US Solar Fund completes acquisition of 11 MW of solar in N Carolina

Renewables Now | January 13, 2020

London-listed investment company US Solar Fund Plc (LON:USF) on Monday said it has closed the purchase from Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC of three operational solar power facilities in North Carolina with a combined direct current (DC) capacity of 11 MW. Earlier this month, the company announced it had closed the acquisition of cash equity interests in five operational utility-scale solar farms in North Carolina with a total capacity of 28 MW, also part of the deal. The agreement for the eight solar parks with а total DC capacity of about 39 MW was announced at the end of December. The eight solar farms sell their electricity under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with subsidiaries of Duke Energy.

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This report was commissioned from Forest Research by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) to provide an elaborated analysis to clarify the findings of a project undertaken for the European Commission (DG ENER), known as Carbon Impacts of Biomass Consumed in the EU, and latterly referred to as the “Bioimpact Project”.


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ENERGY

Panel Discussion on the International Solar Alliance and the Quest for Clean Energy

Global Strat View | February 07, 2022

Global Strat View hosted a panel discussion on the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Quest for Clean Energy on February 4, 2022, at the National Press Club. Moderated by Kostis Geropoulos, Energy Editor at New Europe, the panelists included Jagjeet Sareen, Assistant Director General of ISA; Llewellyn King, founder of the Energy Daily; and Neelima Jain, Deputy Director & Senior Fellow, Wadhwani Chair in U.S. India Policy Studies, CSIS. If you add up all the net zero commitments made by countries in Glasgow, solar technology applications provide more than 50 percent of the solution. And if you add hydrogen to it, if you add storage, heating and cooling, the offering of solar as a solution goes about 65 percent. It's well established among among the top leaders, thinkers, modelers, industry people who are doing forecasting that we need to harness solar technology in a much bigger way to solve the energy transition problem if we are really serious about this.” Jagjeet Sareen, Assistant Director General of ISA "India has been punching above its weight as part of the additional renewable energy capacity system, despite continuing to balance the development and social needs of a large and complex developing nation. The installed capacity of renewable energy overall has increased to about 220 plus percent in the last four years, and solar power capacity alone has increased more than 11 fold in the last five years," said Neelima Jain. "Solar electricity from photovoltaic cells is cheap. We know how to make it. We know how to deploy it. We need to find out how to move it around quickly and cheaply and how to store it. It is one of the great benefits for mankind, and it is definitely a huge benefit in fighting carbon in the atmosphere," said Llewellyn King. The ISA was founded by India and France to mobilize efforts against climate change through deployment of solar energy solutions. It was conceptualized on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in 2015. India hosted the Founding Conference of the ISA in 2018, and the ISA Secretariat was established in New Delhi. 40 % of India's total installed electricity capacity today is non-fossil based.

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SOLAR+STORAGE

Quidnet Achieves Major Milestones in US Department of Energy Contracts

Quidnet Energy | April 20, 2021

Houston, TX – Quidnet Energy (Quidnet) today announced it has achieved two key milestones in its projects with the US Department of Energy’s Water Power Technology Office (WPTO) and Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), to commercialize the company’s Geomechanical Pumped Storage (GPS) technology. Quidnet pumps water underground and stores it in-between layers of rock. The natural elasticity of the rock performs like a spring and holds the water under pressure until it is needed, at which time it is released through a hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity to send back to the grid. Quidnet partnered with the WPTO through its HydroWIRES Initiative to develop an innovative reversible injector-generator that will enable deployment of modular hydropower conversion in high-pressure pumped hydro applications such as for Quidnet’s GPS technology. The milestone was achieved by the completion of system-level design and engineering as well as testing of key operating components in an industrial machining facility in New York State. Quidnet is working with ARPA-E through their Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (DAYS) program to develop the GPS resource in key power markets across the US by planning and executing exploratory wells to characterize, evaluate, and validate this geologic resource. This milestone is marked by the completion of project development of the exploration well sites – including sites that reuse inactive O&G wells – and achieving resource performance targets during exploration well hydraulic testing. Analogous work was performed by DOE in the early 2000s to similarly characterize North American wind resources. “WPTO and ARPA-E have been vital partners in the development of our long duration energy storage technology,” said Joe Zhou, Quidnet CEO. “These leading energy technology organizations have brought valuable resources and oversight to the development process, helping steward our technology toward commercialization. Their experience, guidance and partnership are very much appreciated.” “Long duration storage technologies such as Quidnet’s can play a crucial role in advancing our transition to a zero-carbon electric grid,” said Jenn Garson, WPTO Acting Outreach, Engagement & Analysis Manager. “Based on the strong results we have seen to date, we are optimistic about Quidnet’s contribution to our energy future.” “Quidnet Energy, as well as the rest of ARPA-E’s DAYS teams, are working to develop innovative long-duration energy storage systems and create new technologies to increase grid resilience and performance,” said ARPA-E DAYS Program Director Dr. Scott Litzelman. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Quidnet as they continue to design energy storage solutions of the future.” Quidnet’s technology operates in a closed loop configuration, powered by excess grid electricity. Because most of the process is subsurface, projects have a relatively small footprint (well head, pump/generator building, and holding pond), allowing farmers and landowners to generate significant new lease revenue with minor impact. Quidnet utilizes much of the same subsurface knowledge, workforce, and supply chains as the oil and gas industry, making it a seamless opportunity to re-channel thousands of displaced workers—and the supply chains they operate--toward accelerating a clean energy future. Early resource investigations project sufficient North American geologic resources to provide multiple times the long duration energy storage needed by the grid. “The very talented, dedicated and rapidly-growing Quidnet team is hyper-focused on ensuring a reliable energy transition,” said Quidnet CEO Joe Zhou. “We are committed to being a major part of the solution.” Contact: Steven C. Sullivan 518-441-7272 sullivan@quidnetenergy.com

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SOLAR+STORAGE

SunPower Corporation Investors with Substantial Losses Have Opportunity to Lead Class Action Lawsuit - SPWR

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP | February 21, 2022

The law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP announces that purchasers of SunPower Corporation securities between August 3, 2021 and January 20, 2022, inclusive have until April 18, 2022 to seek appointment as lead plaintiff in Jaszczyszyn v. SunPower Corporation, No. 22-cv-00956. Commenced on February 16, 2022, the SunPower class action lawsuit charges SunPower and certain of its top executives with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Case Allegations SunPower is a solar energy company that provides hardware, software, and financing options for customers. The SunPower class action lawsuit alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and failed to disclose that: (i) certain connectors used by SunPower suffered from cracking issues; (ii) as a result, SunPower was reasonably likely to incur costs to remediate the faulty connectors; (iii) consequently, SunPower's financial results would be adversely impacted; and (iv) thus, defendants' positive statements about SunPower's business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis. On January 20, 2022, SunPower announced that it had "identified a cracking issue that developed over time in certain factory-installed connectors." SunPower "expects approximately $27 million of supplier-quality related charges in fourth quarter 2021 and approximately $4 million in the first quarter of 2022" to replace the faulty connectors. On this news, SunPower's share price fell nearly 17%, damaging investors. The Lead Plaintiff Process The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits any investor who purchased SunPower securities during the Class Period to seek appointment as lead plaintiff in the SunPower class action lawsuit. A lead plaintiff is generally the movant with the greatest financial interest in the relief sought by the putative class who is also typical and adequate of the putative class. A lead plaintiff acts on behalf of all other class members in directing the class action lawsuit. The lead plaintiff can select a law firm of its choice to litigate the class action lawsuit. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery of the class action lawsuit is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff. About Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP With 200 lawyers in 9 offices nationwide, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is the largest U.S. law firm representing investors in securities class actions. Robbins Geller attorneys have obtained many of the largest shareholder recoveries in history, including the largest securities class action recovery ever – $7.2 billion – in In re Enron Corp. Sec. Litig. The 2020 ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report ranked Robbins Geller first for recovering $1.6 billion for investors that year, more than double the amount recovered by any other securities plaintiffs' firm.

