Tag Archives: bifacial solar panels

OPPD Maintains Strong Credit Rating, Helping Utility Keep Rates Low For Customer-Owners In Challenging Economy

OPPD News Release 

Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s latest ratings give OPPD an Aa2 and AA, respectively. These ratings are among the highest ratings a public power utility can receive. OPPD’s solid financial position has allowed it to access credit markets during the current market downturn, while lower rated entities have had limited access . . . The board received an update on OPPD’s Pathways to Decarbonization strategic initiative. A long-term study is underway to identify pathways to improve our environmental impact while maintaining reliability, resiliency and affordability. During its committee meetings this week, the board received an update on OPPD’s Power with Purpose (PwP) plan, approved in November 2019. The plan includes the addition of between 400 and 600 megawatts of accredited utility-scale solar generation, as well as the addition of modernized natural gas backup generation assets. Read the entire news release here.

For more information, click here.
OPPD invites customer-owners to submit feedback at OPPD Listens.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

THE HEROES ACT

House Democrats unveil $3 trillion COVID-19 response proposal, American Public Power Association. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in late March by President Trump included $900 million for LIHEAP to help low-income households pay their utility bills during the crisis. But the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) on April 6 said that due to the depth of the crisis, “this funding only scratches the surface of what families will need to stay afloat.” 

CLEAN ENERGY FORWARD INITIATIVE

Republicans Are Leading On Clean Energy, Newsweek
Opinion contributed by Heather Reams, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, a non-profit organization that recently launched Clean Energy Forward to engage Republican policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge.

TRANSITION PATHWAY INITIATIVE

Investor group: No European oil and gas major has a credible net zero plan, GreenBiz
That is the conclusion of a new analysis from the influential Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), backed by investors representing $19 trillion of assets worldwide.

TRI-STATE

SOLAR PLUS STORAGE

GAF SOLAR ROOF

GAF Energy Launches New Flex Option for Roof-Integrated Solar System, Solar Industry Magazine

GAF Energy, a provider of roof-integrated solar solutions in North America, has launched their “Flex” option for use with the company’s redesigned Decotech 2.0 roof-integrated solar product. Flex maintains the efficiency of standard system sizing, while also introducing new configuration choices for homeowners.

  • Homeowners interested in learning more about the GAF solar roof, click here.
  • Roofing contractors interested in installing GAF Energy products, click here.

THIN-FILM SOLAR MODULES

A new player appears in American thin-film cadmium telluride solar module manufacturing, PV Magazine. Toledo Solar is trying to distinguish itself from First Solar’s cadmium telluride dominance by operating in the residential and commercial markets, markets which have been historically unkind to the technology.

GREENTECH MEDIA’S INTERCHANGE

Mapping the Post-COVID Future for Electric Cars, Behavior Change and Energy Demand, Greentech Media. This week on The Interchange, we talk with futurist Ramez Naam about a wide range of scenarios for energy.

MORE ON MICHAEL MOORE’S CONTROVERSIAL DOCUMENTARY

What Michael Moore’s New Climate Documentary Gets Wrong About Renewables, Forbes

Missouri Ag And Climate Change: Farmers Scramble To Find Solutions Like Cover Crops, No-Till Methods

By Michele Skalicky, KSMU/Ozarks Public Radio

Missouri Farmers are trying to work around more frequent floods and drought, which scientists say are the result of climate change. The Missouri Department of Agriculture said it doesn’t currently have anyone in the department looking at the impact of climate change on the state’s top industry, so many farmers are trying to figure out solutions on their own. Read more here.

USDA Photo: No-till farming.

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

DOE FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT

Energy Department to Invest. More Than $5 Million in Tribal Energy Infrastructure Deployment ProjectsBetween 2010 and 2019, the DOE Office of Indian Energy invested nearly $85 million in more than 180 tribal energy projects implemented across the contiguous 48 states and Alaska. These projects, valued at over $180 million, are leveraged by over $95 million in recipient cost share. See the DOE’s Office of Indian Energy website for a map and summaries of these competitively funded projects.

