Southern California Edison on Jan. 15 said it was considering a public-safety power shut-off to 66,500 customer accounts over the next 48 hours. Power was shut off to about 8,700 customer accounts as of mid-day on Jan. 15. This included 1,600 accounts in Los Angeles County, 2,597 in Riverside County, 1,160 in San Bernardino County and 3,300 in Ventura County. SCE said the National Weather Service had issued a wind advisory for parts of Southern California through Jan. 15.
NuScale Power and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems finalized agreements that move them toward development of the Carbon Free Power Project, the companies said in a Jan. 11 news release. NuScale Power Modules, which are small modular nuclear reactors, will be deployed at the Idaho National Laboratory and the generation will be supplied to UAMPS member utilities. CFPP LLC—a wholly owned UAMPS subsidiary established to develop, own and operate the CFPP—was awarded a $1.4-billion multiyear grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for the project. NuScale's SMR was approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in August; however, the companies must still submit a combined license application for the project, which they expect to file in the second quarter of 2023. They expect the application review to be completed by the second half of 2025, with construction to commence soon after.
Indian Energy accepted an Electric Program Investment Charge program grant of roughly $5 million from the California Energy Commission for the development and demonstration of long-duration, non-lithium-ion-based energy storage technologies, the company said in a Jan. 11 news release. With its construction management partner, Webcor, Indian Energy will work on hybrid modular storage systems to investigate the potential for grid-scale implementation of long-duration storage. The companies will construct six different modules, three of which are covered by the grant, at Camp Pendleton. The integrated units will consist of flow batteries, supercapacitors, fast-responding mechanical energy storage, and zinc-hybrid cathodes. The system deemed the best following evaluation will be scaled to 400 kW/4 MWh with 10 hours' operational capability, which is aligned with the grant requirement. Indian Energy is a privately held microgrid developer and systems integrator founded in 2009 that specializes in the development of large-scale advanced energy-resiliency solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense, community choice aggregators and tribal utility authorities. Webcor, which has offices throughout California, is a commercial construction services provider.
GE Renewable Energy technology will be used to repower the existing 90-MW Aragonne Wind project, the company said in a Jan. 11 news release. The project is being developed by Leeward Renewable Energy in Guadalupe County, New Mexico. With the 145-MW Aragonne Mesa Wind project, a greenfield project also under development by Leeward, the company's total wind farm output will increase to 235 MW. GE is supplying 86 2.x-127 and 2.3-116 wind turbine generators. The projects should be completed by late 2021. This is GE's third new contract with Leeward in two years.
The Santa Barbara Unified School District board at its Jan. 12 meeting unanimously approved a contract with Engie Services U.S. for solar microgrids at six school sites and stand-alone solar systems at another eight sites. Engie will build, own and operate the systems under a 28-year power-purchase agreement with the district. The board originally approved contract negotiations at its Sept. 22 meeting (see CEM No. 1609). Energy is the second-greatest expense for schools in the United States, with a cumulative cost of roughly $8 billion annually, according to a Generation180 report released in September.
Communities in Colorado's Yampa Valley will see 14 new solar installations at government agencies due to a $2.1-million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Energy Impact Fund. The largest project will be located at the wastewater treatment plant in Steamboat Springs and will cost around $900,000. Other locations selected to receive solar installations include the Yampa Valley Regional Airport, Moffat County High School and the wastewater treatment plant in Craig, Colorado. Projects are anticipated to come on line within one year.
Native American tribes in California were awarded nearly $2 million as part of a CEC-funded program to support tribal-led efforts on their lands to combat climate change. Grants from the Tribal Government Challenge Planning Grant Program range from $215,000 to $250,000 and include projects targeting energy storage, biomass, community resiliency to climate impacts, and renewable energy. "The CEC is proud to provide funding to support Tribal climate leadership through this unique initiative," CEC member Karen Douglas said in a Jan. 14 statement. "These tribally-driven projects will bring important research and technological gains while helping ensure all communities benefit from access to the state's clean energy investments."