Renewable Energy Update – April 2021

Senators introduce legislation to aid clean energy recovery 
Solar Industry – March 30Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Senator Martin Heinrich, D- N.M., have introduced legislation that would help the clean energy industry create good-paying jobs and recover from the COVID-driven economic downturn. The Save America’s Clean Energy Jobs Act would allow for temporary refundability of section 45, 45Q, and 48 investment and production tax credits, which incentivize private development of renewable energy projects such as solar, wind, fuel cells, carbon capture, and sequestration.
Infrastructure plan includes $174 billion for EVs and new funds for renewable power 
Reuters – March 31President Joe Biden’s vast infrastructure plan includes $174 billion to boost the markets for electric vehicles and billions more for renewable power aimed at weaning the U.S. off of fossil fuels and combating climate change. The $2 trillion plan, which also seeks to invest in traditional projects like roads and bridges, is a centerpiece of the administration’s ambitious agenda to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050 and restore the nation’s leadership in addressing global warming. The plan still must be approved by Congress.
Hunt Energy Network to distribute energy storage assets across Texas 
Dallas Innovates – April 1On the heels of Winter Storm Uri, which snowballed into a deep freeze that left millions in Texas without power or running water, Dallas-based Hunt Energy Network has unveiled a new venture that will distribute energy storage assets across the state. Hunt Energy Network will now participate in the energy storage space within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The new company—HEN Infrastructure, LLC—aims to develop a portfolio of 500 MW of assets in ERCOT and will install 50 batteries across Texas in the next four years to help surges and to balance power across the grid.
Apple pushes 100-plus manufacturing partners into renewable energy 
CNET – April 1
Apple is getting more than 110 of its manufacturing partners to move to 100% renewable energy for their Apple production, it said Wednesday. The move is a step in the iPhone maker’s effort to become carbon neutral across its entire business by 2030. The change will cut down carbon emissions by 15 million metric tons each year, which Apple noted is the equivalent of taking more than 3.4 million cars off the road annually.
Solar industry expected to keep setting records until 2024 tax credit step-down 
S&P Global – March 23
The solar industry installed a record 19.2 GW in 2020, leading all technologies in new electric capacity additions, and the sector is on track to more than quadruple in size during the next decade, officials said March 23 during a Solar Energy Industries Association webinar. Wood Mackenzie expects a cumulative 324 GW of solar capacity additions over the next decade, more than three times greater than what has been installed through 2020, according to the quarterly SEIA/Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables U.S. Solar Market Insight report.
GE lands giant 1.5-GW U.S. supply deal 
reNews.BIZ – March 31
GE Renewable Energy has been selected to provide onshore wind turbines for the 1,485-MW North Central Wind Energy Facilities in Oklahoma, its largest single onshore order in history. Under the agreement with Invenergy, GE will deliver 492 2.X-127s and 39 2.X-116 turbines with varying nameplates and hub heights. The North Central Wind Energy Facilities is a group of three wind farms in north central Oklahoma under development by Invenergy. The three wind farms are the 999-MW Traverse Wind Energy Center, the 287-MW Maverick Wind Energy Center, and the 199-MW Sundance Wind Energy Center. Invenergy recently completed construction financing for the Traverse Wind Energy Center earlier this month, with construction expected to be completed by 2022. Maverick and Sundance will be completed later this year.
Westlands 250-MW Solar Park moves forward 
Hanford Sentinel – March 26
Kings County’s mega solar project, Westlands Solar Park, continues to add more phases as it heads to 2,000-MW spread over 21,000 acres. Next in line is Westlands Solar Grape, another 250-MW solar farm planned not far from the Avenal Cutoff. The Kings County Planning Commission will hold a special public hearing by teleconference on May 3 to consider the environmental documents for the proposed project.