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November 8 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • When researchers talk about “islanding,” or isolating, from the grid, they are discussing a fundamental benefit of microgrids, or small systems powered by renewables and energy storage devices. The benefit is that microgrids can disconnect from larger utility grids and continue to provide power locally. [Science Daily]

World:

  • A small German town in southern Bavaria is participating in an interesting experiment proving that a high-renewables future is viable. Wildpoldsried (pop. 2,600) currently produces 500% more energy than it needs through renewable energy systems, and sells the surplus power back to the grid. [RenewEconomy]
  • The UK’S largest single roof mounted solar panel array is to be installed at Marks and Spencer’s Castle Donington distribution center. The solar PV system will span the site’s 900,000 sq ft roof and will generate over 5,000 MWh of electricity per year, enough to power 1,190 houses. [LoughboroughEcho.net]
  • Cuba’s National Electric Development program aims to increase the island’s electricity production capacity significantly. Cuba seeks to generate 24% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, which will save nearly $780 million annually on fuel. Cuba currently gets 96% of its electricity from fossil fuels. [teleSUR English]
  • A 231-MW solar power plant broke ground in Okayama prefecture, western Japan. It is expected to be Japan’s largest solar power plant. The plant is located in a disused salt pan. It is scheduled to begin operation in the first half of 2019 with 920,000 solar panels installed. The project will cost $950 million. [Daily Times]
  • The man responsible for maintaining India’s power supply says he wants the country’s coal production to double within the next five years. The Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable energy, says India needs to dig twice as much coal as it does today if it is to meet its soaring energy demand. [Truthdig]
  • The UK’s High Court has refused an application for a judicial review of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s decision to end subsidies under the renewables obligation scheme for solar farms with a generating capacity of more than 5 MW by 2015, two years ahead of the original schedule. [E&T magazine]
  • Lightsource Renewable Energy, the UK’s largest solar developer, has connected a 6.1-MW solar farm near Ramsgate in Kent. Thorne Solar Farm is located to the south of Manston Airport and occupies just under 11 hectares (27 acres) of land and is predicted to generate enough electricity to power 1,800 local homes. [Solar Power Portal]
  • The port of Ghent in Belgium will see the construction of the largest biomass power plant in the world, at 215 MW. Belgian Eco Energy selected Abengoa to develop the plant, which will be fueled by 100% raw material biomass such as wood chips and agro-residues. The project will cost over €315 million. [IHB]
  • A solar eclipse next March will test European electricity grids because of the massive increase in solar power production on the continent, according to French power grid RTE. On the morning of March 20, 2015, an almost total solar eclipse will block direct sunlight over parts of Europe, North Africa and Russia. [TODAYonline]

US:

  • About 26% of the electricity Boston-based Partners HealthCare buys this year for the facilities it owns will come from renewable sources. Its leaders wanted to reduce pollution from traditional fossil-fuel energy sources and the illness burden that pollution causes, as well as to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. [ModernHealthcare.com]
  • NStar became the second utility in recent weeks to deliver a winter shock to Massachusetts energy consumers, asking state regulators for an average 29% increase in electric bills starting in January. NStar provides electricity and natural gas to more than a million customers in metropolitan Boston and Cape Cod. [Boston Globe]
  • A study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce in coordination with the Midwest regional independent grid operator Mid-continent Independent System Operator found that the state of Minnesota could obtain 40% or more of its electricity from wind and solar energy without suffering any grid reliability issues. [CleanTechnica]

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