Monthly Archives: June 2020

SEIA Statement on House Climate Plan and Environmental Justice Priorities

News Release, Solar Energy Industries Association

“We strongly support the environmental justice priorities in this plan and the provisions that will lead to greater solar adoption in communities that are often left behind. The report outlines science-based policy recommendations that if enacted, will provide every American with access to the broad opportunities that our industry creates including access to clean, reliable and affordable energy. This is an important starting point and would build on the jobs and economic opportunity that solar energy provides, priorities for both sides of the aisle. We look forward to working with all members of Congress and the Executive Branch to move the substance of this report into bipartisan legislative action.” – Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA President & CEO

Read more here.

Download the Report
Solving The Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America

Additional Recommended Reading

MORE ON BERKELEY LAB’S NEW SURVEY

US Solar Plants Now Expected to Run for More Than 30 Years: Berkeley Lab, Greentech Media article contributed by Justin Gerdes. The assumed useful life of projects now averages 32.5 years, up from 21.5 years in 2007, according to a canvass of solar project developers, sponsors, asset owners and consultants conducted by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. At the same time, the industry has managed to slash the costs to operate projects by half, with levelized lifetime operational expenditures falling from an average of $35 per kilowatt-year for projects built in 2007 to $17/kW-year for projects built in 2019 (all kW values shown are direct current, or DC).

BRIDGING AMERICA’S DIGITAL POWER & INFORMATION DIVIDES

Building bridges across the digital power and information divides, GreenBiz article contributed by Tom Baruch. Part 2 in a series. Part 1 is here. The COVID-19 pandemic offers the opportunity to build a positive, equitable future by bridging the digital divide. Improving global connectivity by digitizing and democratizing the information cloud and power grid (bits and watts) will intensify environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and increase gross domestic product across all industries.

COMPANIES WITH HIGH ESG SCORES

Can Trump trump the ESG juggernaut?, by Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Director, GreenBiz Group

One constant throughout 2020’s parade of pandemonium is that investing in companies with high environmental, social and governance scores has been relentlessly gaining momentum. The pandemic, the recession, the social strife, the political hyperpartisanship, the growing climate crisis — none of this vertiginousness has knocked ESG funds and investment strategies off their remarkable growth trajectory. This is big. Historically, ESG investing has been sidelined during trying economic times, largely for fear that it would tamp down returns. But recent data has shown quite the opposite: ESG funds are outperforming the overall market.

INSPIRING STORY ABOUT COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Feeding Families in Need: Renewable Energy Companies Enter the Mix, Food Tank
As U.S. food assistance programs grapple with overwhelming demand during the coronavirus pandemic, some in New England are finding support from unusual partners—renewable energy companies.

Coal community leaders release historic platform for national economic transition

Appalachian Voices News Release, June 29, 2020

NATIONWIDE – Today, 80 local, regional, and national organizations and leaders unveiled their National Economic Transition (NET) platform to give federal and national leaders and policymakers the framework for an ambitious national transition program that supports the people and places hit hardest by the changing coal economy.

This NET platform was crafted by local, tribal, and labor leaders living and working in coal communities, along with non-profit sector partners, during a year-long collaboration led by the Just Transition Fund. Amid the sharp decline of the coal sector over the past decade, these community leaders have already developed and implemented local policy solutions that help tackle the climate crisis and spur inclusive, equitable, and sustainable economic growth in places that once relied on coal. Read more here.

Just Transition Fund (JTF)
As the only national philanthropic initiative focused solely on coal community transition, the Just Transition Fund is uniquely positioned to serve as a hub to build, connect, and sustain the transition movement. Based on our experience in the field, we’ve discovered that communities need both investment and technical assistance to advance transition efforts.

Where JTF Works
The Fund focuses on coalfield and power plant communities. Geographic priorities include key states in Appalachia, the West, and the Midwest. The Fund gives preference to states experiencing the largest numbers of plant retirements and to regions that contain both plants and mines.

FINANCIAL STRATEGIES FOR TRANSITIONING FROM COAL TO RENEWABLES

New Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal Plants, North American Windpower
New renewable energy is already cheaper than continuing to operate coal plants in much of the world, according to a recently released report by the Rocky Mountain InstituteCarbon Tracker Initiative and Sierra Club. The report, How to Retire Early: Making Accelerated Coal Phase-Out Feasible and Just, lays out specific financial strategies that utilities and policy makers can use to engineer a faster phase-out of coal in various regions of the world.

NEW GREEN BIZ REPORT & WEBINAR

How Corporations are Managing Risk, Resiliency and Sustainability Report, GreenBiz
Download the report and register for the GreenBiz webcast on July 14th to hear directly from both the research sponsor, NRG Energy, and several participants: How Businesses Can Overcome Barriers to Achieving Climate Goals.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

As much as $125 billion needed by 2030 to support EV growth: Brattle report, American Public Power Association. An investment of between $75 billion and $125 billion in the electric power system will be needed by 2030 to serve 20 million electric vehicles, according to a report by The Brattle Group. There will be 10 to 35 million electric vehicles in the United States by 2030, a steep rise from the 1.5 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads in 2020, Brattle economists estimate. Factors driving the proliferation of electric vehicles include decreasing vehicle and battery costs, an expanding variety of electric vehicle models, more widespread charging infrastructure, as well as favorable federal and state policies and incentives, they say.

PV Magazine Video: The pressing need for sustainability in solar

By Jonathan Gifford, Founding Editor of PV Magazine Australia

If solar really is [to] scale to the terawatt level required to achieve a zero-emission global economy, it is incumbent on the industry to provide for product end-of-life reuse and to meet looming material challenges. That was a key message from the presentation by Pierre Verlinden which kicked off pv magazine’s first Sustainability Roundtable event.

Veteran PV researcher Verlinden, who has worked for industry pioneers SunPower and Trina Solar, joined the virtual roundtable from Australia and set out the raw material challenge PV is facing. Read more and watch the video here.

Referenced in the article: Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). The EPEAT tag for solar will be rolled out this year.

EPEAT was developed using a grant from EPA and is managed by the Green Electronics Council (GEC). GEC maintains EPEAT’s website and product registry and has also developed some environmental benefits calculators to document the results from purchasing EPEAT-registered products.

EPEAT registered products must meet environmental performance criteria that address: materials selection, design for product longevity, reuse and recycling, energy conservation, end-of-life management and corporate performance.

The Green Electronics Council has planned updates to the functionality of the EPEAT Registry through the remainder of 2020. If you are interested in being part of the global EPEAT Registry beta testing group, please email your name, organization, and contact information to support@greenelectronicscouncil.org. Planned functionality upgrades include increased search capability, ability to save product searches, and identification of how EPEAT registered products help meet organizational sustainability goals.

SEIA finds rooftop solar is worth 24¢/kWh in Michigan

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

Rooftop solar is worth 24¢/kWh in the Michigan territory served by Consumers Energy, well above the 14¢ to 17¢/kWh that the utility’s net metering customers currently receive for the electricity they send to the grid. The Solar Energy Industries Association’s Director of Rate Design Kevin Lucas presented that finding in testimony in a Consumers Energy rate case. Lucas concluded that rooftop solar “outflow energy” is “more valuable than average energy,” and that residential customers with solar are less costly to serve than other residential customers. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

KRISTAL HANSLEY – WE SOLAR ENERGY FOUNDER & CEO

Meet The Woman Behind The First Black-Owned Community Solar Energy Company, Black Enterprise

After extensive work in government, entrepreneur and advocate Kristal Hansley launched WeSolar Energy with the goal to provide underserved and underfunded communities access to solar energy. “During my time leading the Community Affairs policy at Congresswoman Eleanor Norton’s office, Maryland passed new laws to increase the use of solar energy across the state. I saw how effectively solar could reduce the cost of electricity for households, and decided to get involved in the emerging world of community solar,” said Hansley in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE. 

PUBLIC POWER & THE PANDEMIC

A COVID-19 hit to public power? For some, it’s not all bad, Utility Dive
Municipal utilities and other public power entities have unique challenges, and some advantages, when dealing with the financial impacts of the pandemic and recession.

BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

Double-Sided Solar Panels That Track The Sun Could Produce 35% More Energy, Forbes article contributed by Scott Snowden. A team from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore lead by Carlos Rodríguez-Gallegos discovered that panels with photovoltaic cells on both sides that could also tilt to follow the sun would produce 35 percent more energy and reduce the average cost of electricity by 16 percent.

