By Walker Orenstein, MinnPost
As wind and solar power make up an increasingly large share of energy production in the U.S., finding ways to store the intermittent energy they create is critical for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The University of Minnesota is working on a novel way to help solve the storage puzzle for renewable energy: by creating ammonia.
Michael Reese, director of renewable energy at the U’s West Central Research and Outreach Center, said the U has previously turned wind power into ammonia that can be used for fertilizer and even to fuel agricultural equipment. Read more here.
Presentation by Michael Reese to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission: Green Ammonia for Fertilizer, Fuel, and Energy Storage
NPPD & MONOLITH’S GREEN AMMONIA INITIATIVE
- Monolith Materials Plans To Build Country’s First Large Scale Carbon Free Ammonia Plant, Monolith Materials News Release
- Monolith YouTube Video: Powering Your Everyday, Every Day
- NPPD will seek proposals on renewable energy to support Monolith, NPPD News Release
NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent said NPPD will solicit bids for the project through a request for proposals (RFP) for new wind or solar generation, including energy storage, through a Power Purchase Agreement. “The approximately two million megawatt-hours of generation would create a sufficient number of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to meet 100 percent of Monolith’s average annual energy usage and meet their environmental and sustainability goals,” Kent added.
Request for Proposals for Renewable Energy Resources, 4/19/21
Description: NPPD is seeking bids for Renewable Generation Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with a proposed Commercial Operation Date (COD) during calendar year 2025. NPPD seeks to procure Energy, Capacity, and environmental attributes (including Renewable Energy Credits or RECS) for a term between 10-30 years.
NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE
“Coal may contain as many as 76 of the 92 naturally occurring elements of the periodic table.”
United States Geological Survey
DOE Awards $19 Million for Initiatives to Produce Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals, Department of Energy News Release
“The very same fossil fuel communities that have powered our nation for decades can be at the forefront of the clean energy economy by producing the critical minerals needed to build electric vehicles, wind turbines, and so much more,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “By building clean energy products here at home, we’re securing the supply chain for the innovative solutions needed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – all while creating good-paying jobs in all parts of America.”
Production of rare earth elements and critical minerals, which serve as key components to several clean energy applications such as magnets in wind turbines and batteries in electric and conventional vehicles, is a prime example of how DOE is supporting regional economic growth and job creation in regions traditionally home to the fossil fuel industry.
The initiatives include:
University of Kansas Center for Research Inc. (Lawrence, Kansas) plans to study the feasibility of recovering critical minerals from coal and associated strata in the Cherokee-Forest City Basin encompassing Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and the Osage Nation.
DOE Funding: $1,500,000
See Also: FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Outlines Key Resources to Invest in Coal and Power Plant Community Economic Revitalization, The White House Briefing Room
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- West Virginia legalizes solar power purchase agreements, Solar Power World
- Johnson County landowners consider trading ethanol crop for fields of solar in $4.7M project, by Zachary Oren Smith, Iowa City Press-Citizen. Iowa is already a national leader in wind energy, and the Des Moines Register reported a dozen projects coming online that would add nine times more solar energy than the state currently produces.
- OSU study: Combining solar panels and lamb grazing boosts land productivity, KTVZ
Land productivity could be greatly increased by combining sheep grazing and solar energy production on the same land, according to new research by Oregon State University scientists.
- Utah scientists turning old electric vehicle batteries into solar energy storage,Fox13 Salt Lake City. As electric vehicles (EVs) become more popular, the big question arises about what we should do with the old batteries once they don’t hold as much of a charge like they used to. “We’re expecting more than 5 million tons of retired batteries from electric vehicles by 2030,” said Dr. Hongjie Wang, an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Utah State University (USU).
- Are Solar Panels Recyclable?, by Emily Rhode, Treehugger