Morning Brief: turn Rikers Island into a solar farm, Solar Frontier Americas changes name

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Turn Rikers Island into a solar farm: A prison built on trash heaps and racism could become a job-providing source of clean energy for some of the most polluted boroughs of New York City. The past and present of Rikers Island can tell you a lot about the United States. Richard Riker—the owner of the island, which had been in his slave-owning Dutch-German family since the 1660s—was an integral part of a kidnapping ring that sold black people in the North back to slavery in the South under the Fugitive Slave Act. After decades of lawsuits and controversy and a concerted campaign by former inmates and activists, the New York City Council finally voted to close down Rikers Island’s jail facilities within a decade last fall. An initial study by the CUNY Center for Urban and Environmental Reform, in 2019, found siting solar on just one-quarter of the island would generate enough power for the city to close down all of the massively polluting gas-fired secondary, or “peaker,” plants established decades ago, with scant public input, in the Five Boroughs’ black and brown communities. Source: The New Republic

Morgan Solar announced the sale of 13.6 MW of bifacial solar panels enhanced with the company’s performance boosting optical film technology to Enbridge. The solar panels will be manufactured by Silfab Solar under an exclusive license agreement. Morgan Solar’s optical film technology boosts the performance of PV modules and can be integrated into any standard silicon PV panel assembly. The panels are destined for Alberta Solar One, a project in Burdett, Alberta co-developed by Morgan Solar and Enbridge with $10 million in funding support from Emissions Reduction Alberta. Source: Morgan Solar

Solar builder and developer, Solar Frontier Americas has changed its name to Idemitsu Renewables, reflecting its place in the market as the renewable arm of Idemitsu Kosan Co., one of the largest energy companies in Japan. No changes in business operations will come out of this rebranding and Idemitsu Kosan has reaffirmed Idemitsu Renewables’ goal of building a 4 GW renewable energy portfolio.

FERC will hold two technical conferences in 2020: one to examine carbon pricing in wholesale markets, and another to consider its offshore wind transmission policies. Source: RTO Insider

The House is merging several bills into one massive “infrastructure” package that would dole out more than $1.5 trillion, including for clean water and clean energy. Source: Politico