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June 30 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Opinion: “Floating Solar: A Win-Win for Drought-Stricken Lakes in U.S.” • Floating PV projects are increasingly used around the world. One prime spot for them could be the US Southwest, where they could prevent evaporation in major reservoirs as they make energy. [Yale Environment 360]
A 2.3-MW floating solar array in Kasai City, Japan.

A 2.3-MW floating solar array in Kasai City, Japan.

  • “The End of the Era of Baseload Power Plants” • PG&E’s plan to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant marks a historic transition for the electric power industry. While it ends nuclear power in California, it also ushers in an entirely new paradigm for our electric system. [Greentech Media]
  • HVDC grid connections in the German North Sea could be planned and built almost two years faster than is currently the case, and technical innovations could also help cut costs by up to 30%, according to a new report commissioned by Germany’s offshore wind industry. [reNews]
  • The San Diego region reached a milestone on Wednesday, as private, rooftop solar power produces 5% of the city’s peak electricity demand. San Diego Gas & Electric and major solar installers cheered the milestone in what has become a $1 billion local industry. [Times of San Diego]
  • Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter has offered an energy plan that sets goals of reducing peak electricity demand by 10% over five years and cutting carbon pollution emitted through transportation. The plan focuses on efficiency, solar power, and energy storage. []

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

June 29 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The first batch of GE 6-MW Haliade 150 turbine blades for use at the 30-MW Block Island offshore wind farm in the US have arrived at the ProvPort facility in Providence. The project will feature five of the GE turbines and will be the first offshore wind farm in the US. [reNews]

    Construction at the Block Island wind farm site (Deepwater Wind)

    Construction at the Block Island wind farm site (Deepwater Wind)

  • US coal generation fell slightly in April to 72.2 GWh, down 0.1 GWh from March and down 18.5% from the same month a year ago. Overall, coal accounted for 24.6% of April generation compared to 34.1% from natural gas, 21.3% from nuclear and 19.8% from renewables. [Platts]
  • According to GlobalData’s latest report, the global installed capacity of solar PV will increase from 271.4 GW in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 13.1% to 756.1 GW in 2025. Unsurprisingly, China is expected to remain the world leader in PV installations. [CleanTechnica]
  • Vermont’s largest utility is also the first utility in the country to sell Tesla home batteries to its customers, betting that this could be the way of the future. It is doing this both for the homeowner’s private use and for the utility to draw on as a source of electricity. [WBUR]
  • India’s National Hydro Power Corporation has announced plans to set up a 600 MW floating solar project at one of its largest hydro power complexes. Media reports say that the company will set up the solar project at the 1,960 MW Koyna hydro power project. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Powin Energy Receives Patent for Battery Pack Operating System Used in Energy Storage and EV Fast-Charging Stations

Operating system improves safety and functionality while adding visibility into the health of storage systems

TUALATIN, Ore. – June 28, 2016 – Powin Energy, a leading designer and developer of safe and scalable energy storage solutions for utilities, C&I, and EV fast-charging stations, is pleased to announce that their unique Battery Pack Operating System(bp-OS) has been awarded United States Patent and Trademark office patent number US20140015469 A1, which is defined as a battery management system for distributed energy storage systems and associated applications.

The patented bp-OS utilizes a unique algorithm to actively and passively balance batteries down to the cell level, enabling the minimization of voltage differentials across all battery cells over the system’s lifetime. The bp-OS also delivers unprecedented visibility into battery health through real-time battery monitoring, state-of-charge management, and detailed diagnostics to ensure safety, optimize performance, and extend the operational lifetime of batteries used in stationary storage systems and EV fast-charging systems.

“We’re focused on creating the safest and most technologically advanced energy storage unit and battery management software in the world,” said Virgil Beaston, Chief Technology Officer of Powin Energy. “Using Powin Energy’s bp-OS that is made specifically for the needs of the energy storage industry, battery system owners and operators will unlock new levels of insight into the use of their batteries, have access to higher optimization schemes, and see noticeable increases in the total lifecycle value of their storage systems.”

