Category Archives: Energy Storage

A Catalyst for the Midwest’s Clean Energy Transition

By Brian Palmer, Natural Resources District Council

When you discuss clean energy with senior energy economist Ashok Gupta, everything seems so obvious. Make it cheap; use it smartly. What’s all the fuss about? Don’t let the simplicity of his vision fool you, though. Gupta understands the economics and politics of energy better than anyone working in the United States today. He has devoted his nearly 30-year career at NRDC to transforming the American power sector and to converting cities into clean energy laboratories.

From 2004 to 2013, he served on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Sustainability Advisory Board and Energy Policy Task Force, which created knowledge centers for carbon reduction and efficiency that served as models for other cities. In 2012, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and shifted his focus to the clean energy future of the Midwest, helping Missouri, Kansas, and their biggest cities to embrace efficiency and capitalize on the region’s dropping price of wind and solar power. Read more here.

Previously Posted: The Clean Power Plan and the Midwest’s Winds of Change, by Ashok Gupta, NRDC

RENEWABLE ENERGY GIANTS

The New Energy Giants Are Renewable Companies, Bloomberg
Meet the clean supermajors. They have the clout and financial might of the energy behemoths that plumbed the world over for oil and gas before them. But instead of digging mines and drilling wells, they’re leading the race to electrify the global economy.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

DISTRIBUTED WIND & GREEN AMMONIA

The Renewable Energy Cows Come Home, Now With Green Ammonia, CleanTechnica
US farmers have been on the front lines of the renewable energy revolution, and they are in the vanguard of yet another clean tech trend that could finally help the distributed wind industry get the attention it deserves. If all goes according to plan, farms across the country will sprout wind turbines attached to devices that spit out green ammonia for fertilizer and zero emission fuel.

NEW APPRENTICE PROGRAM

McCarthy Partnering with Adaptive Construction Solutions in Support of Veterans, McCarthy News Release

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. announces a new partnership with Adaptive Construction Solutions, Inc. (ACS) to recruit and train veterans for careers in the construction trades, addressing a national workforce shortage. Together, the two organizations will identify and enroll veterans with military occupational specialties in an apprenticeship program that can lead to full-time employment with McCarthy. As a leading renewable energy builder, McCarthy will pilot the ACS program on its utility-scale solar and renewable energy projects.

The McCarthy Renewable Energy & Storage group focuses on utility-scale solar installation projects as well as other renewable energy projects across the U.S. In 2021, the firm will be constructing more than 1.8 GW of clean energy projects across the nation and expects to hire nearly 1,000 craft professionals for the construction of the projects that year alone. The renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing in the world and is anticipated to provide new and developing career opportunities for years to come.

Established in 1864, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc has office locations in 17 cities, including Omaha.

UN VIRTUAL CLIMATE SUMMIT

UN calls on humanity to end ‘war on nature,’ go carbon-free, ABC News
With new reports highlighting 2020’s record-breaking weather and growing fossil fuels extraction that triggers global warming, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered yet another urgent appeal to curb climate change. It was tinged with optimism but delivered dire warnings, as the UN gears up for a Dec. 12 virtual climate summit in France on the 5th anniversary of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Expanding Local Solar And Storage Could Save Ratepayers Nearly A Half A Trillion Dollars

Local Solar For All Coalition News Release, PR Newswire

Developing 247 GW of local rooftop and community solar and 160 GW of local energy storage is the most cost-effective way for the United States to transition to a clean energy system by 2050, while saving consumers up to $473 billion on electricity. This is enough local solar to power over 25% of all U.S. homes. These are among the core findings of a new report, “Why Local Solar for All Costs Less: A New Roadmap for the Lowest Cost Grid,” issued by Vote Solar, the Coalition for Community Solar Access and Sunrun.

Using a state-of-the art grid planning tool developed by Vibrant Clean Energy, the analysis goes beyond the limitations of traditional grid planning by leveraging big data and advanced analytics to produce a more complete and inclusive picture of the direct costs and benefits of resources on the grid. Read more here.

More information and access to the full report can be found here.

4 strategies to rapidly scale clean energy in the next decade

Smart Cities Dive guest post by Cameron Bard, senior director for market development at DSD Renewables and adjunct faculty instructor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.

To fully realize our shared climate goals and rapidly rebuild our economy, we must prioritize and enact policies to accelerate the national transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The good news is, even amidst the most unprecedented time in generations, we know how. Outlined below are four strategies to create a healthier and more equitable economy, with real-world examples of where and how they’ve already been implemented. Read more here.

Wikimedia Commons Photo

ARTICLES BY ZACHARY SHAHAN

FEDERAL RESERVE HIGHLIGHTS CLIMATE RISKS TO U.S. ECONOMY

The Federal Reserve’s new signals on climate change and risk. NRDC article by Sarah Dougherty, Senior Green Finance Manager. Republished by GreenBiz.

While the Trump administration continues to ignore the danger of climate change, a surprising new actor has broken out to take it seriously: the Federal Reserve System.  The Fed, the U.S. central bank, has moved from irregular mentions to a concerted effort to roll out a spate of new ideas and endeavors that highlight the risks of climate change to our financial system. As part of this effort, in recent weeks the Fed has:

  • Included climate change as a risk to the economy in its biannual report for the first time; 
  • Discussed its essential behind the scenes work on climate change that will enable the Fed to move much more quickly into the next stages of action; and 
  • Testified to Congress that they asked to join a group of banks that are working to ensure the financial system meets the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Previously Posted: In first for Fed, U.S. central bank says climate poses stability risks, Reuters

ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION

What the US energy storage industry could look like under Biden-Harris, Energy Storage News
In an exclusive first interview for international press since the elections, Energy-Storage News speaks with CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman about the Energy Storage Association’s hopes, ambitions and policy asks as 2021 begins to come into view.

MORE ORGANIZATIONS & ALLIANCES LEADING AMERICA’S ENERGY TRANSITION

American Clean Power Association
The American Clean Power Association works to champion policies that will transform the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable and renewable power system. By uniting the power of wind, solar, transmission and storage companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms and corporate purchasers, our goal is to make renewables the dominant energy source in the United States. Previously Posted: AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media

Clean Power For America
Clean Power for America is leading a nationwide movement to support the smarter, fairer energy policies we need to unleash the promise of renewable energy. Clean Power for America is a project of the American Wind Energy Association.

Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance
The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance consists of organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments and environmental advocates. Read the Alliance’s full recommendations – They cover six areas of focus: soil health, livestock and dairy, forests and wood products, energy, research, and food loss and waste. The alliance welcomes additional members. Email inquires@agclimatealliance.com with questions about membership or climate policy recommendations.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance
The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) is an alliance of large clean energy buyers, energy providers, and service providers that is unlocking the marketplace for all non-residential energy buyers to lead a rapid transition to a cleaner, prosperous, zero-carbon energy future. REBA was founded on the premise that large energy buyers have a unique voice and the collective power to drive market change. Now Available for REBA Members: The Accelerating the Decarbonization Impact of Energy Procurement Primer. Download a preview.

U.S. Climate Alliance
The United States Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 25 governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The 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. Independent analysis highlighted in the Alliance’s 2019 Annual Report shows that Alliance States are not only outpacing non-Alliance states in reducing their emissions, they are also growing their economies at a faster pace. Download Fact Sheet.

We Are Still In
Over the past four years, nearly 4,000 U.S. cities, states, tribal nations, businesses, universities, health care organizations, faith groups, and cultural institutions have formed the largest American coalition in support of climate action in history. These local leaders come from all fifty states and represent over half of the U.S. population, nearly two-thirds of its economy, and more than half of the country’s emissions. They are backed by over two-thirds of Americans who have consistently supported U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement.

Together, they have been guided by the knowledge that bold climate action will make our economy stronger and our nation more resilient to the impacts of climate change. They understand that the pursuit of a clean energy future will help us recover from COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis, while providing us our best opportunity to address systemic inequities that have forced vulnerable communities to bear the brunt of climate impacts and environmental injustice. 

Twelve Kansas Cooperatives Partner to Invest in Solar Energy

By Michael Bates, Solar Industry

Using the sixth cooperative principle of cooperation among cooperatives, 12 cooperatives in Kansas are joining together to make a small investment for the next 25 years – or more – in solar energy. Participating electric cooperatives will be able to procure low-up-front cost solar energy to serve their members through the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program and reduce their peak demand. Continue reading here.

Community-Scale / Utility-Scale Solar, Nebraskans for Solar 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

HOME ENERGY STORAGE

Sonnen Launches ‘Much More Accessible’ Battery for Home Backup and Grid Services, Greentech Media

The sonnenCore is priced to compete with rivals like Tesla, LG Chem and Enphase, and to tap emerging grid services opportunities.The Germany-based companyacquired by oil major Shell in 2019, designed its sonnenCore system to deliver daily cycling for grid services as well as backup power. It comes with capacity of 5 kilowatts/10 kilowatt-hours with a price point of $9,500.

FEATURED NATIONAL SOLAR INSTALLATION

High school student gets solar industry partners to donate full PV system to a New Jersey food pantry, Solar Builder

The Flemington Area Food Pantry, serving Hunterdon County, N.J., celebrated and unveiled their brand new solar array installation this week — a project was made possible by a collaborative donation effort among notable solar industry leaders and community volunteers, each supplying their individual components. Among all of the parties who contributed to make the installation a reality, the pantry has one in particular to thank– North Hunterdon High School student, Evan Kuster.

FROM OPPD’S NOVEMBER OUTLETS NEWSLETTER

OPPD evaluating potential sources for solar generation

Solar Foundation and Interstate Renewable Energy Council to Merge

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The non-profit Solar Foundation will soon become part of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, merging two groups with a common vision for an increasingly clean-powered grid. The organizational union announced Thursday is the latest in a series of moves by renewable energy groups to unite around a common goal of producing the majority of the U.S.’s electricity, rather than pursuing that work from different technological focuses. 

The American Wind Energy Association, for instanceannounced in September it would merge into a new group called the American Clean Power Association, to better advocate for a variety of renewable solutions. In June, AWEA along with solar, hydropower and storage industry trade groups also introduced a joint vision to achieve “majority renewables” by 2030. Continue reading.

Solar Foundation Initiatives

Interstate Renewable Energy Council Initiatives

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY REPORT

Wind and solar capacity will overtake both gas and coal globally by 2024, World Economic Forum
Wind and solar capacity will double over the next five years globally and exceed that of both gas and coal, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report. The Paris-based intergovernmental agency anticipates a 1,123 gigawatt (GW) increase in wind and solar that would mean these power sources overtake gas capacity in 2023 and coal in 2024.  

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY  

Green Hydrogen Could Fill Big Gaps In Renewable Energy, Scientific American
Companies are working to develop electrolyzers that can produce green hydrogen as cheaply as gray or blue hydrogen, and analysts expect them to reach that goal in the next decade. Meanwhile energy companies are starting to integrate electrolyzers directly into renewable power projects.

Previously Posted

  • The Green Hydrogen Revolution Is Now Underway, Forbes 
    While renewables are now the fastest growing energy industry, hydrogen is following closely behind in a massive gale. The 21st century will likely witness the rise of a mega-billion hydrogen fuel industry. Countries are taking first steps – and it’s breathtaking.
  • Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout, Vox
    After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet.

COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION

Rochester Community Power Launched to Develop 100% Renewable Energy Program for Rochester Residents and Businesses, Joule Community Power News Release, PR Newswire

The City of Rochester announced that it will launch a renewable energy program intended to provide their residents and small businesses with locally-sourced 100% renewable energy at a low, fixed rate. Offered through Rochester Community Power, the community choice aggregation (“CCA” or “community choice”) program will leverage the collective buying power of Rochester’s more than 80,000 Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) utility account holders to solicit bids from energy suppliers. 

GREEN BANKS 

The State of Green Banks 2020 report, authored by Rocky Mountain Institute, Green Finance Institute, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, showcases trends among both operational and emerging green banks. It includes an analysis of 61 institutions in 36 countries based largely on the data the report authors gathered through surveys and interviews, as well as on additional desk research. The report highlights successes, trends, and lessons learned from existing green banks and presents trends in countries seeking to set up new green banks. These trends include the technologies they will invest in, types of financial instruments they will deploy, capitalization strategies, and obstacles green bank champions face during the establishment process. A video summary of report findings by authors Angela Whitney and Karim Arslan is available at the above link.

​​RMI News Release: First global survey of green banks finds rapid growth in their numbers and importance in low carbon finance

WE ARE STILL IN NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Leaders Will Show Up In Force At U.N. Climate Talks Despite Federal Action To Withdraw The U.S. From Paris Agreement

American leaders unveiled detailed plans today to host the U.S. Climate Action Center at the upcoming COP25 climate talks in Madrid, and announced a delegation of over 70 U.S. leaders who are stepping up as the federal government steps away from global climate leadership. The current list of the delegation can be found here. This will be the third year in a row that We Are Still In will organize a Pavilion, in partnership with the U.S. Climate Alliance, Climate Mayors, America’s Pledge and other groups, to fill the U.S. climate leadership vacuum at the U.N. talks.

At COP25, America’s Pledge will release its third annual report, “Accelerating America’s Pledge: Going All-In to Build a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Economy for the United States.” This report analyzes the collective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by U.S. states, cities, businesses, and other non-governmental entities and projects the level of carbon emissions reductions the U.S. can reach by 2030.

TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE

Transmission for renewables shall be a clear winner in Biden White House, Renewable Energy World
The stars are aligned for a big chunk of transmission infrastructure investments across the country. Statements from New England Governors, PJM on offshore wind integration, and Midwest Governors Association offer insights into future transmission plans for renewables. However, since transmission — specifically high voltage lines — cannot be built overnight, the state and federal policy advisors should not lose sight of distributed energy resource (DER) potential and alternatives to transmission solutions. Leveraging both utility-scale renewables and distributed generation makes more sense to balance the curtailment risk with an abundance of renewable energy production.

CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS

Mr. President-elect, America needs a Civilian Climate Corps, Opinion Contributors Jay Lemery and Lewis Goldfrank, The Hill

For those who think a national service program is only viable in a bygone era and another example of executive overreach, one that could never survive the scarlet letter of “socialism” in today’s political climate, don’t be so sure. Recent public opinion research has found that the American public is widely supportive of national serviceEighty percent of voters (70 percent Republicans, 90 percent Democrats) back increasing federal investment to help communities respond to and recover from COVID-19, specifically regarding funds directed toward graduates and the unemployed. What could this look like?

Jay Lemery, MD, is the co-director of the Climate & Health Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and co-author ofEnviromedics: the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health.”

Lewis Goldfrank, MD, is the Herbert W. Adams professor of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU-Langone Health Center, and the founding editor of Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies.

New report: Wind and solar remain the country’s most affordable sources of new electricity

By John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

For energy wonks, Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis 14.0 is always one of the year’s most anticipated reports. It’s the gold-standard when comparing the cost of different power generation technologies on an objective, equitable basis. No surprise, Lazard finds that wind and solar continue to be the lowest-cost sources of new power generation across the country and are increasingly competitive with existing power plants. Continue reading here.

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY DATA

Renewables Proven to Be a Smarter, More Efficient Investment Worldwide, Triple Pundit
Recent analysis of the renewables landscape by BloombergNEF has determined that solar and wind power are on the verge of a tipping point: In five years, it will be more expensive to operate existing coal or natural gas plants than to build new solar or wind farms. This comes on the heels of earlier data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which found that, in many cases, solar and wind are already the cheapest option. In fact, IRENA concluded that investment dollars go further now than they did a decade ago: More than twice the renewable power generation capacity was commissioned in 2019 than in 2010, but it only required 18 percent more investment.

GEOTHERMAL

Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout, Vox
After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet.

GREEN HYDROGEN

The Green Hydrogen Revolution Is Now Underway, Forbes 
While renewables are now the fastest growing energy industry, hydrogen is following closely behind in a massive gale. The 21st century will likely witness the rise of a mega-billion hydrogen fuel industry. Countries are taking first steps – and it’s breathtaking.

REWIRING AMERICA REPORT

100% Clean Energy Electrification Could Save American Households $321 Billion and Create 25 Million Jobs, AltEnergy Magazine. The Rewiring America Report, “No Place Like Home: Fighting Climate Change (and Saving Money) by Electrifying America’s Households” by Drs. Saul Griffith and Sam Calisch, finds that savings would mean up to $2,585 per year in savings to each American household’s energy bills. The report builds on an earlier analysis by Rewiring America that shows that clean energy electrification could create 25 million new jobs. Every zip code in the country would see employment gains.

About Rewiring America
Rewiring America is a coalition of engineers, entrepreneurs, and volunteers focused on rejuvenating the economy and addressing climate change by electrifying everything. The new, innovative nonprofit is dedicated to demonstrating that solving climate change is both technically possible and economically beneficial. The reports produced by Rewiring America are deeply rooted in data and provide high-level analysis of the U.S. energy economy. 

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

AVANGRID & PNM RESOURCES ANNOUNCE MERGER

AVANGRID, PNM Resources announce $8.3B merger to create ‘one of biggest clean energy companies’ in US, Utility Dive. AVANGRID and PNM Resources on Wednesday announced plans to merge, in a move the companies say will create “one of biggest clean energy companies” in the United States. The combined entity would own 10 regulated utilities in six states, and would have renewable operations in 24 states. The companies say it will take about a year to get all necessary regulatory approvals.

TESLA

Musk promises to reinvent batteries as Tesla reports record Q3 solar and storage deployments, Utility Dive. Tesla executives expect to see rapid growth in the company’s solar and energy storage divisions in the years to come after what Musk described as the best quarter in Tesla’s history. Energy storage deployments increased 81% from the second to third quarters of 2020, according to the company’s Q3 2020 update, setting a new record for the company. The biggest barrier for the company’s solar division, company executives said, was the need to hire and train additional solar installers, and to improve the packaging of components to decrease installation times.

FROM ENERGY NEWS NETWORK 

  • Columbus aggregation initiative aims to procure clean energy for city ratepayers
    Columbus, Ohio, voters are deciding this election whether to let city government seek out and collectively bid for renewable electricity on their behalf. Ballot Issue 1 would create Ohio’s largest community aggregation program. In states where ratepayers choose their electricity supplier separate from their local utility, the programs let cities negotiate a default option for residents. The city’s goal “is to provide residents with 100% clean, renewable electricity through a community choice aggregation program by 2022,” said Erin Beck, director of special projects for the city of Columbus.
  • Minnesota groups highlight financial and environmental risks of natural gas
    [Jessica Tritsch, senior representative for the Sierra Club’s North Star chapter], pointed to recent research by the Rocky Mountain Institute that suggests building solar, wind and storage would cost less than new natural gas plants. Grid reliability would not suffer, either, the report concludes. If proposed gas plants were all built in the next five years they would “be uneconomic to continue operating in 2035, well ahead of the ends of their planned economic lifetime,” the institute’s report said. A recent report from a Minnesota researcher working with the two organizations calculated that investing in clean energy instead of the two fossil gas plants could save ratepayers $600 million over the next 30 years, Tritsch said. 

New Clean Energy Group Guide Released!

The guide, Understanding Solar+Storage: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Solar PV and Battery Storage, is based on the results of a survey identifying the most common knowledge gaps around solar and energy storage.

The information presented in the guide focuses primarily on customer-sited, behind-the-meter solar+storage installations, though much of the information is relevant to other types of projects as well, including storage-only projects and front-of-the-meter solar+storage projects.

It is meant to serve as a starting point to establish a foundation of knowledge and understanding for individuals and organizations beginning to explore solar+storage options for their homes, businesses, or community facilities.

Topics addressed include the following:

  • What factors do I need to consider when designing a solar+storage system?
  • What different types of batteries are available (and which one is right for me)?
  • What size battery do I need?
  • Is solar+storage an effective backup power solution?
  • Can storage be added to an existing solar system?
  • How long does a solar+storage system last?
  • How much do batteries cost?
  • How do I determine the value of solar+storage (savings, revenue, resilience)?
  • How can I pay for a solar+storage system (incentives, grants, financing)?
  • Can solar+storage be developed to benefit low-income communities?
  • Is battery storage safe?
  • What are the environmental impacts of battery storage?

The guide is informed by more than six years of experience through Clean Energy Group’s work with property owners, developers, nonprofits, and communities to advance solar+storage in underserved communities. The questions and topic areas addressed in the guide are based on feedback from nearly one hundred stakeholders who submitted questions about solar+storage.

Clean Energy Group Website

The High-Performance All-Electric Home

By Joe Wachunas, CleanTechnica

A short 15 months ago, Berkeley, California launched the city-led electrification movement by (essentially) banning gas in all new construction. Then, in a blink of an eye, over 35 cities across California and the United States followed Berkeley’s lead.  Thus, we find ourselves at an inflection point where the all-electric home seems poised to become the default clean energy abode of the future. And there are many additional benefits to all-electric homes for both consumers and builders that make reasons for fuel switching even more compelling. Read more here.

Related Reading

Also written by Joe Wachunas: On the Cutting Edge of Vehicle to Grid. CleanTechnica

TESLA SOLAR ROOF INSTALLATION

Tesla Solar Roof Install Time Lapse – 40 Squares in 4 days, YouTube Video 
Weddle and Sons Roofing just completed a 15kW Tesla Solar Roof installation near Topeka, Kansas. 

Tesla Solar Roof Website
Weddle & Sons Roofing offices in Lincoln and Omaha
Installing A Tesla Solar Roof, by Weddle & Sons Roofing

SOLAR & ENERGY STORAGE FINANCING

Service Finance Company to deliver competitive and convenient financing packages for Panasonic brand solar modules and EverVolt™ energy storage systems, Panasonic News Release

Panasonic and Service Finance Company today announced PowerOn, a new home energy storage financing program exclusively for Panasonic EverVolt™ Certified Installers that enables them to offer 100% financing to homeowners who buy a complete energy storage system including EverVolt™ battery storage and Panasonic brand solar modules, or EverVolt™ battery storage.

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

Corporate renewable energy procurement jumps 45% in 2020, Solar Power World
More than any other country, the United States has a growing portion of new renewable energy projects being built to meet demand coming directly from corporations.

EDF RENEWABLES  & GEENEX SOLAR

EDF Renewables North America and Geenex Solar Transact on a 4.5 gigawatt (GWac) Solar Development Portfolio, EDF Renewables News Release. The portfolio of project assets in the transaction exceed 20 solar projects in various stages of development.

Previously Posted News Release: EDF Renewables acquires Nebraska wind project

Milligan 1 Wind Project Website
Milligan 1 Wind is a $350 million investment in Saline County. The 300 MW wind farm project will generate clean energy for more than 100,000 homes, boost the local economy with millions in new spending, produce $45 million in total tax revenue, and create more than 200 jobs while sustaining 150 small family farmers and landowners with stable lease payments of more than $50 million over the life of the project. The project is planned to begin operation in late 2020.

CARBON OFFSETS

Michigan officials look to state forests as an offset for carbon emissions, by Tom Perkins, Energy News Network. Skeptics worry the plan will give polluters an inexpensive and imprecise option to meet future emission targets.

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA: SOLAR GROWN™ HONEY

Clif Family Introduces Solar Grown™ Honey and Honey Spreads Adding to Its Line of Artisan Foods: Harvested From Honey Bee Hives on Pollinator-friendly Solar Farms, The New Products Demonstrate a Productive Use of the Land Around Ground-Mounted Solar Panels.

Solar Grown™ Honey & Honey Spreads. Free shipping on orders of $40 or more.

Panel discusses benefits of wind development in southwest Iowa

By Ryan Matheny, KMAland

Organized by the group Power Up Iowa — which advocates for local, state and federal policies that bring wind energy investment into Iowa — the forum was held in conjunction with the Page County Board of Supervisors and was moderated by board chair Chuck Morris. Bob Ramaekers is Vice President of Tenaska, a private, independent energy company based in Omaha. He says the industry’s goal is to work with landowners, not infringe on property rights when it comes to wind development. Read more here.

Power Up Iowa is a statewide coalition of renewable energy supporters advocating for local, state and federal policies and initiatives that enhance Iowa’s wind energy investment. By educating, raising awareness, and participating in conversations with our state’s leaders, Power Up Iowa will help make the case for renewable energy investment to revive and drive our local economies. Iowa ranks 2nd in the nation for wind power capacity. Up to 10 thousand jobs in Iowa are directly supported by wind energy.

LOCAL FOODS / LOCAL ENERGY MOVEMENTS

The distance local energy goes to bring power to the people, ScienceDaily
A University of California – Davis study published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainability, comparing energy providers, finds parallels to the local foods movement.

RURAL ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE

Trump Administration Invests nearly $42 Million to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure in Rural Missouri, Iowa, & Nebraska, USDA News Release. The funding, made possible through the Electric Loan Program, will benefit more than 77,000 rural residents and commercial customers in Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska.

CLEAN-ENERGY EXPERTS & ADVOCATES SHARE VIEWS OF BIDEN’S FIRST 100 DAYS

Biden’s First 100 Days: What Would They Look Like for Clean Energy?, Greentech Media
We asked clean-energy experts and advocates what’s most likely to get done in the first 100 days of a Biden presidency.

COMMUNITY SOLAR STUDY

Penn State study finds opening community solar market could generate $1.8 billion in economic impact for Pennsylvania, Solar Power World

new study conducted by Penn State found that construction of new community solar facilities would generate an estimated $1.8 billion in economic impact, create over $793 million in labor income, and support over 11,000 jobs in various sectors across Pennsylvania. The study, conducted by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences’ Center for Economic and Community Development, analyzed 235 planned community solar projects across 48 counties which can move ahead if community solar legislation passes the General Assembly.

RENEWABLES FORWARD INITIATIVE

It’s Time for the Solar Industry to Act on Diversity and Inclusion, Greentech Media
As a first step, leaders from Capital Dynamics, Cypress Creek Renewables, EDF Renewables, Generate Capital, Mosaic, Nautilus Solar Energy, New Columbia Solar, Nextracker, Volt Energy, Sol Systems, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Foundation have come together to share experiences, evaluate best practices and make changes. Our goal is to identify concrete ways to work together to create the change we all recognize is needed, commit to this change and drive a larger industrywide partnership between CEOs and organizations: thRenewables Forward Initiative.

AWEA NEWS RELEASE

AWEA Statement on Collaboration between Hydropower Industry and Environmental Community
Washington, D.C. – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today issued the following statement after the U.S. hydropower industry and environmental and conservation organizations agreed to increase collaboration on decarbonizing the nation’s electric grid, while protecting America’s waterways. AWEA this year partnered with America’s hydropower, solar, and energy storage industries as part of a shared vision of renewables reaching a majority of U.S. electricity generation by 2030.

ENERGY STORAGE

Wartsilla’s 9 MW battery storage system reduces a city’s demand peaks, saves transmission costs, PV Magazine USA. An independent power producer, AEP OnSite Partners, will be the first to deploy Wärtsilä’s new storage product. The 9 MW/15.6 MWh battery system will respond to PJM market signals and reduce the city’s peak demand by about 9 MW, while saving $1 million per year in transmission and capacity costs

GREEN HYDROGEN

GE, partners shifting Ohio gas-fired plant to hydrogen beginning 2021, Renewable Energy World
In one of the most striking signs that the hydrogen-powered generation revolution may be upon the industry sooner than later, a group will transition its combined cycle gas turbine power plant to run partially on hydrogen by a late 2021 start-up and go 100 percent H2 by 2030.

ADVANCED NUCLEAR PLANTS

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $160 Million in First Awards Under Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, DOE News Release

DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program will provide $80 million to each award winner, DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette said Tuesday. DOE intends to invest about $3.2 billion over the next seven years into advanced nuclear, subject to future congressional appropriations, he said. The remainder of the $230 million appropriated for the program in the fiscal 2020 budget is meant to support additional nuclear demonstration projects. But Tuesday’s grant winners “stand out for advancing the technology,” as well as for the financial wherewithal to match DOE’s grants and complete their work within seven years, Brouillette said.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY’S PACIFICORP / ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER

Wyo criticizes utility’s plans to replace coal with renewables, Wyo File
PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power’s IRP, released in the fall of 2019, is a rolling analysis for how to provide reliable, lowest-cost electricity for the next 20 years. Preferred alternatives called for retiring several Wyoming coal-fired units early and developing renewable generation and storage. Shortly after release of the plan, the PSC announced it would investigate the IRP — an unusual measure for the commission to take.

SOLAR CELL EFFICIENCY

Forget silicon. This material could be a game-changer for solar power, CNN Business
Solar energy is poised for what could be its biggest transformation in over half a century. A group of materials called perovskites are being used to create the next generation of solar panels, which could eventually be twice as efficient as current models, and flexible enough to wrap around entire buildings. Researchers at Oxford PV, a company spun out of the University of Oxford, made a major breakthrough in 2018. By coating silicon with perovskite they achieved 28% efficiency. The company believes it can eventually reach 40%, or higher. Improved solar cell efficiency will enable installations to pump out more power with fewer panels, reducing costs, and the amount of land, labor and equipment needed to operate them.

EU’S CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

EU to tackle methane gases, boost energy efficiency, Associated Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune
The EU sees itself as a world leader in climate and environmental policy. It wants to slash greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% of what they were in 1990 over the next decade. That goal is a stepping-stone toward the broader aim of producing zero net polluting emissions across Europe by 2050.

SOLAR MAPPER

Total and Google Cloud Develop Solar Mapper, a Tool for Estimating the Solar Energy Potential of Houses’ Roofs, Business Wire

Total and Google Cloud have pooled their expertise to jointly develop an innovative tool, Solar Mapper, which aims to accelerate the deployment of solar panels for individuals (B2C) by providing an accurate and rapid estimate of the solar energy potential of their homes, first in Europe and then worldwide.

After promising a shift from fossil fuels, Omaha utility plans more gas plants

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

The World Resources Institute, which has done extensive analysis of the changing economics of gas-powered electricity, concluded in a 2019 study that combinations of renewables, storage and demand-side management are cheaper than 95% of combined-cycle capacity and 60% of combustion turbine capacity. A recent update of that study, incorporating the latest costs for renewables and storage, suggests that “most proposed gas plants that do get built will face stranded cost risks within 10 years of construction,” according to an institute blog post published on Sept. 30. Mark Dyson, a principal with the institute who has focused on the changing nature of the grid, said in the near future, it will “no longer be cost-effective to run [a gas plant] if renewables continue to fall [in price] the way they have.” Read more here.

Photo by Pat Hawks / Flickr / Creative Commons

Also Written By Karen Uhlenhuth


Retired utility engineer works to help Omaha charities cut peak power fees

Louis Lester is applying his knowledge of utility rates and fees to help nonprofits lower their energy bills.



Omaha utility’s solar plan collides with suburban development aspirations

Sarpy County adopted size limits and a requirement for a “glare study” before solar projects can go forward.

 


Nebraska utility bets on technological advances to meet carbon-cutting goals

New board members helped push the Omaha Public Power District to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050.