Monthly Archives: July 2020

Jigar Shah on the solar industry: ‘We embrace innovation because it is in our blood’

Guest Post by Jigar Shah, PV Magazine

The following article is adapted from the keynote Jigar Shah delivered at the Aurora Solar Virtual Solar Summit on July 23.

The solar industry feels like it is moving so fast, we don’t always make time to think about what we have accomplished or where we’re going or the values that continue to propel us forward. But now – at a time of such enormous change and challenge – we need that kind of clear view to keep us grounded.

In the United States today, more than 2 million residential customers are enjoying the benefits of solar power – just one measure of how mainstream we have become. Clean energy has accounted for more than 75% of the new electricity generation added to the U.S. grid every year since 2015. Continue reading here.

Jigar Shah is president and cofounder of Generate Capital.

EXPANDING SOLAR GROUP BUYING CAMPAIGNS

Solarize Campaigns: Helping Communities of Color Access Rooftop Solar, by Lacey Shaver and Ryan Shea, Rocky Mountain Institute

The American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator, co-led by Rocky Mountain Institute and World Resources Institute, is launching a residential solar cohort this summer to help local governments implement Solarize campaigns and accelerate residential solar adoption in their community, with a particular focus on historically marginalized communities. If your local government is interested in learning how a community purchasing campaign can help expand solar access in your community, please reach out to Ryan Shea at rshea@rmi.org to learn more.

GEOTHERMAL ENERGY RESEARCH 

Energy Department Selects 5 Projects to Receive up to $28 Million for Geothermal Energy Research,  Department of Energy News Release, July 29, 2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that five projects will receive up to $28 million to promote the advancement of the next generation of geothermal energy technologies. Selected by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office, these projects align with the goals of the 2019 GeoVision study, which outlines a path to unlock the full potential of geothermal power as a clean, reliable, and affordable energy source for American homes and businesses.

ENERGY STORAGE

PG&E, Tesla start building world’s biggest battery, PV Magazine
U.S. utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Tesla have started construction on a battery storage project in Monterey County, California, that could end up being one of the biggest in the world.

GTM’S POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

Relief, Rescue, Rebuild: The Case for a Sustainable Recovery, Greentech Media

Earlier this year, we launched a series called “Path to Zero,” which explored the technologies and policies needed to rapidly drive down carbon emissions. Now, we’re shifting our focus to the path to economic recovery and what that would look like if equitable, low-carbon solutions were baked in.

In this first episode, we speak to Leah Stokes, assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara and author of the new book Short Circuiting Policy. Leah makes the case for a green economic recovery, reviews potential barriers to implementation and discusses what she would put in her ideal green stimulus bill.

AUTOMAKERS’ CARBON COMMITMENTS

BMW, Ford, other automakers rev up carbon commitments, GreenBiz
The world’s biggest automakers are ramping up their carbon commitments even as they struggle to build back in the wake of the pandemic. This article is adapted from GreenBiz’s weekly newsletter, Transport Weekly, running Tuesdays. Subscribe here.

Public hearing on wind turbine regulations to be held Thursday

By Scott Koperski, News Editor, Beatrice Daily Sun

Planning and Zoning administrator Lisa Wiegand said Thursday’s meeting will be held at the Hevelone Center at Beatrice High School, with safety measures in place. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., and a public hearing on the proposed amendment to change the regulations will begin at 6:30 p.m. While the changes would apply to all future commercial turbines, the push for change has been largely driven by a proposal from NextEra Energy Resources to build a 50-turbine wind farm in northern Gage County, a roughly $225 million investment in the area. Read more here.

Related News Story
Gage County Board Reappoints County Planning Commission Chairperson, by  Doug Kennedy, News Channel Nebraska

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Tesla Trial Through Tri-State, Midwest Electric Offers Electric Car Experience, The Grant Tribune Sentinel. Tesla has installed charging stations around the country,  in cities and along interstates, for Tesla customers. One such station is located just off the interstate in Ogallala, east of McDonalds. The station has eight charging banks and can recharge the vehicle in 30-40 minutes at a cost of around $7. Other stations in out-state Nebraska include Sidney, Gothenburg and Grand Island, plus Lincoln. Tri-State is in the midst of a major transformation as it moves to more green energy production through solar and wind. Tri-State has relied on coal-fired generation in Colorado and New Mexico. However, both states have passed legislation that bans all coal-related generation by 2030.

Nebraska Tri-State Members

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

  • Colorado’s Eastern Plains is big-time producer of renewable energy, ripe for even more, report says, The Denver Post. Along with wheat, corn and cattle, Colorado’s Eastern Plains grow another big crop: more than 95% of the state’s renewable energy capacity that produces thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in benefits each year. A report released Tuesday by The Western Way, a conservative organization that promotes environmental stewardship, in partnership with PRO 15 and Action22, policy and economic development organizations, highlights the importance of renewable energy to eastern Colorado.
  • Related: Study finds renewable energy has created 6,300 jobs in rural Colorado, The Gazette
    The renewable energy industry has created 6,334 jobs and generates $388.6 million a year in economic activity in eastern Colorado, according to a study released Tuesday by three Colorado advocacy groups.
  • Southwest Michigan poultry farm completes solar project, by Andy Balaskovitz, MiBiz
    The two-year project was supported by grant funding from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for American Program (REAP). USDA officials said the Stutzman project is the first REAP project in Southwest Michigan and is an “excellent model for others looking to switch to solar energy,” said Jason Allen, the USDA’s rural development state director in Michigan.
  • Grant to help farmers harness biomass and manure to fuel farms, National Hog Farmer
    A new federal grant will allow a research team led by Iowa State University, Penn State University and Roeslein Alternative Energy to develop new methods of turning biomass and manure into fuel. The five-year, $10 million grant from the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture will power the Consortium for Cultivating Human and Natural reGenerative Enterprise as it works to create new value chains on U.S. farms, with emphasis on the generation of renewable natural gas, improved rural economic outcomes and protection of the environment.

100% RE VILLAGE

Local Community Becomes 100% Renewably Powered Through New GoMacro(TM) Initiative, GoMacro News Release, Barron News-Shield. GoMacro, known for its organic, plant-based nutrition bars, announced today that all residences, businesses, and schools in Viola, Wisconsin, will be powered by 100% renewable wind energy thanks to a new partnership with the Village. 

NATIONAL NEWS

Boiling Point: How far will utilities go to protect their fossil fuel investments?, by staff writer Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times. I called [Leah] Stokes to ask her about SoCalGas, the alleged corruption in Ohio and the history of utility-industry climate denial. Here are some highlights from our conversation, condensed and edited for clarity. 

Leah Cardamore Stokes is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her research and writing on climate change and energy policy has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, as well as numerous scholarly journals. – Amazon Author Page

 

Her book,  Short Circuiting Policy: Interest Groups and the Battle Over Clean Energy and Climate Policy in the American States, was published on April 15, 2020.

 

 

FROM UTILITY DIVE

Solarize Chicagoland group-buy program bears fruit even in rough times

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

As Dan Orum grilled dinner one night in early June, through an earbud in one ear he learned the ins and outs of how to get a solar installation on his home in the Chicago suburbs and collect state and federal incentives before they expire. A few days later, he had signed a contract to be part of Solarize Chicagoland, a group-buy program that has been popular in its second year, despite the pandemic’s chilling effect on the economy and the larger solar industry. 

Orum had long been interested in solar because of the environmental benefits, but had never found the time or motivation to wade through all the options and requirements. The webinar he listened to while cooking that night made it clear that the group-buy program would offer him a good price for solar with support at every step of the process, working with a developer vetted and chosen by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and other partners. Continue reading here.

Photo by Solarize Chicagoland group-buy participant Andre Pavkovic of his home’s PV system installed by GRNE Solar, based in Lincoln, Nebraska. GRNE also has offices in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. “Last year, the program included 124 installations for a total of 870 kW, with GRNE Solar doing the installations.”

