Climate versus jobs? Not in this heartland state.

By Stephanie Hanes, Christian Science Monitor

For five generations, Andrew Bowman’s family has worked the land in Oneida, population 700-ish – a flat and fertile swath of Illinois his father always said was good for growing crops and kids. Today, he farms soybeans and corn, as well as specialty popcorn, which he sells under the label Pilot Knob Comforts. Mr. Bowman hopes to have a new resource to harvest soon, as well: wind.

This past year, Mr. Bowman took a lead representing local landowners in negotiating witOrion Renewable Energy Group, one of the many companies installing wind farms across Illinois, to build a new 100-turbinproject in his part of Knox County. Clean energy would not only help keep the local school open and support the fire department and library, he says, but would also offer a new income stream to farmers who agree to lease some of their land for the project – some $30 million over 25 years, according to the proposal. Continue reading here.

Photo by Orion Renewable Energy Group

CLIMATE ACTION TOOLS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Local Governments Can Use Their Power to Combat Climate Change, Bloomberg Law


Cities are nimbler than Congress and more capable of implementing climate policy through local laws and policy initiatives, says Jillian Blanchard, director of the climate change program at Lawyers for Good Government. She lays out some of the tools local governments can use to shift to renewable energy and the legal considerations.

 

WYOMING

It’s past time to prepare for coal country’s future, contributed opinion by Bob LeResche, Casper Star Tribune

Believe what you will about climate change or a “war on coal,” the simple fact is coal is no longer cost competitive with renewable energy or natural gas. Coal will keep losing market share, more coal power plants will close, and those that are left will burn less coal.

Bob LeResche is a former Commissioner of Natural Resources of Alaska, energy executive and investment banker. He and his wife Carol own a ranch and heirloom vegetable farm near Clearmont, Wyoming. He is a board member of the Powder River Basin Resource Council and the Western Organization of Resource Councils.

XCEL’S RECORD-LOW-PRICE PROCUREMENT

Xcel’s record-low-price procurement highlights benefits of all-source competitive solicitations, Utility Dive

Xcel’s [all-source competitive solicitation] returned a $0.017/kWh bid for wind, a $0.023/kWh bid for solar, and a $0.03/kWh bid for solar-plus-storage, according to a February 2021 Xcel presentation to Michigan regulators. These prices, compared to Colorado’s average January 2021 residential electricity price of $0.126/kWh, have other utilities asking how they can use this procurement approach.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

SOLAR ON FORMER COAL MINEFIELDS

Former coal mine land to be transformed into solar energy sites in Wise County


WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Collaborating groups in Southwest Virginia plan to repurpose land previously used for coal mining and convert it into sites for solar development. Five different sites in Wise County are designated to become utility-scale solar farms over the next few years. The project was initiated by the Nature Conservancy, a global environmental organization that has had a conservation program in Southwest Virginia since the early 1990s. Image Credit: Sun Tribe

Additional information on land use and utility-scale solar is available here: 

NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL

Five Wins for Clean Energy Innovation in Biden’s Budget, by Arjun Krishnaswami &  Sasha Stashwick

The Biden administration’s 2022 budget released on Friday includes major funding increases for important Department of Energy (DOE) programs to drive clean energy innovation, address the climate crisis, and build a strong and equitable economy. These funding increases complement the investments proposed in the President’s American Jobs Plan (AJP). Now it’s up to Congress to pass AJP and write a government funding bill that reflects the President’s proposals. 

RECYCLING WIND TURBINE BLADES

World’s largest offshore wind farm developer to recover, reuse or recycle turbine blades, CNBC

Denmark’s Orsted said Thursday it would “reuse, recycle, or recover” all turbine blades in its worldwide portfolio of wind farms once they’re decommissioned.  


Ørsted In Nebraska – Previously Posted