A United Voice for Renewables
Advanced Energy Economy will formally announce its launch today in an effort to unite alternative energy companies. Under Tom Steyer and Hemant Taneja, the organization already has state and regional chapters with over 700 companies and hopes to grow into a nationwide chamber of commerce, bringing a unified voice to solar, wind and electric car companies.
"There is no business voice for advanced energy, and there has to be," said Steyer to the San Francisco Chronicle. "There has to be on a local level, and there has to be on a national level."
However, several similar national groups exist, including Environmental Entrepreneurs, American Sustainable Business Council and the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, wind and solar have their own trade associations. The overcrowded field has led to a scattered voice for renewables, but Steyer and Taneja are forging alliances and merging with other groups to change that.
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"Fragmentation is exactly the problem we're trying to solve," said Taneja, a venture capitalist who founded the New England Clean Energy Council, to the San Francisco Chronicle. "There are issues that require the industry to come together in an organized fashion, and that just doesn't happen today."
The organization will start most of its efforts at a state and regional level, pushing for policies that look out for the industry. The organization hopes to bring the industry together, open up conversation and give renewables a united voice.
Lightsource bp’s first Spanish project powers up in Zaragoza
Lightsource bp has powered up its 247MW flagship solar project Vendimia in Zaragoza, Spain.
Around 615,000 bifacial solar panels have been installed, over 650 hectares of land on multi-row tracker technology enabling the panels to follow the sun, maximising energy generation efficiency. In addition, two overhead transmission lines at 18km and 20km were constructed to efficiently deliver the solar power into the local network.
The five-project cluster was constructed safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and commercial operation recently began. The total power output will be supplied to bp’s European power trading team under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Fernando Roger, Country Head for Lightsource bp Spain, said the connection of its Vendimia project demonstrates the resilience of solar. "We had to face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but our team and trusted partners remained focussed, and now we have completed our first project in Spain. We would also like to extend a special thank you to all the landowners involved for their continued support on this project.
Felipe Arbelaez, senior vice president for zero carbon energy bp said: “It’s fantastic to see the safe start-up of this first project in Spain, and for Lightsource bp to achieve an impressive 3GW pipeline in just two years. Through disciplined investment and safe execution, we are delighted to see the next chapter of bp’s energy story in Spain come online. This project is also a great example of the power of bp’s integration capabilities as our expert power trading team will offtake the power generated, supporting the financial stability of the project and meeting bp’s strict returns threshold.”
The construction process was handled by Lightsource bp’s appointed contractor, Prodiel (an Andalusian engineering, procurement and construction company) and over 600 local jobs were created during that time. Prodiel will continue to maintain the solar cluster under an Operations & Maintenance agreement for the next two years.
At the opening ceremony, Carlos Barassa, head of country for bp Spain, said: "The Vendimia solar project that we are inaugurating today in Zaragoza is great example of the fulfillment of bp's ambition in its transition to an integrated energy company, and our contribution to building a low-carbon future."
bp will pay 7X Energy $220 million for the projects and 1GW of 'safe harbour' equipment and expects the acquisition to complete in 30 days. The projects, spread across 12 states - with the largest portfolios in Texas (ERCOT) and MidWest (PJM) - are expected to meet bp’s low carbon investment criteria, generating returns of at least 8-10%.