By Kevin O’Rourke, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog
One of the signatories, Procter & Gamble, is among the 63% of Fortune 100 companies that have set one or more renewable energy targets. More broadly, a group of 100 large energy buyers have set a goal of procuring 60 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power by 2025 – equivalent to the output of over 100 average-sized coal plants
Corporate purchasers have already procured over 11 GW of renewable power since 2013, leaving about 50 GW remaining to reach that goal. And with new wind and solar energy projects frequently the lowest-cost source of power, major American companies are increasingly buying both technologies to save money, control their energy costs, and decrease their environmental impacts. However, transmission planners are not adequately accounting for this shifting and new demand. Read more here.
Photo Credit: NPPD
ALSO IN THE NEWS
- Everyday Energy donates millions in solar to California affordable housing nonprofit, Solar Power World
- Will batteries do for wind what they’re doing for solar?, Utility Dive. Experts say wind-plus-storage could become viable with longer-duration batteries.
- Sonnen CEO: Shell and other major players taking action, not just talking, about clean energy, Energy Storage News
- Amazon launches 813,000 square foot solar system in Las Vegas, PV Magazine
As part of the company’s efforts to install 5o solar systems by 2020, on Tuesday, Amazon announced the launch of a 1.1 megawatt solar rooftop installation on its North Las Vegas fulfillment center.
- From additionality to ’emissionality’: how companies can magnify their impact, GreenBiz
By Nataysa Ong, The Columbus Telegram
Solar energy’s future in Columbus was up for discussion during a May 30 presentation to the community by the Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund. The session was led by NCEF’s northeast director, Jamison Willis, and its conservation director, Nic Nealy, in hopes to promote solar energy in the community. This is the first time the presentation was held in Columbus. Click here to continue.
Photo: Telesis Inc’s 300-kilowatt installation on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket. With 940 solar panels, installed by J-Tech Solar, the array is one of the largest privately-owned solar projects in Nebraska.
MidAmerican Energy News Release
DES MOINES, Iowa – (May 30, 2018) – MidAmerican Energy Company will be the first investor-owned electric utility in the country to generate renewable energy equal to 100 percent of its customers’ usage on an annual basis, upon completing its newest proposed wind energy project.
MidAmerican Energy proposed an additional investment of $922 million with the announcement of its Wind XII project that will be formally filed with the Iowa Utilities Board later today. The project, if approved, is expected to be completed in late 2020. Over the past three years, MidAmerican Energy has moved forward with its previously announced Wind XI and repowering projects, that when combined with Wind XII, will provide customers with 100 percent renewable energy on an annual basis. And, like MidAmerican’s previous wind projects, Wind XII will be accomplished without the need to ask for an increase in customers’ rates. Read more here.
About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, serves 770,000 electric customers and 751,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Posted by Betsy Lillian, North American Windpower
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has commissioned a redox flow energy storage system at its hybrid wind and solar La Plana project near Zaragoza, Spain. According to SGRE, hybrid projects of wind energy, solar PV and other energy sources are becoming a more and more attractive option to drive the energy transition to higher shares of renewable energy. Read more here.
Image: Siemens Gamesa’s La Plana hybrid wind and solar test project near Zaragoza, Spain
MORE ENERGY STORAGE NEWS
- EVs Could Save California Billions in Energy Storage Investment, Greentech Media
- N.J. sets ‘aggressive’ 2 GW storage target by 2030: The latest energy storage goal could inspire more states to follow, Utility Dive
- Arizona’s largest solar plus storage plant starring Tesla, First Solar and NEXTracker, PV Magazine. Arizona utility Salt River Project has brought together a technological trifecta in its recently commissioned single-axis tracker 20 MW solar plus 10 MW/40 MWh energy storage power plant.
- Fluence supplying Arizona utility SRP’s first standalone 40MWh battery, Energy Storage News
- Sungrow to supply 50 MWh of energy storage systems, PV Magazine
The Chinese inverter maker will be supplying inverters, batteries and management systems for projects in California, Massachusetts and Ontario.
- Suddenly, Solar Energy Plus Storage Is Giving Conventional Fuels A Run For Their Money,
Ensia. The increasingly competitive dynamic duo of solar photovoltaic plus battery storage is taking energy markets by storm.
- Metka shifts focus from gas power to energy storage, Power Engineering International
Global EPC firm Metka, best-known for building gas-fired power plants, is increasingly focusing on energy storage.
