FAYETTEVILLE — Driving down the costs of solar power is the goal for Yue Zhao, a University of Arkansas, Fayetteville assistant professor receiving up to $2.7 million in support from the U.S. Department of Energy . . . Zhao earned a bachelor’s degree from Beijing University in China, then in 2014 earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Read morehere.
Photo: Yue Zhao, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Solar panels let church shine light before others —with a smaller bill, WPSD CARBONDALE, IL — More churches are doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint. First Christian Church of Carbondale has become the second church in the southern Illinois city to install solar panels. First Christian Church of Carbondale leaders said they chose to go solar not only to save money, but to save the Earth.
CMS Energy Announces Two New Wind Energy Parks JACKSON, Mich., June 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — CMS Energy today announced the addition of two new planned wind energy parks to its portfolio that will produce up to 250 megawatts of clean, renewable energy.
Double-Sided Solar Panels Are Taking Off in China, Renewable Energy World China is expected to jump-start the market for panels that can absorb light on both sides with plans to install 2.7 GW this year, according to research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Other regions may add as much as 200 MW in 2018, and the global market may reach 15 GW by 2020. A typical nuclear reactor has about 1 GW of capacity. Standard solar panels have a mostly aluminum backing. The so-called bi-facial panels remove most of the aluminum from the bottom, exposing the semiconducting material so it can produce electricity from light that hits it on either side. (See Solar Examples: Custom Solar Canopy and Henry Doorly Zoo Solar Shade Canopy for examples of local projects utilizing bifacial solar panels).
One of the largest barriers to solar adoption on a wide scale is the wealth gap, and it will require more problem-solving than a mandate to overcome it. A new report released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that nearly half (42 percent) of all the United States’ residential rooftop solar technical potential (see pg. 15 for definition) is on the dwellings of low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, representing 330 GW of potential solar capacity — a number the researchers admitted was much higher than they expected at the outset.
“Understanding the potential size of the LMI market in detail offers new insights and opportunities to serve these communities,” said David Mooney, executive director, Institutional Planning, Integration and Development for NREL. “The potential electric bill savings from the adoption of rooftop solar would have a greater material impact on low-income households compared to their high-income counterparts.” Read morehere.
NREL Photo: PV installed on low-income housing development in Denver, Colorado
$1 trillion by 2030 – ACORE lays out a US pathway, PV Magazine American Council on Renewable Energy launched a new campaign that aims to reach $1 trillion in U.S. private sector investment in renewable energy and enabling grid technologies by 2030.
Public power utilities and the electric grid must evolve with global trends, says Kelly, American Public Power Association. Kicking off the American Public Power Association’s National Conference in New Orleans, La. on June 18, Sue Kelly, president and CEO of the Association, urged public power utilities to heed three global trends to consider how to serve customers in the future. The three trends she highlighted were Amazon, connection, and socialization.
Aspen Electric’s 100% renewables just keeps looking better and better, Mountain Town News In 2005, with [Randy Udall, then director of the nonprofit called Community Office of Resource Efficiency] representing Aspen, the city struck a deal with the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, or MEAN. This deal gave Aspen access to MEAN’s wind farm near Kimball, Neb., as well as MEAN’s other wind-based resources and a small bit of landfill gas. In turn, MEAN became the balancing authority for Aspen, ensuring it gets wind-generated energy when it needs it but does not leave the city utility on the hook for unneeded electricity. This has been crucial to achieving the city’s goal of 100 percent renewables.
New Jersey Is Now The United States’ Hottest Clean Energy Economy, by Mike O’Boyle and Barbara Blumenthal for Forbes. Mike is Electricity Policy Manager at Energy Innovation. Barbara is Research Director at New Jersey Conservation Foundation. When Governor Murphy recently signed a landmark clean energy bill into law, New Jersey reclaimed the national policy leadership it abdicated during years of stagnation under the Christie Administration, and jump-started the state’s clean energy economy. The state is now a member of the exclusive “50×30” club that includes New York, Hawaii, California, and Vermont as the only states requiring 50% renewable energy by 2030 (Colorado and Iowa may reach that mark through voluntary utility leadership).
No longer does UNL use a coal-fired power and heating plant built at 14th and W streets in 1930 (now the site of the City Campus utility plant), giving the university an advantage over the University of Iowa, University of Illinois and others within the Big Ten still generating electricity on their campuses and expanding their carbon footprint. UNL instead purchases 100 percent of its electricity to power lights and computers, charge cellphones and run other equipment through Lincoln Electric System, which in turn buys power from the Southwest Power Pool and Western Area Power Administration. Read the entire articlehere.
Poor People’s Campaign takes on economic justice, Jefferson City News Tribune Ameren Missouri outlined a plan in September to spend more than $1 billion and add at least 700 megawatts of wind energy generation in Missouri and neighboring states by 2020. The Poor People’s Campaign called for power companies to build more renewable energy sources.
Monmouth explores renewable energy partnership, Daily Review Atlas MONMOUTH — The City Council on Monday approved a five-month study on the feasibility of a partnership with a renewable energy company. Bluestem Energy of Omaha, Nebraska, presented to the City Council Monday night about a potential partnership for wind and solar energy generation.
