Tag Archives: American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)

Illinois Poised for Nation-Leading, Equitable Climate Bill

By J.C. Kibbey, Natural Resources Defense Council

After years of work, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the Illinois House has voted (83 yes to 33 no) to pass the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB2408), a nation-leading bill to fight climate change, create good-paying jobs, improve the health of Illinoisans, and support disadvantaged communities. The bill now goes to the Senate, where legislative leaders say they intend to pass it swiftly. Governor Pritzker has championed the bill and has said he will sign it. Read more here.

More about the writer: With Family Roots in the Mines, He’s Championing Illinois’s Clean Energy Future, NRDC

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

USDA accepts more grassland CRP signup, North Platte Telegraph
[Lands] enrolled in CRP — including grasslands — play an important role in addressing climate change. For example, this enrollment of more than 2.5 million acres of grazing land into Grassland CRP will mitigate an additional estimated 22,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

By the numbers: Nebraska ranked third in acres enrolled, behind only Colorado and South Dakota. Montana and New Mexico round out the top five enrollment states.

About the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The Future of Agriculture Combined With Renewable Energy Finds Success at Jack’s Solar Garden, NREL News Story. Jack’s Solar Garden is the largest commercially active agrivoltaics system researching crop and vegetation growth under photovoltaic solar panels in the United States. For more information, visit Jack’s Solar Garden, stay tuned for updates on more agrivoltaics projects, and read more about the InSPIRE project’s research at sites around the country.

Making the right buy: LCOE of monofacial vs bifacial modules, PV Magazine
When does increased energy production outweigh increased cost? Clean Energy Associates looks to answer one of its most-asked questions in a new case study.

Wisconsin farmers to receive record-breaking support this year from USDA, NBC26

BIDEN’S INFRASTRUCTURE PLANS & AMERICA’S WORKFORCE

Biden Has Ambitious Infrastructure Plans. But A Worker Shortage Could Hinder Them, NPR
“We were having trouble finding skilled workers for construction jobs, water and energy utilities, telecom and broadband expansions – all the areas where we think this infrastructure bill was going to be investing even before the pandemic. – Andy Van Kleunen, CEO of the National Skills Coalition

GRID INFRASTRUCTURE – NEW ACORE REPORT 

Transmission Makes the Grid Resilient to Extreme Weather, T&D World
New report released by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). ‘Transmission Makes the Power System Resilient to Extreme Weather’, details the value additional transmission would have provided during five severe weather events in Texas, the Northeast and the Midwest between 2014 and 2021. 

PREVIOUSLY POSTED ON INFRASTRUCTURE

Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report  card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement.

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan, The White House Briefing Room
Statement about America’s manufacturing infrastructure:
The U.S. manufacturing sector accounts for 70 percent of business R&D expenditure, 30 percent of productivity growth, and 60 percent of exports. Manufacturing is a critical node that helps convert research and innovation into sustained economic growth . . . While manufacturing jobs have been a ladder to middle-class life, we have let our industrial heartland be hollowed out, with quality jobs moving abroad or to regions with lower wages and fewer protections for workers.

U.S. Solar Market Eclipses 100 Gigawatts

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release
June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX — The U.S. solar market surpassed 100 gigawatts (GWdc) of installed electric generating capacity, doubling the size of the industry over the last 3.5 years, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Q2 2021 report, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie. Solar had a record-setting Q1 2021 and accounted for 58% of all new electric capacity additions in the United States. Renewable energy accounted for nearly 100% of all new electric capacity in Q1. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTORS & DEVELOPERS

Confidence Among Renewable Energy Investors at an All-Time High: Report, Environment+Energy Leader

A new analysis released recently by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) finds that confidence among both renewable energy investors and developers is at an all-time high. The report, “Expectations for Renewable Energy Finance in 2021-2024,” presents the results of a new survey of large financial institutions and renewable energy development companies on their confidence in the sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new report also tracks progress on the $1T 2030: American Renewable Investment Goal, an initiative ACORE launched in 2018 to help secure $1 trillion in private sector investment in renewable energy and enabling grid technologies by 2030.

Additional Recommended Reading
ACORE insight: The federal agenda for energy and climate, PV Magazine

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA NEWS

Successful bond sale yields $400 million for university building maintenance projects

The sale – the largest issuance of new bonds in NU history – was the first transaction after the passage of LB384, a plan championed by Sen. John Stinner of Gering to extend through 2062 a state-university partnership on deferred maintenance. The Legislature and Gov. Pete Ricketts’ approval of the bill this session allowed the university to capitalize on current historically low interest rates, resulting in a 2.99 percent rate for funds with an average lifespan of 35 years. Chancellors have developed initial lists of priority projects to be addressed with the new $400 million in bond proceeds. Notably, one-quarter of the proceeds – $100 million – will be used for energy efficiency or other “green” projects, reflecting a system-wide commitment to sustainability.

LB384: Provide for and change provisions related to transfers of funds and funding for university and state college facilities, create and change permitted uses of funds, and create a grant program. 

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Department of Natural Resources awarded grant for initiative to assess rare earth elements, critical minerals, The Missouri Times

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A partnership between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the University of Kansas will receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the feasibility of recovering critical minerals from coal and associated strata in the Cherokee-Forest City Basin, which encompasses Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and the Osage Nation. The Department of Energy’s Carbon Ore, Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Initiative is a $19 million nationwide effort to assess rare earth elements and critical minerals in fossil fuel-producing areas.

Previously Posted: Statement About Coal & News Release On The Referenced DOE Grant

“Coal may contain as many as 76 of the 92 naturally occurring elements of the periodic table.”
SourceUnited States Geological Survey

DOE Awards $19 Million for Initiatives to Produce Rare Earth Elements and Critical MineralsDepartment of Energy News Release 

“The very same fossil fuel communities that have powered our nation for decades can be at the forefront of the clean energy economy by producing the critical minerals needed to build electric vehicles, wind turbines, and so much more,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm“By building clean energy products here at home, we’re securing the supply chain for the innovative solutions needed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – all while creating good-paying jobs in all parts of America.” 

Production of rare earth elements and critical minerals, which serve as key components to several clean energy applications such as magnets in wind turbines and batteries in electric and conventional vehicles, is a prime example of how DOE is supporting regional economic growth and job creation in regions traditionally home to the fossil fuel industry.

See Also: FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Outlines Key Resources to Invest in Coal and Power Plant Community Economic RevitalizationThe White House Briefing Room

U.S. disasters show gaps in $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan

By David R. Baker & Keith Laing, Bloomberg
Reprinted by Kennebec Journal

Three times this year, major pieces of U.S. infrastructure have failed: first the Texas power grid, then the East Coast’s main gasoline pipeline, then a freeway bridge over the Mississippi River. The crises disrupted businesses and lives, cost billions and left more than 150 Texans dead.

The recent failures illustrate just how many ways the patchwork systems can break. Experts say they also illustrate a long-running flaw in the way the U.S. thinks about and pays for infrastructure: The country focuses more on building new things rather than maintaining what it has. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

TENASKA

GRID: FERC complaint highlights ‘structural problem’ for renewables, by Miranda Willson, E&E News

The case highlights flaws in outdated interconnection systems across the U.S. that have hampered the growth of renewable energy, according to analysts. Companies seeking to build large energy projects typically must obtain approval from a regional transmission organization or grid operator to connect to the bulk power grid, a process that can take years and carry a steep price tag. 

DARTMOUTH STUDY

Dartmouth Study Finds Renewable Energy Upgrades Make Grid More Resilient, New Hampshire NPR

A Dartmouth study has modeled for the first time that renewable energy upgrades will make the nation’s power grid more resilient. Researchers modeled a grid with an influx of three innovations: distributed generation like rooftop solar, a kind of localized power system shortcut known as a meshed grid, and energy storage. The study is the first to find that these emissions-cutting technologies will also make the power system more able to keep operating through disruptions.

GREENBELT ALLIANCE

Opinion: How infrastructure plan can accelerate resilience, contributed by Amanda Brown-Stevens, The Mercury News

Passing President Biden’s infrastructure bill would be the most significant step we’ve taken as a nation to start to address climate change head on. Greenbelt Alliance believes this infrastructure bill is a great start. Yet, so far there is no path to guide how we can equitably shift away from rebuilding in the most climate-vulnerable areas and instead build for a more resilient future. That’s why we’re recommending this infrastructure bill and related actions adopt these three principles as a simple yet transformational way forward:

Amanda Brown-Stevens heads up the San Francisco-based Greenbelt Alliance, the 60-year-old non-profit dedicated to preserving open spaces and helping the Bay Area prioritize climate action.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

GridWise Alliance Establishes Advisory Council To Aid Drive For Investments In Power System, GridWise Alliance News Release

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — GridWise Alliance Board Chair Gil C. Quiniones today announced the formation of a 29-member Grid Infrastructure Advisory Council (GIAC) to support the Alliance’s call for at least $50 billion in federal spending to modernize the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution systems.

“A strong and secure electric grid is essential to creating jobs and driving economic growth, meeting clean energy goals and fighting climate change,” said Mr. Quiniones, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, the largest state-owned electric utility in the United States. 

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan, The White House Briefing Room

FACT SHEET: President Signs Executive Order Charting New Course to Improve the Nation’s Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Government Networks

Prairie Island tribe prepares to chart course toward zero emissions

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

The Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota is expected to name a consultant this month to help propel the tribe toward net-zero emissions. The tribe announced its intent to offset all of its energy emissions in early 2018, but details have been sparse about how — or how fast — it would proceed. The process is expected to pick up in the coming months thanks in part to $46 million in funding allocated last spring by the Minnesota Legislature.

Shelley Buck, president of the Prairie Island Tribal Council, said the effort has the potential to “change the narrative” of a community that has long been associated with its close proximity to the Xcel Energy nuclear power plant and radioactive waste storage facility that shares its namesake. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Bobby Bloomer

Previously Posted: Solar Bear helps tribes seize sovereignty, economic opportunities with renewable energy, Tribal Business News. Post includes links to news stories about the Nebraska Winnebago Tribe’s renewable energy development.

TRIBAL ENERGY WEBINAR SERIES

Tribal Energy Success Stories
December 9, 2020―12 pm to 2 pm. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy, 2020 Tribal Energy Webinar Series

Many tribes across Indian Country have had energy successes. Each situation is unique, with differing reasons, approaches, and challenges. By sharing the successes of other tribes, we can gain valuable inspiration and insights. This webinar will share a few of these tribal energy success stories. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required.

EQUITABLE ENERGY TRANSITION

Ready for 100 Coordinator calls for equitable energy transition in Chicago, Medill News Service, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism

The writer, Emily Little, a health, environment and science reporter at Medill, interviews Kyra Woods, “the Ready for 100 Coordinator for the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club. [Woods] works to develop partnerships across the city of Chicago to ensure a just and equitable energy transition.”

Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Website

EV EQUITY

With bans on gas-powered vehicles, here are key steps to increase EV equity, GreenBiz article contributed by Pamela Gordon, Managing Director, PGS Consults, Presidio Graduate School

At Presidio Graduate School, we see affordability of EVs as being both an equity and a diversity factor. Some of our professors reserve an empty seat in their classroom representing those who are not able to join the discussion. Although most new product and service adoptions are at first expensive before becoming more affordable, it’s time to buck the old way of targeting markets that inherently exclude those not usually in the room.

THE ENERGY GANG PODCAST

The Role of the Customer in Utility Zero-Carbon Targets, Greentech Media
In this special podcast from Opower and Oracle, we map out the ways utilities and customers can work together to slash emissions.

SOO GREEN TRANSMISSION LINE UPDATE

Underground electric transmission line moving ahead, Radio Iowa
Neil Jones, Soo Green’s vice president of real estate, says they’re working to pair up companies known as “shippers” that are interested in “transmission capacity rights,” generation companies or utilities that want to sell power on the line, and customers interested in buying that power. The buyers and sellers may be utilities, data centers, and others who want to buy Renewable Energy Credits. They’d pay for access rights to fund operations while ratepayers in Iowa would not be charged at all. Jones says Soo Green needs a permit from the Iowa Utilities Board to proceed and filed a petition in September.

SOO Green Transmission Project Website

MISO GRID CONGESTION

The clean energy benefits slipping through states’ fingers, Utility Dive article contributed by John Moore, Director of the Sustainable FERC Project

From 2016 through October 15, 2020, developers withdrew 278 wind, solar and battery storage or hybrid solar-storage projects from the Queue, and this just counts withdrawn clean energy projects that had reached advanced stages of the interconnection study process. If they’d been built, they would have supplied nearly 35,000 MW, enough to power more than 8 million homes and create about 72,000 jobs. The median wage for jobs in clean energy today is about $24 an hour.

Also written by John Moore: Time For SPP To Commit To Competitive Clean Energy

INSPIRING RENEWABLE ENERGY PARTNERSHIP

Vanderbilt and Nashville undertake bold new renewable energy partnership to address climate change, Vanderbilt News

Vanderbilt University and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, have announced a Green Invest partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service—a collaboration that will allow the region to take a bold step forward in expanding availability and access to renewable energy at a critical time in global efforts to address the threat of climate change. Through this new partnership, Vanderbilt is tackling climate change head-on by working towards its goal of powering its campus entirely through renewable energy and committing to carbon neutrality.

Learn more about the university’s sustainability efforts.

FEATURED NATIONAL SOLAR INSTALLATION

Southwest Virginia bike shop is now a beacon for solar power in the region, by Elizabeth McGowan, Energy News Network

A 16-kilowatt array on the roof of Iron Works Cycling is the first successful project for a regional group trying to seed solar projects across seven coalfield counties.

FEATURED NEBRASKA SOLAR PROJECT

10-kilowatt solar array at Duchesne Academy, an independent, college-preparatory school for young women in Omaha. Interconnection Systems Inc (ISI), based in Central City, installed the project in 2019. The energy generated by the solar system powers multiple classrooms, including the school’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math lab. where students can integrate data from the solar system into coursework. See Solar Examples for descriptions and photos of more Nebraska projects.

ISI’s current projects include two in Nebraska:

  • Elkhorn: 8.3MW
  • ​Valley: 1MW

ISI Careers

Congratulations to Wayne Williams, owner of Interconnection Systems Inc!
Williams wins Subdivision 7 seat on NPPD board, Grand Island Independent

RECENTLY PUBLISHED CLEAN ENERGY JOBS REPORT

The Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report is the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector. According to the report, workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage, clean fuels and clean vehicles earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019 compared with the national median wage of $19.14. In addition, jobs in many clean energy sectors are more likely to be unionized and come with health care and retirement benefits than the rest of the private sector, the analysis shows.

E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) produced the report in partnership with BW Research.

New studies find grid modernization accelerates cost-effective renewable energy growth

By John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Renewable energy has begun to dominate new electric generation capacity additions over the past several years for a variety of reasons – plummeting technology costs, increasing efficiency, and corresponding demand from the public and private sector, among others. However, to fully realize a 21st century clean energy economy we need to update our electric system to meet today’s needs, modernize the grid, and expand access to renewables through transmission infrastructure. Now, two new studies show how transmission investments can accelerate clean energy growth while saving money for American families and businesses. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

NPPD’S R-Project Newsroom
Nebraska Public Power District’s Board of Directors voted to award a construction contract to Forbes Brothers Timberline Construction, Inc., of Rapid City, S.D. for the R-Project transmission line.

SEIA Blog: Solar + EVs: Two Peas in a Pod

IOWA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY & TRANSMISSION

Experts: Iowa’s renewable energy growth depends on better transmission, Iowa Capital Dispatch
Iowa could become an even bigger leader in renewable energy, especially if renewable hydrogen is developed and transmission lines are improved, a panel of university, government and corporate leaders said Wednesday

MICHIGAN STUDY QUANTIFIES RETURN ON CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT

Commentary: Clean energy is good economic policy for Michigan, by Laura Sherman / Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, Energy News Network

Last month Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set a goal for Michigan to be carbon-neutral by 2050, a bold move that will bring more jobs and industry to the state. We can measure the economic growth and jobs that these energy innovations have already brought to Michigan and can continue to bring—not in 10, 20 or 30 years, but right now. A new report from the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) does just that. It quantifies how increasing investment into advanced energy through a future federal stimulus package could energize the state’s economy, and finds that these investments would generate a return on the order of eight times the level of public spending for Michigan. 

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA’S “RENEWABLES ON THE RISE 2020” REPORT

The 2020 edition of a report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group
Clean energy technology has boomed in the last decade, enabling Americans to envision a future powered by 100 percent renewable energy. “Renewables on the Rise 2020” tells the story of the dramatic growth of clean energy. The data story below explains how strong state renewable energy commitments have helped to spark the clean energy revolution. The interactive charts enable you to explore how clean energy technology is growing in your state. And the six fact sheets provide a detailed look at the key technologies driving America toward clean, renewable energy — from electric vehicles to offshore wind power — and the hope they provide for the future. 

Environment America’s 100% Campaigns

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS ANALYSIS

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) commissioned BW Research to analyze clean energy job wages and benefits.

The Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report is the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector. According to the report, workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage, clean fuels and clean vehicles earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019 compared with the national median wage of $19.14. In addition, jobs in many clean energy sectors are more likely to be unionized and come with health care and retirement benefits than the rest of the private sector, the analysis shows.


REIMAGINE APPALACHIA

Clean energy, infrastructure plan could bring 489,000 jobs to Ohio, Pa., Farm and Dairy
ReImagine Appalachia’s plan, released in July, lays out how to build and modernize infrastructure, repair the land and create jobs through public investment in Appalachia’s Ohio River Valley. Reimagine Appalachia is a coalition of more than 75 grassroots organizations from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. It calls for, among other things, encouraging regenerative agriculture practices, reviving the Civilian Conservation Corps, increasing clean energy use, expanding broadband, building a sustainable transportation system and creating “good union jobs.”

GREEN HYDROGEN CHARGING STATIONS

World’s First Green Hydrogen Universal Charging Station for Electric and Hydrogen Vehicles, H2-Greenforce, Extends Preferred Series A Funding Raising up to $12 Million to Debut Green Island™, H2 Greenforce LLC News Release, PR Newswire

About H2-Greenforce: Founded in 2019 in New Jersey, H2’s mission is to decarbonize our planet through production of green electricity. H2-Greenforce combines its own proprietary green hydrogen technology and know-how, with advanced industrial components to build self-sustainable electric infrastructure. H2-Greenforce is a trademark of H2-Greenforce LLC in the United States and other countries.

CLIMATE ACTION 100+ NEWS

Investors call on major US polluters to clean up lobbying activities, by Cecilia Keating, GreenBiz
It is just the latest intervention from Climate Action 100+, which is backed by more than 500 global investors representing $47 trillion of assets worldwide and aims to ramp up climate ambition from companies it has identified as collectively responsible for up to 80 percent of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Companies targeted by the campaign span a number of polluting sectors, including oil and gas, consumer goods, power and transportation, and have been identified as “systematically important” to the net zero transition by the campaign.

FEATURED LOCAL RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SAVE ENERGY & MONEY

New Power Nebraska Educational Forum: “Modernization of Electricity Transmission Infrastructure and Renewable Energy Development in Nebraska”

October 21, 2020 at 1:30 pm 

New Power Nebraska will host an educational forum tomorrow featuring energy leaders and policymakers to discuss the need for modernized electricity transmission infrastructure and the growth of clean energy. The virtual event will be moderated by David Bracht, counsel at Kutak Rock and former Nebraska Energy Office Director.

Nebraska has seen substantial wind energy development in recent years, bringing jobs, economic opportunity, and interest from residents. Wind power provides nearly 20 percent of the electricity generated in the state, with untapped resources standing ready to provide much more. But continued job creation and other economic benefits will require an expanded and upgraded transmission grid.

The event will cover topics including the current state policy environment, the status of the R-Project, grid resiliency, and transmission improvement needs in Nebraska. 
  
Register for the live broadcast via Zoom.

Participants:

  • Nebraska State Senator John McCollister (District 20)
  • Tom Kent, President & CEO of Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) 
  • Janece Mollhoff, Member of Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Board of Directors
  • James Williams, Vice President, Renewable Development, Invenergy

 Moderator: David Bracht, Kutak Rock and former Nebraska Energy Office Director
 
To set up an interview with a panelist or speak with a New Power Nebraska representative, please contact Jesse Dougherty at jdougherty@strategicelements.com or (608) 807-8619.
 
About New Power Nebraska
New Power Nebraska, an initiative of the American Wind Energy Association, shines a light on the benefits wind energy generation brings to Nebraska’s communities and rural places – clean power, farm income, and new jobs. Learn more at www.newpowernebraska.org.

How local US governments are getting renewable energy

GreenBiz article contributed by Tatsatom Gonçalves & Yuning Liu
Originally published by the World Resources Institute

California and Texas accounted for about 84 percent of the total renewable energy purchased by cities between 2015 and early 2020. The prominent role of these two states is no surprise, given that they are the country’s largest electricity consumers and enjoy easy access to abundant wind and solar resources. Both also allow electric retail choice and have the local autonomy needed to access renewable energy options such as community choice aggregations (CCAs). In doing so, local governments can aggregate the power demand of their residents and businesses to get more leverage to choose cleaner power sources, which could contribute to their higher rates of procurement. There is also a lot of progress in other regions, including through community solar projects in Minnesota, Massachusetts and Washington. Collectively, there were more than 120 clean energy transactions by local governments in the other most active states. Read more here.

FROM UTLITY DIVE

Biden outlines $2T plan to invest in renewables, electrification, by Emma Penrod
In a Tuesday afternoon speech, presidential candidate Joe Biden outlined his plan for nearly $2 trillion in infrastructure spending, focused mostly on renewable energy and electrification, which he described as a “one-time” opportunity to reestablish the U.S. as a global economic and political leader.

His comments mirror the findings of the American Council on Renewable Energy’s (ACORE) third-annual investor survey, also released on Tuesday, which found that investors ranked energy storage as the most desirable sector to invest in, despite the reality that energy storage still secures a minority of the overall investment dollars dedicated to renewable energy. An increase in government incentives for storage projects, according to ACORE, could change this trend.

GTM’s POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

How Joe Biden’s Climate Plan Stacks Up

On this week’s episode of Political Climate, we discuss the details and political implications of Biden’s clean energy and infrastructure plan. T
he Biden climate plan comes on the heels of the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force recommendations on addressing climate change and environmental injustice, as well as House Democrats’ 500-page report on solving the climate crisis. In theory, there’s a lot in all of these proposals for leaders across the political aisle to love.

PEW RESEARCH CENTER SURVEY

US Citizens Want More Action From The Government For Climate Change, CEOWORLD Magazine
Pew Research Center conducted a new survey for climate change and what American citizens believe about the way the government is handling it. 65% of Americans say that the federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change. Citizens are dissatisfied not only with the way the government deals with climate change but also with protecting air and water quality and wildlife.

CLIMATE FINANCE CENTER

JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs back launch of climate finance center, by Dan Ennis, Banking Dive. The Rocky Mountain Institute, a clean energy nonprofit, launched the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance on Thursday with financial backing from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs. With the goal of cutting carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, the center aims to collaborate with banks to design guidance for working with carbon-heavy sectors such as steel or utilities, and to help banks determine which climate benchmarks and data to follow.

PV MAGAZINE’S MORNING BRIEF

California ISO brings the largest battery storage resource in the nation online
Also in the brief: IREC on energy storage interconnection, Wunder Capital and partners to invest more than $100 million in U.S. commercial solar, Photosol buying land rights near coal plants with eye toward transmission, and NREL on recycling solar panels.

JINKO’S PRO TIGER SERIES SOLAR PANELS

A closer look at Jinko’s 565 W to 585 W panel, PV Magazine
The module – which measures 2,411 mm × 1,134 mm × 35 mm, weighs 31.1 kg and features 156 p-type monocrystalline cells – is available in five versions with power outputs of 565 W to 585 W and efficiencies of 20.6% to 21.4%. Jinko says the Pro Tiger series will become the company’s main revenue stream in 2022, surpassing the Tiger 475 W panel. 

HYBRID SOLAR ENERGY CONVERTER

Scientists build high-performing hybrid solar energy converter, Tulane University, ScienceDaily
Tulane University researchers are part of a team of scientists who have developed a hybrid solar energy converter that generates electricity and steam with high efficiency and low cost. The hybrid converter utilizes an approach that more fully captures the whole spectrum of sunlight. It generates electricity from high efficiency multi-junction solar cells that also redirect infrared rays of sunlight to a thermal receiver, which converts those rays to thermal energy.

The thermal energy can be stored until needed and used to provide heat for a wide range of commercial and industrial uses, such as food processing, chemical production, water treatment, or enhanced oil recovery. The team reports that the system demonstrated 85.1 percent efficiency, delivered steam at up to 248°C, and is projected to have a system levelized cost of 3 cents per kilowatt hour.

GREEN RECOVERY

The World Needs a Cash-for-Coal-Clunkers Program, Greentech Media article contributed by Justin Guay, director for global climate strategy at the Sunrise Project.

For just 5 percent of what the U.S. has spent on its COVID-19 recovery package, it could have bought out and retired every coal plant in the world. Instead, the U.S. coal industry is benefiting from recovery programs while the world continues to subsidize old uneconomic coal plants rather than retire them. As we debate a green recovery, now is the time to add an important approach to our tool kit: a cash-for-coal-clunkers program, to help buy the only thing we can’t make more of — time. In the U.S., even the most optimistic estimates say we are on track to get coal off line as late as 2035 — five years too late.

ENERGY STORAGE

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NEWS RELEASE

DOE Announces $139 Million in Funding for 55 Projects to Advance Innovative Vehicle Technologies. Funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), projects will conduct research in advanced batteries, electrification, and manufacturing in support of DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge. Announced by Secretary Brouillette in January 2020, the Energy Storage Grand Challenge is a comprehensive strategy to create and sustain U.S. global leadership in energy storage technology, utilization, and exports. Learn more about all of the projects selected today here.

ENERGY COMMUNITIES

Belgian school selling solar power to neighbors, PV Magazine International
Belgium is testing its first energy community by giving special status to a solar energy pilot near Brussels. The project will help to create a large-scale legal framework to apply the European Directives to energy communities.

FEATURED SOLAR INSTALLATION 

Solar energy makes local car wash even ‘greener’, The Winchester Star

Owner Ned Browning of Winchester said the car wash has been incorporating green technology for years, including water conservation, pollution prevention and biodegradable soap options. Adding clean solar energy was “the next level,” he said. The solar array went into operation in April and is expected to pay for itself in five years.

Photo Credit: Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star

FEATURED CLIMATE & ENERGY EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES 

The Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) maintains a collection of 700+ free, ready-to-use climate and energy educational resources that have been rigorously reviewed by educators and scientists. They are geared toward secondary through higher education classrooms.

Ørsted completes the onshore Plum Creek Wind project

Ørsted News Release

Ørsted has completed a 230MW wind farm in Nebraska’s Wayne County. Plum Creek consists of 82 wind turbines and represents Ørsted’s first operational project in Nebraska, further adding to the regional diversity of the portfolio. Even amidst global challenges, the project was completed on schedule and brings Ørsted’s operational onshore capacity to 1.6GW.

Ørsted has entered into agreements with a number of companies to purchase the power generated, including Vail Resorts, The J.M. Smucker Company and the Avery Dennison Corporation. Not only will Plum Creek help these organizations meet their renewable energy targets with clean, secure and low-cost energy, the project will also yield over USD 3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne County area. Some of the largest beneficiaries are the Norfolk and Winside school districts in addition to other sectors of the community, including emergency services, the local hospital, and community college. Continue reading here,

Learn more about Ørsted here.

Ørsted Image: Plum Creek Wind Farm

Previously Posted

CEO of Ørsted’s Onshore Business Declan Flanagan Elected Chairperson of American Council on Renewable Energy, Ørsted News Release, PR Newswire, February 27, 2020

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) today announced that Declan Flanagan, Executive Vice President and CEO Onshore of Ørsted, will become Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors this coming June. “ACORE is fortunate to be able to turn to such a widely-respected leader in our industry to Chair our Board,” said Gregory Wetstone, ACORE President and CEO. “Declan Flanagan’s leadership will help take the organization to the next level as we work to accelerate America’s transition to renewable energy.”

Top company profile: Denmark’s Ørsted is 2020’s most sustainable corporation, Corporate Knights Report, January 21, 2020

Corporate Knights’ Global 100 sustainability index: Each year, Corporate Knights rank the 100 most sustainable companies in the world, ranking the top 1% on corporate sustainability performance.

“In the past 10 years, we have transformed from a company that had fossil fuels at the core of its business to being essentially a pure-play renewable energy company,” says CEO Henrik Poulsen. “If you look at the transformation of the company, it has been dramatic.” Asked why he thinks Ørsted topped the Global 100 ranking, he suggests that it could be “the sheer scale of the transformation and the speed – the fact that we have done all this within a decade.”  Watch a brief video here.

What the Coming Wave of Distributed Energy Resources Means for the US Grid

By Ben Kellison and Fei Wang, Greentech Media

Cumulative distributed energy resource capacity in the United States will reach 397 gigawatts by 2025, according to a new Wood Mackenzie report. The DER mix is evolving quickly away from nonresidential load management, which made up two-thirds of all U.S. DER capacity in 2015 but will make up less than half by 2025.

Solar, electric vehicle infrastructure and residential load management potential now lead all other resources, accounting for more than 90 percent of DER capacity installed between 2016-2025. Cumulative U.S. DER investments will eclipse $80.6 billion between 2020 and 2026. EV infrastructure, battery storage and grid-interactive water heaters sales growth will drive spending to a new peak in 2025.  Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: SWT Energy in Lincoln

VIRTUAL POWER PLANTS

  • Sunrun to Turn Home Batteries Into Grid Resources for 2 Major Utilities, Greentech Media
    The leading rooftop installer will aggregate homes for Southern California Edison and a Con Ed utility in New York in a test of the virtual power plant concept. Historically, utilities have been reluctant to allow customers to export from their batteries onto the grid, but that’s changing in some territories.
  • Previously Posted: ‘Transformative’: Sonnen to Deliver Community Battery Network With Grid Services Contract, Greentech Media. “This is what we’ve been working on for years,” says Blake Richetta, CEO of the U.S. business at Shell-owned Sonnen. “We’re paying for the right for full control of the batteries,” within certain constraints to ensure a backup reserve for the residents, said Bill Comeau, managing director at Rocky Mountain Power. The utility’s involvement follows the state legislature’s passage of the Sustainable Transportation and Energy Act of 2016. Rocky Mountain Power used that legislation to ask regulators in March 2019 for permission to enter into a contract with the Soleil community for demand-side management. Rocky Mountain Power, serving customers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s PacifiCorp.
  • Learn more about Sonnen’s Virtual Power Plants here.

ENERGY HUB

EnergyHub partners with Vivint Solar as utility incentives for residential energy storage ramp up, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive. EnergyHub announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Vivint Solar to help utilities access attached residential battery storage systems as cost-effective grid-edge resources. EnergyHub now has almost two dozen distributed energy resource (DER) partners across assets including thermostats, batteries, solar inverters, electric charging equipment and water heaters. The company’s Mercury DERMS platform allows utilities to offer customer incentives to manage the devices to balance distribution systems.

GTM’S INTERCHANGE

Data Centers Are the Epicenter of the Clean Energy Economy, Greentech Media
On this episode of The Interchange: how the world’s giant computers are getting cleaner.

“THE 2035 REPORT” WEBINAR

If you missed CESA’s recent webinar: The 2035 Report: How Low Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future, slides and a recording are now available here. Clean Energy States Alliance presented the webinar on behalf of the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative.

About the Webinar
According to the new report from the University of California, Berkeley and GridLab, the United States can reliably deliver 90% clean, carbon-free electricity nationwide by 2035 using existing technology, without increasing consumer bills, and without the need for new fossil fuel plants. 

The 2035 Report: How Low Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future demonstrates how recent dramatic cost declines for solar, wind, and battery storage allow for near-term decarbonization of the electricity grid. Two of the report’s authors: Ric O’Connell, Executive Director of GridLab and Dr. Amol Phadke, Senior Scientist and Affiliate, Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, presented the main findings and discussed their implications.

MORE ON THE MACRO GRID INITIATIVE

Clean energy groups to propose FERC rules for national transmission system saving $47B a year, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive. The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) on Wednesday launched a new campaign to build support for a stronger U.S. transmission system, including upgrades to interregional lines and the development of a nationwide, high-voltage direct current network. The campaign, The Macro Grid Initiative, argues consumers would save up to $47 billion annually with a national electrical power system versus the existing, regionally divided system.

DOMINION OFFSHORE WIND & THE VIRGINIA CLEAN ECONOMY ACT

Q&A: This engineer has a front-row seat as Dominion advances offshore wind, by Elizabeth McGowan, Energy News Network. Mark Mitchell, vice president of generation construction, joined the Richmond-based company 22 years ago. Within six years, 180 to 190 turbines planned for an adjacent 2,600 megawatt commercial project should produce enough power for 650,000 homes. Survey work is now underway for that phase. Offshore wind is crucial if Dominion is expected to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, as required by the Virginia Clean Economy Act. The law takes effect July 1. 

EV NEWS

WISCONSIN BROTHERS’ SOLAR BUSINESS

Shining light on energy options, Wisconsin brothers grow with solar business, WIZM News
Coming together from opposite sides of the country, brothers Cameron and Brandon Olson created a business plan to bring solar energy options to La Crosse. Olson Solar Energy started in 2017 with a few jobs in southwest Wisconsin. There were no other solar companies in the area, so the market made sense. In 2019, they invested in advertising and expanded to opening the shop. “There were so many people interested in solar from smaller, residential systems to bigger commercial systems, and this year has just been more of the same,” Cameron said.

Advanced macro grid initiative announced in US

By Jean Haggerty, PV Magazine

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid are launching the Macro Grid Initiative to improve the country’s balkanized electricity transmission system and better integrate low-cost renewable energy. Breakthrough Energy, an organization that Bill Gates formed in 2015 to expand clean energy investment and innovation, will provide substantial funding for the initiative. “To respond to the challenge of climate change, we need ambitious investments in our electrical grid. Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources are booming, moving us toward a carbon-free future,” said Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

News Release: Macro Grid Initiative Launches to Expand and Upgrade America’s Transmission Network

The R-Project in Nebraska: You can learn more about NPPD’s construction of the 345,000-volt transmission line and stay informed on the latest R-Project information here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW JERSEY’S WIND PORT & THE STATE’S 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY COMMITMENT

UNILEVER’S HOLISTIC CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Unilever unveils climate and nature fund worth more than $1 billionGreenBiz
Unilever CEO Alan Jope emphasized the company intended to eschew a sustainability strategy that focused on emissions alone and instead take a holistic approach. “Climate change, nature degradation, biodiversity decline, water scarcity — all these issues are interconnected, and we must address them all simultaneously,” he said.

RE100: Unilever is one of 241 RE100 companies that have made a commitment to go 100% renewable. An increasing number of them are also working with their supply chains to help the companies purchase renewable energy for their own operations, providing an exponential boost to its deployment. Read about the actions RE100 businesses are taking and why here.

REIT HOSTS ROOFTOP COMMUNITY SOLAR 

Duke Realty Set To Become New Jersey’s Largest Community Solar Host, Duke Realty News
Duke Realty, the largest domestic-only, pure-play logistics property REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) in the United States, has announced it will host solar projects covering nearly 1 million square feet of roof space across four of its New Jersey industrial sites through a partnership with Solar Landscape. The Clean Energy Act of 2018 established a statewide Community Solar Program in New Jersey. The pilot program allows property owners to lease their rooftops or land to solar developers to construct large solar projects that power their communities. The pilot program is being rolled out over three years.