Tag Archives: Abigail Ross Hopper – SEIA President and CEO

Illinois legislation promises a renewable energy revolution. But who would pay?

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

The competing bills come from different constituencies. The Clean Energy Jobs Act, or CEJA, is largely backed by environmental and community groups, while Path to 100 is supported by the renewables industry. Both aim to get the state to 100% renewable energy by 2030 by tapping money collected on customers’ utility bills.

Currently, Illinois utility customers pay a monthly charge that is capped at 2% of what customers paid per kilowatt-hour in 2007. CEJA would raise the cap to 2.67% this year and 4.88% by 2023. These changes would allow the collection of up to $700 million a year by 2023, according to CEJA supporters. Currently, about $235 million a year is collected for renewables through customer bills. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Keith Ewing / Flickr / Creative Commons

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

The Solar+ Decade Will Usher in Widespread Clean Energy and Massive Economic Growth, by Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA President & CEO

We already know that public support for solar is higher than any other fuel, with wind as a close second. Storage can help expand both. Poll after poll shows that the public wants more renewable energy, and fast. Some want it because it will directly address climate change; others because the economic benefits are too good to pass up. Now it’s on us to mobilize our grassroots support to make this goal possible.

GRID DATA MANAGEMENT

Utilities vs. grid edge upstarts: Turf battles in an increasingly DER-centric world, Utility Dive article contributed by Dan Goldman, Managing Director & Co-founder, Clean Energy Ventures

As a result of the need for new data access, analytics and management, the grid edge is hosting a turf war between utilities and private sector upstarts racing to capture data and create avenues for acting on it. On one side, utilities believe they will be in the best position to manage the grid if they own and control the data directly, without intermediaries. On the other side, grid edge upstarts — Tesla, Vivant, SunRun and many other technology-enabled start-ups — want to collect and manage the data directly for their own platform benefits, and see an opportunity to provide it to utilities for a fee. New technology solutions to gather and manage the data are emerging rapidly as a result.

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

RECYCLING WIND TURBINES

Commentary: For retired wind turbines, we can find alternatives to landfills, contributed opinion by Scott Coenen / Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, Energy News Network
Many have probably now seen the picture, shared widely on social media, of wind turbine blades being buried in a landfill in Wyoming. The picture highlights a legitimate challenge to wind energy, especially as costs continue to fall and deployment of wind increases across the country. Importantly those challenges, one of them highlighted here, are not a reason to walk away from the table. We can find solutions.

COAL-ASH CLEANUPS

Cap coal ash in place? Duke and others have learned better, contributed Utility Dive article by Frank Holleman, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. In South Carolina, all three utilities — Duke Energy, SCE&G (now owned by Dominion) and Santee Cooper — are cleaning up every one of their unlined riverfront lagoons. 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Solar Power Just Miles from the Arctic Circle? In Icy Nordic Climes, It’s Become the Norm, Inside Climate News. As solar prices fall and efficiency increases, countries like Finland are discovering the benefits of summertime solar. 

Honoring the Contributions of Black Americans in the Solar Industry

By Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO,
Solar Energy Industries Association

As I think about the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of my organization and the solar industry, Black History Month offers a great opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where we need to go. When I first walked in the door of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) a little over three years ago, the lack of people of color struck me. On day one, I set out to do something about it.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are now core principles of SEIA and we’ve taken several steps to change our own practices. And I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. I think it’s important that we publicly share this progress to remain accountable for the statements we make about prioritizing diversity and inclusion: in 2019, 57% of our new hires were women and 43% were people of color. Four out of five directors hired in 2019 were people of color. While the latest Solar Jobs Census shows us that the solar industry has a long way to go, I can say that SEIA is practicing what we preach. Continue Reading Here.

Tri-State will replace coal plants with a gigawatt of new wind and solar

By Joe Smyth, Clean Cooperative

“We’ve seen the cost of renewables plummet. From the first renewable project we signed 10 years ago, we’re seeing like an 85% reduction in the cost of solar energy. And because the wind and solar energy now comes in prices lower than the cost of generating with any fossil fuel, coal or gas, it provides us with an opportunity, if you want to call it a “green energy dividend,” that those savings in energy costs can be used to help us accelerate the retirement of coal and pay for that accelerated retirement, without negative rate impacts.” – Tri-State CEO Duane Highley

Read more here. 

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

Previously Posted: Tri-State CEO says wholesaler’s clean energy transition will pay dividends, Energy News Network

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

CLEAN ENERGY CAREERS

What’s It Like to Be a Solar Salesperson at a Residential Installer?, Greentech Media
Clean Energy Careers: In a new Greentech Media series, we’re asking people with cleantech jobs to tell us what they really do all day.

SUNNOVA’S NEW SERVICES BUNDLING MODEL

Sunnova to bundle roof replacements along with home solar + storage financing, Solar Builder Magazine. “Launching this product provides another way for our dealers to offer a holistic energy experience for our customers,” said John Santo Salvo, Executive Vice President, Channel Operations and Chief Procurement Officer at Sunnova. “This is another link in our value chain that enables our dealers to source solar, storage, service and now roofing from a single, national service provider.”

EV NEWS

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Solar Industry Response to Solar Tariff Midterm Review Report
“On behalf of more than 10,000 U.S. solar companies and 242,000 American solar workers, we are asking President Trump to give American solar companies the certainty to move forward on billions of dollars in new investment. “Let’s work together on solutions that advance American-made products and that build a stronger clean energy economy for all Americans. An added tariff burden, most certainly is not the answer.” – Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association

GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION QUOTATION OF THE WEEK 

 “The energy transition will have an impact on every single oil and gas player.”
– Valentina Kretzschmar, director of corporate research at Wood Mackenzie
The quotation is from the PV Magazine article: Oil and gas giants Shell and Total get serious about solar

More Than 70 Associations Back Renewable Energy Extension Act

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

More than 70 organizations representing farmers, homebuilders, environmental groups, electric cooperatives and a variety of other industries sent a letter to Congress urging them to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act.

“It’s not every day that you see higher ed advocates and farm families agree on energy policy,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Extending the Investment Tax Credit is common sense and this effort shows us just how many people, communities, and interests it touches. Whether you want to reduce emissions, stimulate economic investment, or create jobs, we’re showing Congress that the ITC is a proven policy that can do all of those things.” Read the entire news release here.

Join SEIA’s campaign to extend the ITC: seia.org/defendtheitc

Hundreds of Mayors Call on Congress to Extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of 231 mayors from Tacoma, Wash to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. sent a letter to Congress today urging them to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act (HR 3961/S. 2289), a five-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

“More than 200 mayors from 39 states are stepping up to defend the ITC,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Mayors are increasingly turning to solar energy to fight the effects of climate change and generate millions of dollars of private investment in their cities. We’re thrilled to have their support as we fight to preserve one of the most successful clean energy policies in U.S. history.” Read the entire news release, which includes several statements from mayors, here.

Learn more about SEIA’s fight to defend the solar ITC here.

IEA Bags US$67 Million Contract For 130-MW Wind Farm In Iowa

By Saif Bepari, Technology Magazine

Speaking on the announcement, JP Roehm, Chief Executive Officer, IEA, said that the Richland project validates Iowa’s ongoing and strong commitment towards wind energy. Iowa has already made some substantial progress by installing nearly 9,000 megawatts, while more than 1,100 additional megawatts are currently under construction in the region. Read more here.

Previously Posted IEA News Release, August 6, 2019
Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. Announces $98 Million Wind Construction Project in Nebraska, Globe Newswire. The award is for construction of the Milligan 1 Wind Farm in Saline County in southeast Nebraska. This is a 300-megawatt project that is expected to provide enough energy to power up to 115,000 homes. The power generated by the project’s planned 99 turbines will be delivered into the Southwest Power Pool electrical grid. Work on the Milligan 1 project is scheduled to begin in September with full operation by November 2020.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ABIGAIL ROSS HOPPER POST

Why America’s Top Businesses Are Also Leading on Solar Energy, SEIA Blog

FEATURED OP-ED

It’s time to value DER in resource adequacy
In this op-ed for pv magazine, Craig Lewis of Clean Coalition argues for a greater role for distributed energy resources to mitigate future power shortages and grid instability.

NEW STUDY

NREL engineer on the ‘grand challenges’ of supersizing wind power on the grid, Energy News Network. Wind energy is growing at a fast pace, with various forecasts projecting it will supply between one-quarter and one-third of the world’s electricity by 2050. The potential could range up to half if scientists and engineers can resolve three big challenges, according to a new review study published this month in the journal Science. 

COMMERCIAL SOLAR MARKET

5 Observations on the Commercial Solar Market, contributed article by Richard Walsh, Greentech Media. There’s more capital chasing solar assets than there are quality projects available, giving developers their pick of partners, the author writes. Richard Walsh is managing partner at Madison Energy Investments, a platform that develops, owns and operates distributed generation projects within the commercial and industrial and small utility-scale sectors.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Getting Real Serious About Renewable Hydrogen In Real America, CleanTechnica

CIRCULAR ECONOMY NEWS

5 emerging jobs in the circular economy, GreenBiz
The circular economy is celebrated as a trillion-dollar opportunity beginning to penetrate industries around the world. There’s no sector or region left untouched by the potential for reinventing systems, products and services in a fashion that ultimately creates no waste and even regenerates natural systems. At least that’s the hope among evangelists of circularity, notably the Ellen MacArthur Foundation alongside many hundreds of corporations aligned on various ambitious circular goals.

WIND WILDLIFE RESEARCH FUND

Funding innovation to support science-based solutions: The Wind Wildlife Research Fund, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog. This is a guest post from Kyle Boudreaux, NextEra Energy Resources and Chair of the Wind Wildlife Research Fund Advisory Council.

NEGATIVE WHOLESALE POWER PRICES

Strong wind power in the US Midwest today means wholesale prices are below zero, Electrek
The Plains states are seeing strong, steady winds today that are keeping the wind turbines turning, so wholesale power prices have fallen below zero. Negative electricity rates are becoming more common as utilities incorporate solar and wind power with no fossil-fuel costs. This will only increase as the US reduces coal consumption and builds more green energy sources.

U.S. Utility Solar Pipeline Soars to 37.9 GW, A New Record

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

The U.S. solar industry now has the largest pipeline of utility-scale solar projects in history, signaling promising future prospects for solar energy development. According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the contracted pipeline has ballooned to a record 37.9 gigawatts (GW), the highest in the history of U.S. utility solar photovoltaics (PV). This follows record-high procurement of 15 GW in 2018. More than 6 GW of solar capacity were added to the five-year forecast since last quarter because of the uptick in utility-scale deals. Utility solar project announcements surged to 11.2 GW in the first half of 2019, with 6.2 GW contracted in Q2 alone. In addition to the utility solar pipeline growth, residential solar deployment rebounded from the same period last year.
Continue reading here.

Previously Posted

Consulting firm sees U.S. wind market adding 14.6 GW in 2020, American Public Power Association. The U.S. wind market will add 14.6 gigawatts of capacity in 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest North America wind power outlook. The record-setting mark underlines the strength of the 23 GW pipeline Wood Mackenzie has identified as currently under construction or contracted for commercial operation in 2020, the consulting firm said on Sept. 12. The phase out of the Production Tax Credit beginning in 2021 has developers rushing to complete projects in 2020, driving major bottlenecks in both logistics and interconnection queues, Wood Mackenzie said.

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

Southwest Power Pool moves to boost reliability, storage amid CEO resignation

By Julia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Board of Directors on Monday approved 21 stakeholder policy recommendations on critical issues, such as enhancing reliability and cost allocation for new transmission. The SPP’s Holistic Integrated Tariff Team (HITT), made up of 15 stakeholders, offered recommendations to prepare the regional transmission operator for the grid of the future, including improvements to the wholesale energy market.

The transmission operator’s generation portfolio has changed dramatically over the past decade, with 50 GW of wind, 28.5 GW of solar and 5.7 GW of storage in its interconnection queue as of June. Stakeholder recommendations focused on this reality, asking SPP staff to create a white paper on energy storage and the future impacts of a battery storage buildout. Read more here.

MORE NEWS, OPINION & RESOURCES

House and Senate Introduce Legislation for 5-Year Extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have introduced companion bills with a five-year 30% extension of Section 48 and Section 25D Solar Investment Tax Credits (ITC). The Renewable Energy Extension Act will call for the extension of the tax credits.

Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, urging lawmakers to pass this critical legislation:

Continue Reading Here.

MAYORS FOR SOLAR ENERGY

 

More than 250 mayors nationwide sign letter calling for increased solar power, Environment America News Release
Municipal leaders from all 50 states support more clean energy from the sun.


MORE NEWS & OPINION

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

SOLSMART NEWS

Southwest Virginia Communities Achieve National Recognition for Advancing Solar Energy Growth, News Release, Appalachian Voices. Eight Southwest Virginia communities have achieved designation under the national SolSmart program for encouraging the growth of local solar energy markets, at a time when several major solar installations on schools, businesses, and community centers are poised to begin across the region. These communities were each awarded a SolSmart designation for taking local action to reduce the time and expense required to install solar energy systems. 

Abigail Ross Hopper: Welcome to the Solar+ Decade

By Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO,
Solar Energy Industries Association 

As part of our planning for the next decade, we will produce a roadmap that will outline the policy, social, environmental and economic considerations needed to make the Solar+ Decade a reality. If we achieve 20 percent solar by 2030, the potential payoff to our economy would be enormous. Picture this: solar could add more than $345 billion to the U.S. economy over the next ten years, reaching $53 billion annually. The solar workforce would grow to 600,000 professionals and Americans would enjoy greater energy choice, lower utility bills and cleaner air. Moreover, our success could prove that climate solutions don’t hurt the economy, but instead, are some of the strongest economic growth engines we’ve seen in decades. Read more here,

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & VIEWING

NEW GEOTHERMAL ENERGY REPORT

DOE Releases New Study Highlighting the Untapped Potential of Geothermal Energy in the United States

The Energy Department has released a groundbreaking analysis detailing how the United States can benefit from the vast potential of geothermal energy. The analysis culminated in a report, GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath Our Feet, summarizes findings demonstrating that geothermal electricity generation could increase more than 26-fold from today—reaching 60 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2050.