Saturday March 30th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Storing Green Energy… More And Cheaper Batteries
Frequently in the past year I have reposted information in association with solar and wind power, letting my readers know of innovations and improvements leading to more of a slice, percentage wise, in which green infrastructure produces electricity rather than fossil fuels. The good news here is that more cities, states, and countries are pledging to switch to green energy and in shorter timeframes. A big part of this improved situation comes from better capacity to store this green energy for use involving battery technology. Today I will repost a new Bloomberg article reporting on batteries that are an essential part of the weaponry for the Climate War, or the war to prevent civilization from ending due to the climate crisis.
Here is the new article I will be referring to today:
The Race to Build the World’s Largest Solar-Storage Plant Is On
By: Jim Efstathiou Jr March 28, 2019 12:25 PM EDT
Last year, a company won a contract to build a 65-megawatt solar and battery farm in Arizona. A month later, the Saudis came out with a $200 billion plan to build the world’s biggest battery-backed solar farm by 2030. Then a firm proposed a nearly 500-megawatt solar-storage site in Texas’s oil patch.
The race to build the biggest solar-battery plant is officially on.
And the latest to join the competition is renewable energy giant NextEra Energy Inc., which said Thursday that it’ll build a project in Florida that will claim the title of the largest solar-powered battery in the world. The 409-megawatt battery will be added to an existing 74.5-megawatt solar plant on the west coast of the state near Tampa, a company statement shows.
The project would be four times larger than any other battery system in operation. It’s all a testament to how powerful of a combination solar and storage has become. Batteries and renewable energy paired together are now threatening the economics of fossil fuel-fired power plants around the world. A BloombergNEF analysis issued this week showed storage is now, for the first time, the cheapest option for meeting peak power demand in some cases.
“As the price of battery and solar technology continue to fall and as we learn how to optimize this technology in multiple ways to best serve our customers, we are going to be seeing more battery technology throughout our system,’’ NextEra spokeswoman Alys Daly said in an interview.
What BloombergNEF Says
“This is further evidence of a trend that is becoming increasingly commonplace across the United States of solar plus storage displacing gas powered plants. It is considered in many states a genuine alternative to gas assets.”
Logan Goldie-Scot, energy storage analyst
NextEra’s project, slated to be in operation in 2021, will replace 1,638 megawatts of natural gas-fired generation at the site that will be retired once the battery system is in service. The company said the solar farm cost $100 million but declined to give a estimate for the battery portion of its project.
Battery Costs Plunge
Average prices are down 85% since 2010:
Source: BloombergNEF Footnote: Lithium-ion battery prices are adjusted to real 2018 dollars
The next-largest battery in operation is a 100-megawatt storage project in Australia. But with the average cost of a lithium-ion battery pack down 85 percent, more projects are being developed around the world.
Here are details on some of the other big solar-battery farms being proposed:
- Saudia Arabia partnered with SoftBank Group Corp. last March for its project to build massive networks of photovoltaic panels across the sun-drenched desert kingdom backed by a storage system for when the sun isn’t shining. If actually constructed, the 200-gigawatt project would dwarf any other proposed in the world.
- In Texas, IP Juno, a unit of San Francisco-based Intersect Power LLC, outlined plans to Texas’s power grid operator for a 495-megawatt storage system that would be built in tandem with a solar farm of the same size in Borden County, Texas. The projects were proposed to be completed in 2021.
- Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners is proposing to install 690 megawatts of solar and as much as 200 megawatts of batteries on almost 44,000 acres of federal land about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of downtown Las Vegas.
- First Solar Inc. won a power contract to supply Arizona’s biggest utility with a 65-megawatt solar farm that will, in turn, feed a 50-megawatt battery system.
Again, this is all very good news for a world that is ever hungry for more electricity. Keep in mind that in order to win the Climate War eventually all transportation, probably including the airline industry, will need to be run off electricity, which will need to be stored effectively and not lost.. I know some are beginning to get tired of reading and listening to this, but the solutions are here, now it will take the political will for the wholescale switch and usage of them.
Here is some more weather and climate news from Saturday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see articles.)
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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”