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Electrek morning green energy brief: record priced solar plants starting construction, batteries in beer/wine industry and more


Battery storage + solar finding niche in beer/wine industry – Hawaii just installed a solar + battery peaker plant. Peaker plants run during short durations – 1-5% annually, hours at a time – when high demand is needed. Power companies charge a high rate for these high demand moments. A battery system in a beer brewery would turn specifically when the brewery does high very high energy usage things – heating water, for instance, is very energy intensive. In essence, the brewery is building its own peaker plant to attack high Demand Charges. As Massachusetts (a state whose electricity utility just asked for a 7% to 10% rate increase) ramps up its energy storage mandate – I expect to make this technology pitch to my customers.

800MW solar power plant in Dubai with 2.99¢/kWh breaks ground at end of month – Its cool for me to write big shiny headlines saying things like RECORD BREAKING!?!?! – what’s much more emotionally satisfying is seeing the headline turn into reality. 800MW of solar panels will keep multiple large factories up the supply chain moving hard for a year. And then we’ll have emission free electricity – minus cleaning and operations – for decades. Good job Dubai.

115MW solar plant in Chile – 115MW power plants are only getting your attention because I want you to look at this map to see global insolation rates (or solar irradiance on wiki). Northern Chile, Western Arizona, the Sahara, Saudi Arabia, Western China and a few other spots have the best sunlight on the plant from a solar power perspective. With that – whenever I see Chile brought up with solar, I am happy because I know those panels are going to get put to great use.

‘Ghost’ solar manufacturing arising in Europe – European solar panel factories are not running 40% of the time. That’s not profitable. Check out the chart showing total production volume announcements in 2016 – southeast Asia dominates. The seven largest countries with announcements repented more than 80% of announcements – India 17GW, China 13GW, Vietnam 5GW, Malaysia 3.4GW, Thailand 2.7GW, South Korea 2.3GW and Taiwan 2.3GW. Before we get to a European country – USA, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Then Germany.

Three US utlities order ballistic protection transformer solution – The power grid is a fundamental tool for a modern state. In warfare, taking out the energy infrastructure happens fast. In the US someone decided to test the infrastructure using rifles and cutting cameras (I’m betting this job was paid for by the utilities or military to test ourselves – much like banks hire hackers). The reason this matters is because it ties to broader grid strengthening upgrades that things like solar power and energy storage will fit within.

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