Nebraska Energy Projects 

Source: Tribal Energy Projects Database

SOLAR POWER WORLD VIDEO, ARTICLES & RELATED NEWS RELEASE

Report: Natural gas is a loser for long-term utility shareholder value

By Matthew Bandyk, Utility Dive

Investment into new natural gas infrastructure like pipelines and power plants is “incompatible” with long-term shareholder value, and thus it is in the best interest of the investor community to push utilities away from natural gas, according to a new report from corporate social responsibility group As You Sow and environmental consulting firm Energy Innovation.

The report points to data from Lazard showing that unsubsidized solar plus battery storage already, in some cases, is cheaper than natural gas. It cites the example of NV Energy [a Berkshire Hathaway Energy company], which in 2019 procured 1,200 MW of solar at $20 per MWh and 580 MW of four-hour battery storage for $13 per MWh. The low end of Lazard’s 2019 estimate for the levelized cost of electricity from a new natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant is $44 per MWh. Read more here.

 

 

Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies Our vision is a safe, just, and sustainable world in which protecting the environment and human rights is central to corporate decision making. Corporations are responsible for most of the pressing social and environmental problems we face today — we believe corporations must be a willing part of the solutions. We make that happen. As shareholder advocates, we directly engage corporate CEOs, senior management, and institutional investors to change corporations from the inside out. Website: As You Sow

More About Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis
Renewable Energy Prices Hit Record Lows: How Can Utilities Benefit From Unstoppable Solar And Wind?, Forbes article contributed by Silvio Marcacci, Communications Director, Energy Innovation

Additional Related Reading
Utility Investors Risk Billions In Rush To Natural Gas: Is It A Bridge To Climate Breakdown?, Forbes article contributed by Michael O’Boyle, director of electricity policy at Energy Innovation, where he leads its U.S. power sector transformation program.

 

 


Energy Innovation
is a nonpartisan climate policy think tank delivering high-quality research and original analysis to help policymakers make informed energy policy choices. Energy Innovation accelerates the clean energy transition by supporting the policies and strategies that most effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Website: Energy Innovation

MORE ON CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY

FREE SCIENCE BASED TARGETS WEBINAR TOMORROW

Demystifying and Achieving Science-based Targets through Sustainable Procurement & Supplier Engagement, April 22 at 12 pm. Presenters: Cynthia Cummis, Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation, World Resources Institute, and Noora Singh, Director, Global Sustainability, PepsiCo. Register here.

The Science Based Targets Initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. 

NFL SOLAR PROJECTS

POWERHOME installs solar system on Pittsburgh Steelers stadium, Solar Power World
“Heinz Field is the fourth NFL facility to utilize POWERHOME to help meet sustainability goals,” said Jayson Waller, CEO of POWERHOME. “Large commercial sites like this help us educate consumers about the simplicity and benefits of renewable energy. We hope to encourage thousands of Steelers fans to consider solar energy and think more about the environment.”

SOLAR PANELS

HYDROGEN

Renewable Energy Magazine: What Place for Hydrogen? An interview with Professor Armin Schnettler, Executive Vice President and CEO of the New Energy Business at Siemens Energy, on the impact of hydrogen on the global green energy market.

Municipal aggregation savings ‘shattering expectations’ in Massachusetts

By  Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network

The growing number of Massachusetts cities and towns that have negotiated community-wide rates for green energy have saved millions of dollars while also shrinking their carbon footprints, according to a new report released last week.

“The data shows we’re kind of shattering expectations,” said Larry Chretien, executive director of the Green Energy Consumers Alliance, the nonprofit group that put out the report. “You can add green power and still provide consumers with an opportunity to save money.” Read more here. 

Photo Credit:  Robert Laliberte / Flickr / Creative Commons

GREEN MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION 


Also known as community choice aggregation (CCA), this model allows cities and towns in MA & RI to take real climate action by greening up residents’ electricity supply.

