State officials see huge potential for batteries to help make the most of its wind and solar generation, and they hope to test it with a new grant-funded project. The Iowa Economic Development Authority has awarded a $200,000 grant to support research into the workings of two large solar-plus-storage projects by Fairfield-based Ideal Energy. Ideal will gather information about how the systems work and share it with a team of researchers at Iowa State University who will analyze it. Read morehere.
The city of Norfolk is fixing to one-up Kearney on the solar energy front, and we wish Norfolkans the best of luck. Earlier this week, the northeast Nebraska city entered an agreement with Nebraska Public Power District on a venture to build a sizable solar array and link it to an energy storage system. It doesn’t appear as if Norfolk’s array will rival Kearney’s in size, but the size of the system isn’t nearly as important as its ability to successfully plow new ground in the development of green energy. Continue readinghere.
Photo: Kearney’s $11 million, 53-acre solar farm, currently the largest in the state.
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST: NEBRASKA / MIDWEST NEWS
Solar farm proposed to help power Kendall County Courthouse, Chicago Tribune Lincoln, Nebraska-based GRNE Solar is seeking special use permit approval from Yorkville to install and operate a solar farm consisting of about 6,400 solar modules at the southeast corner of John Street and Beecher Road west of the Kendall County Government campus in Yorkville.
Chasing green: These metros have the best job opportunity in renewable energy, The Bay State Banner. Using the ZipRecruiter Best Job Market Index, we dug into the metropolitan statistical areas that provide the best opportunity for employment in renewable energy. Then we leveraged multiple factors to determine the overall quality of life in these areas. [#7. Omaha, Nebraska-Council Bluffs, Iowa]
Ohio’s Largest Solar Farm Development Announced, News Release, Natural Resources Defense Council. Today’s filing includes plans for developing a combined 400MW of solar, split between two farms that were selected through a competitive bid process. Both will be located in Highland county. The filing at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is expected to be followed with other projects that would make up the 900MW of renewable energy announced in Ohio last week.
Greenspace: Renewables energizing job growth, Post Bulletin “Rochester is uniquely poised because it’s a municipal utility company,” said Rick Morris, Rochester clean energy organizer for Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter. He noted Minneapolis has a plan to convert to 100 percent renewable electricity citywide by 2030 and St. Louis Park has made a 100 percent renewable commitment as well. “Not only is it possible, but our neighbors are already doing it,” Morris said.
Local construction company creates solar division, Journal Standard Illinois’ goal is to produce 25 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025. There are multiple state and federal incentives to help home and business owners recoup portions of the cost of an installation. The state’s Solar Renewable Energy Credits program grants one sellable credit to homeowners for each megawatt hour of electricity their solar system produces. One credit from a small-scale system sold for approximately $180 during spring 2017. A small-scale seven-kilowatt system could generate about 8,000 kilowatt-hours each year, which means an Illinois homeowner could receive $1,440 per year in additional income, according to energysage.com.
Colorado’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted unanimously on Monday to give preliminary approval to Xcel Energy’s Clean Energy Plan, which would see the utility close 660 MW of coal-fired generation a decade earlier than scheduled and shift to renewable resources. Under the plan, Xcel will close units 1 and 2 at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo and invest $2.5 billion in renewable energy and battery storage. The utility expects the plan to save ratepayers $213 million. In January, the utility solicited notably low bid prices for wind-plus-storage, $21/MWh, as well as $36/MWh for solar-plus-storage, some of the lowest bids for renewable energy plus storage on record. Read more here.
Colorado trades away coal and gas for solar+wind+storage, PV Magazine The Colorado PUC has voted to provide initial approval of a plan to retire 660 MW of coal early, and not build any new gas, instead constructing over 1 GW of wind, 700 MW of solar pv and
275 MW / 1.0 GWh of energy storage.
Falling Renewables Prices Present ‘Unprecedented Opportunity’ For Western Co-ops, North American Windpower. To illustrate the importance of this broad regional trend, RMI produced a case study of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a nonprofit, member-owned cooperative utility that provides power to more than 1 million consumers in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming . . . According to RMI, the results of the study are consistent with the broader market trends illustrated though publicly available contract prices for new renewable resources in the Mountain West.
NRDC’s Pamela MacDougall and Vignesh Gowrishankar report on new energy storage research that indicates that using EVs for grid storage instead of stationary batteries could save electricity customers billions of dollars.
A study recently published by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) shows that the electric vehicles (EVs) expected in California in 2025 could be used to meet the majority of the Golden State’s energy storage mandate that calls for 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of battery capacity by 2024. In fact, EVs can accomplish this both reliably and at about one-tenth the cost of stationary energy storage approaches. This level of storage could power nearly one million average homes, at least for a short while. That EVs can be this valuable to the grid is a hugely significant finding. Read morehere.
Image Credit: Jessica Russo, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Posted by Hannah Norton, Multimedia Journalist, KTIV
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The South Sioux City Council has applied to the State of Nebraska for funding that would go toward a two-megawatt energy storage unit to ensure lower rates on the utility bills of residents. Here’s how it all works: Read more here.
1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s how much NextEra Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jim Ketchum estimates that batteries have added to the cost of solar and wind projects that the company has built over the last six to 12 months, as revealed in the company’s second quarter results call yesterday. But that’s not all. Ketchum further added that he expects this cost to fall to around half a cent per kilowatt-hour in the middle of the next decade. Read more here.
Photo Credit: NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra is developing OPPD’s 5-megawatt solar project in the Fort Calhoun area. Would adding storage be an economical option in the near-term? Omaha World-Herald news stories about the solar project:
A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance describes some of the implications of the growing solar power and energy storage trend as it relates to the current, centralized utility-based electricity distribution model. Because solar and energy storage can be cost competitive with grid electricity prices in some places, consumers now have an alternative to only using utility-based electricity. Report author John Farrell answered some questions for CleanTechnica.
When it comes to truly transformative energy technologies, energy storage should be on the short list. While it feels like there is never any good news these days, energy storage is shattering records, meeting milestones, and writing its own good-news story.
Because of its many benefits, states, utilities, and even big corporations are increasingly interested in investing in energy storage. Lawmakers are also interested in the opportunities energy storage presents. The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee has announced the latest installment in their “Powering America” hearing series: The Role of Energy Storage in the Nation’s Electricity System for Wednesday July 18. Members of Congress will examine the growth of large-scale energy storage in the United States, the unique reliability attributes energy storage provides for the electric grid, and the use and impacts of energy storage within wholesale electricity markets. Continue here.
In this op-ed for pv magazine, Camron Barati explores the trend towards what increasing state-level renewable power and storage targets mean for the U.S. market. The company projects 73 GW of solar PV systems will be installed in the United States from 2018 to 2022. Read more here.
Camron Barati is a Senior Analyst with IHS Markit Technology. Camron is part of the IHS Markit Technology Solar and Energy Storage Group and responsible for researching solar PV and energy storage markets in North America, covering supply chain trends and downstream market dynamics. He is based in Austin, TX.Prior to joining IHS Markit, Camron worked as an associate with GTM Research as part of their solar analyst team. He also has experience working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Enphase Energy.