Category Archives: NewsBlog

Clean energy should prioritize creating equitable partnerships

Utility Dive article contributed by Lavannya Pulluveetil Barrera,
access and equity program manager at Vote Solar.


Partnerships with frontline communities, communities of color, and low wealth communities are essential to creating a just energy system. It should come as no surprise that those closest to the problem hold the most transformative solutions, yet often the leaders representing those communities are absent from coalition tables pushing clean energy policy, are not heard on main-stage panels at conferences, are not contacted when building projects where people stand to benefit the most from the clean energy transition. Read more here.


PUERTO RICO

White House authorizes $9.6B to rebuild Puerto Rico’s grid, but how can it be spent?, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

The Trump Administration on Friday announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized $9.6 billion to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power infrastructure — three years after the island’s electric grid was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Questions remain, however, about how the federal disaster recovery funding can be spent, including whether the money can go towards new distributed generation or must be spent repairing existing infrastructure.

FIRST-EVER SOLAR MORTGAGE REIT

How Solar Investors Can Help Pave The Way For A Green Economic Recovery, Forbes
The writer, a Forbes Councils Member is Co-Founder and CEO of RadiantREIT, targeting institutional investors to build the first-ever solar mortgage real estate investment trust.

SOLAR RACKING & TRACKING INNOVATION

US solar racking industry now innovating, consolidating, PV Magazine
With installers and developers trying to squeeze every kilowatt-hour out of every rooftop and every array, racking and trackers are the unsung heroes that secure and tilt panels, while maximizing output and protecting wiring and other gear.

AMERICAN WIND POWER FACTS

Six Facts to Know About American Wind Power During National Clean Energy Week, Climate Week NYC, REVE

U.S. wind power plays an important role in diversifying America’s energy portfolio, and provides affordable, reliable electricity for millions of Americans.  As we kick off both NCEW and Climate Week NYC and their discussion of common-sense solutions to support economic recovery, here are six things you need to know about wind energy:

WALMART

FACEBOOK’S NEW CLIMATE STRATEGY

Facebook aims to fight climate misinformation and reach net zero emissions by 2030, BusinessGreen article republished by GreenBiz

Following years of criticism for its part in the spread of climate misinformation, Facebook has announced plans for a new virtual Climate Science Information Center that will connect its users to up-to-date science-based climate information. The Climate Science Information Center initially will launch in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France and bring together factual resources from the world’s leading climate organizations. The firm announced the launch of the dedicated climate space on its site last week as it announced a new plan to reach net zero emissions from its supply chain, including suppliers, employee commuting and business travel, by 2030. 

TESLA BATTERY DAY

Tesla slashes the price of the Powerpack by 27% on Battery Day

‘Game-Changer’ FERC Order Opens Up Wholesale Grid Markets to Distributed Energy Resources

By Jeff St. John, Senior Editor, Greentech Media

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) passed Order 2222, which is intended to allow small distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar and behind-the-meter batteries, to participate in energy, capacity, and ancillary services markets operated by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs).

RTOs and ISOs oversee the transmission grids serving electricity to two-thirds of the country. Much of the impact of the order will depend on how market rules are designed to incorporate distributed resources, which are predicted to reach 380 gigawatts of installed capacity across the country’s grid by 2025. RTOs and ISOs will have 270 days to file implementation compliance plans after Order 2222 goes into effect in 60 days. Read more here.

MORE ON ORDER 2222

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

SOLSMART

Since 2016, SolSmart has provided in-depth technical assistance to hundreds of local governments nationwide and has awarded over 370 cities, towns, counties, and regional organizations with SolSmart designations for their solar achievements. If you are interested in becoming a SolSmart community, click one of these links: 

Request A Consultation
Apply For Designation 

U.S. AIRPORTS ADOPTING SOLAR

CU Denver Researcher Analyzes the Use of Solar Energy at U.S. Airports, CU Denver News
By studying 488 public airports in the United States, University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs researcher Serena Kim, PhD, found that 20% of them have adopted solar photovoltaic (PV), commonly known as solar panels, over the last decade. Solar photovoltaic (PV) is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. 

NET-ZERO GLOBAL ECONOMY

Net Zero by 2050 Is Achievable, Affordable, and Will Improve Lives, Rocky Mountain Institute
A net-zero global economy is technically and economically possible by the middle of this century. The technologies and business solutions needed to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero are already available or close to being brought to market. That is the encouraging conclusion of the latest report, Making Mission Possible, by the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC).

Solar Projects In Southern Indiana To Boost Economies, Double Solar Capacity

By Rebecca Thiele, WFYI Indianapolis, NPR 

Three large solar farms proposed for southern Indiana are expected to double the state’s solar capacity. Capital Dynamics and Tenaska hope to build projects in Pike, Gibson, and Knox counties adding 500 megawatts of solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Indiana has installed just more than 450 megawatts of solar to date. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Thomas Machnitzki / Wikimedia Commons

Indiana Wind Energy News 

Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. Awarded 302 MW EPC Wind Contract in Indiana, IEA News Release, GlobeNewswire. “There continues to be a strong demand for wind construction, and we are very pleased to be able to support the efforts to bring increased renewable energy sources to our home state of Indiana,” said JP Roehm, IEA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Wind installations in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2020 were the highest second quarter of installations on record.” 

IN NEBRASKA

Previously Posted: Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. Announces $98 Million Wind Construction Project in Nebraska, Globe Newswire

About Milligan One Wind Farm 
Ninety–nine (99) turbines are under construction for the Milligan One Wind Farm Project owned by EDF Renewables located south and east of Milligan in Saline County. Maximum capacity would be 300,000 kilowatts (or 300 megawatts). The average annual output could power about 10,000 homes. This facility is planned to be operational by the end of 2020. Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)

Milligan One Wind Project Website

FACEBOOK’S NET-ZERO EMISSIONS COMMITMENTS

Facebook Targets Net-Zero Across Its Global Supply Chain by 2030, Greentech Media
With wildfires burning north, south and east of its Menlo Park, California headquarters, Facebook on Monday announced it will expand its emissions-reductions goals, encompassing not only emissions from its own operations but also those produced by its suppliers. The social networking corporation expects to eliminate or offset all of its own emissions this year, while completely decarbonizing its supply chain by 2030.

CRAYOLA’S SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS 

Crayola products now being made by 100% renewable energy, company says, Lehigh Valley Live
“Crayola is committed to responsibly making its products and working to get better every day to ensure that children have a healthy environment for their creative tomorrows,” said Rich Wuerthele, Crayola’s president and CEO.

BP’S ROI GOALS FROM CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS

How BP Plans to Make Oil-Like Returns From Renewables, Greentech Media
The oil major wants to make returns of 8 to 10 percent from renewables projects as it chases a 50-gigawatt target for 2030.

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?, U.S. Department of Energy

HYDROGEN & FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGIES

How to build the foundation for a hydrogen economy in the US, GreenBiz
The US Department of Energy’s H2@Scale program, described as a “multi-year initiative to fully realize hydrogen’s benefits across the economy,” is a 4-year old initiative that is beginning to show results. It sees hydrogen as an integration technology that enhances the performance of diverse energy sources and plays a key role in facilitating a low carbon energy system.

During the past year, DOE channeled more than $100 million in grants to some 50 projects to further the H2@Scale initiative. They are funded through US Department of Energy’s H2@Scale program through its Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) in cooperation with other EERE offices. Just last month, EERE announced about $64 million for 18 projects in fiscal year 2020.

NATIONAL SOLAR TOUR

Deadline Extended: Sign Up for the National Solar Tour, American Solar Energy Society News Release, PR Newswire

The Deadline to submit your Local Solar Tour has been Extended to September 23, 2020. The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and Solar United Neighbors (SUN) have converted the 2020 edition of the National Solar Tour to be fully virtual. From September 28 – October 4, the largest annual grassroots solar event will take place online at nationalsolartour.org. The National Solar Tour will help empower tour-goers to learn about solar technology, sustainability, and the process of going solar from tour hosts nationwide; all from the safety of their home.

Google Pledges 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy by 2030

By Jeff St. John, Senior Editor, Greentech Media

Google on Monday pledged that by 2030 it will run its entire business on carbon-free energy — every hour of every day of the year. The promise commits the tech giant to an even more aggressive program of sourcing clean energy and enabling the infrastructure to make it available even when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

Monday’s commitment from Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, comes amid record-setting wildfires across the U.S. West driven by increased heat and dry conditions linked to global warming from human-produced carbon emissions. “The science is clear: The world must act now if we’re going to avert the worst consequences of climate change,” Pichai wrote in the blog post. Continue reading here.

Recommended Reading & Viewing

Commentary: Residential solar as an equity building asset

By John Blattner, solar sales executive at Pearl Certification, a national firm
that certifies high performing homes, Energy News Network

Recent surveys have shown that 69% of prospective buyers want — and are willing to pay for — energy-efficient and high-performing homes. Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z are especially interested in investing in renewable energy and homes that allow them to live out their environmentally conscious values. Yet relying on values-driven purchases alone is not enough in this economy, and few homebuyers are aware of the true long-term value that solar adds to the home. Read more here.

HOME ENERGY STORAGE

Read All About It: What’s New In Home Energy Storage Research, CleanTechnica
Household renewable energy generation through the use of solar panels is becoming more commonplace as installation costs are lessening and electricity prices are rising. Solar energy is an intermittent source, only generated during the day and subject to interference from weather and seasonal variation. The feasibility and limitations of various renewable energyenergy storage, grid-tied and off-the-grid systems are ripe research topics in academia and tech.

ELECTRIFICATION OF BUILDINGS

How to Accelerate the Electrification of Buildings in the Midwest, Greentech Media
Even in states with harsh winters, the economics and outlook for building electrification are changing quickly, the author writes.

US SOLAR MARKET

US Solar Market Performed Better Than Expected During Pandemic’s Worst Months, Greentech Media
Even with an uncertain road ahead, the solar market is still expected to grow in 2020, with capacity additions expected to rise 37 percent year-over-year. That’s because while the coronavirus chilled residential installations, the large-scale market continued its upward trajectory in the second quarter. “The volume of projects that we’ve seen announced in Q1 and Q2 has been pretty high,” said Colin Smith, a WoodMac senior solar analyst. “The development pipeline is the biggest we’ve ever seen.”

FIRST SOLAR ENTERS DG MARKET

First Solar changes course: now selling its thin-film solar panels into the distributed generation market, PV Magazine. The utility-scale solar pioneer and specialist is going small. After decades of avoiding distributed generation, its distributors will now offer First Solar’s series 6 modules to “projects and customers of all shapes and sizes.”

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

Walmart provides U.S. suppliers increased renewable energy access, Chain Store Age
Walmart is entering a partnership to help remove carbon dioxide from its supply chain. The discount giant is collaborating with energy management and automation provider Schneider Electric in a new program designed to educate Walmart suppliers about renewable energy purchases and accelerate renewable energy adoption through aggregate power purchase agreements (PPA). Known as the Gigaton PPA Program (GPPA), the initiative directly supports Walmart’s Project Gigaton, which aims to avoid one gigaton (one billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the retailer’s global value chain by 2030. 

Boeing signs solar power deal for Mesa site in Arizona, Renewables Now
Boeing wants to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025 and ultimately power its operations with 100% renewable energy. Two of the company’s sites already run on 100% renewables, namely Renton, Washington and Charleston, South Carolina.

SOLAR TRACKER POWERED BY AIR

Sunfolding looks to disrupt the tracker industry with air pneumatics, PV Magazine
With $32 million in series B funding and an ever-growing project pipeline, air-based tracker startup, Sunfolding, is hoping to increase its hold in the tracker market with tech that’s simple, light and can be installed on terrain previously thought untouchable.

Sunfolding White Paper – The Power of Air: How pneumatics, a 360-year-old technology, is accelerating growth in large-scale solar

GM

With New Wireless EV Battery System, GM Is Determined To Kill Off Gasmobiles (Eventually), CleanTechnica. If you’re thinking this new wireless system has something to do with wireless EV charging, not exactly. The focus is on introducing new EV models and new battery technology more efficiently, at less cost. GM claims that the new system, developed with the firm Analog Systems, is the first of its kind for any auto manufacturer.

ØRSTED’S TRANSITION STORY

How one fossil fuel company became a green giant, E&E News
In the United States, 27 utilities have pledged to reach carbon free or net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance. That list includes major power companies like American Electric Power, Duke Energy Corp. and Xcel Energy Inc.

Ørsted offers a potentially tantalizing example. Its finances have benefited greatly from the shift, a stark rejoinder to long-standing arguments that swapping fossil fuels for renewables is a money-losing proposition. Last year, a panel of judges at the Harvard Business Review ranked Ørsted as one of the top corporate makeovers of the last decade behind the likes of Netflix, Amazon.com and Microsoft. It was the only energy company on the list.

Previously Posted: Ørsted completes the onshore Plum Creek Wind project, Ørsted News Release

Solar-storage project would be ‘game-changer’ for Kansas City region

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

The world’s largest renewable energy developer is acquiring property in Kansas for a mega-project that would combine hundreds of megawatts of solar and storage capacity. A spokesperson for NextEra Energy confirmed the company is seeking land near Kansas City for a project that could include up to 500 MW each of solar and storage capacity, making it among the largest such projects in the country . . . NextEra is also pursuing a 423-megawatt solar project in Nebraska. It has acquired land rights and now is waiting to find a buyer and to hear what the Southwest Power Pool would charge for a connection to the grid. That figure is critical in developing renewable projects. Read more here.

Previously Posted  
NextEra, Nebraska farmers aim to build largest solar farm in the Midwest

Photo by Stuart Seeger / Flickr / Creative Commons

GAGE COUNTY WIND ENERGY RULE

County board approves wind turbine setback, by Monica Brich, Beatrice Daily Sun
The amendment increases setback requirements from nonparticipating residences from 3/8 to one mile. Nonparticipating residents are those who do not have contracts in place with a wind company. The Gage County Planning and Zoning committee previously approved the resolution in a 6-1 vote in August, after a six hour meeting.

U.S. RENEWABLE ENERGY MANUFACTURING

100 Gigawatts of Domestic Manufacturing Capacity by 2030, Solar Energy Industries Association
Today, SEIA is setting a target of 100 GW of domestic renewable energy manufacturing capacity by 2030, with a particular focus on solar, wind, and energy storage technologies. Right now, we are about a quarter of the way there. This goal is consistent with our aspirations of having solar energy account for 20% of all electricity generation by 2030. And it fits with a collective goal by the renewable energy industries—wind, solar and hydropower with storage, to hit 50% of all electricity by the end of the decade. The 100 GW target is designed to increase the United States’ ability to supply not only domestic renewable energy projects but also export markets. 

Download SEIA White Paper: The Solar+ Decade & American Renewable Energy Manufacturing

ENERGY EFFICIENCY 

Efficiency is smart for public power, American Public Power Association
To explore how central efficiency is for public power, we spoke with a few of the utilities that received the American Public Power Association’s Smart Energy Provider designation in 2019, the first year it was awarded, about what energy efficiency means to them. Utilities with this designation show a dedication to best practices and programs in energy efficiency, among other areas.

DECARBONIZING INDUSTRY

There Is No Business as Usual: Decarbonizing Industry Must Start Now, Rocky Mountain Institute
We know that a higher-than-1.5°C pathway will result in severe natural disasters, including flooding, rising sea levels, hurricanes, drought, and lethal temperature exposures. The increasing regularity of these extreme climate events will create drastic stresses on food and water supply, with ripple effects including hunger, market disruption, increased migration, and social unrest. In addition to threatening our environment and physical well-being, these events threaten our economy. In the United States alone the estimated total cost of weather and climate-based disasters between 1980 and 2019 is estimated at $1.75 trillion.

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Postponed

After careful consideration, the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Planning Committee has made the decision to postpone the 2020 conference. Updates on the 2021 conference dates will be provided at: www.nebraskawsc.com

OPPD’S DECARBONIZATION STUDY

Pathways to Decarbonization, OPPD Community Connect
What is decarbonization? Simply, it’s the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, commonly referred to as our carbon footprint. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere, human activities over the last century have significantly increased levels of greenhouse gases. These include burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, and removing trees (deforestation) to enable other land uses, such as clearing rainforests for agricultural purposes.

OPPD is working across four areas of focus to develop a roadmap for making progress towards the utility’s net-zero carbon production goal. Learn more and share your ideas about OPPD’s work related to Energy Portfolio, Internal OperationsCustomer and Community.

NREL’S PV COST PROJECTIONS

NREL’s solar cost projections plummet in new forecast, PV Magazine 
The lower projected costs for PV could help guide some utilities to plan for more PV capacity, as the utilities develop their long-term resource plans.

CLIMATE ACTION

States Are Doing What Big Government Won’t to Stop Climate Change, and Want Stimulus Funds to Help, InsideClimate News

This story is part of a collaboration between InsideClimate News and The Nation as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. This article focuses on rural areas; to read how green recovery spending can impact cities, click here.

SOLAR POLICY

September solar policy snapshots, Solar Power World
A guide to recent legislation and research throughout the country.

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

FERC details carbon pricing conference as groups blast renewables, consumer and women exclusions, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Federal regulators on Friday announced details of a much-anticipated technical conference on carbon pricing, following a request from a broad group of renewable energy, gas and power groups for the commission to look at the issue more closely, but some stakeholders expressed disappointment with the lineup, decrying a lack of representation from renewable energy and consumer advocates, as well as lack of gender diversity.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Trickle Of Green Hydrogen Turns Into Flood Of Good News For Renewables, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Wind and solar developers are eyeballing green hydrogen as a pathway for future growth, and it looks like they won’t have to depend on the transportation sector for sole support. That’s because hydrogen has many other uses, aside from being used to power fuel cell electric vehicles. Take the vehicles out of the equation and you still have the potential for rapid growth in demand for green hydrogen — and therefore in the demand for wind and solar farms, too.

ZERO-EMISSION EV DRIVING

Enel X Partners with Uber to Support Zero-Emission EV Driving in the U.S. through New JuiceEco Product, Enel X News Release. Today Enel X, the leading provider of innovative energy and electric mobility solutions, introduced JuiceEco, a new option for electric vehicle (EV) drivers to power their rides with 100% renewable energy in the U.S. Available exclusively through Enel X, JuiceEco provides Green-e® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to match the consumption of any EV anywhere in the US with carbon-free electricity.

Uber pledges zero emissions platform by 2040, by Senior Editor Kristin Musulin, Smart Cities Dive Uber announced Tuesday a commitment to becoming a zero emissions mobility platform across its 10,000 cities and six continents by 2040. The company is striving for 100% of its rides to take place in zero-emission vehicles, public transit and micromobility.

TESLA ENERGY

Tesla Energy ramps hiring at Giga New York for accelerated solar production, Teslarati
Tesla is hiring for over 30 different positions at Giga New York, the facility where the company manufactures its solar products. Recent job listings on LinkedIn for the company’s facility in Buffalo indicate a wide variety of skills are being sought, including but not limited to engineering, equipment maintenance, production operations, and roof installers.


Certified Tesla Solar Roof Installer in
Nebraska: Weddle & Sons Roofing
Office locations in Lincoln and Omaha

Installing A Tesla Solar Roof, by Weddle & Sons Roofing


“EARTH FOCUS” SEASON 3 

An Episode Guide to ‘Earth Focus’ Season 3, KCET Original Series

“Earth Focus” features investigative reports and in-depth stories about our changing environment and how it affects people around the world. In this new season, “Earth Focus” examines the politics of the environment, including global youth climate activists, the transition away from coal in South Africa, curbing illegal gold mining in Peru, and the environmental politics of the New West.

 Episode 1: The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

The Best Electricity Plan: Overbuild Solar & Wind Power Plants

By Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

More than 8 years ago, researchers from the University of Delaware (UD) and Delaware Technical College (DTCC) put forward a rather “radical” idea — to deal with wind and solar power’s intermittency while also acknowledging wind and solar power’s falling costs, why not just overbuild wind and solar power plants in the future?

What seemed like a radical idea back in 2012 is gaining increasing support today. More and more people see that, indeed, solar power, wind power, and batteries have become cheap enough that you don’t need “baseload power” or other filler power plants in many places. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Also by Zachary Shahan

CHICAGO’S 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY LEADERSHIP

Chicago launches $200M RFP to power city facilities by renewable energy, Utility Dive
The City of Chicago has released a $200 million request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to procure renewable energy for all city-owned buildings. Under the contract, all city-owned buildings, streetlights and other facilities would run on renewable energy starting in 2022 and lasting at least five years. Supplier applications are due Nov. 6, and the city intends to choose a vendor in January.  This RFP supports Chicago’s stated goal of running all city-owned buildings on 100% renewable energy by 2025 and transitioning the entire city to renewable energy by 2035.

NEW TRADE GROUP

AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media
The largest wind trade group in the U.S. announced Friday it will officially broaden its mission beyond wind as part of a newly-formed industry group. The American Wind Energy Association, which advocated for that industry and its member companies for over 40 years, will merge with a new organization called the American Clean Power Association. More than 30 member companies from utilities, wind, solar and other new energy industries coalesced to make a trade group “that better represents the renewables industry of today,” the group said Friday.

Previously Posted: Solar, Wind, Storage Link Arms in Push for ‘Majority Renewables’ by 2030
With the 2020 election drawing closer, the solar and wind sectors announced a joint push to quadruple their combined share of the U.S. power mix by 2030.

PV MAGAZINE POSTS

BLACKROCK’S DIVESTMENT PLEDGES – AN UPDATE

Winners and Losers of BlackRock’s Climate Pushback (So Far), Greentech Media
In January, the world’s largest asset manager issued a warning shot that the status quo on climate change was no longer going to cut it. With more than $6 trillion of investments under management and influence in boardrooms of nearly 1,800 companies, what BlackRock says carries big weight across the corporate and political world. But that weight only hits home if BlackRock follows through and presses for a response to climate change in boardrooms.

FOSSIL-FREE CLEANING PRODUCTS

Carbon ‘rainbow’: Unilever pledges $1.2B to scrub fossil fuels from cleaning products, BusinessGreen story republished by GreenBiz

Unilever last week revealed plans to funnel close to $1.2 billion over the next 10 years into initiatives that will allow it to replace chemicals in its cleaning products made from fossil fuel feedstocks with greener alternatives — an investment it described as critical to meeting its aim of achieving net-zero emissions from its products by 2039. 

Catholic organizations go solar to save money, and to put faith into practice

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

Dan Misleh got the idea for Catholic Energies after Pope Francis called on Catholics to take up a “commitment to the environment” in his 2015 encyclical letter Laudato Si. Misleh had been speaking to Catholic groups on climate, as executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant, and people would often tell him they couldn’t persuade their pastor, or their Catholic school principal, to talk about climate issues.

Figuring that “one thing that seems to motivate everybody is saving money,” Misleh launched the Catholic Energies program, and began talking about how a Catholic school could save $6,000 a year with an LED lighting retrofit. Catholic organizations own between 70,000 and 100,000 buildings, as well as land, Misleh said. The buildings include churches, schools, rectories, university buildings, and health care facilities. There is also “a lot of land available; we could do a lot more land-based solar arrays. So the market is enormous.” Read more here.

Image Credit: Catholic Energies. See more projects here.

Report: Climate risks compound financial challenges for Midwest nuclear plants

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

A report released last week by Moody’s Investor Services found that five of Exelon’s six Illinois plants are at “high risk” and/or more extreme “red flag” risk for both heat and water stress. Exelon’s Quad Cities plant on the Mississippi River, meanwhile, is considered at high risk of flooding.  Other Midwestern plants are also considered at high risk for heat and/or water stress, including the Davis-Besse plant in Ohio, NextEra Energy Resources’ Point Beach plant in Wisconsin, NextEra’s Duane Arnold Energy Center in Iowa, Entergy’s Palisades plant in Michigan and Northern States Power Company’s Monticello plant in Minnesota, which is also at high risk of flooding. Continue reading here.

AP Photo/Nati Harnik: The Fort Calhoun nuclear power station in Nebraska was severely damaged by flooding in 2011 and shut down a few years later.

NUCLEAR FUSION RESEARCH

Department of Energy Announces $29 Million in Fusion Energy Technology Development, DOE News ReleaseToday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $29 million in funding for 14 projects as part of the Galvanizing Advances in Market-aligned fusion for an Overabundance of Watts (GAMOW) program.

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

Korean group buying into 852 MW of US wind farms, Renewables Now
A group of South Korean infrastructure investors has agreed to buy a 49.9% stake in an 852-MW portfolio of US wind farms in a deal with an implied aggregate enterprise value of USD 1.5 billion. 

About the Nebraska wind farm Included in the purchase: The 118–turbine Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Farm located in Antelope, Boone, and Madison counties began commercial operation in March 2014. Maximum capacity is 200,600 kilowatts (or 200.6 megawatts). The average annual output could power 60,000 homes. Omaha Public Power District has committed to buy the total 200.6 megawatts. Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE

Solar brings 45% of world’s new power capacity in 2019 – BNEF, Renewables Now
With record 118 GW of commissioned capacity, solar photovoltaic (PV) was the main new power generation technology source in 2019, accounting for 45% of the world’s newly-installed capacity, BloombergNEF (BNEF) says.

ØRSTED

Orsted, the World’s Offshore Wind Giant, Gets Serious About Solar, Greentech Media
Ørsted’s intense focus on offshore wind makes its push into solar all the more noteworthy, signaling a coming era of renewable energy “majors” capable of building the full range of technologies. When the Permian Energy Center comes online next year, Ørsted will be the first company to own U.S. plants spanning solar, onshore wind, offshore wind and battery storage.

Archived Nebraska News Story: Ørsted completes the onshore Plum Creek Wind project

REPURPOSING COAL ASH BASIN SITES FOR SOLAR DEVELOPMENT

Solar energy project planned for Snyder County coal ash basin site, PennLive.com
The project is funded entirely with private capital but the owners say they will receive a federal investment tax credit. “The process associated with repurposing these basins maintains their environmental integrity while allowing the land to be repurposed in a safe, effective way,” the developers say.

SEARCHABLE DATABASE OF POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

LevelTen Energy flips the switch on global PPA marketplace, PV Magazine
For corporates with a global footprint, there is now a single place to view and compare the risk and value of each PPA available in North America and Europe.

GTECH

The Next Step for Corporate Sustainability: 24/7/365 Carbon-Free Energy Matching, Greentech Media. Corporations increasingly want locally generated renewable power that matches their consumption in near-real-time. Move over REC, and make way for the GTECH.

ELECTRIC TRUCKS

Electric trucks are gaining ground over natural gas in the waste industry, Utility Dive
Natural gas-powered vehicles have been the industry’s preferred form of alternative fuel for years, but while investments continue, 2020 is shaping up to be the year that electric breaks through.

CIRCULARITY FOR EV BATTERIES

Tesla’s co-founder is pioneering a circular system for electric vehicle batteries, GreenBiz
Redwood Materials is a startup founded by former Tesla chief technology officer JB Straubel. The company, featured in a lengthy Wall Street Journal article over the weekend, has a plan to take scrap metal from EV battery production and use that for the raw materials of other EV batteries. By sourcing leftover materials from current factories, the company can help lower the cost of batteries and also reduce considerable waste. Redwood Materials is already working with Panasonic (Tesla’s battery partner) to take scrap metal from the Gigafactory in Nevada. Straubel says that in 10 years he thinks the company can deliver battery materials for half the cost of mined materials. 

VALUE OF STORAGE

Going beyond Order 841 to more meaningful FERC storage policyUtility Dive article contributed by Sean Baur, engineering manager for GlidePath and a 2020 fellow with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. Only with more fundamental changes can wholesale markets start to recognize the full value of storage, and finally allow it to fairly compete evenly with the resources it will need to replace as part of a larger clean energy transition.