All posts in "Chemicals & Energy"

US Court Upholds Uranium Mining Ban Near Grand Canyon

 

Via mining-technology.com

A US appeals court has upheld a ban imposed by the previous federal administration on new mining claims around the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

In 2012, the US Department of the Interior under the rule of former US President Barack Obama enforced the ban on new uranium mining claims across one million acres of public lands adjacent to the Grand Canyon for 20 years.

Soon after the ban was adopted, mining companies resorted to legal action to overturn it.

 

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$95M APS Rate Hike To Get AZCC Hearing

 

Via azcentral.com

Former utility regulator Bill Mundell called on the Arizona Corporation Commission on Tuesday to reconsider the recent $95 million rate hike on customers of the state’sbiggest electric company.

If the commission doesn’t do that, 25 customers could petition the regulators for such a change and commissioners would be forced to address the issue.

Arizona Public Service Co. won commission approval in August on a 4-1 vote to increase its rates. The company said the increase would amount to about 4.5 percent on residential customer bills, though many have said their bills shot significantly higher.

 

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Arizona Court To Consider Taxation Of Leased Solar Panels

 

Via journalgazette.net

PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to review lower courts’ rulings that the state cannot require companies leasing rooftop solar systems to homeowners to pay property tax for the systems.

The state Court of Appeals last May upheld a trial judge’s ruling that state Department of Revenue was wrong when it determined in 2013 the leased rooftop solar systems should be subject to property tax as electricity generating systems.

Leasing companies SolarCity Corp. and SunRun Inc. sued the department, and a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in their favor.

The high court’s order Monday says the justices will hear oral arguments on the case.

 

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First Solar Bets Its Future On A New Panel

 

Via bloomberg.com

First Solar Inc. is poised to take the wraps off the Series 6 panel Tuesday, a long-awaited product rollout that has huge implications for the biggest U.S. solar manufacturer.

It’s not a stretch to say that Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar has bet its future on the success of this product. As solar panels get cheaper and cheaper, and global demand continues to swell, production costs have become key to competing against other companies, especially in Asia where most of the world’s panels are produced.

First Solar has “become a pure widget manufacturer and they need to compete exclusively on cost,” said Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James Financial Inc. “It’s a risky bet. They need to show a cost road map that keeps them ahead of China.”

 

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AZ Community Goes 80% Off-Grid

 

Via utilitydive.com

The Jasper community will not be wholly-independent of the Arizona Public Service grid, but developers told PV Magazine that it will supply up to 80% of its own energy and will use otherwise-wasted baseload generation from the Palo Verde nuclear plant when demand is low, from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. each morning.

Sonnen Director of Business Development Olaf Lohr told the magazine that the development would be an overall benefit to APS’ grid, helping to address load curves. In addition to taking power from the nuclear plant, Jasper will soak up excess solar production during midday hours when demand is low.

Dave Everson, CEO and founder of Mandalay Homes, said in a statement that a “true renewable energy future is not possible for our society, or for any society, without the deployment of distributed energy storage resources that properly manage clean energy production, storage, grid usage and home energy demand.”

 

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Wärtsilä To Get Smart Power Generation From TEP

Via powermag.com

The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a contract in Arizona, USA to provide smart power generation equipment for a new natural gas power plant with up to 200 megawatts (MW) of capacity.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP), a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., is building the plant on the site of an existing generating station that currently consists of both natural gas-fired and renewable energy assets. TEP selected a Wärtsilä smart power generation solution offering fast-start flexibility, which is well equipped to address intermittency and other challenges associated with an expanding renewable energy portfolio. TEP, which is working to deliver at least 30 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030, booked the order with Wärtsilä in October 2017.

“As we add more solar and wind, we’ll need a resource that will respond quickly and reliably to the variable production of renewable resources,” said Conrad Spencer, director of the modernization project for TEP. “The latest generation of Wärtsilä natural gas-fueled engines take just a few minutes to start and reach full output, and they are more efficient than gas turbines.”

 

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Arizona Joins States To Promote Electric Vehicle Charging

 

Via kansascity.com

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed onto a plan with other governors to help expand the use of electric vehicles by creating a corridor of charging stations across several western states.

The agreement signed Thursday commits Arizona to meet with the other states to develop voluntary standards for charging station locations and spacing, establish minimum standards and work to expand electric vehicle use.

The goal is to create an Intermountain West Electric Vehicle Corridor that will allow drivers to cross the member states.

 

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APS uses ‘reverse demand response’ To Avoid Renewables Curtailment

 

Via utilitydive.com

Growth in renewable energy has occasionally led to excess power and negative pricing. Utilities are finding creative ways to help balance the system while lowering costs.

If you are looking for a good deal on energy in Arizona, here’s a hint: around lunchtime in the month of March, it’s usually free.

Arizona Public Service recently proposed a slate of efficiency and demand-side measures that include many of the usual suspects, along with new takes on traditional resources. The utility’s plan includes incentives for smart thermostats, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, energy storage and water heater timers — along with a new “reverse demand response” product that aims to balance system load with excess renewable generation.

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Copper Will Rise Again

 

Via arizonasonoranewsservice.com

Copper’s value is on the rise, and equipped with new mining technology, Arizona has a promising future in producing the nation’s copper.

The value of copper hit $3.20 in mid 2014, before taking a dive to $2.50 in early 2015. It took a significant dip into an all time low of $1.60 in 2016. Now, copper value is rising again, passing $3 for the first time since 2014, according to the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Arizona produces 65 percent of the nation’s copper, leading the copper industry in the U.S. As mining continues to become economically feasible, new mine sites have been proposed across the state.

 

 

 

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SunZia Transmission Project Moves To Preconstruction Phase

 

Via willcoxrangenews.com

The company planning to build two high voltage transmission lines across southeast Arizona that will end near the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station has begun securing right-of-way leases in Cochise, Graham, and Greenlee counties. When completed, the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project will stretch more than 515 miles, enabling New Mexico wind energy to become electricity in California.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently signed agreements allowing SunZia to be built across 50 miles of federal lands in Arizona and 134 miles in New Mexico. The $850 million line — which includes 200 miles across Arizona — will come within 10 miles of Benson as it passes through northern Cochise County.

“We’re almost there,” explained Getts, adding it will take about 30 months to construct the first line. When asked whether SunZia will “buy American,” Getts replied the company “certainly prefers domestic” vendors, but noted some specialty supplies are only available from foreign markets.

 

 

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