Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

ACCIONA acquires 3,000 MW in photovoltaic projects being developed in the USA

Acciona News Release

ACCIONA today announced the signature of an agreement with the US company Tenaska to acquire a portfolio of photovoltaic projects in seven states across the country. The portfolio comprises approximately 3,000 megawatts (MW) of rated power in utility-scale photovoltaic plants and 1.000 MW of battery storage. The transaction covers 20 projects located in the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, within the scope of the PJM Interconnection and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) markets. Tenaska – through Tenaska Solar Ventures, the company’s solar development services business – will work with ACCIONA to complete development of the projects.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has a robust renewables program that includes solar and wind generation in various stages of development, construction and operation. Tenaska Solar Ventures provides development services to approximately 40 projects in 11 states, totaling roughly 6,000 MW of renewable solar capacity. Read more here.

Related Article

ACCIONA buys solar + storage on a national scale, PV Magazine
The Spanish company has purchased 3 GW of solar projects and 1 GW of solar + storage from developer Tenaska, with all of the projects concentrated in non-traditional solar markets.

Previously Posted

The Midwest’s solar future will be unlike anything seen before, PV Magazine
Fitch Solutions Marco Research has boldly predicted the region will be a main driver towards the 100 GW of solar power capacity expected to hit the U.S. over the next 10 years. The procurement will be led by city and utility commitments to renewable energy, the falling costs of solar and the continued expansion of popular community solar programs.

More Regional & State Energy Transition News

Green Bonds

Green bonds lead sustainable funding past $1tn mark, PV Magazine International
In the past 12 years, green bonds have raised nearly $800 billion for investment in clean energy and other sustainability projects and companies are now pegging bond interest payments to their environmental performance.

Grid Decarbonization

Carbon-free – are we at a tipping point?, sponsored content by DistribuTECH, written by Julia Hamm, SEPA President. Published by Utility Dive. Of all the changes and industry trends I’ve witnessed over the past two decades, I believe the most significant is one we are witnessing today: voluntary utility commitments to get to 100% clean or carbon-free energy within the next two-and-a-half to three decades. 

EV News

Featured Nonprofit Energy Transition Initiative

The Just Transition Fund (JTF) is a national philanthropic initiative focused on coal community transition. The Fund supports and connects frontline communities through four key strategies.

Where JTF Works
The Fund focuses on coalfield and power plant communities. Our geographic priorities include key states in Appalachia, the West, and the Midwest. The Fund gives preference to states experiencing the largest numbers of plant retirements and to regions that contain both plants and mines.

With 10% penetration, EVs could shift all residential peak load to night, analysis of SoCal Ed finds

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Electric vehicles have the potential to act as virtual power plants that can help utilities soak up midday renewable energy and discharge in the evenings to reduce peak load, according to a study from Jackson Associates released Wednesday. The analysis, based on 5,000 Southern California Edison (SCE) customers’ hourly loads, commuting behavior and “potential electric vehicle (EV) ownership,” concluded that at a 10% EV penetration, the batteries could shift the utility’s entire residential peak load to nighttime hours.

Over 20 million EVs are expected on U.S. roads by 2030 — a rapid increase from the 1.26 million on the road as of June, according to a Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) report released this month. “[U]tilities need to plan ahead to minimize grid impacts” of growing EV adoption, the group concludes. Read more here.

 Photo Credit: Flickr; National Renewable Energy Lab

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Op-ed: Natural gas vs. renewable energy — beware the latest gas industry talking points

Written by Derrick Z. Jackson, Publisher, Environmental Health News

Two groundbreaking reports from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) found that America has reached “a historic tipping point” where “combinations of solar, wind, storage, efficiency and demand response are now less expensive than most proposed gas power plant projects,” and will undercut the operating costs of existing gas plants within the next 10 to 20 years. Bloomberg New Energy Finance says that by 2030, “new wind and solar ultimately get cheaper than running existing coal or gas plants almost everywhere.”

An analysis by Lazard Asset Management found that the range of unsubsidized levelized costs of onshore wind and utility-scale solar to be below that of natural gas. The federal Energy Information Administration has estimated that by 2023, the levelized cost of producing power by onshore wind and solar, will be considerably cheaper than natural gas ($36.60, $37.60 and $40.20 per megawatt hour respectively for each energy source). Read the entire op-ed here.

Derrick Z. Jackson is on the advisory board of Environmental Health Sciences, publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate. He’s also a Union of Concerned Scientist Fellow in climate and energy. This post originally ran on the UCS Blog.

EV NEWS

Electric buses for mass transit seen as cost effective, by Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association

Selling electricity doesn’t make EV charging stations a utility, Iowa rules

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

A recent decision by Iowa utility regulators has removed a significant obstacle to the widespread development of public charging stations for electric vehicles. The Iowa Utilities Board ruled last week that providing electric vehicle charging service does not make a business a public utility. That’s significant because public utilities are subject to state oversight on all aspects of their business, including the setting of prices. The board’s finding also clarified that sellers of charging services may structure fees as they wish, and, in most cases, even sell power they generated on site such as with solar panels. Continue reading here.

Photo by J. Stephen Conn: The Iowa 80 Truck Stop was at the center of a regulatory case in Iowa over whether owners of EV charging stations can charge for electricity.

 MORE EV NEWS

  • Minnesota shuts down oil, manufacturing groups’ attempt to derail Xcel EV pilot, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Minnesota regulators on Monday stamped out a group of manufacturing and petroleum groups’ attempt to reverse approval of Xcel Energy’s $25 million electric vehicle pilot program. EV and clean energy stakeholders were skeptical of the groups’ involvement, noting that it may be the beginning of a longer fight between oil and electric power interests as EV adoption grows.

NEBRASKA NEWS

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

CUSTOMER CHOICE AGGREGATION

TAX CREDITS

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY / CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTIONS

RE: BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE’S UPDATED MISSION STATEMENT

  • Shareholders vs. stakeholders: Fundamental changes in an old debate, contributed opinion by Terry F. Yosie, Former President and CEO, World Environment Center. Published by GreenBiz. The movement for an expanded stakeholder voice in corporate decision making is challenging and adds complexity to already crowded executive calendars, but it is not antagonistic to shareholder value. In a world driven by changing demographics, disruptive technologies, climate change, less stable financial and political systems and market volatility, integration of both approaches is necessary for business to maintain its social license to operate.

Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation

MORE SOLAR INDUSTRY NEWS

  • Solar stocks soar in 2019, PV Magazine
    A true representation of health in any industry is said industry’s standing in the stock market. That sounds painfully simple, and it is, but sometimes we can get so lost in the weeds between policy, emerging technology, legal battles and system failures that we forget what makes the world go round: money.
  • Beyond the PPA, PV Magazine
    Contract lengths are getting shorter and hedges are replacing PPAs in the Texas solar market. Are we headed toward a future of merchant solar? These shorter PPAs are driven by a number of factors, but chief among these is that corporate off-takers are demanding them. Colin Smith, a solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie, describes a “tremendous amount of pressure” from Google, Facebook and Microsoft for shorter terms.

OFF-GRID GUIDE

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Opening markets to solar & wind could save billions in the Midwest

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

When we think of hot solar markets, the area covered by PJM Interconnection does not usually come to mind. The 14 states in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest do not have the sunlight that California and the Southwest have. Additionally – New Jersey aside – they do not have the high electricity prices and supportive policy environment for solar seen in states like New York and Massachusetts.

The same could be said of the Midcontinent System Operator (MISO), the grid that covers the heart of the Midwest and stretches in a narrow band south to Louisiana. While MISO has some wind resources, none of the states that it covers have been leading solar markets. All of this is changing. As of the end of July, PV Magazine counted 47 GW of active solar projects in PJM’s interconnection queue, and 57 GW in MISO’s queue.
Read more here.

FERC: Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO) / Independent System Operators (ISO)

Wind Solar Alliance Website

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

LEGISLATION

Duckworth, Booker File Bill to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy for Poor Families, WTTW U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is the lead sponsor behind a new bill that aims to make solar energy more affordable for low-income Americans. Duckworth and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., recently introduced the Low-Income Solar Energy Act, which would expand an existing energy assistance program while also creating new energy financing programs for the poor.

NEW CESA INITIATIVE

Clean Energy States Alliance Launches Major Initiative to Advance Solar in Under-Resourced Communities

Department of Energy Funds CESA’s Efforts to Scale Up Solar for Low-and Moderate-Income Households, News Release. Montpelier, VT – The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) will lead a wide-ranging initiative to accelerate the development of solar projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households and communities. The “Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project” is being supported by a three-year funding award of $1.1 million from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The project team will focus on three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes, and multifamily affordable housing.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES / CIRCULAR ECONOMY 

Climate Week 2019: Huge commitments, big money and collaboration

By Deonna Anderson, Associate Editor, GreenBiz Group

During 2019’s Climate Week, companies, foundations and others have made dozens of announcements of commitments, partnerships, new research and more to address the climate crisis. As GreenBiz published last week, the commitments this year are much bigger — think trillions — than those announced during previous Climate Weeks.

For example, during the U.N. General Assembly, 130 banks from 49 countries — with more than $47 trillion in assets — launched The Principles for Responsible Banking. Backed by the United Nations, the effort from one-third of the global banking sector, commits the banks to “strategically align their business with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals” in addition to “massively scale up their contribution to the achievement of both.”
Continue reading here.

About the Author
Deonna Anderson is an award-winning journalist and associate editor at GreenBiz. Previously, she was the Surdna reporting fellow at YES! Magazine. She’s an alumna of UC Davis and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Funds available for public, workplace EV charging stations in Lincoln area

LES News Release

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy recently announced the availability of approximately $1.2 million in funds allocated to Nebraska under the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust for State Beneficiaries, which is part of the court settlement of Volkswagen emissions violations from 2009-15. The purpose of this funding is to encourage adoption of electric vehicles as a means of reducing air pollution.

