Tag Archives: Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Solar Industry Lays Claim to the 2020s; Kicks Off the Solar+ Decade

SEIA News Release

As this decade nears a close, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has designated the next decade The Solar+ Decade. Constituting 2.5 percent of the nation’s electricity generation today, solar will account for 20 percent of all electricity generation by 2030, under SEIA’s aggressive target. To chart the industry’s course, SEIA is producing a roadmap to the Solar+ Decade that will lay out the policy, social, environmental and economic elements that will need to be in place to make solar a leading source of new power generation in the 2020s. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • AWEA’s Amy Farrell gives remarks at Politico’s Reinventing American Energy event, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog. Amy Farrell is AWEA’s Senior Vice President for Government & Public Affairs. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently ranked America’s power grid infrastructure an unacceptable “D+.” This neglect doesn’t position the U.S. to succeed in the competitive global economy. And we are asking more than ever from our outdated system.
  • Iowa Governor To Lead Midwestern Governors Association With Focus On Transmission, North American Windpower
  • A Regional Perspective: A unified voice for Midwestern GovernorsGovernor Kim Reynolds
    As Chair of the MGA for 2019, I look forward to working with my fellow Midwestern governors to create a more secure and modern electric grid in the Midwest by convening a diverse group of regional stakeholders to establish a long-term transmission grid vision for the Midwest.
  • Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds: 2019 Chair’s Agenda
    Governor Reynold’s agenda will focus on creating a more secure and modern electric grid in the Midwest. The effort was initiated because of the promise, and the related problems, in delivering more energy from source to load (i.e., energy consumers) in the region. Under Governor Reynolds, the association will bring together the energy policy and utility regulatory staffs, as well as, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and stakeholders, to establish a long-term transmission grid vision for the region.
  • Wind Solar Alliance’s Grid Campaign
    A main focus of A Renewable America is the Grid Campaign, which works on accelerating deployment of renewable energy by shaping market rules, utility procurements, and transmission planning. In PJM and MISO, we are working with industry leaders and other experts to develop an advocacy agenda on market rules that will increase the pace of wind and solar deployment by properly valuing the many benefits that wind, solar, and storage provide to the grid.

SPP’S INTEGRATED TRANSMISSION PLAN & NEBRASKA’S R-PROJECT

Nebraska’s R-Project Overview, Nebraska Public Power District
NPPD plans to construct a 345,000-volt transmission line from NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland to NPPD’s existing substation east of Thedford. The new line will then proceed east and connect to a second substation to be sited in Holt County. NPPD is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. The SPP conducted a study, also known as the Integrated Transmission Plan, to assess the needs of the entire transmission network with the SPP region over the next 10 years. The R-Project is one of numerous projects to come out of that study. If NPPD did not build the R-Project, the SPP would find another entity to do so.

United States Surpasses 2 Million Solar Installations

SEIA News Release

The U.S. is now home to more than 2 million solar PV installations, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced today. The mark comes just three years after the industry completed its 1 millionth installation, a feat that took 40 years to accomplish.

“The rapid growth in the solar industry has completely reshaped the energy conversation in this country,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA president and CEO. “This $17 billion industry is on track to double again in five years, and we believe that the 2020s will be the decade that solar becomes the dominant new form of energy generation.” Read the entire news release here.

New SEIA Fact Sheet: Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Solar ITC 101: What is the Solar Investment Tax Credit?

The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the growth of solar energy in the United States. Since the ITC was enacted in 2006, the U.S. solar industry has grown by more than 8,600% – creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and investing billions of dollars in the U.S. economy in the process. In 2015, SEIA successfully advocated for a multi-year extension of the credit, which has provided critical stability for businesses and investors. Despite the overwhelming success and popularity of the ITC, the value of the credit will unfortunately start decreasing after 2019. Read more here.

What happens when schools go solar?

Stanford Earth Matters Magazine, Stanford University

Sunshine splashing onto school rooftops and campuses across the country is an under-tapped resource that could help shrink electricity bills, new research suggests. The study, published in the April issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters, shows taking advantage of all viable space for solar panels could allow schools to meet up to 75 percent of their electricity needs and reduce the education sector’s carbon footprint by as much as 28 percent. According to the study, it’s not economically viable for educational institutions to purchase rooftop solar systems outright in any state. Rather, the projects can make financial sense for schools if they contract a company to install, own and operate the system and sell electricity to the school at a set rate. Read more here.