PLUG-IN HOME BATTERY PANELS

What If Homeowners Could Just Buy Batteries and Plug Them In?, Greentech Media
U.S. startup Orison is ready to test its “energy storage as home appliance” concept in Australia and Europe following an $8.5 million Seed Round.

EV CHARGING STATIONS

Electrify America completes first route across US with EV charging stations, American Public Power Association. Electrify America says it has completed its first string of cross-country fast charging, direct current (DC) electric vehicle charging stations. The route, spanning 11 states and over 2,700 miles, travels along interstates 15 and 70 from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, providing the first cross-country route with charging stations available the entire way, the company, a subsidiary of Volkswagen of America, said. The charging stations provide speeds up to 350 kilowatts.

MORE ON THE “MOVING FORWARD ACT”

US’ proposed Moving Forward Act stimulus bill includes standalone storage ITC, Energy Storage News. An ITC for standalone energy storage systems could finally become reality with its inclusion in a US$1.5 trillion infrastructure investment Bill, tabled by House Democrats. Our sister site PV Tech reported earlier this week that the ‘Moving Forward Act’ includes measures to support solar and other renewables, including an investment of more than US$70 billion to help modify the electric grid across America to accommodate for renewable energy.

MORE ABOUT WHO’S BEHIND NERA’S ANTI NET METERING PETITION

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin on learning from community development

By Sarah Golden, Senior Energy Analyst &
VERGE Energy Chair, GreenBiz Group

Sarah Golden interviews Shirley Franklin, Executive Board Chair for Purpose Built Communities. Seventy Five North Revitalization Corporation in Omaha is a member of the Purpose Built Communities network.

Purpose Built Communities, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, works with struggling neighborhoods that have suffered from decades of disinvestment. Its model focuses on housing, education and wellness simultaneously with the help of a “community quarterback” — an organization that works to align strategies and services so the benefits of local initiatives compound. The results are astounding. The success caught the eye of investor Warren Buffet, who became a co-founder of Purpose Built Communities to take the model to more neighborhoods. Read more here.


Nebraskans for Solar and Seventy Five North Revitalization Corporation partnered last year on the installation of a demonstration 4-kilowatt solar system on a home in the Highlander neighborhood, a mixed-income Purpose Built Community in North Omaha. (See Solar Examples).


NEBRASKA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Gov. Ricketts Announces Nebraska’s Second Consecutive Silver Shovel Award for Economic Development, Office of Governor News Release

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

DER MARKET TRENDS

5 Major Trends Driving the $80B US Distributed Energy Resources Market Through 2025, Greentech Media. A new Wood Mackenzie forecast describes the emerging U.S. markets for distributed solar, batteries, flexible loads and electric vehicles as grid assets.

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Congressional Leaders Call for Solar Specific Solutions in Economic Recovery Plans
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the House Ways and Means Committee introduced the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act as a part of the $1.5 trillion House infrastructure package released earlier this week. Notably, the bill includes direct pay and outlines a 5-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) at 30% through 2025, followed by a two-year stepdown period. The stepdown would begin in 2026 at 26%, move to 22% in 2027 and then drop to 10% for commercial and utility-scale solar projects and 0% for residential solar in 2028.

PV MODULES

PV module prices are falling faster than all predictions, PV Magazine
New research from Wood Mackenzie shows that overall system costs for installations using mono PERC modules are set to fall by as much as 20% by 2025.

TRANSITION IN COAL COUNTRY: PART TWO

Coal country faces a healthcare crisis, Energy News Network
“Transition in Coal Country” is a collaboration of the Energy News Network and WyoFile, made possible by a grant from the Just Transition Fund. The series, reported by Mason Adams and Dustin Bleizeffer, examines how the declining coal industry presents immediate and long-term changes for coal communities in Wyoming and Appalachia, how those communities are coping with change, and what they might learn from each other in charting a path to a sustainable future beyond coal. 

Part one: What’s next for coal country? / Part three: Coming June 30

CORPORATE NEWS

EV NEWS

NEWS FROM UNL’S SCHOOL OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Another Green Watts for Good Project Completed & An Invitation to All Nebraska Nonprofits

Project Description

As part of our Green Watts for Good initiative, Nebraskans for Solar and Heartland Hope Mission partnered on the installation of a photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of their building at 2021 U Street in Omaha. The nonprofit’s mission is “to be more than a pantry by providing clients with resources to be food secure and self-sufficient in a hope-filled environment.”