Additional Information
Solar Group Buy Resources, Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)

MIDWEST SOLAR SCHOOLS & POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

Why America’s Schools Are Turning Into Solar Power Stations, Huff Post


Primergy, an Oakland, California, solar company nstalled the photovoltaic arrays at Galesburg, Illinois and 32 other schools in the state, including a college. The schools have power purchase agreements (PPA) with the company, meaning Primergy owns, operates and maintains the arrays. They then sell the electricity they generate exclusively to the schools, at a lower rate than they were paying for conventional electricity from the local utility company. Primergy leases the space required for the installations, too, which is extra revenue for the schools on top of their energy cost savings. Over the last few years, the vast majority of U.S. schools getting into solar have gone the PPA route.

Photo: An acre of solar panels in an old soccer practice field will power Galesburg High School.

Additional Information About PPAs
What is a solar power purchase agreement?, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Resource

One Way to Retire Coal Plants: Buy Out the Owner

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

Municipal and cooperative utilities may have an easier time retiring coal plants early.

In 2016, New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative left its long-standing power supply relationship with Colorado’s Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association behind. Kit Carson paid nearly $40 million to sever its relationship with Tri-State, after realizing it could save its customers even more money — $50 to $70 million — and get access to more renewables by contracting with Guzman Energy, a wholesale power provider. Since Kit Carson made a run for the door, numerous Tri-State members have considered the same.

Think tank Energy Innovation, in a new analysis released Tuesday in partnership with energy modeling company Vibrant Clean Energy, is elevating Kit Carson’s flight as a model for coal retirement that allows third-party, private financiers — including energy providers such as Guzman, investors or renewables developers — to push municipal and co-operative utilities toward more renewables. Continue reading here.

Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC is a nonpartisan energy and environmental policy firm. 

MORE GTM ARTICLES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Microsoft Eyes New Tool in Decarbonization Quest: Green Hydrogen
    The tech giant announced Monday that it recently powered a row of data center servers for 48 hours using nothing but hydrogen fuel cells, which it believes to be the longest such test in the world for a data center operator at that scale. Microsoft is expanding its hydrogen testing and intends to leverage its vast size and energy consumption to help the green hydrogen industry scale up, Brian Janous, the company’s general manager for environmental sustainability, said in an interview. Last week NextEra Energy, the largest U.S. generator of wind and solar power, revealed plans to build its first green hydrogen facility in Florida, to be fueled by solar power.
  • Trump Administration Announces Long-Delayed Nomination of Democrat to FERC
    Nomination of NRDC attorney Allison Clements alongside Virginia utility regulator Mark Christie could restore political balance to key U.S. agency.
  • FirstEnergy CEO Defends Utility Amid Bribery Scandal Questions
    The utility’s share price and credit ratings have taken a hit after it was implicated in an Ohio nuclear and coal bailout corruption investigation.

NEW WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE REPORT

41 states have reduced their carbon emissions while growing their economies, Fast Company
Since 2005, 41 states and Washington, D.C., have increased their GDPs while reducing their carbon emissions, debunking the myth that economic growth can only happen at the expense of our environment. A new report from World Resources Institute (WRI) analyzes how states have decoupled their GDP growth from emissions, which Devashree Saha, a senior associate at WRI, says is “a hopeful sign for the United States and for the planet.” 

MORE ON NEW EIA DATA

Renewables have outpaced nuclear and coal to start 2020, PV Magazine
In the latest edition of Electric Power Monthly, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that renewable resources have generated more electricity through May 31st than both coal and nuclear power.

AGGREGATED COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECTS

First downstate project through Illinois community solar program underway, Energy News Network. The first community solar project in downstate Illinois facilitated by the state’s 2017 Future Energy Jobs Act is now being built, showing both the potential of the wildly popular program and the challenges of implementing it. Washington D.C.-based Summit Ridge Energy won the rights to sell renewable energy credits for 18 projects in downstate Ameren utility territory and 23 in ComEd’s territory in northern Illinois. So far it’s signed up 8,479 customers to participate in the community solar installations — just over half the subscribers it needs to be fully subscribed. 

MIDWEST SOLAR SCHOOLS

C2 Energy Capital Works with Solar Partners to Guide a School Solar Project to Successful Completion, C2 Capital News Release, PRNewswire

“The average price of a school solar installation has dropped 67% in the last ten years, making solar energy a smart decision for schools’ budgets. The most important factor for a successful solar installation in a school is an experienced team. Together, our partners have installed solar on dozens of schools in the Midwest and we are proud of the level of expertise, quality, and service we can offer,” says Richard Dovere, Co-founder and Managing Member of C2 Energy Capital.

The partnership between C2 Energy Capital, First Solar, and SP&L took a value-driven approach that resulted in cost-savings and reduced project risk for the school through strategic technology procurement, employing local and Ohio resources, and arranging ongoing project performance analysis. 

EVANGELICAL ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK

Can an evangelical group change Ohio lawmakers’ minds on clean energy?, Energy News Network

An evangelical group has a stark message for Ohio lawmakers: If you care about unborn children, clean up the air their mothers breathe. “As a pro-life Christian, I believe pollution harms the unborn, causing damage that lasts a lifetime,” reads a petition signed by more than 53,000 Ohioans in support of moving the state to 100% clean electricity by 2030. The petition, circulated by the nonprofit Evangelical Environmental Network, was delivered to lawmakers on July 16. Its potential political impact was unclear then and is even more so now after federal authorities arrested the speaker of the Ohio House and others as part of an alleged $60 million bribery scheme

SUNPOWER BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

SunPower to launch 625 W shingled module, PV Magazine
SunPower, which is majority owned by French energy giant Total, is planning to launch a new shingled module series with 625 watts of power output. Group spinoff Maxeon Solar Technologies will commercialize the Performance 5 line in the fourth quarter. The high-efficiency, bifacial mono-PERC solar panels will be made with large format eight-inch G12 wafers and will have an efficiency of 21.2%.

AWEA WEBINAR SERIES

Renewables 101 series: Wind recap, look out for solar, by Lauren Rudolphi, Into The Wind
As someone new to the renewable energy industry, this month’s Wind 101 Webinar Series offered an insightful and well-rounded look into the world of wind. From an overview of the market, to wildlife, siting & permitting, I walked away from the series feeling informed and excited to learn more! Below is a recap of my key takeaways.

Bright, Sunny, And Big Savings

Building Indiana 

Three separate solar utility projects were recently completed by South Bend-based Inovateus Solar on behalf of Northern Indiana Public Service Company. The projects are the utility’s first solar installations of what will likely be many. NIPSCO has announced plans to retire all of its remaining coal-fired electric generating stations by 2028 and replacing them with less expensive, cleaner energy.  According to data from late last year, Indiana is projected to add about 1,628 MW of solar energy over the next five years. That’s a whole lot of free, clean energy for Hoosiers and it could be a bright spot for business. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)

FEATURED COMMENTARY

Guest Commentary | Renewable energy provides red, white, blue and green jobs for Illinoisans
By Julie Vogel, co-owner and president of worker-owned New Prairie Construction, The News-Gazette


I started New Prairie Construction with my partner in 1988. After growing our team steadily for nearly 30 years, New Prairie became East Central Illinois’ first worker-owned construction company in 2018. Our 20-person team is now part of the vast clean-energy industry in Illinois after we launched New Prairie Solar in 2015 to provide solar-panel installation to the area.

 

AWEA NEWS RELEASE

American Wind Energy Association Urges U.S. Electric Grid Operators to Prepare to Harness the Benefits of Hybrid Energy Projects, July 22, 2020

Washington D.C. – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today stressed the need for the U.S. Regional Transmission Operators and Independent System Operators (collectively referred to as ISOs) to update their policies to accommodate the growing number of hybrid renewable energy and storage projects requesting interconnection to the nation’s electric grids. These hybrid and co-located projects, which often include pairings of wind, solar, storage, or all three technologies, now represent over ten percent of the resources seeking interconnection to ISOs in the U.S.

NEW RMI REPORT

Changing grid architecture creates resilience opportunities: report, Utility Dive
Utilities are expected to make $1 trillion in electric system upgrades across the next decade, and a new report from Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) frames this as an opportunity to “reimagine grid resilience” by rethinking upstream investments and focusing outage prevention and restoration upgrades “as far downstream as practical.”