Powin Energy’s bp-OS also features two industry firsts – the Battery Odometer and the Warranty Tracker™. The Battery Odometer measures capacity degradation and calculates remaining battery lifetime by keeping track of voltage, temperature, state-of-charge, charge and discharge times, and other critical data for every cycle of the battery. The Warranty Tracker™ maximizes operational uptime and prevents potential economic losses by alerting operators to possible issues, isolating problem zones, automatically filing warranty claims, and avoiding full-system shutdowns. These two integral features of Powin Energy’s bp-OS make lithium-ion batteries safer and more efficient by preventing them from overcharging or undercharging, avoiding costly unplanned outages, and extending battery life by reducing capacity fade.

The bp-OS is installed standard in all of Powin Energy’s Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), making it the only system on the market today that gives its customers multi-layer visibility into the health of their energy storage system down to the cell level. Powin Energy’s storage system is scalable to meet the demands of any size project from creating a localized microgrid to providing peak demand management and grid support services for utilities. Powin’s bp-OS is compatible with all leading energy storage chemistries.

The BESS system is a self-contained 125 kW/250 kWh modular shipping container that can be scaled to service projects that are multiple megawatts in size. BESS units are less than 20 feet long, giving the system a modest footprint. A rolling chassis-mountable option with dual AC and DC connections give the BESS the ability to be transported easily between sites and interconnected quickly (after appropriate siting and permitting).

Powin Energy’s BESS has been implemented in a wide-range of projects in numerous operating environments. Clients include: the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the United States Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE), and the United States Department of Energy Office of Electricity (US DOE-OE).

About Powin Energy Corporation
Powin Energy, a subsidiary of Powin Corporation (stock symbol: PWON), is a leading designer and developer of safe and scalable battery energy storage solutions, based on its patented Battery Pack Operating System (bp-OS), for utility, microgrid and EV fast-charging applications. Over 100 years of collective energy and engineering experience goes into every Powin Energy battery storage system. Powin Energy’s patented bp-OS helps extend the life of batteries by actively and reactively balancing battery functions down to the cell level. It also provides critical insight into battery system functions and lifespan via its proprietary Battery Odometer and Warranty Tracker™. For more information, visit

June 28 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Scotland’s carbon emission level in 2014 was around 46% lower than its emission levels in 1990, meaning that the country has managed to achieve its 2020 target of 42% lower emissions, and even beat it, a full 6 years early. Recent data show a year-on-year decrease of 12.5%. [CleanTechnica]
Scottish wind farm

Scottish wind farm

  • Four years ago, Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, said the Arctic Ocean could well be free of sea ice within only a few years. Some considered his statement controversial. Now, it appears that he may have been right. [CleanTechnica]
  • This week, the US and Mexico will commit to joining Canada in boosting their use of wind, solar, and other carbon-free sources of electricity, helping the North American group meet an ambitious goal of generating at least 50% of its energy from “clean” sources by 2025. [BOE Report]
  • The UK’s nuclear future could be left on the chopping block by the country’s shock referendum vote to quit the EU. One government energy adviser said the Hinkley Point C project, which is expected to cost upwards of £20 billion, is now “extremely unlikely” to be completed. [Ars Technica UK]
  • Volkswagen has reportedly reached a $15 billion settlement with US car owners after admitting it cheated emission tests. The deal would offer to repair or buy back the affected diesel vehicles and pay owners compensation. The US settlement is still pending approval by a judge. [BBC]
    ($15 billion is about 23% of VW’s market capitalization.)