GAO study highlights usefulness, gains of U.S. energy storage efforts
MORE EV NEWS
By Lauren Wagner, Lincoln Journal Star
The Lincoln Electric System introduced its first solar-powered charging bench in Holmes Park on Tuesday afternoon. The utility purchased the bench, along with four solar-powered mobile charging stations, using the savings realized by customers switching to paperless billing, said LES spokeswoman Kelley Porter. Click here to read more.
More About LES’ Paperless Billing
YouTube Video: Enroll in LES Paperless Billing
ALSO HAPPENING IN LINCOLN
City plans to pay $12M to convert to LED street lights using loan to itself, by Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star
Photo by Lauren Wagner, reprinted with permission.
NRECA’s innovative SUNDA Project helps rural electric cooperatives nationwide to accelerate utility solar. SUNDA stands for “Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration.”
The SUNDA team, with the help of the pilot project’s participating 17 rural electric cooperatives, utilized lessons learned from their deployment of 30 megawatts of photovoltaic (PV) solar to develop tools and resources that help other cooperatives to deploy solar in their own communities.
The tools are organized based on the solar project phase, from initial conceptualization to design, implementation, service offering and member engagement:
- Just Beginning
- Project Scoping
- Learning More
- Detailed Planning
- Building Consensus
NRECA Receives Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Award
SEPA recently announced their 2018 Power Players Awards. The awards “honor utilities, their partners, and individual thought leaders providing the vision, models and momentum for the electric power industry’s smart transition to a clean, modern energy future.”
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) was one of three recipients of the Innovative Partner of the Year Award in recognition of the SUNDA Project.
This category recognizes a non-utility partner for a unique method, project, leadership, or innovation that has aided in the expansion of or access to distributed energy resources while working with one or more utilities.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
NRECA and Industry Groups: EVs Are Viable Tool to Meet Fuel Standards, by Cathy Cash
At least 150 NRECA member co-ops provide off-peak charging rates for EV users. Dozens of electric co-ops across the country have programs that implement charging infrastructure in their service territory.
By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica
Natural gas has been the fuel of choice to replace the aging fleet of coal power plants in the US, but lately renewables have been flexing their muscles, too. In the latest development, the energy company Ameren is counting on the acquisition of a new 400-megawatt wind farm in Missouri to help fill the void left by a slew of upcoming coal power plant retirements.
Click here to read more.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & LISTENING
- The Public Pulse: Support wind and solar power, Omaha World-Herald
- MPR Climate Cast: Minnesota’s renewable energy revolution
- Why More Solar and Wind on the Grid Should Be Driving Today’s Investment Decisions, Renewable Energy World
- How Solar Power Works. How Much Solar Panels Cost, CleanTechnica
- Tesla’s Massive Virtual Power Plant in South Australia Roars Back to Life, EcoWatch
The virtual power plant involves installing a 5-kilowatt solar system and a Powerwall 2 battery on roughly 50,000 low-income and social housing units across the state over the next four years. The setup would be installed at no charge to the households and financed through the sale of electricity. Participants would save an estimated 30 percent on their power bills.
- 10 massive corporations going big on solar power, CNBC
- Corporate Renewables Sourcing Is Now A ‘Mainstream Pillar Of Business Strategy’,
North American Windpower
- 2nd Terawatt Workshop Sees Central Role for Solar in Transforming the World Energy Economy, Sun and Wind Energy
- Nissan Joins Tesla and Daimler as the Latest Entry in Energy Storage Business, Future Car
- Groundbreaking Study Shows Limiting Warming to 1.5 Degrees Is Good for the Economy, Too, EcoWatch
Microgrids for Social Justice, Cities, Schools and Even Furniture
LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System invites customers to discuss updates to the LES service regulations, proposed new rate opportunities and new virtual net metering options at its next public meeting 6-7 p.m. May 31, 2018, at the Walter A. Canney Service Center (2620 Fairfield St.).
News Release Excerpt:
- LES will review modifications to its service regulations, the rules for acquiring service from LES and governing customer and staff interactions.
- Four new proposed commercial rates or rate riders are on the meeting agenda as well. Two are aimed at bringing new businesses to Lincoln or expanding existing businesses. The Market Energy Rate would attract very large customers, including big businesses in the process of choosing sites for new facilities, while the Economic Development Rider incentivizes new and existing customers adding commercial or industrial load with a discount credit on capacity charges for up to five years.
- Finally, new options in LES’ Virtual Net Metering program — part of its community solar project — will be detailed.
Read the entire news release here.
Photo: Lincoln Electric System’s Solar Farm. Credit: Lincoln Electric System
By David Ferris, E&E News, Wyoming Business Report
The study released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory modeled how high penetration of solar and wind power — from 40 to 50 percent — would affect system operators in New York, the Great Plains, California and Texas . . . The study looked at four system operators: the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the California Independent System Operator and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), all of which neatly cover their home states. It also modeled the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which encompasses part or all of five wind-rich states: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Click here to read more.
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
- What’s in store for the future of energy markets, day to day?, GreenBiz
Our research team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory decided to look at what effect a higher share of wind and solar will have on these questions. In our latest study, we found that high shares of these energy resources lead to several profound changes in electric power.
- 320 GW Of Non-Traditional, Untapped Rooftop Solar Potential In USA, CleanTechnica
- Does 112% growth in 2017 mean community solar has finally solved its complexity problem?, Utility Dive. Solar developers and utilities are moving into the sector fast, writing new rules as they go.
- Farm bill energy programs have earned bipartisan support, The Hill
Congress would be hard-pressed to find a more cost-effective way to build the rural economy. The energy title programs represent less than 1 percent of the federal government’s spending on agriculture and nutrition programs, but they generate a strong return on investment.
- Indigenous communities moving away from government utilities, Phys.Org
- Renewables boom is a bust for gas equipment suppliers like GE, Utility Dive
- 13 projects from the leading edge of the utility transformation, Utility Dive
- Sonnen secures €60 million investment from Shell Ventures, PV Magazine
Germany-based PV-storage provider sonnen has closed a new funding round from a group of investors led by Shell Ventures. Sonnen has already begun to draw on the funds as it continues to expand market shares in the U.S. and in Australia.
- Here’s how to move LEED forward on climate change, GreenBiz
NEWS FROM OTHER STATES
- Minnesota overhauls interconnection standards to streamline clean energy, Utility Dive
- What is the future of Michigan’s energy infrastructure?, Michigan Radio
- University of Texas develops new solar system integrating energy generation and storage, PV Magazine. Researchers at the University of Texas have been awarded $3 million by the Texan Department of Energy in a bid to accelerate research in battery storage technology to overcome the “Achilles heel” of solar power.
- Governor Phil Murphy Signs Historic Measure to Revive Renewable Energy in New Jersey, Solar Energy Industries Association News Release
- New Jersey joins the 50% by 2030 renewable energy club, PV Magazine
- More than 2,400 solar projects completed through New York Sun’s Solarize Initiative, Solar Power World
- Dedication held for Twin Buttes II wind farm in Prowers County, Lamar Ledger Editor
“The project is 75 megawatts,” commented Lee Boughey with Tri-State Generation. “What Tri-State does is we’ll purchase the power from this project over a 25 year power purchase agreement and that power will be put on our transmission network supplied to our 43 member systems across Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and New Mexico.”
MORE CORPORATE NEWS
By Bob Matyi, American Public Power Association
Omaha Public Power District is launching a pilot program in June to educate its 374,000 customers about the benefits of electric vehicles, while providing incentives for their potential use. Throughout the pilot and beyond, OPPD will be tracking and monitoring impacts to its distribution system for use in grid planning and will also develop a plan for managing those impacts. Read more here.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- New EV program will measure impact on system, The Wire, OPPD Blog
- EV Strategy: OPPD Board Committee Presentation, Aaron Smith, Director – Operations
- News Release: EV Research Strategy Presented To OPPD Board
- NPPD’S EV Charging Station Incentive Pilot Program
- Electric vehicles are here: are utilities ready to charge forward?
Navigant Research said in a report, prepared for the American Public Power Association, that by 2021 it conservatively projects new EV (battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) sales of more than 700,000 units in the U.S. annually. Markets saw a 37 percent increase in sales of plug-in electric vehicles in 2016 and Navigant Research expects 50 percent growth in market sales in 2017 and 2018, largely due to Tesla’s Model 3 and other longer-range, low cost battery electric vehicles coming to the market, as well as more vehicle options becoming available for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
- Multi-faceted EV approaches getting closer look from states: report
Among the top electric vehicle policy trends in the first quarter of 2018 were states considering multi-faceted approaches to EVs and related infrastructure, the North Carolina Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) said in a recently released report.