Another Solar Company Files Bankruptcy
Following the collapse of solar panel maker Solyndra LLC two months ago, another energy company, Beacon Power Corp., goes bankrupt after receiving a $43 million US loan guarantee. The Massachusetts-based energy company had originally used the loan to support a plant outside Albany, N.Y., storing power to help electric companies manage movements in supply and demand. Unable to raise more funds after the political backlash over Solyndra's $500 million plus bankruptcy filing, the company filed Sunday.
Beacon Power creates flywheels to store power and increase grid efficiency by preventing black outs. Seen as a technology to aid grid reliability, the company received a $43 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy in August 2010. After filing for bankruptcy, Beacon Power owes the government $49.1 million and the state of Massachusetts $3.45 million.
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Last week, the White House announced it would review the Energy Department program, guaranteeing nearly $36 billion in loans to projects in clean energy and other green initiatives.
Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera said, "Protecting taxpayer dollars remains the top priority for Secretary Steven Chu and the department, which is why we were careful to include many protections for the taxpayer" in the Beacon deal. He said the plant in New York was "operational and generating revenue," making it a "valuable collateral asset."
According to Mr. Chu and the President, some failures are to be expected as we are dealing with new, unproven technologies. Natural gas prices have been low too, making it harder for renewable energy companies to compete.
Beacon has been warned of delisting from trades on Nasdaq, unable to raise more capital. However, unlike Solyndra, Beacon's Stephentown plant in New York continues to operate. The flywheel and battery systems developed by the company have new economic incentives to operate under a rule approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Awesense launches digital clean energy marketplace
Awesense has launched what it claims is the only energy-focused repository of solutions built to drive the industry's decarbonization agenda.
The Awesense Marketplace aims to provide a common framework for companies to collaborate towards the future of clean energy and digital transformation, uniting applications, solutions and algorithms to solve energy and grid challenges.
Solutions listed on the marketplace cover a range of cases, and launch companies include Doosan GridTech, Kitu Systems, vadiMAP, LO3 Energy, ENGIN, Utilidata, Clir Renewables, ChargeLab, SensorLink, Exeri, Easy SmartGrid, and Athena Power.
“We are welcoming a new era in the decarbonization of energy systems,” said Mischa Steiner, CEO of Awesense. “The goal of achieving a clean energy future requires collaboration amongst key industry players in the utilities and energy sectors. Sharing resources through the Marketplace means that our customers and partners have a truly seamless approach as we work towards our common goal - ultimately, decarbonizing the world’s energy system.”
Utilities, consulting companies, and other organizations struggle to develop solutions that can be scaled across many jurisdictions due to complex data integration and the lack of a standard, open data model. Using the solutions offered throughout the Marketplace, organizations can rapidly accelerate their transition to a decentralized, decarbonized future and develop solutions that are scalable across industry. The platform will open up new revenue streams in areas such as:
Distributed energy resource integration and control
Electric vehicle charging
Demand response and smart-home management
Intelligent asset management
Advanced distribution system management
The new marketplace builds on Awesense's Digital Energy Platform, a digital twin based energy analytics platform that allows utilities to scale at the same pace as the rapidly changing technology landscape of the energy grid.
Together, the Open Energy Data Model and the Awesense Marketplace removes hurdles around data mapping and transformation, expedites data preparation and refining, and provides a common framework for companies to collaborate.
“The energy-specific data model allows utilities, technology companies, consulting firms, and other vendors to build solutions that can be easily integrated by other energy companies, to make a real impact on the industry as a whole, and develop new revenue streams for their organizations” said Steiner. “We’re looking forward to seeing the Awesense Marketplace grow as more partners committed to energy decarbonization join us.”
There are no simple solutions to putting the world on a sustainable path to net-zero emissions, according to the IEA. Reducing global CO2 emissions will require "a broad range of different technologies working across all sectors of the economy in various combinations and applications." it notes.
Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia formed
Amp Power Australia has established the Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia, a strategic portfolio of large scale integrated Solar PV, Wind and Battery Energy Storage assets located in South Australia. The hub also includes the siting of the Spencer Gulf Hydrogen Energy Ecoplex, forming part of the South Australian Government's Hydrogen Action Plan.
The portfolio, acquired from EPS, includes three large Solar PV projects totalling over 1.3 GW of generation, located at Robertstown (636 MW), Bungama (336MW) and Yoorndoo Ilga (388MW) with a total BESS capacity of up to 540MW across the portfolio.
Amp's expansion in Australia will include the implementation of Amp X, a proprietary digital energy platform 100% owned by Amp, which provides a diverse portfolio of disruptive and interoperable grid edge solutions, and includes a smart transformer, which enables real-time autonomous management and optimised dispatch of all forms of distributed generation and loads across the grid.
Palmetto recently opened its marketplace in Arizona, and is now serving 20 states across the country, claiming its proprietary technology, marketplace business model, and consumer mobile application "are all designed to democratize access to clean energy".