EGEB: Google and Candela ramp up Texas solar

  • Google and Candela agree to a 140 MW solar power purchase agreement in Texas.
  • Alberta, Canada, signs a multibillion-dollar hyperloop development deal with TransPod.
  • A human wastewater converter, NEWgenerator, wins the 2020 Patents for Humanity award.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and your bank account — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Texas solar for Google

Solar project developer Candela Renewables will provide Google with 140 MW of solar as part of a new power purchase agreement (PPA) in Texas.

The PPA will bring new green energy to the ERCOT power grid. ERCOT manages the flow of electricity on the Texas Interconnection that supplies power for 90% of the state’s electric load. This PPE will create new jobs in the state and boost the local economy.

According to PV Tech:

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that most of the company’s renewable energy purchases in the US were wind-driven up until last year, but the declining cost of solar ‘made harnessing the sun increasingly cost-effective.’

The Google/Candela PPA agreement is a part of Google’s biggest green energy purchase ever, which Google announced in September 2019. It’s also the largest-ever corporate purchase of green energy, which consists of a 1,600 MW package comprising 18 new energy deals.

Candela Renewables was founded in 2018 by former First Solar employees. It has a portfolio of more than 3.6GW of utility-scale solar projects and 2.2GW of co-located energy storage.

New Hyperloop in Canada

Hyperloop developer TransPod has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a 1,000 km/h system in Alberta, Canada. The MoU with Alberta’s government is intended to attract private investment in order to build the multibillion-dollar project.

TransPod is a Canadian-French company that designs fully electric, ultra-high-speed transportation technology and vehicles. TransPod vehicles are being designed to travel at over 1,000 km/h between cities.

“The project is estimated to create up to 38,000 jobs over 10 years, diversify Alberta’s economy, improve the efficient movement of people and goods, and reduce Alberta’s carbon emissions by up to 300,000 tonnes per year,” reports the Construction Index.

The Alberta TransPod project phases are:

  • Feasibility study (2020-22)
  • Research and development phase (2020-24)
  • Test track construction and high-speed tests (2022-27)
  • Construction of a full inter-city line between Edmonton and Calgary (to commence in 2025)

Human wastewater converter win

NEWgenerator, a human wastewater converter developed by a a team of engineers at the University of South Florida, will be recognized as a winner of the 2020 Patents for Humanity award by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Here’s how NEWgenerator works:

The idea for the NEWgenerator came to [project lead Daniel] Yeh as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in 2002 while he worked on the anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology that’s the core of the system. He realized it could be used on a global scale to recycle wastewater into clean water, energy and nutrients. Water is treated for irrigation and flushing toilets; organic waste is converted into plant fertilizer, and methane gas is captured as an energy source.

Built into a mini-shipping container with attached solar panels and a hydroponics system, the NEWgenerator’s technology has been licensed out to companies in India and South Africa, which will manufacture NEWgenerator units locally. This follows the successful completion of pilot programs in India and South Africa in 2016 and 2018-2020, respectively.

The team will work with partners in other countries to design localized, bespoke versions of the NEWgenerator systems. NASA has also taken an interest in the NEWgenerator’s potential as a compact wastewater recycling system.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.