Category Archives: Energy Storage

Capital Dynamics Enters into New Strategic Relationship with Tenaska

Capital Dynamics & Tenaska News Release, PRNewswire 

Capital Dynamics, an independent global private asset management firm, today announced that its Clean Energy Infrastructure business has signed an agreement with Tenaska to enter into a new strategic relationship, increasing its greenfield solar footprint in both the Midwest and Southeast United States.

The transaction comprises 24 solar projects located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and Southeast Reliability Council (SERC) markets, totaling 4,800 megawatts (MW). The portfolio represents a large share of solar projects currently in the MISO and SERC interconnection pipelines and further diversifies Capital Dynamics’ growing utility-scale solar power portfolio across seven new states. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Capital Dynamics and Tenaska Partner on 4.8 Gigawatts of Solar Development, Greentech Media
For Tenaska, the 4.8-gigawatt deal follows another large-scale sale to Spain’s Acciona last year, with Acciona buying 3 gigawatts of solar and 1 gigawatt of solar-plus-storage from Tenaska in the U.S.

MORE NEWS & COMMENTARY 

COMMUNITY SOLAR

Why Associated plugged in to community solar energy, American Banker
Associated Banc-Corp. in Green Bay, Wis., recently subscribed to five solar gardens currently in development across Minnesota and Illinois. The subscription doesn’t cost the company anything, and its commitment to using a certain proportion of the energy produced is expected to slash about 20%, or $57,000, off its annual electricity bill.

SOLID-STATE BATTERIES

Investors Still Betting on Next Big Energy Storage Technology: Solid-State Batteries, Greentech Media. Solid-state batteries could be safer and more energy-dense than lithium-ion products are today. The improved technology could hit the market by the mid-2020s, analysts say. Companies including Ionic MaterialsQuantumScapeSila NanotechnologiesSion Power and Solid Power are developing all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) that are expected to be safer and more energy-dense than the lithium-ion products used in today’s electric vehicles and battery systems. “Lithium-ion today, with a metal-oxide cathode and carbon-based anode, is starting to approach its theoretical limits,” said Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell in an interview.

NEW U.S. CHARGING STATION MANUFACTURER

Dutch charging station company looks to plug in to U.S. electric vehicle growth, by Audrey Henderson, Energy News Network. EVBox manufactures charging stations and the software to manage them. The company is expanding its presence in the U.S. to take advantage of a growing electric vehicle market. Electric transportation advocates note the move is particularly timely given recent advancement of electric vehicle policy in Illinois.

CLEAN ENERGY CAREERS

  • What’s It Like to Be a Renewable Energy Project Developer?, Greentech Media
    We’re asking people with cleantech jobs to tell us what they do all day. Next up: K. Harley McDonald, senior business developer at Avangrid Renewables.
  • An Anxious Accountant’s Journey to the Top, Greentech Media
    In this special podcast, we discuss how one finance expert overcame his anxieties and flourished in renewable energy. Today, he leads CohnReznick’s renewable energy industry practice and helps utilities and other energy companies execute all kinds of transactions, from long-term contracts to hedging strategies to tax structures.

TESLA  

Tesla Solar Panels and Roof: Pricing and how to buy, by Fred Lambert, Electrek

Tesla solar roof tiles are not available in as many markets as Tesla’s solar panels. The company is still hiring and training roofers in many markets and it is expanding fast. Tesla’s regular solar panel installations are more easily available.

Tesla’s website:
“We are hiring roofers, installers and electricians who will work together to deploy Solar Roof in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Virginia.”

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

NEW CERES REPORT

Coal retirements spur 8% drop in 2019 power sector carbon pollution after Duke, Vistra top 2018 emitters: Ceres, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Progress in 2019 is a cause for optimism, report author and Senior Director of Electric Power at Ceres, Dan Bakal, told Utility Dive, though the sector will need to move even faster in order to offset the worst impacts of climate change.

About Ceres
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. Mission: Ceres is transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet.
Resources include: Proxy Voting Guidebook 2020

Ceres Initiatives

MORE ON RECENTLY-RELEASED ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS’ REPORT 

How to replace 187 GW of coal with renewables, and save customers money, by William Driscoll, PV Magazine. Promptly retiring 79% of the nation’s 236 GW of coal units, and replacing them with renewables and storage, would yield savings of $10 billion per year, says a report from the Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon Tracker and Sierra Club. Retiring all of them now, including units that are not yet uneconomic, would still save $9 billion per year. The authors recommend federal involvement in financing this transition, and using the savings not only to lower customers’ electric bills but to fund transition assistance for affected workers and communities.

NEWS FROM CANADA

Massive 340,000-panel solar farm to take flight at Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton Journal. A massive renewable energy project roughly the size of 313 CFL football fields could be arriving in Edmonton by the end of 2022. Edmonton International Airport announced Tuesday plans to build a 627-acre, 120-megawatt solar farm — enough energy to power 27,000 or 28,000 homes — on the west side of its lands as part of an agreement with European-based renewable energy company Alpin Sun. Solar power from the farm would feed into Fortis Alberta and the airport.

As Fossil Fuel Pipelines Fall to Opposition, Utilities See Renewable Energy as Safe Bet

By Jeff St. John, Senior Editor, Greentech Media

Legal challenges halted several major pipeline projects across the U.S. in recent days, underscoring a seismic shift facing the U.S. utility industry: the rise of renewables as a potentially less costly and risky alternative to fossil fuels. Over the weekend Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, two of the country’s biggest utilities, canceled their Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, citing costs that have ballooned to as much as $8 billion and ongoing legal challenges from landowners and environmental groups. The pipeline’s legal challenges include an April federal court decision overturning Nationwide Permit 12, a federal permit authority allowing pipelines to cross waterways and wetlands, which threatens the viability of projects including the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline. Continue reading here.

Previously Posted
In A Post-Pandemic World, Renewable Energy Is The Only Way Forward, by Senior Contributor Enrique Dans, Forbes. A post-pandemic economic reconstruction based on restructuring the energy map makes sense. We know we have to do it, and we know the reason we haven’t done it so far is because it challenges the interests of a powerful few.

MORE ON FOSSIL FUEL PIPELINES

  • Judge orders Dakota Access pipeline shut down pending review, Omaha World-Herald
    FARGO, N.D. — A federal judge on Monday ordered the Dakota Access pipeline shut down pending a more thorough environmental review, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe three years after the pipeline first began carrying oil following months of protests.
  • US Supreme Court deals blow to Keystone oil pipeline project, Omaha World-Herald
    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court handed another setback to the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada on Monday by keeping in place a lower court ruling that blocked a key environmental permit for the project. Canadian company TC Energy needs the permit to continue building the long-disputed pipeline across U.S. rivers and streams.

TESLA

Tesla’s Success Is Good News For Everyone, by Senior Contributor Enrique Dans, Forbes
The company is now the gold standard for an industry that for too long has innovated reluctantly and at a snail’s pace. 

ACQUISITION NEWS

Sunrun to acquire Vivint Solar for $3.2 billion in all-stock transaction, PV Magazine
The new, bigger Sunrun will have 500,000 customers and more than 3 GW of solar power assets. Is there value in scale in residential solar?

THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE

Storing Heat Energy Offers $300bn Opportunity To Cut Carbon Emissions, by Mike Scott, Forbes. Thermal energy storage allows polluting industries to clean up and reduce emissions.

SEIA finds rooftop solar is worth 24¢/kWh in Michigan

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

Rooftop solar is worth 24¢/kWh in the Michigan territory served by Consumers Energy, well above the 14¢ to 17¢/kWh that the utility’s net metering customers currently receive for the electricity they send to the grid. The Solar Energy Industries Association’s Director of Rate Design Kevin Lucas presented that finding in testimony in a Consumers Energy rate case. Lucas concluded that rooftop solar “outflow energy” is “more valuable than average energy,” and that residential customers with solar are less costly to serve than other residential customers. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

KRISTAL HANSLEY – WE SOLAR ENERGY FOUNDER & CEO

Meet The Woman Behind The First Black-Owned Community Solar Energy Company, Black Enterprise

After extensive work in government, entrepreneur and advocate Kristal Hansley launched WeSolar Energy with the goal to provide underserved and underfunded communities access to solar energy. “During my time leading the Community Affairs policy at Congresswoman Eleanor Norton’s office, Maryland passed new laws to increase the use of solar energy across the state. I saw how effectively solar could reduce the cost of electricity for households, and decided to get involved in the emerging world of community solar,” said Hansley in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE. 

PUBLIC POWER & THE PANDEMIC

A COVID-19 hit to public power? For some, it’s not all bad, Utility Dive
Municipal utilities and other public power entities have unique challenges, and some advantages, when dealing with the financial impacts of the pandemic and recession.

BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

Double-Sided Solar Panels That Track The Sun Could Produce 35% More Energy, Forbes article contributed by Scott Snowden. A team from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore lead by Carlos Rodríguez-Gallegos discovered that panels with photovoltaic cells on both sides that could also tilt to follow the sun would produce 35 percent more energy and reduce the average cost of electricity by 16 percent.

PLUG-IN HOME BATTERY PANELS

What If Homeowners Could Just Buy Batteries and Plug Them In?, Greentech Media
U.S. startup Orison is ready to test its “energy storage as home appliance” concept in Australia and Europe following an $8.5 million Seed Round.

EV CHARGING STATIONS

Electrify America completes first route across US with EV charging stations, American Public Power Association. Electrify America says it has completed its first string of cross-country fast charging, direct current (DC) electric vehicle charging stations. The route, spanning 11 states and over 2,700 miles, travels along interstates 15 and 70 from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, providing the first cross-country route with charging stations available the entire way, the company, a subsidiary of Volkswagen of America, said. The charging stations provide speeds up to 350 kilowatts.

MORE ON THE “MOVING FORWARD ACT”

US’ proposed Moving Forward Act stimulus bill includes standalone storage ITC, Energy Storage News. An ITC for standalone energy storage systems could finally become reality with its inclusion in a US$1.5 trillion infrastructure investment Bill, tabled by House Democrats. Our sister site PV Tech reported earlier this week that the ‘Moving Forward Act’ includes measures to support solar and other renewables, including an investment of more than US$70 billion to help modify the electric grid across America to accommodate for renewable energy.

MORE ABOUT WHO’S BEHIND NERA’S ANTI NET METERING PETITION

Environment America Launches a 10-state campaign calling for all new homes to be built with solar panels

Environment America News Release

BOSTON — In January 2020, California became the first state to require all new houses to be built with solar panels. Today, Environment America is launching a first-of-its-kind campaign calling on additional states across the country to set similar standards for solar power on new homes. The coordinated national campaign will advocate for a solar homes requirement in at least ten states: Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. While each state may have slightly different goals, the campaign’s intention is to introduce bills in 10 states in the next two years. Continue reading here.

ACCELERATING ADOPTION OF COMMUNITY SOLAR

New US Solar Power Scheme Aims At Invisible Middle, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica
A vast middle ground of opportunity for solar power development is ripe for the picking if only somebody could see where it is. Well, the US Department of Energy sees it, and is determined to pick it. The agency is moving forward with a plan to kickstart activity in the area of mid-sized arrays ranging from 50 kilowatts to 3 megawatts. That may sound like peanuts, but it includes the important community solar sector, so — wait, what is community solar anyways?

ENERGY STORAGE

The magnificent seven: US states with energy storage mandates, targets and goals, Energy Storage News. The US national Energy Storage Association’s policy director, Jason Burwen, spoke with Andy Colthorpe about the seven early adopter states and whether this is likely to be a spreading pattern across the country.

OPPD IN THE NEWS

TRADE ASSOCIATIONS’ STATEMENTS ON HOUSE $1.5 TRILLION INFRASTRUCTURE BILL 

GREEN BIZ’S “30 UNDER 30” AWARDS

The 2020 GreenBiz 30 Under 30, GreenBiz Editors
We are proud to introduce our fifth annual cohort of twentysomethings who are sustainability leaders within — and without — their companies, nonprofits and communities. The Class of 2020 hails from seven countries, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil and Taiwan, and they are tackling diverse challenges — from cultivating a more sustainable food system to advocating for climate justice on behalf of disadvantaged communities to testing best practices for circular cities to negotiating impactful renewable energy contracts. The list of their accomplishments is long and growing longer by the day, and they’re just getting started.

AGRIVOLTAICS

Pollinator-Saving Solar Panels: Good for Farmers, Good for Business, by Tina Casey, Triple Pundit. Conventional solar arrays typically force farmers to choose between raising crops and generating electricity in order to survive financially. However, a new body of research called agrivoltaics is demonstrating that farmers can have the best of both worlds. A recent report the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for example, indicates that properly designed, low-impact solar arrays can be compatible with agricultural use.

MORE ON AMERICA’S RENEWABLES INVESTMENT ATTRACTIVENESS

ALSO IN THE NEWS

TRANSITION IN COAL COUNTRY: PART ONE

EV NEWS

Is this electric plane the future of flying?, GreenBiz article contributed by David Elliott, Senior Writer, World Economic Forum. The world’s largest all-electric plane has completed its maiden voyage, flying for 30 minutes in the skies above Washington state. Its safe landing in Moses Lake, about 186.5 miles southeast of Seattle, is a milestone in a dream that’s been floating about since the late 1800s — air travel powered by electricity.

What the Coming Wave of Distributed Energy Resources Means for the US Grid

By Ben Kellison and Fei Wang, Greentech Media

Cumulative distributed energy resource capacity in the United States will reach 397 gigawatts by 2025, according to a new Wood Mackenzie report. The DER mix is evolving quickly away from nonresidential load management, which made up two-thirds of all U.S. DER capacity in 2015 but will make up less than half by 2025.

Solar, electric vehicle infrastructure and residential load management potential now lead all other resources, accounting for more than 90 percent of DER capacity installed between 2016-2025. Cumulative U.S. DER investments will eclipse $80.6 billion between 2020 and 2026. EV infrastructure, battery storage and grid-interactive water heaters sales growth will drive spending to a new peak in 2025.  Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: SWT Energy in Lincoln

VIRTUAL POWER PLANTS

  • Sunrun to Turn Home Batteries Into Grid Resources for 2 Major Utilities, Greentech Media
    The leading rooftop installer will aggregate homes for Southern California Edison and a Con Ed utility in New York in a test of the virtual power plant concept. Historically, utilities have been reluctant to allow customers to export from their batteries onto the grid, but that’s changing in some territories.
  • Previously Posted: ‘Transformative’: Sonnen to Deliver Community Battery Network With Grid Services Contract, Greentech Media. “This is what we’ve been working on for years,” says Blake Richetta, CEO of the U.S. business at Shell-owned Sonnen. “We’re paying for the right for full control of the batteries,” within certain constraints to ensure a backup reserve for the residents, said Bill Comeau, managing director at Rocky Mountain Power. The utility’s involvement follows the state legislature’s passage of the Sustainable Transportation and Energy Act of 2016. Rocky Mountain Power used that legislation to ask regulators in March 2019 for permission to enter into a contract with the Soleil community for demand-side management. Rocky Mountain Power, serving customers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s PacifiCorp.
  • Learn more about Sonnen’s Virtual Power Plants here.

ENERGY HUB

EnergyHub partners with Vivint Solar as utility incentives for residential energy storage ramp up, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive. EnergyHub announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Vivint Solar to help utilities access attached residential battery storage systems as cost-effective grid-edge resources. EnergyHub now has almost two dozen distributed energy resource (DER) partners across assets including thermostats, batteries, solar inverters, electric charging equipment and water heaters. The company’s Mercury DERMS platform allows utilities to offer customer incentives to manage the devices to balance distribution systems.

GTM’S INTERCHANGE

Data Centers Are the Epicenter of the Clean Energy Economy, Greentech Media
On this episode of The Interchange: how the world’s giant computers are getting cleaner.

“THE 2035 REPORT” WEBINAR

If you missed CESA’s recent webinar: The 2035 Report: How Low Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future, slides and a recording are now available here. Clean Energy States Alliance presented the webinar on behalf of the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative.

About the Webinar
According to the new report from the University of California, Berkeley and GridLab, the United States can reliably deliver 90% clean, carbon-free electricity nationwide by 2035 using existing technology, without increasing consumer bills, and without the need for new fossil fuel plants. 

The 2035 Report: How Low Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future demonstrates how recent dramatic cost declines for solar, wind, and battery storage allow for near-term decarbonization of the electricity grid. Two of the report’s authors: Ric O’Connell, Executive Director of GridLab and Dr. Amol Phadke, Senior Scientist and Affiliate, Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, presented the main findings and discussed their implications.

MORE ON THE MACRO GRID INITIATIVE

Clean energy groups to propose FERC rules for national transmission system saving $47B a year, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive. The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) on Wednesday launched a new campaign to build support for a stronger U.S. transmission system, including upgrades to interregional lines and the development of a nationwide, high-voltage direct current network. The campaign, The Macro Grid Initiative, argues consumers would save up to $47 billion annually with a national electrical power system versus the existing, regionally divided system.

DOMINION OFFSHORE WIND & THE VIRGINIA CLEAN ECONOMY ACT

Q&A: This engineer has a front-row seat as Dominion advances offshore wind, by Elizabeth McGowan, Energy News Network. Mark Mitchell, vice president of generation construction, joined the Richmond-based company 22 years ago. Within six years, 180 to 190 turbines planned for an adjacent 2,600 megawatt commercial project should produce enough power for 650,000 homes. Survey work is now underway for that phase. Offshore wind is crucial if Dominion is expected to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, as required by the Virginia Clean Economy Act. The law takes effect July 1. 

EV NEWS

WISCONSIN BROTHERS’ SOLAR BUSINESS

Shining light on energy options, Wisconsin brothers grow with solar business, WIZM News
Coming together from opposite sides of the country, brothers Cameron and Brandon Olson created a business plan to bring solar energy options to La Crosse. Olson Solar Energy started in 2017 with a few jobs in southwest Wisconsin. There were no other solar companies in the area, so the market made sense. In 2019, they invested in advertising and expanded to opening the shop. “There were so many people interested in solar from smaller, residential systems to bigger commercial systems, and this year has just been more of the same,” Cameron said.

OPPD begins steps toward energy storage

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire

The pilot program will test how battery storage can integrate into OPPD’s grid, providing load relief and voltage support at the substation level. The research gleaned in the pilot will help the utility understand the procurement, construction and operations of small energy-storage applications and how to scale for potential future applications. Last summer, OPPD announced a strategic initiative to study pathways to decarbonization. The study includes emerging technologies such as battery storage. The battery project is slated to be operational by December 2021. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading & Resources

Defending 100% Clean Power: An Energy Efficiency Approach

CleanTechnica article contributed by David Lapp Jost

We currently waste a massive amount of energy that we do not need to produce, and we under-use energy efficient technologies. In one sense, we waste about 60% of our energy because internal combustion engines and fossil fuel plants are so inefficient. But we waste even more in ways that we inaccurately think of as essential consumption. From homes, to factories, to universities, to businesses, many or maybe most institutions in the U.S. could implement energy efficiency measures that would pay off in 5–10 years, outperforming the stock market.

Beyond addressing waste and inefficiency, perhaps we could re-evaluate our needs. Americans produce three times as much CO2 per capita as French people. Do Americans live better than British or French people who consume and pollute about one-third as much? No, not if the metrics of lifespan, vacation time (4–6 weeks a year in Western Europe, typically), access to free and high-quality education and healthcare, safety, and a clean environment are important. The American lifestyle is not comfortable compared to other rich countries; maybe we could live like British people, be more comfortable, and then only need to worry about producing 1/3 as much energy renewably? Read more here

New study: Highlights from the Wind Powers American Business report

By Celeste Wanner, American Wind Energy Association

Many of the businesses across the country that power our everyday lives are increasingly choosing wind energy to power their operations. Once a niche market, corporate customers now routinely represent 40 percent or more of announced wind power contracts in a given year and are some of the most sought-after customers by wind project developers. A new AWEA report released todayWind Powers American Business, focuses on this growing segment and highlights the top corporate buyers of wind energy in the U.S. The bottom line: Companies powering up with wind is no longer just a trend, it’s the new normal. Let’s dig into some of the top trends: Continue reading.

Image: Plum Creek Wind Farm

WIND ENERGY INVESTMENT IN NEBRASKA

Report says Nebraska in the top five states for wind energy investment, by Caitlyn Lorr, Siouxland Proud. Nebraska is among the top five states in the country for attracting direct business purchases of its wind energy resources, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

DOE’S BETTER BUILDINGS INITIATIVE

DOE Announces $11 Billion in Energy Cost-Savings from Better Buildings Initiative Partners, Department of Energy News Release 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly $11 billion in energy-cost savings by more than 950 public and private sector organizations in DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative. To date, partners have saved nearly 1.8 quadrillion British thermal units of energy, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 27 million homes in America over one year. Learn more about DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative HERE.

ZERO ENERGY COMMUNITIES

Here’s how to design communities that give back as much energy as they take
GreenBiz contributor Charles F. Kutscher is a fellow and senior research associate of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, a joint institute between the University of Colorado-Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

My colleagues and I study the best ways to rapidly reduce carbon emissions from the building sector. In recent years, construction designs have advanced dramatically. Net zero energy buildings, which produce the energy they need on site from renewable sources, increasingly are the default choice. But to speed the transition to zero carbon emissions, I believe the United States must think bigger and focus on designing or redeveloping entire communities that are zero energy.

MORE ON THE 2035 REPORT

  • A Clean Electricity Future is Affordable and Attainable—It’s Time to Act, Rocky Mountain Institute. GridLab and UC-Berkeley show that a 90 percent carbon-free US electricity grid is both reliable and lower cost. The Berkeley/GridLab report represents a distinctive new chapter in the evolving discourse playing out around the country regarding the future of the US electricity system. The study will likely be an important benchmark against which individual utilities’ investments are evaluated for compatibility with least-cost and feasible decarbonization outcomes. Investors, utilities, regulators, and policymakers should take advantage of the wealth of insight and information contained within this body of work, and plan accordingly for their own role in accelerating the decarbonization of the US power grid. Website: www.2035report.com 
  • 90% clean power by 2035 is ‘challenging but feasible’, PV Magazine
    “90% by 2035 is the sweet spot” for a pathway that uses existing technology, allows “judicious use” of existing generation assets, and “achieves near-complete decarbonization in a realistic timeframe,” said study co-author Nikit Abhyankar of UC Berkeley. The resulting lower wholesale cost of electricity by 2035 “was a surprise for us.”
  • Falling renewable, storage costs make 90% carbon-free US grid feasible by 2035, UC Berkeley finds, Utility Dive

NEW GTM POLITICAL CLIMATE EPISODE

Racial Justice Protests Put a Spotlight on Pollution and Clean Energy Solutions, by Julia Pyper, Senior Editor, Greentech Media

On this episode of Political Climate, National Wildlife Federation’s Mustafa Santiago Ali connects the dots between the clean air, affordable energy and the racial justice movement. Ali has been on the front lines of the fight for environmental justice since he was a teenager and throughout his 24 years at the EPA. Now, as vice president of environmental justice, climate and community revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation, Ali says he’s hopeful this historic moment will accelerate equitable energy solutions.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The time for electric trucks and buses is now, by Katie Fehrenbacher, GreenBiz
Despite the pandemic, sales of electric trucks and buses are expected to surge in the United States and Canada over the next couple of years. And perhaps, surprising to many, they’ll soar even within this year (the year that can best be described as WTF). That’s according to new data released recently by the clean-transportation-focused nonprofit CALSTART. The organization expects there to be 169 zero-emission commercial vehicles available for purchase, or soon to be available, in North America by the end of 2020; that’s a 78 percent increase from the number of zero-emission commercial vehicles available at the end of 2019. What’s more, between 2019 and 2023, the number of zero-emission commercial vehicle models is expected to double, to 195. 

SECOND-LIFE EV BATTERY STORAGE

Used EV Batteries Could Power Tomorrow’s Solar Farms, IEEE Spectrum
An MIT study finds promise in repurposing swapped-out EV battery packs for solar grid storage.

Perdue Farms Becomes the First Poultry Company in the United States To Create a Pollinator-Friendly Habitat Throughout its Solar Installation

Perdue Farms News Release, PR Newswire

“Given Perdue Farms’ long-standing commitment to being good stewards, having the area at our 5-acre solar field at our headquarters become a pollinator-friendly habitat was a no-brainer for us,” said Steve Levitsky, vice president of sustainability for Perdue Farms. “There is a growing body of research that shows pollinator habitat can help increase yields of a variety of fruits and vegetables, including soybeans – one of the key components of a chicken’s diet – so we wanted to do something that has the potential to benefit the environment as well as the farmers near our headquarters.” Read more here.

Resources for pollinator-friendly solar development are available from the Center for Pollinators in Energy nonprofit, a Fresh Energy program: www.BeesLoveSolar.org

Photo: Pollinator-friendly habitat at the Perdue Farms’ solar installation located at their headquarters in Salisbury, Maryland.

OCEANS AND CLIMATE 

To Save the Climate, Look to the Oceans, Scientific American
It offers major opportunities to abandon fossil fuels, sequester tons of carbon, and create a sustainable food system. I’m talking about renewable offshore energy and algae biofuel, about coastal ecosystems and regenerative ocean farming.

The writer, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D., is a marine biologist, policy expert and Brooklyn native. She is founder of the consultancy Ocean Collectiv and the think tank Urban Ocean Lab.

FITCH SOLUTIONS RESEARCH

US and Spain poised for stellar capacity growth, Wind Power Monthly
Fitch Solutions researchers forecast the US to achieve 174GW of installed wind capacity by 2029, on the back of supportive policies at state level and the rise of corporate energy procurements. 

SOLAR MEDIA PODCAST

Major movements in US solar and greener-than-ever grids, PV-Tech
June 2020 episode of the Solar Media Podcast is now available to listen to, and it’s jam packed with insight and discussion around a flurry of activity in the US and Europe.

EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

House bill includes EV charging infrastructure grant program supported by APPA, American Public Power Association. Section 1303 of the bill authorizes $350 million annually for fiscal years 2022-2025 for a grant program to deploy electric and hydrogen vehicle charging infrastructure along existing Alternative Fuel Corridors, based on the Clean Corridors Act (H.R. 2616), which APPA supports. 

COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION

Community energy utilities in California investigate long duration energy storage, Energy Storage News

A group of 11 community-focused energy utility groups in California have issued a Request for Information on long duration energy storage technologies that could be connected to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) grid. Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) are permitted to supply energy to residents in several US states.

What is a Community Choice Aggregation?, EPA Resource

Additional Resources

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC REPORT 

Report: 60% of Global Professionals Considering Renewables Purchase over Next 3 Years

Energy Efficiency Still Abundant and Cheaper Than Gas

By Sheryl Carter, Director, Power Sector,
Climate & Clean Energy Program, NRDC

A new study shows that programs to increase the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses remain even cheaper than natural gas, demonstrating once again that this abundant energy “resourceis the most cost-effective path to a cleaner future.

Energy efficiency programs work by offering incentives to customers who invest in money-saving fixtures, like attic insulation and energy-smart appliances. Time and time again, these programs have proven to be the cheapest way to cut our energy waste and forestall climate change. In addition to saving money and easing the effects of climate change, energy efficiency programs also generate high-quality jobs. Read more here.

MIDWEST NEWS

  • Missouri utilities moving ahead with on-bill energy efficiency financing, by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network. The on-bill repayment concept is known as Pay As You Save, or PAYS, and Ameren and Missouri’s two other investor-owned utilities are in various phases of developing or considering programs at the urging of state regulators. 
  • Michigan program — the largest of its kind — offers smart thermostat rebates, by Audrey Henderson, Energy News Network. Advocates say a Michigan utility’s plan to help thousands of customers buy smart thermostats is a significant step forward in developing a more efficient and responsive grid. Consumers Energy will provide $125 rebates for up to 100,000 smart thermostats to Michigan residents in a partnership with Google and Uplight. Customers who participate will be enrolled in a program that helps curtail demand during peak times in the summer.

NATIONAL ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE

What’s It Like to Work in Business Development at an Energy Storage Company?
GTM talks to Laura Meilander, vice president of business development at Convergent Energy + Power, about expanding the energy storage market.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO SOLAR BUSINESSES

GREEN HYDROGEN

Orsted Backs First Major Green Hydrogen Project Focused on Transport Sector, Greentech Media. The Copenhagen project would use offshore wind to produce green hydrogen and other decarbonized fuels for land, air and sea transport.