Microgrid Knowledge: Hybrid Microgrid in Italy to Include Concentrating Solar Power

Development is underway on the Italian island of Sardinia of a 1.2 MW hybrid microgrid that incorporates concentrating solar power (CSP), a diversion from the more common use of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in microgrids.

CSP condenses the sun’s rays into a small area, typically through use of mirrors or lenses, to produce heat and steam for electric generation. In the U.S., large CSP plants can be found in the Southwest and in Florida.

The microgrid also includes 0.6 MW of CSP, including thermal storage, along with 0.6 MW of concentrating photovoltaics.

New York Times: EPA Chief Was Arm in Arm With Industry

During his tenure as attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, now the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, closely coordinated with major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups with ties to the libertarian billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch to roll back environmental regulations, according to over 6,000 pages of emails made public on Wednesday.

The publication of the correspondence comes just days after Mr. Pruitt was sworn in to run the EPA, which is charged with reining in pollution and regulating public health.

“Thank you to your respective bosses and all they are doing to push back against President Obama’s EPA and its axis with liberal environmental groups to increase energy costs for Oklahomans and American families across the states,” said one email sent to Mr. Pruitt and an Oklahoma congressman in August 2013 by Matt Ball, an executive at Americans for Prosperity. That nonprofit group is funded in part by the Kochs, the Kansas business executives who spent much of the last decade combating federal regulations, particularly in the energy sector. “You both work for true champions of freedom and liberty!” the note said.

Vox: Trump Is Making Promises on Coal Mining Jobs He Can't Possibly Keep

Donald Trump has been president for a month, and his supporters are already praising him for bringing back U.S. coal mining jobs -- even though he hasn’t, really. Here’s a sample quote from a Trump backer in Florida, via Jenna Johnson and David Weigel of the Washington Post:

“If he hadn’t gotten into office, 70,000 miners would have been put out of work. [...] I saw the ceremony where he signed that bill, giving them their jobs back, and he had miners with their hard hats and everything -- you could see how happy they were.”

The supporter is referring here to Trump’s repeal of the Obama administration’s “stream protection rule,” which would have placed new restrictions on coal companies dumping mining waste in streams. It’s true that coal companies hated this rule and claimed it would’ve killed thousands of jobs, but an outside analysis found that the job impacts would be minimal: repealing the rule will only boost annual mining employment by 124 jobs. Total.

North American Windpower: GE, Juhl Energy Building Hybrid Wind-Solar Project

GE Renewable Energy has been selected to supply equipment for what it says will be the first commercial integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation project in the U.S.

The 4.6 MW, community-based project will be situated in Red Lake Falls, Minn. Developed by Juhl Energy, the project will use two 2.3-116 wind turbines from GE’s onshore wind business and 1 MW of solar conversion equipment from GE’s current business. GE expects the project to enter commercial operations in August.

GE will also provide its Wind Integrated Solar Energy technology platform, developed through the company’s global research center. The platform will integrate the solar panels through the wind turbine’s converter directly.

RenewEconomy: BYD Seeks 25% Share of Australia Battery Storage Market

China’s biggest electric vehicle and battery storage company, BYD, is looking to grab a 25 percent share of Australia’s burgeoning battery storage market, after launching a new B-Box product range aimed at competing with industry leaders LG Chem and Tesla.

In a launch at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art on Wednesday that reflected both the company’s huge asset base and the scale of its ambitions in Australia, BYD (Build Your Dreams) hosted several hundred battery storage installers and distributors as it laid down its challenge.