Category Archives: Financing

ACCIONA acquires 3,000 MW in photovoltaic projects being developed in the USA

Acciona News Release

ACCIONA today announced the signature of an agreement with the US company Tenaska to acquire a portfolio of photovoltaic projects in seven states across the country. The portfolio comprises approximately 3,000 megawatts (MW) of rated power in utility-scale photovoltaic plants and 1.000 MW of battery storage. The transaction covers 20 projects located in the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, within the scope of the PJM Interconnection and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) markets. Tenaska – through Tenaska Solar Ventures, the company’s solar development services business – will work with ACCIONA to complete development of the projects.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has a robust renewables program that includes solar and wind generation in various stages of development, construction and operation. Tenaska Solar Ventures provides development services to approximately 40 projects in 11 states, totaling roughly 6,000 MW of renewable solar capacity. Read more here.

Related Article

ACCIONA buys solar + storage on a national scale, PV Magazine
The Spanish company has purchased 3 GW of solar projects and 1 GW of solar + storage from developer Tenaska, with all of the projects concentrated in non-traditional solar markets.

Previously Posted

The Midwest’s solar future will be unlike anything seen before, PV Magazine
Fitch Solutions Marco Research has boldly predicted the region will be a main driver towards the 100 GW of solar power capacity expected to hit the U.S. over the next 10 years. The procurement will be led by city and utility commitments to renewable energy, the falling costs of solar and the continued expansion of popular community solar programs.

More Regional & State Energy Transition News

Green Bonds

Green bonds lead sustainable funding past $1tn mark, PV Magazine International
In the past 12 years, green bonds have raised nearly $800 billion for investment in clean energy and other sustainability projects and companies are now pegging bond interest payments to their environmental performance.

Grid Decarbonization

Carbon-free – are we at a tipping point?, sponsored content by DistribuTECH, written by Julia Hamm, SEPA President. Published by Utility Dive. Of all the changes and industry trends I’ve witnessed over the past two decades, I believe the most significant is one we are witnessing today: voluntary utility commitments to get to 100% clean or carbon-free energy within the next two-and-a-half to three decades. 

EV News

Featured Nonprofit Energy Transition Initiative

The Just Transition Fund (JTF) is a national philanthropic initiative focused on coal community transition. The Fund supports and connects frontline communities through four key strategies.

Where JTF Works
The Fund focuses on coalfield and power plant communities. Our geographic priorities include key states in Appalachia, the West, and the Midwest. The Fund gives preference to states experiencing the largest numbers of plant retirements and to regions that contain both plants and mines.

How Apple is helping its suppliers move to 100% renewable power

By Adele Peters, Fast Company

Every Apple store, data center, and office now runs on renewable energy, a milestone that the company reached last year. But the tech giant is also working on the much larger goal of helping all of its suppliers make the same transition.

“If you look at our corporate carbon footprint, over 70% is in the supply chain,” says Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental, social, and policy initiatives, who previously served as head of the Obama-era EPA. “And, of course, those aren’t facilities that we own or operate. But we wanted them to have this access to the same high-quality clean energy that we did.” Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Apple

RE100: Apple is an RE100 member. In April 2018 the company achieved 100% renewable electricity powering its global facilities across 43 countries. Apple is also helping its manufacturing partners lower their carbon footprint, working with them to install more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide by 2020. Other RE100 members are collaborating with their suppliers to help them transition to renewable energy. Read about their actions by clicking the link, above.

MORE NEWS & RESOURCES


NEW CARBON SEQUESTRATION INITIATIVE 

The Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP), a partnership between the American Forest Foundation (AFF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is a new approach to globally significant climate mitigation that taps into the carbon storage potential of the 290-million acres of family-owned U.S. forestland. The program creates a new market for private landowners, giving them another option to offset forest management costs and generate income from their land. Learn more here.

