Tag Archives: Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA)

OPPD reaches customer-owned generation milestone

By Julie Wasson, OPPD Customer Service, The Wire

On June 28, 2021, OPPD received its 500th customer-owned generation (COG) interconnection application. This was the 165th application received so far this year, which is on track to be a 500% increase in interconnection applications over last year.

OPPD kicked off a multi-team project in 2019 to improve the COG application process using new, state-of-the-art online application software. The application software went live in April 2020 and, so far, more than 20 different solar installers have used the online application on behalf of mutual customers. Without the new online application process, the volume the utility has seen this year would not have been possible. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Battery project makes room for more rooftop solar in Decorah, Alliant Energy News Release
A free DOE webinar on the project will be offered on July 30 at 12:00 p.m. CDT. Anyone interested in learning more can join by 
registering here

Building a US clean manufacturing strategy to counter China and tackle climate change

Utility Dive article contributed by David Hart, director of the Clean Energy Innovation Policy Program at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), and Stefan Koester, ITIF senior policy analyst.

A recent report to which we contributed, published by the Information Technology and Innovation FoundationBoston University Institute for Sustainable Energy, and Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation, details how the United States can rebuild a robust domestic manufacturing sector and tackle climate change by leveraging its considerable strengths in science, technology and innovation. Read more here.

Flickr Photo

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH

“We found that we can get to 80+% renewable energy at the same cost as keeping the system at today’s level of renewables,” said [Wesley] Cole, NREL senior energy analyst and lead author of the paper. “Increased renewable energy contribution also reduces emissions, so going beyond today’s levels of renewable energy is a no-brainer.”

Researchers at the Wharton School said the additional $579 billion in new infrastructure spending would increase domestic output by 0.1% and decrease the U.S. debt by 0.9% by 2050.

Location, location, location — when it comes to the placement of wind turbines, the old real estate adage applies, according to new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Carnegie’s Enrico Antonini and Ken Caldeira.

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION 

THE REAP IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2021

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger Push to Improve Popular & Effective Rural Energy for America Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6/24/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA 7)—along with U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Representative David G. Valadao (R-CA 21)—introduced legislation in both the Senate and House aimed at improving the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural business owners to install renewable energy systems and adopt energy efficiency measures

MGM’S RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

MGM unveils solar project it says will power 13 Vegas hotels, Las Vegas Sun
The array of solar panels sits in the desert northeast of Las Vegas and will be managed by Invenergy, which owns and operates renewable energy developments throughout the world. The largest resorts and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have gradually left Nevada’s public utility, NV Energy, and begun producing their own power.

Previously Posted: MGM Resorts Recognized for Making Significant Investments in Clean Energy by the Solar Energy Industries Association, MGM Resorts International News Release

Photo: MGM’s first solar array in Las Vegas on the roof at the Mandalay Bay Resort

CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY

The sustainability imperative imperative, by Joel Makower,
Chairman & Co-founder, GreenBiz Group

At long last, this stuff is being taken seriously — very seriously. And while there remain those who view the whole shebang — net-zero carbon emissions, ESG metrics, climate tech, the circular economy and all the rest — as “woke capitalism” (another mean moniker), those critics are finding themselves shunted off to the side, marginalized, a voice in the wilderness.

RE100 ArticleBusiness demand for renewables greater than total energy demand of major G7 economies

CESA ANNOUNCEMENT

Clean Energy States Alliance has issued an expression of interest for new, innovative energy storage pilot projects, with an emphasis on projects advancing social equity and community resilience. Potential projects must be at least 500 kilowatts in size with a minimum duration of two hours to be considered, and incorporation of other advanced energy technologies, like renewable generation and electric vehicle charging, is preferred. Projects determined to be of interest may be eligible for technical and financial support after submitting a full proposal. Responses are due by July 15. More details about the opportunity can be found here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Secretary Granholm Unveils National Actions To Increase Energy Efficiency For Homes And Buildings And Save Costs For Consumers

Department of Energy News Release 
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

As part of a White House roundtable on building efficiency, Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm today announced sweeping actions to power more American homes and buildings with cleaner, smarter, and more affordable energy services that sharply reduce the buildings sector’s contributions to the climate crisis. 

“America’s path to a net-zero carbon economy runs straight through our buildings, which means we need to help households and commercial buildings across the nation reduce their emissions and convert to cheaper, cleaner energy,” said Secretary Granholm. Continue reading here.

