The U.S. appears all set for a record year for solar.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has given a preliminary, but close to final, environmental approval for First Solar’s 450 MWac Desert Quartzite solar power plant.
Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal company in the United States recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This continues to be a trend for coal companies over the last couple of years. As renewables like solar and wind become more cost effective, they are beginning to move coal fired power plants out of the picture. Unfortunately, the effects of this bankruptcy will harm only the most vulnerable. It will lead to workers and coal miners getting the short end of the stick, and top executives at Murray Energy getting off scot-free. “It (Murray Energy) will seek to be relieved of its obligations to retirees, their dependents and widows. We have seen this sad act too many times before.” (Source)
This past week, 20,000 renewable energy professionals flocked to Salt Lake City for Solar Power International and North America Smart Energy Week. Nestled in the spectacular Wasatch mountains, Salt Lake City was the perfect host for the conference. The people of the city were warm and friendly, and the views were breathtaking.
Last week, I had a sit down with Andrew Breiter-Wu, President of Breiter Planet Properties. I asked him a few questions about himself and the company, and got to know more about his story. As we walked through the Prudential building in Boston, looking for a place to sit down and talk, Andrew noted: “I love this area, because there is always something going on. It’s great to be in the action.” In the solar world, Andrew is definitely “In the action”.
Is it possible for utilities to provide 100% renewable energy?
Xcel Energy is an electric utility based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It serves more than 3.3 million electric customers throughout Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Xcel has a goal of delivering 100% carbon free electricity by the year 2050. As of 2018, their delivery was 38% carbon free, and by 2030, Xcel hopes to deliver 80% carbon free electricity before reaching their ultimate goal of 100% carbon free by 2050.
Community choice aggregators in California have now signed over 2 GW of power purchase agreements for renewable energy projects, with 1.4 GW in 43 projects coming from solar power.