Applications are being accepted by NDEE until 5 p.m., Nov. 15, 2019, on rebates for publicly available electric vehicle charging stations in Nebraska, and Lincoln Electric System is offering additional matching funds for LES business and organizational customers. Noting a deficiency in the number of EV charging stations serving the Lincoln area, LES is offering additional funds to further incentivize local organizations to accommodate and encourage more EV adoption among their employees, customers and friends. Continue reading here.

NDEE Links

LES Links

  • For more information about qualifying for additional funds through the LES matching fund, visit: www.les.com/ev
  • Details also will be provided at the following event: 2019 LES Electric Vehicle Breakfast and Panel Discussion, September 22, 2019, 9:30 am to 12 pm, Walter Canney Service Center,
    2620 Fairfield Street, Lincoln. Space is limited and advanced reservations are required.
  • Questions? Contact EV@LES.com

Information provided by Marc J. Shkolnick | LES Manager/Energy Services

Consulting firm sees U.S. wind market adding 14.6 GW in 2020

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

The U.S. wind market will add 14.6 gigawatts of capacity in 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest North America wind power outlook. The record-setting mark underlines the strength of the 23 GW pipeline Wood Mackenzie has identified as currently under construction or contracted for commercial operation in 2020, the consulting firm said on Sept. 12. The phase out of the Production Tax Credit beginning in 2021 has developers rushing to complete projects in 2020, driving major bottlenecks in both logistics and interconnection queues, Wood Mackenzie said. Continue reading here.

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?,
 U.S. Department of Energy

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW RMI REPORT

A New Economic Reality: Renewable Energy Is Now Cost-Competitive With New Gas, Solar Industry

The economics guiding U.S. investments in electricity generation have reached a historic tipping point: Combinations of solar, wind, storage, efficiency and demand response are now less expensive than most proposed gas power plant projects, claims new research from independent nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). According to an RMI report, The Growing Market for Clean Energy Portfolios, portfolios of these clean energy resources can provide the same energy and reliability services as traditional gas power plants; the difference is they cost less.

EV NEWS

Why building owners should take charge of EV adoption, GreenBiz
The electric vehicle revolution is well underway. According to Bloomberg NEF’s “Electric Vehicle Outlook 2019” report, United States-based EV sales will grow from 2 percent in 2019 to nearly 60 percent in 2040. And more electric cars were sold in the first half of 2018 than all of 2016. Unlike conventional vehicles that refuel only at gasoline stations, EVs charge at many locations, such as at home, at work or in public spaces. But what does EV growth mean for commercial building owners?

INSPIRING EXAMPLE: MIDWEST NET-ZERO ENERGY SCHOOL

Local school becomes only net zero school building in Midwest, WLWT

ENERGY GANG PODCAST

How America Thwarted a Giant ‘Extension Cord’ for Renewables, Greentech Media
Our guest this week is Russell Gold, author of a new book, “Superpower,” about wind energy pioneer Michael Skelly’s attempt to build one of the most ambitious energy infrastructure projects in recent history — and how he faced nearly every obstacle imaginable. What does Skelly’s journey tell us about America’s diminishing ability to do great things?

JOBS ANNOUNCEMENT

QuickBOLT is hiring salespeople in Midwest and East Coast markets, Solar Power World

“Red” Nebraska Is Ready For Its Wind Power Closeup

By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

According to Ørsted, the new wind farm will pump $3 million per year into the property tax profile of Wayne County, much of which will go to school districts. The new wind farm will also help make the state more attractive to big corporations, which are hungry to rack up sustainable business points with renewable energy. They’ll have to get in line. J.M. Smucker CompanyVail Resorts, and Avery Dennison (the packaging people) have already staked their claim to output from Plum Creek through long term power purchase agreements. Read more here. 

Plum Creek Wind Energy

Photo Credit: Lincoln Clean Energy

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

EV NEWS

A Decade of Investments Into EV Infrastructure: Where’d the Money Go?, Greentech Media
Electric vehicle infrastructure companies have come a long way in the last decade, but they’re still just a small slice of the grid edge investment pie. That’s the upshot of a new study from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables that tracks all known investments in companies building out the charging infrastructure and controls to enable a society-wide shift to electric transportation. EV deployment itself has a robust growth story to tell.

GLOBAL NEWS

A Cutting Edge Virtual Power Project In Utah, With Batteries Managed By The Utility

By Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Contributor, Forbes

Today, energy storage company sonnen, Inc. (a subsidiary of Shell), real estate developer Wasatch Group, and utility Rocky Mountain Power (a subsidiary of Pacificorp) announced a unique and ground-breaking virtual power plant (VPP) in Herriman, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City.  The project, Soleil Lofts, is an apartment community that will feature solar arrays as well as 600 sonnen lithium iron phosphate ecoLinx batteries, totaling 5 megawatts (MW) of capacity and 12.6 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy.  Residents will begin moving into the apartments in September 2019 and the final building will be complete by December of 2020. Sonnen Inc’s CEO Blake Richetta recently characterized Soleil Lofts as “the world’s first all-electric, carbon neutral residential apartment community VPP, managed by the local utility, Rocky Mountain Power.” Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading