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Home / Solar Power / CGEB: Arctic Seed vault – 1 million strong, wind turbine stress test, more

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds reaches one million mark – The number of donations amounts to 1,059,646. This number excludes one emergency withdrawal of about 90,000 seeds needed to make up for precious samples stranded in Syria due to the conflict there – plus this: Norway to spend $13 million to upgrade ‘doomsday’ Arctic seed vaultThe revamp would cover “construction of a new, concrete-built access tunnel, as well as a service building to house emergency power and refrigerating units and other electrical equipment that emits heat through the tunnel,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement. A few things to say here – 1. This is an example of human beings thinking long. Like, real long. Long beyond your 401K – even long beyond saving for your grand kids college. This is millennium long type of stuff. There are many of us who think this way also. Thank you. 2. Broke 1 million seeds, cool. 3. Upgrades – at first I was like, dammit, we suck. We build an important thing for the species, but we screwed up a bit. However, I’ll recant that emotion and re-state – we’re an evolving species in an evolving environment whose solutions will evolve with us. Good work at paying attention to challenges and reacting with solutions. 4. 90,000 seeds withdrawn to help feed Syrians. That makes me sad and glad…sad it was needed – glad the world was able to offer support.

Stress testing of wind turbine blades – how cool is that:

World class performance by world’s first floating wind farm – Despite one hurricane, one winter storm and wave heights of up to 8,2 meters, Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm, performed better than expected in its first 3 full months in production. Hywind Scotland’s first encounter with harsh weather conditions was the hurricane Ophelia in October when wind speed of 125 kilometers per hour (80mph) were recorded. These wind speeds were surpassed during Storm Caroline in early December when gusts in excess of 160 km/h (100 mph) and waves in excess of 8,2 meters were recorded. So much interesting stuff here. First off, one important disclaimer – this 65% capacity factor is occurring during the busy season of the year for wind power. During the summer periods that number is expected to drop greatly. That the turbines worked well through 100mph winds and 25 foot waves – that’s impressive.

FERC Allows Energy Storage to Play in Nationwide Wholesale Markets – Within the next nine months, each of these regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) will be required to come back with a plan for revising its tariffs to establish a participation mode for energy storage, “consisting of market rules that, recognizing the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources, facilitates their participation” across the range of markets that make up a regional transmission grid.  This is the next logical step in the USA. And it represents a huge opportunity – one analyst said 50GW worth of energy storage, at least, now has a chance at current prices of hardware.

China puts responsibility for battery recycling on makers of electric vehicles – This is important on a few levels. First off, because electric vehicles to meet their grander purpose – saving the planet from CO2 – need also helps us protect ourselves from broader toxins – and batteries not managed well are definitely a challenge. Putting recycle responsibility on manufacturers will also force it onto consumers – which is great – because manufacturers will adjust pricing and consumers will cover those costs. That’s how it is supposed to work. Good job China.

By John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.

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