Once again we're bringing you the latest news stories from across the USA in the world of renewable energy. With America's renewable energy sector growing rapidly, there are more and more stories to bring you every month. We've highlighted the biggest and most important developments from July, which you can watch or read below.
Once again out top story this month relates to development of the offshore wind industry and specifically California, where Governor Gavin Newsom has set a target of at least 20 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2045. The US Department of the Interior announced the proposed auction details and lease terms for offshore wind energy development in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area and Humboldt Wind Energy Area, located off central and northern California. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is currently inviting prospective bids for five lease areas at these locations, with the combined potential to generate 4.5 gigawatts. The Governor’s accelerated climate plan reinforces California’s leadership in addressing climate change, and will move the state faster towards being carbon neutral.
Governor Gavin Newsom said:
"California communities experience the devastating impacts of climate change every day. We need to supercharge our efforts to significantly reduce harmful carbon pollution. The state’s draft carbon neutrality road map doesn’t go far enough or fast enough. That’s why I’m pushing state agencies to adopt more aggressive actions, from offshore wind to climate-friendly homes, and to make sure we never build another fossil fuel power plant in California again."
Spanish developer Elawan Energy has closed financing on 2 solar farms totalling 147MW in the state of Texas. The two projects financed are in the construction phase and are expected to come into operation in 2023. The projects are located in Hill County and Bosque County with individual capacities of 60MW and 87MWs.
Elawan Energys CFO Pedro Garcia Crespo said:
"It is great news for the company to complete this relevant milestone, connected to our ambitious expansion plan in the United States.”
The Biden administration recently announced the Gulf of Mexico’s first offshore wind farms will be developed off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, and together they’re projected to produce enough energy to power around 3 million homes.
Energy analysts and the state’s grid operator said, the wind farms likely will not be up and running for years, but the announcement from the U.S. Interior Department is another step in ramping up offshore wind energy in the United States, which has lagged behind that of Europe and China.
A new house passed crew mandate bill has been described as a gut punch for the offshore wind industry. The measure, folded into a defence authorization bill, would impose new nationality requirements for crew members working on offshore energy projects, from oil rigs to wind installations. Crews would have to be citizens or permanent residents of the US, or be from the same country under which their vessel is flagged.
This could delay the development of renewable projects along the US East Coast, according to executives from companies including Orsted, Equinor and BP Wind Energy. Right now, they say, there aren’t enough trained American mariners to do the specialized work needed to connect hundreds of offshore turbines to the grid. Significant disruptions could undercut President Joe Biden’s bid to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
Arizona based Universal Solar are to open a 600MW solar module factory in Panama, in statement released on their website Universal Solar stated:
“Universal Solar is taking orders now, with delivery expected in the fourth quarter 2022, the company has signed Master Service Agreements for more than 400 MW of modules, and is negotiating an additional 175 MW, which would account for nearly all of the factory’s 600 MW first-line capacity.”
The governor of the US state of Rhode Island, Dan McKee, has signed into law legislation to procure up to 1 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity.
The request for proposals calls for 600MW to 1GW of offshore wind that has the potential to meet at least 30% of Rhode Island’s estimated 2030 electricity demand.