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October 15, 2021

U.S. planning offshore wind farms

from Maine to California

The United States plans to hold up to seven offshore wind auctions in the next four years and will extend its ambitions to areas that have yet to be developed such as off the coast of California and in the Gulf of Mexico,

a Biden administration official said on Wednesday.


Related Topic

PJM reviews offshore wind transmission offers

from PSEG, Anbaric, LS Power, others

PJM's announcement is another step in the race to develop a U.S. offshore wind industry, with some East Coast states aiming to become leaders in the sector.

Last year, New Jersey became the first state to take advantage of PJM's "state agreement approach," which allows a state to propose and pay for transmission upgrades it needs to meet its energy goals. The process helps assure offshore wind farm developers they will be able to deliver power to New Jersey, breaking the "chicken and egg" problem of generation and transmission developers waiting for each other to move forward with their projects first.

In California and Hawaii,

the benefits of smart inverters are just beginning

Smart inverters have opened up opportunities for people with smart inverters to be paid for providing stored energy on demand and other grid services.

Smart inverters in the two states provide voltage control autonomously through the “volt-var” function specified by regulators in each state.

Following suit, next year California and Hawaii are expected to adopt the smart inverter standard IEEE 1547-2018. Minnesota, New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia also plan to adopt the IEEE standard. In nine other states, the utility regulatory body either had an inquiry or an open docket regarding the smart inverter standard, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.


Southern, Duke SEEM proposal takes effect as FERC deadlocks on market plan

A proposed trading platform for 15 utilities across the Southeast — the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) — took effect after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission again deadlocked on a major policy issue.

Two weeks after deadlocking on the PJM Interconnection’s revised minimum offer price rule, FERC, which has four sitting commissioners, was unable to get a majority to agree on another major policy issue.


Can the US take the lead on

cleaner lithium production?

Three companies are attracting private and public funding for their potentially game-changing efforts to extract lithium from brine in California.

The United States needs a domestic source of lithium that can be extracted using renewable energy. Lithium is a key element in the batteries that will enable us to decarbonize the power grid and vehicles.

The superheated brine trapped deep under the earth beneath California’s Salton Sea offers both lithium and renewable energy — and investors are starting to take notice.


Pennsylvania RGGI opponents mount tense last stand

Pennsylvania would be the first major fossil fuel producer to join RGGI,

and it poses a crucial test of how the program might affect energy prices

as the state seeks to cut emissions, experts say.

The state set a goal of Jan. 1 to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the 13-year-old carbon trading program comprised of11states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, following a two-year regulatory process kickstarted through executive actionby Gov. Tom Wolf. But Pennsylvania’s RGGI participation faces significant opposition from labor and coal and natural gas backers.


Developers increasingly pair batteries with utility-scale solar to combat declining value in crowded markets

Utility scale solar may have hit a record, and in many regions, a turning point in 2020, according to the national lab's new analysis.

  • After installing a record 12.8 GWdc across 161 new projects in 2020, the solar industry is on the cusp of a new normal, according to the authors of the 2021 Utility-Scale Solar report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

  • Upfront construction costs for new utility-scale projects continue to drop, with the largest projects benefiting from the lowest levelized costs, according to LBNL research scientist Mark Bolinger, and one of the report authors. However, power purchase agreement (PPA) prices have stagnated and crept upward over the year, suggesting future prices may rise, he said.

  • Hybrid projects with solar plus storage still represent a minority of overall solar projects. But Bolinger said their popularity appears to be increasing, particularly in regions where high solar penetration rates have eroded the value of solar energy on the grid.


Air Products plans $4.5b investment

in blue hydrogen facility

The Louisiana project is expected to create 170 permanent jobs and r

epresents Air Products’ largest-ever investment in the U.S.

Air Products said it plans to build a $4.5 billion blue hydrogen at a complex in Louisiana.

The company will build, own, and operate the project, which is planned to produce over 750 million standard cubic feet per day of blue hydrogen in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, south of Baton Rouge.

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