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ENERGY

OPAL and NextEra Energy Marketing Announce Plans to Build Minnesota's First Renewable Natural Gas Facility

OPAL | April 28, 2021

OPAL Fuels LLC, a Fortistar portfolio company, and NextEra Energy Marketing, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC today announced plans to build the first landfill renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility in Minnesota. The project will be located at a landfill owned by Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG), a leader in the U.S. environmental services industry, and interconnect with a pipeline owned by Xcel Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: XEL), the leading electric and gas utility in the region. For many years, OPAL, which was previously known as Fortistar RNG and TruStar Energy, has collected and processed gas to generate electricity at the 255-acre Pine Bend Landfill in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. NextEra Energy Marketing will work with OPAL to replace the existing power generation facility with a new RNG production facility that will capture 3,200 standard cubic feet per minute of landfill gas and produce over 6 million gas gallon equivalents (GGE) of RNG per year. The Pine Bend RNG Project will create approximately 50 to 60 construction jobs. Once completed in the first quarter of 2022, the project will capture and convert landfill methane to produce approximately 2,140 dekatherms of RNG per day, which is enough to eliminate 43,900 metric tons of carbon and offset direct (scope 1) emissions from 400 heavy-duty (class 8) trucks every year. OPAL will operate and manage the RNG project, and clean renewable natural gas fuel will be dispensed to customers via OPAL's natural gas fueling stations. "Our agreement with NextEra Energy Marketing and Republic Services offers a tremendous economic and environmental opportunity for the State of Minnesota. From both a fiscal and sustainability standpoint, renewable natural gas is the highest value product you can make from captured landfill gas," said Jonathan Maurer, co-CEO of OPAL. "We're proud to work with industry leaders and continue to play a major role in the decarbonization of our nation's economy by capturing methane to create cleaner fuel for natural gas vehicles." "We're pleased to be working with OPAL and Republic Services on this innovative project," said John Ketchum, president and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy Resources. "This transaction is consistent with our belief that a substantial, and economic decarbonization of the electricity, industrial, and transportation sectors is possible which represents a significant investment opportunity in the coming decades." "As a leader in the environmental services industry, Republic Services is proud of this innovative partnership with OPAL and NextEra at our Pine Bend Landfill to create Minnesota's first renewable natural gas facility," said Pete Keller, Republic Services vice president of recycling and sustainability. "This project will allow us to utilize a natural byproduct of the landfill to produce low-carbon transportation fuels and other forms of renewable energy and help Republic meet our goal of sending 50 percent more biogas to beneficial reuse by 2030." The project is driven by an exceptional match among several companies, equally passionate about innovation and the transition to environmental sustainability in their respective industries. For OPAL, the Pine Bend RNG Project is the sixth in a series of 12 RNG projects that will require nearly $500 million of capital investment and capture the equivalent of more than 2 million metric tons of CO2 annually—the equivalent of taking approximately 435,000 passenger cars off the road. Republic Services is involved with gas-to-energy projects at 69 of its landfills, and 20 percent of its fleet is powered by natural gas, including RNG derived from landfills. This joint project directly supports Republic Services' commitment to send 50 percent more landfill gas to beneficial reuse by 2030. Inver Grove Heights Mayor Tom Bartholomew, who led the City Council in approving the project said, "This facility is exactly the kind of development we encourage in our community. It brings innovative new technology and jobs to our area, and it's good for the state's economy and the environment. Inver Grove Heights is leading the way by creating this opportunity in Minnesota, and we hope other cities will follow suit with additional renewable energy projects." About OPAL Fuels LLC: OPAL Fuels LLC, a Fortistar portfolio company, is an emerging leader in the production and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG), a proven low carbon fuel with a decades-long track record of results that has the power to rapidly decarbonize the transportation industry. OPAL captures harmful methane emissions at the source and recycles the trapped energy into a commercially-viable, low-cost alternative to diesel fuel. As a vertically-integrated producer and distributor of RNG for heavy-duty truck fleets for over 20 years, OPAL delivers best-in-class, complete renewable solutions to customers and production partners. To learn more about OPAL and how it is leading the effort to decarbonize North America's transportation industry, please visit www.opalfuels.com and follow the company on LinkedIn and Twitter at @OPALFuels. About NextEra Resources, LLC: NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 23,900 megawatts of total net generating capacity, primarily in 38 states and Canada as of year-end 2020. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun based on 2020 megawatt hours produced on a net generation basis, and a world leader in battery storage. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.

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Spotlight

This report was commissioned from Forest Research by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) to provide an elaborated analysis to clarify the findings of a project undertaken for the European Commission (DG ENER), known as Carbon Impacts of Biomass Consumed in the EU, and latterly referred to as the “Bioimpact Project”.

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