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 initiativeshere.
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.
Chattanooga Airport now 100% powered by on-site solar energy, Solar Power World The Chattanooga Airport in Tennessee celebrated the completion of the final phase of its 2.64-MW solar farm. The power generated is equal to the airport’s total energy needs. The Chattanooga Airport is the only airport in the nation to now run on 100% renewable energy.
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.
More water+wind+solar capacity than coal, PV Magazine FERC’s monthly Energy Infrastructure Update reveals that renewable electricity generation capacity online exceeded coal capacity for the first time in April.
BREAKING: Bifacial beats Trump’s tariffs, PV Magazine Federal trade authorities have ruled that bifacial solar modules are no longer subject to the Section 201 ruling, which currently apply a 25% tariff to most solar modules imported to the United States.
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.
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.
What The Electric Vehicle Industry Could Learn From Solar Energy, by Vic Shao, Founder and CEO of AMPLY Power, Forbes Community Voice What I believe eventually accelerated solar energy into the mainstream was a shift in how people financed their solar installations, via power purchase agreements (PPA). By modeling commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging after the success of solar PPAs, I believe the commercial busing and trucking industries can simplify the purchasing process and boost commercial EVs into the mainstream.
Enel Green Power likes bifacial solar panels, PV Tech The renewable energy firm noted that the deployment of bifacial panels; “kicks off a new era of solar energy, helping to further reduce the costs of this technology and increasing performance. This latest-generation photovoltaic module will allow us to capture light from both the front and back and so achieve more efficient electrical energy production than traditional mono-facial panels. This leads to the possibility of installing a lower number of panels and reducing the surface space used.”
$3 Billion Transmission Project Wins Key Permit in Quest to Bring Wind Power to the West Coast, Greentech Media. Backed by billionaire Philip Anshutz, the 3-gigawatt TransWest Express project is set to start construction next year, after more than a decade of development. First proposed in 2005, TransWest Express would stretch 730 miles from southwestern Wyoming through Colorado and Utah, to its connection to western grids at Nevada’s Hoover Dam. It will be a combination of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) and high voltage alternating current (HVAC) systems, capable of carrying up to 3 gigawatts of power when it’s complete.
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.
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.
Can 100 Percent Renewable Energy Cope With a Polar Vortex?, Sierra Magazine Iceland has an electric power sector that is 100 percent renewable, and it has more extreme cold than the United States. If they have solved the problem, we can too. – Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and the guy who created science-based, 100 percent clean energy roadmaps for the world.
US Corporations Driving Up Demand for Renewable Energy, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Below is a partial roundup of just a few notable recent purchases and commitments by US companies. Many of these companies have made public commitments to powering their operations with 100% renewable energy; so many, in fact, that there’s a new term for them: RE100 Companies.
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.
Minnesota youth call for urgent action on climate from new governor, Midwest Energy News A coalition of groups led by the clean change youth organization iMatter and Climate Generation’s Youth Environmental Activists have created an umbrella organization, Minnesota Can’t Wait, that offered lawmakers a 10-point “Green New Deal” platform. The initiative calls for generating all power from renewables, creating a statewide smart grid and ceasing construction of pipelines, including the controversial Line 3 Enbridge project. The youth organization wants to end investment in any fossil fuel infrastructure and continue to make Minnesota a national green economy model.
One Planet: What’s the path to a clean energy future?, KALW San Francisco, NPR Morning Edition. The conversation on this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series is with Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Woods Institute for the Environment, and co-founder of the Solutions Project. He says there is no technical or economic barrier to transitioning the entire world to 100 percent clean, renewable energy covering all sectors including transportation, agriculture, and electricity.
Bifacial gets the big money, PV Magazine There’s much work going on in the research of bifacial. In November, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) 53 investments in the sun DNV GL was awarded $200,000 for a bifacial module energy modeling validation study. Also as part of this program, Case Western University was given a chance to research a 50 year glass on glass solar module lifetime – the type of product that bifacial modules are. Meaning 50 year power purchase agreements are coming!
Illinois is experiencing a boom in solar energy projects stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, a 2016 law that sets a target of getting 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 . . . At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018, Illinois ranked 34th, up from 43rd in 2017 in solar capacity. The state has only 97.84 MW of installed solar power. Rankings and installed solar capacity are about to change for the better, so much so that Illinois could end up being the Midwest’s leader in solar energy in a matter of a few years. Read more here.
Photo: Shedd Acquarium in Chicago. The 265-kilowatt solar project is a highlight in itself—it is the largest installation at any cultural institution in Illinois—but it’s only the first step of Shedd’s plan to cut energy usage in half by 2020.
Clean Energy Group has redesigned their Resilient Power Toolkit to make it easier to locate the resources you need to understand resilient power system technologies, their economics, and how to approach developing a new resilient solar+storage project.
“We’re always refining our toolbox of resources and making new additions, like our recent permitting and interconnection guide and a storage guide for homeowners from Solar United Neighbors. If you know of useful resources missing from our toolkit or are looking for something you can’t find, send us an email.” – Seth Mullendore, Vice President, Project Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
The system is reportedly the largest commercial rooftop Solar PV installation in Hanford and the largest solar system to be installed, to date, on a shopping mall in the state. The system is estimated to generate almost 3,000,000 kWh of electricity annually – enough energy to serve approximately 450 homes. Learn more here.
YouTube Video: Click here for an aerial view of the bifacial solar panels on the Hanford, California Shopping Mall.
Photo: University of California, Berkeley’s Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation in the College of Engineering. Credit: Sunpreme
NEBRASKA PROJECTS USING BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS
Henry Doorly Zoo Solar Shade Canopy
Morrissey Engineering worked to develop and engineer this project and SWT Energy was the prime installer. It is located at the Africa Exhibit Skyfari lift landing. This project used bifacial panels that are glass on top and bottom and can actually convert a portion of bottom-side light reflected off surrounding surfaces into additional power. The panels have a 300W rating without the boost from the underside and there are 80 in total.
Custom Solar Canopy
This custom-designed canopy by Dixon Power Systems features glass-on-glass bifacial solar modules allowing sunlight to pass through individual solar cells, harvesting sunlight on both sides. Integrated into the homeowners’ deck, the canopy provides shade similar to standing under a tree. The structure is made from cedar with steel brackets that are also custom designed and built by Dixon Power Systems.