Solar Builder | November 11, 2019
Solaris Energy and Namasté Solar – two Colorado-based solar firms that work nationwide – have completed The Solinator Garden, a 1-megawatt solar array at Kyle Ave in Fort Collins. The system involved over 100 Colorado-based people, including staff at Namasté Solar, Solaris Energy, and the Fort Collins Utilities as part of their Solar Power Purchase Program (SP3). “When cities like Fort Collins partner with local businesses like Namasté Solar and Solaris Energy, it magnifies the impact on the local economy, and it creates well-paying green jobs within the community,” said Jason Sharpe, chief executive officer, and coowner at Namasté Solar. SP3incentivizes the installation of new, local commercial-scale solar systems owned and maintained by companies such as Solaris Energy. The Solinator Garden is named to highlight the project’s use of land underneath and around the solar panels to provide a healthy habitat for local pollinator species. Climate change has already had a negative impact on insect and bird populations in Colorado. Land around solar arrays can be used for productive purposes in addition to creating clean, renewable energy.
ESI Africa | November 11, 2019
Solar and wind farms are popping up around the US to lower carbon emissions, and these renewables also have another important effect: keeping more water in the ground. A new Princeton University-led study in Nature Communications is among the first to show that solar and wind energy not only enhance drought resilience, but also aid in groundwater sustainability. Using drought-prone California as a case study, the researchers show that increased solar and wind energy can reduce the reliance on hydropower, especially during drought. Consequently, this could help divert more surface water from hydropower to irrigation, thereby reducing overall groundwater abstraction. While the scope of this study focused on the US, the framework can also be applied internationally, especially for policymakers working to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, said lead author Xiaogang He, who worked on the study as a Ph.D. student at Princeton. He is now a Water in the West postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. “Traditionally, the social value of solar and wind energy has mostly been focused on air pollution mitigation and carbon emission reductions,” said He, an incoming assistant professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore.
Energy Global | November 11, 2019
The Hawaiian Electric Companies, subsidiaries of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. are beginning the largest procurement effort for renewable energy resources in Hawai'i, US. The aim is to end the use of coal and reduce reliance on imported oil for power generation in order to move the state closer to its goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2045. With the approval of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the companies have issued requests for proposals for renewable energy and grid services from developers locally and globally. Details are at www.hawaiianelectric.com/competitivebidding.
Approximately 900 MW of new renewables or renewables paired with storage -- generating about 2 million MWh annually -- are sought. This includes estimated targets of technologies equal to 594 MW of solar for O'ahu, 135 MW for Maui and up to 203 MW for Hawai'i Island. Projects for Maui must include energy storage. On Hawai'i Island, solar must include storage but is optional for other technologies. On O'ahu, pairing generation with energy storage is optional. Storage on O'ahu and Maui is also being sought to replace firm generating units. This can be provided by renewable generation paired with storage or standalone storage.