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Facts of the Day are informational snippets gathered from industry leading sources around the web pertaining to the energy industry.

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Green Energy


Wind generation output in ERCOT breaks record

3/31/13 | Todays Energy Solutions

March winds brought a new wind power record to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region Wednesday evening, March 26, when instantaneous output reached a record 10,296MW at 8:48 p.m.

At the time the new record was set, wind generation was providing nearly 29% of the 35,768MW of electricity being used on the ERCOT grid. The new record beats the previous record set earlier this month by more than 600MW, and the American Wind Energy Association reports it was a record for any U.S. power system.

CMP wants Mainers who generate their own power to pay more

3/12/13 | Portland Press Herald

Central Maine Power Co. wants customers that generate some of their own electricity from renewable sources to pay higher monthly service charges, but the idea is being challenged as an attack on Maine's renewable-energy industry.

CMP says its plan would help cover the overall cost of service while keeping such customers on the grid even if they don't need power all the time.

America's 1st offshore wind farm could be operational by 2016

3/4/13 | Power Engineering

Credit agency EKF has approved a $600 million loan for the Cape Wind offshore project, according to Think Progress. Cape Wind said it would need $2.5 billion to build the wind farm and the most recent loan gives the offshore wind project $900 million, so far, in financing.

Cape Wind expects to have all the funds by this fall and go online by 2016.

The offshore wind farm would include 130 wind turbines, located in Nantucket Sound, and produce enough energy to provide power to 75 percent of the region.

FERC: Solar outpaced wind, coal installations in 2013

12/30/13 | Utility Dive

Solar is outpacing other renewables and coal-fired generation by adding 2,631 MW so far this year, up from a 1,584 MW a year ago, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

New wind generation plunged to 1,108 MW this year, down from 7,808 MW a year ago. New coal capacity also fell to 1,543 MW from 3,242 a year ago.

NFL, PSEG to provide green energy for Super Bowl XLVIII

12/9/13 | Power Engineering

PSEG said that for every megawatt hour used to power the Super Bowl, one renewable energy credit (REC) will be purchased and retired on behalf of Super Bowl XLVIII. This includes power used at the following locations: Met Life Stadium, the AFC and NFC team hotels and Super Bowl Boulevard, which is the largest public Super Bowl event in Times Square in New York City.

2013: More Solar Than Wind

12/2/13 | Breaking Energy

According to a newly released report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), 2013 is expected to become the first year in which solar PVs beat wind in terms of megawatts of new installed capacity on a global level. It is a remarkable feat for solar energy, which is predicted to add 36.7 GW of new PV capacity vs. 35.5 GW for wind – 33.8 GW onshore plus 1.7GW offshore. In 2012, wind added 46.6 GW compared to 30.5 GW for solar PVs.

Renewable energy is 99 percent of all new U.S. generation capacity in October

11/25/13 | Electric Light & Power

According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, solar, biomass, and wind "units" provided 694 MW of new power generating capacity last month or 99.3 percent of all new generation placed in-service (the balance of 5 MW was provided by oil.)

Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in October 2013 followed by four biomass units (124 MW — 17.7 percent) and two wind power units (66 MW — 9.4 percent).

Renewable sources now account for nearly 16 percent of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: water — 8.30 percent, wind — 5.21 percent, biomass — 1.32 percent, solar — 0.59 percent, and geothermal steam — 0.33 percent. This is more than nuclear (9.22 percent) and oil (4.06 percent) combined.

EIA predicts power from wood, waste biomass will increase in 2014

11/18/13 | Biomass Magazine

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the November issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting that the use of wood and waste biomass to generate power will increase in 2014. Across all electricity generating sectors, the EIA predicts wood biomass will be used to generate 106,000 MWh per day of power in 2013, increasing to 111,000 MWh per day in 2014. The use of waste biomass is also expected to increase, from 54,000 MWh per day to 55,000 MWh per day.

Cape Wind offshore wind power project construction expected to begin by end of year

10/28/13 | Power Engineering

An executive at Cape Wind Associates LLC said the company expects construction of the first offshore wind farm in the U.S. to begin by the end of 2013, according to a report from Bloomberg. The project would be located on the Horseshow Shoal in Nantucket Sound. Construction of the $2.6 billion project is being delayed by two legal appeals after the company has already won 13 previous challenges, Bloomberg reported Cape Wind Vice President Dennis Duffy as saying at the American Wind Energy Association's Offshore Windpower 2013 conference.

U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Emissions Fall to 18-Year Low

10/23/13 | National Geographic

The 2012 figures are now out and in fact, the United States was able to cut its carbon emissions fourfold below the goal of the ill-fated Waxman-Markey legislation, even though the nation's economy grew 2.8 percent in 2012. A U.S. Energy Information Administration report released Monday showed that U.S. energy-related carbon emissions last year were 5,280 million metric tons, their lowest point since 1994 and 12 percent below the 2007 peak.

Cost of Renewable Energy has Fallen 50% Since 2008

9/16/13 | Oil Price

The recently released Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis 7.0 from the financial advisor and asset management firm Lazard Freres & Co., shows that the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for wind and solar installations across the US has fallen by over 50% in the past four years.

They calculated that solar PV and wind energy produced electricity at a cost of $68-$104 per MWh, similar to baseload power from coal, at $65-$145 per MWh; nuclear, at $86-$122 per MWh; and integrated gasification combined cycle, at $95-$154 per MWh. When including the federal tax subsidies offered in the US the LCOE for wind falls to $23-$85 per MWh, and thin-film utility scale solar PV comes in at just $51-$78 per MWh.

ISO-NE now publishing seven-day wind power forecast

6/19/13 | ISO-New England

Currently, about 700 megawatts (MW) of wind power generation are connected to the New England electric grid. An additional 2,800 MW of wind power are in the ISO's generation interconnection queue, representing nearly 40% of all generation projects being proposed for development in the region.

One major initiative underway this year is the development of a centralized wind power forecast.

Making buildings 30 percent more energy efficient would save $34 billion per year

5/21/13 | Electric Light & Power

According to the findings, improving energy efficiency in buildings by 30 percent would create a $275 billion market for advanced technology, engineering and design services, and construction activity in the U.S. alone — that's larger than the total U.S. advertising market.

The energy savings would generate $34 billion per year for American businesses, net of investment expenses, that could either be passed on to consumers or used to hire more employees or invest in R&D or expanded production. Households would save an additional $23 billion per year that they could use to save for the future, invest in education, or spend on consumer goods or personal services.

With more wind energy, PJM could save customers $7 billion per year

5/15/13 | Electric Light & Power

The PJM Interconnection could save its customers $6.9 billion if it more than doubled the amount of wind energy it currently plans to build. This is according to a study by Americans for a Clean Energy Grid and Synapse Energy Economics.

By the end of 2012, about 3.4 percent of PJM's total installed capacity was generated from wind. Over the next 13 years, with the advent of renewable portfolio standards, states within the PJM system will expand their wind energy capacity to 11 percent of their total installed capacity.

Union Station goes 100% wind

4/17/13 | Fierce Energy

For the next three years, Washington D.C.'s Union Station will be powered by wind from Washington Gas Energy Services – a load of 18,943,964 kilowatt hours annually.

Solar dominates generation installations in March

4/10/13 | Generation Hub

In what could be a sign of its maturation as a generating source, solar accounted for all 44 MW of the new power resources installed during March and is second only to wind when it comes to new capacity installation during the first quarter of 2013, according to FERC data.

FERC's Office of Energy Projects reported April 8 there seven solar units and 44 MW of solar generating capacity brought online during March. During the first three months of 2013, there has been 537 MW of new solar power commissioned.

NY Renewable Energy Study Finds New York Could Soon Be Powered By Wind, Water And Sunlight

4/8/13 | Associated Press

A new study says New York could get the power it needs from wind, water and sunlight by 2030 with a concerted push, though the state's decade-long effort to significantly boost green energy shows how challenging that could be.

The study, led by researchers from Stanford and Cornell universities, provides a theoretical road map to how New Yorkers could rely on renewable energy within 17 years. It would require massive investments in wind turbines, solar panels and more from the windy shores off Long Island to sun-exposed rooftops upstate.

Americans Want Solar, Wind, Natural Gas

4/3/13 | Today's Energy Solutions

Americans want the United States to pick up its production of domestic energy using solar power, wind, and natural gas, according to a Gallup poll.

According to the study, which was released late in March, 76% of Americans want the U.S. to put more emphasis on solar, 71% want more emphasis on wind, and 65% prefer an emphasis on natural gas.

Less than half of those surveyed want to emphasize the production of oil, and a little more than a third want to put more effort into nuclear power production. The study shows that coal is the least favored form of domestic production.

NJ drives 1/3 of US solar, adds 33% to state grid

3/27/13 | Fierce Energy

New research reports that solar is the fastest growing energy source in the U.S. at a record setting 3,313 MW of solar PV installed in 2012, according to a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research -- growing the market 34 percent from $8.6 billion in 2011 to $11.5 billion in 2012.

New Jersey added more than 33 percent to its power grid in 2012 and was solely responsible for almost one-third of the country's non-residential installations, including business, government and non-profit, surpassing 1 GW of installed capacity for the state.

Three New England states working together to drive down renewable energy costs

3/20/13 | Power Engineering

Three New England states are planning joint solicitations for renewable energy in an attempt to create a buyer's market and driving down the costs of renewable energy, according to a report from Platts. Connecticut officials said at a news conference Monday the state will be working with Massachusetts and Vermont to fast-track a joint solicitation for renewable energy. According to Platts, Connecticut also plans to increase its renewable portfolio standard and allow large hydroelectric projects to participate.

U.S. installs more than 3,300 MW of solar PV in 2012

3/18/13 | Power Engineering

U.S. photovoltaic installations in 2012 increased 76 percent over 2011 numbers to 3,313 MW, with an estimated market value of $11.5 billion, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)'s "U.S. Solar Market Insight 2012 Year In Review."