By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association News
The American Public Power Association is urging the Department of Energy to reject a request by FirstEnergy Solutions that the Secretary of Energy issue an emergency order requiring PJM Interconnection and, by extension, electricity consumers in the PJM region, to provide “full cost recovery” for certain merchant generating plants in PJM. Such a request is unjustified, the Association said in its April 9 submittal to the DOE. FirstEnergy Solutions has neither demonstrated the existence of an emergency that would support action by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry under Federal Power Act section 202(c), nor shown that its requested relief is reasonable, the public power group argued. At issue is a March 29 request made by FirstEnergy Solutions, on behalf of certain of its subsidiaries (collectively, FirstEnergy), with the DOE. Continue reading here.
Muncie couple promotes solar panels throughout Indiana, The Daily News
A retired Ball State University married couple John Vann, retired marketing professor, and Carolyn Vann, retired biology professor, are taking their knowledge of sustainability and clean energy to the forefront of East Central Indiana to help households procure solar energy for their own properties. They are working to help Hoosiers obtain discounted panels.
ENERGY STORAGE NEWS
Of potential interest, especially for Nebraska solar installers: The customer has spoken – 74% want energy storage, PV Magazine USA EnergySage’s latest Solar Marketplace Intel Report shows solar shoppers are interested in batteries as well. Additionally, buyers have become hardware focused, pushing flexibility and efficiency.
The U.S. electricity sector is eyeing the developing electric car market as a remedy for an unprecedented decline in demand for electricity. After decades of rising electricity demand, experts say the utility industry grossly underestimated the impact of cheap renewable energy and the surge of natural gas production. For the first time ever, the Tennessee Valley Authority is projecting a 13 percent drop in demand across the region it serves in seven states, which is the first persistent decline in the federally owned agency’s 85-year history. Read morehere.
By Kelsey Misbrener, Associate Editor, Solar Power World
“The overwhelming majority of employers are having difficulty hiring, and then a majority of those are saying it’s costing them—costing them money, costing them jobs. They’re turning down jobs because they just can’t find qualified workers,” said Tim Olson, who wrote The Solar Foundation’s2017 Solar Training and Jobs Report, a report funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. “Difficult hiring isn’t just unique to the solar industry,” Olson said. “You look at a lot of other skilled labor and general manufacturing positions in the U.S. and there is relatively high difficulty hiring right now—the unemployment rate is hitting all-time lows.” Click hereto read more.
Photo: Mountain View Solar in Maryland collaborates with a local community college on a summer internship program.
Dave Cooke is a senior vehicles analyst in the Clean Vehicles Program, specializing in both light- and heavy-duty fuel economy. He conducts research on fuel efficiency technologies and the implications for oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across the transportation sector. Dr. Cooke received his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to this, he received his BS in physics from Harvey Mudd College in 2002 and his MS in physics from the University of California, San Diego in 2004.
National Grid’s ($114 million) future is rising in West Seneca, The Buffalo News National Grid launched the upgrade just over a year ago, with O’Connell Electric as the prime contractor. The work has stayed on schedule despite a wet spring, said John Burke, National Grid’s operations director. “I’ve been at National Grid for 30 years, and this is the biggest project I’ve seen,” Burke said. Materials for the facility came from a variety of sources, including steel from Nebraska and locally supplied stone and concrete.
Fort Collins mayor speaks at University Cities Conference, North Forty News He described the Fort ZED project as an example of collaboration between the university, the municipally-owned electric utility and 13 private sector partners to reduce peak-load energy demand by up to 30 percent in two parts of the city. The partners were able to showcase their technology for customers all over the world.
In the past few years, several other states—including New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Illinois—have passed laws enabling solar garden programs. But Minnesota’s is currently the biggest and arguably most successful, in part because it places no upper limits on the amount of solar that can be developed in the state. “The success speaks for itself at this point,” says John Farrell, a Minneapolis-based energy expert for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “We’ve got more community solar than any other state. We’re going to continue to lead for quite a while.” Although Minnesota is hardly known for sunny weather, so far its residents seem to have an insatiable appetite for solar energy production. Read more here.
Written by Mike Hughlett, Minneapolis Star Tribune,
Published by Wisconsin State Journal
Wind service technician is by far the fastest-growing occupation in the country, with an expected growth rate of 108 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency says the median annual pay for a wind service technician in 2016 was $52,260.
[Will] Osborn, a 43-year-old Nebraska native, served 12 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and afterward got a wind turbine technical degree from a community college. He’s been working for Vestas since 2011 and is the company’s lead technician at the Black Oak wind farm near Sauk Centre. Click here to read more.
Photo:: Nebraska native Will Osborn, left, and Shane Keck work on a wind sensor that was out of alignment while Chris Berg works inside near Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Credit: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune
Iowa airports going green, saving on energy costs,The Gazette. When the next phase of a $50 million remodeling of the passenger terminal at the Eastern Iowa Airport is completed, 738 solar panels mounted on the roof will reduce energy costs along with a geothermal heating and cooling system.