At the close of each year, we like to take a look back to see which stories made an impact on our readers. This year's most read articles show the many twists and turns that the industry took this year and reveal interesting trends for us as editors and for other industry insiders. Have a look at our most popular articles below. And if there was a story that particularly struck you, please let us know what it was in the comment section below. Happy New Year!
The 5th Most Read Article of 2012:
Phoenix Rising: Renewable Energy Good News Comes to Light After Hurricane Sandy,
by Jennifer Runyon, RenewableEnergyWorld.com Managing Editor
Published November 20, 2012
As Sandy ravaged parts of North America three weeks ago, hundreds of power generation assets were threatened. According to SNL Energy, there were 731 operating power plants of 10 MW or larger in the path of the storm. Among these facilities were 20 nuclear plants, 80 coal-fired plants, 237 gas-fired plants and 394 plants of various other fuel types, including hydropower, solar, biomass and wind power plants.
Even though Sandy left many customers in the dark, most of the power outages were caused by distribution and transmission line damage rather than damage to actual generating assets. That said, at least three nuclear power plants were ramped down to “guard against grid overload” said SNL, which also reported that one nuclear plant, Exelon's Oyster Creek in New Jersey, declared an emergency event during the storm, due to flooding of the plant's circulating water system. The emergency event was the third most severe on the NRC event matrix.
As survivors sift through the wreckage and those hardest hit work to restore some semblance of the life they had before the storm, we are all reminded of the power of mother nature and its ability to destroy what mankind has spent decades building. The widespread damage that resulted from the storm has left many people calling for more use of “safer” forms of energy and meaningful action to combat climate change.
The 5th Most Read Blog of 2012:
New York State Encouraging Big Renewables
by Jennifer Runyon
Published June 29, 2012
In the future, the state of New York won’t be known only for its world-famous city and picturesque northern landscape, rather it may soon also be known for its renewable energy projects. Two interesting developments this week should start to attract developers of larger solar and wind power projects to various regions in the state.
In April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the NY-Sun Initiative, a plan that brought together the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to help develop and fund a solar energy expansion plan. The goal is to double the amount of non-ultility owned solar power installed annually in New York, and quadruple that amount by 2013.
Yesterday, LIPA announced a CLEAN solar initiative, otherwise known as a feed-in tariff to spur up to 50 MW of commercial and large-scale solar projects in its region over the next two years. Under the program, LIPA will purchase all of the energy generated by local solar projects at a fixed-rate of 22 cents per kilowatt-hour for 20 years. Projects must be at least 50 kilowatts (kW) in size so residential systems won’t qualify. LIPA said that it expects the largest projects to be in the 3-MW range. The program is capped at 50 MW.
Lead image: Best of the Best 2012 via Shutterstock
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