Utility Dive – May 5
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday announced plans to encourage deployment of more solar and storage in low- and moderate-income communities, including a more than $15 million commitment for technical assistance and to help underserved areas attract investment. The new initiatives and funding will help advance DOE’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion goals, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement, including by expanding access to clean energy and fostering a more diverse solar workforce.
Los Angeles Times – May 7
Southern California air quality officials have adopted controversial new rules on warehouse distribution centers in an effort to cut truck pollution, increase electrification, and reduce health risks in communities hit hardest by lung-damaging diesel exhaust. The South Coast Air Quality Management District’s governing board approved the rules Friday on a 9-4 vote after a lengthy public hearing featuring sharply contrasting viewpoints. Under the rules, facilities must choose from a menu of pollution reduction and mitigation options, such as using electric or natural-gas-fueled trucks, installing charging stations, erecting rooftop solar panels, putting air filters in neighboring schools and child-care centers, or paying for mitigation — the latter payment being a measure that some critics maintain is an unconstitutional tax.
Energy Storage News – May 4
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which oversees much of the state’s electricity infrastructure and markets, is preparing for the coming “surge” in energy storage deployments. CAISO said last week that it is exploring market reforms that would help it “embrace a historic tide of commercial-scale storage technology onto its system in the next few years.” It has recognized that better alignment is needed in its markets between price signals and cost recovery mechanisms to the changing needs of the modern, renewables-based grid.
KTAR – May 4
Salt River Project, the Phoenix area’s largest electricity provider, is doubling its commitment to new utility-scale solar energy in the coming years. In 2018, SRP announced plans to add 1,000 MW of solar energy to its system by the end of fiscal 2025. The community-based, not-for-profit public utility, which serves more than 1 million customers, said Monday it would actually add 2,025 MW in that timeframe.
PBS – May 3
The federal Bureau of Land Management has given final approval for a solar power plant on public lands in the southeastern California desert, the Interior Department said Monday. The Crimson Solar Project, which includes a 350-MW energy storage system, could supply enough power for 87,500 homes, the department said. The approval comes amid President Joe Biden’s plans to fight climate change, with a goal of 100 percent renewable energy in the power sector by 2035. The decision authorizes Sonoran West Solar Holdings LLC to build the $550 million plant on about 2,000 acres of BLM-administered lands about 13 miles west of the Riverside County community of Blythe.
reNews – May 5
San Diego Community Power has signed a PPA with an affiliate of RAI Energy International (RAI Energy). The Vikings Energy Farm in Imperial County is an integrated 100-MW photovoltaic solar energy project with up to 150 MW/600 MWh of battery energy storage. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2022.