LA County City's Goal to Become Solar Capital of the World
As of next year, all newly constructed single-family homes in the city of Lancaster, Calif., will be required to include a minimum of a 1.0 kW solar system—a bold and historic move on behalf of mayor R. Rex Parris.
The Los Angeles County city already leads the state in solar generating capacity. But grasping the title as the solar capital of California is not good enough for Parris, who is seemingly dead set on becoming the “solar energy capital of the world.”
In 2010, Lancaster partnered with SolarCity to launch “Solar Lancaster,” a solar financing program for homeowners, nonprofits and businesses. The 1.45 MW program is expected to generate $1.5 million each year through 2017, followed by $800,000 each year for the next 20 years.
The new requirement will be written into the city's “Residential Zones Update,” which reads:
"The purpose of the solar energy system standards is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the City."
Although Parris has acknowledged that the new requirements will challenge the building industry, he continues to forge ahead.
“I understand the building industry is not happy with this,” he said at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi in January. “We will just have to take the heat. I could not do that without a city council — made up of people who want a political career — with the courage to take that heat.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.