New Study by Leading Renewables Consultant ArcVera Shows Texas Icing Event Led to Over $4 Billion Financial Loss for Wind Farms

Study points to shortcomings in the hedged financial structures, with asymmetric price risk leading to significant losses for wind farm operators and gains for counterparties. Significant implications for future wind farms and ERCOT planning are described in the study.

ArcVera Renewables, a leading international provider of consulting and technical services for wind, solar, and storage projects, today publishes its report “ERCOT Market Cold Weather Failure 10-19 February 2021: Wind Energy Financial Losses and Corrective Actions”.

The study set out to quantify the lost energy production and calculate the financial impact of the rare Texas winter weather event. It is focused on wind farm outages reported by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid operator for the period 14-19 February 2021, when the grid experienced extensive wind farm downtime, lost energy production, and high hub-settled electricity prices. Three repricing scenarios are evaluated using market pricing before the imposition of $9000/MWh prices by ERCOT.

“Given that the market demand was decreased by ERCOT with blackouts so that production balanced that reduced demand with market prices high but not near the $9000/MWh imposed value, we consider that the $9000/MWh ERCOT mandate could have imposed large, and quite possibly artificial, financial impacts (windfalls and losses) on wind energy power plant operators and investors”, said Dr. Gregory S. Poulos, ArcVera Renewables CEO, Principal Atmospheric Scientist, and author of the report. 

“With more installed wind capacity than any other state in the United States and its projections for renewable energy capacity to dominate ERCOT generating capacity within a decade, we believe that ERCOT must now more stringently apply atmospheric science-based risk assessment, particularly concerning extreme weather operational scenarios. Renewable energy production is governed by the weather. Peak electricity demand scenarios are also governed by weather, such as high and low-temperature events. As such, there is a clear need for restructuring electricity system resilience to account for weather-driven production and demand, concomitant with the pace of the transition to renewable energy-dominated production,” explained Dr. Poulos.   

The icy weather conditions and an unprecedented period of below-freezing temperatures caused extensive wind farm downtime. The study analyzes the outage periods documented by ERCOT for 191 wind farm units, with a nominal capacity of 21,888 MW, of which 57% (12,495 MW) is subject to a hedged financial structure. 

The findings of the study show the lost energy production from wind farms, aggregating individual wind farm results, was 629,700 MWh with a financial impact of this lost production, whether the financial loss to the owner or gain by others, estimated at $4.18B. This represents an average financial impact on any project of $44.4M. For hedged projects, the financial impact of this lost proxy production is even greater, with an average financial impact of $45.4M.

The study makes three assessments:

Hedged financial structures in ERCOT need to properly reflect realistic meteorological conditions, extreme weather stress tests, and, therefore, more realistic production assurances.
Hedged products need to recalibrate their strike prices to reflect the asymmetric risks presented by the availability of different resources during extreme electricity demand, ERCOT minimum and maximum prices, and market interventions by regulators.

Wind farm owners and their hedge counterparties need to partner with turbine OEMs to develop reliable, cost-effective weatherization technologies to reduce the asymmetric risks from future icing events.

“Our observations, taken together, clearly describe a condition where, with greater attention to the atmospheric science details when assessing the risks of weather-driven electricity production and demand, an adequately resilient and interconnected ERCOT electricity system can be created. ERCOT planning should consider that cold-weather events worse than the recent February 10-19, 2021 event are possible.” Dr. Poulos concluded.

Having worked on ERCOT measurements and detailed wind energy resource assessment for more than 20 years, ArcVera has evaluated hundreds of wind farms in ERCOT development and amassed in-depth knowledge of wind behavior across ERCOT’s vast expanse of wind farms. Combined with decades of atmospheric science and engineering experience, ArcVera has devised a method to determine materially accurate estimates of net energy production at the wind farms that experienced outages during the event. 

 

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Waga Energy to deploy its break-through landfill renewable natural gas technology in Quebec

Waga Energy, the European leader in landfill gas-to- renewable natural gas (RNG) technology, has been enlisted by The Mauricie Residual Materials Management Board (RGMRM) to deploy its innovative gas upgrading solution at the Saint-Étienne-des-Grès landfill, in Quebec. The green gas produced will be purchased by Énergir, the largest gas distribution company in the province, and injected into its gas grid onsite. This landfill gas-to-RNG project will be the first in Canada to use the WAGABOX® technology, developed by Waga Energy to recover landfill gas in the form of RNG, also known as biomethane.

Under the agreement signed in March, Waga Energy will buy the landfill gas from RGMRM for a period of at least 20 years. It will then be transformed into grid-compliant RNG by a WAGABOX® gas treatment unit built onsite. Waga Energy will generate income by selling its RNG production to Énergir. Until now, the landfill gas at Saint-Étienne-des-Grès was captured and burned in a flare.

Designed to process 3,400 cubic meters of biogas per hour (2,000 scfm), the WAGABOX® unit in Saint-Étienne-des-Grès will produce 468,000 GJ* of renewable gas per year, corresponding to the annual consumption of 8,000 local households. The WAGABOX® unit will be built in Shawinigan by a local company under the supervision of Waga Energy’s Canadian subsidiary, except for the cryogenic distillation module which will be imported from France. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2022.

Mathieu Lefebvre, president and co-founder of Waga Energy, declared: “Thanks to the WAGABOX® solution, hundreds of landfill sites across the United States and Canada will be able to produce renewable natural gas, contribute to the energy transition, and generate a new revenue stream, without the need for investment, and free from additional operating constraints.”

The project carried out jointly by RGMRM and Waga Energy will improve the environmental record of Mauricie and will contribute to Quebec's energy transition. It will prevent the release of 23,000 tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere by substituting renewable gas for fossil natural gas.

Michel Angers, President of RGMRM, said: "This contract is the result of an initiative undertaken several months ago to identify the best technology to enable us to use our landfill gas to its full potential. Thanks to the WAGABOX® technology, treating our gas is no longer an expense, it is a new income stream, and more importantly, it is yet another step towards a more sustainable approach to landfill management. The project fits perfectly with the government's greenhouse gas reduction objectives and we are proud to contribute to Quebec's energy transition."

Renault Lortie, Vice-President, Customers and Gas Supply, at Énergir, concluded: "The development of the green gas industry in Quebec is one of the cornerstones of our efforts to decarbonize our economy. Énergir aims to inject an ever-increasing amount of renewable gas into its network, corresponding to a volume of at least 10% that of the annual volume it distributes by 2030. This fantastic project brings us a step closer to this objective, demonstrates the value of smart circular economy, and allows more and more of our customers to benefit from clean and local energy”.

* 468,000 GJ = 130 GWh (Europe) or 444,000 mmBtus (USA)

 

 

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Urban design: PowerNEST and OpenRemote take sustainable living to new heights

 

In Strijp-S, the industrial heritage site of the former Philips lighting factories that now makes up the dynamic heart of Eindhoven, Trudo's latest social housing development projects are leading the way for affordable and sustainable living with two new smart buildings. The first one is the 'Haasje Over' residence, to be built above one of the largest skate halls in Europe, and topped by a PowerNEST, an innovative rooftop structure combining a wind turbine with solar panels to generate renewable energy. The second one is the impressive 'Trudo Toren', a 70-metre-high residential tower integrating a vertical forest.

This social housing project brings together modern design, renewable energy and advanced IoT technology, demonstrating the latest trends in smart urban residential development.

The PowerNEST is a breakthrough solution providing renewable energy for high-rise buildings, using limited roof space to generate as much energy as possible. Alexander Suma, CEO of IBIS Power, describes the process: "Underneath a solar roof, a system of funnels and turbines is installed along the roof edge to capture the wind flow from the building façade and accelerate it towards the turbines. The concentrated air flow drives the turbines, generating energy even from the slightest breeze. Architecturally integrated into the building design, this innovative wind and solar combination generates six times more energy per square metre than common roof solar solutions and delivers an attractive payback time." Installed on the rooftop of both buildings, PowerNEST will produce 125,000 kWh per year.

Shared lighting, electric vehicle chargers, and elevators are just some of the solutions installed in the buildings. Using OpenRemote's open-source IoT for data flows means that all these solutions are connected. Pierre Kil, CEO of OpenRemote explained: "Energy management consists of predicting renewable energy generation by wind and solar to optimise energy consumption. By connecting the monitoring and control of assets in a single platform, workflows are improved, maintenance is facilitated, and new energy-saving applications can be created. We are exploring different options, such as coordinating energy consumption within the buildings, adding battery storage to reduce installed grid capacity, encouraging energy cooperation with residents, and even distributing energy across other on-site Trudo buildings."

Fieke van den Beuken, Trudo project manager for the two buildings described the ambition that drives the project: "Our aim is to create an attractive living environment for people with a modest income. For these two housing projects, we aim to set a new standard for urban developments, by incorporating renewable energy, state-of-the-art energy management technologies and adding green facades to reduce CO2 emissions and generate energy savings."
 
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16th World Bioenergy Congress and Expo. April 26-27, 2021 Barcelona, Spain

 
With the magnificent success of Bioenergy 2020, Conference Series LLC Ltd is proud to announce the "16th World Bioenergy Congress and Expo", to be held during April 26-27, 2021 at Barcelona, Spain. Theme of the Bioenergy conference is "Bioenergy for Sustainable Development" with an objective to encourage young minds and their research abilities by providing an opportunity to meet the experts in the field of Bioenergy. Bioenergy
congress is designed to explore various applications in different fields.

Join us for two intensive and interesting days of discussing contemporary Bioenergy Expo research. We invite you to contribute and help to shape the Bioenergy congress through submissions of your research abstracts, papers and e-posters. Bioenergy International is cordially inviting for presentation at the conference.

Bioenergy technology mainly focuses on usage of Biomass Energy as an alternative source for Energy Production for future generation and aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results.

Bioenergy 2021 aims to promote various researches on Biomass among scientists, academia and industries. Bioenergy 2021 offers various topics for interaction including Biomass, Bioenergy research, Algal Biofuel Production, Biomass conversion Processes to useful Energy. For the period 2014-2022 based on the historical years - 2012 and 2013. Projections have been provided for installed capacity (MW), power generation (Million KWh), and revenue (USD Million). The report includes the key market dynamics affecting the demand for biomass power generation feedstock and technologies. As a part of our market dynamics analysis, we have analysed market drivers, market restraints, and market opportunities. A comprehensive competitive landscape, which includes company market share analysis and market attractiveness analysis, has also been provided in this report.

Conferences series LLC LTD has been and will be organizing Bioenergy Conferences and events to put front the research advances. The gathering will highlight the opportunities in both Biomass Conferences and Biofuel Conferences.

Title : 16th World Bioenergy Congress and Expo
Date: April 26-27, 2021 Barcelona, Spain
Theme: Bioenergy for Sustainable Development

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Actis chooses WinJi's software platform to maximize asset performance and support value creation for renewable energy projects in its Actis Long Life Infrastructure Fund ("ALLIF")

 

WinJi, a Swiss based company leading in artificial intelligence for renewable energy asset management and it's innovative "True Power" platform, has been selected by Actis, a leading energy asset investor in growth markets across the globe, to implement their True Power platform.. WinJi was chosen following a competitive selection process and is expected to support maximising the overall performance across Actis' rapidly growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in its long life fund.

WinJi will provide its performance and software platform solution for existing and new assets for the Actis long life infrastructure fund ("ALLIF"), which is investing 1.2 billion US$ in operating energy infrastructure projects across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The True Power platform will be initially integrated into 800 MW of existing renewable assets located in Brazil, Chile and India.

WinJi's best-in-class asset management platform has been specifically developed for asset owners to meaningfully improve the overall profitability, resulting in significant project IRR optimization. By applying sophisticated, AI based data analytics, the True Power Platform identifies performance anomalies, quantifies loss drivers and calculates suggestions to improve production efficiency. Key Performance Indicators help to improve asset management effectiveness, while historic benchmarks support top down decision making.

"WinJi's expertise in AI based performance analytics, their in-depth industry knowledge together with the ability to provide value-adding insights, were the main criteria to sign this agreement", explained Dr. Ralf Nowack, Energy & Infrastructure Operations Director at Actis.

Bernhard Brodbeck, CEO and founder of WinJi stated: "We are proud to partner up with Actis, dedicated to support Actis in their vision for excellent asset management. We are determined to support Actis in successfully achieving their ambitious goals and will ensure best-in-class asset management practice across their growing portfolio to maximize asset value."

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ArcVera Renewables Achieves IECRE Approval for Wind Power Performance Testing Services

 

ArcVera Renewables, a leading international provider of consulting and technical services for wind, solar, and storage projects, is now one of the first companies based in the United States approved by the International Electrotechnical Commission - Renewable Energy (IECRE) to operate as a Renewable Energy Testing Laboratory. IECRE is the IEC system for certification to standards relating to equipment for use in renewable energy applications. IECRE approval validates the quality of ArcVera’s wind turbine PPT processes and the thoroughness of its quality management system. 
 
The IECRE process included a thorough audit by a set of industry peers who reviewed ArcVera’s procedures and processes, which were approved as being consistent with industry best practices.  

“With the achievement of IECRE accreditation, ArcVera can now pursue testing on several types of turbines and perform accredited power curve tests to the IEC 61400-12-1 standard, including all of the subtasks of such tests, such as terrain and obstacle assessments, site calibration, test planning, equipment installation, and test execution”, said Matt Cramer, Business Development Manager. Matt Cramer recently joined ArcVera to lead the business development of power performance testing services.

IECRE is the leading internationally accepted conformity assessment system for renewable energy; its harmonized accreditation requirements ensure both quality and consistency throughout the global renewable-energy industry. The ubiquity of IECRE accreditation has contributed to improvement of  efficiency and lowered the cost of bringing projects online, and has thus been a major catalyst in the gradual global transition to sustainable energy.  IECRE is focused on facilitating international trade in renewable-energy-related equipment and services in a way that maintains the required level of safety and quality. 

“We are thrilled to lead the way in the US Wind Energy Industry with IECRE approval for power performance testing.  As more companies follow ArcVera’s lead and obtain IECRE approval, it should raise the bar on quality for the entire industry,” said John Bosche, President & Principal Mechanical Engineer.

To date, ArcVera has completed over 25 PPTs on more than 2GW of renewable projects for leading industry players. With IECRE approval achieved, the ArcVera team is excited to be able to increase those numbers and solidify itself even more as a PPT services leader in the industry. ArcVera also represents the United States on the IEC committee, which develops standards for wind turbine power performance testing (61400-12-1), nacelle lidar power performance testing (61400-50-3), and energy assessments (61400-15).

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Solar Heat European Market 2019 Report

 

The European solar heat market has grown by 2.5% in installed capacity in 2019 and 3.4% on year-on-year sales. The sector has been growing its cumulative capacity continuously for over 4 decades and there are over 10 million solar thermal systems installed in Europe today.

Growth in total installed capacity

At the end of 2019, the total solar thermal installed capacity has reached 37 GWth, corresponding to a total area of 52.9 million square meters. Among the top ten European markets, the highest increase in cumulative capacity was observed in Denmark and Poland, with around 10% growth.

Growth in annual sales

The annual sales have increased again in 2019 by 3.4%, reaching 1.59 GWth, corresponding to over 2.27 million m2 of solar thermal collectors installed. This growth follows a growth of 2.4% in 2018. From the top European markets, those showing the largest growth were Denmark, with an increase of 174% – totalling 137 MWth(196 000 m2) – and the Netherlands, with a 44% increase (35 MWth / 50 000 m2). Among Southern European countries, the main market, Greece, has grown 10%, corresponding to annual sales of 253 MWth (361 000 m2).

Germany, the largest European market

The largest European market remains the German one, which experienced growth of 0.5% in installed capacity and a decrease of 11% in annual sales. This market has seen mainly an impact on combi-systems (used for both space and water heating). Though preliminary 2020 data indicates a substantial growth in this market, reverting the previous trend.

More jobs, less CO2 emissions

In terms of economic impact, the solar heating and cooling market has achieved an increased turnover of 1.9 billion Euros in 2019, representing up to 20 000 jobs. The market also brought substantial environmental benefits, as the 26 TWhth energy generated annually represents the equivalent of 7 MtCO2 savings per year.

Among the top 5 most deployed renewables, both in Europe and globally

Solar thermal for heating and cooling is one of the main renewable energy sources (RES) in Europe and globally, in terms of cumulated capacity and annual energy generation. The total installed capacity globally amounted to 442 GWth in 2018, corresponding to an energy generation of 363 TWhth. In Europe, there are 37 GWth of cumulative capacity for solar thermal energy, generating 26 TWhth in 2018. This makes it, together with bioenergy, hydro energy, wind and solar photovoltaics, the main renewable energy solutions in the market.

One of the most competitive renewable energy sources

Solar thermal provides energy at the lowest costs among all RES. It can compete with direct electrical heating solutions and some solutions can even compete with gas, even without considering costs associated to externalities from those sources, such as CO2 emissions or other.

To get access to the report please visit the following section from Solar Heat Europe’s website.

About Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF

Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF’s mission is to achieve the prioritisation and acceptance for solar heat as a key element for sustainable heating and cooling in Europe and to work for the implementation of all necessary steps to realise the high potential of solar heat. With members in more than 15 European countries, Solar Heat Europe represents directly or indirectly over 90% of the industry, across the value chain.

Contact:

Pedro Dias, Secretary General
pedro.dias@solarheateurope.eu
Tel: +32 2 318 40 55

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Deutsche WindGuard unlocks complex wind sites with ZX Lidars

With the introduction of a solution to allow the standalone use of wind lidar ZX 300 in complex terrain, Deutsche WindGuard has made a successful start to 2021. The new “ZX Complex Flow Solver” (ZX CFS) is the result of a joint development with the leading computational wind engineering organization ZephyScience, supported by lidar OEM ZX Lidars. Fully based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), ZX CFS identifies, quantifies and resolves the relative differences between lidar and cup anemometer measurements witnessed in complex terrain.

“Deutsche WindGuard has been supporting lidar applications since 2004,” says Johannes Cordes, Wind and Data Analyst at Deutsche WindGuard’s Wind Resource Assessment team. “While stand-alone lidar measurements in flat terrain have already had a high acceptance in the past, we see the particular challenges of stand-alone measurements in complex terrain well addressed and appropriately treated with the ZX CFS application. The design and structure of this service provides the best available solution for bankable wind resource and energy yield assessment based on stand-alone lidar in complex terrain.”

In complex, non-benign terrain, the assumption of homogeneous flow conditions within the measurement volume introduces differences between lidar and cup anemometer. The Complex Flow Solver algorithm developed by Deutsche WindGuard is optimized for ZX Lidars’ wind field reconstruction. Incorporating results from a high-resolution CFD model, it derives a set of conversion factors. Applied to the volume-based wind data from Continuous Wave Lidar ZX 300, which samples 50 measurements points per second, these conversion factors produce single point measurements equivalent to those of a cup anemometer installed at the same location. 

ZX CFS even provides guidance on where to install the lidar initially to achieve the lowest possible uncertainties. Cloud computing delivers fast, transparent and accurate results. 

Uncertainties associated to inhomogeneous flow conditions within the measurement volume according to IEC 61400-12-1 Ed. 2 (2017) L.4.5 can thus be reduced significantly. This widens the usability of ZX 300 wind lidar standalone deployments for wind resource assessments in complex terrain with no additional onsite met mast.

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Romania | Hidroelectrica buy Crucea Wind Farm

On end of December 2020, STEAG GmbH (“STEAG”) and Societatea de Producere a Energiei Electrice in Hidrocentrale Hidroelectrica S.A. (“Hidroelectrica”) signed an agreement concerning the sale of STEAG’s shares in Romanian subsidiaries Crucea Wind Farm S.A. (“Crucea Wind Farm”) and STEAG Energie Romania S.R.L. (“STEAG Energie Romania”) to Hidroelectrica, following a highly competitive process which involved both local and international bidders. The transaction will complete in accordance with conditions stipulated in the agreement.

Hidroelectrica is focused on diversifying its production by adding high-quality renewables capacities to its portfolio, as part of the company`s recently approved development strategy. The company restates its objective of remaining 100% green throughout the portfolio diversification process.

Developed by STEAG and commissioned in 2014, Crucea Wind Farm is one of the most modern and best-maintained onshore wind farms in Romania with an installed capacity of 108MW.

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