Microsoft has worked with insurance and risk teams to develop a new type of contract that could potentially work with renewable energy power purchase agreements to minimize operational and pricing risks. The provision is called a volume firming agreement.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke shared three advances in US offshore wind during the American Wind Energy Association's Offshore WINDPOWER Conference 2018. The Interior Department will launch an offshore wind leasing round in Massachusetts on Dec. 13, is reviewing a project slated for Rhode Island and is exploring the feasibility of offshore wind in California, Zinke says.
Wind and solar in the Carolinas and other US states have a proven track record of maintaining grid stability during hurricanes and other natural disasters, while nuclear and coal-burning power plants have a greater likelihood for shutting down, according to the American Council on Renewable Energy. "Time and time again, renewable energy generators have demonstrated an incredible ability to withstand storms and bounce back quickly after extreme weather events," says ACORE spokesperson Gil Jenkins.
Wind and solar are two homegrown, increasingly low-cost energy sources that can directly help the US meet its climate goals by reducing carbon emissions, writes John Kostyack, executive director of the Wind Solar Alliance. "Shifting to a renewable energy-friendly policy framework can deliver the low-cost, carbon-free electricity needed to power our economy, while also creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs," he writes.
Offshore wind farms have unique benefits depending on their size, with large projects often offering lower prices while small projects are useful for supply chain development and workforce training, said EDF Renewables North America Regional Development Manager Doug Copeland. The company is seeking approval for a 25-megawatt offshore wind farm in Atlantic City, N.J.
EDP Renewables has arranged power purchase agreements for 100% of the output from the 200-megawatt Harvest Ridge Wind Farm underway in Douglas County, Ill. Walmart will source 50 MW from the project, with the remainder going to the Wabash Valley Power Association and an undisclosed buyer.
Beverage packaging company Ball Corp. will add three Goldwind machines at its factory in Findlay, Ohio. One Energy will complete the installation process.
Companies must join in the transmission infrastructure planning process if they want to continue to source more electricity from renewables like wind and solar, according to the Wind Solar Alliance. "To meet their sustainability targets for the next decade, and to make low-cost renewable power accessible for themselves and other customers, they need to join efforts to jump-start a new era of transmission planning," Executive Director John Kostyack says.
A bill from Michigan state Rep. Yousef Rabhi would set a 100% by 2050 renewables goal for state utilities. "Strengthening Michigan's commitment to renewable energy is vital to the health of our citizens and our economy," he says.
Smart Catch is a James Beard Foundation program that focuses on sustainable seafood at the restaurant level, with member eateries ranked based on the species they serve and how they are sourced. Smart Catch's approximately 400 "leaders" must offer menus that are at least 80% sustainable.
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