Friday, August 05, 2011

Renewable Energy News, August 5, 2011

Blackstone to invest billions in German wind farm
Blackstone is set to announce its largest renewable energy deal with the investment of a combined 2.5 billion euro ($3.5 billion) into the construction of Germany's biggest ever offshore wind farm, the Financial Times said on Friday.

The newspaper said the U.S. private equity firm group will announce on Friday that it has secured financing for an 80-turbine wind farm in the North Sea, which it plans to complete constructing by 2013.

The 1.2 billion euro project, dubbed "Meerwind," which was first announced in 2008, is set to produce enough power to service 40,000 households.
DOE Investing $50 Million to Advance Domestic Solar Manufacturing Market
DOE announced on August 2 its $50 million investment over two years for the SUNPATH program. The program is designed to help the United States reclaim its competitive edge in solar energy manufacturing. SUNPATH, which stands for Scaling Up Nascent PV AT Home, is the second Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative supporting DOE's SunShot Initiative.

SUNPATH seeks to increase domestic manufacturing through investments that have sustainable, competitive cost and performance advantages. It will help companies with pilot-scale commercial production scale up their manufacturing capabilities, enabling them to overcome a funding gap that often curtails domestic business at a critical stage. By bridging this gap, SUNPATH will help ensure that innovative, low-cost solar technologies are manufactured in the United States.
California utilities get 17 percent of power from green sources
The state's large investor owned utilities now receive17 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other green sources, according to a quarterly report by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Under state law, investor-owned utilities such as PG&E Corp. and Southern California Edison are required to obtain 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, but the CPUC has provided the utilities with an additional three years to comply with the 20 percent target.
Federal ruling boosts wind energy interests
Boosters of proposed interstate transmission lines that would take Iowa's wind-generated electricity east of the Mississippi River to Chicago and big markets beyond think they have a winner in a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling.

FERC laid out a "public policy" status for regional transmission organizations and state regulatory bodies as planning oozes forward on various proposals, some of which would cost $20 billion or more. The power lines would have up to 765 kilovolts of capacity, double the largest lines now serving Iowa.

Most important, the ruling gives the various authorities a rationale to assign portions of the costs of such a line to all the recipients of the electricity, not just the builders who would start the lines somewhere in the Dakotas, Minnesota or Iowa.

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