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 with Orion Renewable Energy Group, one of the many companies installing wind farms across Illinois, to build a new 100-turbine project 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.
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 [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
- Analysis suggests climate policy in Ohio could save the world as much as $1 trillion, Energy News Network. Adopting any of three major climate policies in the state — a renewable portfolio standard, cap-and-trade system, or a carbon tax — would help society avoid up to $1 trillion in costs over the next three decades. The figure comes from Scioto Analysis, an Ohio public policy research group that calculated the economic stakes of the three policies in the state.
- Berkshire Hathaway unit snaps up 54-MW wind project in Iowa, Renewables Now
- Tri Global Energy And Leeward Renewable Energy Finalize Deal For Indiana Renewable Energy Projects.The company currently originates and develops utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
See Also: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy – Wind energy projects in development: Tri Global Energy is planning to develop a 100–megawatt wind farm, which will be named the Sugar Loaf Wind Farm in Garden County.
- Granholm joins Manchin in West Virginia to tout clean energy, Federal News Network
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm joined a key member of the U.S. Senate in West Virginia on Thursday to promote the role that the once-booming coal-producing state will play in the development of clean energy.
SOLAR ON FORMER COAL MINEFIELDS
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:
- Coal-rich Indiana is going solar. It’s not easy
- Conservancy charts a solar showcase on the coalfields of Central Appalachia
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
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
- Ørsted starts construction of 298 MW Nebraska wind project, Ørsted Newsroom
Situated adjacent to Ørsted’s 230 MW Plum Creek wind farm, Haystack will utilize existing interconnection infrastructure in SPP North.
- All about the Southwest Power Pool, The Wire
- Ørsted signs long-term wind power purchase agreements with PepsiCo for Nebraska and Texas wind farms, REVE News
- Target, Hormel Foods to source wind power from Ørsted in Nebraska, Renewables Now
The duo joins food and beverage giant PepsiCo Inc in the list of off-takers for Haystack’s output. In January, PepsiCo sealed two PPAs to get electricity from 665 MW of wind projects by Ørsted, with one of the contracts being tied to the Haystack scheme.
- UPDATE – Target backs 100% renewables pledge with trio of US wind, solar PPAs, Renewables Now