Category: Renewable Energy

NATION’S LARGEST SOLAR FARM PLANNED SOUTH OF PORTERVILLE

Built on 3,800 acres scattered near the town of Ducor, the Rexford Solar Farm will be rated at 700 megawatts in addition to 700 megawatts of energy storage.

Published On February 17, 2020 – 1:49 PM
Written By John Lindt

The nation’s largest solar farm is in the works south of Porterville. The big facility is planned on farmland with a water deficit, perhaps a glimpse of the future for some marginal ag land here.

Tulare County released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) Feb. 14 announcing the big renewable energy project.

Built on 3,800 acres scattered near the town of Ducor, the Rexford Solar Farm will be rated at 700 megawatts in addition to 700 megawatts of energy storage. The solar arrays would eclipse the state’s biggest solar farm in San Luis Obispo — the 550-megawatt Topaz facility built in 2011.

The solar farm is being proposed by a partnership that includes privately held 8minute Energy of Los Angeles, which owns several large utility-scale solar farms in the West, including four in Kern County. The company has a portfolio of more than 14,000 megawatts, including the 260-megawatt Mount Signal Solar Farm in Imperial County. Tom Buttgenbach and Martin Hermann founded it in 2009.

Last year the company signed a 25-year agreement to provide electricity to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Rexford Solar Farm’s electricity would be transmitted to the Southern California Edison (SCE) Vestal Substation via an up to 230 kilovolt (kV) overhead and/or underground gen-tie line. The proposed transmission and/or collector lines would extend along existing roadway rights-of-way from various portions of the project site (where substations are located), ultimately connecting to the Southern California Edison Vestal Substation. The transmission and/or collector lines would be located along portions of Road 232, Avenue 56, Avenue 64, Road 224, Road 240, Avenue 32, Richgrove Drive, and Highway 65, or could possibly utilize additional nearby routings. The total length of the transmission and/or collector lines would be approximately 13 miles in length.

A scoping meeting is scheduled for March 5 at 1:30 P.M. in the main conference room of the Tulare County Resource Management Agency at 5961 S. Mooney Blvd. in Visalia.

The historic Vestal substation near the project site connects the Big Creek hydro project in the Sierra above Fresno through the San Joaquin Valley to Los Angeles.

A full environmental impact review for the Rexford project is expected. The county notice says the project is located in a generally rural area surrounded by existing agricultural uses including dry-land grain, irrigated crops, grazing lands and scattered residential buildings. The placement of solar panels and associated structures would alter the existing character of the site and vicinity, says the report.

Southern Tulare County already has a water deficit problem and may be further affected by the state groundwater program. The area is expected to see idled land and issues with land subsidence.

The majority of the project site is bisected by Highway 65. Residents and travelers on adjacent roads would observe alterations to the existing landscape. The entire project site is designated as Farmland of Local Importance by the California Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program. The majority of the project site is under Williamson Act contracts. The EIR will provide an assessment of potential project related impacts to agricultural resources.

Tulare County has another nearby solar project pending. Tulare Solar Center is rated at 80 megawatts proposed on 1,144 acres. The site is on currently undeveloped farmland situated in south central Tulare County. Approximately 572 acres (or approximately 50%) of the proposed Project site is located east of Highway 65 and south of Avenue 24, with the remainder located west of the 65 and north of Avenue 12.

Another solar project in the area got a hearing last year. The 70-megawatt Deer Creek Solar project would be located on the north side of Avenue 96 (Terra Bella Avenue), bounded on the west by Road 224 and on the east by Road 232, approximately 0.5 miles west of Terra Bella.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/nations-largest-solar-farm-planned-south-of-porterville/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=99b60615ca-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_17_08_44&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-99b60615ca-78934409&mc_cid=99b60615ca&mc_eid=a126ded657

Renewable natural gas producer announces Pixley expansion

PIXLEY – Calgren Dairy Fuels and Southern California Gas Co. today announced four additional Central Valley dairies have started sending methane produced from cow manure to Calgren’s biogas operation in Pixley, where it’s processed into renewable natural gas (RNG) and injected into SoCalGas’ system. 

The Calgren facility now collects methane— a potent greenhouse gas that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere and contribute to climate change — from more than 66,000 cows at 10 area dairy farms. The additional dairies are projected to nearly double the amount of RNG produced at the facility, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and displacing more traditional natural gas. Calgren partnered with Maas Energy Works to develop these four new dairy digesters as well as the previous six dairy digesters that have been operating since 2018.

“Over the last five years, renewable natural gas use in the transportation sector has grown by almost 600 percent,” said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas vice president and chief environmental officer. “We’re looking to build on that success by delivering more renewable energy options to our customers, including renewable natural gas produced at farms, hydrogen made from surplus solar energy, and advanced fuel cell systems that can provide energy in extreme weather events. Each of these technologies will be essential to promoting the long-term reliability of our energy systems and to meeting California’s ambitious climate goals affordably.”

“Calgren is leading efforts in California on this front, working with both dairies and SoCalGas to mitigate emissions,” said Lyle Schlyer, president of Calgren Renewable Fuels. “This facility alone will eventually capture methane produced from the manure of more than 75,000 cows, preventing about 130,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 passenger cars off the road annually.”

Renewable natural gas can rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) because it takes more climate pollution out of the air than it emits as an energy source. The RNG produced at Calgren’s facility today is used as a carbon-negative fuel for heavy-duty vehicles like transit buses and long-haul trucks. RNG can also be delivered to customers to generate clean electricity and heat homes and businesses. Last year, SoCalGas committed to delivering 20 percent of the natural gas it buys for homes and businesses from renewable sources by 2030.

More than 80 percent of all methane emissions in California come from organic sources like wastewater treatment plants, landfills, food and green waste and farms. In California, a 2016 law requires a 40 percent reduction of methane emissions from waste sources such as landfills and dairies, with provisions to deliver that energy to customers.

The law is expected to bolster the supply of RNG that’s already growing rapidly as cities and towns across the country look to divert organic waste from landfills. Scientists at the University of California, Davis estimate the state’s existing waste could produce enough RNG to meet the needs of 2.3 million homes. Nationally, a just-released study by ICF estimates 4,450 Trillion Btus of renewable natural gas will be available by 2040, about 90 percent of the nation’s current residential natural gas consumption.

RNG is already helping eliminate emissions from trucks and buses. Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577 percent, helping displace more than seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (how GHG emissions are measured). That’s equal to the emissions from more than a million homes’ electricity use for one year.

Research shows replacing about 20 percent of California’s traditional natural gas supply with RNG would lower emissions equal to retrofitting every building in the state to run on electric only energy and at a fraction of the cost. Using RNG in buildings can be two to three times less expensive than any all-electric strategy and doesn’t require families or businesses to purchase new appliances or take on costly construction projects.

In recent years, energy providers across the country and around the world are capturing methane emissions — from farms, wastewater treatment plants, and landfills — to create renewable energy that displaces traditional natural gas. For example:

Dominion Energy and Vanguard Renewables recently announced a $200 million partnership that includes RNG projects in five states, with additional projects planned nationwide.

CR&R, a waste management company in Southern California is using green waste diverted from landfills to make RNG being injected into SoCalGas’ pipelines.

UPS last year agreed to purchase 170 million gallon equivalents of RNG through 2026, the largest commitment for use of RNG thus far by any U.S. company.

French utility Engie plans to switch all of its gas operations to biogas and renewable hydrogen by 2050.

SoCalGas is also working to build on RNG’s success in the transportation sector here by making it available to fuel the homes of the company’s 21 million customers across Southern California. Earlier this year, SoCalGas’ committed to replace 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030 – as part of a broad, inclusive and integrated plan to help achieve California’s ambitious climate goals.

To kickstart the plan, SoCalGas is pursuing regulatory authority to implement a broad renewable natural gas procurement program with a goal of replacing five percent of its natural gas supply with RNG by 2022. SoCalGas also recently filed a request with the CPUC to allow customers to purchase renewable natural gas for their homes.

https://www.recorderonline.com/news/renewable-natural-gas-producer-announces-pixley-expansion/article_f07bf676-37ad-11ea-8e19-bbed0fe791c1.html

Tesla’s Semi, solar and battery storage to help Frito Lay cut emissions at CA plant

American snack company Frito Lay has announced that they will make its Modesto, California distribution plant eco-friendly in an attempt to significantly decrease the amount of carbon-emissions the company is producing during its day-to-day operations. The snack-maker will utilize a number of companies to complete the operation, including Tesla.

“We are going to replace 75 pieces of distribution equipment with zero, or near-zero, emissions new equipment across forklifts, tractors, yard tractors within our Modesto operation,” Vice President of Supply Chain for PepsiCo. Michael O’Connell stated in an interview with The Modesto Bee. Frito Lay is a subsidiary of PepsiCo.

Frito Lay has already put down a deposit on 100 Tesla Semi units, 15 of which will be deployed to the Modesto site. The company placed these deposits down on the Silicon Valley-based manufacturer’s new Semi when it was unveiled on November 16, 2017.

The new plan that will cut emissions significantly will be funded by a $15.4 million grant from the California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB. Along with the grant, Frito Lay is investing $13.5 million of its own money, as well as $1.8 million from American Natural Gas. The combined total of the project is $30.8 million.

https://www.teslarati.com/teslas-semi-solar-megapack-frito-lay-modesto-plant/

Multi-million dollar project aims to clean Fresno’s air, improve neighborhoods

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — From the soon-to-be cleaner air, you can see workers installing a landmark.

The solar panels on a southwest Fresno home represent the first step in a multi-million dollar journey for the city of Fresno.

“It feels good to see the first project get off the ground and benefit residents, but the best part is it’s going to allow residents to continue having affordable living in Fresno,” said City Councilmember Miguel Arias.

Jose Ledesma owns the home, but his family’s budget was getting squeezed by the high cost of electricity.

He says that in the past he’s had very high utility bills and he anticipates the installation of solar it’s going to drop significantly.

GRID Alternatives installed the panels Saturday with money from a Transformative Climate Communities grant.

“The work that we do as an organization really affects people, planet, and employment,” said Jesse Arreguin. “It’s a win-win all the way around.”

The company is finding people who could use solar panels to save money in three zip codes — 93706, 93721, 93701 — in southwest, southeast, and downtown Fresno.

They’re training people to install them, and they’re cutting down on fossil fuel use.

The company has $1.9 million in grant money for residential installations, so they plan to do this about 60 more times, including some bigger projects like apartment complexes.

Ledesma’s home is the first domino to fall in a huge $200 million Transform Fresno plan.

“People are going to start seeing a lot of groundbreakings, a lot of shovel ceremonies and that’s a good thing because the money is being put back into the community the way it was intended,” Arias said.

An affordable housing project in Chinatown, a community garden, and a bike trail should also get started soon.

But the biggest project will be the West Fresno Center, a satellite campus of Fresno City College in southwest Fresno.

The city has five years to finish the projects if it wants to cash in on state grants to cover about a third of the total costs.

South Valley Industrial Summit

Join us Wednesday, November 14th for the
optional pre-summit workshops offered free of
charge to industry partners. Come and learn about
new technologies and processes.
Thursday, November 15th is designed to be a
full-day event that will feature vendor booths,
keynote speakers, and various breakout sessions
offered by industry experts and practitioners.
Keynote Speakers
 President & CEO, California Dairies
 Faraday Future
 Surf Ranch, Kelly Slater Wave Company
NEW! Optional Pre-Summit Workshops
Nov. 14
 Lean Principles
 ABB Inc in Robotics
 Variable Frequency Drive Basics & Control Methods
 Intro to Machine Vision
 Safety Solutions: Introduction to Automation Safety

Could autonomous car testing be the rebirth of Castle Airport in Atwater?

September 03, 2018 12:22 PM

San Joaquin RTD picked for new PG&E electric vehicle pilot program

Central Valley Business Times

June 23, 2018

In a first for San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Stockton, Pacific Gas and Electric Company says it will conduct an electric vehicle pilot program to support RTD’s long-term electric transportation needs with chargers and infrastructure improvements.

Recently approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, this pilot will be a test case for PG&E’s new “FleetReady” program, which supports electric charging for customers with medium-duty, heavy-duty, and off-road fleets such as transit agencies, school districts, and delivery fleets.

For this new pilot with San Joaquin RTD, PG&E will test how smart charging and battery storage can lower operating costs and maximize efficiencies for the agency.

Seeking to partner with a transit agency located in a disadvantaged community which already had electric buses and plans for more in the future in order to meet the timelines of the project proposal, PG&E chose RTD.

“Because we already had a plan for adding more electric buses to our fleet and have a long-term goal around electrification, PG&E approached us with this pilot opportunity,” says CEO Donna DeMartino. “Due to our focus on electric transportation, PG&E can jump right into creating the specifics of the pilot, which aligns with our goal of being powered by 100 percent electric vehicles by 2025.”

The budget for this pilot is $3.35 million, which includes:

  • Design of the sites
  • Cost of the chargers and battery storage system
  • Construction from the electric grid to the chargers and battery system
  • Installation of the chargers and battery storage system
  • Software for charge management
  • Collection of data
  • Ongoing analysis and evaluation
  • Handbook that other transit agencies can use to learn more about electrification

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/1708b9fc-8b7e-4db7-a9f1-408e3ef3f803.pdf