Morning Brief: Renewable-energy spending will edge oil and gas for the first time ever in 2021

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Goldman Sachs says renewable-energy spending will surpass oil and gas for the first time ever in 2021. The transition to renewable power from traditional fuels will create a $16 trillion investment opportunity through 2030 as spending shifts to new infrastructure. The bank projects green-energy spending to pass that of oil and gas for the first time ever next year and account for roughly 25% of all energy spending. Economic downturns have historically slowed efforts to boost clean energy investing, but Goldman sees the coronavirus downturn bucking that trend and accelerating the nationwide pivot. Source: Business Insider

As they reach retirement age, wind and solar farms become prime investments: First-generation turbines can be swapped out for new models at a fraction of their original cost. The Mesa Wind project, built on federal land not far from Palm Springs, is one of the first major wind power projects in the U.S., and its 460 turbines with a capacity of 30 MW will be replaced by, at most, 11 new ones with the same capacity. Old solar projects are rarer, but that won’t be true for long. Source: Bloomberg

Xcel Energy would accelerate nearly $3 billion in spending, particularly on large renewable-energy projects, in response to calls from state utility regulators to jolt Minnesota’s economy from its coronavirus-induced lethargy. Xcel’s proposal calls for a new solar plant in Becker that would be at least four times larger than Minnesota’s current largest solar array. The biggest element of Xcel’s proposal would be repowering four wind farms, which would cost $1 billion to $1.4 billion. Source: Star Tribune

Highview Power was awarded a $12.5 million grant from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for a 50 MW/250+ MWh cryogenic energy storage facility. Javier Cavada, Highview Power CEO, said, “This new cryogenic energy storage plant will deliver much needed long-duration energy storage and provide valuable services to the National Grid.” Highview Power recently received $43.5 million investment from Sumitomo Heavy Industries. The facility at Trafford Park will use existing substation and transmission infrastructure, with its income derived from arbitrage, grid balancing, and ancillary services. Source: Highview Power

Greenbacker purchased the rights to Pacifica Storage, a 7.9MW/16.5MWh portfolio of sixteen behind-the-meter energy storage systems from Stem. It’s Greenbacker’s initial strategic expansion into the energy optimization sector. Each of the acquired systems will participate in California’s Self Generation Incentive Program. Greenbacker owns approximately 550 MW of generating capacity (including assets to be constructed).