In Brief

APS teams with First Solar on Plant With Battery Storage
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s largest electric utility is teaming with one of the nation’s leading solar panel makers to develop a solar power field matched with battery storage.

Arizona Public Service Co. and Tempe-Based First Solar announced last month that they will build the solar panel array and battery bank near the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Phoenix.

Matching battery storage with a utility-scale solar array means the plant will be able to provide power during the late afternoon and evening when it is most needed. The companies say the project will feature one of the largest battery storage systems in the nation when completed in 2021.

APS already has three grid-scale battery arrays storing solar energy and plans to install much more over the coming 15 years.

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Southern Illinois Solar Array Could be Largest-Ever in State
PICKNEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials say a proposed solar array in southern Illinois could be the largest-ever in the state and more than double Illinois’ solar energy output.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that the Wabash Valley Power energy co-op has signed a long-term agreement to be the sole purchaser of power from Prairie State Solar Project’s Perry County array. New York-based solar development company Ranger Power will build the array on private property. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2019 with operations starting 2021.

Officials say the array will generate enough energy to power an estimated 15,000 homes. The project also is estimated to bring nearly $100 million in new investment to southwestern Illinois and contribute to tax revenues. About 200 jobs will be created during construction.

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Work on Gas Pipeline Could Soon Begin on Private Land
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Work on a natural gas pipeline in southwestern Virginia could soon begin on private land despite property owners’ objections.

The Roanoke Times reports that a federal judge on March 2 granted Mountain Valley Pipeline access to the areas. The company gained access through the laws of eminent domain after nearly 300 landowners refused its offers to buy rights of way.

U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Dillon had ruled in late January that Mountain Valley had the right to use eminent domain. But she required the company to present more information on the value of properties it sought to condemn.

Appraisals and other data have been submitted since then. Dillon ruled the company can use the land. But it must post a bond and make deposits to ensure landowners are compensated.

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Rauner Names Coordinator of Quincy Legionnaires’ Response
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has tabbed a cabinet member to coordinate the administration’s response to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Quincy veterans’ home.

The Republican announced March 2 that Michael Hoffman will be senior adviser to Rauner with oversight of the Quincy situation.

Rauner has been criticized for his handling of a Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy home. The disease has contributed to the deaths of 13 residents and sickened dozens more. The pneumonia-like malady is caused by bacteria-infected water vapor that is inhaled. Four new cases were confirmed in February.

Hoffman is a retired U.S. Marine officer who had been director of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. It’s the state’s personnel and procurement agency.

Lawmakers have questioned why Rauner hasn’t taken recommended steps to reduce the bacteria.

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Google’s Autonomous Vehicle Unit to Test Semis in Atlanta
DETROIT (AP) — Just days after ride-hailing service Uber announced it was testing tractor-trailers that drive themselves, Google’s autonomous vehicle operation announced similar testing in Georgia.

Waymo said that it would begin running self-driving rigs in the Atlanta area with human backup drivers. They’ll travel freeways and local roads to deliver server racks and other cargo destined for Google’s data centers.

The Alphabet Inc. unit says the trucks will have the same technology and sensors as autonomous minivans that are being tested in the Phoenix area. Waymo wouldn’t say how many trucks are being tested, but it released pictures showing two blue semis.

Uber announced March 6 that its freight unit was using self-driving semis with human backup drivers to haul consumer goods on freeways in Arizona.

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Virginia Tech to Collect Data on Nation’s Aging Water System
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Virginia Tech has announced that it will lead a five-year effort to collect data on the reliability of the nation’s aging water pipelines.

The project — funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation — will establish an infrastructure database for resilient and sustainable water systems.

Virginia Tech researchers will collect field performance data on reliability for water pipelines of different materials, including cast iron, ductile iron reinforced concrete, steel, lead, plastic, thermoplastic and others. The study will include analyses of the economics, cost-effectiveness and life-cycle costs of the various water pipe materials.

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Plans for solar panel field in Illinois hit financial issues
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A plan to create a solar panel field on an EPA Superfund site that was contaminated by aluminum production waste has run into financing difficulty.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the 400-acre (162-hectare) site was used by Alcoa until the late 1950s as a place to dispose of waste from its aluminum production plant.

Efforts to clean the EPA Superfund site ramped up in 2014 after Brightfields Development expressed interest in building a $65 million solar field there, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. The $19.5 million cleanup was completed in 2016, according to Alcoa.

Mike Singer is the project manager for Brightfields Development, a Massachusetts-based solar company. He said the project was four years in the works, but financing complications have prevented it from moving forward.

According to estimates from the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar field would be capable of producing 20 megawatts of energy, which would be enough to power thousands of homes.

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Construction Underway for Chicago’s Largest Greenhouse
CHICAGO (AP) — Construction has begun on what will soon become Chicago’s largest agricultural greenhouse — a project many hope will breathe new life into a historically underdeveloped neighborhood.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined community leaders Thursday to break ground on the 140,000-square-foot (13,006-square-meter) greenhouse. The facility will be run by Gotham Greens, a New York-based produce company that uses clean energy to grow fresh produce year-round.

Emanuel says the greenhouse will continue the “economic renaissance” in Chicago’s South Side Pullman community. The $12.6 million complex is expected to create 60 permanent and 70 construction jobs.

This is Gotham Greens’ second facility in the Pullman neighborhood. The company also runs a 75,000-square-foot (6,968-square-meter) rooftop greenhouse that provides fresh produce to local and national grocery stores across the Chicago area.

Posted by on Apr 1st, 2018 and filed under Intel Brief. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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