Advancing technology is driving the increased use of wind energy

Earth | August 13, 2019

Wind energy continues to displace more expensive and polluting sources of energy by claiming larger shares of the electricity market. In a new study published by the American Institute of Physics, German researchers have investigated the potential for this renewable energy source to maintain its increasing popularity. The use of wind turbines for electricity has grown substantially over the last four decades. By 2018, the use of wind energy in the United States alone had expanded enough to power more than 28 million homes. According to the current study, wind energy growth has been primarily driven by dramatic improvements in the technology behind it. Experts have not only adapted the technology for cold climates and offshore use, but have also developed more accurate methods to forecast wind speed and power. Additionally, the wind turbines used today can generate at least 100 times more power compared to turbines produced in the 1970s. Large turbines now have the capacity to generate roughly 5 megawatts, while the market expectations for future turbine capacity are as high as 15 megawatts.

Spotlight

When building a wind turbine, you want to make it as tall as possible to capture stronger, faster winds aloft. But taller tower bases become too large to be transported over the road—a constraint that has kept average U.S. wind turbine heights at 80 meters for the last 10 years. A Lab-Corps project undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found a potential solution: automated concrete manufacturing.

Spotlight

When building a wind turbine, you want to make it as tall as possible to capture stronger, faster winds aloft. But taller tower bases become too large to be transported over the road—a constraint that has kept average U.S. wind turbine heights at 80 meters for the last 10 years. A Lab-Corps project undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found a potential solution: automated concrete manufacturing.

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With Over 110 Suppliers, Apple leads the Way in New Renewable Energy Solutions

Apple | April 01, 2021

Apple revealed today that over 110 of its manufacturing partners around the world are transitioning to 100 percent green energy for Apple production, with almost 8 gigawatts of sustainable energy expected to come online. When completed, these commitments will eliminate over 15 million metric tonnes of CO2e each year, which is the equivalent of eliminating more than 3.4 million vehicles from the road. Besides, Apple is investing specifically in clean energy initiatives to reduce some of the upstream emissions, as well as a large energy storage facility in California to explore new renewable infrastructure solutions. “We are strongly dedicated to assisting our suppliers in being carbon neutral by 2030 and are delighted that businesses who have joined us span industries and countries worldwide, including Germany, China, the United States, India, and France,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president for Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “In a year unlike any other, Apple continued to collaborate with a multinational network of colleagues, businesses, and advocates to help make our sustainability policies and everything we do a force for good in people's lives — and to engage with the communities most affected by climate change.” Last July, the company revealed its intention to reach carbon neutrality through its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030. Apple has greatly expanded the number of its vendors switching to clean energies since the launch. Apple's global business activities are now carbon-neutral, and this recent pledge ensures that by 2030, any Apple product sold will have a net-zero climate impact. The organization also revealed new information about its $4.7 billion Green Bonds investment to fund sustainability efforts around the world. Supplier Commitments and Global Energy Projects Apple is actively designing innovative technologies for its suppliers to help them achieve their solar energy targets and deliver new clean energy to cities around the world. In Europe, DSM Engineering Materials' wind power acquisition agreement is delivering new green energy to the Dutch grid, and STMicroelectronics' solar carport in Morocco is helping to support regional energy generation. After joining Apple's Supplier Clean Energy Program five years ago, companies like Solvay are now extending their use of green energy for their larger activities. Alpha and Omega Semiconductor, Marian, The Chemours Company, and Trinseo have all recently committed to the program in the United States. Also, 15 Chinese vendors have entered Apple's program since July 2020. Using the expertise obtained from Apple's transition to 100 percent green energy with its vendors, the organization connects them to tools and training materials with country-specific details to help them make the transition to renewables. Apple also educates its vendors through specialized and personalized training with industry leaders. Besides, the organization promotes the creation and extension of green energy business groups, which its vendors will join to learn about local opportunities. Suppliers have few opportunities for accessing renewable energy in many of the countries where the company operates. To address this hurdle, Apple founded the China Clean Energy Fund, which helps Apple and its suppliers to invest in clean energy projects totaling more than one gigawatts of renewable energy in China. Apple also links suppliers to options to procure green electricity directly from project developers and utilities as these models evolve around the world. In the future, Apple will collaborate with its vendors to share lessons learned from the next frontier of Apple's green energy efforts investing in storage systems for renewable sites. Energy Storage and 2030 Progress California Flats, one of the country's biggest battery projects, is being built by Apple. It is an industry-leading, grid-scale energy storage facility capable of holding 240 megawatt-hours of energy, enough to fuel over 7,000 homes for one day. By storing surplus electricity produced during the day and distributing it when it is most appropriate, this project supports the company's 130-megawatt solar farm, which supplies all of its renewable energy in California. Wind and solar power are the most cost-effective new sources of energy in many parts of the world, but their unreliable existence has hampered widespread acceptance. Energy storage, which can store produced energy before it is required, is one alternative to intermittency. Apple is investing in utility-scale storage and research into emerging energy storage technology in California, while also expanding distributed storage capacities in Santa Clara Valley via Apple Park's microgrid. Overall, Apple has reduced its carbon emissions while increasing its net sales. The company's footprint has shrunk by 40%, showing steady progress toward its 2030 target, and it has avoided more than 15 million metric tonnes of emissions by initiatives to use low-carbon products, improve energy usage, and transition to clean energy. With the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, Apple revolutionized personal electronics. With the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, Apple now leads the world in creativity. Apple's five software platforms — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — offer cohesive interfaces for all Apple devices and allow users to take advantage of ground-breaking services such as the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple's more than 100,000 employees are committed to creating the best things on the planet and leaving the world a healthier place than we found it.