 

MORE MASSACHUSETTS NEWS STORIES BY SARAH SHEMKUS

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

MORE CAMPUS ADVOCACY FOR 100% RENEWABLES 

FSU Students push for commitment to 100% renewable energy on FSU campus, Florida State University News. “Students across the country are vocalizing support for transitioning to 100% renewable energy sources,” said Ryann Lynn, Clean Energy Advocate for Environment Florida. “Thirty-six colleges have already committed to that evolution, but FSU could be the first university in Florida.”

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA RESOURCES

Renewable Energy 101: Ten Tools for Moving Your Campus to 100% Clean Energy
Environment America designed a series of 10 fact sheets as a resource for students, faculty and administrators interested in moving their campus toward sustainability. The fact sheets have been crafted to illustrate the importance, challenges and opportunities of 10 important and distinct tools associated with building a 100 percent clean, renewable energy system. Each fact sheet includes two case studies of effective action on college campuses, as well as a list of resources.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Brouillette: 100% renewables may be possible, E&E News
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette suggested [on Friday] it could one day be possible for the United States to reach 100% renewable energy, a goal of climate change activists. Testifying before a House Appropriations energy subcommittee, Brouillette said the Department of Energy is committed to developing large-scale battery storage to increase the use of renewable energy. Brouillette noted that the Trump administration’s 2021 DOE budget request calls for more money for an “Energy Storage Grand Challenge” to develop battery capacity. Many environmental advocates want Congress to push the country to 100% clean energy within a decade, a goal that Republicans have greeted with skepticism.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS GROWING THE ENERGY STORAGE MARKET

Energy storage projects reach ‘investment-grade’ with esVolta’s $140 million debt facility, PV Magazine. It’s energy storage projects as investment-grade finance tools for institutional investors that will grow the energy storage market to $546 billion in annual revenue by 2035, as predicted by Lux Research or grow the business tenfold from 2018 to 2023, rising to $5 billion annually, according to Wood Mackenzie.

BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

Trina unveils two 500-watt bifacial solar modules, PV Magazine
The panels are equipped with glass-glass or glass-backsheet frames. Both offer a reported 21% efficiency. Trina plans to have a combined 5 GW of annual production capacity for the products this year.

NREL MULTI-YEAR STUDY

Bifacial Solar Advances with the Times—and the Sun: Multi-Year Study Evaluates Two-Sided Tracking Systems for More Efficient Solar Power Generation

In May 2019, a team at NREL kicked off a three-year study to evaluate bifacial modules that collect light on both sides of a panel while also following the sun throughout the day. To determine how much more power such panels can produce, the team needed data, so they are gathering it. Some of their data are already publicly available—an industry first for a study of this scale.

Deloitte Study: 100% Renewables, Beyond the Grid – Aspiration or Destination?

Deloitte News Release, PR Newswire

Huge strides have been made in organizational energy use, but giant leaps required for total transformation.

Key takeaways

  • The renewable energy transition appears poised to accelerate in the United States, with a growing list of states, cities, private and public sector organizations taking the lead.
  • Almost 45% of organizations surveyed cited commitments to increase renewable energy sources in their electricity consumption mix by a target year; nearly 25% cited having renewable production/generation goals.
  • Organizational transitions to renewable energy are being driven by cost-cutting (36.4%) and reducing environmental impact/carbon footprint (35.4%), according to survey respondents.
  • Today’s goals just the “tip of the iceberg,” massive strides in policy, technology, and procurement strategies and tools are needed to turn 100% renewables from an aspiration to a destination.

Evaluating the current trajectory to 100% renewables: Continue reading here.

Click here to learn more about the study, Moving organizational energy use toward 100% renewables—aspiration or destination?

NEW INSIDER POLL

Americans really want the US to adopt renewable energy like wind and solar power, while rejecting fossil fuels like coal, Business Insider

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Is Your Company Ready for a Zero-Carbon Future?

