By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network
A recent decision by Iowa utility regulators has removed a significant obstacle to the widespread development of public charging stations for electric vehicles. The Iowa Utilities Board ruled last week that providing electric vehicle charging service does not make a business a public utility. That’s significant because public utilities are subject to state oversight on all aspects of their business, including the setting of prices. The board’s finding also clarified that sellers of charging services may structure fees as they wish, and, in most cases, even sell power they generated on site such as with solar panels. Continue reading here.
Photo by J. Stephen Conn: The Iowa 80 Truck Stop was at the center of a regulatory case in Iowa over whether owners of EV charging stations can charge for electricity.
MORE EV NEWS
- Minnesota shuts down oil, manufacturing groups’ attempt to derail Xcel EV pilot, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Minnesota regulators on Monday stamped out a group of manufacturing and petroleum groups’ attempt to reverse approval of Xcel Energy’s $25 million electric vehicle pilot program. EV and clean energy stakeholders were skeptical of the groups’ involvement, noting that it may be the beginning of a longer fight between oil and electric power interests as EV adoption grows.
- BU breaks ground on sustainability lab, Omaha World-Herald
- Chicken Coop owner says solar energy investment a success, Kearney Hub
- Wind energy project up for review, Aurora News-Register
A proposal to build four large commercial wind turbines just south of Aurora’s I-80 intersection is back on the agenda three years after being tabled to allow county officials time to review related zoning regulations.
- Buffalo County tables action on solar installations, Kearney Hub
NEWS FROM OTHER STATES
- NIPSCO to replace coal with 2.3 GW of solar, storage in latest RFP, Utility Dive
The Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) announced on Oct. 1 a request for proposals (RFP) for 300 MW of wind, 2,300 MW of solar and solar-plus-storage projects, as well as an undefined amount for other capacity resources.
- NextEra enters the picture as Jacksonville utility targets at least $6.8B in sale, Utility Dive
- Ameresco To Develop 27 MW Brownfield Project In Illinois, Solar Industry Magazine
- NeighborWorks more energy efficient with solar panel roof, Fox11 News
CUSTOMER CHOICE AGGREGATION
- As CCAs take over utility customers, local generation emerges as the next big growth driver, Utility Dive. A renewed national expansion of community choice aggregation (CCA) is raising ambitions for transforming the U.S. power system. On the heels of an explosion of customer choice in California over the last three years, the slowly growing aggregation market in Massachusetts is accelerating. In New York, a new version of aggregation is emerging. Customers in traditional markets like Illinois and Ohio are looking for new services from their aggregators. And national CCA organizations want to bring the choice to more states.
- Rep. Tonko on Extending Wind and Solar Tax Credits: ‘Odds Are Good’, Greentech Media
“Public sentiment is driving this issue right now,” said Paul Tonko, a Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY / CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTIONS
- Circularity and the 45 percent climate solution, GreenBiz
Among the copious reports and white papers released during the third week of September — a.k.a. Climate Week (a good roundup can be found here) — was one that didn’t get much notice, but should. It neatly and powerfully places the circular economy at the center of untapped solutions to limit the worst impacts of a changing climate.
Download: Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change (PDF)
RE: BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE’S UPDATED MISSION STATEMENT
- Shareholders vs. stakeholders: Fundamental changes in an old debate, contributed opinion by Terry F. Yosie, Former President and CEO, World Environment Center. Published by GreenBiz. The movement for an expanded stakeholder voice in corporate decision making is challenging and adds complexity to already crowded executive calendars, but it is not antagonistic to shareholder value. In a world driven by changing demographics, disruptive technologies, climate change, less stable financial and political systems and market volatility, integration of both approaches is necessary for business to maintain its social license to operate.
Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation
MORE SOLAR INDUSTRY NEWS
- Solar stocks soar in 2019, PV Magazine
A true representation of health in any industry is said industry’s standing in the stock market. That sounds painfully simple, and it is, but sometimes we can get so lost in the weeds between policy, emerging technology, legal battles and system failures that we forget what makes the world go round: money.
- Beyond the PPA, PV Magazine
Contract lengths are getting shorter and hedges are replacing PPAs in the Texas solar market. Are we headed toward a future of merchant solar? These shorter PPAs are driven by a number of factors, but chief among these is that corporate off-takers are demanding them. Colin Smith, a solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie, describes a “tremendous amount of pressure” from Google, Facebook and Microsoft for shorter terms.
- Mother Earth News: Going Off-Grid with Solar, Part 2: Two Real-World Examples of Off-Grid Costs, contributed article by Jacob Marsh, EnergySage
- 4 Reasons Why Off-Grid Energy Is Grown-Up and Ready to Scale, Greentech Media
Industry leaders at GTM’s Off-Grid Energy Access Forum on why the stars are aligning for “the next billion” electricity customers.
- Solar power is the red-hot growth area in oil-rich Alberta, Financial Post
Project breaking ground this year backed by foreign investor will more than double this energy source in province.