, FFP New Hydro’s manager, into the company. FFP New Hydro has completed these transactions in order to pursue continued development of its portfolio of 21 advanced stage hydropower projects on existing dams across five states, the first of which received a 50-year license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in September of 2014.
  • Doosan Fuel Cell announced its newest fuel cell installation at Norco College, which is part of the Riverside (Calif.) Community College District. The PureCell Model 400 power plant is expected to reduce overall costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions at the 141-acre campus. Unlike conventional grid energy that consumes water for cooling, Doosan’s fuel cell operates with zero water consumption, reducing the campus’ impact on water usage in the drought-stricken region by 1.4 million gallons annually.
  • Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has announced that it will construct new compressed natural gas (CNG) stations for Arlington Transit (ART) in Arlington County, Virginia; Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) in Long Island, NY; and North Kansas City (MO) School District, which is set to become the largest school district in the U.S. to transition its school bus fleet to CNG.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Panasonic is currently the runaway leader in the nascent battery market for electric vehicles, but LG Chem has the potential to overtake it in what will be a $30 billion market in 2020, according to Lux Research. Panasonic’s 39% share of the battery market for plug-in vehicles makes it the leading supplier, but its reliance on a single deal with EV leader Tesla leaves it vulnerable. Its lead rival LG Chem has already signed up large automakers including General Motors, Volkswagen, Daimler, and Ford. In the event of a surge in sales of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) by the German manufacturers, LG Chem would only need to win over Japan’s Nissan to topple Panasonic.
  • Gevo, Inc. and Butamax Advanced Biofuels have announced that they have entered into worldwide patent cross-license and settlement agreements, ending a patent dispute related to technologies for the production of bio-based isobutanol. This settlement creates a new relationship between the companies, aimed at leveraging each other’s strengths and accelerating development of competitive supply for bio-based isobutanol.
  • SolarCity and Habitat for Humanity of San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys, together with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), have come together for the first time to build 78 new affordable solar-powered homes in Santa Clarita, California for returning veterans. The new home project is made possible by the CalVet Residential Enriched Neighborhood (REN) program.
  • SkyPower President and CEO announced while speaking at the 6th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress (WRETC), the company will fund the creation of a new renewable energy scholarship program at three leading universities. The scholarship program will help promote innovation in solar technology and energy storage in India. SkyPower will provide 10 scholarships a year, over 25 years, to the Indian Institute of Technology (ITT), NIMS University and EMPI University.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Duke Energy has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for about 53 megawatts (AC) of utility-scale solar capacity to be in-service in its South Carolina service areas by the end of 2016. The announcement is another step forward in Duke Energy’s Distributed Energy Resource Program, which was approved by the Public Service Commission on July 15. It marks an important milestone in realizing the vision of Act 236, or the Distributed Energy Resource Act of 2014.
  • SolarReserve has received environmental approval from the Chilean government to develop one of the world’s largest solar projects with energy storage. Utilizing SolarReserve’s proprietary solar thermal energy storage technology, the Copiapó Solar Project, scheduled to reach commercial operation in 2019, will deliver 260 MW of reliable, clean, non-intermittent baseload power 24 hours a day to consumers of the central interconnected system (SIC).
  • ECOHZ has become the first global CDP Gold Renewable Energy Partner. ECOHZ and CDP are partnering to share knowledge, work together and serve the renewable energy community to make it more attractive, easier and more efficient for energy consumers to switch to or consume more renewable energy.
  • In the UK, following its successful run, the Scottish Biofuel Programme has been awarded a combined GBP219,000 from funders Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Transport Scotland as part of a quarter of a million pound programme to continue its support to Scottish business until the end of 2015. The Programme, which is hosted by the Biofuel Research Centre at Edinburgh Napier University, supports businesses to realise value from unavoidable organic residues by processing to renewable energy.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Renewable Energy Group (REG) completed its acquisition of substantially all the assets of Imperium Renewables, Inc. REG paid Imperium $15.0 million in cash and issued 1.675 million shares of REG common stock in exchange for substantially all of Imperium’s assets, including the 100-million gallon nameplate biodiesel refinery and terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor, WA. For two years post-closing, Imperium may receive up to $0.05/gallon for biodiesel produced and sold at Grays Harbor.
  • The 4th Hydro Plant Maintenance & Reliability Conference is taking place November 3, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. This marcus evans conference will showcase the latest innovations with regards to: asset categorization; methods for rehabilitation & replacement of assets; overcoming challenges associated with skilled labor retention & recruitment; and utilizing asset specific systems.
  • Through its easy-to-use online platform, Solar CrowdSource gives users access to more affordable alternative energy with three unique solar energy programs. Specializing in providing solar crowdsourcing opportunities for local governments, utilities, communities and individuals alike, the first comprehensive solar platform of its kind in the U.S. brings together Community Solar, Solarize and Crowdfunding programs in one place for Georgians to go in on the cost of solar together. The results are lower electric bills, greener communities and smart investments.
  • Energy Storage North America (ESNA), the largest and most influential gathering of policy, technology and market leaders in energy storage, today announced finalists for the 2015 ESNA Innovation Awards, recognizing excellence in energy storage project development. The nine finalists represent outstanding project achievements across three categories: Centralized Storage (utility-scale), Distributed Storage (commercial, industrial or residential) and Mobility (transportation, electric vehicles and enabling infrastructure). Visit the ESNA awards website to learn more about the projects and how to cast your vote. Registration for ESNA 2015 is now open.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Solexel, a leading US-based producer of high-performance solar PV technology, has successfully finalised a round of financing that included Riyadh Valley Company, the venture capital investment arm of King Saud University of Saudi Arabia. Through investor introduction services provided by naseba, the investment will be used to help transition Solexel into revenue. Solexel’s innovative high performance, lightweight solar PV panels deliver low cost energy.
  • The annual Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, hosted by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, announced five green start-ups still in the running to win the grand prize of approximately US $535,000 for their sustainability business plans. Among the five are two U.S. based start-ups, Muufri and Evrnu. Other start-ups include Ooho! from the United Kingdom and two start-ups from the Netherlands, Land Life Company and Fleet Cleaner. On September 10, 2015 the five finalists will present their green business plans in front of an international panel of experts in Amsterdam.
  • Infocast is proud to announce the debut of Renewable Energy Asset Management 2015, which will take place in Carlsbad, CA, on October 6-7, 2015. The event will focus on the exploration of strategies to optimize the performance, financial returns, and valuation of renewable energy assets portfolios.
  • amp Trillium has announced the opening of a new public-access compressed natural gas station in Newport, TN. The station is conveniently located on Highway 2570 near I-40, making it an ideal place for CNG-powered trucks and cars to refuel as they travel through eastern Tennessee. This location will serve all CNG vehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can also fuel multiple Class-8 trucks simultaneously with Trillium CNG’s proprietary fast-fill hydraulic intensifier compressors, which efficiently pump 7-12 gallons of CNG fuel per minute, similar to diesel fueling rates.