Contributed by Chelsea Barnes, Solar Industry
[In April Governor Ralph Northam signed the Solar Freedom Act and the Virginia
Clean Economy Act into law]. The new laws set up enormous opportunity for solar developers in Virginia’s coalfields. To boost the potential even more, eight local governments in the region achieved SolSmart designation in 2019, setting themselves up to more readily facilitate solar development. Over the past four years, the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia has readied the region for solar energy development through education, collaboration and advocacy, but its efforts were stymied by policy inequities and regulatory barriers. Now, the new laws mean solar developers can walk through the region’s door of opportunity and deliver the solar services so many people are seeking. Read more here.
Chelsea Barnes is the New Economy Program Manager for Appalachian Voices, a regional environmental advocacy nonprofit. Photo Credit: Appalachian Voices
- Conservation group plots solar potential for retired Appalachian coal mine land, Energy News Network. The Nature Conservancy is seeking a partner to help develop solar on up to 13,000 acres of cleared minelands.
- As the coal industry shrinks, miners deserve a just transition – here’s what it should include, by Ann Eisenberg, Assistant Professor of Law, University of South Carolina, The Conversation
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- Renewables Have Beaten Coal 100 Days Already This Year. What You Need to Know, by John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists. This post is a part of a series on Clean Energy Momentuml.
- Cities ‘could generate hundreds of times more solar power than they do today’, PV Magazine
- A sneak peak at San Francisco’s new low-carbon neighborhood, Smart Cities Dive
The city unanimously approved plans to build a 29-acre sustainable, transportation-efficient community on the site of a former century-old fossil fuel power plant.
- Residential energy is becoming companies’ business, GreenBiz
Here are five companies with updated offerings tailored to the COVID-19 era, designed to make residential energy use smarter as our homes become our office (and bar and restaurant and concert venue and movie theater…)
- How the Navajo got their day in the sun, GreenBiz
- General Mills Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity Globally By 2030, CleanTechnica
- Forget the 3 Ps. Here’s a better way to articulate the 3-legged stool, GreenBiz
If you must have a triad, I suggest “Equity, Ecosystems, Economy.”
NEW INDIANA COALITION
Farmer-focused renewable energy coalition formed, AgriNews
The Indiana Agriculture Coalition for Renewable Energy announced its formation across the state following two informational conference calls in March and April. The conference calls convened farmers, landowners, renewable energy developers, nonprofits and corporations to discuss knowledge and resource gaps related to the intersection of renewable energy and agriculture in Indiana.
- Decarbonization, not offsets — Private partnerships as the path to university carbon neutrality, Utility Dive. Contributed article by Jigar Shah, president of Generate Capital and a 1996 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Jonah Messinger, a student pursuing both Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees at the university.
- Divest Princeton hosts panel titled ‘Cornell, Brown, and UC Have Done It: Why Can’t We?’, The Daily Princetonian
- Carport will add to student center solar capacity, Bethel College News
MISO deploys GridUnity platform to streamline electric generation interconnection, GridUnity News Release, PR Newswire
Prior to the GridUnity solution, MISO engineers were manually reviewing each application in detail. With the new GridUnity tool, applicants receive immediate, automated feedback if an entry is incomplete, ensuring all submitted applications meet established standards. MISO staff will now be able to review and respond to submitted applications in a fraction of the time that was previously required, providing guidance throughout the rest of the interconnection process. This will create a fully transparent and near-real-time interconnection queue, freeing engineers to spend their time addressing the higher-value needs of their customers.
WOODEN WIND TURBINE TOWERS
Wooden Turbine Towers Promise To Push Wind Industry To Greater Heights, contributed by Mike Scott, Forbes. A new design for wind turbine towers could see them made from wood rather than steel, soaring to ever-greater heights and producing more power, if a new trial proves successful.
FORECASTING THE WIND
Thanks To Renewables And Machine Learning, Google Now Forecasts The Wind, by Jeff McMahon, Senior Contributor, Forbes
Google and the Google-owned Artificial Intelligence firm DeepMind combined weather data with power data from 700 megawatts of wind energy that Google sources in the Central United States. Using machine learning, they have been able to better predict wind production, better predict electricity supply and demand, and as a result, reduce operating costs. In a Deepmind blog post, they outline how they boosted profits for Google’s wind farms in the Southwest Power Pool, an energy market that stretches across the plains from the Canadian border to north Texas:
Retail co-location may prove key to sustainable funding for EV charging, panel finds, Utility Dive Adding charging facilities at retail and restaurant locations is one of the most profitable ways to increase EV infrastructure, a senior project manager at Atlas Public Policy said during a Wednesday webinar hosted by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions that also featured representatives from Georgia Power and EVgo.
RECOMMENDED KIDS’ BOOKS