Category Archives: Energy Storage

Final hurdle cleared in California’s solar mandate for new homes

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

In the words of Kelly Knutsen, it’s officially official. Today the California Building Standards Commission unanimously voted to confirm a change to the state’s building code which will require that all newly built low-rise (three stories or less) residential units in the state either incorporate rooftop solar or hold a community solar contract, starting in 2020.

“These highly energy efficient and solar-powered homes will save families money on their energy bills from the moment they walk through their front door,” stated Knutsen, the director of technology advancement for the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA). Knutsen also notes that this will include a solar plus storage option. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Lincoln, Nebraska-based GRNE Solar, “The Sun Haven.”

 

News Release: California Solar Building Requirement Crosses Finish Line, Solar Energy Industries Association

 

From bedroom community to business hotspot

By Tony Dreibus, Freelance Writer, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Sarpy County for years was known as a bedroom community, an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Recently, it’s become a destination for companies seeking available land, access to major roadways and a steady supply of potential employees. Facebook is one such company. The social network in April 2017 announced it was going to build a facility near Highway 50 and Capehart Road. Less than a year later, the company said the project would consist of six buildings instead of two. Read more here.

Facebook Photo

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS

NEW REPORT

Solar Homes: The Next Step for Clean Energy, Environment America and Frontier Group

Installing solar panels on all new homes is a common-sense step that would create a wave of clean, renewable energy, reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, cut air pollution, save consumers money and help to create a more resilient electric grid. Download the Report.

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

Milwaukee eyes its own rooftop solar mandate with a California clone,
PV Magazine

The proposed legislation would require all new residential units in the city to include solar arrays, starting in 2019. A July poll by Morning Consult found that nearly 2/3 of Americans would support a solar mandate for new homes.

NATIONAL LEADERSHIP AWARDS

The Utility Dive Awards for 2018
The awards recognize the utility industry’s top disruptors and innovators. These executives and companies are key leaders in the sector’s pivotal transition.
Utility of the Year: Xcel
CEO of the Year: Jim Robo, NextEra Energy
Green Initiative of the Year: Washington, DC’s Green Bank

EV NEWS

1M EVs in the US ‘a step in our journey’ to combat climate change,
Smart Cities Dive
Image: License plate belonging to Don Cox, Stanford University Emeritus Professor and adjunct professor in UNL’s College of Engineering. His avocation is electric vehicles; he has taught EV classes at UNL and UNO. Owner of four Teslas, Don is known to generously offer demo rides to other EV enthusiasts, including students and colleagues. 

Energy storage industry pushes for clarity on tax credit eligibility

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

A coalition of groups led by the Energy Storage Association (ESA) is calling on lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate to clarify that energy storage systems qualify for the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), an incentive they say could help clean energy companies obtain financing, compete internationally and grow.

Bipartisan legislation in both houses of Congress would “ensure a level playing field” for storage resources, according to ESA. The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (H.R. 4649 / S. 1868) would apply to utility-scale battery projects as well as smaller residential systems.
Read more here.

Image CreditFlickr; USCapitol

Related
SEIA Urges Congress to Fix ITC Eligibility of Energy Storage This Year, News Release

City of Hastings looking to become more sustainable

By Valerie Juarez, NTV

Hastings, NEB. — One of the tri-cities is looking to become more sustainable. This as it’s hoping to lower their amount of fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy. The city of Hastings says they’re ready for the next step, and this would be a way to protect the community and make it more resilient for the future. Continue reading here.

Related: City seeking proposals for solar project,  by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

US Utility Invests in Kilowatt Labs to Boost Service with Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Until December 2017, Kilowatt Labs was still a startup company, developing supercapacitor-based energy storage and an energy server that’s designed to manage distributed energy. But after the company delivered its first product in January, Kilowatt Labs attracted more business than expected. Most recently, it garnered a $2.5 million investment from utility NorthWestern Energy, which serves 718,300 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. Photo: Omer Ghani, co-founder and managing director of Kilowatt Labs.

About NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy has served customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska for more than 100 years. The company, which got its start in small communities, today provides more than 718,300 residential and business customers with electricity and natural gas. NorthWestern Energy is a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Akon Launches “Akon Lighting America” in Effort to Assist the United States in Becoming a Leader in the Global Sustainable Development Goals

News Release Posted by the Solar Energy Industries Association

NEW YORK– Philanthropist, business mogul and five-time Grammy nominated artist Akon has initiated a partnership to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 and assisting participating US states to meet their renewable energy goals . . . As of January 2019, Akon Lighting America will begin developing utility scale renewable energy projects throughout the United States and constructing renewable energy solutions for rural and low-income housing communities. Read more here.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

MORE GOOD NEWS

NEW GLOBAL REPORT

Renewable Energy Market to Garner $2,152 Billion by 2025, Reveals Report, Interesting Engineering

A new report published by global market consultancy Allied Market Research is revealing a very promising future for the renewables industry with hydro and ocean power leading the way.


FEATURED EV INITIATIVE

The EV Drive Coalition is working to urge Congress to reform the federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit so automakers can continue producing, workers can continue building, and consumers can continue buying vehicles that produce zero emissions. Supporters of EVs and the tax credit have formed this coalition to ensure that EVs remain viable in the United States. Supporters include consumer advocates, environmental groups, free market advocates and automakers, among others. See AlsoFact Sheets

Mayors join call for more solar power

Special to the Norfolk Daily News

 

 

 

 

More than 200 mayors representing cities in every U.S. state have signed on to Environment America Research & Policy Center’s “Mayors for Solar Energy” letter, embracing a collective vision for solar-powered communities. Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning is one of two representing Nebraska, along with Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler . . . The number of signatures on the Mayors for Solar Energy letter has more than tripled since December 2017, and Environment America Research and Policy Center expects that number will continue to grow. Learn more here.

Environment America News Release: From sea to shining sea, mayors call for solar
Mayors For Solar Energy

Environment America Resources

Additional Opportunity Highlighted by Environment America
Apply for SolSmart designation and get technical assistance in improving your solar permitting process.

 


Lincoln, Nebraska is a
SolSmart Designee.

 

 

 


Lincoln Environmental Action Plan 2017 – 2018 (PDF)

 

 


Previously Posted NPPD News Release:
NPPD, Norfolk seeking grant for battery energy storage project. Funding for battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project is being sought by the Nebraska Public Power District and the City of Norfolk that would be tied to a proposed community solar project planned for that community in 2019.

Lazards, Lazards, LCOE – what’s the cheapest energy?

By John Weaver, PV Magazine USA

Yesterday, Lazards released its Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis version 12.0 for Energy (pdf), and Version 4.0 for Energy Storage (pdf). The document shows that utility scale wind, solar offer the cheapest absolute electricity pricing – without subsidies. When federal tax subsidies are applied, essentially politically palatable forms of a carbon tax, we see all thin film solar cheaper than all gas, and the majority of crystalline silicon solar cheaper than gas. Rooftop solar for residential and commercial, with its broad price ranges representing the broad classes of projects they cover, shows higher pricing. However, this analysis doesn’t consider the additional benefits including avoided costs achieved with behind-the-meter installations, and as such it isn’t a pure apples-to-apples comparison. Read more here.

MORE NATIONAL NEWS


ENERGY STORAGE 

NATIONAL SOLAR EXAMPLES

 

Friends of Venice Library to kick off solar power fundraiser with panel discussion, Herald-Tribune. Iconic nature photographer and environmentalist Clyde Butcher to serve as spokesman.

 

  • Wisconsin importer and distributor invests in solar energy, Fresh Plaza
    Maglio Companies, an importer and distributor of fresh produce, has installed over 1,100 solar panels on the roof of its Glendale, Wisconsin facility. This array is expected to produce an estimated 477,000 kilowatt hours of sustainable electricity each year. This is equivalent to the annual energy usage of 58 average Wisconsin homes.
  • Minnesota company turns abandoned sand pit into a solar garden, Red Wing Republican Eagle
  • State’s largest solar farm nearing production, The Spokesman-Review. Washington’s largest solar farm will begin commercial production next month in this Columbia Basin town better known for its annual Combine Demolition Derby. Nearly 82,000 solar panels have been installed near Lind’s pioneer-era cemetery, resembling a mirage on the dusty landscape. Sensors adjust the angle of the flat, blue panels throughout the day, allowing them to maximize the capture of solar rays.

GREEN CAMPUSES

Carport Solar Array Receives 2018 Innovative Project Award, MSU Today
Michigan State University’s solar carport project received the 2018 Innovative Project Award from the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan. The award recognizes exemplary projects in the region exhibiting features above and beyond the status quo. MSU’s solar carport array is constructed on five of the university’s largest commuter parking lots and covers 5,000 parking spaces.


Learn about more initiatives here: The Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges, 2018 Edition

 

INNOVATIVE TRANSIT APP

Transit app raises $17.5M with the help of unlikely investors: automakers, Smart Cities Dive

How Battery Energy Storage Changes the Game

Microgrid Knowledge


In this edition of Industry Perspectives, Schneider Electric’s Andy Haun offers insight on how battery energy storage has the potential to change the energy landscape.

Photo: Andy Haun, senior vice president and chief technology officer, microgrids, Schneider Electric

 

MORE ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

How Dispatchable Wind Is Becoming a Reality in the US, Greentech Media. Analysis from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables’ new report, The Potential Wind-Plus-Storage Roadmap, introduces new policies from select states.

Photo: AWEA Public Domain Images


CONSUMER REPORTS SURVEY

Most Americans in Coal-Reliant States Prefer Renewables, CBS News, Posted on Real Clean Energy. A large majority of Americans in coal-heavy states favor increasing renewable energy use. Most would also be willing to buy solar panels for their own use, and a plurality would be willing to pay an additional $5 a month to get energy from fully renewable sources, according to a survey from Consumer Reports


100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

100% renewables city won $1 million to capture and store solar energy. Here’s what happens next: The city of Georgetown is going one step farther to become energy-independent. After winning a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge city officials said they plan to lease rooftop space on homes to install solar panels as well as additional space to install storage batteries that will allow the city to collect and store solar-generated energy.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO GREEN BUILDERS

 

6 green certifications contractors should know about,
Smart Cities Dive

 


AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE

Utilities and the smart city: Building better communities
Not your father’s energy efficiency: Utility programs adapt to the modern customer

More Articles: Public Power Magazine

 

GREEN BONDS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Illinois is set to become the Midwest’s solar power leader

By Karen Graham, Digital Journal

Illinois is experiencing a boom in solar energy projects stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, a 2016 law that sets a target of getting 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 . . . At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018, Illinois ranked 34th, up from 43rd in 2017 in solar capacity. The state has only 97.84 MW of installed solar power. Rankings and installed solar capacity are about to change for the better, so much so that Illinois could end up being the Midwest’s leader in solar energy in a matter of a few years. Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

Photo: Shedd Acquarium in Chicago. The 265-kilowatt solar project is a highlight in itself—it is the largest installation at any cultural institution in Illinois—but it’s only the first step of Shedd’s plan to cut energy usage in half by 2020.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NATIONAL NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE RESOURCES

Special coverage of energy storage markets & technology, courtesy of pv magazine, by Christian Roselund. PV Magazine brings you a special edition devoted to the fast-growing energy storage space, including a look at its thornier challenges.

Click image to download and save the PDF.

 

Clean Energy Group has redesigned their Resilient Power Toolkit to make it easier to locate the resources you need to understand resilient power system technologies, their economics, and how to approach developing a new resilient solar+storage project.

“We’re always refining our toolbox of resources and making new additions, like our recent permitting and interconnection guide and a storage guide for homeowners from Solar United Neighbors. If you know of useful resources missing from our toolkit or are looking for something you can’t find, send us an email.” – Seth Mullendore, Vice President, Project Director: seth@cleanegroup.org

SUN Guide: Battery Storage For Homeowners

The nonprofit Solar United Neighbors has published a
comprehensive guide to battery storage.

More homeowners than ever are looking into battery storage as an option for their homes. In the first quarter of 2018, the market for residential battery storage grew nine-fold! Our guide is designed to help you decide if adding battery storage is right for you.

This guide will inform you:

  • How battery back-up works
  • About the different types of batteries
  • What battery storage costs
  • How to best pair a solar system with battery storage
  • What to look for in a qualified installer

Click Link To Download: Battery Storage For Homeowners.