By Nichola Groom, Reuters, Published by The Toledo Blade
Mojave desert solar array at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Many trace the tipping point for utility-scale solar to a 2014 announcement by Austin Energy that it would buy power from a new 150 megawatt solar plant — enough to light and cool 30,000 homes — for 5 cents a kilowatt hour. At the time, it was a record low price for solar power. Since then, projects have brought the price below 4 cents a kWh. Read more.
Image Credit: Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
Last month, the town’s Historic District Commission denied a request from First Parish to install solar panels on the roof of its meetinghouse. The congregation, in turn, filed an appeal June 27 in Middlesex Superior Court, arguing that the decision violated members’ constitutional right to freely exercise their religious beliefs. “We consider this to be a religious act,” said Dan Bostwick, spokesman for the church’s solar energy committee. “Stewardship of our natural environment is central to our faith.” Click to read the entire article.
Abundant energy permeates the very air inhaled on each breath you take. Next week a group of young minds demonstrates that reality…. After an almost 700 mile trek from Fort Worth, Texas, a convoy to the future rolls up Highway 77 Thursday, July 21, and stops off for some community interaction and an overnight interlude in the parking lot outside Walmart Supercenter before rousing early Friday morning to continue north. Destination: Minneapolis, Minn. Continue reading.
Photo: Solar cars built for the 2015 Solar Car Challenge. The cars were designed and built by young minds solving real world issues. On July 21st between 3:30 and 7:00 p.m., the 2016 Solar Car Challenge participants will roll into Fremont with several built-from-scratch solar car prototypes. Participants will display their vehicles in the Walmart parking lot that evening and encourage Fremont residents to come and visit.
E. Shaw Renewable Investments announced that it has acquired the 100MW North Star PV project from Community Energy and has started construction on the installation, which is located in Chisago County, Minnesota . . . Once completed in late 2016, the North Star project is expected to be the largest solar installation in the Midwest and one of the biggest sites in the US. North Star will be constructed on private agricultural land and has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy. Read more.
The 100MW project (400,000 solar panels) is expected to generate enough energy for 20,000 homes. Image: Oregon Department of Transportation / Flickr
TALLAHASSEE – Saying they face a “David and Goliath” fight against Florida’s utility giants in trying to bring rooftop solar energy collection to the Sunshine State, the League of Women Voters on Thursday announced the creation of a new organization that will form “solar co-ops” around the state to obtain bulk discounts for community-based solar installations. The group, FL SUN, is a non-profit established to solicit competitive bids from local installers and provide individualized proposals for groups of homeowners that reflect the group discounts. Read more here:
Photo: Martin Cabrera and Joseph Molina of Cutler Bay Solar Solutions install solar panels at a home in South Miami-Dade in 2015. Credit: Al Diaz, Miami Herald
Kansas City Power & Light has opened its first solar farm, which will produce enough electricity to power nearly 440 homes. Located in Greenwood, Mo., the 12-acre-plus solar facility is nearly 100 times larger than KCP&L’s solar array at Kauffman Stadium. Click to read more.
Photo: Kansas City Power & Light’s first solar farm. Credit: John West
WASHINGTON, July 13, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced funding for 821 projects across the nation that will help rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. Twenty Nebraska recipients received nearly $198,000 for energy projects. The funding is available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and will be used to make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems. Click here to read more, including the Nebraska awards by county.
In its continued efforts to diversify the sources of energy used to power the city of Fremont, General Manager of the Department of Utilities Brian Newton and Lon D. Wright Power [Plant] Superintendent Jeff Shanahan have turned to the wind … so to speak. The Fremont Board of Public Works plans to begin pushing “requests for proposals” for the acquisition of wind energy that could supply the city between 30 to 40 megawatts of energy . . . “It would be leading edge in Nebraska,” Newton said of retaining that amount of wind energy. “(Such a) change would put us in the category of Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island.” Click to read more. Photo: Flatwater Wind Farm Near Humboldt
Credit: Lincoln Journal Star
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Brewery Vivant is tapping the sun to produce its beer. There are now 192 solar panels on the above Grand Rapids brewery and adjoining pub. The 54Kw rooftop system is expected to produce 20 percent of its energy needs. The rest will come from renewable energy purchased through Consumers Energy and its Green Generation program. Continue reading.
Image: Brewery Vivant owners Kris and Jason Spaulding by the pub’s new rooftop solar panels. (Courtesy photo)
WASHINGTON, July 11, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for 821 projects across the nation that will help rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. The funding is available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and will be used to make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems . . . USDA is providing $43.2 million in loan guarantees and $11.6 million in grants through REAP for projects in every state. Read the entire releasehere.