SUN DAY CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS OF NEW EIA DATA

Renewable energy provides more than 25% of US electricity in 5-mo 2020, Renewables Now
Renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) produced significantly more electricity than either coal or nuclear power during the first five months of 2020, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of just-released data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). In May alone, renewable sources accounted for more than one-quarter (25.3%) of the nation’s net electrical generation — an all-time high.

DIRECT CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING

World’s Largest Customer-Sited Solar-Storage Plant Planned for Nevada Desert, Greentech Media Capital Dynamics is building a massive solar-plus-storage plant next to a Switch data center. Switch was able to subscribe to this project thanks to a Nevada law allowing large industrial customers to source their own power. Casino company MGM famously used this Direct Access rule to exit utility NV Energy in 2016, with the goal of doubling its share of clean energy while cutting energy costs. The state initially rejected Switch’s request to leave the utility, but later granted it in 2016. NV Energy is now working toward a statewide goal of 50 percent clean energy by 2030. But Switch has already achieved 100 percent clean energy by buying on its own. “Direct access is significantly cheaper than going through the utility, and more sustainable,” [Switch EVP of Strategy, Adam Kramer] said.

HYDROGEN

PURPA

What does the overhaul of PURPA mean for solar power?, PV Magazine
The long-awaited overhaul of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 is upon us, bringing with it substantial changes to the policy that has benefited over 30% of today’s solar facilities. What these changes will mean for American solar moving forward remains to be seen.

RE100

World’s Largest Semiconductor Foundry Joins RE100 And Calls On Peers To Step Up On Renewable Energy, The Climate Group

One of Taiwan’s biggest companiesTSMC, is today committing to source 100% renewable electricity globally as part of RE100, and urging peers across the electronics industry to follow suit. RE100 is a global initiative led by international non-profit the Climate Group in partnership with CDP, bringing together more than 240 global businesses switching to 100% renewable power.

TSMC is the first semiconductor manufacturer globally to join RE100, driven by an ambitious approach to renewables and now favorable market conditions in Taiwan. It supplies major electronics companies such as Apple, which last week announced it aims to have a carbon neutral supply chain by 2030. Today’s commitment is expected to put pressure on other major semiconductor companies, including Samsung, to join RE100 with a global 100% renewable electricity goal.

FOLDABLE SOLAR ROOF

A Solar Roof That Only Comes Out When The Sun Is Shining, CleanTechnica
A company in Switzerland and its partner, Kronberg and St. Gallish-Appenzellische Kraftwerke (SAK), have created something unique with solar. More than just a typical roof that one would install on their homes, this roof is meant for parking lots and would keep vehicles cool while it’s hot out. In the US today, you can get rooftop solar for $1.49/watt from Tesla and a similar price from others. Maybe these retractable solar roofs are another step forward for a niche segment of the market. The question we haven’t seen answered, though, and can’t figure out is: what’s the benefit of folding up? Why can’t the panels just be fixed and stable like in a traditional solar carport?

SOLAR WINDOWS

ClearVue to supply solar windows for US energy innovation project, Renewables Now
Australian smart building materials maker ClearVue Technologies Ltd today said it will supply solar windows for a hotel development in the US, part of a bigger energy innovation project. The project, which is due to break ground in the final quarter of the year, will consist of 12 hotels with 4,280 rooms.

GTM’S ENERGY GANG PODCAST

Biden’s Trillion-Dollar Climate Ambitions

On this week’s episode of The Energy Gang;

Biden supercharges his clean-energy infrastructure dreams. Then, Facebook’s disinformation problem: We look at why Facebook is rejecting the conclusions of its fact-checkers on some articles about climate change. Finally, U.S. attorneys in Ohio and Illinois have been busy investigating racketeering and bribery by high-ranking public officials who are doing the bidding of utility companies. In Ohio, the speaker of the House is arrested and in Illinois a utility is put on probation. There’s a common thread.

EV NEWS

BYD’s Fully Electric Refuse Trucks Make It Easy To Upgrade Fleets To Zero Emissions, CleanTechnica


Noisy trash trucks may soon be a thing of the past if BYD has anything to say about it. In partnership with Hudson County Motors, BYD is providing the first fully electric rear loader refuse collection trucks to the East Coast of the US. The new trucks will have sufficient range to run typical full day routes in Jersey City, providing not just zero emission service, but nearly silent service.

