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Electrek green energy brief: Apple+Buffett for 200MW, US Utility solar at $1/W, 90MW offshore wind for NY, more


Apple agrees to purchase solar energy from 200MW Warren Buffet farm – Apple & NV Energy, owned by Warren Buffett, have agreed to build a 200MW solar power farm whose power will be sold to Apple for purpose of powering an Apple data center. A 200MW solar farm in Nevada, at retail rates, will cost approximately $200-300M and will produce 350GWh a year – an average American home uses 0.01GWh/year. Interesting to see – Apple researched 5MW of solar power to be sold to commercial and residential customers. I’d like to learn more about it.

$1/W goal has been hit, $.70/W by 2021 – how did this happen? – Sunshot is a Department of Energy program that sought to lower the cost of utility scale solar power to $1/W installed+ by investing in strategic solar energy technologies: solar cells, power electronics, manufacturing techniques and soft costs. What I think caught everyone off guard was the Chinese ability to scale their manufacturing. The solar panel that I bought in 2006-7 cost between $2.50-3/W – now the entire installation costs 1/3 that price.

90MW wind farm approved by Long Island Power Authority – New York state wants to go in big on solar power – 2.4GW big, and yesterday it got the first small piece of it approved. The Long Island Power Authority has approved a 20 year power purchase agreement to purchase all electricity from the plant. The company – Deepwater – is the developer of the only other US off shore wind farm located in Rhode Island. The 90MW plant will be built of fifteen 6MW wind turbines (probably the same units used in Rhode Island). The Obama administration proposed developing our off shore wind resources to the tune of two times our national electricity usage.

Maryland Senate to try and override Governor’s veto of renewable energy – Earlier this year the Governor of Maryland vetoed a resolution passed by the state senate to increase and speed up the state’s renewable portfolio standard from 20% in 2022 to 25% in 2020. Maryland’s governor has also pushed back against Massachusetts’ suggestion that we increase the requirement of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Japan’s solar power breaks 5% of national electricity for second half of 2016 – Japanese solar power has more than doubled in the past couple of years. It is expected to add an additional 8GW in 2017 to its current total of aroound 45GW – a 17% increase, probably it well above 6% and close to 7% of total electricity usage. Japan, India, China and the USA represent 53GW of the expected 75-80 to be installed in 2017.

Energy Efficiency firms want better trained employees, more diversity – The industry also wants more experienced employees, but they’re just going to have to get over that since this is a new industry. I expect this means we will see further hiring in these fields. With advanced energy jobs representing a large amount of the post recession job recovery in the USA, and with those jobs being above average in salaries, this should be a continued focus of support for politicians at all levels.

This is what we’re going to do with all building surfaces eventually – probably not using modern solar panels, but maybe (press release):


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