USDA News Release
Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding 58 grants for projects in 17 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (PDF, 146 KB) to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.
USDA is providing the grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $1 million in renewable energy projects. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. Read the entire news release here.
- More water+wind+solar capacity than coal, PV Magazine
FERC’s monthly Energy Infrastructure Update reveals that renewable electricity generation capacity online exceeded coal capacity for the first time in April.
- FERC infrastructure report reveals phantom 850 MW coal plant, renewables surpassing coal, Utility Dive
- US solar and storage developer 8minutenergy Renewables LLC announced it is changing its name to 8minute Solar Energy, a decade after the company was established. Renewables Now
- Report: US Residential Solar Financier Sunnova Plans IPO, Greentech Media
A public offering is in the works for the country’s fourth-largest residential solar TPO provider, according to a Reuters report.
- BREAKING: Bifacial beats Trump’s tariffs, PV Magazine
Federal trade authorities have ruled that bifacial solar modules are no longer subject to the Section 201 ruling, which currently apply a 25% tariff to most solar modules imported to the United States.
- Coalition of Automakers and Utilities Unveils Transportation Policy ‘Roadmap’, Greentech Media The recently formed 50×50 Commission is out with a set of new proposals aimed at updating U.S. transportation infrastructure for the 21st century.
SELF-COMMITTING IN POWER MARKETS
Are old Midwest coal plants pushing renewables offline?, E&E News
The utility process of self-committing or self-scheduling power plants to run even when there’s cheaper energy available on the grid is a complex issue and opaque to outsiders. Increasingly, there are questions about whether it’s slowing a transition to cleaner energy amid inexpensive shale gas and falling costs for renewable energy.
The Billion-Dollar Coal Bailout Nobody Is Talking About: Self-Committing In Power Markets, by Joseph Daniel, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists
Markets are supposed to ensure that all power plants are operated from lowest cost to most expensive. Self-committing allows expensive coal plants to cut in line, pushing out less expensive power generators such as wind, depriving those units from operating and generating revenue.