Tag Archives: American Public Power Association

SMUD unveils unique Energy StorageShares program

By Ethan Howland, American Public Power Association

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, a California public power utility, has developed a unique program that allows the public power utility to partner with customers to install battery systems where they are most needed on the grid. The program, unveiled in January, aims to align the benefit commercial customers would see by installing on-site storage with the locational needs of the grid, according to James Frasher, a member of SMUD’s distributed energy storage group.

Instead of installing behind-the-meter storage that would lower a customer’s demand charge, but not particularly benefit SMUD’s distribution system, the customer can buy a “share” of a battery system installed in a location with a distribution feeder system that is maxed out and is in line to be upgraded, Frasher said. Continue reading here.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District Website

Additional Recommended Reading

LES funds $1.75 mil in incentives for efficiency upgrades

By Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association

Lincoln Electric System (LES) in Nebraska is continuing its Sustainable Energy Program with $1.75 million in incentive funds for customers that want to switch to more energy efficient equipment. LES says that since it began its Sustainable Energy Program (SEP) in 2009, customers have accessed $22.5 million in incentives and spent $126.6 million on energy-efficient equipment and/or services. The incentive level for the SEP program in 2019 was $1.5 million. “It is the eleventh year of the program,” and the utility’s board is “solidly behind it,” and there is no sign of that waning, Marc Shkolnick, LES’ manager of energy services, said. “They see it as a fitting role for a public power provider.” Continue reading here.

Nebraska Also In The News Here

Nebraska utility bets on technological advances to meet carbon-cutting goals

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

The new clean-energy majority running Omaha, Nebraska’s electric utility knows it wants to steer the company toward a mostly carbon-free future. What’s less clear is how the company will get there. The board of directors of the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) voted unanimously last month to achieve “net-zero carbon” emissions by 2050. The company, like many others that have set similar goals, is placing its bets on technological advances yet to come. Some customers pressed for an earlier deadline, such as 2040 instead of 2050. Senior management discouraged that, at least in part because the utility has a contract through 2049 to sell 345 megawatts of power from its coal-fired Nebraska City plant to several other utilities.
Read more here.

Also written by Karen Uhlenhuth: Kansas, Missouri among latest states to debate refinancing for aging coal plants

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

FEATURED REPORT

Rural Electrification 2.0: The Transition To A Clean Energy Economy
This report was produced by an action team made up of members of the RE-AMP Network. The RE-AMP Network consists of more than 130 nonprofits and foundations working across eight Midwestern states on climate change and energy policy with the goal to equitably eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in the Midwest by 2050.

With the closure of old, expensive coal plants and the expansion of rural electric cooperatives’ wind and solar capacity, significant economic development would be accomplished across rural America. Already, new wind and solar installations are bringing new sources of property tax revenue into rural counties and school districts. Along with increased property taxes are lease payments to farmers and landowners where the wind and solar installations are sited. Especially in a time with mounting economic pressures in the current farm economy, new revenue streams for farmers are vital.

WRI INITIATIVE

Collaborative resource planning by utilities and customers benefits both, by Heidi Bishop Ratz, Manager, U.S. Utilities Markets, World Resources Institute. Published by GreenBiz.

A prominent example of this is the recent thought leadership demonstrated by six major utilities and their large corporate customers as part of the World Resources Institute’s Special Clean Power Council, a two-year initiative focused on simplifying access to low-cost, clean energy options that maximize benefits to the grid. The initiative recently released a new paper, “Pathways to Integrating Customer Clean Energy Demand in Utility Planning” (PDF) describing the benefits of and strategies for joint planning.

Op-ed: Natural gas vs. renewable energy — beware the latest gas industry talking points

Written by Derrick Z. Jackson, Publisher, Environmental Health News

Two groundbreaking reports from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) found that America has reached “a historic tipping point” where “combinations of solar, wind, storage, efficiency and demand response are now less expensive than most proposed gas power plant projects,” and will undercut the operating costs of existing gas plants within the next 10 to 20 years. Bloomberg New Energy Finance says that by 2030, “new wind and solar ultimately get cheaper than running existing coal or gas plants almost everywhere.”

An analysis by Lazard Asset Management found that the range of unsubsidized levelized costs of onshore wind and utility-scale solar to be below that of natural gas. The federal Energy Information Administration has estimated that by 2023, the levelized cost of producing power by onshore wind and solar, will be considerably cheaper than natural gas ($36.60, $37.60 and $40.20 per megawatt hour respectively for each energy source). Read the entire op-ed here.

Derrick Z. Jackson is on the advisory board of Environmental Health Sciences, publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate. He’s also a Union of Concerned Scientist Fellow in climate and energy. This post originally ran on the UCS Blog.

EV NEWS

Electric buses for mass transit seen as cost effective, by Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association

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

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

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

Previously Posted

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

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

Minn. storage law may put pressure on gas-fired peakers

By Ethan Howland, American Public Power Association

Under an omnibus energy and jobs bill that was signed into law on May 31 utilities must assess how energy storage could meet generation and capacity needs as well as provide ancillary services. The bill includes several additional provisions aimed at jump starting energy storage in the state. When seeking to build power plants or power lines, utilities must show that energy storage cannot more cost effectively meet customer demand.

study released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in June found that a “substantial portion” of peaking capacity in the United States could be replaced by energy storage facilities. The capacity of the national peaking power fleet is about 261 GW and about 150 GW of that capacity is likely to retire over the next 20 years, NREL estimated. That could lead to the potential for about 28 GW of 4-hour battery storage that could serve as peaking capacity, NREL said. Read more here.

Previously Posted Article by Ethan Howland
Report puts $4.5 trillion price tag on grid decarbonization

ALSO IN THE NEWS

EV rebates, incentives driving sales in Omaha area

By Jodi Baker, The Wire

Matt Lentz has always been fascinated by technology. But it was a ride in a friend’s Tesla a few months ago that convinced him to consider buying an electric vehicle (EV) for himself. “I was just astonished by the feel of the vehicle, how smooth it was,” he said, “and the power it had. Really fast.” From a more practical standpoint, “I appreciated the fact that you never have to purchase gasoline, and could go home and charge it in your garage for a very cheap rate.” Click here to continue reading and to learn about available rebates.

OPPD ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Customer service begins at home: Tips from the top of the class, American Public Power Association

Expanding customer choices in a renewable energy future

By Ahmad Faruqui and Mariko Geronimo Aydin,
American Public Power Association Blog

This is part of a series of monthly posts reflecting different thought leader perspectives on utility rate design. All five opinion pieces appear in full in Leadership in Rate Design: A Compendium of Essays, which was designed to help public power utilities to rethink rate design strategies in the face of evolving technologies and customer preferences. The essays were developed as part of the Association’s Moving Public Power Forward initiative.

The number of states, cities and counties committed to 100% clean energy is growing dramatically. The 100% clean electricity supply that seemed impossible 10 years ago has now become a tangible and feasible future. With higher renewables penetration, planning for greener electricity becomes less about building individual resources and more about building a resource portfolio and system that — as a whole — is tuned to take advantage of clean power when it is available. One key challenge is what to do about the hour-to-hour and minute-to-minute mismatch between renewables output and electricity consumption. Continue reading here.

Ahmad Faruqui is an internationally recognized energy economist. He has analyzed the efficacy of a variety of tariff structures and carried out a meta-analysis of experimental results. His areas of expertise include demand response, energy efficiency, distributed energy resources, advanced metering infrastructure, plug-in electric vehicles, energy storage, inter-fuel substitution, combined heat and power, microgrids, and demand forecasting. He has worked for nearly 150 clients on five continents and testified before commissions in several states and provinces.

Mariko Geronimo Aydin is an economist with almost fifteen years of experience in analyzing the policies and economics of electricity system planning, regulation and de-regulation of electricity supply, and wholesale electricity markets across the U.S. Mariko specializes in helping clients meet their potential in a changing industry, by evolving utility business models and by developing customer choice, resource planning, and wholesale market refinements that can make the best use of clean, distributed, and customer-driven power supply resources in synergy with more traditional resources.

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

NPPD shines light on forward-thinking initiatives

Norfolk Daily News

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) continues to put a charge into sustainable, eco-friendly innovation — and people are noticing. In June, the American Public Power Association celebrated NPPD’s efforts with the “Energy Innovator Award” at its annual conference. One of NPPD’s popular clean energy innovations is its Community Solar A Sunny Distribution program. It’s a way for NPPD retail customers to purchase solar energy without having to install rooftop panels on their homes, making it convenient to utilize sustainable energy and an environmentally friendly way to lighten your own personal carbon footprint. Continue reading here.

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

SoCore Energy Photo: Kearney’s 5.7-megawatt solar farm on 53 acres of the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, The panels are mounted on a tracker-designed racking system. The solar farm generates about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

RENEWABLE ENERGY JOBS 

Dawson Public Power proud to be publicly owned

By Brian Neben, Lexington Clipper-Herald

LEXINGTON — Nebraska is the only state to be served entirely by public power and the Dawson Public Power District is proud of this fact and to serve their region of Central Nebraska. Dawson Public Power District, DPPD, held their annual customer tour of their facility south of Lexington on Tuesday, June 25. During the tour DPPD electrical services and policies were explained, safety demonstrations held and people could ask questions about public power. “An informed customer is our greatest asset,” said DPPD general manager Gwen Kautz. DPPD was organized in February 1937 as a part of the Rural Electrification Act passed by President Franklin Roosevelt as part of an effort to electrify rural farmsteads.

Looking to the future Kautz said “renewable energy is late coming to Nebraska, but it is coming and it will grow.” Changes will have to be made to the grid as wind, solar, batteries and stored hydro become more prevalent and traditional sources like coal, nuclear and natural gas are slowly phased out. “I predict the marriage of solar power to storable batteries will take over for the traditional energy sources,” said Kautz. She said 10 years ago she doubted the impact of renewable energy, today she has rethought that position. Read more here.

Sol Systems Photo: In 2017, Sol Systems and GenPro Energy Solutions partnered with the City of Lexington to develop, finance, and construct a 3.9 MW solar farm. The array produces enough energy to power 700 homes each year. By locking into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the City of Lexington will have 25 years of price certainty against volatile wholesale electricity rates.

Additional Recommended Reading
Charged Up About Electric Vehicles, by Gwen Kautz, General Manager, Dawson Public Power
EV Charging Station Rebate Brochure