Nebraska lawmakers block climate study bill

By Martha Stoddard and Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald

Opponents of a bill that would require a state plan for dealing with extreme weather and the warming of the planet blocked the advancement of the proposal on Thursday, despite an offer by its chief sponsor to remove the words “climate change” from the bill. State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, who introduced Legislative Bill 283, said that 34 other states had already created such climate action plans or were in the process of doing them and that Nebraska needed to plan for the next catastrophic flood and for the future of agriculture on a warming planet. LB 283 failed to advance after three hours of first-round debate, which drops the bill from the agenda unless supporters can show support from at least 33 senators. Read more here.

An inquiry- and evidence-based climate study would, of course, follow similar guidelines as our state science education standards, and it could engage the same widely-inclusive group of stakeholders who came together to develop them. In 2017 the Nebraska State Board of Education approved new science standards, which had not been updated since 2010 and which include climate education.

From the Nebraska Department of Education website:

Nebraska engaged in a multiple year process to establish a collective, shared vision for science education. Inspired by the voices of our shareholders–students, parents, educators at all levels, business and industry partners, community members–and the vision established in A Framework for Science Education, our work in science education strives to serve this shared vision and bring it to life for each Nebraska student: https://www.education.ne.gov/science/

Related 2017 News Story 

New state science standards, which include climate change, are approved, Omaha World-Herald

Chad Brassil, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said the standards represent “good solid science, good solid science education.”

“The methods in these standards are fantastic in that they engage students in the process of science: looking at data, analyzing data, generating hypotheses, thinking about models. They ask the students to act like scientists.” Because of that, he said, the standards will engage and inspire students to become scientists, preparing them for the issues their world will face.

Additional Recommended Reading

Local View: State must plan for changing climate, by Donald Wilhite, Lincoln Journal Star
Wilhite “served as one of four authors of a University of Nebraska-Lincoln climate change report in 2014, completed at the request of the Legislature.”

In April, I published an opinion piece (“A tale of two crises,” April 14) that pointed out numerous similarities between the current COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis that is looming today and in the decades ahead. There, I pointed to the need to plan for future crises, knowing that when confronted with a crisis — a pandemic, a natural disaster or the climate crisis — the costs of inaction (lack of preparedness) are always far greater than the costs of action (preparedness).

Paying for the Study

Call for Nebraska climate change plan advances to full legislative debate, Lincoln Journal Star. Under the amended version, the university would be given $250,000 in cash funds paid by petroleum companies to “develop an evidence-based, data-driven, strategic action plan” establishing a baseline measurement of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The petroleum release fund holds about $5 million and is maintained by fees paid by gas companies who have leaking tanks, Omaha Sen. Tony Vargas said.

Pilot project tests potential of solar energy for Grand Island, Neb.

By Taelor Bentley, American Public Power Association

A solar panel array built in 2018 is a part of a pilot project in Grand Island, Neb., which is testing the potential of solar as a source of energy for Grand Island. The intent is to get operational data on projects and give the City of Grand Island Utilities Department hands-on information on how it might interact with their system.

The project represents a 25-year commitment by the city at no cost. The solar farm is owned by private investors who sell the city the power it produces. The solar panels generate 1-MW, producing about 1% of the city’s load when it’s at full operation.

Read more here.

Photo by project installer GenPro Energy Solutions. Founded in Rapid City, South Dakota in 2003, GenPro has a Nebraska office and warehouse located in Central City. Jeff Berggren is GenPro’s Nebraska Program Manager.

Grand Island’s Renewable Energy

SEIA Resources

 

 

 

Power Purchase Agreements: What is a solar power purchase agreement?
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost.

See Also: SEIA Fact Sheets

Crowdfunding For Clean Energy — Raise Green Launches New Marketplace

By Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

You may recall that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) finalized equity crowdfunding regulations nearly 5 years ago. Now, “Raise Green is the first company to offer equity crowdfunding focused on investments for climate solutions nationwide” under that option. One cool feature about the platform is it will help you to really see how far your money went on the climate or energy side of things, as well as the financial side. “Raise Green aims to give people the direct impact they have been looking to make on climate change by providing access to verifiable investment opportunities.”

