This Week in Climate & Clean Energy Wins: Week of 1/15/24:

$34 Million

The amount of federal funding announced to strengthen the American power grid.

$80 Million

The amount of federal funding announced to clean up oil wells in Texas.

$15 Million

The amount of federal funding Maryland will receive to build 58 electric vehicle chargers across the state. 

This week in private sector news, Uber announced a partnership with Tesla to promote the use of EVs by its drivers in the U.S. as the company works toward its goal of becoming emission-free in U.S. and Canadian cities by 2030. United Rentals became the first major rental company to offer mobile microgrid battery power to its North American fleet of rental equipment. Energy storage developer Plus Power has begun operating its new facility in Hawaii, the first time a standalone battery site has provided grid-forming services at this scale, and NineDot Energy secured an astounding $225 million equity capital commitment to advance their project pipeline in the New York City area. 

A new study from Cotex found that renewable energy developers are selling unused tax credits to companies – accounting for between $7 billion and $9 billion of market worth. The money is a fresh infusion for competing renewable projects. A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that the world has added 50% more renewable capacity in 2023 than in 2022, putting the globe on track to achieve 2030 energy capacity goals.

The Biden Administration announced $34 million in funding for 12 projects across 11 states to shore-up the nation’s aging power grid. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $19 million in grants to increase the availability of domestic biofuels – providing Americans with cleaner and more affordable fuel options. The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced $80 million in funding to continue oil and gas well clean-up efforts in Texas. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is expected to start a public scoping period to kickstart the environmental analysis on a new solar project proposal in Maricopa County that could produce 200 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale renewable energy.

Lastly, Maryland Governor Wes Moore announced that the state will receive $15M – made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – to install 58 new electric vehicle chargers. In Kentucky, the state’s largest utility has built its first  utility-scale wind turbine to test the potential for wind energy development. In New York, the utilities submitted plans for 13 pilot projects that will replace gas pipelines with infrastructure that can power clean, carbon-free heat pumps. 

 

Private Sector

  • Uber announced they are working with Tesla to promote the use of EVs by its drivers in the U.S., as the company works toward its goal of becoming emission-free in U.S. and Canadian cities by 2030. [Reuters, 1/16/2024
    • Uber is offering its drivers exclusive purchase incentives of up to $2,000 for Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y, in addition to existing federal tax credits.
  • United Rentals is now the first major rental company to offer mobile microgrid battery power to its North American fleet of rental equipment [Electrek, 1/15/2024]
    • The HiPower EHR Solar Battery Generator features a 5 kW peak solar array.
  • Energy storage developer Plus Power has begun operating its 565 MWh Kapolei Energy Storage facility in Oahu, Hawai’i. [Utility Dive, 1/16/2024]
    • “This is the first time a standalone battery site has provided grid-forming services at this scale,” said Mike Snyder, a senior director at Tesla. 
  • NineDot Energy has secured a $225 million equity capital commitment from Manulife Investment Management. [Renewable Energy 1/16/2024]
    • This new equity funding is expected to allow NineDot to advance its substantial project pipeline of community-scale battery energy storage systems in the New York City area. 

 

New Reports

  • Developers of renewable energy projects selling unused U.S. tax credits to other companies now account for a market worth between $7 billion and $9 billion due to clean energy legislation. [Reuters, 1/16/2024]
    • The Biden Administration had made some credits tradable, in the hope of bringing fresh money to projects.
  • The world added 50% more renewable capacity in 2023 than in 2022, nearly reaching 510 gigawatts (GW). [IEA, 1/11/2024]
    • This capacity gain is faster than at any time in the last three decades, giving the world a chance to achieve 2030 energy capacity goals. 

 

Biden Administration

  • The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $34 million in funding for 12 projects to strengthen and modernize America’s aging power grid. [DOE, 1/16/2024]
    • Projects have been selected in Arizona, New York, Idaho, Hawaii, Washington, and Kentucky.
  • USDA announced $19 million in grants to American business owners to increase the availability of domestic biofuels across 22 states – giving Americans cleaner, more affordable fuel options at the gas pump. [USDA, 1/11/2024]
    • Since the start of Biden’s presidency, USDA has invested more than $96 million nationwide to increase access to biofuels at fueling stations.
  • DOI announced a nearly $80 million investment through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda for the state of Texas to continue work plugging, capping and reclaiming orphaned oil and gas wells across the state. [DOI, 1/12/2024]
    • The initiative aims to create jobs and revitalize local economies while cleaning up harmful legacy in the state.
  • BLM announced they will begin a 30-day environmental analysis period for the proposed Pinyon Solar Project in southern Maricopa County. [BLM, 1/16/2024]
    • The project would produce 200 MW of utility-scale renewable energy from solar photovoltaic modules.

 

State-Level  

  • This week, Maryland Governor Wes Moore announced that the state will receive a $15M grant – made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – to install 58 new electric vehicle chargers. [Fox 5 News, 1/14/2024]
  • Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities have built Kentucky’s first utility-scale wind turbine to test the state’s potential for wind energy development. [Canary Media, 1/16/2024]
    • The wind turbine is expected to produce 193 megawatt-hours of power over one year, enough energy to power 16 homes in Kentucky. At full capacity, the turbine could power up to 90 homes.
  • New York utilities recently submitted plans for 13 pilot projects that replace gas pipelines with infrastructure that can power clean, carbon-free heat pumps. [Canary Media, 1/16/2024]
    • These plans will pump clean heat into homes across the state – including in dense Manhattan neighborhoods, low-income housing, upstate New York, and the Hudson Valley.