The solar project was funded through direct contributions to our Green Watts for Good program and donations made to our Giving Tuesday campaign last December, sponsored by SHARE Omaha.

Ric Hansen from Interconnection Systems Inc, based in Central City, designed and installed the 5-kilowatt PV system, with plenty of roof space available for Heartland Hope Mission to add to it in the future. Additional ISI projects include the Kearney Solar Farm and Duchesne Academy’s rooftop solar array. See “Solar Examples” on our website for brief descriptions and photos of the projects. Visit ISI’s website to see more of their installations and new projects.

Project Lead Coordinators

The lead coordinators for the Heartland Hope Mission solar project were: Chelsea Salifou, Dodji Salifou, and Scott Kinkaid with Heartland Hope Mission, and Louis Lester, Ken Deffenbacher, and Helen Deffenbacher representing Nebraskans for Solar.

“We are excited to partner with Nebraskans For Solar and to be part of their model program. Not only will the solar system help us save money by using a renewable energy source, but their assistance is also helping us make modifications to lower our overall energy costs! These will enable us to put more of our resources towards providing food and other essential needs to working poor families in our community.”  – Chelsea Salifou, CEO, Heartland Hope Mission

Case Studies / Model Program  

Louis Lester, Nebraskans for Solar’s Energy Conservation Projects Coordinator, is working with Heartland Hope Mission and No More Empty Pots to develop case studies. He is analyzing their electricity bills and demand charges and auditing their energy usage.

From this data he is customizing a plan to reduce their electricity bills and demand charges through conservation measures, including management of the power loads of their large appliances, HVAC and other major energy-consuming units. He will use the case studies for a model program to present to all interested Nebraska nonprofits in an upcoming virtual workshop and discussion.

Invitation to Nebraska Nonprofits  

All nonprofits in Nebraska are invited to participate in this new energy conservation initiative. When Louis completes the two case studies, he will provide a virtual presentation and discussion on how all nonprofits can save energy and money in similar ways.

If your nonprofit would like to participate, please click the link below to download and complete his one-page survey. Keep a copy for the workshop and discussion and email the survey to nebraskansforsolar@gmail.com.

Nonprofit Energy / Solar Survey

 As the case studies and program model progress, we will send you an invitation to Louis’ presentation and additional, related announcements. With his many years of experience working on renewable energy, efficiency and energy storage at OPPD prior to his retirement last December, our board values and appreciates his work.

We hope you will join Nebraskans for Solar in developing this new initiative!

Environment America Launches a 10-state campaign calling for all new homes to be built with solar panels

Environment America News Release

BOSTON — In January 2020, California became the first state to require all new houses to be built with solar panels. Today, Environment America is launching a first-of-its-kind campaign calling on additional states across the country to set similar standards for solar power on new homes. The coordinated national campaign will advocate for a solar homes requirement in at least ten states: Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. While each state may have slightly different goals, the campaign’s intention is to introduce bills in 10 states in the next two years. Continue reading here.

ACCELERATING ADOPTION OF COMMUNITY SOLAR

New US Solar Power Scheme Aims At Invisible Middle, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica
A vast middle ground of opportunity for solar power development is ripe for the picking if only somebody could see where it is. Well, the US Department of Energy sees it, and is determined to pick it. The agency is moving forward with a plan to kickstart activity in the area of mid-sized arrays ranging from 50 kilowatts to 3 megawatts. That may sound like peanuts, but it includes the important community solar sector, so — wait, what is community solar anyways?

ENERGY STORAGE

The magnificent seven: US states with energy storage mandates, targets and goals, Energy Storage News. The US national Energy Storage Association’s policy director, Jason Burwen, spoke with Andy Colthorpe about the seven early adopter states and whether this is likely to be a spreading pattern across the country.

OPPD IN THE NEWS

TRADE ASSOCIATIONS’ STATEMENTS ON HOUSE $1.5 TRILLION INFRASTRUCTURE BILL 

GREEN BIZ’S “30 UNDER 30” AWARDS

The 2020 GreenBiz 30 Under 30, GreenBiz Editors
We are proud to introduce our fifth annual cohort of twentysomethings who are sustainability leaders within — and without — their companies, nonprofits and communities. The Class of 2020 hails from seven countries, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil and Taiwan, and they are tackling diverse challenges — from cultivating a more sustainable food system to advocating for climate justice on behalf of disadvantaged communities to testing best practices for circular cities to negotiating impactful renewable energy contracts. The list of their accomplishments is long and growing longer by the day, and they’re just getting started.

