By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network
Facing the closure of a coal-burning plant that had been its main source of power for decades, a southern Minnesota utility recently unveiled an aggressive plan to develop renewable energy over the next decade. A mixture of necessity and market forces led Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) to set a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 90% through generating more than three-quarters of its power from carbon-free sources by 2030. The agency’s largest source of electricity, the Sherco 3 coal plant, will close the same year. Read more here.
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Photo: The Stoneray wind farm in southwest Minnesota is part of Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s renewable energy portfolio.
NEWS FROM OTHER STATES
- Alliant Energy to retire 380 MW coal-fired unit said to have lost millions with uneconomic scheduling, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Edgewater [coal plant in Wisconsin] was a case study in a report Sierra Club released this fall on uneconomic coal plant scheduling across the Midcontinent ISO region. The unit lost $8.3 million in net energy market revenues in 2016, according to the report, after its $26.2/MWh production costs remained above median market prices every month of that year.
- Sunrun Introduces Brightbox to Nevada, Colorado, Solar Industry
Now, people living in Xcel Energy’s service territory in Colorado and NV Energy’s service territory in Nevada can get Brightbox from as little as zero dollars down and at a consistent, low monthly rate.
- New York PSC Issues Two Important Clean Energy Orders, Natural Resources Defense Council. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the state recently enacted the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (AREG Act), which will greatly expedite renewable energy generation and transmission projects and help ensure that the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s (CLCPA) bold goals are met – including 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030, 100 percent clean electricity by 2040, and 6 gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025.
- Ohio approves first freshwater wind farm in North America, with one huge restriction, Utility Dive
- ‘An exciting milestone’: North Carolina takes first step on offshore wind study, Energy News Network
- Con Edison commits $1.5 billion to energy efficiency, Utility Dive
- Green Mountain Power expands Tesla Powerwall and bring-your-own-device energy storage programs, PV Magazine. Customers now have two options in home battery programs, while also agreeing to pledge some of their stored power for peak reduction.
- Landfills emerge as promising battery storage sites to back up renewable energy, Waste Dive. Like solar panels, batteries may present a new revenue stream for closed landfills. Projects are complete, or underway, in multiple states.
- Murkowski, Collins, Tillis urge Treasury to extend aid to solar industry, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates COVID-19-related delays have put 25 GW or $35 billion in wind projects investments at risk, along with 35,000 jobs, while the Solar Energy Industries Association says the solar sector could lose half its 250,000 workers and billions of dollars in solar project investments.
- What’s Driving Distributed Generation Adoption?, Transmission & Distribution World
An advantage of distributed generation that has come in handy in the face of COVID-19 is the stability that localized, renewable energy can provide.
BUILDING A GLOBAL NET-ZERO ECONOMY
In a time of global uncertainty, now is the time to invest in a 1.5C future, contributed by Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact, GreenBiz
There never has been a time like today for coming together to jumpstart a worldwide transformation towards a more inclusive and sustainable net-zero economy. This is the background for the largest United Nations-backed CEO-led advocacy effort, launched just a few days ago, urging world leaders to build net-zero climate targets into COVID-19 recovery plans and stimulus packages. Behind the statement are more than 160 CEOs of the world’s leading businesses, representing more than $2.4 trillion in market capitalization, led by the U.N. Global Compact and its partners in the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE PAPER & WEBINAR
This paper outlines four core principles of stimulus and recovery efforts that should guide any global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides guidance for effectively integrating these principles into our efforts to rebuild, while setting us on a path toward a cleaner, healthier, more just, and more sustainable future. Learn more and download the paper here.
Upcoming Webinar: Green Stimulus and Recovery: A Path to Global Resilience, May 28th
at 12 pm CDT. Hear from Rocky Mountain Institute CEO Jules Kortenhorst, alongside RMI Principals Carla Frisch and Uday Varadarajan, who will share four core principles of strategic stimulus and recovery for global responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn that can simultaneously benefit the economy, the environment, and our communities. These principles derive from the first report in a series on stimulus and recovery investment that RMI will be releasing over the coming weeks. Learn more about these new principles and how they can be used to optimize decision-making in stimulus and recovery investments to move us forward on a path to global resilience.
The Right Coronavirus Recovery Could Make 2019 The Year of Peak Carbon, Greentech Media. There’s no better way to honor the lives lost than by making 2020 a turning point in the energy transition, writes Martyn Link, chief strategy officer at Wood.