Nation's Largest Community-Owned Solar Array Comes Online
Rural electric cooperative San Miguel Power Association, Inc. (SMPA) and solar garden pioneer Clean Energy Collective (CEC) announced the official opening of the San Miguel Power Association Community Solar Array. The 1.1 MW facility located in southwestern Colorado becomes the largest community-owned solar facility in the country, serving more than 200 individual ratepayers throughout the utility territory.
According to CEC founder and CEO Paul Spencer, the milestone proves that the accessibility and affordability of the community-owned, utility-scale model is moving the needle on solar adoption. “We are leveraging scalability to the benefit of individual panel owners,” he explains. “You don’t even need a roof to adopt clean energy today, and the paybacks are higher than ever – both for the environment and financially.”
The SMPA Community Solar Array is located on seven acres in the northwest corner of Paradox Valley along U.S. Highway 90, about 15 miles west of Naturita, Colo. Customers in the SMPA territory will purchase individual panels for $705, net of rebates from SMPA. Customer can purchase as few as one panel or enough to offset 100% of their electricity needs, and receive credit for the power produced directly on their monthly utility bills. The price includes the same tax credits and electricity discounts as they would if the panels were installed on a customer’s roof, and CEC maintains the panels for 50 years so consumers don't have the construction, maintenance or repair concerns of a home-sited system.
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“We are very proud to be implementing the nations’ largest community solar program in partnership with CEC, and provide an option to all of our members to receive up to 100% of their electrical needs from local, clean, and renewable sunshine,” comments Brad Zaporski, SMPA’s Manager of Energy/Member Services and Marketing.
The announcement coincides with the release of Solar Market Insight, the latest report published by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which showed photovoltaic (PV) installations in Q3 2012 grew by 44% over the same period last year.
In addition to the SMPA Community Solar Array, CEC has partnered with six other utilities and has 14 shared solar projects operating or under construction, representing more than 5,300 kW of community-sited solar PV. By the end of 2013, Spencer estimates CEC’s community-owned arrays will be providing upwards of 10 MW of energy capacity, with that number eclipsing 100 MW nationally by 2015.
Source: Clean Energy Collective (CEC)
Edited by Carin Hall
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.