Morning Brief: Molten aluminum energy storage, Tesla looking for PV and storage project managers based in China

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Tesla has advertised for solar and energy storage project managers based in Shanghai, as it looks to expand its energy business into China. It’s the first time the California-based automaker has looked to hire for such roles in China. Tesla installed 530 MWh of energy storage in Q4 2019, beating out the previous quarter’s 477 MWh by 11%. Tesla also installed 54 MW of solar in Q4, up 26% from Q3’s 43 MW.  Source: The New York Times, Tesla quarterly report

The Virginia Clean Economy Act now heads to Governor Northam after state lawmakers gave it the final passage on Friday. The act plans to eliminate 100% of harmful carbon emissions by 2045 and instead, invest in expanded wind generation, solar and energy storage. Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association said, ” By 2030, the bill will create nearly 30,000 solar jobs in the Commonwealth and generate billions of dollars of private investment, all while prioritizing solar access for low-income communities.” Dominion Virgina is the state’s largest utility. Source: WHSV, SEIA

The future of Utah’s rooftop solar industry, already reeling after an incentive program ended two years ago, rests in the hands of the Utah Public Service Commission as it weighs how much Rocky Mountain Power must pay its solar-equipped customers for the excess power they pump back into the grid. The monopoly utility, Utah’s largest, sells that power to neighboring homes for about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, yet it now proposes setting the rate it pays solar-equipped customers for this juice at about 1.5 cents. Source: The Salt Lake Tribune

Novel long-duration energy storage system installed at world’s largest CSP plant. The pilot program from Swedish start-up Azelio — which stores energy in molten aluminum — has been installed at the 580 MW Noor Ouarzazate solar complex (510 MW of CSP and 70 MW of PV). The technology uses electricity to heat recycled aluminum to 600°C. When power is required from the storage unit — which sits inside a shipping-container-style box — the stored thermal energy is transported to a Stirling engine using a heat-transfer fluid.  Source: Recharge

Solar turns vicious water-energy-climate cycle into virtuous loop. The International Water Management Institute has launched the Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience project. The new project aims to replace diesel-powered irrigation pumps with groundwater-responsive solar irrigation systems throughout Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Source: pv magazine international