Morning Brief: NYC replaces fossil plants with storage and renewables, solar boom stalls in Texas

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Replace NYC peakers with renewables+storage? Plant owners say they’re working on it: New York City ratepayers shelled out $4.5 billion in capacity payments in the last decade to keep 16 fossil fuel-based peaking plants available, according to analysis by environmental justice group PEAK Coalition. The group… recommend the facilities be replaced by distributed energy resources and energy storage that would not emit greenhouse gasses. Plant owners say much of that work is already being done. Source: Utility Dive

A solar boom fueled by oil is fizzling in Texas: The oil crash is yanking the rug out from under the hottest U.S. solar market. Developers including 8minute Solar Energy have scrapped plans to build at least 13 solar farms in Texas since crude prices began plummeting in March. Analysts warn more may follow. The canceled projects, which total 2.5 gigawatts, are an early indication that the solar building boom intended to meet burgeoning demand for electricity in Texas may be going bust as drilling slows. “Texas used to be very lucrative,” Tara Narayanan, a BloombergNEF solar analyst, said in an interview. “Now it’s collapsing.” Source: Bloomberg

A group of researchers representing Western EcoSystems Technology, based out of Cheyenne, Wyoming, have published a study looking at habitat loss and potential for collision mortality for birds in relation to solar projects. The study is based on aggregate data of results from fatality monitoring studies at 10 photovoltaic solar facilities across 13 site-years in California and Nevada. The authors found that the average annual fatality estimate for photovoltaic projects (high-end estimate of 2.49 birds per MW annually) is lower than that reported by another study (9.9 birds per MW annually). Source: PLOS

Maryland-based utility Delmarva Power has decided to partner with Sunverge on Delmarva’s Elk Neck Behind-the-Meter Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in Cecil County. The utility will use Sunverge’s DER control and aggregate technology to manage the 55 MW/2.2 MWh capacity VPP, which serves the purpose of providing backup power to homes located on a peninsula on the Chesapeake Bay. The proposal is currently under review by the Maryland Public Service Commission and it is expected to create $2 million in value over a 15-year period. Source: Delmarva Power

GoSun, a company that specializes in solar powered camping and survival gear, has launched the GoSun Flow, a portable, solar-powered water purification and sanitation system. According to the company, the GoSun Flow can filter 99.99% of pathogens from water and can function as a portable handwashing station, warm shower, and source of clean drinking water. The gadget is available for pre-order now. Source: GoSun