This year at Doane, the Climate Reality Project Campus Corps of Doane University are working to help Doane commit to 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030. There are a number of benefits to pursuing this: lower costs, lower environmental impact, first in the state, etc. Doane was not only the first school in Nebraska to divest from fossil fuels last spring but [also] to commit to be the first school in the state to become carbon neutral through 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Continue reading here.
Photo: Zach Renshaw, Chair of Doane University’s Climate Reality Campus Corps
100% Committed Climate Reality Project’s 100% Committed Toolkit offers a step-by-step guide to building a 100% campaign, as well as all the tips and resources needed to organize your community and work with your school, city or town, or local businesses to shift to 100-percent renewable electricity.
Climate Reality Campus Corps With help from National Climate Reality staff, students at participating campuses receive guidance in designing campaigns and organizing fellow students to convince their schools to embrace clean energy and sustainability.
Glenn and Catherine Dice have been farmers all their lives, owning 60 cows at one point and growing corn, wheat, alfalfa, and barley on what has become 700 acres in Franklin County, southwest of Harrisburg. But in the last year, the Dices added a new crop to their fields: solar panels. In a growing trend across Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, the Dices have agreed to a 25-year contract to rent 134 acres to Lightsource BP, a London-based solar company with an office in Philadelphia. Lightsource is renting a total of 500 acres of land from seven Franklin County farm owners to install a utility-scale solar array with 150,000 panels, in what will be the largest solar installation in the state. It will sell the power generated to Pennsylvania State University, providing 25% of the university’s electrical needs for all its campuses. As a nonprofit, Penn State is not eligible for the 30% tax incentive that comes with installing solar. Since Lightsource is eligible, purchasing the electricity through that company significantly reduces the university’s entry cost and liability. Read more here.
Doane University students and staff are working together to get the university to divest from the fossil fuel industry by 2030. They will be switching to sustainable technologies through investing in renewable resources as the source of their power. Doane currently has two investments in the oil and gas industries that are set to expire in the next 10 years. Through the influence of the student movement, the university has agreed to no longer renew these partnerships. Doane University’s agreement is the first in Nebraska. Read more here.
Additional Recommended Reading Doane Commits Divestment of Fossil Fuels, Doane Line Doane University has committed to no longer investing in fossil fuels, according to a press release on Monday May 21st. “On May 3, 2019, Doane University’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution to stop and end all future investments in fossil fuel companies,” the press release stated.
A report by Environment America Research & Policy Center Environment America News Release
America’s colleges and universities are leading the transition to a 100 percent renewable energy system. Small liberal arts colleges, large public universities and community colleges alike, from every corner of the U.S., are taking the lead in reducing energy consumption, deploying renewable energy technologies, and switching to electric vehicles.
The nation’s leading campuses for clean energy — from the University of Minnesota, Morris to Southwestern University in Texas — are setting a strong example for other colleges and the nation as a whole to follow. More than 40 colleges and universities now obtain 100 percent or more of their electricity from renewable energy sources. And, of the 180 schools that have reported their renewable energy data to The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), 91 percent are using some amount of renewable energy.
Campuses are also leading in cleaning up our transportation system. Each of the top 10 schools for electric vehicles (EVs) in this ranking have switched over 60 percent of their campus-owned vehicles to EVs. Of the 261 campuses reporting their campus fleet details to STARS, 88 percent have at least one EV. Continue reading here.
Renewable energy jobs are booming across America, creating stable and high-wage employment for blue-collar workers in some of the country’s most fossil fuel-heavy states, just as the coal industry is poised for another downturn.
California Solar Bill of Rights Promises a Panel for Every Roof, The Bay City Beacon Introduced on February 13 by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-SF), SB 288, the Solar Bill of Rights, would “enable greater deployment of customer-sited distributed energy resources (DER) by recognizing that all Californians have the right to generate and store their own renewable electricity without undue interference from their local electric utility.”
Sunrun: 2, paperwork: 0, PV Magazine USA A federal ruling granting waivers to generator filings for distributed PV systems could open the door for Sunrun and other companies to sell power from rooftop solar into wholesale power markets.
Marking the largest commitment to solar energy in Maryland and one of the most significant pledges to greenhouse gas reduction in higher education, Johns Hopkins University has entered into a long-term agreement to supply its campuses with more than 250,000 megawatt hours of solar power per year.
Earth Matters: Climate change challenges from every corner of the globe, CBS News On April 22, 1970, CBS News marked the first ever Earth Day with a special report anchored by Walter Cronkite. “The gravity of the message of Earth Day still came through: act or die,” Cronkite said at the time. CBS News correspondents reported on protests, clean-up efforts, and calls to action from all over the country. It was the start of the modern environmental movement. Now 49 years later, we are covering the environmental issues of the day — this time from every corner of the globe.
Renogy’s Solar Panels Bring Low Cost, Portable Solar To The Masses, Clean Technica. Renogy has built some impressive portable solar panels that allow consumers to recharge their devices and their portable USB batteries using the power of the sun. It’s a beautiful combination that had me excited when the company reached out to me about a review of its 5 watt and 10 watt portable solar panels.
After years of hard work and dedication, a third of the power generated around the world is now linked to renewable energy. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) just released new data that shows impressive growth in both wind and solar energy, which has contributed to the changes in energy sources around the globe. Read more here.
Largescale solar project planned, Gunnison Country Times PV panels eyed for five Gunnison County buildings: Since county buildings are served by the City of Gunnison, a three-way agreement must be reached between the city, the county and the city’s energy provider, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN). This is a requirement by MEAN for any solar project over 25 kW. The agreement would specify the price at which MEAN will buy back any excess energy produced by the county. Currently, MEAN will pay about 4 cents for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) put back on the city’s grid for projects under 25kW. However, the county’s rate must be negotiated with MEAN because of the large size of the project to ensure adequate infrastructure is in place, said Gunnison City Manager Russ Forrest.
$2.4B Wind Transmission Project Gains Momentum and Investors, Energy News-Record SOO Green Renewable Rail: The project, named for Canadian Pacific Railway’s Soo line, would run an underground high-voltage direct current transmission line along 349 miles of the rail firm’s existing U.S. track, from Mason City, Iowa, to near Chicago. Right-of-way is in place for about 85% of the route.
Illinois is beginning to build a robust solar industry in the wake of passing its Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016, and they’re in the process of following it up with a Clean Energy Jobs Act this year. And they’re not the only Midwestern state to join the Solar Revolution. Minnesota is the birthplace of the best community solar program in the nation, and Michigan is (albeit slowly) bringing its solar policies into the 21st century.
Florida Power & Light Company News Release, PR Newswire
FPL is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy.
FPL SolarTogether will significantly expand solar energy in Florida. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490 MW of new universal solar at 20 new solar power plants across its service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program. “This program will more than double the amount of community solar currently in the U.S.” – Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL. Read more here.
MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS
Toyota Driving Demand For Solar Power In Ohio Valley, WKU Public Radio Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major investment in solar and other renewable energy in Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine property in Kentucky. Photo by Sydney Boles: Part of the 700-acre surface mine still remains to be reclaimed.
The 1,487 solar panels sit atop the three largest roof surfaces on the UNMC campus.
The panels can generate up to 500 kilowatts of solar-powered electricity to help power the campus, and “its energy production will equal the average annual electricity use of 60 homes in OPPD’s service territory,” said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project . . . Darren Dageforde, executive director of utilities and energy utilization for UNMC, said the med center already has made great strides in reducing energy use and increasing efficiency. “Having a renewable energy source on campus demonstrates our commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030 and parallels our mission to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities.” Read the entire article here.
The Hastings Economic Development Corp.’s 45th annual meeting, Thursday evening at The Lark celebrated the work that colleges and school districts in Hastings are exerting to develop young talent and the future workforce . . . CCC broke ground in September 2018 for a 32,000-square-foot renovation and expansion of the Hamilton Building after the CCC Foundation met its $5 million fundraising goal six months ahead of schedule. The Hamilton Building is home to CCC’s advanced manufacturing design technology and welding technology programs . . . CCC is also working on potential partnerships for an energy technology program with companies that are either based in Nebraska or have a presence in Nebraska to train students to work in the renewable energy field in Nebraska. Read the entire article here.
Photo: The wind turbine on the CCC campus that came online in December 2016 has generated 120 percent of the campus’ energy needs in its first two years. Bluestem Energy Solutions of Omaha built and owns the turbine; Hastings Utilities buys and sells the electricity – including to CCC.
City seeking proposals for solar project, Hastings Tribune
Derek Zeisler, Hastings Utilities director of marketing and energy supply: “It seems to be a good size for a good price point,” he said of the 1.5 megawatt size of the solar project, which is similar to the power generated by the Central Community College-Hastings wind turbine.
Yesterday, Lazards released its Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis version 12.0 for Energy (pdf), and Version 4.0 for Energy Storage (pdf). The document shows that utility scale wind, solar offer the cheapest absolute electricity pricing – without subsidies. When federal tax subsidies are applied, essentially politically palatable forms of a carbon tax, we see all thin film solar cheaper than all gas, and the majority of crystalline silicon solar cheaper than gas. Rooftop solar for residential and commercial, with its broad price ranges representing the broad classes of projects they cover, shows higher pricing. However, this analysis doesn’t consider the additional benefits including avoided costs achieved with behind-the-meter installations, and as such it isn’t a pure apples-to-apples comparison. Read more here.
Wisconsin importer and distributor invests in solar energy, Fresh Plaza Maglio Companies, an importer and distributor of fresh produce, has installed over 1,100 solar panels on the roof of its Glendale, Wisconsin facility. This array is expected to produce an estimated 477,000 kilowatt hours of sustainable electricity each year. This is equivalent to the annual energy usage of 58 average Wisconsin homes.
State’s largest solar farm nearing production, The Spokesman-Review. Washington’s largest solar farm will begin commercial production next month in this Columbia Basin town better known for its annual Combine Demolition Derby. Nearly 82,000 solar panels have been installed near Lind’s pioneer-era cemetery, resembling a mirage on the dusty landscape. Sensors adjust the angle of the flat, blue panels throughout the day, allowing them to maximize the capture of solar rays.
Carport Solar Array Receives 2018 Innovative Project Award, MSU Today Michigan State University’s solar carport project received the 2018 Innovative Project Award from the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan. The award recognizes exemplary projects in the region exhibiting features above and beyond the status quo. MSU’s solar carport array is constructed on five of the university’s largest commuter parking lots and covers 5,000 parking spaces.