Tag Archives: Amazon

Hundreds of environmental, consumer groups request investigation of electric utility industry

Contributed by Solar United Neighbors, Solar Power World

More than 230 consumer, environmental and public interest groups urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the electric utility industry for widespread abuses. These include bribery, fake dark-money campaigns and denying customers access to renewable energy.

Some of the abuses described in the petition include:

  • An Ohio utility, FirstEnergy, paid $60 million in bribes to the Ohio House speaker’s political machine. In return, the utility secured a $1 billion ratepayer-funded bailout for several of its unprofitable nuclear and coal plants.
  • Florida Power and Light spent millions of dollars on political consultants who engineered a scheme to siphon votes to third-party “ghost candidates” from candidates committed to holding utilities accountable, according to reporting by the Orlando Sentinel. The ghost candidate won in all three races. One utility opponent lost by just 32 votes.
  • A recent national survey found that nearly three-quarters of solar developers experience delays in interconnecting projects to the electric grid. Eighty-five percent of respondents specifically named utility noncompliance with interconnection procedures as a problem. These delays can increase the cost of distributed solar projects and cause customers to back out of long-delayed projects. Minnesota regulators fined Xcel Energy $1 million for failing to keep pace with a backlog of projects. Two years later the backlog remains a barrier to solar growth.

Read more here.

Photo: Federal Trade Commission building. Credit: Wikipedia

MORE U.S. NEWS

Summary: The U.S. economy has been deeply impacted by supply chain constraints. These constraints are due to shortages of labor and multiple classes of materials, causing disruptions on a global level. For public power utilities, the ability to provide reliable and affordable power to homes, businesses, and critical facilities is foundational to both their business model and the recovery and expansion of the U.S. economy. Prioritization of critical electric infrastructure and the electric industry’s critical functions during this period of material shortages and delays is necessary to prevent further economic slowdown and ensure electric reliability.

GLOBAL NEWS

Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rises, ocean heat levels and acidification, all set new records during 2021, while some glaciers reached the point of no return, according to the latest flagship report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on Wednesday. The State of the Climate 2021 indicates that extreme weather – the day-to-day face of climate change – wreaked a heavy toll of human lives, triggered shocks for food and water security, and led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses last year.

INNOVATIVE COOPERATIVE VENTURE

Democratizing clean energy: cooperative allows regular folks to profit from solar development, Wisconsin State Journal

A new venture is offering Wisconsin residents and businesses an opportunity to profit from solar energy development. A joint venture of Renew Wisconsin and a group of solar developers and installers, SolarShare Wisconsin co-op allows regular people — regardless of wealth — to invest in small-scale solar farms by pooling their money . . . Unlike large-scale solar farms, which require hundreds or thousands of acres and can generate local opposition, projects of that size can typically be built on less than 40 acres and connected directly to the local distribution grid rather than long-distance transmission lines.

Nebraskans for Solar Note: Nebraska has many very small towns and villages with fewer than 1000 residents where small-scale solar projects could provide a significant percentage of their electricity needs.

Amazon Becomes World’s Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy, Advancing its Climate Pledge Commitment to be Net-zero Carbon by 2040

Amazon News Release, Business Wire

Amazon today announced 26 new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects totaling 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity, bringing its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4 GW of capacity — the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year. These new projects will make Amazon the largest-ever corporate purchaser of renewable energy. In the U.S., Amazon has now enabled wind and solar projects in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Amazon has a total of 127 renewable energy projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe. Read more here.

Related

IN NEBRASKA

Renewable Energy Resources

Trade Association Reports 

ENERGY TRANSITION ANALYSES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST 

  • Most of America’s dirty power plants will be ready to retire by 2035, Grist
    A new analysis published in the journal Science last week offers a potential roadmap for the incoming Biden administration to manage the wind-down of all fossil fuels plants, not just coal plants, more systematically. Even better, it shows that shutting down the nation’s fossil fuel–burning power plants in the next 15 years to achieve Biden’s goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 isn’t as economically risky as previously thought. 

    Emily Grubert, a civil engineer and environmental sociologist at Georgia Tech and the author of the study, mapped out every coal-, gas-, or petroleum-powered generator running in the U.S. in 2018, the most recent year for which complete data was available. Grubert found that there’s already about 100 gigawatts worth of infrastructure past its prime, including a coal-fired generator in Nebraska from 1915. 

Jeff Bezos announces nearly $800 million in grants to 16 groups fighting climate change

By Allen Kim, CNN

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced Monday that he will give $791 million in grants as part of his Bezos Earth Fund to 16 organizations that are working to protect the environment. The fund is part of the CEO’s $10 billion pledge to support scientists, activists, NGOs and organizations working to protect the environment. The full list of grantees are a mix of big name NGOs, labs, reforestation and climate justice groups.

They include: The Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund, ClimateWorks Foundation, Dream Corps Green For All, Eden Reforestation Projects, Energy Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, NDN Collective, Rocky Mountain Institute, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, The Solutions Project, Union of Concerned Scientists, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund. Read more here.

U.S. CLIMATE ALLIANCE 

U.S. Climate Alliance Urges Federal Action on the Climate Crisis, News Release
The Executive Director of the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance today issued the following statement regarding the Alliance’s continued commitment to address climate change and how the election outcome has created an opportunity for the U.S. federal government, in close partnership with states, to restore national climate leadership: 

Our states will continue to act on climate change, doing so with increased urgency and ambition, in line with science.  We will embrace the significant economic opportunities presented by our climate leadership, focusing on an equitable and just transition while investing in community- and family-sustaining clean energy jobs.  And we will continue to cooperate through the U.S. Climate Alliance – a bipartisan coalition of 25 governors – because together we move further and faster. 

CLIMATE MAYORS

Climate Mayors Announces New Chair, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, News Release
Today, Climate Mayors, the network of 468 U.S. mayors across the country committed to leading bold climate action and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement, announced that Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will become the next Chair of the nationwide coalition. In this role, Mayor Walsh will help catalyze climate-forward actions taken at the local level, provide an example of climate action for leaders at all levels of government, and advocate for an economic recovery founded in equity and environmental stewardship.

OCEAN-BASED CLIMATE SOLUTIONS BILL

Congress Takes Up Ocean Climate Action, Expert Blog by Valerie Cleland, NRDC
The House Natural Resources Committee has begun tackling the monumental Ocean-Based Climate Solutions bill (H.R. 8632). The first of its kind to address the ocean side of climate changethe bill sets a truly exciting precedent for ocean climate action legislationThe hearing addressed blue carbon, the ban on offshore drilling, the need for marine protected areas, the pathway for expanding offshore wind, and more.

SOLSMART

Since 2016, the SolSmart program has provided in-depth technical assistance to hundreds of local governments nationwide and has awarded over 380 cities, towns, counties, and regional organizations with SolSmart designations for their solar achievements. 

Solar Energy: SolSmart’s Toolkit for Local Governments
This toolkit helps local governments and community stakeholders in cities, counties, and small towns design and implement plans to encourage solar energy development.

Learn More  About SolSmart Here.

America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy 2020

Environment America Report 

America’s colleges and universities are leading the transition to a 100 percent renewable energy system. Small liberal arts colleges, large public universities and community colleges alike, from every corner of the U.S., are taking the lead in reducing energy consumption, deploying renewable energy technologies, and switching to electric vehicles (EVs). More than 40 colleges and universities now obtain 100 percent or more of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Read more here.

Environment America’s 100% Renewable Campaigns

SOLAR PANEL PRICES

Solar Panel Prices Have Dropped Off Cliff & Sunk Into Ocean — Solar Panels 9× Cheaper Than In 2006, by Zachary Shahan, Clean Technica 

NEW PV MAGAZINE SERIES

Lights and shadows of 500 W plus solar panels – part I
In the first article of a series, PV Magazine Editor Pilar Sánchez Molina analyzes with industry experts challenges and opportunities created by new panels with power output exceeding 500 W.

EV NEWS

  • Could The U.S. Automobile Fleet Run On Wind And Solar Power?, Forbes article by Senior Contributor Robert Rapier. It would require 4.4 times more electricity produced from wind and solar power in 2019 to equal the 1.8 trillion kWh required to replace gasoline. That may seem like a lot, but over the past decade wind and solar power generation have increased by a factor of 5.4. At the growth rate of the past decade, it is possible that in another decade we could produce enough wind and solar power to power all the nation’s automobiles with a 100% EV fleet.
  • Amazon hands Mercedes-Benz its biggest electric vehicle order to date, GreenBiz
    Mercedes-Benz says by the end of the year it will offer five electric vehicle models and 20 plug-in hybrid vehicle editions. Its vehicle and battery production also will be carbon-neutral, using clean energy.

HYDROGEN

A Look At The ‘Colors’ Of Hydrogen That Could Power Our Future, Forbes article contributed by Alex Ivanenko, Cofounder and CEO of HyPoint, a company developing zero-carbon emission hydrogen fuel cell systems for urban air mobility.

While the use of hydrogen as a fuel dates back more than 150 years, recent announcements have brought hydrogen back into the spotlight as leaders around the world seek to secure a sustainable energy future. And if the future is to be powered by hydrogen, no industry will be left untouched.

GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY REPORT

$3.40 Trillion to be Invested Globally in Renewable Energy by 2030, Finds Frost & Sullivan, News Release, PR Newswire

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Growth Opportunities from Decarbonization in the Global Power Market, 2019-2030, reveals that the 2020s will be crucial for all the participants in the power industry as the transition toward renewable energy is expected to increase, while coal takes a downturn in most developed markets. Falling costs and renewable-friendly energy policies adopted by several countries in the six major geographies—North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, China, and India—are prominent reasons why solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind capacity additions are expected to soar this decade. 

Capital Dynamics Enters into New Strategic Relationship with Tenaska

Capital Dynamics & Tenaska News Release, PRNewswire 

Capital Dynamics, an independent global private asset management firm, today announced that its Clean Energy Infrastructure business has signed an agreement with Tenaska to enter into a new strategic relationship, increasing its greenfield solar footprint in both the Midwest and Southeast United States.

The transaction comprises 24 solar projects located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and Southeast Reliability Council (SERC) markets, totaling 4,800 megawatts (MW). The portfolio represents a large share of solar projects currently in the MISO and SERC interconnection pipelines and further diversifies Capital Dynamics’ growing utility-scale solar power portfolio across seven new states. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Capital Dynamics and Tenaska Partner on 4.8 Gigawatts of Solar Development, Greentech Media. For Tenaska, the 4.8-gigawatt deal follows another large-scale sale to Spain’s Acciona last year, with Acciona buying 3 gigawatts of solar and 1 gigawatt of solar-plus-storage from Tenaska in the U.S.

MORE NEWS & COMMENTARY 

COMMUNITY SOLAR

Why Associated plugged in to community solar energy, American Banker
Associated Banc-Corp. in Green Bay, Wis., recently subscribed to five solar gardens currently in development across Minnesota and Illinois. The subscription doesn’t cost the company anything, and its commitment to using a certain proportion of the energy produced is expected to slash about 20%, or $57,000, off its annual electricity bill.

SOLID-STATE BATTERIES

Investors Still Betting on Next Big Energy Storage Technology: Solid-State Batteries, Greentech Media. Solid-state batteries could be safer and more energy-dense than lithium-ion products are today. The improved technology could hit the market by the mid-2020s, analysts say. Companies including Ionic MaterialsQuantumScapeSila NanotechnologiesSion Power and Solid Power are developing all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) that are expected to be safer and more energy-dense than the lithium-ion products used in today’s electric vehicles and battery systems. “Lithium-ion today, with a metal-oxide cathode and carbon-based anode, is starting to approach its theoretical limits,” said Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell in an interview.

NEW U.S. CHARGING STATION MANUFACTURER

Dutch charging station company looks to plug in to U.S. electric vehicle growth, by Audrey Henderson, Energy News Network. EVBox manufactures charging stations and the software to manage them. The company is expanding its presence in the U.S. to take advantage of a growing electric vehicle market. Electric transportation advocates note the move is particularly timely given recent advancement of electric vehicle policy in Illinois.

CLEAN ENERGY CAREERS

  • What’s It Like to Be a Renewable Energy Project Developer?, Greentech Media
    We’re asking people with cleantech jobs to tell us what they do all day. Next up: K. Harley McDonald, senior business developer at Avangrid Renewables.
  • An Anxious Accountant’s Journey to the Top, Greentech Media
    In this special podcast, we discuss how one finance expert overcame his anxieties and flourished in renewable energy. Today, he leads CohnReznick’s renewable energy industry practice and helps utilities and other energy companies execute all kinds of transactions, from long-term contracts to hedging strategies to tax structures.

TESLA  

Tesla Solar Panels and Roof: Pricing and how to buy, by Fred Lambert, Electrek

Tesla solar roof tiles are not available in as many markets as Tesla’s solar panels. The company is still hiring and training roofers in many markets and it is expanding fast. Tesla’s regular solar panel installations are more easily available.

Tesla’s website:
“We are hiring roofers, installers and electricians who will work together to deploy Solar Roof in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Virginia.”

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

NEW CERES REPORT

Coal retirements spur 8% drop in 2019 power sector carbon pollution after Duke, Vistra top 2018 emitters: Ceres, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Progress in 2019 is a cause for optimism, report author and Senior Director of Electric Power at Ceres, Dan Bakal, told Utility Dive, though the sector will need to move even faster in order to offset the worst impacts of climate change.

About Ceres
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. Mission: Ceres is transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet.
Resources include: Proxy Voting Guidebook 2020

Ceres Initiatives

MORE ON RECENTLY-RELEASED ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS’ REPORT 

How to replace 187 GW of coal with renewables, and save customers money, by William Driscoll, PV Magazine. Promptly retiring 79% of the nation’s 236 GW of coal units, and replacing them with renewables and storage, would yield savings of $10 billion per year, says a report from the Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon Tracker and Sierra Club. Retiring all of them now, including units that are not yet uneconomic, would still save $9 billion per year. The authors recommend federal involvement in financing this transition, and using the savings not only to lower customers’ electric bills but to fund transition assistance for affected workers and communities.

NEWS FROM CANADA

Massive 340,000-panel solar farm to take flight at Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton Journal. A massive renewable energy project roughly the size of 313 CFL football fields could be arriving in Edmonton by the end of 2022. Edmonton International Airport announced Tuesday plans to build a 627-acre, 120-megawatt solar farm — enough energy to power 27,000 or 28,000 homes — on the west side of its lands as part of an agreement with European-based renewable energy company Alpin Sun. Solar power from the farm would feed into Fortis Alberta and the airport.

Taking Charge: Wisconsin’s newest utility commissioner on the state’s ‘utility-scale changeover’

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Wisconsin’s historical reliance on coal-generated power has shifted toward renewable energy and natural gas in recent years. Though the state is not yet able to compete with Minnesota on solar or Iowa on its abundant wind resources, the political and economic tides are turning the markets in favor of a more dramatic clean energy buildout, according to advocates in the state.

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who took office after the 2018 midterm elections, has been working on a suite of clean energy and climate policies. In August, he signed an executive order putting Wisconsin on a path to 100% clean energy by 2050, and his 2019 budget directed $10 million in Volkswagen settlement funds toward electric vehicle charging stations. Continue reading here.

Photo: Wisconsin Public Service Commissioner Tyler Huebner

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

  • Iowa cities and towns invest in renewable energy, Yale Climate Connections
    Many cities and towns are investing in renewable energy, and climate change is not the only motivation. 
  • Wind energy brings jobs to ND, Minot Daily News
    Powering North Dakota, an initiative of the American Wind Energy Association, has thrown its support behind the Lake Region training program and its partnership with Neset. Powering North Dakota is a growing coalition of developers, manufacturers, business, agriculture and community members with a focus on the economic benefits of wind power. The coalition’s goal is to share research, talk about the local benefits and tell the story of wind and its impact on different areas of the economy.
  • Wind farm expansion begins, The Kansan
    Enel Green Power operates six wind farms in Kansas, and the company’s overall investment in Kansas amounts to more than $2.1 billion and 210 full-time employees working in the state and with its’ acquisition of Tradewind Energy Inc. last year, makes them the largest wind operator with more than 1.4 GW of operational wind capacity.
  • North Carolina pursues faster interconnection for utility-scale solar, PV Magazine
    Under Duke Energy’s current review process, interconnection queues grew to 14 GW in North and South Carolina last year. A new process should speed interconnection reviews, and enable projects located near each other to share the costs of transmission upgrades.
  • Dominion Sells Gas Business and Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Greentech Media.
    Dominion and Duke Energy will walk away from controversial pipeline project as U.S. utilities grapple with future role of natural gas. Company-wide, Dominion plans to retire more than 4 gigawatts of coal- and oil-fired electric generation by 2025. “Over the next 15 years we plan to invest up to $55 billion in emissions reduction technologies including zero-carbon generation and energy storage, gas distribution line replacement, and renewable natural gas,” CEO Thomas Farrell II said in a statement Sunday.
  • SCC approves voluntary 100% renewable energy offering by Dominion Energy Virginia, Augusta Free Press. Virginia law permits Dominion to design a rate that participating customers may choose to pay to receive all their power from renewable resources. As designed, the rate would charge a premium of $3.98 a month above the standard rate of an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, subject to annual adjustments.
  • TVA launches virtual home energy audits for customers, American Public Power Association
    The Tennessee Valley Authority on July 1 said it has launched virtual home energy evaluations, enabling residents across its seven-state region to benefit from money-saving energy advice, even during pandemic conditions.

WORLD’S FIRST ZERO-CARBON ARENA

Climate Pledge Arena’ Will Be The Name Of Amazon’s New Seattle Sports Center, by Senior Contributor Ken Silverstein, Forbes. The company has secured the naming rights to an arena in Seattle that is now under construction — one that will ultimately measure its carbon emissions and sustainability performance and it will make that data public. It’s part of the company’s overall climate initiative to have net-zero carbon releases by 2040, which is a decade ahead of the Paris agreement. The future arena is financed by Amazon and the Oak View Group and it is expected to be the world’s first zero-carbon arena when it is completed in the summer of 2021. 

RENEWABLES VERSUS NATURAL GAS

  • The Next Energy Battle: Renewables vs. Natural Gas, New York Times
    Proponents of renewable energy note that solar panels are increasingly the cheapest source of electricity. Solar panels can deliver power to 650 homes for one hour — one megawatt-hour in industry jargon — at $31 to $111 a megawatt-hour, according to Lazard, the investment firm. By comparison, natural gas peaking plants, which utilities can turn on and off quickly to meet surging demand, deliver power at $122 to $162 a megawatt-hour.
  • Natural Gas As A Bridge Fuel To The Future? Not Anymore, CleanTechnica
    For a while that was true, but once again a funny thing happened on the way to the renewable energy revolution. The costs of solar and wind farms plummeted along with the cost of battery storage. Now, according to PV Magazine, several US utilities are saying “no thank you” to new gas-fired generation. Here’s the latest news.

MORE ON HOUSE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Three Key Takeaways from House Climate Crisis Action Plan, by Roland Hwang, Managing Director, Climate and Clean Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council. The House of Representatives’ Special Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has finally released its long-awaited plan to tackle the climate crisis. It’s a 547-page roadmap for an “all hands-on deck” approach to putting the U.S. on a path to net-zero carbon pollution by midcentury, which is what the world’s leading climate scientists tell us is necessary to avert a climate catastrophe. Importantly, the House Plan puts justice and equity at the core of its recommendations for a comprehensive climate policy package.

For more on NRDC’s perspective on the House Plan:

ESG & LONGTERM SUSTAINABILITY

What role does ESG play in the ‘new normal’?, GreenBiz article contributed by Janine Guillot, CEO of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. In recent years, the rise of ESG, responsible investing, corporate sustainability — different people use different terms — has focused on evolving “business as usual” by recognizing that effectively managing environmental and social issues is key to the long-term sustainability of both business and society. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to accelerate this trend. The key questions that have arisen from the crisis are essentially ESG questions, such as:

FREE SEPA RESEARCH

Utility Best Practices for EV Infrastructure Deployment

  • How to develop an EV strategic plan and build a transportation electrification team 
  • Results from two surveys and six utility case studies and SEPA Electric Vehicle Working Group contributions
  • Best practices for utility-led EV infrastructure programs and third-party charging infrastructure interconnection

Alliant coal plant could cost Wisconsin customers $257M by 2030, report says

By Catherine Morehouse, Utilty Dive

Two Wisconsin coal plants cost Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin customers $16 million in 2019 alone, according to a report released Tuesday from the Sierra Club. Alliant on Friday announced it plans to retire one of those facilities — the 380 MW last remaining unit of its Edgewater plant — by 2022. However, the 1,023 MW Columbia coal plant has no set retirement date, and if it continues to operate the utility’s share of the plant could cost customers $257 million through 2030, according to Sierra Club. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Related: Alliant Energy looks to add 675 MW of PV and quadruple Wisconsin’s solar capacity, PV Magazine

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The (energy) efficient road to small business recovery, Utility Dive
The following is a contributed article by Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Co-Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and John Di Stasio, President of the Large Public Power Council.

MORE ON SECRET GROUP’S FERC PETITION

24 Congressional Democrats urge FERC to reject net metering overhaul, Utility Dive
A group of Democratic senators and representatives on Tuesday wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, urging the regulatory body to shut down a net metering proposal that experts say would effectively overturn the policy nationally. In the letter, Congress Members questioned FERC’s authority to make such a rule and also asked the commission to ask the petitioner, New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), to disclose its members. 

Upcoming Advanced Energy Economy Webinar


Net Energy Metering and State Authority: What’s at Stake for Advanced Energy in FERC Petition, June 3 at 2 p.m.


This webinar will explain how FERC ruling the wrong way could impact existing and emerging state and municipal and cooperative utility approaches to supporting distributed energy resources in retail markets. 

Panelists

  • Ted Thomas, Chairman, Arkansas Public Service Commission
  • Hannah Muller, Director of Public Policy, Clearway Energy
  • John McCaffrey, Senior Regulatory Counsel, American Public Power Association
  • Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel, Advanced Energy Economy

PEAK COALITION REPORT

Dirty Energy, Big Money, by the PEAK Coalition
Subtitle: 
How Private Companies Make Billions from Polluting Fossil Fuel Peaker Power Plants in New York City’s Environmental Justice Communities – and How to Create a Cleaner, More Just Alternative

The high costs of these peaker plants—both in public health impacts and on New Yorkers’ electric utility bills—are largely hidden to the public. It is not well known, but the owners of these plants receive exorbitant payments from utilities and other energy service providers just for the plants to exist. 

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS STUDY

The Coal Bailout Everybody Is Talking About, by Joseph Daniel, senior energy analyst with the Climate & Energy program at UCS

 As we found in our new UCS report, Used but How Useful, How Electric Utilities Exploit Loopholes, Forcing Customers to Bail Out Uneconomic Coal-Fired Power Plants, utilities across 15 states right in the heart of the U.S. exploited power market loopholes, costing customers $350 million in 2018.

Previously Posted

An Open Letter on COVID-19: The Resilience of the Solar Industry

By Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA Blog Post

Alongside our members and allies, we have conducted hundreds of phone calls and video meetings with legislators at the state and federal level to talk about how COVID-19 is affecting solar companies, what policymakers can do to #SaveSolarJobs, and how this industry is poised to help rebuild the U.S. economy. There is much more work to be done — and I strongly encourage you to join us in this campaign.

We also are taking care of the day-to-day business of ensuring development and implementation of smart state policiesfighting for trade policies that do no further harm to solar and advocating fiercely for competitive markets and open access for clean energy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies to get the best possible outcomes for our industry. Read more here.

IN NEBRASKA

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

AMERICAN WIND WEEK 2020

#AmericanWindWeek 2020: Wind Builds the Future, Into The Wind, AWEA Blog
August is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start planning for #AmericanWindWeek 2020, happening August 9-15. And to get your creative juices flowing, we’re happy to announce this year’s theme: Wind Builds the Future.

JOURNALISM NETWORK

$4.7 Million Grant From Eric & Wendy Schmidt to NPR Collaborative Journalism Network, NPR News Release

All 25 public radio stations in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska serving some 63 cities will have access to content produced by the Midwest regional newsroom, which will be led by the largest public media stations in the region–KCUR in Kansas City, St. Louis Public RadioIowa Public Radio and NET in Nebraska–with NPR as the national partner.

The grant will add investigative units in California and the Midwest, enabling the regional newsrooms to provide deeper coverage of topics like government accountability, criminal justice, the environment, healthcare and rural economic development. The regional hubs will also leverage existing reporting resources by coordinating coverage of breaking news and elections across statewide news teams.

LONGi joins the Global Initiative RE100; commits to 100% renewable power across its entire global operations by 2028

LONGi News Release, PR Newswire

LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “LONGi”), the world’s leading solar technology company, announced that it has officially joined the global RE100 initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, on March 12th, 2020. LONGi commits to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its entire global operations by 2028 with an interim target of 70% by 2027.

The global RE100 initiative aims to unite Global Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Philips and Goldman Sachs, to the committed goal of 100% renewable energy in the shortest possible timeframe. In order to achieve this climate goal, each company in the RE100 will commit to source 100% of the electricity used across their global operations from renewable energy. Continue reading here.


228 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREENTECH MEDIA PODCAST

Watt It Takes: Turning Real Estate Into Clean-Power Assets
This week on Watt It Takes: Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch sits down with Robyn Beavers, the co-founder and CEO of Blueprint Power. Blueprint works with real estate companies to turn their buildings into clean energy power plants. Blueprint developed software that helps building owners optimize their use of co-generation, fuel cells, solar or batteries.

BUILDING INTEGRATED PV (BIPV)

GAF Energy, part of the world’s largest roofer: The time is now for building integrated PV and solar roofs, PV Magazine

Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, part of the world’s largest roofing company, thinks that the time is now for building integrated PV (BIPV). He told PV Magazine: “You have the backing of GAF — a 100-year old company and the world’s largest roofer.” He added, “I can assure you — without naming names — the largest solar companies in the U.S. are getting into roofing. I think that Tesla has it absolutely right. They’re playing the long game, as are we. The industry will evolve from rack-mounted to BIPV.”

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO NEBRASKA MANUFACTURERS

EPA encourages manufacturers to save energy, Yale Climate Connections
More than 1,000 plants have signed up for the Energy Star Challenge for Industry.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING

Seven of the best new documentaries about global warming, Yale Climate Connections
The films screened at the recent Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Throughout these diverse pieces was a common probing of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on the health and wellbeing of indigenous communities, people of color, and economically disadvantaged individuals.

NEW APPA INFOGRAPHIC: ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY 

 

What makes a utility environmentally responsible?, American Public Power Association

Environmental responsibility is a key cornerstone of public power. In meeting this, utilities fulfill a variety of roles, such as:

 

SOLAR RECYCLING 

Washington State Passes Bill That Will Improve Solar Recycling Program, Solar Power World
This week the Washington State House and Senate passed a bill that will update the state’s solar recycling policy. This bill will inform the final design and adoption of a comprehensive solar recycling program that is data-driven and considers the lifespan of modules that can last up to 50 years in the field.

GLOBAL NEWS

How far and fast can OPPD push toward ‘zero carbon’ energy future? Study seeks answers, costs

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

The Omaha Public Power District is studying how far it can push toward generating the region’s electricity without the carbon emissions that scientists say contribute to a changing climate.  The study’s findings could hold significance for the future of OPPD’s coal-fired plants, including its north Omaha power plant, which burns coal and natural gas, and its plant in Nebraska City, its largest that burns coal. It might also influence which types of power plants OPPD builds in the future, whether for addressing the power grid’s needs at peak usage times or for additional capacity, board members say. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Report puts $4.5 trillion price tag on grid decarbonization, American Public Power Association

Also In The News

LevelTen News