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

June 27 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Georgetown, a small city in Texas, about 40 kilometers north of the Lone Star state’s capital Austin, has a big dream to become greener by using 100% renewable energy next year. It will be the first in the state and one of the few in the nation to be entirely powered by wind and solar energy. [Xinhua]
Courthouse Square in Georgetown. Billy Hathorn. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Courthouse Square in Georgetown. Billy Hathorn. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has awarded a consortium led by Abu Dhabi’s Masdar to build the 800-MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The contract was awarded to the lowest bid, which is 2.99¢/kWh, which sets a new world record. [Emirates 24|7]
  • Greensmith Energy, founded in Herndon, Virginia, in 2008, has delivered over 70 MW of energy storage over the last two years for things like renewables smoothing, frequency regulation, and microgrids. It announced that at the current pace, it will install over 100 MW this year. [CleanTechnica]
  • Iberdrola Renewables is developing a 40-turbine wind farm project in the New York state towns of Hopkinton and Parishville. The project is moving forward despite five years of seeming inactivity. The 100-MW North Ridge Wind Farm could power up to 24,000 homes. [North Country Now]
  • National Grid wants to build New York’s largest solar energy farm on Long Island, but residents are not welcoming the plan. The plan calls for a 350-acre farm near the former Shoreham Nuclear Plant. Some residents about cutting down trees to make space for solar panels. [WSHU]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

June 26 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • In Colorado, the El Paso County Assessor’s Office reported in February that values on property around a recently constructed wind farm near Calhan were on the rise. That trend still has not changed, county assessor told the county commissioners on Tuesday. [Colorado Springs Gazette]
One attraction in El Paso County is Pike's Peak. Photo by Aravis. Released into the public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

One attraction in El Paso County is Pike’s Peak. Photo by Aravis. Released into the public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Democrats approved a draft of the party platform that shows Bernie Sanders’ influence. Among lacking elements, however, were a carbon tax to address climate change and a moratorium on fracking. Bernie Sanders has said climate change is the biggest problem facing us. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
  • Sweden is testing its first electric highway system for trucks. Siemens will help the country for next two years to test the eHighway system on a 1.25 miles stretch of highway on the north of Stockholm. The project may see a similar testing phase unveiled soon in California. [The TeCake]
  • Every year, the EPA releases a proposed figure for the Renewable Volume Obligations, the amount of biofuel that fuel blenders are required to blend into fuel. The EPA proposed 14.8 billion gallons for 2017, rather than the anticipated 15 billion. Some political leaders are upset. [The Dickinson Press]
  • New Brunswick Power customers received a record amount of renewable energy in 2015-16, experienced fewer and shorter outages and took advantage of rebates that will save them millions of dollars’ worth of energy in the years ahead, according to utility financial statements. [Sackville Tribune Post]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

June 25 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen has agreed to pay up to $10 billion to resolve all issues pending before the court. The proposed agreement will be presented in US District Court on June 28. Details are not known, but payments to people who bought the cars in question may be up to $7,000. [Gas2]
Image source: Facebook

Image source: Facebook

  • Opinion: “Overview – Brexit charts uneasy future for renewables” · The “world’s most complicated divorce” will have a huge impact on the UK’s environment and energy policies and on climate policy in the EU, the world’s largest political bloc, with a combined population of 500 million people. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Rhode Island is already leading the way on utilizing the nation’s vast offshore wind energy potential, and its General Assembly has just signed on to an extended renewable energy standard that sets an ambitious statewide goal of 38.5% by 2035, based on the state’s wind capacity. [CleanTechnica]
  • Key lawmakers in the Massachusetts Senate released a version of an energy bill that is more comprehensive than the House has passed. The Senate bill would require more renewable energy and would also include new provisions related to energy efficiency and energy storage. []
  • Polling has revealed widespread support for New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, which was already transforming utility stakeholders views of the sector’s future. Strongly positive consumer attitudes toward the plan have major implications for utilities. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

June 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • BMW announced battery packs from its i3 model can power your home, integrating seamlessly with solar panels to store energy for use at night, to offset peak tariffs and act as a backup supply. Used BMW i3 battery packs could expand the system as they become available, extending their life. [Car Keys]
BMW i3

BMW i3 battery

  • Resistance from incumbents in the economy may be fierce, but according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the future is clear: In Australia, wind and solar will replace coal and gas, and a lot quicker than many people think, with one third of all capacity “behind the meter.” [Echonetdaily]
  • Berlin’s parliament voted to pull its money out of coal, gas and oil companies. The new investment policy, part of the German capital’s goal of completely weaning off carbon by 2050, will make the city’s pension fund, of $852.8 million, divest itself of fossil fuel companies. [Huffington Post]
  • The US is expected to deploy 77.3 GW of distributed renewables, especially solar PVs, distributed wind power and biogas, between 2016 and 2025, according to a new report from Navigant Research. The report takes changes in net metering and tax incentives into account. [North American Windpower]
  • Maui Electric’s solar grid has reached its limit, but the electric company says those customers who want solar still have options. They can opt for the Self Supply program by installing PV systems, typically with batteries, providing power to the home but not exporting electricity to the grid. [KHON2]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Sustainability: Theme of International Day of Co-ops

On Saturday, July 2nd, co-ops in our community and around the world will be celebrating International Day of Co-operatives, joining the United Nations (UN) and the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in a commemoration that began in 1923.  This year’s theme, “Co-operatives: The Power to Act for a Sustainable Future,” highlights the contribution of co-operative enterprise to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
“The International Day of Co-ops is an opportunity for us to look at our impact on global issues,” said Bonnie Hudspeth, Member Programs Manager of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), a federation of 35 food co-ops and start-up initiatives, locally owned by over 100,000 people across New England. “It is also an opportunity for our food co-ops to share the work they do every day to make our food system and economy more fair, equitable, and sustainable.”
During the UN General Assembly in September 2015, world leaders committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, outlining an ambitious plan to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change over the next fifteen years. The co-operative movement is recognized as having a unique role to play in these efforts, representing a business model based on ethical values and principles, with sustainable development at its core. Locally rooted and people driven, co-ops contribute to sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental responsibility.
Here in New England, food co-ops have been at the forefront of movements for sustainability, from organic agriculture to Fair Trade, energy conservation to alternative energy, and local foods to food security.
Celebrated internationally on the first Saturday in July, Co-op Day in the United States often coincides with Independence Day, offering a unique opportunity to focus on the democratic values of the co-operative business model. Based on the principle of one member one vote, co-ops reflect American ideals of democracy, self-help, self-responsibility, and social responsibility. And because co-operatives are focused on meeting member needs rather than maximizing profit, they are focused on goals identified by their members, including social, economic and environmental sustainability.

For more information and a map of food co-ops across our region, please visit

June 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The California High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Energy Commission have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that focuses attention on how the high-speed rail program can help California meets its climate goals and become a greener state. [RailwayAge Magazine]
California high-speed rail

California high-speed rail

  • “Can Renewables Replace Nuclear Power?” • Utility PG&E’s announcement that it would shutter California’s last nuclear plant and replace the power with energy efficiency and renewable energy was the result of a confluence of progressive state policies making it more feasible. [Scientific American]
  • Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Spain, completing the Atlantic leg of its historic bid to circumnavigate the globe. The landing in Seville marked the end of the 15th stage of Solar Impulse’s route. Mission managers will now plot a route to Abu Dhabi where the venture began in March, 2015. [BBC]
  • Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter laid out an energy plan focused on reducing emissions, supporting clean energy job growth, and cutting energy costs. Minter also called on all candidates to oppose moratoriums and bans on clean energy technologies. [Vermont Biz]
  • Solar shade canopies installed at two North County San Diego schools have saved San Dieguito Union High School District more than $4.4 million in energy in five years. This exceeded the original projections. The developer had guaranteed a $10.5 million savings over 15 years. [PennEnergy]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.