Monday Brief: Knoxville utility to go 20% solar by 2023, Sunrun and SoCal Edison agree to virtual power plant


The Knoxville Utility Board (KUB) has announced that the utility will become 20% solar powered by 2023, using TVA’s Green Invest program to enable the construction of 502 MW of solar generation. This is the second major solar commitment between KUB and TVA this year, after KUB committed to invest in 212 MW of solar projects back in March. This new announcement does not come on top of that commitment, but rather builds on it with an additional 290 MW. The investment will also help the city of Knoxville to reach its goal of 80% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2050, relative to 2005. Source: Knoxville Utility Board

Sunrun has come to terms on a virtual power plant contract with Southern California Edison (SCE) for 5 MW of distributed Brightbox batteries. In instances of exceptionally high demand SCE will send signals for Sunrun to dispatch energy from thousands of Brightbox solar-powered battery systems installed in the SCE territory, providing energy capacity to help support the overall energy system and maintain a resilient grid. The systems included in the contract will also be participating in the California Independent System Operator’s resource adequacy program, with at least 10% of the capacity feeding into this program being provided from Brightbox systems installed on low-to-moderate income households. Source: Sunrun

Hawaiian Electric Company has proposed 20 MW of new solar generation across two projects: a 17.5 MW installation in Lanai and a 2.5 MW installation in Molokai, which is set to be paired with a four-hour battery energy storage system. Both proposed projects are set to be developed, constructed and owned by Hawaiian Electric. The Lanai project, according to Hawaiian Electric, would be able to provide enough energy to meet the demands of the entire island. The project would also be automatically approved in Lanai, as it’s planned to be greater than 2.5 MW in capacity. Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser

EDP Renewables has secured 86% of the roughly 7.0 GW of targeted wind and solar global capacity build-out for the 2019-2022 period, following the execution of a 15-year power purchase agreement for 63 MW of renewable energy with Novartis. The portfolio is comprised of a 36 MW wind farm and a 27 MW solar project, both of which are expected to be installed and reach commercial operation in 2022/23. Source: EDP Renewables

As Rebecca Solnit wrote last week, “The truth is not halfway between climate denial and climate science, and while we know that yelling and mocking don’t recruit people, we also know that abandoning or even softening up your facts doesn’t help your cause; it just dilutes your purpose and its clarity for others … We are not called upon to wage war in this moment but neither are we called upon to offer a unilateral peace.”

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