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Tri Global Energy and Leeward Renewable Energy Finalize Deal for Indiana Renewable Energy Projects

Tri Global Energy | June 03, 2021

Tri Global Energy, a leading originator, and developer of utility-scale renewable energy projects, has announced an agreement to sell two renewable energy projects – a wind and a solar project -- in Blackford County, Indiana, to leeward Renewable Energy, a premier owner/operator with a portfolio of approximately 2,000 MW of generating capacity from renewable sources. Both projects were originated by Tri Global Energy (TGE) in 2019. Blackford Wind will deliver up to 200 MW, and Blackford Solar will be qualified for up to 150 MW. The projects combined are expected to produce enough energy to power more than 80,000 homes. TGE and Leeward Renewable Energy will work with the county, state, and federal authorities to secure the requisite permits and bring the two projects into construction, with operations projected to commence as early as 2023. This is the second deal between Tri Global Energy and Leeward Renewable Energy. The two companies announced a transaction involving two of Tri Global Energy's original Indiana projects in White County (180 MW Hoosier Line Wind and 400 MW Honey Creek Solar) in April. Great Bay Renewables, a joint venture company between certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. and Altius Renewable Royalties Corp., is providing royalty financing in support of Tri Global Energy, completing and funding this project development through the start of construction. About Tri Global Energy We are developers of sustainable energy. Tri Global Energy's mission is to enhance communities through local economic development generated by originating and commercializing renewable energy and storage projects. The company currently designs and develops utility-scale wind, solar, and energy storage projects in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Tri Global Energy's headquarters is in Dallas with regional development offices in Lubbock, Texas; El Paso and Forreston, Illinois; and Reynolds and Hartford City, Indiana. About Leeward Renewable Energy, LLC Leeward Renewable Energy is a leading renewable energy company that owns and operates a portfolio of 22 renewable energy facilities across nine states totaling approximately 2,000 megawatts of generating capacity. Leeward is actively developing new wind, solar, and energy storage projects in energy markets across the U.S., with 17 gigawatts under development spanning over 100 projects. Leeward is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada's largest defined benefit pension plans with C$105 billion in net assets.

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Palmetto Announces Solar Mapping Coverage of over 107 Million U.S. Buildings

Palmetto | January 07, 2022

Palmetto, a rapidly growing platform technology company accelerating the national adoption of clean energy, announced that its Mapdwell division has mapped the solar potential and energy load profiles of over 107 million rooftops — approximately 75% of all U.S. buildings equating to 81% of the U.S. population — using its proprietary technology. Acquired by Palmetto in April 2021, Mapdwell also licenses this data via application programming interfaces (APIs) to leading utility companies, such as ConEd, Pepco, BGE and others, to further renewable energy initiatives across the country. Our deep tech and data capabilities are helping to accelerate the needed shift to clean energy on a societal scale. The accuracy of Mapdwell's technology helps educate consumers by providing unique and detailed information on their potential investment in solar energy. That information, coupled with our energy-as-a-service platform, provides an easier, faster and more intuitive way for consumers to adopt clean energy." Chris Kemper, Palmetto Chairman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer "Reaching this milestone is a significant step forward for the solar industry. Mapdwell now covers 81% of the U.S. population in 38 states and Washington D.C., including all current Palmetto service areas," stated Eduardo Berlin, Executive Vice President of Palmetto and Founder of Mapdwell. "Our goal is to map the solar potential and derive energy load profiles of every building across the U.S. — and we're on track to accomplish just that in the very near future." Mapdwell's state-of-the-art technology, incubated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), provides an instant assessment of any building's rooftop potential for solar energy production and battery storage, as well as a baseline energy load profile. Within minutes, customers can see their estimated cost-benefit analysis to determine whether installing solar panels would be worth their investment as well as calculate an estimate of the number of years it would take to earn back the financial investment. The Mapdwell tool earned Fast Company's Innovation by Design Award in 2014. Recognized by Forbes as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., Palmetto believes that choosing to source clean energy from renewable resources like solar power should be a right, not a privilege. Palmetto's proprietary technology, marketplace business model, and consumer mobile application are all designed to simplify and democratize access to clean energy, making it easier and more affordable to make the switch. In addition to its solar calculator, which helps customers quickly estimate utility costs saved by switching to solar power, Palmetto offers a team of local solar experts to design and install a solar panel system that matches their needs. Palmetto Protect ensures these customers receive comprehensive, long-term monitoring and robust customer support. About Palmetto Palmetto is committed to the democratization of energy by putting power and control back in the hands of consumers and inspiring them to make environmentally responsible choices. To this end, Palmetto has developed a clean energy marketplace, with proprietary technology designed to make it easier and more affordable for customers to source their energy from renewables like solar power. The Company develops proprietary products that reduce costs and drive widespread distribution of simple energy management solutions through a fully distributed network with teammates throughout the U.S. In furthering its mission, Palmetto invests in communities to help mitigate climate change. Palmetto is a triple bottom line, fully distributed company.

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