RENEWABLE HYDROGEN

South Australia unveils plans for 100% renewable hydrogen economy, Renew Economy
Recent studies have shown that the cost of wind and solar has fallen so dramatically, and the cost of electrolysers is also expected to fall at the same rate, that renewable hydrogen will be able to compete on costs with “brown” or “grey” hydrogen, used from coal or other fossil fuel sources.

Previously Posted

  • The slow, inexorable rise of green hydrogen, PV Magazine
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) believes the production of hydrogen from renewables has the potential to deliver 19 exajoules of energy in 2050. Some 16 TW of solar and wind power generation capacity – 120 exajoules – may be needed to generate green hydrogen or related products from electrolysis by that point. Today the world hosts around 7 TW of total power generation capacity, around 1 TW of which comes from solar and wind, according to IRENA’s Hydrogen: A renewable energy perspective report. An International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen stated fossil-fueled production of the fuel is responsible for “annual CO2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”.
  • Electrolysis breakthrough could solve the hydrogen conundrum, by Alexandr Simonov, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Published by Phys.Org.
    Australia, with its abundant sun and wind, has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives.

USDA Seeks Applications for Rural Energy for America Program

Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand invites applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems; to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.

The funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which was created under the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized under the 2018 Farm Bill. This notice seeks applications for Fiscal Year 2020 funding. The deadlines to apply for grants are Oct. 31, 2019, and March 31, 2020. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.
Read more here.

How to Compare Solar Energy Bids & Select a Solar Installer

By Sarah Lozanova, Earth 911

More home and business owners are installing solar panels than ever before. And we now have a greater variety of panels and solar equipment to choose from than ever before. Depending on where you live, you probably have at least two or three solar installers that service your area. This means you have a lot of options when installing a solar energy system — which can be overwhelming. Let’s explore some of the items to consider that will help you select a solar energy installer that can meet your needs. Continue reading here.

Adobe Stock Photo

LINKS TO INCENTIVES & MORE 

Federal Investment Tax Credit: 30% to December 31, 2019.  

SEIA Infographic 

LES Solar Incentive

Additionally, LES customers may qualify for a one-time capacity payment of up to $1,000 per kilowatt of peak demand reduced. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the system size and primary direction the system is facing, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $375.
  • Western facing or single or dual axis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $475.

    Source: 
    Customer-owned Renewable Generation

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources

States March toward 100% Clean Energy–Who’s Next?

By Jeff Deyette, Director of State Policy & Analysis, Clean Energy,
Union of Concerned Scientists Blog

Eight states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico (not pictured here) have committed to 100% Renewable or Clean Energy Standards. Another 13 states are actively considering similar measures.

One year ago this week, the California legislature passed landmark legislation committing the state’s power providers to supplying 60% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and setting a target of 100% clean, or carbon-free, power by mid century. It was a bold action that significantly raised the bar for other states considering policy action. And over the last 12 months, another six states (bringing the total to eight states) plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have answered the call with various obligations toward 100% clean energy over the next few decades. What’s driving this surge in state-level clean energy leadership? And which states will be the next to step up? Read more here. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ENERGY NEWS NETWORK ARTICLES

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Solar Industry Calls on FERC to Enforce PURPA, Increase Competition
The proposal provides utilities with a new framework for offering competitive solicitations based on their integrated resource plans, while also complying with PURPA’s requirement to purchase energy and capacity from small renewable and cogeneration facilities. SEIA’s competitive bidding solution is designed to prevent utility self-dealing while opening the market for new capacity to independent developers.

PACE FINANCING

  • Green builders lean on a juggernaut loan program, The Philadelphia Tribune
    Developers grappling with the cost of new laws enacted to combat climate change are taking advantage of a little-known finance tool to help pay for green-building requirements. In Omaha, Nebraska, for instance, the Capitol District, a $205 million mixed-use entertainment development, has become the latest milestone in a long-running effort to revitalize the downtown area. The project’s developer, Shamrock Development, tapped a PACE program to pay for LED lighting, heat pumps, low-flow water fixtures, and other building materials and equipment to enhance energy and water efficiency.
  • In Chicago, a new financing tool for clean energy and efficiency upgrades, Energy News Network
    Advocates see strong potential in Chicago and surrounding areas for property assessed clean energy financing to boost investments.

RECYCLING EV BATTERIES

MORE ON UTAH’S SONNEN & RMP VIRTUAL POWER PLANT

Rocky Mountain Power prepares to operate largest US residential battery demand response project, Utility Dive. “In my opinion, this is the most transformative project we’ve worked on in the United States,” Sonnen CEO Blake Richetta told Utility Dive. That’s coming from a company that has installed more than 40,000 batteries globally and already developed multiple Virtual Power Plants that combine residential energy systems into grid resources. But Richetta, who took the helm at Sonnen earlier this year, said the Utah project stands out for multiple reasons.

Rocky Mountain Power is a division of PacifiCorp, a fully-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

Previously Posted

Rural Development Saves Nebraskans Energy Dollars

U.S. Department of Agriculture News Release

LINCOLN, NEB. – Nebraska Rural Development State Director Karl Elmshaeuser announces that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $203,493 in Nebraska to reduce energy costs for agricultural producers and rural small businesses.  “The energy projects funded will help to lower energy costs which will improve the recipients’ bottom lines and create jobs,” Elmshaeuser said. “Dollars saved will be available to be reinvested into Nebraska’s economy making it even stronger.” Nebraska recipients include: Continue reading here.

Previously Posted

More Ag News

  • Tons happening with agriculture right now, Melissa Bartels, Nebraska Extension-UNL
    What’s going on in Ag? The USDA reported this month that 19.4 million acres in the nation were not able to be planted; this is the most acres reported since the USDA Farm Service Agency began releasing the report in 2007. Twelve Midwestern states account for more than 73 percent of those prevent plant acres; flooding and heavy rainfall prevented the planting of mostly corn, soybeans and wheat. Approximately a half of a million acres within Nebraska were prevent plant. In our region, Butler County had over 7,000 acres reported to the USDA as prevent plant and Polk County had a little over 1,000 acres.
  • USDA reports 19 million prevented planting acres in nation, Nebraska TV

Previously Posted Ag News

  • The climate solutions beneath our feet, by Melissa Ho, Senior Vice President, Freshwater and Food, World Wildlife Fund. Published by GreenBiz. By using a combination of climate-smart practices — rotational cattle grazing on native grasslands, planting cover crops to keep soil in place and enrich it with nutrients, innovative feed options that provide nutrition and increase the efficiency of an animal’s gut biome — a producer theoretically could achieve net negative emissions.
  • Big Food turning to regenerative agriculture to meet sustainability goals, Food Dive

Featured Documentary
CBS News Documentary: A Climate Reckoning in the Heartland. Shared by Graham Christensen, Regenerate Nebraska.

Upcoming Event
September 8, 2019, 1:30 to 3pm: Climate Change in Nebraska with Dr. Martha Shulski, Director of Nebraska State Climate Office-UNL. Hosted by Green Bellevue at Bellevue University, Hitchcock Humanities Center, Room 202. Additional details here. Dr. Shulski was among those interviewed for the above CBS documentary.

Renewable energy funds available for farmers

By Cody Smith, Policy Associate at The Center for Rural Affairs, Record Herald

In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced more than $400 million available for farmers and rural business owners under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP, a farm bill program, provides financing for energy efficiency upgrades like insulation, lighting, and HVAC systems. Renewable energy systems like solar panels, anaerobic digesters, and wind turbines are also eligible. For both farmers and rural business owners, these systems can help cut energy costs—keeping money in rural economies across the nation. Read more here.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action-oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

Related Reading

BNEF: Corporations signed contracts for 8.6 GW of clean energy in 2019

By Michelle Froese, Windpower Engineering

U.S. corporations bought 5.95 GW of clean energy in 2019, closing in on the 2018 total, according to BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) recently published, 2H 2019 Corporate Energy Market Outlook. The report shows that companies are once again flocking to Texas – historically the largest corporate procurement market in the country – where 40% of the activity in 2019 has occurred. However, just 1 GW of deals in the U.S. have come from green tariffs with regulated utilities. It is unlikely to reach the 2.6 GW seen in all of 2018.

This may be a result of buyer apprehension, as several companies have been involved in highly publicized legal battles with regulated utilities over clean energy buying. Companies are instead favoring the virtual PPA model, which has made up 82% of all U.S. deals in 2019. Read more here.

Resources for Businesses


RE100:
191 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)
In 2018, four leading NGOS — Rocky Mountain InstituteWorld Wildlife FundWorld Resources Institute, and Business for Social Responsibility — merged their renewable energy programs, the Business Renewables Center, the Future of Internet Power, the Buyers Principles, and Green Tariff programs. This programmatic consolidation builds upon their collective success and offers a single streamlined solution.

REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands.

 

U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide for Corporate Buyers,
World Resources Institute

 

Save the Date!
September 12, 2019 at 7 pm – Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director, UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201 & 205. Mr. Bracht will provide an overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth.

Specific topics will include:

  • power purchase agreements
  • virtual power purchase agreements
  • commercial and industrial use of solar
  • the potential for combined solar and battery installations
  • incentives and depreciation

GreenBiz Webcasts

How an organic dairy’s quest for clean energy spread solar across Wisconsin

Written by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

As Wisconsin’s largest-ever solar project comes online this summer, the multi-site, multi-state partnership behind the development offers a potential model for how organizations can band together to meet clean energy goals. The Butter Solar Project consists of 32 megawatts installed at 10 locations feeding into 13 municipal utilities in three states. A who’s who of co-op grocery store shelves including Organic Valley, Dr. Bronner’s and Clif Bar have signed on to buy the renewable credits along with the city of Madison. It all started with a quest by Organic Valley to operate on 100% renewable energy before the project mushroomed into a much larger initiative, said Eric Udelhofen, project director for the developer, OneEnergy Renewables.
Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Organic Valley Becomes 100 Percent Renewably Powered, Company News Release

Photo by OneEnergy Renewables: The largest installation of the Butter Solar Project, in Arcadia, Wisconsin. Organic Valley “provided financial assistance to more than 200 farmer members to install solar arrays on their dairies.”

About Frank Jossi

Frank Jossi is an independent journalist and consultant based in St. Paul and a longtime contributor to Midwest Energy News. His articles have appeared in more than 50 publications, including Minnesota Monthly, Wired, the Los Angeles Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Technology, Finance & Commerce and others. Frank has also been a Humphrey policy fellow at the University of Minnesota, a Fulbright journalism teacher in Pakistan and Albania, and a program director of the World Press Institute at Macalester College.

RE100: Organic Valley is one of 191 RE100 companies that have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Organic Valley is a US-based cooperative of farmers producing award-winning organic milk, cheese, butter, soy milk, and other products.

The case for a U.S. federal green bank

Contributed Article by Ilmi Granoff, PV Magazine

In this post ClimateWorks makes the argument that whether you are looking to support innovation or deployment of existing clean energy solutions, a federal Green Bank would be a powerful tool for advancing the energy transition. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Flickr

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED STUDY

10 Breakthrough Technologies Can Help Feed the World Without Destroying It, World Resources Institute. How can the world feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050 while also advancing economic development, protecting and restoring forests, and stabilizing the climate? It won’t be easy and will require major new efforts, but it can be done. Our new World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future, co-issued by the World Bank, UN Environment Programme and UN Development Programme, recommends a menu of 22 solutions served over five courses: