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Clean + Renewable Energy News: June 2021

Op-ed: ACC Chair’s rhetoric about clean-energy rules doesn’t match reality

In this op-ed published by The Arizona Republic, Arizona Technology Council CEO Steven G. Zylstra and Ceres State Policy Manager Emily Duff express their disappointment that Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Lea Márquez Peterson has reversed her position, voting down a bipartisan set of clean-energy rules twice in one month. While a more aggressive timeline for Arizona to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity would have been better, the compromise of a strong interim target to achieve 50% clean energy by 2032 will go a long way to growing a thriving clean-energy industry. Read more >> 

Lucid Motors weighs alternatives due to chip shortage

Lucid Motors Inc. is feeling the effects of the global chip shortage that has slowed production at other U.S. automakers. The electric vehicle maker is evaluating alternatives to the semiconductors it had planned to use as it prepares to begin full production of its Lucid Air sedans at its Arizona factory. The shortages of chips and other critical parts have weighed heavily on automobile production. Lucid plans to build its electric cars at a 999,000-square-foot factory south of Phoenix in Casa Grande. The company projects that plant, which it completed in just a year, will work in tandem with a nearby battery factory to eventually produce 365,000 vehicles a year at peak levels. Read more >> 

The electric car revolution shouldn’t leave anyone behind

A new program is bringing EVs to low-income neighborhoods—and turning senior and disabled residents into early adopters, one ride at a time. The equitable electric car-sharing program in St. Louis—a collaboration between the city, the utility Ameren and several organizations—is one of several around the country helping to make electric vehicles more accessible. Switching to electric cars is an important step in the fight against the climate crisis. To succeed, we’ll need to electrify everything—replacing the country’s current fleet of combustion vehicles with electric cars, buses and trucks, and importantly, generating electricity via carbon-free sources, such as wind and solar. Read more >>

Keystone XL Pipeline is officially done

It’s been a decade-long battle—but it’s finally over. Thanks to President Joe Biden, the tireless work of climate and Indigenous activists, and TC Energy finally relenting, the Keystone XL pipeline has officially been canceled. This is a huge moment for the United States and Canada, and hopefully it will lead to many more polluting pipeline project shutdowns. TC Energy will work with regulators and indigenous groups to make sure the project is shut down safely and meets environmental regulations. Read more >> 


Here’s how Valley utilities protect water supply amid rapid growth

Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, gaining about 150,000 new residents annually. Along with the rise in population comes an increase in home, business and entertainment development that draws on local utilities and water supply. Despite this, the state uses less water than it did more than 60 years ago, when the population was one-seventh the size. As unrelenting drought and rising temperatures threaten the state’s watersheds, Valley water leaders are looking at ways to ensure a continued reserve of this natural resource to support development into the next century. Read more >>


Microsoft launches new cloud region in Arizona

To meet renewable energy goals in Arizona, Microsoft has collaborated with Longroad Energy on its 150MW Sun Streams 2 photovoltaic solar power plant located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It will offset the energy use of its data centers with Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Microsoft’s Arizona data centers will use zero water for cooling for more than half the year, it said, leveraging a method called adiabatic cooling. This uses outside air instead of water for cooling when temperatures are below 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Read more >>


Fisker to to produce a climate neutral vehicle by 2027

Fisker Inc., creator of the world’s most sustainable electric vehicles and advanced mobility solutions, announced its aim to produce a climate-neutral vehicle by 2027. Recognizing the challenges of producing and delivering products without creating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the company plans to radically disrupt the mobility industry by setting an ambitious goal for themselves. As Fisker develops its emissions-free products, the company will endeavor to promote a circular economy by sourcing recycled materials and remanufactured components, as well as work to utilize public charging points running on 100% renewable energy. Read more >>

DOE announces projects aim to deploy clean-energy technology

The U.S. Department of Energy announced $12 million in funding for six R&D projects that are advancing direct air capture technology, a carbon dioxide removal approach that extracts CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. The projects, housed at universities in Arizona, North Carolina, Illinois and Kansas, are creating tools that will increase the amount of CO2 captured, decrease the cost of materials, and improve the energy efficiency of carbon removal operations. When deployed, this next generation of clean energy technology will help reach the goal of a net-zero emissions by 2050. Read more >>

Technology being tested in Phoenix could make cities cooler

Along with reducing greenhouse gases, mitigating the urban heat island could help slow the trend of rising temperatures and there is research happening right here in the Valley to test new technologies that could make a difference in how we cool our cities in the future. That is the idea behind a stretch of roadway in the Garfield District, south of downtown Phoenix. It is one of eight neighborhoods in the Valley where an asphalt sealant product called CoolSeal by manufacturer GuardTop is being tested as a method to mitigate the heat island effect. The goal of the CoolSeal is to reflect the sun’s energy back into space so that the heat is not absorbed by the asphalt as would typically happen with traditional sealants. Read more >> 

Atlis Motors produces EV battery that recharges in 15 minutes

A real pain point for those considering a battery electric vehicle is the time it takes to recharge its batteries. But an Arizona startup said Thursday it has put into production a battery cell it says can be fully energized in less than 15 minutes. Atlis Motor Vehicles is producing its AMV battery cells at its Mesa, Arizona, headquarters and is developing battery cells and packs to power its XP platform and XP battery-electric pickup trucks with driving ranges of 300-500 miles. The company said it plans to commercially launch the next generation AMV battery cell in the fourth quarter of this year after several months of testing and validation. Read more >>

Nikola to raise up to $300 million in share purchase by private investor group

Nikola Corp. has agreed to sell up to $300 million of its stock to Tumim Stone Capital LLC, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agreement says that Nikola has the option to sell up to $300 million in common stock to Tumim during the next three years, and that Tumim is required to purchase the shares when called upon. The new financing arrangement comes as Nikola continues construction of its production facility in Coolidge, south of Phoenix in Pinal County. The company expects to make its first deliveries of the Tre BEV (battery electric vehicle) semitrucks by the end of the year. Read more >>



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