Tech giants, major retailers, and other corporate leaders are making significant investments in clean energy and installed 1,283 megawatts of new commercial solar capacity in the U.S. in 2019, the second-largest year on record according to the latest Solar Means Business report. The annual report, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association, tracks both on-site and off-site installations and highlights the strong appeal of cost-saving solar energy for American businesses. Apple and Amazon remain in first and second place when it comes to the top corporate solar users, followed by Walmart, which installed the most solar in 2019 and increased its solar use by 35%.
The U.S. residential solar sector is set to break installation records this year as clean energy development proves resilient to disruptions caused by COVID-19, according to a new report from BloombergNEF. The study forecasts 3 gigawatts of residential solar PV capacity additions this year, up from last yearâ€™s record of 2.8 gigawatts. With the utility-scale solar sector set for its best year since 2016 â€“ and capacity additions set to soar in 2021 â€“ the analysis says renewable energy has â€ślargely avoided the full brunt of the pandemic.â€ť
Californiaâ€™s two days of rolling blackouts in August were the result of disconnects between its existing grid reliability constructs and the needs of an increasingly solar-powered grid, and its failure to prepare for a regional heat wave across the Western U.S. Those are the key findings of a long-awaited â€śroot-cause analysisâ€ť from Californiaâ€™s grid operator and utility and energy regulators. Former CAISO President Steve Berberich attributed this gap partly to CPUCâ€™s failure to order the stateâ€™s investor-owned utilities to procure the 4,700 megawatts of resource adequacy by 2022 it had said was needed.
Eolus, a wind power developer, has signed an agreement with Cubico Sustainable Investments for the sale of the Wind Wall 1 wind farm located near Tehachapi, California. Wind Wall 1 is the first wind project developed, financed, and constructed in the U.S. by Eolus. Eolus will transfer the project company to Cubico at closing. Wind Wall 1 is expected to be commissioned this fall. The project will consist of 13 Vestas V126 wind turbines, with a total installed capacity of 46.5 megawatts.
San Diegoâ€™s expansive community choice aggregation, or CCA, energy program that will serve customers in five cities in the region still expects to launch next year but the timeline has been extended two months, to January 2022. San Diego Community Power â€” consisting of the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Encinitas, and Imperial Beach â€” is expected to have a customer base of about 770,000 accounts, making it the second-largest CCA in the state.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comment on two proposed solar power projects that could cover 4,000 acres of desert in eastern Riverside County. Situated on public, federal land southeast of Joshua Tree National Park, the two photovoltaic solar projects could add up to 530 megawatts of generation capacity â€” enough to power about 132,000 homes, according to the BLM â€” and 400 megawatts of battery storage capacity. The companies behind the proposals are Arica Solar, LLC and Victory Pass I, LLC. They fall within areas designated by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan as suitable for renewable energy construction.
Clean Power Alliance (CPA) has advanced a new solar and storage project and has added new storage to an already contracted solar project. CPA signed a 15-year PPA with Clearway Energy Group to supply 123 megawatts of solar energy and 61.5 megawatts/246 megawatt-hours of battery storage capacity. The power will be supplied by a portion of the larger Daggett Solar project in San Bernardino County. Operations will begin in March 2023. CPA secured an additional 132 megawatts/528 megawatt-hours of storage through the expansion of the previously board-approved Arlington 233-megawatt solar project in Riverside County, to be owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC.