This Week in Cleantech is a new, weekly podcast covering the most impactful stories in cleantech and climate in 15 minutes or less. Produced by Renewable Energy World and Tigercomm, This Week in Cleantech will air every Friday in the Factor This! podcast feed wherever you get your podcasts.

This week’s episode features Reuters correspondent Valerie Volcovici for a deep-dive on FERC’s monumental interconnection ruling. 

This Week in Cleantech – August 4, 2023

1. The U.S. Clean-Energy Company That Hit the Subsidies Jackpot — Wall Street Journal

First Solar has announced plans to invest $1.1 billion in a fifth U.S. manufacturing facility.

The planned fully vertically integrated facility, the location of which is yet to be determined, is expected to grow the company’s nameplate manufacturing capacity by 3.5 GW to reach approximately 14 GW in the US and 25 GW globally in 2026. The manufacturer expects to receive as much as $710 million this year—nearly 90% of forecast operating profit—from Inflation Reduction Act subsidies. First Solar expects to have as much as a 60% share of the U.S. market for large-scale solar installations this year.

2. Vogtle Unit 3 nuclear reactor, long delayed, starts delivering power Vogtle Unit 3 nuclear reactor, long delayed, starts delivering power — CNBC

The first new 1,100 MW nuclear reactor built from scratch in the U.S. entered commercial operation on July 31. Georgia Power announced that Plant Vogtle Unit 3 has entered commercial operation and is now serving customers and the state of Georgia after seven years of delays and projected costs of around $35 billion. Vogtle Unit 3 is the first newly-constructed nuclear unit in the U.S. in over 30 years and can power an estimated 500,000 homes and businesses. As the project received repeated delays the total costs have doubled.

3. MIT engineers developed a new type of concrete that can store energy — Fast Company

MIT engineers have discovered that by mixing “carbon black”, a conductive black powder into concrete, the resulting material has a network of carbon “wires”, essentially becoming a supercapacitor that can hold an electric charge. If used in place of regular concrete, this could potentially act as energy storage for rooftop solar panels or even for EVs to charge as they drive.

4. Deep-sea mining could help fuel renewable energy. Here’s why it’s been put on hold. — USA Today

A United Nations committee failed to reach an agreement on a deep-sea mining protocol. Proponents say mining is necessary to achieve the critical mineral supply needed for the energy transition. Opponents say (1) plenty enough exists on land – environmental concerns just make it more expensive (2) future battery tech will decrease the amount of critical minerals needed (3) there’s too much risk of damaging the deep sea ecosystem.

5. US moves to link more wind and solar projects to electric grid — Reuters

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a final ruling in its quest to streamline generator interconnection and alleviate clogged queues across the U.S. At the end of 2022, more than 2,000 GW of generation and storage were waiting in interconnection queues, according to FERC. The ruling on July 27 came out of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued last June.

The final rule requires all public utilities to adopt revised pro forma generator interconnection procedures and agreements to ensure that interconnection customers can interconnect to the transmission system in a reliable, efficient, transparent, and timely manner, and to prevent undue discrimination. 

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This Week in Cleantech is hosted by Renewable Energy World senior content director John Engel and Tigercomm president Mike Casey. The show is produced by Brian Mendes with research support from Alex Petersen and Clare Quirin.

This post appeared first on Power Engineering.