Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced over $30 million in federal funding, matched by over $35 million in private sector funds, for 68 projects that are expected to accelerate the commercialization of promising energy technologies – ranging from clean energy and advanced manufacturing to building efficiency and next-generation materials. These awards will help deploy innovative solutions from DOE’s national labs onto the marketplace, helping to create new jobs and businesses, while strengthening the nation’s economic competitiveness and achieving President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Italian renewable energy firm Enel Green Power and American dairy company HP Hood have entered into a pact, under which Hood will purchase 90 GWh of wind energy each year. Through the 12-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA), Hood will purchase the electricity delivered to the grid by a 25 MW portion of Enel Green Power’s Azure Sky Wind project in Texas. The agreement is Hood’s first renewable energy VPPA and comes as the company celebrates its 175th year with continued innovation, growth, and a renewed commitment to sustainability. Over the life of the VPPA, the project will address 33% of the electricity used across all 13 of Hood’s owned manufacturing facilities.
The students of KL Deemed University, Hyderabad, have developed an electric bike with wireless charging technology. The innovative prototype was developed by a team of six third and fourth-year students from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department of KL College of Engineering and a few alumni members. The e-bike reportedly allows people to travel at a maximum speed of 55 kmph with a charging capacity that can cover between 85 and 100 km in standard conditions in a single recharge that takes five hours.
German chemical company BASF and Swedish power company Vattenfall have signed a contract to purchase 49.5% of Vattenfall’s wind farm Hollandse Kust Zuid (HKZ) by BASF. The purchase price amounts to €300 million (~$357.95 million). Under the pact, Vattenfall will use HKZ to supply fossil-free electricity to its customers in the Netherlands, while BASF will support chemical production in sites across Europe. Closing of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021. Offshore construction of the wind farm will start in July 2021. Once fully operational, it will have a total installed capacity of 1.5 GW.
Lightsource bp’s flagship solar project Vendimia has started commercial operation in Zaragoza, Spain. The 247 MW capacity five-project cluster was constructed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project financed by NatWest, Intesa Sanpaolo, Santander, and Bankinter will produce green electricity equivalent of powering over 107,000 local homes. The total power output will be supplied to bp’s European power trading team under a long-term power purchase agreement.
Real estate entity Mindspace Business Parks REIT has joined the RE100 initiative led by Climate Group in partnership with CDP. With this, the firm has committed to completely transform to renewable electricity use across all areas serviced within the Mindspace Business Parks REIT portfolio by 2050. Mindspace REIT will also make renewable energy accessible to tenants who choose to avail of green power. The entity currently sources approximately 10% energy through renewable sources like solar energy and renewable energy certificates.
Srinwanti is a copy editor at Mercom India, where she writes and edits news stories across the clean energy spectrum. Prior to Mercom, she has worked in book publishing at Macmillan Publishing House and Integra and honed her editorial and writing skills in both online and print media such as Reuters, Times Group Books, The Times of India, and Pune Mirror, covering local to international stories. More articles from Srinwanti Das.