QUICK NEWS, December 20: FACEBOOK MOVE BY GREENPEACE UNFRIENDS COAL; HAWAII UTILITY BUYS WIND; EASTERN UTILITY BUYS WESTERN SUN
FACEBOOK MOVE BY GREENPEACE UNFRIENDS COAL
Facebook Unfriends Coal and Likes Clean Energy Thanks to Greenpeace
Raz Godelnik, December 16, 2011 (Triple Pundit)
"Greenpeace is celebrating…[its] Unfriend Coal Campaign that called on Facebook to power its data centers with clean energy instead of coal. After 20 months of mobilizing, agitating and negotiating to green Facebook, and with more than 700,000 people who took part in its campaign…Facebook finally agreed to go green, presenting a new commitment to give preference to clean and renewable energy.
"The new agreement between Greenpeace and Facebook shows not only the journey Facebook completed during these 20 months, but also how Greenpeace is becoming one of the most powerful players in the world when it comes to mobilizing businesses and encouraging them to do the right thing."
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"If you look at the details of the agreement, you see that Facebook wasn’t the only one that needed to make some adjustments to its initial positions – there are also differences between the original demands Greenpeace made with the pledges Facebook eventually made…
"…Greenpeace had to compromise with regards to its initial demand that Facebook will become coal free by 2021…[A]nother] element of vagueness…[is Facebook] pledging to give preference to clean energy…[W]ould it be at any cost, or only if it doesn’t cost the company?…Still, this is an important progress. As Greenpeace knows very well, there’s black and white only in the world of watchdogs. The world of green business is about the shades of grey and most of the time compromise is necessary to actually get something done…[W]e should give it a ‘like.’"
HAWAII UTILITY BUYS WIND
Hawai'i Public Utilities Commission Approves Contract For Kawailoa Wind Energy Project
December 13, 2011 (First Wind)
"The Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission…approved an agreement between First Wind and Hawaiian Electric Company for the utility to purchase renewable energy produced by the proposed 69-megawatt (MW) Kawailoa Wind project on Oahu’s North Shore…Under the contract, Kawailoa Wind Power, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based First Wind, will sell as-available renewable energy to Hawaiian Electric at pre-determined prices over 20 years, providing a valuable hedge against fluctuating oil prices.
"The Kawailoa Wind project will be built on former Kawailoa Plantation land…owned by Kamehameha Schools. It will employ 30 Siemens SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines, each able to generate up to 2.3 MW…When completed, Kawailoa Wind will be the largest wind energy project in the state, able to generate clean, renewable energy equivalent to that needed to power approximately 14,500 Oahu homes. The project is scheduled to…be operating by the end of 2012…"
First Wind's Kaheawa project. Kawailoa will have bigger turbines. (click to enlarge)
"…First Wind developed a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Kawailoa Wind, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources. The HCP is a wildlife conservation effort that includes research funding and actions to protect and minimize incidental harm to federally listed species in the vicinity of the wind energy project…
"First Wind also owns and operates two other wind energy projects in Hawaii…[T]he 30 MW Kaheawa wind energy project above Ma’alaea, Maui provides up to 9 percent of the electricity distributed by Maui Electric Company and is in the process of expansion. Kahuku Wind Power on Oahu's North Shore is also a 30 MW wind project that generates energy equivalent to the power for 7,700 Oahu homes…"
EASTERN UTILITY BUYS WESTERN SUN
Duke Energy Buys Two Arizona Solar Farms
13 December 2011 (Solar Industry)
"Duke Energy Renewables, a unit of Duke Energy, has purchased two large solar farms in Arizona, marking the company's first solar acquisitions in the western U.S.
"The company has purchased the Ajo solar project and Bagdad solar project from Recurrent Energy. Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) will buy all of the output from both solar farms from Duke Energy Renewables under the terms of two 25-year power purchase agreements. (APS originally signed these agreements with Recurrent Energy.)"
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"The Ajo solar project, located in Pima County, uses nearly 21,000 photovoltaic panels that can collectively generate almost 5 MW of electricity…[It went] operation in late September…The Bagdad project, located in Yavapai County, will use approximately 72,000 solar panels that can collectively generate 15 MW of electricity…[It will go operational] by the end of this year.
"…International engineering and project management company AMEC designed and built the Ajo and Bagdad projects. AMEC will be responsible for operating and maintaining the sites under the terms of five-year service agreements…"