Morning Brief: Community solar as energy reparations, LIPA could replace more than half of its aging peaker plants with energy storage


LIPA disputes findings the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) could replace more than half of its aging and rarely used fossil-fueled peaker plants with energy storage by 2030, saving ratepayers almost $400 million, according to a study released last week. The report by consulting firm Strategen, prepared for the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium, said ‘it is feasible and cost-effective’ to replace 1,116 MW of peakers by 2023 and more than 2,300 MW by 2030. It said LIPA frequently dispatches the 4,357 MW of peaker units on the island uneconomically and for reasons other than meeting peak-load needs. Source: RTO Insider

Solar siting in Maryland generates friction, threatening climate goals: Despite Maryland’s ambitious commitment to renewable energy, large utility-scale projects have been bogged down in regulatory reviews and lawsuits, as farming interests, local governments and conservation groups push back against placing photovoltaic panels on cropland and pasture. Last year, to fight climate change and reduce fossil fuel use, Maryland lawmakers voted to require half of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2030, joining just seven other states at that time in aiming that high. They also increased the mandated share of the state’s energy mix that must come from the sun from 2.5% to 14.5%, a similarly lofty goal. Climate activists who thought that would unleash a wave of new solar development in the state have been disappointed as disputes over siting have dogged many. Source: Bay Journal

Logan Burke, executive director of the Louisiana Alliance for Affordable Energy, detailed the work underway at the New Orleans City Council to authorize community solar, which means “that rather than depending on the utility itself to procure renewables, a community can invest in and own solar resources and other renewable resources and reduce their bills, lock[ing] in the cost of that energy over time.” In Louisiana, seen as “America’s very own petrostate,” racialized disparities in exposure to environmental toxins from energy infrastructure and the “fiscal geographies” of asset stripping, through tax evasion and subsidization, shape the spaces of energy extraction, production, and use. Source: Project Muse

Germany registered new PV systems totaling 387.6 MW in September. This compares to 408 MW in August and 287 MW in September 2019. Newly installed PV capacity for the first nine months of this year was 3,509 MW while in the same period a year earlier, new additions had totaled around 2.9 GW. The new installations took Germany to a cumulative 52.3 GW at the end of September. Source: pv magazine Germany

Utah PSC decides to lower export rate, impacting a recovering rooftop solar industry.  Source: pv magazine

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