Curious to learn more about the inspiration for starting this, the founding team’s thoughts on the investment climate today and in the coming decade, and a few other matters, I asked Franz Hochstrasser, CEO and Co-Founder of Raise Green, a few questions to supplement the news and add more context. Read more here.
Photo: Co-Founders Franz Hochstrasser (left) and Matthew Moroney

Previously Posted
Alumni seek students’ insights into Raise Green crowdfunding platform, Yale News

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

COMANCHE 3 – ‘COLORADO’S BILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE’

Will Colorado’s newest coal plant survive beyond 20 years?, by Allen Best, The Aspen Times
A 2019 law, HB19-1261, the Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution, ordered electrical utilities regulated by the PUC to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide 80% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. This is part of a broader goal identified by the law of decarbonizing Colorado’s economy 50% by 2030. A majority of coal plants in Colorado will be closing during the decade. Altogether, nine coal-burning units at five stations across the state will be closed by 2030. That will leave just four units, including Comanche 3, remaining in operation, all of them operated by Xcel.

Previously Posted: Xcel Energy proposes one of largest packages of energy investments in state history, Xcel News Release, Business Wire. Almost $3 billion of accelerated and incremental capital investment planned to support Minnesota’s economic recovery, advance clean energy goals, and keep customer bills stable.

GLOBAL SOLAR MARKET

Terawatt scale by 2022, PV Magazine International
The solar sector is no stranger to breaking records. Perhaps the most impressive figure to emerge from SolarPower Europe’s new ‘Global Market Outlook’ is that the global solar sector will reach terawatt scale by 2022 – just four years after the 500 GW milestone was reached. Michael Schmela from SolarPower Europe sets out the reasoning behind this and other key findings in the report.

Michael Schmela is executive adviser, head of market intelligence, and a member of the leadership team at SolarPower Europe, the continent’s PV industry association. 

SPP NEWS

Southwest Power Pool could add more than 5 GW of wind generation capacity by end-2020, S&P Global. The rise in wind generation as part of a national energy transition toward renewable sources has pulled down wholesale power prices.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

Applied Materials to go 100% renewable, inks wind PPA with Apex, Renewables Now
Applied Materials Inc, which makes equipment used in the production of solar cells, will be one of the off-takers of Apex Clean Energy’s 500-MW White Mesa wind project in Texas. 

MORE WIND ENERGY NEWS

Wind power is emerging as the main source of renewable energy, Reve
For the last five years, American businesses have been buying 20% of all new wind farm capacity installed in the U.S. And that number is only going to grow. Wind-generated electricity is a bargain. Costs have fallen about 70% over the last decade. These lower prices have attracted a much more diverse group of customers.

AWEA Resources

NEW CARBON FOOTPRINTS STUDY

Wealthy American homes have carbon footprints 25% higher than low-income residences, study says, CNN

In some particularly affluent US suburbs, emissions are up to 15 times higher than nearby neighborhoods, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The homes of wealthy Americans generate around 25% more greenhouse gases compared to lower-income residences, mostly because of their larger size, a new study found. The study’s authors say improving energy efficiency in the home is a huge opportunity for homeowners — and especially wealthy ones — to lower their energy usage.

Nebraska utility won’t convert power plant to run on hydrogen after all

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Nebraska’s largest electric utility and the manufacturer that will soon be its largest private customer have agreed to abandon a potentially innovative plan to partially convert an aging fossil fuel power plant to run on hydrogen. The Nebraska Public Power District in 2018 said it had contracted with Monolith Materials to buy all of the hydrogen byproduct produced at a new factory under construction near the utility’s 225-megawatt Sheldon Station power plant, about 20 miles south of Lincoln. The power district planned to convert a 120-megawatt boiler to burn hydrogen, something that’s never been done before. Continue reading here.

NPPD Photo: 225-MW Sheldon Coal Plant near Hallam, Nebraska

ALSO WRITTEN BY KAREN UHLENHUTH

Solar firm buying land rights near coal plants with eye toward transmission