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September 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to our September Newsletter! Here we dish out all of the renewable energy industry news, and because we’re an EcoXpert, the latest news with Schneider Electric! Read on for the full article:

Renewable Energy Industry – What’s Happening?

Alberta Is Getting Serious Federal Funding To Ditch Coal For Clean Energy1

A news release earlier this month announced that over $4 million in funding from the Government of Canada will be invested into the transition away from coal in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. Albertan initiatives will be receiving $3,633,417 and similar efforts in Saskatchewan will receive $578,500. All of this funding is through the Canada Coal Transition Initiative (CCTI). According to the Albertan news release, the projects that are receiving funding will be working to support business development and re-employment. As for Saskatchewan, the news release states that their projects are of a similar nature, focusing on supporting tourism, business development, and re-employment.

Federal Government Announces New Canada Energy Regulator Appointments2

The Canadian Energy Regulator Act came into effect late August, replacing the National Energy Board (NEB) with the CER. Operating out of Calgary, the CER will “enable modern effective governance, more inclusive engagement, greater Indigenous participation, stronger safety and environmental protection and timelier project decisions,” said Natural Resources Canada. The government has appointed Peter Watson as chief executive officer of the CER until September 2020. He had served as chair and chief executive officer of the NEB since 2014. The new regulator also includes a group of independent commissioners who are responsible for timely, inclusive and transparent project reviews and decision-making. The commission has all the powers, rights and privileges vested in a superior court of record with respect to any matters within its jurisdiction.

Norman Continues to Strive for 100% Renewable Energy3

The City of Norman, Oklahoma, continues to strive for a community with completely renewable energy. The city had passed a resolution in 2018 to transition to 100% clean energy in the form of wind, solar, energy efficiency measures and other renewable sources within the electricity sector by 2035, and all energy-use sectors, including heating and transportation, by 2050. Norman has set a timeline and priorities for the upcoming year to continue to meet these goals.

Sunrise for Alberta’s solar industry: Economics of commercial-scale projects increasingly make sense4

Alberta’s renewable energy sector has long been dominated by wind, but industry experts say a massive solar farm proposed for southern Alberta is proof of a coming sun-powered revolution. Calgary-based Greengate Power Corp. announced it has received the go-ahead from the Alberta Utilities Commission for its proposed Travers Solar project, which is expected to start construction next year near the village of Lomond in Vulcan County. The $500-million project — which is being developed on a subsidy-free, market basis — is projected to generate 400 MW of electricity, making it the largest facility of its type in Canada and one of the largest in the world. The size of the solar project — up to 2.5-million panels spread over 1,900 hectacres of grazing land — will be comparable to some of the giant facilities that have been built in the California desert.

Google: Our biggest renewable energy purchase ever5

Sustainability has been one of Google’s core values from its earliest days. Over the years Google has worked hard to reduce its carbon footprint on their operations, build products with people and planet in mind, and drive change at scale through supply chains. Google has been a carbon-neutral company since 2007. In 2017, Google became the first company of its size to match its entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy (and then they did it again in 2018). As a result, Google became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world. Now, Google is making the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history. This purchase is made up of a 1,600-megawatt (MW) package of agreements and includes 18 new energy deals. Together, these deals will increase Google’s worldwide portfolio of wind and solar agreements by more than 40 percent, to 5,500 MW—equivalent to the capacity of a million solar rooftops. Once all these projects come online, Google’s carbon-free energy portfolio will produce more electricity than places like Washington D.C. or entire countries like Lithuania or Uruguay use each year. 

The Rise of the Hybrids: New GE Unit Blends Batteries and Renewables to Boost Wind and Solar Power Output6

Renewable energy has been growing at breakneck speed. By 2023, according to the International Energy Agency, the world will add more than 1 terawatt (1,000 gigawatts) of renewable energy generation — a nearly 50% increase in global renewable capacity. That’s more than three times the total generating capacity of Japan, the world’s third-largest economy. Truth is, renewables could grow even faster. Unlike more conventional sources of power generation, they depend on the weather: The sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. But what if you could store megawatts of power from a windy and sunny Sunday and release it on dreary Monday morning as factories ramp up and workers turn on the lights? Add in smart software that acts as a traffic cop — redirecting solar and wind power as needed into the grid or into big batteries — and it would be a huge step toward making renewables available on demand. That’s the idea behind a new GE business called Renewable Hybrids. The unit, a part of GE Renewable Energy, works with utilities and developers to create hybrid power networks, which combine renewable sources, efficient energy storage and software to create a more predictable supply of renewable electrons. “Hybrid is the next frontier in renewables,” says Mike Bowman, chief technology officer of GE’s Renewable Hybrids business. “It’s a paradigm change driven by technology development and market development.”

Schneider Electric News

You are invited! Join us October 17th, 2019 for the annual PowerLogic Users Group (PLUG) conference. It’s free and anyone can join!

What is it?

The conference brings together industry leading experts in electrical metering, energy management and power quality analysis to review unique applications and best practices. Case studies, energy management strategies and product updates are presented industry leading experts as well as Schneider Electric product managers and senior technical application experts. The conference typically draws three hundred attendees who are already power and energy management systems for monitoring, energy management and conservation.

How do I join?

Go to http://know-your-power.com/ to register now or for more information about the Conference, including a schedule of events. Let us know if you’re joining us on our Twitter or LinkedIn!

Our Services

Does your company need electrical engineering services? Metering services? Or perhaps you’re interested in the design and installation of solar panels? N-Sci can help! Send us an email, Tweet, or give us a call to find out what we can do for you!

  • Utility Engineering and Project Management
  • Alternative Energy Site Selection and Project Development
  • Conservation and Demand Management 
  • Controlled Goods Program
  • Owner’s / Lender’s Engineer
  • Regulatory Support

For more information, see our What We Do page.

References

1Burr, Brittany. (Sept 3, 2019). Alberta is Getting Serious Federal Funding to Ditch Coal for Clean Energy. Retrieved from narcity.com: https://www.narcity.com/news/ca/ab/alberta-clean-energy-funding-gives-millions-in-funding-to-ditch-coal

2JWN Staff. (Aug 29, 2019). Federal government announces new Canada Energy Regulator appointments. Retrieved from jwnenergy.com: https://www.jwnenergy.com/article/2019/8/federal-government-announces-new-canada-energy-regulator-appointments/

3Standlee, Katie. (Sept 10, 2019). Norman continues to strive for 100% renewable energy. Retrieved from normantranscript.com: https://www.normantranscript.com/news/local_news/norman-continues-to-strive-for-renewable-energy/article_f0154064-7962-5180-80cd-afec2dc10a56.html

4Stephenson, Amanda. (Aug 29, 2019). Sunrise for Alberta’s solar industry: Economics of commercial-scale projects increasingly make sense. Retrieved from calgaryherald.com: https://calgaryherald.com/business/local-business/sunrise-for-albertas-solar-industry-economics-of-commercial-scale-projects-increasingly-make-sense

5Pichai, Sundar, CEO Google. (Sept 19, 2019). Our biggest renewable energy purchase ever. Retrieved from blog.google: https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/sustainability/our-biggest-renewable-energy-purchase-ever/

6Coffey, Brendan. (Sept 23, 2019). The Rise of the Hybrids: New GE Unit Blends Batteries and Renewables to Boost Wind and Solar Power Output. Retrieved from ge.com: https://www.ge.com/reports/the-rise-of-the-hybrids-new-ge-unit-blends-batteries-and-renewables-to-boost-wind-and-solar-power-output/