Tag Archives: Chicago Tribune

News Release: Keystone XL Partially Denied; Landowners Vow to Keep Fighting

By Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska

Landowners, Tribes, Bold and other official intervenors now have the option to within 30 days file an appeal in the Nebraska courts of portions of the PSC’s decision, to ensure that property rights, cultural and natural resources receive maximum protections. Separately, intervenor parties may also petition the Public Service Commission for a rehearing within ten days of the decision.

As landowners, attorneys and other intervenor parties consider legal options, Bold Nebraska has announced an expansion of the Solar XL project, and will continue crowdfunding to build additional solar installations with landowners in the path of Keystone XL.

Read the entire release.

About Solar XL


  • Lincoln Journal Star: Nebraska OK’s Keystone XL pipeline, but not its preferred route. Nebraska regulators have approved TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but not its “preferred” route through this state — raising questions about whether the company will continue to pursue the project.
  • Omaha World-Herald: Controversial Keystone XL pipeline route across Nebraska is approved, but hurdles likely remainThe decision, while giving the Canadian firm a route across Nebraska, raises many questions. One is that about 40 new landowners, along the 63 new miles of the alternative route, must be contacted to obtain right-of-way agreements for the underground pipe. Some major oil companies have pulled out of the tar sands region in recent months due to a worldwide glut of oil and the higher cost of turning the tar sands into synthetic crude.
  • Chicago Tribune: Nebraska panel approves alternative Keystone XL route. Jane Kleeb, director of the pipeline opposition group the Bold Alliance, said her group believes TransCanada will have to seek another federal review of the route, a process that would add even more years to the timetable. The mainline alternative approved Monday includes 63 miles of new pipeline that hasn’t been reviewed by the federal government. Opponents are expected to appeal the Nebraska commission’s decision in a state district court, and the case is likely to end up before the Nebraska Supreme Court. The commission was forbidden by law from considering a recent oil spill in South Dakota on the existing Keystone pipeline in its decision.

The new guide to the community solar galaxy

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

While 15 states and the District of Columbia have policies to support community solar, each policy is structured differently and many, when put into practice, have not driven growth. As a result, only five states have active markets. To rectify this, experienced developers in the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) put together a report that aims to help policymakers design community solar programs. Read more here.

Photo credit: Coalition for Community Solar Access

Download Community Solar Policy Decision Matrix: Guidance for Designing Community Solar Programs here.

About the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Founded in February 2016, CCSA is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy nationwide through community solar. These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households. For more information on CCSA, visit the website at www.communitysolaraccess.org,


The Price of Solar Is Declining to Unprecedented Lows

By Robert Fares, Scientific American

Scientific American
The installed price of solar energy has declined significantly in recent years as policy and market forces have driven more and more solar installations. Now, the latest data show that the continued decrease in solar prices is unlikely to slow down anytime soon, with total installed prices dropping by 5 percent for rooftop residential systems, and 12 percent for larger utility-scale solar farms. With solar already achieving record-low prices, the cost decline observed in 2015 indicates that the coming years will likely see utility-scale solar become cost competitive with conventional forms of electricity generation.  Continue reading

EIA: Solar generation to grow 8 GW in 2016, Utility Dive
Northwest Indiana churches champion clean energy, Chicago Tribune
New solar farm will harvest the power of the sun, Pine Journal
Faribault looks to bright future with potential of solar energy subscription,
Faribault Daily News
Iowa Utilities Board approves huge wind energy project, Des Moines Register
Renewable Energy Was 16.9 Percent of US Electric Generation in the First Half of 2016, Renewable Energy World
Sustainable Women Series: Amassing & Analyzing Zero Energy Building Data, Renewable Energy World

Boulder council supportive of city staff’s aggressive renewable energy goal

By Alex Burness, Daily Camera: Boulder News

At the onset of a City Council study session Tuesday, the room full of Boulder leaders and senior staff members paused to watch a 4-minute video in which children decried climate change and offered charming pleas for action, as B-roll footage of sweeping, green open spaces flashed on the screen.

“These kids are all watching us,” said Brett KenCairn, Boulder’s Senior Environmental Planner. “They’re wondering whether or not and how we’re going to live up to the kind of commitments that they need.” Continue reading.

Photo by Jeremy Papasso, Daily Camera Staff Photographer

According to the nonprofit organization, Go 100%: 8 Countries, 55 Cities, 61 Regions/States, 9 Utilities, 21 Nonprofit/Educational/Public Institutions, totaling more than 54.9 million people (and counting), have shifted or are committed to shifting within the next few decades to 100% renewable energy in at least one sector (e.g. electricity, transportation, heating/cooling). Click here to learn more.

SLC mayor wants city running on clean energy by 2032, Fox 13 TV, Salt Lake City
Oil-rich Alaska has surprising solar power potential, Grist
Pierre Commission approves solar farm project at airport, Capital Journal.
It will be the biggest solar energy project in South Dakota.

Solar panels, larger shoulders could be part of Oak Park I-290 plan, Chicago Tribune

Can batteries replace coal plants?

by Julie Wernau, Chicago Tribune

“ . . . Today, there are about 270 distributed energy storage projects across the United States with a combined capacity of 212 megawatts, according to Green Tech Media Research.

But now the industry is expected to surge, in part as a result of a ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that increased the pay for “fast”-responding energy sources like batteries.

A report recently released by Navigant Research predicts that global energy storage is expected to grow dramatically over the next decade, from 538 megawatts this year to 20.8 gigawatts. A gigawatt can power about 1 million homes.”

Wernau’s article features three battery storage projects near Chicago that Commonwealth Edison plans to connect to its grid next spring. With 60 megawatts of capacity, it will be the largest-ever distributed energy storage project in North America: