Tag Archives: 100% renewable energy news

More Utilities Make Big Commitments to Climate Action

By Sophia Ptacek and Sheryl Carter, Natural Resources Defense Council

Utility clean energy commitments have strengthened and multiplied since we inventoried some of the most newsworthy announcements last year. Xcel Energy recently became the first major
utility to commit to eliminating 100 percent of its carbon emissions by 2050. Platte River Power Authority, a publicly owned utility in Colorado, announced its pledge to provide 100 percent
carbon-free energy by 2030. And MidAmerican Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, will be the first U.S. utility to provide customers with electricity generated from 100 percent renewable
energy by 2020, less than a year away . . . Climate commitments keep coming.
Read more here.

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION STORIES & BLOOMBERG’S NEW MOVEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

NEW SLIDESHOW

WINDExchange Publishes New Offshore Wind Slideshow 
As part of its series of wind information slideshows, WINDExchange published Block Island and Beyond: Offshore Wind Energy in the United States. This slideshow provides a brief introduction to offshore wind in the United States, including the country’s first installation off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. The slideshow is also available as a PowerPoint file.

Pixabay Photo

From Kaiser To Vail Ski Resorts, Companies Doubled Their Wind And Solar In 2018

By Grace Hood, Colorado Public Radio

Corporate giants like Facebook, Walmart, Microsoft and Apple made big deals in 2018, but now smaller corporate fish have waded into the pond. “We had Etsy do a deal last year, J.M. Smucker Company that makes jellies and jams,” [Kevin Haley, a program manager at the Business Renewables Center at Rocky Mountain Institute] said. “It’s a great way for them to reduce a lot of carbon all at once.”

Colorado-based Vail Resorts has joined the ranks of small companies as well. It inked a 12-year agreement to buy new wind that will be produced from a Nebraska farm starting in 2020. When the wind farm is operational, the purchased power will offset Vail’s fossil fuel use across North America. “This is the way that a company that’s geographically diverse can make a significant impact and bring new renewable resources online,” said Kate Wilson, director of sustainability for Vail Resorts. Read more here.

About Vail Resorts Corporation

Lincoln Clean Energy photo of the partially-completed 230 MW Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska. Once operational, the project will create high-paying local jobs and will result in over $3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne County area. This includes much needed property tax revenues, with some of the largest beneficiaries being the Norfolk and Winside school districts.

Previously Posted
Vail Resorts Announces Long-Term Wind Energy Contract, Renewable Energy Magazine
The company’s multimillion-dollar wind energy virtual power purchase agreement enables the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project. It is expected to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 100,000 U.S. homes each year.

Additional Colorado News: More Colorado co-ops announce clean energy goals, Clean Cooperative

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

Solar seen as bright career path at Illinois community colleges, Energy News Network

Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act included funding to make solar training more accessible to lower-income residents.
 

Solar Tariffs Hold Back Q3 Installations, Scramble Project Timelines As Procurement Pipeline Booms

SEIA News Release

BOSTON, Mass. and WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Section 201 solar tariffs took a toll on utility-scale solar installations in the third quarter according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report for Q3 from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Wood Mackenzie Power & the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The residential market, meanwhile, continued to stabilize after a down 2017. Overall, the analysts expect 2018 growth to be flat.

For the first time since 2015, quarterly additions of utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) fell below 1 gigawatt (GW), highlighting the impact of the tariffs and the uncertainty surrounding them in late 2017 and early 2018. As a result, the U.S. solar market was down 15 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of the year, but the report notes that a strong project pipeline lies ahead. Continue reading here.

MORE U.S. RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS & AN OP-ED

GLOBAL NEWS

Expect 680 GW Of New Wind Energy In Next Decade, North American Wind Power

A new report from research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie predicts more than 680 GW of new wind power capacity to come online globally over the next decade.


ENERGY STORAGE

U.S. energy storage project pipeline hits 32.9 GW this year, Solar Power World. The pipeline for energy storage projects in the United States doubled this year, ballooning to 32.9 GW, according to the latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Energy Storage Association (ESA). While not all of the projects will come to fruition, this is a clear signpost that developers are bullish on energy storage. The report’s free executive summary is available here.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS & A PODCAST

PROJECT AGGREGATION

NREL highlights DER aggregation project challenges, American Public Power Association. A new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory identifies challenges and makes recommendations for utilities implementing distributed energy resource (DER) aggregation programs. For the study, Expanding PV Value: Lessons Learned from Utility-led Distributed Energy Resource Aggregation in the United States, NREL analyzed DER aggregation programs at five utilities.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the days of diesel buses may be numbered, Midwest Energy News. Metro Transit officials have have committed to add as many as 125 electric buses over the next four years, after which they may stop buying diesel buses altogether. The multi-year strategy comes two months after clean energy advocates successfully pressured the agency to suspend the purchases of new diesel and hybrid buses so that it could study the potential for electrification.

MICROGRIDS

Homeland Security Calls for Microgrid-Driven Community Enclaves

A new Homeland Security report calls for creation of microgrid-driven community enclaves as part of a larger safety strategy should the United States experience a catastrophic power failure. Surviving a Catastrophic Power Outage finds the nation outmatched by an outage lasting weeks or months.


LOCAL NEWS

NPPD eyes hydrogen as conversion fuel at coal-fired unit, American Public Power Association. NPPD plans to change Sheldon Unit 2 near Hallam, Nebraska, from coal to hydrogen between 2021 and 2023, according to John Swanson, NPPD’s generation strategies manager. The hydrogen will flow through a pipeline from a facility Monolith Materials is building across the road from the generating unit. to manufacture carbon black, which is used in tires, cell phones, computers, wiring, etc. The process to make carbon black produces hydrogen as a by-product.

Coalition for Community Solar Access Launches Online Portal for Community Solar Jobs

News Release 


The Coalition for Community Solar Access, a national coalition of businesses and non-profits working to expand community solar, has launched a new Community Solar Job Portal. The portal features a wide variety of job openings from companies across the country and provides job seekers a single destination to find job opportunities in the fastest growing sector within the solar industry.

“Community solar is a high growth industry with lots of opportunity,” said CCSA Executive Director Jeffrey Cramer. “As the industry unlocks more gigawatts of community solar capacity in more states, companies are increasingly looking to hire smart, talented, and motivated people. We built this job portal to help companies find talent and to serve as a resource for those interested in landing a career in a fast-growing sector that positively impacts the community.”
Read more here.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

FEATURED SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRY NEWS

What Changed In The Solar Energy Industry In September & October?

Also by CleanTechnica: What Changed In The EV Industry In September & October?

DC votes in favor of the nation’s most aggressive 100% renewable energy target

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

Under the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, Washington D.C. utility PEPCO would have to source 100% of the electricity that it uses to serve the city from renewables by 2032 – a doubling of the current 50%.

There is a tremendous irony in that the pro-coal Trump Administration could be governing out of a city which is pushing a faster move towards renewables than any state to date. But that’s just the beginning. It’s also a faster timeline than the renewable energy mandates in most of the 99 cities that have set targets. This includes San Jose and San Diego, California, which are aiming to reach 100% in 2050 and 2035, respectively. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Fayetteville moves toward 100% renewable energy, saves $6 million in future energy costs, KATV Little Rock

PNM calls for 50 MW solar project to support C&I program in New Mexico

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES

Sierra Club’s Case Study Report: Cities Are Ready for 100% Clean Energy

Currently 99 cities in the United States have now established bold commitments to move away from dirty fuels and repower their communities with 100% clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar. To organize a Ready for 100% Initiative in your city or town, an excellent place to start is to read the Sierra Club’s new 2018 Case Study Report on ten cities that have made ambitious commitments to be powered entirely with clean energy.

EPA’s Green Power Partnership: 100% Green Power Users
The 100% Green Power Users list represents EPA Partners that are using green power to meet 100 percent of their U.S. organization-wide electricity use. The combined green power use of these 936 organizations amounts to nearly 24 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 2.2 million average American households each year.
See Top Green Power Users Lists on the menu bar to the left at the above link.

Making Business Sense: How RE100 Companies Have An Edge On Their Peers

RE100 companies are more profitable than their peers, a new report reveals – underlining the business case for putting sustainability at the heart of corporate growth strategies.

The RE100 report with Capgemini Invent, which draws on 2016-17 data from a sample of 3,500 companies, shows RE100 businesses (committed to 100% renewable electricity) consistently perform better than non-members on two key financial indicators: net profit margin and EBIT margin (Earnings Before Interests and Taxes). The difference is significant (up to 7.7 percentage points), and is true across all sectors (most prominently for IT, telecommunications, construction and real estate).

Download the full report here.

Lazards, Lazards, LCOE – what’s the cheapest energy?

By John Weaver, PV Magazine USA

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.

MORE NATIONAL NEWS


ENERGY STORAGE 

NATIONAL SOLAR EXAMPLES

 

Friends of Venice Library to kick off solar power fundraiser with panel discussion, Herald-Tribune. Iconic nature photographer and environmentalist Clyde Butcher to serve as spokesman.

 

  • 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.
  • Minnesota company turns abandoned sand pit into a solar garden, Red Wing Republican Eagle
  • 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.

GREEN CAMPUSES

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.


Learn about more initiatives here: The Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges, 2018 Edition

 

INNOVATIVE TRANSIT APP

Transit app raises $17.5M with the help of unlikely investors: automakers, Smart Cities Dive

How Battery Energy Storage Changes the Game

Microgrid Knowledge


In this edition of Industry Perspectives, Schneider Electric’s Andy Haun offers insight on how battery energy storage has the potential to change the energy landscape.

Photo: Andy Haun, senior vice president and chief technology officer, microgrids, Schneider Electric

 

MORE ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

How Dispatchable Wind Is Becoming a Reality in the US, Greentech Media. Analysis from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables’ new report, The Potential Wind-Plus-Storage Roadmap, introduces new policies from select states.

Photo: AWEA Public Domain Images


CONSUMER REPORTS SURVEY

Most Americans in Coal-Reliant States Prefer Renewables, CBS News, Posted on Real Clean Energy. A large majority of Americans in coal-heavy states favor increasing renewable energy use. Most would also be willing to buy solar panels for their own use, and a plurality would be willing to pay an additional $5 a month to get energy from fully renewable sources, according to a survey from Consumer Reports


100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

100% renewables city won $1 million to capture and store solar energy. Here’s what happens next: The city of Georgetown is going one step farther to become energy-independent. After winning a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge city officials said they plan to lease rooftop space on homes to install solar panels as well as additional space to install storage batteries that will allow the city to collect and store solar-generated energy.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO GREEN BUILDERS

 

6 green certifications contractors should know about,
Smart Cities Dive

 


AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE

Utilities and the smart city: Building better communities
Not your father’s energy efficiency: Utility programs adapt to the modern customer

More Articles: Public Power Magazine

 

GREEN BONDS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Illinois is set to become the Midwest’s solar power leader

By Karen Graham, Digital Journal

Illinois is experiencing a boom in solar energy projects stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, a 2016 law that sets a target of getting 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 . . . At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018, Illinois ranked 34th, up from 43rd in 2017 in solar capacity. The state has only 97.84 MW of installed solar power. Rankings and installed solar capacity are about to change for the better, so much so that Illinois could end up being the Midwest’s leader in solar energy in a matter of a few years. Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

Photo: Shedd Acquarium in Chicago. The 265-kilowatt solar project is a highlight in itself—it is the largest installation at any cultural institution in Illinois—but it’s only the first step of Shedd’s plan to cut energy usage in half by 2020.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NATIONAL NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE RESOURCES

Special coverage of energy storage markets & technology, courtesy of pv magazine, by Christian Roselund. PV Magazine brings you a special edition devoted to the fast-growing energy storage space, including a look at its thornier challenges.

Click image to download and save the PDF.

 

Clean Energy Group has redesigned their Resilient Power Toolkit to make it easier to locate the resources you need to understand resilient power system technologies, their economics, and how to approach developing a new resilient solar+storage project.

“We’re always refining our toolbox of resources and making new additions, like our recent permitting and interconnection guide and a storage guide for homeowners from Solar United Neighbors. If you know of useful resources missing from our toolkit or are looking for something you can’t find, send us an email.” – Seth Mullendore, Vice President, Project Director: seth@cleanegroup.org

Is California Dreaming? Energy storage’s role in reaching 100% renewables

By Andy Colthorpe, Editor and Journalist, Energy Storage News

“The US really is one of the leading markets for the storage business in the world. Here in the western part of the US with such aggressive renewable portfolio standard targets, California is on a path to perhaps 100% renewables in less than 30 years. “There’s a lot of activity in Arizona too. So the western part of the US continues to blaze a trail towards much longer duration, bulk energy storage and shifting, from daytime to early evening peak. “[But] We’re [also] beginning to see the same developments in the eastern part of the US, in Massachusetts, in New York State, which has some pretty aggressive aspirations in this area. Another interesting thing is that in addition to solar and onshore wind there’s a tremendous amount of offshore wind activity in the northeast US, which was virtually unheard of a few years ago.”
– NEC Energy Solutions CEO Steve Fludder

Read more
here.

Pixabay Photo

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

An aerial view of the Lapeer Solar Park in Michigan. Credit: DTE Energy

ADDITIONAL CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY NEWS

Portland could make big businesses pay to protect communities of color from climate change,
Fast Company. A first-of-its-kind ballot measure in Portland, Oregon, would create a fund–via a surcharge on large companies–to support clean-energy projects in low-income communities of color.

Pairing Wind + Solar for Cheaper, 24-Hour Renewable Energy

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

Along a country road east of Lima, Ohio, a company is preparing to build one of the world’s largest renewable energy projects that pairs wind and solar to create a hybrid power source. It’s a rare combination now, but one that’s expected to become more common because of its potential to cut costs while providing a more consistent flow of clean energy. Invenergy is starting with a 175 megawatt wind farm. Within the wind farm, it plans to build a 150 megawatt solar farm. Together, they would produce enough electricity for about 175,000 homes. The wind and solar energy complement each other. Learn more here.

Photo: Invenergy’s Grand Ridge project in Illinois is one of a small number of hybrid power projects to combine wind and solar energy in one site. A larger one with more solar is planned for Ohio. Credit: Invenergy

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NATIONAL/REGIONAL NEWS

Your appliances can save the grid (and allow more solar), PV Magazine
A new report by Wood Mackenzie finds a surprising amount of potential demand flexibility in U.S. homes, which can make the job of integrating more solar and wind easier. Among the many dramatic changes happening in the U.S. electricity sector is entrepreneurs, utilities, policymakers and most importantly consumers waking up to the possibility of flexible demand, through the use of “smart” appliances, electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries.

EV NEWS

ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

Bank of the West Makes $1 Billion Commitment to Energy Transition, PR Newswire

ONLINE SOLAR CAREER PLATFORM

The Solar Training Network manages AmericanSolarWorkforce.org, a comprehensive online platform to help solar companies recruit qualified candidates; allow solar job seekers to find career and training opportunities; and help the entire industry build a strong and diverse solar workforce.

The Solar Training Network is a program led by The Solar Foundation and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. This online tool, revised and improved version of an earlier online platform, was unveiled last week at Solar Power International in Anaheim, California.

FOSSIL RESEARCH

DOE spent more than $500M on dead projects, E&E News
Nearly half the $2.7 billion in fossil research money spent by the Department of Energy over the last seven years supported nine carbon capture demonstration projects, the majority of which were canceled or withdrawn, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.