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
- Solar For All: Chicago’s South Side sees first free solar installations under state equity program, Energy News Network. Having always been “the go-green types,” Debra Earl and her husband last summer decided they wanted to get solar panels on the bungalow where they’ve lived for 22 years on Chicago’s South Side. Now, their home is powered by a solar array that will provide almost all their electricity needs, and they won’t pay a cent for the power. The company Certasun installed and owns the rooftop system, and Earl and her husband get the power for free.
- Solar power continues growth, Mankato Free Press
Solar power continues to grow throughout the region and state, helped by federal and state incentives and by desire to lower electric costs and reduce reliance on coal and natural gas. Mike Allen, CEO and co-founder of All Energy Solar, said their work in Minnesota and surrounding states has grown rapidly in recent years.
- Large-scale solar project continues renewable energy growth in the Midwest, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. The project will consist of a field with solar arrays of more than 600,000 photovoltaic solar panels arranged in rows on single-axis tracking foundations, for an estimated first year power generation of just over 413,300 megawatt hours. The project is expected to power the equivalent of nearly 39,000 households in Ohio annually with renewable energy.
- Board of Colorado Springs Utilities OKs plan that will close coal plants, expand renewables, American Public Power Association
- Navajo County approves expansion of massive solar power plant, White Mountain Independent
- Black Hills forecasts $66M in savings over 15 years from solar project, The Pueblo Chieftan
According to Julie Rodriguez, a spokesperson for Black Hills, the highlights of the company’s preferred Renewable Advantage project include $66 million in customer cost savings over 15 years; $178 million in direct and indirect economic benefits through state, local and federal taxes; 250 construction jobs; 51% renewable energy mix; and 71% reduction in carbon emission by 2024. Black Hills Energy serves 1.2 million customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
- Awesome Idea: Turn Rikers Island Into A Solar Farm, CleanTechnica
Elon Musk had an idea about turning 10,000 square miles of U.S. desert into a solar farm that can power the entire country. “Solar power is a Gigawatt per square km! All you need is a 100 by 100-mile patch in a deserted corner of Arizona, Texas, or Utah (or anywhere) to more than power the entire USA,” he shared on Twitter. This isn’t that, but each useful chunk is helpful.
- Critics say Rhode Island report overlooks potential of heat pumps, Energy News Network
- Previously Posted: It’s Time to Incentivize Residential Heat Pumps, Rocky Mountain Institute
- A critical milestone’: PG&E first gas-electric IOU to publicly support California’s all-electric construction, Utility Dive. PG&E “welcomes the opportunity to avoid investments in new gas assets that might later prove underutilized as local governments and the state work together to realize long-term decarbonization objectives,” Robert Kenney, PG&E vice president of state and regulatory affairs, said in the letter.
- Coal loses out to solar, wind and storage in Arizona utility plan, PV-Tech
Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has set out plans to provide 70% of its power from solar and wind by 2035, backed up with investment in new energy storage capacity. The utility last week filed its integrated resource plan (IRP) with the state regulator, outlining plans for 2.5GW of new solar and wind over the next 15 years and 1.4GW of energy storage capacity as it progressively shutters its coal power stations.
KRISTAL HANSLEY – WE SOLAR ENERGY FOUNDER & CEO
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
- 6,000 Maine solar projects remain in limbo due to uncertainty over federal decision on net metering petition, Pine Tree Watch. More than 57,000 organizations and individuals formally opposed the petition, which would eliminate incentives for investing in solar across the nation and reduce the benefits for thousands of Mainers already committed to solar projects. Reports indicate that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, the Heartland Institute and NERA all have ties to the Koch brothers, who have funded climate denial and pro-fossil fuel campaigns for roughly three decades.
- Previously Posted: Public Citizen Unmasks Suspect Ratepayer Group Aiming To Disrupt U.S. Solar Policy, Public Citizen News Release