Second US Offshore Wind Lease Secured by Dominion
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held its second auction of renewable energy in U.S. federal waters, targeting offshore wind energy in about 112,000 acres off the Virginia coast. Only two bidders participated in the auction as Dominion Virginia Power came out on top of Apex Clean Energy after six rounds of bids and $1.6 million. The area is located about 23 nautical miles from the Virginia Beach coastline and has a potential wind generation exceeding 2 GW.
U.S. May Demand Stronger Rail Tank Cars for Hazardous Materials
Rail tank cars, which are moving an increasing volume of crude oil and other hazardous materials, may have to be more robust and better able to withstand a crash, U.S. regulators said. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration recently released a proposal for more puncture resistance of the head and shell of tank cars as well as stronger top fittings protection. The agency released the proposal following the July 6 Quebec runaway train explosion that killed 47 people.
Japanese Fuel Cell Market Ripe After Fukushima Disaster, Says Bloom Energy
Following the Fukushima earthquake, Japan is primed to adopt power supply technology that can withstand disasters and complement services currently being provided by utilities, says Bloom Energy Japan Ltd. With its fuel cell technology, Bloom Energy is targeting large power consumers such as factories, office buildings, data centers as well as the local government. Bloom’s units generate electricity from gas without burning the fuel, a more efficient process that produces fewer carbon emissions. Fuel cells reduce the risk of blackouts because they are not dependent on centralized power plants.
Europe Needs Carbon Floor Price to Spur Profit for Gas Plants
Europe is in need of an emissions permit price floor to make gas-fired power a profitable alternative to more-polluting coal plants. Wolfgang Anzengruber, CEO of Verbund AG, adds that rising carbon prices will raise the cost of coal-fired power generation, encouraging the use of cleaner gas-fed stations. Verbund will decide by the middle of next quarter whether to close its 848 MW gas plant in Austria. Utilities have been shutting gas-fired generators as the falling cost of pollution makes coal plants more profitable to operate, even though they produce twice as much carbon.
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