By Nigel Topping, Contributor, Harvard Business Review

More than 900 global companies representing over $17.6 trillion in market cap are already ensuring that their business strategies are built for growth and emissions reductions through the We Mean Business Take Action campaign. (We Mean Business is a nonprofit coalition of which I am CEO.) This includes over 560 companies that have committed to set ambitious science-based emission reduction targets, and over 175 that have committed to switching to 100% renewable electricity. Beyond that, companies are beginning to use their influence to speed an economy-wide transition by supporting climate policies targeting net-zero emissions by 2050. Others are demanding climate action throughout their supply chains. Read more about the We Mean Business campaign and other initiatives here.

Nigel Topping serves as CEO of We Mean Business coalition, which harnesses business leadership to drive the innovations and policies that accelerate action on climate change. Previously, Nigel was executive director of CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and he has 18 years of experience in the manufacturing sector.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

FEATURED RESOURCES

GLOBAL NEWS

USDA Helps Farmers, Businesses and Ag Producers Cut Energy Costs

USDA News Release

Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding 58 grants for projects in 17 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (PDF, 146 KB) to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.

USDA is providing the grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $1 million in renewable energy projects. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. Read the entire news release here.

INDUSTRY NEWS

SELF-COMMITTING IN POWER MARKETS

Are old Midwest coal plants pushing renewables offline?, E&E News
The utility process of self-committing or self-scheduling power plants to run even when there’s cheaper energy available on the grid is a complex issue and opaque to outsiders. Increasingly, there are questions about whether it’s slowing a transition to cleaner energy. 

The Billion-Dollar Coal Bailout Nobody Is Talking About: Self-Committing In Power Markets, 
Union of Concerned Scientists. Markets are supposed to ensure that all power plants are operated from lowest cost to most expensive. Self-committing allows expensive coal plants to cut in line, pushing out less expensive power generators such as wind, depriving those units from operating and generating revenue.

Iowa pork producers stall utility efforts to upend solar net metering

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

In their push to upend the economics of rooftop solar, Iowa’s major electric utilities are up against an opponent as politically potent as they are: the state’s pork producers. Hog farmers in the nation’s top pork-producing state have made clear that they don’t want legislators messing with their net metering arrangements. “Their voice is making a huge difference,” said Kerri Johannsen, who directs the Iowa Environmental Council’s energy program. “The things they are doing are definitely a big part of what’s held this bill up.” Continue reading here.

Photo: IowaPolitics.com / Wikimedia Commons Via Energy News Network

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FEATURED NPPD WEBSITE LINKS

New Project Would More Than Double Wisconsin’s Solar Energy Output

By Hope Kirwin, Wisconsin Public Radio

A major utility in western Wisconsin has announced plans for a new solar farm in Jefferson County. Dairyland Power Cooperative plans to purchase 149 megawatts of solar energy from the Badger State Solar project. That’s almost six times Dairyland’s current solar investment and would more than double the state’s solar production, The new partnership would create one of the largest solar farms in Wisconsin. The solar farm would be built by development company Ranger Power on private land in the towns of Jefferson and Oakland. Read more here.

Ranger Power Photo

Related

MORE NEWS FROM STATES


Big cheese gets big solar+storage proposal, PV Magazine
Invenergy has proposed a solar project up to 200 MWac / 300 MWdc in capacity with a 50 MW / 200 MWh battery in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

State of the states: 4 reasons that red plus blue makes green economics, Utility Dive Contributor Malcolm D. Woolf, managing director of MW Energy Advisors and former chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials. Washington, D.C. is abuzz with the Green New Deal, but my bet is that the most pivotal energy legislation enacted this year comes from red and blue state houses across the nation.

GLOBAL NEWS

Rise of bifacial lifts profits for the world’s tracker companies, PV Magazine

Soltec Image: Single-axis tracker

Austin, San Antonio, Orlando are Bloomberg climate challenge winners

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association 

Public power cities Austin, Texas, Orlando, Fla. and San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 11 were included among the list of final winners in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Launched in June 2018, the American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program designed to catalyze efforts in 25 cities “to tackle climate change, promote a sustainable future for residents and help deliver on the America’s Pledge initiative to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement,” according to a Bloomberg news release. The other two cities named as winners in the challenge on Jan. 11 were Albuquerque, N.M., and Denver, Colo. Read more here.

Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST