Category Archives: NewsBlog

FERC Proposes Interconnection Reforms to Address Queue Backlogs

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission News Release, June 16, 2022

FERC today issued a proposed rule focused on expediting the current process for connecting new electric generation facilities to the grid. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) aims to address significant current backlogs in the interconnection queues by improving interconnection procedures, providing greater certainty and preventing undue discrimination against new generation. 

At the end of 2021, there were more than 1,400 gigawatts of generation and storage waiting in interconnection queues throughout the country. This is more than triple the total volume just five years ago. Projects now face an average timeline of more than three years to get connected to the grid. As the resource mix rapidly changes, the Commission’s policies must keep pace. Today’s NOPR proposes reforms to ensure that interconnection customers can access the grid in a reliable, efficient, transparent and timely manner. Continue reading here.

ACP & SEIA News Releases

SEIA News Release: Interconnection Whitepaper Details Near Term Reforms Needed to Extricate Hundreds of Gigawatts of Solar Power

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released a whitepaper detailing the extensive interconnection reforms needed to rapidly decarbonize the electricity grid. Across the country state and federal leaders are doubling down on their clean energy goals, but distribution utilities and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) are struggling to keep up with overflowing interconnection queues.

The new whitepaper, Lessons from the Front Line: Principles and Recommendations for Large-scale and Distributed Energy Interconnection Reforms, discusses the various opportunities utilities and regulators have to standardize, automate, and clarify interconnection procedures and policies. On June 16 FERC is expected to publish a proposed rule that will cover many of the same topics raised in this whitepaper. Read the entire news release.

 Additional Recommended Reading 

Recycling Renewables: A special series & free live event from Canary Media

As the world rolls out more solar panels, wind turbines and batteries, we’re cleaning up electricity — and generating a lot of equipment that will ultimately need to be recycled. The clean energy sector has drastically lower impacts on the environment than fossil fuels, but still needs to do its part to conserve resources and curb waste. In this week of special coverage, Canary Media reports on the technologies, policies and companies that can make clean energy even cleaner. We thank Solarcycle for its support of this series.

FREE LIVE EVENT 

 

Recycling Renewables: An editorial roundtable

Join the Canary Media editorial team as they discuss their reporting on recycling of renewable energy technologies: June 16, 2022, 2:00 to 2:45 CT. Register to attend

 

Link to these resources.

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Proposes New Standards for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

The White House Briefing Room, June 9, 2022

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments to Enable Families to Plug-In,
Charge Up, and Drive Across America

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new steps to meet President Biden’s goal to build out the first-ever national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers along America’s highways and in communities, a key piece of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Department of Energy, is proposing new standards to make charging electric vehicles (EVs) a convenient, reliable, and affordable for all Americans, including when driving long distances. Without strong standards, chargers would be less reliable, may not work for all cars, or lack common payment methods. The new standards will ensure everyone can use the network –no matter what car you drive or which state you charge in. Continue reading here.

Related 

  • Department of Transportation: Network of User-Friendly, Reliable, and Accessible Electric Vehicle Chargers
  • Nebraska Department of Transportation: National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program. Over the next five years, Nebraska will have access to $30.2 million (~$6 million/year) in formula funds for EV charging infrastructure while also still being able to compete for a portion of an additional $2.5 billion in discretionary grant funding. This funding supports the Administration’s goal of expanding EV charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) and other corridors that could be identified in the state.With guidance from U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), NDOT will collaborate with key stakeholders such as public power districts, communities along routes, planning partners, and businesses on EV charging development. The initial statewide plan will be submitted to our federal partners before August 1, 2022. Click here to learn more and take a survey.

Additional Recommended Reading

FACT SHEET: Tackling Climate Change and Creating Clean Energy Jobs in the Americas,White House Briefing Room

FACT SHEET: President Biden Takes Bold Executive Action to Spur Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing

White House Briefing Room

Historic Actions Include Authorizing Defense Production Act to Lower Energy Costs,
Strengthen Power Grid, and Create Good-Paying Jobs

Today’s clean energy technologies are a critical part of the arsenal we must harness to lower energy costs for families, reduce risks to our power grid, and tackle the urgent crisis of a changing climate. From day one, President Biden has mobilized investment in these critical technologies. Thanks to his clean energy and climate agenda, last year marked the largest deployment of solar, wind, and batteries in United States history, and our nation is now a magnet for investment in clean energy manufacturing.

Since President Biden took office, the private sector has committed over $100 billion in new private capital to make electric vehicles and batteries in the United States. We have made historic investments in clean hydrogen, nuclear, and other cutting-edge technologies. And companies are investing billions more to grow a new domestic offshore wind industry. Continue reading here.

Related: ACP Applauds President Biden’s Bold Action to Reinvigorate the Domestic Solar Industry, American Clean Power Association

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION ANALYSIS

APPA Analysis Examines Regulated, Deregulated State Power Price Trends
Increases in retail electric prices from 1997 to 2021 were about half a cent more in states with deregulated electric markets than in regulated states, though regulated states had a slightly higher percentage increase in prices, according to an American Public Power Association (APPA) analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. APPA’s analysis also found that rates increased significantly in all states from 2020 to 2021, largely attributable to a rise in natural gas prices. 

The full report is available here.

BREAKING: Biden Admin set to pause new solar tariffs for two years

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine USA

According to reports, alongside the moratorium on new tariffs, President Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act as a means to accelerate American manufacturing across the solar supply chain and alleviate overall dependency on imported PV hardware and materials. Reports indicate that the goal of invoking the act is to raise domestic solar manufacturing capacity to 22.5 GW by 2024. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading & Viewing

Previously Posted Department of Energy News Release

Biden Administration Launches Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Initiative to Connect More Clean Energy to the Grid, May 31, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden Administration through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today launched the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) — a new partnership funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that brings together grid operators, utilities, state and tribal governments, clean energy developers, energy justice organizations, and other stakeholders to connect more clean energy to America’s power grid by solving challenges facing the power industry. The partnership will help reduce wait times for clean energy sources in interconnection queues and lower costs to connect to the grid. As the Biden Administration ramps up expansion of new renewable energy to reach the President’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035, i2X partners will develop solutions for faster, simpler, and fairer interconnection of clean energy resources through better data, roadmap development, and technical assistance.

DOE will kick off the partnership June 7 at a virtual event with Secretary Granholm.

Partnership in i2X is free and only requires signing up: Join the partnership and learn more about the Solar Energy Technologies Office and Wind Energy Technologies Office.

States Are Tackling Climate, Using Federal Cash as Congress Lags

By Zach Bright, Bloomberg Law

Some Republican-led states such as Nebraska and South Carolina, despite resistance to sweeping plans framed as climate action, are nonetheless lowering greenhouse gas emissions as they move to clean energy because of its long-term economic benefits over fossil fuels.

Read more here.


LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY STUDY

Solar-plus-storage vs. wind-plus-storage, by Emiliano Bellini, PV Magazine
Scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have compared the costs of several of solar-plus-storage configurations with those of other wind-plus-battery plants across seven US wholesale electricity markets. They described their findings in Keep it short: Exploring the impacts of configuration choices on the recent economics of solar-plus-battery and wind-plus-battery hybrid energy plants,” which was recently published in the Journal of Energy Storage.

MODEL ‘SOLAR-AS-A-SERVICE’ PROGRAM

IPS plans largest solar energy project in state history by a school systemFox 59
Indianapolis Public Schools has announced plans to move forward with the largest solar energy project by an educational institution in the state of Indiana. According to IPS, the solar energy project would significantly reduce cost, cut carbon emissions and boost sustainability efforts for 20 schools. Sun FundED has worked in bringing solar energy to other educational institutions including Indiana Wesleyan University and Taylor University. They’ve also signed up, or are soon to sign up, schools in Michigan, Florida, South Carolina, Minnesota and Virginia, according to the company.

See Also: IPS Partners with Indiana Firm to Plan Largest K-12 Solar Project Ever in Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools

Featured Resources

CARBON DIOXIDE PIPELINES

Collaborating on zero energy homes could help meet utility climate goals and grow affordable housing

Contributed Utility Dive article by Rebecca Foster,
Vermont Energy Investment Corporation CEO

Additional factories will need to be built in more regions for ZEM [Zero Energy Modular] to expand its impact. In response to this gap, VEIC created the ZEM Factory Initiative to propose a new business model to create ZEM factories to manufacture energy-efficient, affordable units, and sell them directly to affordable housing developers in areas of high housing demand. VEIC continues to refine the model with a project called A New State-of-the-Art Zero-Energy Modular Factory and Multifamily Housing Construction System with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

After five years promoting ZEM homes, we have glimpsed their potential significance. The world needs decarbonized homes and buildings, and onsite generation of electricity — boosted by residential batteries — could offset growing demand faced by utility companies. Factory installation and process simulation models could enable better integration of resilience, energy efficiency, and low-carbon design strategies as documented in our work funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Moreover, we need these resilient homes to prepare for the next stage of climate change, as extreme weather events cause more disruptions. Read more here.

Google Search: Zero Energy Modular Homes in Nebraska

Photo: Clayton’s first net-zero electricity home as displayed to the public at the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha.

Already Own or Live in a Manufactured Home?
If you’re interested in making your current manufactured home more efficient, visit the Department of Energy’s Energy Saver website (see link below) for helpful tips and resources, or contact your utility service provider to learn about programs and incentives that may be available to you.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESOURCES 

  1. Department of Energy
    Energy Saver
    Energy Efficiency 
  2. Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)
    Nebraska Weatherization Assistance Program
    Dollar & Energy Saving Loans
  3. Nebraska Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  4. Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
  5. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)-Nebraska
  6. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)
  7. Heat Pump Systems, Department of Energy 
  8. Advanced Water Heating initiative Fact Sheet, New Buildings Institute
  9. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
  10. Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

For anyone interested in a heat pump: What are upfront and lifetime costs of heat pumps?, PV Magazine. The “all electric” movement is shining new light on heat pumps. A recent survey looks at their costs in terms of replacements for heating and air conditioning systems.

STATES’ INFRASTRUCTURE & ECONOMIES

Invest federal funds in energy efficiency, dozens of groups, companies urge state officials,
by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

There is more than $1 trillion in estimated maintenance and repair for public buildings, including hospitals, airports, universities, and schools, that has been deferred over time, according to the letter. The groups called for federal funds to be “leveraged alongside private investments, tax credit programs, loans, leases, and/or existing demand-side management programs to maximize impact.”

“From manufacturing floors to downtown office towers to our own living rooms, buildings of all sorts are critical infrastructure that power states’ economies,” said Ceres’ Gold Roberts. “Programs that modernize buildings and equipment … are good for business and good for the economy.”

Nebraskans for Solar Note: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s State Scorecard ranks Nebraska 41: https://database.aceee.org/state/nebraska

Top Ten

IPCC Outlines Opportunities For Action In Rural Communities To Address Climate Change

By Nick Summers, Center for Rural Affairs

A recent report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms the importance of climate action in rural communities, calling on those communities to adapt to and mitigate climate impacts to preserve their own prosperity and protect food and energy security globally. The report takes a comprehensive look at the specific vulnerabilities of systems and communities and identifies pathways for adaptation and mitigation. Continue reading here.

Related Blog Posts

More CFRA Resources

FACT SHEET: U.S.- Japan Climate Partnership

The White House Briefing Room

Recognizing that the path to energy security runs through clean energy, the United States and Japan intend to build on their cooperation to increase climate ambition, including through decarbonization and clean energy, and continue to lead on their respective domestic climate efforts and on accelerating international climate action. The two sides intend to reinforce bilateral cooperation in the priority areas below to achieve their 2050 net zero goals and their aligned 2030 nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, alongside promoting a global trajectory consistent with keeping global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. The two sides intend to further cooperate and accelerate respective action by: Click here to learn more.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION NEWS

Renewable energy and storage advocate, Glick, nominated for another FERC term, PV Magazine

President Biden’s nomination of the chairman, popular among renewable energy advocates, comes as the commission looks to finalize major reforms to its electric regional transmission planning and cost allocation requirements.

FEATURED SOLAR ENERGY NEWS STORY

Former US Ambassador Andrew Young pushes for more solar energy in Georgia, 11Alive.com

He said Sunday at a press event, that this is all in an effort to have reliable power during storms, save money on his energy bill, and help reduce climate change.


SOLAR POWER WORLD RESOURCE

U.S. solar panel manufacturers – Updated May 2022
This is a current list of U.S. solar panel manufacturers/assemblers that produce solar panels for the traditional residential, commercial and utility-scale markets. This data was collected by Solar Power World editors and will be continually updated as facilities are started and/or expanded. If there is a facility update not included on this list, please contact editor Kelly Pickerel: kpickerel@wtwhmedia.com.