Daily News Wrap-Up: Clean Energy Projects Along Highways Proposed in the US

The Union Cabinet has approved a reforms-based and results-linked revamped distribution sector program for DISCOMs


Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:

U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff has announced legislation to boost clean energy initiatives under the Sustainable Highways Innovation Act. The move will permit clean energy generation and electric vehicle charging infrastructure on the empty spaces in America’s under-utilized highway rights-of-way (ROW), among others. These highway ROWs include the mostly empty land alongside highways and median zones. The latest initiative comes within days of introducing yet another legislation to boost America’s solar industry. The bill allows authorities to use interstate highway ROWs for renewable energy generation projects like solar arrays, electrical transmission, and distribution projects. The bill also encourages states to manage highway ROWs with environmentally sound vegetative practices.

Energy transition solutions provider Crossover Energy Partners has announced an exclusive partnership with global investment firm KKR. Under the pact, Crossover will oversee the origination, development, financing, construction, and long-term operation of clean energy projects with support from KKR’s infrastructure team. As part of the program, the firms will focus on securing power purchase, tolling, and build-transfer agreements from customers such as utilities, municipalities, and industrial entities. The companies will look for new opportunities in rapidly expanding segments such as electric vehicle fleets and green hydrogen.

The Union Cabinet has approved a reforms-based and results-linked revamped distribution sector program. The program aims to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of distribution companies (DISCOMs) and power departments (excluding private sector DISCOMs) by providing conditional financial assistance to DISCOMs to strengthen supply infrastructure. The financial aid will be provided based on the pre-qualifying criteria and achievement of basic benchmarks by the DISCOMs. The program will have an outlay of ₹3.04 trillion (~$40.89 billion) with an estimated gross budgetary support of ₹976.31 billion (~$13.13 billion) from the central government.

Vestas has received a 31 MW order to repower a wind project in the United States. The repowering order consists of V110-2.2 MW wind turbines, which will replace the site’s current technology. Including previously purchased 2 MW platform components, the project has a total capacity of 33 MW. The project includes a 20-year active output management 5000 service agreement designed to ensure optimized performance of the asset. Deliveries will begin in the third quarter of 2022, with commissioning scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Bangalore-based AI-led logistics company COGOS is slated to add 2,500 electric vehicles (EVs) to its fleet over the next two years. Added in a phased manner, the EVs will be operational across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Gujarat, and later in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The firm has partnered with original equipment manufacturers including Altigreen, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Piaggio to enable its sustainable growth. The fleet addition will take place in a phased manner over the next 24 months.


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