Tag Archives: Nebraskans for Solar’s NewsBlog

Colorado approves Xcel plan to retire coal, shift to renewables and storage

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Colorado’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted unanimously on Monday to give preliminary approval to Xcel Energy’s Clean Energy Plan, which would see the utility close 660 MW of coal-fired generation a decade earlier than scheduled and shift to renewable resources. Under the plan, Xcel will close units 1 and 2 at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo and invest $2.5 billion in renewable energy and battery storage. The utility expects the plan to save ratepayers $213 million. In January, the utility solicited notably low bid prices for wind-plus-storage, $21/MWh, as well as $36/MWh for solar-plus-storage, some of the lowest bids for renewable energy plus storage on record. Read more here.

Image credit: Flickr; Energy.gov

RELATED READING

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Minnesota community solar reaches 400 MW milestone

The J. M. Smucker Company Announces Renewable Energy Agreement

ORRVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — As part of its commitment to have a positive environmental impact, The J. M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM) announced today it has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE) for 60 megawatts (MW) of the utility-scale 230 MW Plum Creek Wind Project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Starting in 2020, the wind energy produced from the Plum Creek project will address approximately 50 percent of Smucker’s total electricity use . . . “In addition to creating high-paying local jobs, the Plum Creek Wind Project will result in over $3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne County area,” said Declan Flanagan, Founder and CEO of Lincoln Clean Energy.
Read more here.

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS
GE-Powered Kimball Wind Project Begins Operations In Nebraska, North American Windpower

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Union of Concerned Scientists Report – Electric vs. Diesel vs. Natural Gas: Which Bus is Best for the Climate?

By Jimmy O’Dea, Vehicles Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

Battery electric buses range from 1.4 to 7.7 times better than a diesel bus, as shown in miles per gallon emissions-equivalency. Another way of saying this is that a diesel bus has nearly 1½ to 8 times the global warming emissions as an electric bus, depending on the region.

And the grid is getting cleaner every year. Emission rates from electricity have steadily declined the last sixteen years. Transit agencies can also choose cleaner power than what’s provided on their grids by installing solar panels and batteries on site or through renewable electricity contracts. Read more here.

FEATURED EDITORIAL
Care about climate change? Demand cheaper solar panels, The Boston Globe

Indiana solar, solar+storage comes in at low prices

By John Weaver, PV Magazine USA

Indiana solar, solar+storage comes in at low prices

Also written by John Weaver

  • Texas power grid begging for solar power
    ERCOT has set mid-day demand records and touched pricing maximums over the past week as summer heat broke state records – all of which creates tremendous opportunities for solar.
  • Big oil going big solar

Big oil going big solar

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Editorial: Creighton is among Omaha institutions spearheading environmental sustainability

Omaha World-Herald Editorial Staff

It’s encouraging to see how Nebraska’s institutions of higher learning are directing growing attention to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. Construction projects, too, are prompting increased attention on this important need. Here are just a few of the examples: Continue reading here.

Creighton University photo of the campus’ 85-kilowatt solar canopy on the Cuming Street parking lot.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

New ILSR Report & Q&A With John Farrell: A Solar Power & Energy Storage Revolution Is Upon Us

By Jake Richardson, CleanTechnica

new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance describes some of the implications of the growing solar power and energy storage trend as it relates to the current, centralized utility-based electricity distribution model. Because solar and energy storage can be cost competitive with grid electricity prices in some places, consumers now have an alternative to only using utility-based electricity. Report author John Farrell answered some questions for CleanTechnica.

Continue here.

Electric Power Research Institute wins $1.8 million to develop solar forecasting technology

By Kelsey Misbrener, Solar Power World

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced [yesterday] a $1.8 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to develop and demonstrate new methods to operate power systems with high penetrations of solar power. The award is part of the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s Solar Forecasting 2 funding program to advance predictive modeling capabilities for solar generation for more accurate forecasts of solar generation levels. Solar Forecasting 2 projects are designed to enable electric utilities to better manage the variability and uncertainty of solar power and improve grid reliability. Continue here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO SOLAR PROFESSIONALS
Use personal stories to sell more solar, Solar Power World Contributor

Ireland to become first country to divest from fossil fuels

Mother Nature Network

“The [divestment] movement is highlighting the need to stop investing in the expansion of a global industry which must be brought into managed decline if catastrophic climate change is to be averted,” said Thomas Pringle, the independent member of parliament who introduced the bill. “Ireland by divesting is sending a clear message that the Irish public and the international community are ready to think and act beyond narrow short-term vested interests.”

While Ireland is the first country that plans to completely divest itself of fossil fuels assets, Norway has divested from some coal companies, and cities around the United States, including New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C., have made steps to divest their government and pension funds of fossil fuel assets. Read more here. 

Photo by Mother Nature Network: The Cliffs of Moher

HELPFUL LINKS TO DIVEST / REINVEST RESOURCES POSTED HERE:

It is vital to invest in the future of clean energy for all

MORE CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

ADDITIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Pennsylvania lays out a plan for 11 GW of solar by 2030

EV NEWS

NEBRASKA EV PROGRAMS

UPCOMING EVENT
American Wind Week 2018: Anywhere the wind blows, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog 
Events can be planned anywhere the wind blows in this 50 state industry, but big wind states like Texas, Iowa and Nebraska shouldn’t go without a Wind Week event.

Free Online American Solar Energy Society Workshop Tomorrow!

13 Ways to Harness the SUN to Save Money & Live Naturally!

This free online workshop will be filled with practical, no-nonsense information about harnessing the power of the sun to improve your lifestyle while saving money.

Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Time: 8 p.m. CDT
Duration: 60 minutes plus Q&A
Click Here to Register

Spring into Summer SUN OVEN Giveaway

Everyone who registers will be entered in a drawing to win an All American SUN OVEN with Dehydrating and Preparedness Accessory Package. Drawing will be held after the workshop.

HAPPENING THIS FALL 

The American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour October 6th – 7th
Host a solar open house on the Tour! Click image for event details.

GCEA Seeks Solar Arrays To Meet Local Energy Needs

By Christy Acuff, Crested Butte News

The Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA) [in Colorado] is pursuing construction of two 500-kilowatt solar arrays to provide locally produced power to valley residents. The solar project fits into GCEA’s long-term goal to supply 50 percent of its power needs through renewable sources by 2030 . . . According to its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Company, GCEA may self-generate only 5 percent of the total power it distributes to customers; the remaining 95 percent must be purchased from Tri-State suppliers. The planned solar array would be 2 percent of GCEA’s total power distribution, thus falling well within the mandated cap imposed by Tri-State members. The 5 percent cap has generated controversy among some of Tri-State’s 44 member co-ops throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming. According to cleancooperative.com, 13 of the member co-ops are at or approaching the 5 percent limit. Read more here.

Clean Cooperative’s Mission Statement
Renewable energy is now cheaper than coal, and many electric cooperatives are investing in solar, wind, and hydro projects to help keep electricity rates stable, support local economic development, and cut pollution. At the same time, electric cooperatives face unique challenges in moving from coal to clean energy. Clean Cooperative tracks the opportunities and challenges that electric cooperatives face in this energy transition.
Reports
Uncooperative: Tri-State policies are limiting New Mexico co-ops’ access to cheap solar power
Uncooperative: Tri-State policies are limiting Colorado communities from developing local renewable energy projects

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NEW POLL
Nearly 2/3 of Americans support a solar mandate for new homes, PV Magazine

MORE INNOVATIVE INITIATIVES

Hawaii opens up existing solar installations to energy storage

SOLAR SHINGLE NEWS
Powerhouse solar shingle seeks 17.1% panel efficiency, pv magazine USA
The company’s pricing documentation listed the hardware at $2.80/W – with balance of system costs at $0.25/W and install labor at $0.25/W, totalling $3.30/W. The documentation suggests the solar shingle offsets an equivalent roofing value of $0.44/W – meaning an effective price of $2.86/W installed for a 6-kW residential solar power system, versus a national average of $3.73/W per an EnergySage report, which is higher than other estimates.

Powerhouse Installation YouTube Video – Click image to watch it.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Checking out “Energiewende”, by Sue Kelly, American Public Power Association Blog