3% Of U.S. Electricity Could Come From U.S. Rivers

3/4/13 | Clean Technica

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) recently completed a mapping and assessment of hydrokinetic resources in continental U.S. rivers and found that these undeveloped resources could provide 3% of the nation's annual use of electricity. The assessment is part of an Energy Department effort to assess U.S. hydrokinetic waterpower resources, including river, wave, tidal, ocean thermal, and ocean current.

U.S. electric utilities investing heavily in wind energy

2/25/13 | Electric Light & Power

U.S. electric utilities are locking in fixed-price contracts for wind power, now more cost-competitive than ever, illustrating the success of a key federal tax policy in holding down rates for consumers, according to the American Wind Energy Association. A total of 66 U.S. utilities bought or owned wind power by the start of this year — nearly half for large amounts over 100 MW — up from 42 a year before. Utilities have continued to sign up for more since Congress and President Barack Obama extended the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy in the "fiscal cliff" bill signed at the beginning of January.

Facts show renewable energy success

2/20/13 | Fierce Energy

While the U.S. actually saw substantial decline in the renewable energy investment dollars from 2011-2012 (from $300 billion down to $270 billion), that's a misleading figure. The drop can be attributed, in part, to falling costs of renewable energy materials, and increased energy use. In fact, 2012 was a record year for U.S. installed renewable capacity at 17.4 GW.

The Top 10 Wind Energy States In 2012

2/4/13 | AOL Energy

The Top 10 states for new installed wind
1. Texas (1,826 MW)
2. California (1,656 MW)
3. Kansas (1,440 MW)
4. Oklahoma (1,127 MW)
5. Illinois (823 MW)
6. Iowa (814 MW)
7. Oregon (640 MW)
8. Michigan (611 MW)
9. Pennsylvania (550 MW)

Carbon dioxide emissions at lowest levels since 1994

1/28/13 | Power Engineering

A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report shows that U.S. carbon dioxide emission levels are at the lowest since 1994. The drop in emissions was helped by the renewable energy capacity in the U.S. nearly doubling from 2009 to 2012. The report states the cumulative installed solar, wind, geothermal and biomass based energy sources reached 85.7 GW in 2012. In 2009, the U.S. had 43.5 GW of capacity from the same sources.

Renewable Energy's High Generating Capacity

1/21/13 | Today's Energy Solutions

According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) accounted for 49.10% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed in the twelve months of 2012 for a total of 12,956MW. More than a quarter of that new capacity (25.29% -3,276MW) came on-line in the month of December 2012 alone.

Mighty wind . . . a force to be reckoned with

1/7/13 | Today's Energy Solutions

Wind power could supply up to 12% of global electricity by 2020, creating 1.4million new jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 1.5billion tons per year, more than 5 times today's level, according to new research. And by 2030, wind power could provide more than 20% of global electricity supply, the Global Wind Energy Council and pressure group Greenpeace claim.

Renewable energy was nearly half of new U.S. generation in 2012

12/17/12 | Electric Light & Power

According to the latest energy infrastructure update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources — biomass, geothermal, solar, hydropower and wind — accounted for 41.14 percent of new electrical generating capacity installed in October 2012 and 46.22 percent for the first ten months of 2012. In October, 10 new wind power projects (594 MW) came online as well as three biomass projects (69 MW), 10 solar projects (59 MW) and one hydropower project (5 MW).

National Grid funnels $40 million toward transmission lines for wind energy

12/5/12 | Market Watch

U.K.-based power and transmission firm National Grid has set plans to invest $40 million in Clean Line Energy Partners, the Houston-based start-up proposing to build long, direct-current high power lines to move electricity from big wind farms in the central part of the U.S. to the country's power-hungry population centers.

MA Approves Cape Wind, NSTAR Power Purchase Agreement

1/28/12 | Today's Energy Solutions

Cape Wind has secured another major milestone with the approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of the 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with NSTAR to buy Cape Wind's energy, capacity and renewable energy credits. The NSTAR/Cape Wind PPA is for 27.5% of Cape Wind's power. In December, 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously upheld the DPU's approval of Cape Wind's PPA with National Grid for 50% of Cape Wind's power.

National Grid Backs Clean Line to Connect Wind Farms

11/28/12 | Bloomberg

National Grid Plc (NG/), which manages electricity networks in Great Britain and three northeast U.S. states, invested $40 million in Clean Line Energy Partners LLC to help the company build power lines for onshore wind farms. Clean Line plans to use the funding to develop four projects that will deliver 14,000 megawatts of wind power generated in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa and New Mexico to consumers in other states, National Grid said today in a statement.

Does Renewable Energy Raise the Cost of Your Thanksgiving Dinner?

11/21/12 | AOL Energy

Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner is an expensive operation that is almost universally observed across the United States, and a consortium of companies and groups concerned about the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on the US economy sees this year's Thanksgiving as an ideal opportunity to note what it says will be an increase in the cost of a high-profile family event. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation's survey, turkey dinner and all the fixings for 10 people will cost $49.48, or about 35 percent more than it did when the Renewable Fuel Standard was first passed in 2005.