Photo: Colorado Chatfield High School teacher Joel Bertelsen explains the fundamentals of a photovoltaic array to his Intro to Engineering Students. Credit: Dennis Schroeder / NREL

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Solar Energy Industries Association Fact Sheet: What is a solar power purchase agreement?

A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost.

The developer sells the power generated to the host customer at a fixed rate that is typically lower than the local utility’s retail rate. This lower electricity price serves to offset the customer’s purchase of electricity from the grid while the developer receives the income from these sales of electricity as well as any tax credits and other incentives generated from the system.

PPAs typically range from 10 to 25 years and the developer remains responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system for the duration of the agreement. At the end of the PPA contract term, a customer may be able to extend the PPA, have the developer remove the system or choose to buy the solar energy system from the developer.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Resource
Solar Schools Assessment and Implementation Project: Financing Options for Solar Installations on K–12 Schools

A Market-Driven Green New Deal? We’d Be Unstoppable

In this New York Times op-ed, RMI’s Amory Lovins and Rushad Nanavatty explain why any serious energy transformation will need to harness America’s powerful and creative economic engine. Read the op-ed here.

ALSO INCLUDED IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE’S LATEST E-NEWSLETTER

  • How Community-Scale Solar Can Change Our Energy System
    While both residential solar and utility-scale solar play a large role in a renewable future, there’s also a sweet spot in between those two. Community-scale solar—midsize solar arrays connected to the distribution grid—has huge potential to reach millions of US customers.
  • How Global Cities Are Going Green
    More US cities are looking for ways to cut emissions and develop resiliency plans. Curbed spoke with RMI and other energy and environmental leaders to get their take on global city climate policies that are progressive, practical, and—most importantly—working. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

How the Green New Deal Can Unify Rather than Divide Us

Written by Ken Kimmel, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists

The “Green New Deal,” which seemed to spring out of nowhere, has captured the attention of many of us who recognize that the need to prevent runaway climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. Its inspiring title calls to mind an era when our country worked together to pull out of a depression. Its main proponents are young people—who better than the up-and-coming generation to demand that the former one leaves behind a world that is habitable? And, it calls for action on a scale that aligns with the best available science.

Unfortunately, many who oppose acting on climate change are using the Green New Deal as a political football . . . Those of us who want the United States to lead on climate change, whether such action is called a Green New Deal, or another inspiring frame (e.g., 100% clean energy by mid-century) must not let this happen. The key is to define the Green New Deal before the caricatures stick, by showing that, while it is ambitious, it is realistic and affordable. We can succeed if we follow these principles: Continue reading here.

Previously posted YouTube video exemplifying local “micro” Green New Deals sprouting up all across the country: How one small city sowed the seeds for its own Green New Deal

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Puerto Rico passes 100% renewable energy bill as it aims for storm resilience, Utility Dive
The U.S. territory will join Hawaii, California and Washington, D.C., with its 100% RPS target, which includes interim goals of 40% renewables by 2025 and 50% by 2040. Photo Credit: Flickr user Ricardo’s Photography

NEW REPORT

Battery Power’s Latest Plunge in Costs Threatens Coal, Gas, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The most striking finding in this [levelized cost of electricity update], for the first-half of 2019, is on the cost improvements in lithium-ion batteries. These are opening up new opportunities for them to balance a renewables-heavy generation mix. Batteries co-located with solar or wind projects are starting to compete, in many markets and without subsidy, with coal- and gas-fired generation for the provision of ‘dispatchable power’ that can be delivered whenever the grid needs it. 

NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SOLAR RESEARCH PROJECT

News Release: Department of Energy Announces $130 Million for Early-Stage Solar Research Project
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $130 million for new research to advance early-stage solar technologies. These projects will help to achieve affordable and reliable energy to enhance America’s economic growth and energy security . . . This funding program targets five research areas: photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), soft costs reduction, innovations in manufacturing, and solar systems integration. These projects will make solar energy more affordable, reliable, and secure, while working to boost domestic solar manufacturing, reduce red tape, and make PV more resilient to cyberattack.

Previously Announced DOE Funding for Solar Energy Integration

For more information on the Solar Energy Technologies Office, visit their website HERE.

US adds 1.15 GW of large wind, solar capacity in Jan 2019

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Update,
Post Written by Renewables Now

The 202.5-MW Upstream Wind Energy Project in Nebraska and the 161.3-MW Pine River Wind Park in Michigan were among the biggest newly completed installations in the US in January. Most of the new solar power capacity for the month is located in Florida. Read more here.

Invenergy Photo: Upstream Wind Energy Center Turbine

About Nebraska’s Upstream Wind Energy Center
Invenergy has constructed several other wind projects in Nebraska in addition to the  81 turbines for the Upstream Wind Energy Center on the north and east side of Neligh in Antelope County. The wind project became operational in January, 2019. Maximum capacity is 200,000 kilowatts (or 200 megawatts). The wind project is expected to supply enough annual energy to power approximately 68,000 homes.

Invenergy also built the 118–turbine Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Farm located in Antelope, Boone, and Madison counties, which began commercial operation in March 2014. Maximum capacity is 200 megawatts. The average annual output could power 60,000 homes.

Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Energy Office

Previously Posted News Release
In January Florida Power & Light (FPL) announced in a news release a groundbreaking “30-by 30” plan to install more than 30 million solar panels by 2030. “FPL and its sister company, NextEra Energy Resources, are already the world’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun and, when this plan is completed, FPL expects to be the largest utility owner and operator of solar in America.” Read the news release here.

Additional Recommended Reading

After a tough 2018, solar is getting ready for a major boom, by Tim Sylvia and Christian Roselund, PV Magazine USA

The United States finished 2018 with nearly 24 GWdc of utility-scale projects under power contracts, a volume only ever exceeded three months ago. Furthermore, 2.6 GWdc of those contracted projects are already under construction. When looking beyond projects which have contracts secured, Wood Mackenzie identified more than 42 GWdc of projects that have been announced and are in their respective interconnection queues nationally.

National Solar Jobs Census 2018

The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2018 is the ninth annual report on the size and scope of the American solar workforce. As of 2018, the National Solar Jobs Census found:

  • The United States has 242,343 solar workers, defined as those who spend 50% or more of their time on solar-related work.
  • Overall, the solar workforce has grown 159 percent since the first Census was released in 2010, adding nearly 150,000 jobs.
  • Solar jobs increased in 29 states in 2018, including many states with emerging solar markets. States with the highest employment gains include Florida, Illinois, Texas, and New York State.
  • While solar employment nationwide fell 3.2% for the year, with a backlog of utility-scale projects and new policy incentives in key states, survey respondents predict that solar jobs will increase 7 percent in 2019, bringing the total to 259,400 jobs.

Learn more here.
Solar Jobs By State
The Solar Foundation Infographic: Solar Jobs Census 2018

SEIA News Release: Tariffs Take a Bite Out of American Solar Jobs

Despite these recent challenges, though, many emerging markets saw solar job growth in 2018, and the U.S. solar industry’s long-term growth trajectories remain strong. The Solar Decade is upon us, and the dozens of gigawatts of new solar capacity the U.S. is poised to add will be accompanied with quality job opportunities for all Americans in each of the 50+ states and territories.

Previously Posted
Local View: Tariffs jeopardize wind farm growth, by Dan McGuire, Lincoln Journal Star
Dan McGuire is director of the American Corn Growers Foundation. He lives in Lincoln.

New Study: We can meet the Paris Climate targets for 1/3 the cost of CURRENT fossil fuel subsidies!

By Karel Beckman, Red, Green and Blue

The Leonardo DeCaprio Foundation has a new study out that shows it would take approximately $1.7 trillion per year globally to meet the Paris Climate goals and avoid climate change disaster. [Director of Innovation at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation] Karl Burkart notes that this amount “pales in comparison to the vast subsidies governments currently provide to prop up the ailing fossil fuel industry, estimated at more than $5 trillion per year by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Taxpayers are unwittingly funding the climate crisis, and that needs to stop.” Read more here.

MORE CLIMATE NEWS

SEIA NEWS RELEASE


Solar is the Future of American Energy

Declaring the 2020s the Solar Energy Decade, SEIA’s President & CEO Abby Hopper made a mark at the United States Energy Association’s 15th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum.

