Category Archives: Energy Storage

The Living Land: Moonshot, version 2.0

By Chris Lee, Nebraska City News-Press 

Name one technology that has more or less remained the same for over 100 years. I’ll give you two: electricity and automotive transportation. I feel it’s time we as a nation take the lead on re-imagining both. The traditional way of producing electricity is to dig or drill some finite resource out of the earth, process it, transport it across the continent, then burn it. To keep the turbines spinning, we have to keep burning fuel, generally coal or natural gas. Without taking into account the carbon emissions or pollution issues associated with this method of electricity generation, the process requires a constant input of consumables. All of which cost money. What if we instead . . . Continue reading here.

Chris Lee is executive director of Des Moines County Conservation. Follow his blog at OutdoorExecutiveDad.blogspot.com.

City of Norfolk, NPPD teaming up for solar project

Special to the Norfolk Daily News 

Approval was given Monday at the Norfolk City Council meeting regarding the state’s largest community solar project with NPPD. The project will be tied to a battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project expected to be in operation by mid-2020. NPPD, with support from the City of Norfolk, received a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust in the amount of $490,000 over two years for the battery energy project, which will be the first of its kind in the state . . . “As technologies have advanced and costs have decreased, rural Nebraska is now in position to produce energy as efficiently as it does food,” said Mayor Josh Moenning.

Read more here.

SoCore Energy Photo: Kearney’s 5.7-megawatt solar farm on 53 acres of the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, The panels are mounted on a tracker-designed racking system. The solar farm generates about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand.

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

How the Green New Deal Can Unify Rather than Divide Us

Written by Ken Kimmel, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists

The “Green New Deal,” which seemed to spring out of nowhere, has captured the attention of many of us who recognize that the need to prevent runaway climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. Its inspiring title calls to mind an era when our country worked together to pull out of a depression. Its main proponents are young people—who better than the up-and-coming generation to demand that the former one leaves behind a world that is habitable? And, it calls for action on a scale that aligns with the best available science.

Unfortunately, many who oppose acting on climate change are using the Green New Deal as a political football . . . Those of us who want the United States to lead on climate change, whether such action is called a Green New Deal, or another inspiring frame (e.g., 100% clean energy by mid-century) must not let this happen. The key is to define the Green New Deal before the caricatures stick, by showing that, while it is ambitious, it is realistic and affordable. We can succeed if we follow these principles: Continue reading here.

Previously posted YouTube video exemplifying local “micro” Green New Deals sprouting up all across the country: How one small city sowed the seeds for its own Green New Deal

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Puerto Rico passes 100% renewable energy bill as it aims for storm resilience, Utility Dive
The U.S. territory will join Hawaii, California and Washington, D.C., with its 100% RPS target, which includes interim goals of 40% renewables by 2025 and 50% by 2040. Photo Credit: Flickr user Ricardo’s Photography

NEW REPORT

Battery Power’s Latest Plunge in Costs Threatens Coal, Gas, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The most striking finding in this [levelized cost of electricity update], for the first-half of 2019, is on the cost improvements in lithium-ion batteries. These are opening up new opportunities for them to balance a renewables-heavy generation mix. Batteries co-located with solar or wind projects are starting to compete, in many markets and without subsidy, with coal- and gas-fired generation for the provision of ‘dispatchable power’ that can be delivered whenever the grid needs it. 

NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SOLAR RESEARCH PROJECT

News Release: Department of Energy Announces $130 Million for Early-Stage Solar Research Project
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $130 million for new research to advance early-stage solar technologies. These projects will help to achieve affordable and reliable energy to enhance America’s economic growth and energy security . . . This funding program targets five research areas: photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), soft costs reduction, innovations in manufacturing, and solar systems integration. These projects will make solar energy more affordable, reliable, and secure, while working to boost domestic solar manufacturing, reduce red tape, and make PV more resilient to cyberattack.

Previously Announced DOE Funding for Solar Energy Integration

For more information on the Solar Energy Technologies Office, visit their website HERE.

Community Microgrids with Energy Storage: Cost Effective and Clean

By Jacqueline DeRosa, Vice President of Energy Storage at Ameresco, Microgrid Knowledge

The growth of distributed resources is forcing utilities and grid operators to transition from standard operations to more decentralized power systems.  Already, local and clean distributed resources can directly provide a local community’s energy needs. Distributed renewable energy paired with energy storage is not just technically feasible, but also cost-effective for many applications today. New predictive analytics can optimize the use of solar, advanced energy storage, energy efficiency, and other resources to allow communities to procure renewable, low-cost energy and maintain reliability. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Energy Storage Has A Breakout Year On Both Sides Of The Meter, by Jeff McMahon, Forbes. Wood Mackenzie has not yet released its report on 2018, but Finn-Foley offered a sneak preview to Clean Energy States Alliance members Thursday, telling them that the fourth quarter of 2018 broke energy storage records everywhere.

Global battery storage pipeline reaches 15 GW, by Julian Jansen, IHS Markit Senior Analyst. PV Magazine International. With the U.S. market poised for exponential growth in 2019, the Americas already have a project pipeline of over 4.3 GW. As policy frameworks advance across the United States, IHS Markit already tracks project activity in 39 states, which have operational energy storage systems, with an additional five states with projects planned or under construction.

What Changed In The Solar & Energy Storage Industries In 2018?

By Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

I started covering the solar energy industry seriously in 2009. It seemed like a hopping, exciting time in the industry — growth was exploding. I remember one early story in which readers
admonished me a little because I put “Solar Power Exploding” in a headline, and they thought I was referring to genuine explosions. In 2019, 2009 and 2010 progress looks like anthills.

Scrolling back through our What Changed archives, below is a lengthy rundown of notable
changes within the solar energy and energy storage industries in 2018. I’m sure I missed some of them — drop a note in the comments if you have a favorite I skipped. I’m also sure this post is far too long for the casual reader — do your best. Additionally, stay tuned for record-breaking progress in 2019. Read more here.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan
spends most of his time on CleanTechnica as its
director and chief editor. He’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zachary is
recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert.


ALSO IN THE NEWS

FEATURED REPORT

Design and Implementation of Community Solar Programs for Low- and Moderate-Income Customers, by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Clean Energy States Alliance

The report reviews existing and emerging low- and moderate-income (LMI) community solar programs, discusses key questions related to program design, outlines how states can leverage incentives and
finance structures to lower the cost of LMI community solar, and examines marketing and outreach considerations. CESA hosted a
webinar with report authors Jenny Heeter and Lori Bird from NREL in August 2018 to discuss the report’s findings. Watch it here.


SOLAR ROOFING NEWS

World’s largest roofing company launches residential solar arm, PV Magazine. Standard Industries has
announced the launch of GAF Energy, a subsidiary which will interface with local roofing contractors to sell its
DecoTech Solar roof system.

News Release: Standard Industries Launches GAF Energy To Transform Rooftop Solar Industry
Click image to watch a two-minute video.


UPCOMING DOCUMENTARY & WEBINAR

FRONTLINE Documentary: Coal’s Deadly Dust
January 22, 2019 at 9 pm on PBS

FRONTLINE and PBS investigate the rise of severe black lung disease among coal miners. This joint investigation reveals the biggest disease clusters ever documented, and how the industry and the government failed to protect miners. Watch the Trailer Here.

Recommended Reading: An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It

Drive Electric Earth Day: How To Participate  
January 22, 2019 at 1 pm

Drive Electric Earth Day is a national campaign to share information about electric vehicles during April 2019. The event is an opportunity to highlight clean energy by including electric vehicles in your community’s Earth Day celebration. Plug In America, Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association serve as the national team providing support to the events throughout the country.

If you’re thinking of organizing or helping at an event, you’re encouraged to attend this Drive Electric Earth Day Webinar.

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