Catch up on the latest headlines in the high voltage industry with this week's news digest from around the web. Here are some of the top news stories from this past week.
Nation’s First Integrated Wind and Solar Project Takes Shape in Minnesota
Later this year the nation’s first “integrated” wind and solar hybrid project will begin producing power outside a small city in northwest Minnesota. Developed by Juhl Energy, Inc., the Red Lake Falls Project combines two 2.3 MW General Electric 116-meter rotor turbines with a 1 MW solar photovoltaic installation. The wind turbines and solar panels will share a converter, which will result in significant cost savings.
Read more from Midwest Energy News.
Plans for Virginia's First Commercial Wind Farm OK'd
Virginia environmental regulators approved a commercial wind farm in Botetourt County last week, clearing the way for up to 25 giant turbines to be built atop a remote ridgeline. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, however, acknowledged that the spinning blades could strike flying bats and accepted a plan by developer Apex Clean Energy to turn the turbines off at night during the warmer parts of the year, when bats are most active.
Read more from The Daily Progress.
West Penn Power Plans $235 Million in Power Grid Infrastructure Projects
As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the durability and flexibility of its electric transmission and distribution systems, FirstEnergy Corp. plans to invest about $235 million during 2017 on infrastructure upgrades to enhance service reliability in West Penn Power's 24-county service area. Major projects scheduled include: transmission enhancements to reinforce the electric system and support economic growth, including the shale gas industry; constructing new circuits and replacing utility poles; and installing enhanced protective devices on wires and poles.
Read more from Electric Light & Power.
CPS Energy Battles Texas Twisters
In February 2017, several different storm lines intersected outside of San Antonio, sparking five separate tornadoes. They obliterated homes, wood poles, and transmission towers, including one tower that buckled at mid-height.
Read more from T&D World.
Chattanooga EPB, Oak Ridge Lab Test the Role of Sensors in Smart Grid
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Chattanooga's (TN) Electric Power Board are partnering to learn how to best apply sensors, controls, secure communications and other technologies, allowing a power grid to function more autonomously and reliably as it grows and becomes more complex.
Read more from T&D World.
Energy Storage Installations Break Records in Fourth Quarter
A staggering 230 MW of energy storage systems were installed in the last three months of 2016, more than the previous 12 quarters combined. That strong finish put the total amount of energy storage systems installed in 2016 at 336 MW, or 100 percent over 2015 according to GTM Research and a report by the Energy Storage Association. The U.S. energy storage market is now estimated to reach 7.3 GW in 2022, representing an investment of $3.3 billion.
Read more from Power Engineering.
EIA: Wind Outpaces Hydro to Lead U.S. Renewable Energy Capacity
Almost 9,000 MW of wind capacity was brought online last year, moving the resource past installed hydroelectric capacity for the first time, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Despite the significant shift—hydro has long had the largest installed base capacity among renewable resources—EIA said that actual generation from the nation's dams is still expected to be greater than wind output.
Read more from Utility Dive.