Boulder, Colorado: U.S. Distributed Renewables Forecast Published
Navigant Research, a market research and consulting firm in Boulder, recently published the “U.S. Distributed Renewables Deployment Forecast, 2016-2025.” The report notes that deployment of distributed renewables, such as wind, solar and anaerobic digestion facilities, in the U.S. has accelerated in the last decade due to improvements in regulatory support policies and cost reductions in the related technologies. Despite the decline in installed costs, however, the deployment of distributed renewable energy sources in the U.S. is still affected by federal, state, and local policies.
According to the Navigant study, the U.S. is expected to deploy 77.3 gigawatts (GW) of distributed renewables between 2016 and 2025, with the majority of the capacity driven by solar installations. Distributed wind is expected to add 0.9 GW of cumulative capacity in the same timeframe and biogas just 0.5 GW. Navigant’s revenue forecast shows a slightly different picture compared to the deployment figures, as the cost of distributed wind is significantly more expensive than that of solar and biogas. The cumulative revenue share of distributed wind is expected to increase to about $5 billion; biogas is expected to see revenue of $1 billion by 2025.
San Luis Obispo, California: Food Waste To Biogas
Waste Connections, Inc., the contractor that provides collection services to San Luis Obispo County and its municipalities, issued a Request for Proposals for a regional organics management facility to manage food and green waste from the county. It ultimately selected Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) to design, finance, build, own and operate a Kompogas anaerobic digestion plant on an industrial site owned by Waste Connections. The site houses Waste Connections’ truck fleet and has an existing building that will be used for the organics receiving area. Construction of the $12 million organics processing facility is underway.
Waste Connections’ long-term agreement with HZI has a fixed fee, subject only to cost of living increases and adjustments for the sale price of electricity and/or compost/compost tea. In return, Waste Connections will guarantee to deliver organics from its entire San Luis Obispo County service area for a 20-year period. Food scrap pails will soon be distributed to more than 50,000 San Luis Obispo county residents to initiate source separation of organics.
Albany, New York: New York Adopts New Clean Energy Standard
The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted a Clean Energy Standard (CES) in August 2016, instituting a timeline for the load serving entities in the state to procure at least 50 percent of the electricity consumed in New York State from renewable energy resources by 2030. The CES is designed to succeed the New York Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which expired at the end of 2015.
The CES is divided into three tiers. Tier 1 and Tier 2 constitute the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) component of CES with the 50 percent goal by 2030. Tier 3 is an additional component, designed to support the state’s existing nuclear facilities as a bridge to 50 percent renewables to ensure that New York does not backslide on greenhouse gas emission reductions (goal is 40% by 2030). Eligible renewable energy electric generation resources for the RES component include: biogas (including anaerobic digestion and landfill gas), biomass, fuel cells, hydro (without new storage impoundment), solar, tidal/ocean, and wind. Biomass generators cofired with fossil fuels are eligible, but they receive credits only for electricity generated from the biomass portion of the fuel. Biogas producers using landfill gas, wastewater sludges, animal manures, food scraps or other digestible organics are eligible.
Quebec, Canada: Lower Temperature Anaerobic Digestion
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is developing a new type of bioreactor for anaerobic digestion of animal manures targeted specifically for Canada’s cooler climate. The bioreactor research is being done at the Sherbrooke Research and Development Center in Quebec. Dr. Daniel Massé, Research Scientist at the Center, has developed a digester for use on swine farms that can be loaded once per week (when farmers flush out their hog barns), and operates at temperatures between 5 to 25°C (41-77°F). The digestate slurry can be land applied to crops, and, compared to mineral fertilizers and raw manure, reduces ammonia losses by 10 percent and nitrous oxide emissions by 50 percent. This AD technology could have potential application in animal livestock and manure management in other countries with cold winter weather.
St. Louis, Missouri : Swine Waste Digesters
Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) is the owner, operator and developer of renewable energy production facilities that convert agricultural and industrial wastes, along with biomass feedstocks to renewable natural gas (RNG) and sustainable coproducts. RAE secured an agreement in 2013 with the Missouri operations of Smithfield Foods Hog Production Division (then known as Murphy Brown-Missouri) to develop, install, own and operate processing facilities to capture, purify and sell the biogas produced from the anaerobic conversion of manure generated from one of the largest hog feeding operations in North America. In 2014, installation of impermeable covers and flare systems began on 88 manure lagoons situated at nine hog finishing farms; the impermeable covers are now complete on 41 lagoons.