New Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power a Home for a Day in Just 7 Seconds

By John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

The first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States may use the largest wind turbine in the world. Here are a few ways to think about what all that might mean. The developers of the Vineyard Wind project off Massachusetts have just announced that they’ll be using GE wind turbines—specifically, the GE Haliade-X. That turbine recently got a capacity upgrade, from a world-leading 12 megawatts (MW) to a world-leading-by-even-more 13 MW. Those developments got me thinking about both the turbine and the project. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

President-Elect Biden Must Prioritize Coal Communities—and Here’s How, by Jeremy Richardson, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS

The Energy 202: Young people want to do something about climate change. Biden may have an answer, by Dino Grandoni, with Alexandra Ellerbeck, Washington Post

During the campaign, Biden called for mobilizing “the next generation of conservation and resilience workers through a Civilian Climate Corps.” Now Biden’s allies are beginning to think about what exactly such a program will look like as he prepares to take office next month.

GTM’S POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

‘The Landscape Has Shifted’: Neil Chatterjee on FERC’s Role in the Energy Transition, by Julia Pyper, Greentech Media


In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee about several of the agency’s recent rulemakings, past controversies and his outlook for the future of U.S. energy policy in today’s shifting political landscape.

 

GREEN BANKS

Green bank advocates hope Biden win can help reinvigorate idea in Minnesota, by Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

The coalition suggested that a bank with $100 million in capital could create as many as 15,000 jobs in Minnesota. Fifteen green banks operate in 12 states and have financed $5 billion in energy investments, returning more than $3.60 for every $1 spent, the report says. Most green banks operate on the coasts, with Michigan Saves being the only one in the Midwest. Ohio and Missouri have begun exploring the concept.

Coalition for Green Capital Report:  A Green Recovery For Minnesota: Job Creation, Environmental Justice, and Clean Energy

GOOGLE

Google calls for more RTOs, designs ‘intelligent platform’ to meet 24/7 clean energy goal, by Emma Penrod, Utility Dive

Achieving Google’s new 24/7 clean energy goal will require both the adoption of new technologies, and new purchasing options, the company’s head of global energy markets and policy said Thursday on a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) panel. Eighty percent of offsite corporate procurement takes place in regions with access to competitive wholesale markets, according to Bryn Baker, director of policy innovation at the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.

Previously Posted

SELLING ENERGY EFFICIENCY + SOLAR AS A PACKAGE

POWERHOME SOLAR Named Silver Honoree In Inc.’s Best In Business Awards, PR Newswire
POWERHOME SOLAR is an energy efficiency company that provides high-quality American-made solar panels as part of a complete energy-savings package for residential customers. The company launched in 2014 in Mooresville, N.C., and today has nearly 1,700 employees, including a commercial division. Operating in 10 states, it is ranked No. 255 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America — the third time in four years that the company has made the top 300 on this prestigious list. 

ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers rely on to make well-informed decisions. Click here to find ways to save at home.

PV RECYCLING – AN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

Solar panel recycling in the US — a looming issue that could harm industry growth and reputation, PV Magazine

According to a 2016 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the economic benefits of a U.S. circular economy could be around $135.3 million in 2020, $1.4 billion by 2030, and $10.1 billion by 2050. “Economic multipliers would significantly increase these amounts,” said Vanderhoof.

LETTER TO EV BUYERS

Letter to a Friend Buying an Electric Car, by Joe Wachunas, CleanTechnica
Two friends recently bought electric cars for their families after thinking about it for a long time. Beyond wanting to congratulate them, and click my heels together like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain, I felt the need to describe, in detail, just how big a deal this EV purchase is, beyond platitudes like “EVs are so amazing for the world.” So I wrote them a letter.

About Joe Wachunas
Joe Wachunas lives in Portland, Oregon, and works for the nonprofit Forth, which promotes electric transportation. He is also involved with Electrify Now because he believes that electrifying everything, from transportation to homes, is the quickest path to an equitable, clean energy future. And of course, Joe and his family live in an all-electric home and drive an EV.

New Center For Rural Affairs Series

Written by Cody Smith, Policy Associate, Center for Rural Affairs

Amplifying Clean Energy With Conservation Part Three: Exploring Wind Energy And Stewardship

Renewable energy has rapidly expanded throughout the U.S. as prices of production have fallen and the cost of operating fossil fuel-based generation resources continues to grow. Market forces have facilitated the widespread adoption of wind energy by utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and other commercial generators of electricity as a primary method of providing low-cost, renewable energy to their consumers.

Looking to the future, as the country continues to chart a path forward to address the realities of a changing climate, rural communities have the opportunity to leverage their position as the hosts of wind energy projects to identify more strategies to amplify clean energy resources with investments in conservation.

Download the report here.

 


Amplifying Clean Energy With Conservation Part Two: Leveraging Electric Transmission Lines For Stewardship

 

 

 


Amplifying Clean Energy with Conservation Part One: Pollinator-Friendly Solar

Smaller clean energy partnerships may pave way to LES decarbonization

By Riley Johnson, Lincoln Journal Star

Following a decade of expanded investment in wind energy and other renewable energy and the termination of a partnership with a local coal plant, Lincoln Electric System has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions within the next 20 years. LES Board members on Nov. 20 elected the goal following a yearlong study of the issue and surveys of local stakeholders, including the business community. The goal sets the benchmark of offsetting the 2011 utility’s emission levels as part of an effort to reduce its impact on the climate. Continue reading here.

LES Generation Resources

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Inside Clean Energy: The Energy Transition Comes to Nebraska, by Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News. Lincoln Electric System is the second large utility in Nebraska to approve a net-zero emissions goal, as the state reaps the benefits of wind power. Scott Benson, manager of resource and transmission planning for Lincoln Electric, told me that his utility’s new goal is a big deal because it is a more aggressive timetable than that of many other utilities across the country. But the net-zero goal is also not a big deal, he said, because Lincoln Electric was moving in this direction regardless.
  • Tri Global Energy Dominates U.S. Wind Production in Q3, Helps Texas Retain Top Ranking Nationally, Tri Global News Release, PR Newswire. Tri Global Energy, a leading privately held renewable energy developer, dominated U.S. wind production in development for the third quarter of 2020, with a total of 1,657 MW, which exceeds total wind power in development in 47 individual U.S. states. 
  • Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
    Scroll down to wind energy projects in development: Tri Global Energy is planning to develop a 100–megawatt wind farm, which will be named the Sugar Loaf Wind Farm in Garden County.
  • Vail Resorts makes progress toward EpicPromise goals with renewable energy and waste diversion, Summit Daily. Vail Resorts’ 2019-20 EpicPromise Progress Report was released Tuesday, Dec. 1, and shows movement toward the company’s goal of reaching a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Two renewable energy projects the company is participating in — the Plum Creek Wind project and the Elektron Solar project — mean 93% of Vail Resorts’ electric usage will be renewable by 2023. Nebraska’s Plum Creek Wind Farm
  • Another wind project in Wayne County: Ørsted starts construction of 298 MW Nebraska wind project, Ørsted News Release, October 28, 2020. Ørsted continues to expand its footprint in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) via the acquisition and final investment decision of the 298 MW Haystack Wind project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Situated adjacent to Ørsted’s 230 MW Plum Creek wind farm, Haystack will utilize existing interconnection infrastructure in SPP North. Haystack is expected to come online in fourth quarter 2021, adding further diversity to Ørsted’s portfolio of onshore wind, solar PV, and energy storage across Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast US.

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION ARTICLES

A Catalyst for the Midwest’s Clean Energy Transition

By Brian Palmer, Natural Resources Defense Council

When you discuss clean energy with senior energy economist Ashok Gupta, everything seems so obvious. Make it cheap; use it smartly. What’s all the fuss about? Don’t let the simplicity of his vision fool you, though. Gupta understands the economics and politics of energy better than anyone working in the United States today. He has devoted his nearly 30-year career at NRDC to transforming the American power sector and to converting cities into clean energy laboratories.

From 2004 to 2013, he served on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Sustainability Advisory Board and Energy Policy Task Force, which created knowledge centers for carbon reduction and efficiency that served as models for other cities. In 2012, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and shifted his focus to the clean energy future of the Midwest, helping Missouri, Kansas, and their biggest cities to embrace efficiency and capitalize on the region’s dropping price of wind and solar power. Read more here.

Previously Posted: The Clean Power Plan and the Midwest’s Winds of Change, by Ashok Gupta, NRDC

RENEWABLE ENERGY GIANTS

The New Energy Giants Are Renewable Companies, Bloomberg
Meet the clean supermajors. They have the clout and financial might of the energy behemoths that plumbed the world over for oil and gas before them. But instead of digging mines and drilling wells, they’re leading the race to electrify the global economy.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

DISTRIBUTED WIND & GREEN AMMONIA

The Renewable Energy Cows Come Home, Now With Green Ammonia, CleanTechnica
US farmers have been on the front lines of the renewable energy revolution, and they are in the vanguard of yet another clean tech trend that could finally help the distributed wind industry get the attention it deserves. If all goes according to plan, farms across the country will sprout wind turbines attached to devices that spit out green ammonia for fertilizer and zero emission fuel.

NEW APPRENTICE PROGRAM

McCarthy Partnering with Adaptive Construction Solutions in Support of Veterans, McCarthy News Release

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. announces a new partnership with Adaptive Construction Solutions, Inc. (ACS) to recruit and train veterans for careers in the construction trades, addressing a national workforce shortage. Together, the two organizations will identify and enroll veterans with military occupational specialties in an apprenticeship program that can lead to full-time employment with McCarthy. As a leading renewable energy builder, McCarthy will pilot the ACS program on its utility-scale solar and renewable energy projects.

The McCarthy Renewable Energy & Storage group focuses on utility-scale solar installation projects as well as other renewable energy projects across the U.S. In 2021, the firm will be constructing more than 1.8 GW of clean energy projects across the nation and expects to hire nearly 1,000 craft professionals for the construction of the projects that year alone. The renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing in the world and is anticipated to provide new and developing career opportunities for years to come.

Established in 1864, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc has office locations in 17 cities, including Omaha.

U.N. VIRTUAL CLIMATE SUMMIT

UN calls on humanity to end ‘war on nature,’ go carbon-free, ABC News
With new reports highlighting 2020’s record-breaking weather and growing fossil fuels extraction that triggers global warming, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered yet another urgent appeal to curb climate change. It was tinged with optimism but delivered dire warnings, as the UN gears up for a Dec. 12 virtual climate summit in France on the 5th anniversary of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Expanding Local Solar And Storage Could Save Ratepayers Nearly A Half A Trillion Dollars

Local Solar For All Coalition News Release, PR Newswire

Developing 247 GW of local rooftop and community solar and 160 GW of local energy storage is the most cost-effective way for the United States to transition to a clean energy system by 2050, while saving consumers up to $473 billion on electricity. This is enough local solar to power over 25% of all U.S. homes. These are among the core findings of a new report, “Why Local Solar for All Costs Less: A New Roadmap for the Lowest Cost Grid,” issued by Vote Solar, the Coalition for Community Solar Access and Sunrun.

Using a state-of-the art grid planning tool developed by Vibrant Clean Energy, the analysis goes beyond the limitations of traditional grid planning by leveraging big data and advanced analytics to produce a more complete and inclusive picture of the direct costs and benefits of resources on the grid. Read more here.

More information and access to the full report can be found here.

4 strategies to rapidly scale clean energy in the next decade

Smart Cities Dive guest post by Cameron Bard, senior director for market development at DSD Renewables and adjunct faculty instructor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.

To fully realize our shared climate goals and rapidly rebuild our economy, we must prioritize and enact policies to accelerate the national transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The good news is, even amidst the most unprecedented time in generations, we know how. Outlined below are four strategies to create a healthier and more equitable economy, with real-world examples of where and how they’ve already been implemented. Read more here.

Wikimedia Commons Photo

ARTICLES BY ZACHARY SHAHAN

FEDERAL RESERVE HIGHLIGHTS CLIMATE RISKS TO U.S. ECONOMY

The Federal Reserve’s new signals on climate change and risk. NRDC article by Sarah Dougherty, Senior Green Finance Manager. Republished by GreenBiz.

While the Trump administration continues to ignore the danger of climate change, a surprising new actor has broken out to take it seriously: the Federal Reserve System.  The Fed, the U.S. central bank, has moved from irregular mentions to a concerted effort to roll out a spate of new ideas and endeavors that highlight the risks of climate change to our financial system. As part of this effort, in recent weeks the Fed has:

  • Included climate change as a risk to the economy in its biannual report for the first time; 
  • Discussed its essential behind the scenes work on climate change that will enable the Fed to move much more quickly into the next stages of action; and 
  • Testified to Congress that they asked to join a group of banks that are working to ensure the financial system meets the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Previously Posted: In first for Fed, U.S. central bank says climate poses stability risks, Reuters

ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION

What the US energy storage industry could look like under Biden-Harris, Energy Storage News
In an exclusive first interview for international press since the elections, Energy-Storage News speaks with CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman about the Energy Storage Association’s hopes, ambitions and policy asks as 2021 begins to come into view.

MORE ORGANIZATIONS & ALLIANCES LEADING AMERICA’S ENERGY TRANSITION

American Clean Power Association
The American Clean Power Association works to champion policies that will transform the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable and renewable power system. By uniting the power of wind, solar, transmission and storage companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms and corporate purchasers, our goal is to make renewables the dominant energy source in the United States. Previously Posted: AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media

Clean Power For America
Clean Power for America is leading a nationwide movement to support the smarter, fairer energy policies we need to unleash the promise of renewable energy. Clean Power for America is a project of the American Wind Energy Association.

Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance
The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance consists of organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments and environmental advocates. Read the Alliance’s full recommendations – They cover six areas of focus: soil health, livestock and dairy, forests and wood products, energy, research, and food loss and waste. The alliance welcomes additional members. Email inquires@agclimatealliance.com with questions about membership or climate policy recommendations.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance
The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) is an alliance of large clean energy buyers, energy providers, and service providers that is unlocking the marketplace for all non-residential energy buyers to lead a rapid transition to a cleaner, prosperous, zero-carbon energy future. REBA was founded on the premise that large energy buyers have a unique voice and the collective power to drive market change. Now Available for REBA Members: The Accelerating the Decarbonization Impact of Energy Procurement Primer. Download a preview.

U.S. Climate Alliance
The United States Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 25 governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Alliance represents 55 percent of the U.S. population and an $11.7 trillion economy – an economy larger than all countries but the United States and China. The climate and clean energy policies in Alliance states have attracted billions of dollars of new investment and helped create more than 1.7 million clean energy jobs, over half the U.S. total. Independent analysis highlighted in the Alliance’s 2019 Annual Report shows that Alliance States are not only outpacing non-Alliance states in reducing their emissions, they are also growing their economies at a faster pace. Download Fact Sheet.

We Are Still In
Over the past four years, nearly 4,000 U.S. cities, states, tribal nations, businesses, universities, health care organizations, faith groups, and cultural institutions have formed the largest American coalition in support of climate action in history. These local leaders come from all fifty states and represent over half of the U.S. population, nearly two-thirds of its economy, and more than half of the country’s emissions. They are backed by over two-thirds of Americans who have consistently supported U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement.

Together, they have been guided by the knowledge that bold climate action will make our economy stronger and our nation more resilient to the impacts of climate change. They understand that the pursuit of a clean energy future will help us recover from COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis, while providing us our best opportunity to address systemic inequities that have forced vulnerable communities to bear the brunt of climate impacts and environmental injustice. 

Cash pours into Nebraska Public Power District board of directors campaigns

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News. Network

Candidates in this month’s board of directors election for Nebraska’s largest utility drew record-breaking campaign contributions, making it the most expensive contest in history even before the final receipts are counted. The seven candidates for four board seats on the November general election ballot had collectively taken in more than $175,000 through Oct. 19. That’s more than twice the total raised in 2018 and quadruple the 2016 haul. Money poured in from environmental groups, large industrial customers, and others hoping to steer the agenda for the Nebraska Public Power District board, which has emerged as a frontline for clean energy policy in the state. Continue reading here.

More articles written by Karen Uhlenhuth:

OPPD NEWS

LED streetlight replacements top 50,000 fixtures

UNL will aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

By Chris Dunker, Lincoln Journal Star

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will begin implementing a sweeping environmental and sustainability plan that strives to make the campus carbon neutral by 2050. The 2020 Environment, Sustainability and Resilience Master Plan outlines UNL’s “aspirational goals” to reducing its carbon footprint, building a “sustainability-centric” culture, and establishing the university as a national leader in these areas. Chancellor Ronnie Green said the goals and objectives outlined in the plan are ambitious and reflect a bold vision for UNL’s future. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Sustainability, resilience master plan earns final approval, by Troy Fedderson, UNL Communication, Nebraska Today Editor

The master plan was generated by the Chancellor’s Environment, Sustainability and Resilience Commission, which includes nearly 70 members representing student, faculty and staff. The group was formed in answer to a directive from Chancellor Ronnie Green in his 2019 State of the University Address. The commission is led by co-chairs Prabhakar “Prabs” Shrestha, director of sustainability, and Dave Gosselin, director of the sustainability initiative and environmental studies. Chancellor Ronnie Green and other senior leaders gave final approval to the plan on Nov. 4.

Environment, Sustainability and Resilience Master Plan

Photo Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Books, reports for jump-starting U.S. climate action in 2021

By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D. Yale Climate Connections

In the midst of a Coronavirus-dominated Thanksgiving season, the climate-concerned find themselves scurrying for ways the incoming Biden/Harris administration can best move forward on climate action, whatever the political obstacles. Real action on climate change will require difficult, long-term efforts to organize and maintain a broad and diverse coalition of interests – and do so in the face of concerted and well-funded opposition. Several individuals and organizations have been thinking through various approaches, and the results of their efforts are now available in new books and reports highlighted below. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Resources

Local Climate Action

Previously Posted: Mayor Releases Draft Climate Action Plan, News Release, City of Lincoln Mayor’s Office

New Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance

A Sustainable Harvest, American Farm Bureau
Just last week we announced a historic alliance with organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments and environmental advocates, called the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance. The founding members are diverse, but we are united around the goal of developing and promoting voluntary, market- and incentive-based climate solutions. At the American Farm Bureau, we are proud of agriculture’s sustainability story, and we believe that we can continue to build on that success together. This new alliance was formed in February and has been working diligently to develop 40 recommendations built around three key principles:

Virtual Conversation Hosted By The Union of Concerned Scientists

Connecting Faith, Climate, and Justice, December 8, 2020, 6 pm CT
Join the Union of Concerned Scientists and faith leaders for a virtual discussion about how traditions can inform advocacy and action in response to climate change and racial justice.

A new era for Tri-State

By Allen Best, Mountain Town News

Tri-State Generation and Transmission last week promised to deliver what Colorado wants, an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. As for how it will deliver on that pledge, it remains a bit of a mystery. Less coal production, obviously. More wind and solar, ditto. And, as has been highlighted in recent filings, more transmission to get electricity from renewable sources to its 16 member co-operatives in Colorado. Continue reading here.

Previously Posted

Tri-State Association members are located in four states: Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Nebraska.