 

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


Corporations’ Hunger for Clean Power Has Never Been Bigger, Bloomberg. Facebook is now the largest corporate buyer of clean power. Image: Facebook Data Center under construction in Papillion

 

ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION

America’s Energy Future: What the Government Misses in Its Long-Term Outlook and Why It Matters, Inside Climate News
The U.S. government’s new long-term energy outlook paints a picture of the future that few utilities and energy analysts actually expect to see. It underplays how rapidly coal will retreat from the market and fails to grasp the scale of growth for renewable energy compared to utilities’ plans and analysts’ expectations.

From the editor: EIA versus the future, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
EIA’s short-term forecasts have been generally thoughtful and informative. But when we start to look beyond a few years, EIA’s projections start to lose their credibility, and the assumptions that they make become increasingly problematic.

GREEN NEW DEAL

Economic Reasons For The Green New Deal — The Numbers Speak For Themselves, by Carolyn Fortuna, CleanTechnica. I’ve been participating in Sunrise Movement trainings to raise awareness of the Green New Deal and to motivate Congress to take significant action
toward 100% US renewable energy within the decade. Surrounded by a mass of college kids with a spattering of we older folks, I’ve been immersed in strategizing so that we can more effectively fight at the local and national levels to make the Green New Deal a reality.

A 3-part theory of change that mobilizes millions, elects a critical mass of supportive public officials, and builds a new peoples’ alignment that advances a shared agenda for society is underway here, folks. And, should you have questions about whether a bunch of kids and an idealistic vision to restructure the way energy is done in the US is practical, just look at the numbers. More than anything, there are significant economic reasons to implement a Green New Deal.

SEIA Expands Leadership Team, Adding Vice President of Congressional Affairs and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced today a restructure and expansion of its leadership team. Erin Duncan, a proven legislative strategist and advocate, has been named the organization’s new vice president of congressional affairs and Katherine Gensler has been named vice president of regulatory affairs.

Duncan has extensive experience in Washington D.C. She joins SEIA after more than 11 years as a federal lobbyist for the National Education Association. Prior to that, she spent eight years working on Capitol Hill, including six years as legislative director for Rep. Tom Osborne,
(R-Nebraska). Read more here.

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT NEWS

Corporate Customers Smash Green Procurement Marks, Commercial Property Executives. One of Facebook’s deals in 2018 was part of a new PPA signed in March with Adobe for energy produced by the 320-megawatt Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm in Nebraska owned by Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGPNA). 

Clean Energy Deal Tracker: ExxonMobil, Facebook headline a record-breaking fourth quarter,
GreenBiz. Not only was 2018 the biggest year on record for corporate renewable energy deals, with more than 6.5 gigawatts of contracts on the books, the furious pace of deal-making — and the creativity of the arrangements — barely slowed during the waning three months of the year. According to the official figures released in mid-December by the Business Renewables Center (BRC), part of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the publicly announced capacity contracted over the past 12 months was 6.43 GW.

NEBRASKA CONSERVATION AWARD

Conservation efforts recognized at NRD banquet,
Norfolk Daily News. In the past seven years, the [Wiese family of Oakland] has planted more than 1,200 trees and shrubs and renovated a 2½ acre windbreak
system — all by hand. Besides trees, the family also put in solar panels to provide electricity to their home and outbuildings. Since putting in the solar panels, the family has noticed a decrease in their monthly electric bill and feel good about producing green energy on their acreage. They also have a large garden on which they do their own version of no-till.

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY

Nebraska clean energy plan focuses on wind, solar, efficiency, by Don Walton, Lincoln Journal Star

Clean energy plan renamed: Due to a business having a similar name, the Husker Power Plan was renamed the Husker Energy Plan. The plan was revised August 28, 2018. To read the updated Husker Energy Plan and see the 16 partners that have endorsed it, visit: www.huskerenergyplan.org.

POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY SOLAR SITES

Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies, by Jodi Helmer, Scientific American
A trend of planting wildflowers on solar sites could maintain habitat for disappearing bees and butterflies.

Photo: Kearney’s solar farm consisting of approximately 23,000 panels on 53 acres located in the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, is Nebraska’s largest ground-mounted solar project, to date. Credit: Developer, SoCore Energy
Installer: Interconnection Systems based in Central City, Nebraska

Another distinguishing feature of Kearney’s Solar Farm is that it is a nationally-recognized pollinator-friendly site, benefiting local food producers. 

Previously posted links to information of potential interest to other Nebraska communities that have developed or plan to develop a solar farm: