Tag Archives: American Clean Power Association

NREL Report Shows Continued Declines in PV and PV-Plus-Storage Costs

By Ariana Fine, Solar Industry

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released its annual cost breakdown of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage systems. U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2021 details installed costs for PV systems as of the first quarter of 2021.

Costs continue to fall for residential, commercial rooftop, and utility-scale PV systems – by 3%, 11% and 12%, respectively, compared to last year. In a change from previous years’ reports, balance of systems costs have increased or remained flat across sectors this year. However, this increase in balance of systems cost was offset by a 19% reduction in module cost, causing overall costs to continue their decade-long decline. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ACP CEO Heather Zichal statement on President Biden signing The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, American Clean Power Association 

“The American Clean Power Association applauds President Biden and bipartisan Congressional leaders for making a historic and long overdue investment in America’s infrastructure. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a major victory for Americans that will make unprecedented investments to modernize and enhance the nation’s electrical grid and provide consumers with more opportunities to receive reliable, zero-carbon electricity across the country. An overwhelming majority of voters — 93% — believe that clean energy is important to the country’s energy future, and the bipartisan support for this legislation is a powerful example of what we can get done for American clean power when our leaders come together.”

SALT CREEK SOLAR

Nebraska’s largest solar farm planned east of Lincoln is looking to clear final zoning hurdles, Updated November 10, 2021, Lincoln Journal Star. Ranger Power’s application is the first “industrial-scale” solar project proposed in the county.

Salt Creek Solar (PDF), Ranger Power Resource

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for tomorrow, November 17, before the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission.

NET ZERO ENERGY HOMES

Energy-Efficient Isn’t Enough, So Homes Go ‘Net Zero’, New York Times

Demand for residences that produce as much energy as they consume is being spurred by climate concerns, consumer appetite and more affordable solar technology.

Photo by GRNE Solar: The Sun Haven, a net-zero energy home in Lincoln, Nebraska.
See “Solar Examples” for more information.

CONSERVATION NEBRASKA NOW HIRING

Conservation Nebraska is now hiring half-time AmeriCorps members to serve as Conservation Directors with their Common Ground Program.

The term of service is December 1st, 2021 through August 31st, 2022.

The AmeriCorps position can be utilized to satisfy an internship requirement for college.
Any interested party should send a resume to Amanda Gangwish, Conservation Nebraska’s Program Director, at agangwish@neconserve.org

See Additional Position Details Here.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Renews U.S. Leadership on World Stage at U.N. Climate Conference (COP26)

The White House 

Heading into COP26, President Biden announced  the Build Back Better Framework – the largest effort to combat climate change in American history alongside his Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that the President is confident can pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law. The Build Back Better Framework will cut greenhouse gas pollution by well over one gigaton in 2030, reduce clean energy costs for working families, give our kids cleaner air and water, create hundreds of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, and advance environmental justice while investing in a 21st century clean energy economy. President Biden’s bold agenda, along with his robust executive and regulatory actions to date, represents the U.S. intention to capture the economic opportunity that addressing climate change presents. Read more here.

ACP & SEIA WEIGH IN 

MORE ON THE BUILD BACK BETTER FRAMEWORK

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on President Biden’s Framework for the Build Back Better ActUSDA News Release


“The Build Back Better framework is the largest effort in American history to combat the climate crisis, while spurring economic opportunity with innovation and good jobs here at home, better positioning us to compete globally. Agriculture can lead the way in the fight on climate with climate smart agriculture and forestry practices that sequester carbon, reduce emissions and create new and better market opportunities for producers.”

 

THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT AND JOBS ACT (IIJA)

The Infrastructure Bill Is Desperately Needed, Engineers SayScientific American

“You can’t build a healthy economy on a crumbling infrastructure,” says Maria Lehman, president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Every four years this professional organization publishes a report card on U.S. utilities, issuing letter grades in 17 categories such as roads, internet access and drinking water—and the grades rarely rise above a D. “We’ve had many, many, many decades of taking our infrastructure for granted,” Lehman points out. “And it’s all coming due at the same time.” 

Scientific American spoke with Lehman about what’s broken, whether the IIJA’s $1 trillion investment can fix it, and what happens if the federal government fails to invest in infrastructure.

H.R.3684 – Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)

IN NEBRASKA

Nebraska Infrastructure Overview, American Society of Civil Engineers

While the nation’s infrastructure earned a C- in the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, Nebraska faces infrastructure challenges of its own. For example, driving on roads in need of repair in Nebraska costs each driver $461 per year, and 8.8% of bridges are rated structurally deficient. Drinking water needs in Nebraska are an estimated $1.6 billion. 149 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential. The state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $292 million. 

This deteriorating infrastructure impedes Nebraska’s ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. Success in a 21st-century economy requires serious, sustained leadership on infrastructure investment at all levels of government. Delaying these investments only escalates the cost and risks of an aging infrastructure system, an option that the country, Nebraska, and families can no longer afford.

Image Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

INDIVIDUAL CLIMATE ACTION

COP26: This is what individuals can do to slow down climate change, according to experts, ABC News

As the leaders of the world gather in Glasgow to discuss the fate of the climate crisis, the power to save the planet from destruction caused by humans does not only lie in the hands of those in power. While the majority of reductions in greenhouse gases will need to be accomplished by transformation in policy and industry, individual actions can also help prevent further warming, according to the experts.

PAUL HAWKEN INTERVIEW & HIS NEW BOOK

Paul Hawken: Sustainability isn’t enough. Here’s what is, GreenBiz

Sustainability is a limited framework. The solutions to the climate crisis hinge upon embracing regeneration as a universal organizing principle. That’s according to entrepreneur and author Paul Hawken, who just published a “what-to-do,” action-packed handbook for those seeking to channel collective action on complex, systemic problems in ways that nurture life and livelihoods.

His new book, Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, is joined by a website that details “what needs to be done and how to do it on all levels of agency, from a classroom to a CEO.” The site offers snapshots of systemic issues — including clean cookstoves, electrifying everything and wasting nothing — with action items, key players, governance, bad actors and media to digest for each.

Photo: Paul Hawken and Joel Makower speaking at GreenBiz’s VERGE 21 virtual event.

#AmericanCleanPowerWeek: Solar power is a key climate solution that creates jobs, drives innovation, and strengthens our economy

By Jen Scungio, American Clean Power Association,
October 26, 2021

Solar costs have fallen over 90% over the last decade, making solar power one of the most affordable sources of new electricity across the nation. Solar power was the #2 energy type among new power additions in 2020, and reduced costs for consumers and buyers has enabled solar power generation to scale up like never before.

That growth translates into American jobs. There are nearly 232,000 American solar workers across the country, with more on the way. Solar installer is the nation’s third fastest-growing profession, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Celebrating National Clean Energy Week, Tri Global Energy Affirms Clean Energy Is the Future

Tri Global News Release

The company currently originates and develops utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Tri Global Energy’s headquarters is in Dallas with regional development offices in Lubbock, Texas; El Paso and Forreston, Illinois; and Reynolds and Hartford City, Indiana. Read more here. 

Tri Global Infographic: 100 MW Sugarloaf Wind project in Garden County, Nebraska.

See Also:

  • Clean Power Nebraska Fact Sheet, American Clean Power Association
  • Inside Clean Energy: The Energy Transition Comes to Nebraskaby 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.

NEAPCO

Neapco celebrates 100th anniversary, 40 years in Beatrice, Beatrice Daily Sun
“We have a customer today that buys a lot of product from us, and they’re non-automotive,” [Chief Davidson, plant manager for Beatrice], said. “They’re actually in the solar power industry, and we provide the mechanisms that position their mirrors to track the sun. So that’s a little bit out of the norm for us, but it’s the same type of technology. We’re also very heavily involved with the electric vehicle manufacturers. We know that that’s an upcoming trend, and we’re working on various new products that will support that industry as it gets off the ground.”

American Clean Power Association to further expand with U.S. Energy Storage Association merger

ACP News Release 

WASHINGTON DC, August 23, 2021 – The American Clean Power Association (ACP) and the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) today announced that ESA’s member companies approved the merger to join ACP effective January 1, 2022.

“We are thrilled the member companies at the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) have endorsed the planned merger with ACP. This will enhance our ability to become a more forceful advocate for wind, solar, storage and transmission,” said Heather Zichal, CEO of ACP. “The merger will help deliver more value for our members and build a best-in-class trade association that is nimble, effective and able to represent all clean energy industries with a unified voice on some of our top priorities including the investment tax credit for storage projects.”  Read more here.

Watch ACP’s Powering American Jobs national TV ad: https://bit.ly/3y9MNJc

Additional Recommended Reading

New Solar Company – EightTwenty

Solar energy company EightTwenty seeks to shine light on industry potential in Oklahoma, The Oklahoman. EightTwenty also is establishing operations in Arkansas and Kansas with future aspirations to expand into Texas, Nebraska, Indiana and Kentucky. 

New CESA Guide

 

 

Guide to 100% Clean Energy States
This guide provides state officials and other stakeholders with information about the 18 states (plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) that have adopted 100% clean energy goals. It includes information about the plans and other implementation reports that some of those states have produced.

New bill could make solar roof installations more affordable for homes, businesses

By Zach Hester, WHNT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new bill introduced last week is aiming to make it cheaper for homeowners and businesses to install solar power roofs. The Raise the Roof Act, introduced by Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), would expand solar tax credits to cover a “cutting-edge integrated solar roofing system” as well as roof replacements and repairs. Read more here, including the full text of the Raise the Roof Act.

Related Reading – With Resources

Replacing Your Roof? It’s a Great Time to Add Solar, by Becca Jones-Albertus, Director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office within the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office.

A report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that solar panels are viewed as upgrades and home buyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array. Additionally, there is evidence homes with solar panels sell faster than those without.

Previously Posted

RECOMMENDED WEBINAR

Recording of the Clean Energy Group / Clean Energy States Alliance Webinar: Expanding Grid Capacity with Energy Storage in Decorah, Iowa

At present, one circuit on Decorah’s grid does not have sufficient capacity to allow for the addition of many new solar projects in development. Upgrading the grid through traditional poles-and-wires and substation expansions would be twice as expensive as this battery project, according to Alliant Energy. Thus, the battery project is expected not only to allow for increased solar integration, but also to produce distribution system investment savings. Additional potential benefits, such as peak demand shaving and other storage applications, will be tested as additional means to reduce customer cost.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

WIND ENERGY GUIDE

Land-Based Wind Energy Economic Development Guide, Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, WINDExchange

A comprehensive resource for community decision makers to better understand the economic development potential during the development, construction, and operation of wind energy projects.

WATCH: Biden, Harris give remarks at White House following passage of bipartisan infrastructure plan

Associated Press / PBS News Hour 

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a robust vote after weeks of fits and starts, the Senate approved a $1 trillion infrastructure plan for states coast to coast on Tuesday, as a rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans came together to overcome skeptics and deliver a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

“Today, we proved that democracy can still work,” Biden declared at the White House, taking note of the 69-30 vote that included even Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Continue reading or watch the video here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM

WEC Energy Group to acquire 90% ownership of Sapphire Sky Wind Energy Center

WEC Energy Group News Release, PRNewswire

MILWAUKEE, July 27, 2021 – WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC) today announced that the company has agreed to acquire a 90% ownership interest in the Sapphire Sky Wind Energy Center. Located in McLean County, Illinois, the project is being developed by Invenergy — a leading global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions. The Sapphire Sky site will consist of 64 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 250 megawatts. Commercial operation is expected by the end of 2022. Continue reading here.

Photo: Upstream Wind Energy Center in Antelope County, Nebraska

IN NEBRASKA

WEC Infrastructure Includes:

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy Resources

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NextEra adds 1,840 MW renewables and storage to more than 15 GW backlog in Q2, Utility Dive

NextEra Energy “remains well-positioned to meet our 2021 and longer-term growth expectations,” NextEra President and CEO Jim Robo said in a statement. Meanwhile, NextEra Energy is also looking at significant opportunities in the years ahead in the transmission sector as well, [Rebecca Kujawa, executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer] said.

Photo: NextEra Energy’s Sholes Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska

Previously Posted

Wind energy company studying Jefferson County for possible wind farm, News Channel Nebraska, April 27, 2021

FAIRBURY, NE — A major renewable energy company is studying to see if Jefferson County would be a good spot for a new wind farm. The Jefferson County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a special use permit for Big Blue Nebraska Wind LLC to build a meteorological tower. The tower will be built about two miles northwest of Harbine. Big Blue Nebraska Wind LLC is owned by NextEra Energy. 

NextEra’s Nebraska Projects Also Include: 

Little Blue Wind

  • Up to 100 GE wind turbines capable of generating up to 250 megawatts (MW).
  • The project is currently under construction and is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2021.

Gage Wind

  • Up to 50 GE wind turbines capable of generating up to 124 megawatts (MW).
  • Subject to local and state approvals, the project is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2022.

American Clean Power’s State Fact Sheet: Clean Power Nebraska, May 2021

Clean Energy Careers

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

A Proclamation on Made In America Week, 2021President Joseph R. Biden, The White House Briefing Room

My Administration is making “Buy American” a policy, not just a promise. We are closing loopholes and strengthening standards to ensure that the future is made in all of America — by all of America’s workers — in every region, of every background, in services, manufacturing, and agriculture.

U.S. solar panel manufacturers, Solar Power World

Rural electric co-ops get shocking estimates of the cost to break up with Tri-State Generation

By Mark Jaffe, The Colorado Sun

Some of Tri-State’s 43 member co-ops have voiced a desire to develop more homegrown and cleaner electric generation – they are required to buy 95% of their electricity from the association, which still has substantial coal-fired generation.

“This does not move the ball,” United Power CEO Mark Gabriel said. “I think they are off by three zeros,” he said of his co-op’s exit fee. The association’s filing was in response to a ruling in June by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that Tri-State’s exit policies were “unjust and unreasonable or unduly discriminatory.”  Read more here.

Note: Nebraska Tri-State members seeking exit fees are the Wheat Belt Public Power District and the Northwest Rural Public Power District.

ACP NEWS RELEASE

The American Clean Power Association and the U.S. Energy Storage Association announce intent to merge

WASHINGTON DC, July 22, 2021 – The boards of directors of the American Clean Power Association (ACP) and the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) have voted to pursue a merger of the two trade associations to combine their staff, programs, and members. The merger will bring together the diverse membership and talented team members of ESA with the resources and reach of ACP. Additionally, it will enhance the American Clean Power Association’s efforts to advocate for the economic and environmental advantages of the clean power economy and further position the renewable energy and storage industries for success as they move into a decade of transformative growth.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Clean Energy Boom to Create Quality American Jobs

American Clean Power Association News Release

WASHINGTON DC, June 7, 2021 – America’s decarbonization has the potential to create 500,000 – 600,000 new jobs for American workers across the solar, wind, and battery storage technologies by 2030, according to the new 2021 Clean Energy Labor Supply report, prepared by BW Research Partnership and released today by the American Clean Power Association (ACP) on the first day of the CLEANPOWER 2021 Virtual Summit. The reports finds that higher-than-average pay and significant union coverage are key aspects of the clean energy employment future over the next decade.

“One of the biggest challenges to meeting the Biden administration’s clean energy goals will be getting enough people trained and added to the workforce as quickly as possible. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for massive job creation, with high demand for a diversity of roles in manufacturing, construction, project development, and operations.” – Heather Zichal, ACP CEO

Read the entire release here.