Here’s some of the latest action we’re following on the GreenBeat today:
Abengoa finalizes $1.45 billion loan guarantee for solar thermal — The Department of Energy has finalized the deal, which is its largest renewable energy loan guarantee ever, Reuters reports. The plant (pictured) will be located in Arizona and have a capacity of 250 megawatts, enough to power up to 75,000 homes.
Oil refiners are refusing to sell E15 — The EPA recently greenlit the use of 15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline (called E15) for use in cars made in 2007 or after, but some refiners are balking, the WSJ reports. Valero, Tesero and Marathon Oil said they would refuse to sell E15 because it could harm older automobiles or void their warranties. They and most other refiners now sell a mix of 10 percent ethanol, or E10.
Atlantic Wind Connection seeks approval from regulators — This project made a big splash this fall when it was announced that Google and Good Energies had taken majority stakes (putting up “tens of millions”) in the initial development phase of the project, which is expected to cost $5 billion. The developer, Trans-Elect, is looking to build a transmission backbone from Virginia to New Jersey to spur development of offshore wind farms along the Atlantic Coast. The proposed line would have 6,000 megawatts of capacity when completed, and Trans-Elect aims to have approvals and financing lined up by 2013, the first phase finished by 2016 and the entire project completed by 2020, Reuters reports.
Itron and Silver Spring Networks expand smart grid agreement — Smart meter company Itron and smart grid networking guru Silver Spring Networks announced today an expanded agreement to integrate Itron’s meters into Silver Spring’s software. The agreement applies to gas, water and electricity meters made by Itron, and expands on a prior agreement that made Itron’s electricity meter compatible with Silver Spring’s platform.
Solar startups rely on government for U.S. project financing — The difficulty of getting private financing has pushed U.S. solar companies to rely on Uncle Sam for dollars, according to a CNET analysis. It cites SoloPower as an example — the company is seeking government help, but if it doesn’t get it, it will likely look to expand its business overseas instead. Abound Solar, BrightSource and Solyndra have also received loan guarantees.