Hybrid projects that feature wind, solar and battery storage can help the US and other nations transition to clean energy while maintaining grid reliability, writes Chandu Visweswariah. Policymakers should encourage hybrid projects by updating incentives that pit one energy source against another, such as the Investment Tax Credit's emphasis on solar, and changing how storage is classified so it can be used in more transmission and distribution applications, Visweswariah writes.
US Wind has pushed back the installation of a meteorological tower in Maryland to 2020 and delayed the launch of the project for which the tower will gather data from 2021 to 2023. "US Wind's estimated commercial operation date may continue to change as its qualified offshore wind project develops or as unforeseen variables may arise," wrote Country Manager Salvo Vitale in a letter to the Maryland Public Service Commission.
Black Hills Power and its subsidiary Black Hills Energy have secured approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission to increase the size of a project planned outside of Cheyenne, Wyo. The updated project will feature 21 turbines, up from 16, and cost $78.6 million.
Vard Marine has secured a Jones Act-compliant designation from ABS for an offshore wind service operations vessel. It's the first industry SOV to receive the classification.
Collaboration with other states could help New Jersey efficiently and affordably accelerate its transition toward offshore wind, writes the editorial board of The Press of Atlantic City. "New Jersey could reduce the grid upgrade costs by working with neighboring states to create the regional grid capacity required by the rush of all coastal states into offshore wind energy," wrote the board.
The Clifton Planning Board in Maine has asked SWEB for more information on a proposed expansion to a nine-megawatt, five-turbine wind farm that would increase its capacity by 20 MW. SWEB has also submitted the proposal to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for review.
The Idaho National Laboratory has received its third supercomputer, designed to calculate mathematical equations for fuel and reactor designs six times faster than the current systems. "With advanced modeling and simulation and the computing power now available, we expect to be able to dramatically shorten the time it takes to test, manufacture and commercialize new nuclear technologies," said associate laboratory director John Wagner.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Florida Power & Light, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, a 20-year license extension to operate two reactors at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station through July 2052 and April 2053. The two reactors will be permitted to operate twice as long as was allowed in their original 40-year operating licenses.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says tests show no excessive radiation levels in the Detroit River following the Nov. 26 collapse of a riverside storage site that formerly housed nuclear development programs. The former Revere Copper and Brass Corp. site produced uranium materials in the 1940s and 1950s for the atomic weapons program.
Canada is considering a site on the shores of Lake Huron as a possible permanent repository for its spent nuclear power plant fuel, but four US House members from Michigan have written Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing "strong opposition" to the plan. "Allowing a permanent nuclear waste storage facility anywhere near the Great Lakes basin, for any amount of time, is a risk we cannot afford to take," they wrote.