Saturday, September 23, 2017

Company Briefs

Kimberly-Clark Expects to Beat GHG Reduction Goal

Kimberly-Clark officials expect the company to reach its greenhouse gas reduction goal four years ahead of schedule after making long-term power purchase agreements for electricity from two new wind projects.

The company, which owns brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Kotex and Depend, struck deals to purchase 1 million MWh annually from projects in Texas and Oklahoma. That amounts to about one-third of the electricity needs of its North American manufacturing operations.

The wind-generated electricity will allow Kimberly-Clark to achieve more than a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2018, which is four years ahead of its 2022 target date.

More: NewsTimes

Level Solar Apparently Goes out of Business

Level Solar has apparently gone out of business.

The privately held residential, commercial and industrial solar installer’s website is offline, and its phone has an out-of-hours message. Posts on LinkedIn and other employment-related websites indicate the company’s staff has been laid off.

The company, which in 2015 reached a deal to borrow $25 million from New York’s Green Bank, let go its CEO Richard Keiser in June.

More: pv magazine

Alcoa Granted PUCHA Exemption

FERC on Wednesday granted Alcoa’s request to exempt the aluminum manufacturer’s power generating assets from the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005.

Alcoa asked for a declaratory order because of a corporate restructuring last November that split the company into two independent, publicly traded companies: Arconic and Alcoa. The latter company includes Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (APGI), which generates and purchases electricity for the company’s refining and smelting operations but which had been granted a PUCHA exemption in 2006 because it did not serve as a traditional public utility role and has no retail customers other than its own operations.

PUCHA gives the commission access to the books and other records of holding companies and associate companies to protect utility customers. “Based on the representations made by Alcoa, we find … that Alcoa’s books, accounts, memoranda and other records are not relevant to the jurisdictional rates of APGI and thus it is appropriate to exempt Alcoa from the [PUCHA] requirements,” the commission said.

More: EL17-34

Basin Electric Granted PURPA Waiver

FERC approved Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s request to take on the must-purchase obligations of its 72 cooperative member-owners under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act while transferring to them its obligation to sell to qualifying facilities of 150 kW or more.

The cooperative said QFs will suffer no harm from the change because Basin Electric’s avoided costs are equal to those of its participating members. Basin said having it conduct retail sales would result in significant administrative costs, which would be passed on to QFs, and would duplicate services already available from the participating members.

FERC approved the request Wednesday, saying it was nearly identical to those the commission has previously granted to generation and transmission cooperatives.

More: EL17-46

GM to Power Manufacturing Plants with 100% Renewables

General Motors will power all its Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2018, the automaker announced Tuesday.

GM is buying a total of 200 MW of wind energy from farms in both states. When the turbines come online, renewables will power 20% of GM’s global electricity use.

More: General Motors

Pitesa Joining NEI as Chief Nuclear Officer

Pitesa | © Duke

John W. Pitesa is joining the Nuclear Energy Institute as chief nuclear officer effective Dec. 1. He will replace NEI Vice President Joe Pollock, who has served as interim chief nuclear officer since January and will return to his position as vice president of nuclear generation, which he has held since 2013.

Pitesa, who has 37 years of experience at Duke Energy, will be responsible for executive oversight of all aspects of NEI’s nuclear operations, including emergency planning, risk assessment, used fuel programs, radiation safety, environmental protection, and fuel and materials safety.

He is leaving his post as senior vice president and CNO at Duke and joins NEI as a loaned executive.

More: Nuclear Energy Institute

Makani Plans to Test Wind Kite in Hawaii in 2018

Makani, the airborne wind energy developer owned by Google’s parent, Alphabet, plans to test its fly-gen turbine-bearing plane concept in Hawaii in 2018.

The tests will be Makani’s first experience operating its M600 airborne wind energy prototype away from a desert environment and over inhabited space near towns and an airport.

The 2018 plans come after Bloomberg reported that the energy kite had waning support from Alphabet, which Fort Felker, Makani’s head, denies.

More: Greentech Media

Todd Snitchler Joining API as Head of Market Development

Todd Snitchler, the former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, will be joining the American Petroleum Institute as head of its market development department.

For the last several years, Snitchler has headed an alliance of independent power producers opposing state-mandated extra funding for FirstEnergy and the state’s other traditional utilities whose old nuclear and coal plants can’t compete with IPPs. API has opposed FirstEnergy’s efforts to convince state lawmakers to subsidize its nuclear power plant fleet by creating special customer charges.

Snitchler served three years as PUCO chairman after Gov. John Kasich appointed him in 2011 to complete the last three years of former Chairman Alan Schriber’s last term in office. He did not seek a full five-year term.

More: The Plain Dealer

Michigan WtE Plant on Track to Generate Power in Early Fall

The first large waste-to-energy power plant in Michigan has reopened under new management and expects to generate power in early fall.

The Fremont Regional Digester in Newaygo County cost $22 million to build and was placed into receivership in September 2015 after NOVI Energy failed to cover its upfront costs.

Generate Capital purchased the 2.8-MW facility for $4.4 million in January and hired Dynamic Systems Management to manage it. The plant began taking waste products on Aug. 1.

More: MiBiz

Goldman Sachs Buys $300M in Loans from Solar Mosaic

Goldman Sachs Group has agreed to buy $300 million of loans for residential PV projects from Solar Mosaic.

The solar financing provider said it will now have about $800 million to invest in future home solar installations on top of $650 million in borrowing capacity it has from other lenders.

Solar Mosaic has a network of more than 125 rooftop developers that have financed more than $1 billion in solar homes.

More: pv magazine

Anheuser-Busch Inks Wind-Power Agreement

Anheuser-Busch InBev has signed an agreement to buy 152.2 MW of wind power ― enough to produce more than 20 billion 12-ounce servings of beer annually ― from an Oklahoma wind farm being built by Enel Green Power.

Thunder Ranch wind farm in Garfield, Kay and Noble counties is expected to generate more than 1,100 GWh a year when completed.

Currently, 2% of the brewery’s electricity comes from renewable sources. In April, it committed to having 100% of its purchased electricity come from renewables by 2025.

More: St. Louis Business Journal

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