Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrids, Sourcing Renewables  -  May 11, 2019

Weekend reads: New RE hits 60%; the Sahara solar farm

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with some must-read articles from around the web:

Renewables accounted for 60% of new energy capacity installed in Q1 (Solar Power World)  Solar, wind and hydropower accounted for about three-fifths (59.6%) of new energy capacity added to the United States electricity generation mix during Q1 of 2019, according to an analysis of data released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conducted by the SUN DAY Campaign. According to FERC’s latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through March 31, 2019), 59 units of new solar provided 1,155 MW, 15 units of wind accounted for 1,011 MW and four units of hydropower added 29-MW, for a total of 2,195 MW of new energy production.

Michigan lawmakers propose microgrid bill to boost resilience (Energy News Network)  State Rep. Steven Johnson, a western Michigan Republican in his second term, says his first priority on energy policy is to “look out for ratepayers.” That’s a driving theme behind his recently sponsored bill to expand the use of microgrids in Michigan. Johnson wants to bring the state up to speed on the emerging technology while allowing utility customers to be more self-sufficient and resilient during outages. 

What if We Turned The Sahara Desert Into a Giant Solar Farm? (Science Alert)  Whenever I visit the Sahara I am struck by how sunny and hot it is and how clear the sky can be. Aside from a few oases, there is little vegetation, and most of the world's largest desert is covered with rocks, sand and sand dunes. The Saharan sun is powerful enough to provide Earth with significant solar energy. The statistics are mind-boggling. If the desert were a country, it would be fifth biggest in the world – it's larger than Brazil and slightly smaller than China and the US. 

Can your city government convince you to buy an electric car? Fort Collins is trying (Coloradoan)  Dan and Nichole Camp were the first family in their south Fort Collins neighborhood to get a Tesla Model 3. Now they have two in their garage and count 10 within just a few blocks. That’s the thing about electric cars: They’re contagious. Nichole got a Nissan Leaf in 2017, eager to ditch the Ford Explorer that cost her $140 a month on gas and hundreds more in repairs. Dan followed suit with a white Model 3 he named “Electra.” 

This striking Notre Dame concept imagines a rooftop garden and solar power generation (USA Today) A Paris-based architect has released a "tribute" to the Notre Dame cathedral that imagines the building being transformed into a green power generator using a new roof construction made out of materials including timber, glass and carbon fiber. Vincent Callebaut Architectures' concept would create more energy than it consumes, according to a release. The design would feature a rooftop garden and a spire designed to work like a "wind-powered chimney." 

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