Vegas bets on solar, VW doubles up on batteries, London breathes easy

News Release: MGM Resorts International and Invenergy announce the development of a 100MegaWatt solar array

April 19, 2018
Bellagio fountains to be run by solar owerMGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and Chicago-based Invenergy, North America’s largest independent renewable energy company, have partnered on a new solar photovoltaic array, which will generate 100 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. The MGM-Invenergy Solar Project will be located 25 miles north of Las Vegas and MGM Resorts will purchase all the energy generated by the project to help power its 13 properties on the Las Vegas Strip. The project will be operational by the end of 2020. This project is in line with MGM Resorts’ longstanding leadership and commitment to reduce its consumption of the Earth’s limited resources.

7minutesolar: There was a misunderstanding in 2016 when Las Vegas announced the city was operating on 100% renewable energy and many people thought that included the casinos. It actually meant municipal properties, not private business. But MGM did put the ‘largest contiguous rooftop solar array’ on the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre and was in favour of Nevada legislation (Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands corporation opposed it) that would have boosted the state’s commitment to solar and wind generated power to 40% of the portfolio by 2030. Unfortunately, Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed the bill, despite 70% of Nevadans being in favour. Kudos to MGM for proceeding with this project to run 13 power hungry places.
»» Read the full News Release

formula E: Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy to debut in Berlin

April 23, 2018

Jaguar iPace for Formula E

After the performance gurus at Panasonic Jaguar Racing announced in September 2017 that its all-electric I-Pace racer would be joining the ABB FIA Formula E Championship as a support series next year, the racing fans have waited patiently to see it in action.

But, on Saturday May 19, all will be revealed as the I-Pace eTrophy makes its global public debut at the 2018 BMW i Berlin E-Prix, with the car due to lap the Tempelhof circuit ahead of the main race. With no word on the driver just yet, you’ll have to wait and see who’ll be behind the wheel.

7minutesolar: The FormulaE series of all electric car racing is exactly what we need more of. It makes electric vehicles fun without any moral undertones. The drivers seem to appreciate that the format puts emphasis on driving skill over technical superiority, but the manufacturers and teams involved are also moving the EV revolution forward. They all want to win, so they are making batteries lighter and better, and they also know that as the EPrix becomes more popular, their reputations will grow (and presumably their sales) as the electrics market unfolds.
»» Read more at the FormulaE website

electrek: VW doubles its electric vehicle battery contracts to $48 billion

May 4, 2018 by Fred Lambert
Volkswagen is not starting its electric vehicle push in a big way until next year, but it is already securing its battery supplies in order to be able to build those new EVs in volume.

After announcing that it already awarded $25 billion in battery cell contracts, the German automaker announced this week that it has now doubled the amount to about $48 billion.

They made the announcement at their Annual General Meeting 2018 for shareholders yesterday. It’s building on the production plan called “Roadmap E” announced last year.

7minutesolar: As Fortune points out, this investment in batteries is close to the market value of Tesla.  It is also only a couple of months (actually, 52 days) since VW announced they would be investing $25B in batteries. Now it’s doubled. Car companies need to be cautious and due to their sheer size have always moved at a glacial pace. But with well over $100B being committed by the majors to the electrification of cars…this revolution is only beginning, and this further proves that no one wants to be left behind.
»» Read the complete article at electrek

mother nature network: Road closures for London Marathon prompts 89% drop in city’s air pollution.

April 30, 2018 by Jenn Savedge
According to the nonprofit environmental group Global Action Plan, the city of London saw an 89 percent drop in air pollution on March 28, the day of the London Marathon. This data has many questioning what the city’s air might look like without cars and just what methods could best improve London’s air quality.

Researchers looked at air quality from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the day of the marathon and compared that to the data from the three Sundays prior to the race. The results were pretty remarkable. Air pollution in London dropped by 89 percent on the day of the marathon thanks to road closures that allowed participants to run in the streets.

7minutesolar: Yes it’s only one day. But even the small things need to be celebrated. What a great indication of how much fossil fuel cars effect the air they breather and thus literally every aspect of the life of a city dweller. Also worth celebrating is that 2017 was the UK’s greenest year ever and last week it ran for 3 days without burning any coal at all to generate electricity.

News Release: Scatec Solar and Statoil to establish partnership in Brazil

October 4, 2017

This is an excerpt from a 2017 News Release, but the tweet below gives an update on the project.

Statoil has signed an agreement to acquire a 40% share in the construction ready 162MW Apodi solar asset in Brazil from Scatec Solar, a Norwegian independent solar power producer. The project will provide approximately 160,000 households with electricity. Statoil and Scatec Solar have also agreed on an exclusive cooperation to jointly develop potential future solar projects in Brazil.

7minutesolar: Statoil is one of the world’s largest oil companies and (from its website) “a major crude oil seller and the second-largest supplier of natural gas to the European market.”  The Government of Norway and its pension fund own 70% of the company.  The dilemma of this age we live in seems to be nicely summed up in the paradox that Norway is also the country at the forefront of encouraging electric vehicles. In fact, it has passed a law that all new passenger cars and vans sold in 2025 should be zero-emission vehicles. With this first venture into solar, we can only wish Statoil luck and hope that maybe one day the returns from solar and wind (the company is a leader in floating offshore wind technologies) are larger than those from oil.


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