Category Archives: Energy Conservation

NextEra’s secret recipe for energy storage: Planning

Sponsored Content by Siemens, Utility Dive

NextEra Energy, North America’s leading wind and solar generator, is adopting an aggressive approach on the falling cost of energy storage by evaluating the addition of batteries to its existing solar facilities. A small but growing number of utilities across the United States are taking a similar approach to NextEra and adding storage at existing solar plants. In doing so, they can claim the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), tap additional revenue streams, and maximize the existing grid infrastructure. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

Upcoming webinar hosted by Utility Dive, NextEra Energy, and Siemens Digital Grid:
Energy Storage – Moving the Needle, April 9, 2020 at 12 pm.

WOOD MACKENZIE RESEARCH

Analyst expects recovery for PV and storage supply chains, PV Magazine
Business intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie says the COVID-19 outbreak will jeopardize solar project completion in the short term, affect supply chains to various degrees and potentially erode demand for PV. However, “Asian-dominant supply chains for solar and energy storage are in the process of rebounding after contractions in February,” the analyst stated, adding: “Near-term development activity and local logistics in leading European and North American markets are expected to outweigh lingering supply issues.”

NAVIGANT GLOBAL MARKET REPORT 

A Boom Is Coming for All-Electric Homes Despite Lagging Consumer Awareness, Greentech Media
“Electrification technologies are rapidly becoming more cost-effective and more reliable than fossil fuel systems in a variety of planning scenarios and climatic conditions,” Daniel Talero and Neil Strother, research analysts at Navigant Research, wrote in a new report on the global market for “fully electrified home” technologies.

NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENT

New Solar Energy Innovation Network Teams Announced, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy News Release

[On March 23rd] the U.S. Department of Energy selected eight teams to participate in the second round of the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN), a program that supports multi-stakeholder teams pursuing new applications of solar energy and other distributed energy resources in unique locations and contexts. The solutions developed by the teams are demonstrated and validated in real-world contexts, making them ready for replication and scale. 

The second round of teams will research innovations to help increase solar energy adoption and resilience in rural communities and at the commercial scale. Their research projects will include resilience solutions that pair solar energy with energy storage, which allows the use of solar energy when the sun is not shining, and microgrids, which can function independently to deliver power in the event of a larger grid outage.

Previously Posted DOE News Release: Department of Energy Announces $125.5 Million in New Funding for Solar Technologies

EXAMPLES OF ON-THE-JOB SOLAR TRAINING

How to get a job building utility-scale solar, PV Magazine
As more utility-scale solar installations are announced in more states, solar contractors are hiring people who are new to the industry, and offering on-the-job training and long-term employment.

FLOATING WIND PROJECTS

Total Becomes Latest Oil Major to Enter Floating Wind Market, Greentech Media
Building on its solar momentum, Total this week invested in a U.K. floating wind project and acquired a French wind developer.

NYSERDA’S RECENT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

New York allocates 1 GW of solar as renewables auction delivers $18.59/MWh average price, PV Magazine. The results of NYSERDA’s most recent renewable energy request for proposals are in. 21 large-scale renewable projects totaling 1,278 MW in new capacity have been awarded, with 17 of those projects and 1,090 MW being solar.

ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS FROM OPPD

Staying home doesn’t have to mean higher bills, The Wire

Maine public schools have savings opportunity with efficient lighting

By David Thill, Energy News Network

Public schools in Maine this month can get extra financial assistance to install LED lighting. Aside from being a cleaner source of energy, efficiency experts say the new technology can save a lot of money in the long term for schools, where lights are one of the biggest energy drains. They can also create a better learning environment for students and teachers. Efficiency Maine, the state’s efficiency utility, is leading the incentive program. Efficiency utilities are state-regulated organizations dedicated to distributing efficiency funding and other support. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Marco Verch / Flickr / Creative Commons

Previously Posted 

In Massachusetts, students step up to pressure schools on renewable energy, by Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network. Student campaigns are underway on more than a dozen campuses demanding a transition to 100% renewables.

Also In The News

Nearly 3,000 solar panels will help power Glenbard East, Chicago Daily Herald

 

Glenbard High School District 87 is bringing solar power to one of its campuses as more suburban schools are drawn to the cost savings and environmental benefits of the renewable energy source.

 

 

Growth in Solar Capacity Projected to Fuel Rural Economies

By Eric Galatas, Public News Service – Nebraska

LYONS, Neb. — The growth of the solar industry has brought a wave of new projects to Nebraska, including a community solar farm in Scottsbluff that’s expected to save the city more than $2 million in energy costs over 25 years. With more projects on the horizon, Lu Nelsen, policy program associate for the advocacy group Center for Rural Affairs, says solar is poised to boost rural economies. Nelsen says advances in technology and manufacturing have made solar more affordable for homes, communities and for big utility companies.

Read more or listen to the recording here.

Pixabay Photo

Previously Posted

Wind farms can bring economic benefits, officials sayby Elizabeth A. Elliott, Blair Enterprise Publishing

MORE MIDWEST NEWS

OPPD NEWS

Lighting the way – ahead of schedule, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire
After accelerating the replacement of streetlights with new LED fixtures last year, OPPD is running ahead of schedule on the project. The utility announced the project in 2018 to update the 98,744 streetlights in the OPPD service territory over a five-year period. So far, 32,000 lights have been replaced. Lights in smaller towns are done and SIDS will be among the next wave of replacements.

40 Newly Selected Ventures Reimagine the “ABCs” of Building Construction to Enhance the Affordability and Effectiveness of Energy-Saving Measures

Department of Energy News Release

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Office (BTO) awarded $26.3 million to 40 competitively selected projects, led by 29 organizations, to pursue innovations that can advance the goals of BTO’s Advanced Building Construction with Energy-Efficient Technologies & Practices (ABC) Funding Opportunity. The funding opportunity underpins the Advanced Building Construction Initiative, one of BTO’s principal efforts to unlock deeper energy savings in the U.S. building sector, which still consumes 40% of the nation’s energy and 75% of its electricity.

Through this funding opportunity, BTO is investing in new technologies that can enable superior building energy performance, without disrupting occupant comfort, and can be deployed quickly, affordably, with minimal onsite construction in the existing building stock as well as new construction.

19 projects were selected under the topic: Advanced Technology Integration, including the following:

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, Nebraska) will conduct a field assessment of commercial and multifamily modular buildings compared to traditional construction methods.
  • Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (Chicago, Illinois) will develop an advanced training for Nebraska, supporting trends in building energy efficiency and building science, including grid-integrated efficient building practices.

Read more here.

Energy efficiency can ease the low-income burden

American Public Power Association

The average US household pays $1,411.80 for electricity each year.

That is:

  • 2.2% of the median household income in the US.
  • 5.5% of the income of a family of four who live at the poverty level
  • 11.7% of the income an individual over 65 who lives at the poverty level

This is also known as a household’s energy burden. The average energy burden for low-income households is 8.2%.

Read more here.

Earth911’s iRecyle App Version 3.0 Available for Free Download

Earth911’s iRecycle app is back with a completely new version that gets back to basics: iRecycle helps you find local recycling options for more than 350 materials and keeps you tuned into Earth911’s daily sustainable living, recycling how-to, and inspirational information for green living.

Recycling reduces or eliminates the need to extract and process raw materials to make products from scratch; conserves energy, natural resources and landfill space; reduces air and water pollution and greenhouse gases. Recycling is one of the easiest things you can do to help mitigate climate change.

Earth 911’s Vision & Mission
Our vision and mission are simple — create a community that helps people find their own shade of green, adopt environmentally sound practices and drive impactful environmental changes. We are here to deliver sustainable living articles, audio, and video, as well as recycling data to help you choose a happier, healthier, sustainable lifestyle — one that protects this wonderful planet we all call home.

RE100 experiences biggest year ever

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine

RE100, the coalition of the world’s largest companies committed to becoming 100% renewably powered experienced a banner year in 2019, growing by over a third, with 40% of that growth coming from Asia and the South Pacific. Now, with over 200 members, the cumulative electricity demand of RE100 participants, if taken as one country, would be 21st in the world, at 228 TWh/year. Read more here.

RE100.Org

NEW SURVEY

Almost every American supports the extension of clean energy tax incentives, Smart Energy International. The study was conducted by Global Strategy Group and has found that:

  • Americans overwhelmingly support extending tax incentives for clean energy and would change their vote based on the issue. 89% of voters support the extension.
  • 95% of Democrats, 86% of Independents and 83% of Republicans support the government’s extension of clean energy tax incentives.

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS & REPORT

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

Clean B.C. is quietly using coal and gas power from out of province. Here’s why, The Narwhal
Behind the sheen of its CleanBC program, the province holds back hydro power to instead import cheap electricity from 12 states including Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska and Montana which generate 55 to 90 per cent of their power from coal.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

Whiplash: Bifacial Solar Modules to Retain US Tariff Exemption, Greentech Media
In a win for project developers, a court blocked the Trump administration from withdrawing a tariff exemption for imported bifacial solar modules.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

GTM POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

Big Oil on Trial: Where the Climate Lawsuits Currently Stand, Greentech Media
In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to UCLA law professor Ann Carlson and journalist Emily Atkin about litigation that could cost fossil fuel companies billions.

FEATURED CLIMATE INITIATIVE

The U.S. Climate Alliance represents 55 percent of the U.S. population and an $11.7 trillion economy – an economy larger than all countries but the United States and China. The climate and clean energy policies in Alliance states have attracted billions of dollars of new investment and helped create more than 1.7 million clean energy jobs, over half the U.S. total. The Alliance is demonstrating that climate leadership and economic growth go hand-in-hand.

NATURAL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

SOLAR SCHOOLS & POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

A 2.9-Megawatt Solar Project For 10 Schools & 24% Of Richmond Public Schools’ Electricity Needs, CleanTechnica

Standard Solar, Inc. is now supporting Richmond Public Schools with a 2.9-megawatt solar project that should be completed this year. “Energy management with education and local engagement is a powerful combination and with less funding being allocated to schools year over year, public school administrators must find innovative means to deliver programs,” explained John Finnerty, director of business development for Standard Solar. “With our smart project financing, solar expertise and local engagement, we can provide the funding to make implementing a solar energy program without capital expenditure possible, all while equipping schools for a brighter future.”

How heat pumps can cut carbon pollution from buildings

Contributed by Sarah Kennedy, ChavoBart Digital Media.
Posted on Yale Climate Connections

“These new cold climate air source heat pumps are functional down to -10, -15 degrees,” [Chris Carrick with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board] says. And they run on electricity, so they generate heat without burning oil, natural gas or other fuels on site. According to a report by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, switching to heat pumps could dramatically reduce the carbon pollution caused by home heating. They have the most impact in places with renewable electricity. Read more here.

More Yale Climate Connections Posts / Audio 

Nebraska Information Sources on the Above Topics 

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

OPPD, Papillion Rose To Top Of Google’s Search

OPPD News Release

Omaha Public Power District officially welcomes Google to its service territory. Today, the tech giant announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Papillion, Neb. “OPPD and its partners are experienced with large-scale, innovative and strategic solutions for major corporations,” said Tim Burke, OPPD President and Chief Executive Officer. “The pro-business climate here has made our service territory a choice destination.” Community partnerships have been crucial to efforts to attract new business and industry. Continue reading here.

The Wire 

Google unveils newest data center in Sarpy County corridor, by Jason Kuiper
Internet giant Google announced plans to build a new data center just outside of Papillion. Google made the announcement Friday at the project site, which is already under construction and located opposite of the Facebook data center near Nebraska Highway 50. Google valued their partnership with OPPD as one of the key reasons they chose to invest $600 million in the area.

“We’re thrilled to call Papillion and the Greater Omaha area one of our hometowns,” said Dan Harbeke, Google’s Regional Head of External Affairs. “At Google, our investment isn’t limited to our facilities: we are committed to being good neighbors and creating opportunities for the communities that we call home.”

What is Rate 261M?, OPPD Resource

Energy Efficiency
OPPD has launched a new energy efficiency section on their website.

Pilot eases costs for income-qualified customers

By Jodi Baker, The Wire

Financial difficulties come in many forms for many people. They could be the result of a long-term illness, an unexpected car repair, low wages, unemployment or other issues. OPPD is working to reach and help customers struggling with these issues through the Income-Qualified Energy Efficiency Program Pilot. It’s open to households with an income of up to double the federal poverty level.

Customers taking part in the pilot would receive an energy efficiency kit from OPPD, as well as a home energy audit. If the audit shows a need for improvements, OPPD will provide up to $1,000 in upgrades. For more information on this or other OPPD programs, email OPPD’s Customer Care team at customerservice@oppd.com, or call them at (402) 536-4131. Read more here.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Flickr File