Sunrise brief: Duke Florida reaches deal for EV charging and floating solar


Duke Energy Florida and a handful of industry and consumer groups reached an agreement to offer new electric vehicle charging station programs and support pilot programs for technology such as microgrids and floating solar pilot projects.

The agreement was filed on Jan. 14, 2021 and is subject to approval by the Florida Public Service Commission.

The agreement also provides an optional residential “Time-of-Use” rate, reduces hurricane cost recovery impacts to customers,  and moves up by eight years the retirement dates for the utility’s last two coal units.

The agreement was reached with the state’s Office of Public Counsel, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, Nucor Steel Florida and White Springs Agricultural Chemicals.

If approved, base rates would rise by $67.2 million in 2022, $48.9 million in 2023, and $79.2 million in 2024. Duke Energy Florida has requested the regulatory commission to hold a hearing and hopes to have a decision by second quarter 2021.

Energy under Biden is webinar topic

Intersolar North America (ISNA) and Energy Storage North America (ESNA), the newly combined flagship solar + storage events, have partnered with Strategen to launch “Solar + Storage: Today’s Progress, Tomorrow’s Promise,” a free webinar series designed to educate and energize solar + storage professionals ahead of its conference and trade show set for July 14-16.

The series will kick off on Jan. 28 at 1:00 PM ET with the webinar, US Clean Energy: The Next Four Years. The hour-long interactive session will provide insights from leading experts on anticipated policies and programs for solar and energy storage under the Biden administration. Moderated by Steve Schiller of the Cleantech Party, the discussion will be followed by a Q&A with the panelists. Speakers will include:

● Audrey Lee, PhD, Co-Chair of Clean Energy for Biden

● Jeff Genzer, Vice President of Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer and Pembroke

● Matt McDonnell, Sr. Director of Strategen

Registration for both the first webinar and the #isnaesna21 conference planned for July 14-16, 2021 in Long Beach, California, are now open.

JA Solar modules for Guam PV

JA Solar is supplying PV modules for an 88 MW project in the U.S. territory of Guam. Korea Electric Power is building the project, which is expected to be the largest single PV plant in Guam.

Because of the project’s island location and in an environment with strong winds, the project has stricter-than-usual requirements for backside mechanical load and module degradation rate. In 2020, the two companies signed a framework cooperation agreement, and recently launched cooperation on new projects.

Streamlined blockchain technology for P2P trading

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Tokyo Institute of Technology developed a blockchain technology that they say can optimize peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading.

The technology is expected to contribute to more effective use of surplus electricity from renewable energy by creating trading environments that flexibly respond to shared trading needs, particularly to maximize the amount of surplus electricity available in the market at any given time.

P2P energy trading can benefit consumers by enabling them to engage in direct trading as buyers and sellers.

image: pikist

Beginning in April, the P2P energy trading system’s performance will be evaluated to further optimize the algorithm, aiming at commercialization.

In the collaboration, Mitsubishi Electric took charge of designing the P2P energy trading system and its clearing (transaction-completion) functions. Tokyo Tech handled blockchain technology R&D and the design of an optimal clearing algorithm Their newly devised distributed-optimization algorithm enables customer computers to share trading goals and data, and then optimally match buy and sell orders using minimal computations.

Using the new technology involves four steps. First, information on buy and sell orders with a common trading goal (market surplus, profit, and so on) are shared by computing servers during a predetermined timeframe. Next, each server searches for buy and sell orders matched to the common goal. Each server then shares its search results. In the fourth and final step, each server receives the search results and generates a new block by selecting trades that best meet the shared goal, which it adds it to each blockchain.

The technology partners said that P2P energy trading benefits consumers by enabling them to engage in direct trading as buyers and sellers, and sometimes make trades above offer prices or below bid prices if the right match is found.

Total drops API, for now

Oil major Total said that following a review of the climate positions of the American Petroleum Institute, it has decided not to renew its membership for 2021.

The review was based on six points:

  • The company’s position that the link between human activity and climate change is an established fact,
  • Its support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement,
  • Its belief in the necessity to implement carbon pricing,
  • Its belief in the role that natural gas plays in the energy transition,
  • Its support for policies and initiatives that promote the development of renewable energy, and
  • Its support for the development of CO2 capture and storage.

Following the 2019 and 2020 reviews, API’s positions were found to be “partially aligned” with Total’s. For example, API supported candidates in last fall’s election who argued against the United States’ participation in the Paris Agreement.

With release of its Climate Ambition plan in May 2020, Total committed itself to “ensuring that the industry associations of which we are a member adopt positions and messages that are aligned with those of the Group in the fight against climate change,” said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO.

In mid-January, Total and 174 Power Global formed a 50/50 joint venture to develop 12 utility-scale solar and energy storage projects of 1.6 GW cumulative capacity in the United States.

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