Electric Light & Power: SPP Sets North American Record for Wind Power

   

Southwest Power Pool set a wind power penetration record of 52.1 percent at 4:30 a.m., Feb. 12, becoming the first regional transmission organization (RTO) in North America to serve more than 50 percent of its load at a given time with wind energy.

The milestone beats a previous North American RTO record of 49.2 percent that SPP set on April 24, 2016. Wind penetration is a measure of the amount of total load served by wind at a given time.

As recently as the early 2000s, SPP’s generating fleet included less than 400 MW of wind, and for years, wind was reported in the “Other” category in SPP’s fuel mix data. Wind is now the third most-prevalent fuel source in the SPP region. It made up approximately 15 percent of the organization’s generating capacity in 2016, behind only natural gas and coal.

Installed wind-generation capacity increased in 2016 alone by more than 30 percent -- up 4,000 MW from 12 GW to more than 16 GW.

E&E News Climatewire: DOE Faces Uncertain Role in National Security

Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser is making headlines this week, but analysts say a less high-profile development on the president's National Security Council could make waves down the road.

In a break from the prior administration, the Energy secretary is no longer a member of the National Security Council's senior management, known as the Principals Committee. It's a role that had been given to the Energy secretary because of the momentous responsibility that person has for overseeing the nation's nuclear weapons.

Some experts say the absence of the secretary or another agency leader with nuclear weapons expertise who can inform White House discussions would be a mistake.

The Hill: Trump Signs Bill Undoing Obama Coal Mining Rule

President Trump on Thursday signed legislation ending a key Obama administration coal mining rule.

The bill quashes the Office of Surface Mining's Stream Protection Rule, a regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste that officials finalized in December.

The legislation is the second Trump has signed into law ending an Obama-era environmental regulation. On Tuesday, he signed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution undoing a financial disclosure requirement for energy companies.

Both the mining and financial disclosure bills are the tip of a GOP push to undo a slate of regulations instituted in the closing days of the Obama administration. The House has passed several CRA resolutions, and the Senate has so far sent three of them to President Trump for his signature.

China Daily: Sinopec to Harvest More Heat From Earth

With its ambitious 5-year plan for geothermal, China aims to add 530 MW in geothermal power generation capacity and expand geothermal heating dramatically to clean up its air. 

By 2020, the country is aiming for a geothermal power installed capacity of 530 MW and a geothermal heating area of 1.6 billion square meters, according to the country's energy planner.

Despite some geothermal projects being expensive to develop, projects in locations with good resources are still modestly profitable. The best geothermal resources in China are in Tibet, and Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.  

Reuters: Toyota to Recall All 2,800 Mirai Fuel Cell Cars on The Road

Toyota Motor Corp. said on Wednesday it was recalling all of the roughly 2,800 zero-emission Mirai cars on the road due to problems with the output voltage generated by their fuel cell system.

Toyota said that under unique driving conditions, such as if the accelerator pedal is depressed to the wide open throttle position after driving on a long descent while using cruise control, there was a possibility the output voltage generated by the fuel cell boost converter could exceed the maximum voltage.

To date, Toyota has sold about 2,840 Mirai cars in Japan, the United States and some markets in Europe, as well as the United Arab Emirates.

Toyota dealers will update the fuel cell system software at no cost to the customer, it said. The process will take about half an hour, it said.