IEA and WEC Energy Group spin into Kansas wind contract
WEC Energy Group has bought a 90% stake, worth $302 million, in the Jayhawk Wind Farm project in Kansas, and Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives has been awarded the construction contract.
The group's investment is part of the company's $16 billion ESG Progress Plan, the largest five-year capital plan in the company's history.
Apex Clean Energy, which develops, constructs, and operates utility-scale wind and solar power facilities across the US, awarded the construction project to IEA Constructors, a subsidiary of IEA that manages utility-scale renewable energy and heavy civil infrastructure projects.
The award is for the construction of a utility-scale wind farm in Bourbon and Crawford counties in Southeast Kansas with capacity to inject 190MW of electricity into the regional grid. The $70 million project is expected to be completed in late 2021.
Apex will manage construction of the project, and IEA will self-perform all of the engineering, procurement and construction needs of the project, including the construction of project roads, the improvement of existing public roads near the construction site, the installation of collection systems, foundations and substations and the erection of 70 GE wind turbine generators.
Kansas is an ideal place for wind construction. According to the American Clean Power Association, the state ranks fifth in the nation for wind power capacity and second for wind energy as a share of total electricity generation, with over 6,500MW of operating capacity today and 43% of electricity from wind power.
"Wind energy is an essential part of Kansas’ electricity generation, and IEA is excited to partner with Apex Clean Energy to continue the state’s transition to a carbon-neutral footprint," said Chris Hanson, IEA’s Executive Vice President of Renewable Energy.
"The project site for the Jayhawk Wind Farm is ideal. With high-voltage power lines already in place and accessible highways that will reduce the project’s need for new infrastructure, IEA will be able to minimize the construction’s environmental impact. In addition to contributing to the state’s goal of carbon neutrality, we are pleased to be able to bring continued employment to the state of Kansas and support local merchants, equipment suppliers and more by reducing their need to import clean electricity from other states.”
Ken Young, Chief Operating Officer of Apex Clean Energy, said the project will generate significant local spending and create hundreds of local jobs. "We look forward to creating, with IEA, an entirely new source of long-term revenue for the Sunflower State and Bourbon and Crawford counties for decades to come," he said.
To date, IEA has constructed more than 20GW of renewable energy projects across North America.
One of President Biden's first moves was to sign an executive order to tackle the climate crisis and accelerate clean energy. The Secretary of the Interior has been tasked to identify steps that can be taken to double renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030 (click here).
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".