Monthly Archives: February 2019

Council approves Hastings solar project

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – The city council Monday night approved a $2.38 million dollar contract with Gen Pro Energy to build a solar farm west of the Hastings airport. It will be a 1.5 megawatt solar field, and have about 6,000 panels according to Derek Zeisler, director of marketing and energy supply with Hastings Utilities. Zeisler said customer options would be able to buy a panel, buy shares or donate to the project as a whole. Whatever rate that’s set would last for 25 years. Continue reading here.

SoCore Energy Photo of Kearney’s Solar Farm

Celebrating 100 cities committing to 100% renewables

By Michelle Froese, Windpower Engineering Development

Skeptics said it was impossible. “We heard every version of ‘no,’ ‘can’t,’ ‘won’t,’ and ‘shouldn’t.’ We were laughed out of rooms,” shared Sierra Club’s Jodie Van Horn in an article called,
100 Cities Agree: 100% Clean Energy For All. Van Horn says it’s been three years since Ready For 100 launched, a Sierra Club initiative that pushes for the United States to commit to 100%
renewable energy. The campaign is well underway, recently reaching a milestone: 100 cities and towns across the country have officially committed to transitioning to 100% clean energy.
Read more here.

Photo: More than 200 mayors all across the country have joined #Mayors4CleanEnergy.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN NEBRASKA

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Iowa Wind Energy Association, Fort Dodge Messenger
Iowa remains one of the top contenders in the nation in terms of wind energy production, according to John Boorman, vice president of the Iowa Wind Energy Association. “We are number three, behind Texas and Oklahoma,” said Boorman. Boorman said Iowa supplies the power grid with 7,000 megawatts of power, with the help of 4,000 wind turbines throughout the state.

RESOURCE FOR SOLAR PROFESSIONALS

Residential Rooftop Report to heat up your solar sales, Solar Builder Magazine


The Residential Rooftop Report for the first quarter of 2019 is now available for download. The theme is “Heating Up Sales,” and we’ve teamed up with report sponsor Aurora Solar to examine ways for residential solar installation companies to lower customer acquisition costs, close more leads and overall run a more streamlined, efficient local solar business. Just fill out the form at the above link to access your free report.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 


Global Oil Plows Billions Into Solar & Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Voices for 100% Renewable Energy

Environment America hosts this online platform to highlight a range of voices from across the country who share the nonprofit organization’s goal of shifting to 100% renewable energy. One voice for 100% renewable energy: Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director of the Climate &
Energy Project, Kansas.

“Kansas has a rich wind resource and in just over ten years, we are already generating nearly 40% of our electricity from wind power. This $10-billion-dollar capital investment has created jobs and spurred economic revitalization in rural communities.

As the recognized leader of energy and climate policy in Kansas, the Climate + Energy Project promotes a more equitable and just transition to a clean energy future. In order to meet a 100% renewable energy goal, continued growth in wind and solar, investments in energy efficiency
programs to mitigate rising electric rates and a commitment to grow the use distributed energy resources will be imperative for a healthy and resilient Kansas and the nation.”
Voices for 100% Renewable Energy

ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENT AMERICA CAMPAIGNS & RESOURCES

Environment America’s priorities are working to urge campuses, cities and states to lead the way to 100%
renewable power, go big on solar, and harness the abundant wind power off the Atlantic coast.
Environment America’s 100% Renewable campaign is focused on three arenas: college and university
campuses, cities and states, and Congress.

Learn more about Environment America’s Clean, Green & Renewable Energy campaigns here.

Previously Posted
Mayors join call for more solar power, Norfolk Daily News

This Report Says Blockchain Is One Of 30 Key Innovations Set To Transform Renewable Energy

By Jennifer Kite-Powell, Forbes

A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency
(IRENA) in Brussels, says that to accelerate low-cost renewables
in the power sector, countries will need innovative technology tools which enable them to benefit from renewable scale-ups. The
report, Innovation Landscape For A Renewable-Powered Future, mapped 30 key innovations and 11 solutions in the variable
renewable energy (VRE) landscape expected to transform the power sector while simultaneously creating cost-effective global energy transformation. Read more here.

MORE NEWS & OPINION

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING


Ford Facilities To Be Powered By Local Renewable Energy,
Ford Authority. As Michigan’s greatest producer of renewable energy, DTE will more than double its renewable energy generation capacity. DTE is
investing an additional $2 billion in wind and solar energy by 2024.
General Motors partners with DTE on wind energy in Michigan, WILX


INTERVIEW

 

Want More Renewable Energy? It’s Easy, Just Ask GM

Rob Threlkeld, global manager of Sustainable Energy and Supply
Reliability for GM, told CleanTechnica how it’s done.

 

SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURING NEWS

Inside JinkoSolar’s Jacksonville factory, by Christian Roselund, PV
Magazine. 
JinkoSolar has begun producing mono-PERC modules at the Jacksonville factory, which at 400 MW of annual production is the third-largest U.S. module factory by capacity, behind Tesla’s Buffalo
gigafactory and First Solar’s Perryburg facility. All told, pv magazine has confirmed four new factories are under construction or have come online, with a combined capacity of 3.8 GW.

All module makers with U.S. factories, as well as their products and capacities, can now be seen in
pv magazine USA’s new module maker directory.

Bloomberg-Backed Cities Initiative Aims to Deploy 2.8GW of Renewables by 2021

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute and the city of Minneapolis on Tuesday announced the formation of a new group designed to help municipalities procure more renewables in the next two years. The program is based on RMI’s Business Renewables Center, which helps corporations buy more renewables.

The new program, called the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator, targets 2.8 gigawatts of renewables being deployed by cities nationwide by 2021. It’s part of a greater $70 million initiative spearheaded by Bloomberg Philanthropies to encourage climate action at the municipal level. Organizers say the programs are another attempt to provide local leadership in the wake of federal inaction on climate change. Read more here.

American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator

Additional Recommended Reading
Effort is launched to help cities procure more than 2.8 GW of renewables, American Public
Power Association. Several public power cities were winners in American Cities Climate Challenge.

Push for renewables vexes Western power supplier

By Keriann Conroy, Perspective, High Country News

Colorado’s largest member-owned generation and transmission provider may be in trouble.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which provides wholesale electricity to rural
cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska, is facing increasing pressure to let go of some of its contracts and to improve its renewable portfolio. But it appears unable to change fast enough to keep up with the times.

Most of Tri-State’s power is generated from coal- and gas-fired plants or large hydroelectric dams, but it is now facing regulatory hassles and the potential exodus of customers. Rural
“distribution” cooperatives are currently waiting to see how much it would cost them to exit their contracts, while Colorado moves toward regulations requiring more renewables.
Read more here.

Photo Credit: Missy Kennedy/Flickr

Keriann Conroy is a graduate student at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado, studying democratic practices and sustainability.

Previously Posted News Stories & RMI Report

Also of Potential Interest

Wind energy, tax breaks sought to bring Google to Becker, Minn.

By Kirsti Marohn – Collegeville, Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio News

Google proposes to build the 375,000-square-foot data center on roughly 300 acres owned by Xcel Energy next to the Sherburne County Generating Station, the largest coal-burning plant in the Upper Midwest. Xcel will retire two of Sherco’s three generators in the next seven years. Google is working with Xcel to ensure that electricity used to power the data center will come from renewable sources. Continue reading here.

Previously Posted

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES


Have You Heard The Buzz? Displaced Coal Workers Follow In Tradition of Appalachian Apiculture, CleanTechnica

Appalachian Headwaters operates the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective, continuing a long-standing tradition of Appalachian apiculture. They say the Beekeeping Collective has the potential to bring millions of dollars into the region, offering job options and supplemental incomes for hundreds of people.

ADVICE ON GOING SOLAR

Column: Here’s why I went with solar, by Alan Youngblood / Star-Banner photo editor.
Published by The Ledger

Solar is pretty much a no-brainer. You reduce your carbon footprint while saving money or eliminating your power bill. The federal government has also extended the 30 percent tax credit on everything connected to the installation of residential solar panels through 2019. That means that 30 percent of what you spend on a solar installation comes right off the taxes you owe. Click image to watch YouTube video of the installation in fast motion. 

Residential & Business Incentives
Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems and small wind turbines: 30% through 2019. Small wind: 100 kilowatts or less. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

EV / ETHANOL NEWS

2019 US Solar Market Outlook: What is happening in the US solar market, and what can we expect in US solar in the next 12 months?

Sponsored Content, CleanTechnica Media

States, cities, communities, and businesses are responding with increasingly ambitious
sustainability goals that are driving solar market growth forward, according to the
Deloitte 2019 Renewable Energy Outlook. There’s a lot happening in the marketplace — smaller corporations are joining the corporate procurement market, oil and gas companies are moving solar into their energy mixes, and asset management companies have been foregrounding
new opportunities for their clients for solar growth. Read more here.

Photo by Martin Tidbury/Flickr

Additional Recommended Reading
Renewable energy growth in USA to continue in 2019, says Deloitte, Market Business News

FEATURED OPINION

We can’t wait for Washington’s Green New Deal. California needs just transition now, Sacramento Bee
The authors: Miya Yoshitani is the executive director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network. Gladys Limón is the executive director of California Environmental Justice Alliance.

With a Green New Deal, we can build distributed energy resources that generate and store clean, renewable power locally and regionally. California has a head start. Local clean energy aggregators have sprung up in counties across the state so that people can decide where they get their power. Last year, our state committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2045. Frontline communities helped create the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program to invest $1 billion to bring solar power to working-class renters. The California Public Utilities Commission agreed to fund community shared solar projects, which put clean energy in our neighborhoods. Such steps are crucial, but we need a full commitment and a comprehensive strategy. The Golden State must lead the way. It’s time for a Green New Deal in California.

Previously posted: 

FEATURED RESOURCES: LOCATING SOLAR ON BROWNFIELDS

Many communities are turning old coal plants, closed landfills and other brownfields into solar farms. EPA’s RE-Powering Mapper is an online interactive web application that allows users to visualize key information on renewable energy potential at specific contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites. Using screening criteria developed in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EPA has pre-screened more than 130,000 sites for their renewable energy potential.

Access the updated RE-Powering Mapper here. 
Learn more about EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative here.

Pixabay Photo: Solar Boom

Next money ‘crop’ for Illinois farmers? Solar panels.

By Genevieve Bookwalter – The Washington Post,
Republished by Northwest Herald

ORION, Ill. – Randy DeBaillie pointed to the power meter on his snow-covered farm: Even on a foggy, monochromatic day, with the sun barely piercing the clouds, the flat black panels planted nearby in two long rows were generating electricity.

“There’s enough energy produced to run the whole complex,” said DeBaillie, 50, who farms 6,500 acres with his brother and cousin. They typically grow corn and soybeans each spring, but this year they want to put more solar panels on 15 acres – and sell the energy. The earnings, he said, would be about three times what an average harvest would yield there. Read more here.

Flickr Photo by Juwi Renewable Energies Limited: Poppy and solar farm.

 

Future Energy Jobs Act Website

 

Previously Posted Resources
NREL Webinar: Co-Location of Solar and Agriculture, Fresh Energy
Iowa State University Research Finds Wind Farms Positively Impact Crops, Iowa State University
Extension and Outreach

IN NEBRASKA

Previously Posted: NextEra, Nebraska farmers aim to build largest solar farm in the Midwest, Energy News Network. The 423-megawatt project would be among the largest in the country, but it hinges on an interconnection deal. Photo Credit: Rob Davis

Spring Deadline for USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant Applications

NEW INCENTIVE PROGRAM FOR LOW-INCOME HOMEOWNERS

New utility incentive can help low-income customers go solar, Austin Daily Herald

Upfront expenses have made it hard for low-income
homeowners to afford solar power systems that
generate both clean energy and long-term electricity cost savings. But that barrier is now being lowered for low-income customers of Xcel Energy. Xcel’s new Solar Rewards Income-Qualified Customers Program is
offering about $1 million in incentives for low-income Minnesotans who install solar energy systems. 

NEWS, OPINION & POLL FROM OTHER STATES

South Carolina House Unanimously Passes SC Energy Freedom Act, Vote Solar

The South Carolina House of Representatives passed H3659, the SC Energy Freedom Act, by a vote of
110-0. The bipartisan Energy Freedom Act resolves overly restrictive net metering limits, giving more
South Carolina families and businesses the choice to save money with solar while protecting the state’s
growing solar workforce, which now employs nearly 3,000 South Carolinians.

MANUFACTURING NEWS

First Solar is sitting pretty, PV Magazine

This year, the company expects to ship around 5.5 GW of PV modules and even at that volume, CEO Mark Widmar estimates stock is “fully sold out” through the end of next year and First Solar’s current 12 GW of bookings includes shipments scheduled through 2023.

INTERVIEW

ISES president on the promise of a 100% renewable energy world, PV Magazine International


The oldest solar organization in the world, the International Solar
Energy Society, dates back to 1954. President David Renné tells pv magazine about India’s solar dreams, the next best thing in solar technology and what renewables hold for the world’s future.