AGRIVOLTAICS

Pollinator-Saving Solar Panels: Good for Farmers, Good for Business, by Tina Casey, Triple Pundit. Conventional solar arrays typically force farmers to choose between raising crops and generating electricity in order to survive financially. However, a new body of research called agrivoltaics is demonstrating that farmers can have the best of both worlds. A recent report the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for example, indicates that properly designed, low-impact solar arrays can be compatible with agricultural use.

MORE ON AMERICA’S RENEWABLES INVESTMENT ATTRACTIVENESS

ALSO IN THE NEWS

TRANSITION IN COAL COUNTRY: PART ONE

EV NEWS

Is this electric plane the future of flying?, GreenBiz article contributed by David Elliott, Senior Writer, World Economic Forum. The world’s largest all-electric plane has completed its maiden voyage, flying for 30 minutes in the skies above Washington state. Its safe landing in Moses Lake, about 186.5 miles southeast of Seattle, is a milestone in a dream that’s been floating about since the late 1800s — air travel powered by electricity.

New Series of Solar Videos Created by NPPD & UNL

David Rich, Sustainable Energy Manager at Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), today shared information with Nebraskans for Solar about a new series of videos jointly developed by NPPD and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).

The series co-creator and presenter F. John Hay, shown in the above photo, is an Extension Educator for Biological Systems Engineering at UNL. Small wind turbines and small solar systems for home, farm, or business are among his various areas of research and teaching interests.

In 2017 Hay installed a solar PV system at his own home. He has provided many hands-on workshops in communities throughout Nebraska to teach others about solar design and installation, emphasizing the importance of starting with a good economic analysis. Last November Nebraskans for Solar hosted a presentation by Professor Hay at UNO’s Community Engagement Center on those topics.

Especially now while we are unable to enjoy sponsoring or co-sponsoring with allied organizations our own series of in-person events, we are happy to share the following videos on behalf of NPPD and UNL:

The resources are posted here on NPPD’s website. Click on “Videos”.

Courtesy Photo: F. John Hay

Midlands Voices: Acting on key goals can give cities a needed boost, Norfolk mayor says

By Josh Moenning, Omaha World-Herald

“The best way out is through.” As Robert Frost penned these words many years ago, he likely couldn’t have envisioned an environment quite like the one we find ourselves in now.

Nevertheless, the lesson applies today just as it did then. As we navigate periods of hardship and uncertainty, the most effective approach to coping is not paralysis or dithering, it’s perseverance and unrelenting focus on pushing forward.

Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED OP-ED

Republicans must lead on clean energy jobs, by John Ruckelshaus, Republican State Senator from Indianapolis, The Indianapolis Star

Job creation is a bipartisan concern. Conservatives at all levels of government increasingly recognize that commonsense, market-based clean energy policies can put Americans to work while reducing carbon emissions. This was certainly the belief of my uncle, William Ruckelshaus, who was the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Nixon and later returned under President Reagan. The trend among conservative voters, especially the next generation, has never been more clearly in favor of clean energy. A Pew Research Center study showed that 78% of young Republicans say the U.S. should prioritize advanced energy sources over expanding fossil fuels.

 MORE ON ACORE’S NEW MACRO GRID INITIATIVE

A national US power grid would make electricity cheaper and cleaner, Vox
The areas of the US with the most renewable energy potential are not necessarily the ones that need the most energy. A report from the Wind Energy Association found that the 15 states between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River — Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana — account for 87 of the nation’s total wind energy potential and 56 percent of its utility-scale solar potential, but are only projected to account for 30 percent of the nation’s energy demand in 2050.

Macro Grid Initiative

MACRO VERSUS MICRO GRIDS

Macrogrids Or Microgrids: Which Is The Key To The Renewable Energy Revolution?, CleanTechnica. Arguing about macro versus micro is like arguing whether battery storage is better than pumped hydro. The truth is that both have a role to play in the renewable energy future. There are instances where gravity storage may be the best answer. The factor that is driving all these debates is that renewable energy facilities cost less to construct and can become operational in far less time than coal, gas, or nuclear generating installations. As costs continue to fall, there will be more money available to provide the resiliency we need to complete the renewable energy revolution while lowering the cost of electricity consumers pay.

SOLAR SCHOOLS

Salt Lake school board vows to create ‘more environmentally sustainable schools’, Deseret News
With the objective of establishing “healthier, more environmentally sustainable schools,” the Salt Lake City Board of Education has adopted a resolution that calls on the school district to meet all of its energy needs with carbon-neutral energy no later than 2040. The resolution includes incremental goals that build on ongoing efforts by district staff to reduce energy consumption and lessen the school distribution footprint.

GROUP SOLAR INSTALLATION PROGRAM

Virginia solar program on track to maintain momentum despite pandemic, Energy News Network. Every spring since 2015, the Local Energy Alliance Program has helped dozens of northern Virginians navigate the intricacies of powering their homes with solar panels. Contractors have installed more than 3 megawatts of capacity on 372 houses and businesses.

RENEWABLE ENERGY OUTLEASING

Federal courthouses might be prime spots for new solar panels, Federal News Network
The Green Building Advisory Committee drafted a recommendation letter to the General Services Administration for piloting renewable energy outleasing on federal properties. Outleasing is the practice of renting vacant or unused space on agency buildings, such as rooftops and parking lots, to utility companies which then install their equipment. According to the committee, GSA uses outleasing for renting roof space for antenna placement by telecommunications companies. And members suggested more could be done in a public-private partnership model.

CORPORATE RENEWABLES BUYERS

Wind deals are becoming even more popular with corporate renewables buyers, GreenBiz
According to “Wind Powers American Business,” a report from the wind advocacy group American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the private sector has been a significant demand driver for wind energy, purchasing more 20 percent of all new wind installations in the United States for five years running. Of course, corporations’ appetite for renewables is increasing across the board. Corporations are a similar driver behind solar, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). They collectively accounted for 22 percent of 2018 power purchase agreements (PPAs) for solar and wind in the United States. Still, the increase in wind projects, I wondered: What trends are driving corporations to pick more wind deals?

TESLA HOME SOLAR SYSTEMS

The Lowest Price for Home Solar, Tesla News Release
Today we are introducing the lowest-ever cost to go solar in the United States. Our average system size is now one-third less expensive than the industry average and we have recently introduced a lowest-price guarantee. If you change your mind after purchasing or are unhappy with the system, we will uninstall it and issue a full refund within seven days from system turn on.

GEOTHERMAL INNOVATION

In Minnesota, a geothermal innovation revives interest in systems’ potential, by Frank Jossi, Energy News Network. A heat exchange technology developed at the University of Minnesota could help shrink the cost and footprint of geothermal heating and cooling systems. Unlike conventional geothermal, which circulates ground heat found far below the surface, the approach taps into aquifers using fewer, shallower wells. A startup company, Darcy Solutions, has begun pitching the product to commercial and industrial businesses in the Twin Cities.

ORPHANED OIL & GAS WELLS

Special Report: Millions of abandoned oil wells are leaking methane, a climate menace, Reuters
The U.S. figures are sobering: More than 3.2 million abandoned oil and gas wells together emitted 281 kilotons of methane in 2018, according to the data, which was included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent report on April 14 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. That’s the climate-damage equivalent of consuming about 16 million barrels of crude oil, according to an EPA calculation, or about as much as the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, uses in a typical day.

Related news from Canada: Collapsed Alberta energy company leaves behind 401 ‘orphan’ wells in B.C., more than doubling total, CBC News

CLIMATE STATEMENTS FROM WORLD RELIGIOUS LEADERS

What the Coming Wave of Distributed Energy Resources Means for the US Grid

By Ben Kellison and Fei Wang, Greentech Media

Cumulative distributed energy resource capacity in the United States will reach 397 gigawatts by 2025, according to a new Wood Mackenzie report. The DER mix is evolving quickly away from nonresidential load management, which made up two-thirds of all U.S. DER capacity in 2015 but will make up less than half by 2025.

Solar, electric vehicle infrastructure and residential load management potential now lead all other resources, accounting for more than 90 percent of DER capacity installed between 2016-2025. Cumulative U.S. DER investments will eclipse $80.6 billion between 2020 and 2026. EV infrastructure, battery storage and grid-interactive water heaters sales growth will drive spending to a new peak in 2025.  Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: SWT Energy in Lincoln

VIRTUAL POWER PLANTS

  • Sunrun to Turn Home Batteries Into Grid Resources for 2 Major Utilities, Greentech Media
    The leading rooftop installer will aggregate homes for Southern California Edison and a Con Ed utility in New York in a test of the virtual power plant concept. Historically, utilities have been reluctant to allow customers to export from their batteries onto the grid, but that’s changing in some territories.
  • Previously Posted: ‘Transformative’: Sonnen to Deliver Community Battery Network With Grid Services Contract, Greentech Media. “This is what we’ve been working on for years,” says Blake Richetta, CEO of the U.S. business at Shell-owned Sonnen. “We’re paying for the right for full control of the batteries,” within certain constraints to ensure a backup reserve for the residents, said Bill Comeau, managing director at Rocky Mountain Power. The utility’s involvement follows the state legislature’s passage of the Sustainable Transportation and Energy Act of 2016. Rocky Mountain Power used that legislation to ask regulators in March 2019 for permission to enter into a contract with the Soleil community for demand-side management. Rocky Mountain Power, serving customers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s PacifiCorp.
  • Learn more about Sonnen’s Virtual Power Plants here.

ENERGY HUB

EnergyHub partners with Vivint Solar as utility incentives for residential energy storage ramp up, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive. EnergyHub announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Vivint Solar to help utilities access attached residential battery storage systems as cost-effective grid-edge resources. EnergyHub now has almost two dozen distributed energy resource (DER) partners across assets including thermostats, batteries, solar inverters, electric charging equipment and water heaters. The company’s Mercury DERMS platform allows utilities to offer customer incentives to manage the devices to balance distribution systems.

GTM’S INTERCHANGE

Data Centers Are the Epicenter of the Clean Energy Economy, Greentech Media
On this episode of The Interchange: how the world’s giant computers are getting cleaner.

“THE 2035 REPORT” WEBINAR

If you missed CESA’s recent webinar: The 2035 Report: How Low Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future, slides and a recording are now available here. Clean Energy States Alliance presented the webinar on behalf of the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative.

About the Webinar
According to the new report from the University of California, Berkeley and GridLab, the United States can reliably deliver 90% clean, carbon-free electricity nationwide by 2035 using existing technology, without increasing consumer bills, and without the need for new fossil fuel plants. 

The 2035 Report: How Low Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future demonstrates how recent dramatic cost declines for solar, wind, and battery storage allow for near-term decarbonization of the electricity grid. Two of the report’s authors: Ric O’Connell, Executive Director of GridLab and Dr. Amol Phadke, Senior Scientist and Affiliate, Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, presented the main findings and discussed their implications.

MORE ON THE MACRO GRID INITIATIVE

Clean energy groups to propose FERC rules for national transmission system saving $47B a year, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive. The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) on Wednesday launched a new campaign to build support for a stronger U.S. transmission system, including upgrades to interregional lines and the development of a nationwide, high-voltage direct current network. The campaign, The Macro Grid Initiative, argues consumers would save up to $47 billion annually with a national electrical power system versus the existing, regionally divided system.

DOMINION OFFSHORE WIND & THE VIRGINIA CLEAN ECONOMY ACT

Q&A: This engineer has a front-row seat as Dominion advances offshore wind, by Elizabeth McGowan, Energy News Network. Mark Mitchell, vice president of generation construction, joined the Richmond-based company 22 years ago. Within six years, 180 to 190 turbines planned for an adjacent 2,600 megawatt commercial project should produce enough power for 650,000 homes. Survey work is now underway for that phase. Offshore wind is crucial if Dominion is expected to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, as required by the Virginia Clean Economy Act. The law takes effect July 1. 

EV NEWS

WISCONSIN BROTHERS’ SOLAR BUSINESS

Shining light on energy options, Wisconsin brothers grow with solar business, WIZM News
Coming together from opposite sides of the country, brothers Cameron and Brandon Olson created a business plan to bring solar energy options to La Crosse. Olson Solar Energy started in 2017 with a few jobs in southwest Wisconsin. There were no other solar companies in the area, so the market made sense. In 2019, they invested in advertising and expanded to opening the shop. “There were so many people interested in solar from smaller, residential systems to bigger commercial systems, and this year has just been more of the same,” Cameron said.