Stanford is now the First Major University to Divest from Coal
This week Stanford University became the first major university in the country to officially divest from coal companies. The university’s Board of Trustees voted that its $18.7 endowment would not be used to invest in 100 companies that mine and produce coal. The announcement follows a student-led campaign called Fossil Free Standard petitioned the university last year to stop transacting with the 200 largest fossil fuel companies, and instead invest in renewable energy sources. The University has decided to continue investing in oil and natural gas companies for the time being.
Wells Fargo Investing $100 M to Construct Solar PV Plants in N. Carolina
Wells Fargo is investing $100 million of tax equity financing into nine new solar PV projects of Strata Solar in North Carolina. All nine projects will be utility-scale and will sell power directly to the utility company Progress Energy Carolinas. 3 out of the nine projects will exceed 6 MW in capacity. The state’s renewable energy tax credit, which is largely responsible for the growth of the industry, will undoubtedly be utilized by eligible projects involved in the deal.
Tesla’s Gigantic Battery Plant Boosted with Panasonic’s Letter of Intent
Tesla’s ambitious gigafactory battery plant is advancing as Panasonic Corporation signed a letter of intent to join the endeavor after previously expressing hesitancy last March. Panasonic Corp. is Tesla’s main supplier of battery cells. The company estimates that the ambitious factory will cost as much as $5 billion and will employ 6,500 people. Once completed, the factory is expected to cut te cost of lithium-ion cells for Tesla’s electric cars by 30 percent. Groundbreaking on one of at least two possible factories may happen as early as next month, says CEO Elon Musk.
Texas Power Drops as Wind Output Surges
Spot wholesale electricity prices in Texas dropped as wind production exceeded forecasts. Wind output on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. network averaged 5,711 megawatts, above the forecasted 4,421 megawatts, according to the grid’s website. Spot power at the Texas North hub and Houston hub prices slipped 21%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Wind generation accounted for around 10 percent of the electricity produced on the grid last year.
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