This week in cleantech and energy news, autonomous boats may take over in waterway-rich cities, wind power is on track for a record year, and South Australia moves ahead with the world’s largest solar plant!
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- The number of contracts signed for wind power projects hit a record of 3,500 MW in Q1 2018, according to the American Wind Energy Association, signaling that 2018 should be a strong year for the renewable resource.
“AWEA noted that six companies, including Adobe, AT&T and Nestle, signed wind PPAs for the first time while several other corporations were repeat customers. Utilities also stepped up to the plate, with PacifiCorp announcing plans for a $2 billion wind farm in Wyoming.”
- The South Australian government announced plans to move forward with the Tesla agreement to install solar panels on 1,100 houses, as well as subsidizing 40,000 home battery units for homeowners who could not otherwise afford them.
“If everything goes as planned this could make South Australia a world leader. It could also be a major proving ground, not just for renewable energy, but also for decentralized ‘virtual’ power plants – a new type of energy infrastructure that’s gained some popular traction lately.”
GreenTech Media – Massachusetts and Rhode Island Contract for 1,200MW of Offshore Wind
- Massachusetts and Rhode Island have announced offshore wind projects aimed at delivering a combined 1,200 megawatts of energy, enough to power 400,000 homes.
“With world-class wind resources, infrastructure and offshore energy expertise, the U.S. is primed to scale up this industry and lead it.”
The New York Times – Massachusetts Gains Foothold in Offshore Wind Power, Long Ignored in U.S.
- The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, owned and operated by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, will play a critical role in supporting the emerging offshore wind industry in Massachusetts.
“The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the state agency, has already spent $113 million dredging the harbor and expanding and reinforcing a 29-acre marine commerce terminal. The state is preparing it to load the components of turbines that stretch up to 600 feet high and weigh many tons onto special vessels for installation at sea.”
- Solar energy is on schedule to surpass wind in global capacity by 2020, making it fourth in energy generation, behind coal, gas, and hydro.
“The report says increased battery energy storage capabilities, surges in merger and acquisition activities, and disruptive energy start-ups are the primary reasons the renewable energy sector is seeing this surge – and solar has, so far, been the primary beneficiary of this energy capacity expansion.”
- Waterway-heavy cities such as Amsterdam, Bangkok, and Venice may soon include autonomous boats that transport goods and people, helping clear up road traffic.
“In the future, the researchers also envision the driverless boats being adapted to perform city services overnight, instead of during busy daylight hours, further reducing congestion on both roads and canals.”