Morning Brief: California Central Coast spends $600M on solar and geothermal, Sierra Club defeats PV farm


The California Central Coast is on its way to meeting its mandated renewable energy goals thanks to two recent deals worth $593 million. The contracts were approved by Monterey Bay Community Power, a new public agency charged with buying electricity on behalf of ratepayers—300,000 and growing—in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. MBCP committed to paying up to $496 million over 15 years for electricity generated by the Coso Geothermal Project, one of the largest geothermal power plants in the country. The other contract is for a new power project, Rabbitbrush Solar, in Kern County that will come equipped with a battery system to capture power when it’s available and release it when needed. Source: Monterey County Weekly

The Iowa City city council listened to the Sierra Club and voted against a lease with MidAmerican Energy for 19 acres of land at the Waterworks Prairie Park intended for a solar farm. The land is currently covered with restored prairie. The proposal pits two competing environmental issues – the need for increased development of renewable energy versus the protection of wildlife and availability of recreation areas. Source: Sierra Club

A Chicago-based energy producer is looking to build a 200-megawatt solar farm on 1,400 acres in south Lake County. Katya Samoteskul, manager of renewable development for Invenergy, said construction of the solar farm is slated to begin in 2022 and cost $200 million. Invenergy says it is not currently seeking any subsidies for the solar farm and plans to lease the needed land from Lake County property owners over a 35-year period. Source: Inside Indiana Business

FERC will host a technical conference in July 2020 to discuss “hybrid resources,” scenarios where a “generation resource and an electric storage resource [are] paired together as a hybrid resource.” FERC has focused on the integration of new technologies into the grid and the wholesale markets, as evidenced by FERC Order No. 841. The technical conference is scheduled for July 23, 2020. Source: The National Law Review

The U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy announced an intent to fund energy storage technologies for existing fossil-fueled power plants, as well as new power plants. The technology would be capable of improving the overall performance, reliability, and flexibility of fossil-fueled assets. There is an Advanced Energy Storage Program webinar scheduled on April 22 from 11 a.m. to noon EDT. Source: DOE

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