Referenced in the News Release: The 2021 Better Buildings Progress Report released today outlines the progress and collaboration of Better Buildings partners, which represent more than 30 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13% of total commercial building space, as well as 17 federal agencies, eight national laboratories, and more than 80 states and local governments. Visit DOE’s Building Technologies Office and the Better Buildings Initiative for more information.

NEW CESA REPORT

Solar for Manufactured Homes: An Assessment of the Opportunities and Challenges in 14 States, Clean Energy States Alliance

Manufactured homes, formerly referred to as mobile homes, comprise over six percent of America’s housing stock and represent an even larger share of housing for low- and moderate-income (LMI) households. This market should receive targeted attention if solar is to be developed equitably and if all segments of society are to realize economic benefits from solar.

This two-volume report describes the nature of the manufactured housing stock and shows how those homes are distributed across the country. It explains the general obstacles to LMI solar, as well as additional challenges related specifically to manufactured housing. It identifies the types of solar technologies that can work with manufactured housing and includes nine case studies that highlight ways in which solar can be deployed to benefit manufactured housing residents.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Quest for ‘common ground’ continues as clock ticks, E&E News
The effort to strike a bipartisan deal on infrastructure will continue this week, as Republicans are readying a counteroffer, two congressional committees will hash out how to pay for it all and lawmakers are jockeying to get their wish lists inserted into a final package. Following last week’s White House summit between President Biden and top GOP senators, Republicans say they could have an infrastructure counteroffer soon. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who is leading talks for Republicans, described the meeting as “very positive.” 

Additional Recommended Reading

The Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy (ITEP) Analyses

The Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy (ITEP) is a non-profit, non-partisan tax policy organization that conducts rigorous analyses of tax and economic proposals and provides data-driven recommendations on how to shape equitable and sustainable tax systems. ITEP’s expertise and data uniquely enhance federal, state, and local policy debates by revealing how taxes affect both public revenues and people of various levels of income and wealth.

CESA Directory of State Low- and Moderate-Income Clean Energy Programs Now Available Online


Since 2015, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has maintained a directory of state low- and moderate-income (LMI) clean energy programs. This directory, previously published as a pdf, is now available as an interactive online database.
The online format will allow for frequent updates. Users can now more easily access information and quickly compare different LMI clean energy programs.

Because many states have launched additional LMI clean energy programs over the past two years, there are now many more entries in the directory. The directory lists and describes state programs for LMI residents and communities. It focuses primarily on clean energy generation, but also covers some energy-efficiency initiatives. It does not include low-income weatherization programs. Browse the directory here.

CESA’s Commitment to 100% Clean Energy 

  • CESA Promotes Federal-State Partnership to Achieve 100% Clean Energy
    In an article in Utility Dive, CESA Executive Director Warren Leon and Board Member Bentham Paulos argued that “cleaning up the power grid requires a federal-state partnership.” They described elements and policies that could be part of such a partnership.
  • CESA Resource: Publications About 100% Clean Energy

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

The National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) is a coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand access to affordable community solar to every American household by 2025. Partners leverage peer networks and technical assistance resources to set goals and work to overcome persistent barriers to expanding community solar access to underserved communities. DOE announced the program on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

The three goals of the partnership are:

  • Make community solar accessible to every U.S. household
  • Ensure community solar is affordable for every U.S. household
  • Enable communities to realize supplementary benefits and other value streams from community solar installation

To join the partnershipregister by visiting the community platform.
If you have questions, please send an email to Community.Solar@ee.doe.gov.

American Public Power Association Blog: Public power representatives invited to apply for community solar working group

ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE REPORT & WEBINAR

Seeds of Opportunity: Released last month, the report provides an economic analysis and set of case studies to highlight the once-in-a-generation economic opportunity that onshore wind and utility-scale solar projects present to rural communities. Download the full report, read RMI’s blog post, or view a recording of their live discussion with the report’s authors and community leaders from its three case studies.

About the Webinar
Learn more about the benefits of renewable energy projects for the rural communities studied in the report. The “Seeds of Opportunity” webinar featured Judge Dusty Kilgore of Upton County, Texas, and Troy McCue of Lincoln County, Colorado, speaking with RMI’s Katie Siegner about their experiences with the wind and solar projects in their communities. The webinar presentation slides are available here.

Data! 10 charts show the economic benefits of US climate action

Red, Green, and Blue Article by Joel Jaeger and Devashree Saha,
With The World Resources Institute

The United States made substantial progress towards a low-carbon economy over the past several years. Low-carbon technologies became more efficient and affordable compared to fossil fuels, while U.S. clean energy investment and deployment grew to new heights, creating millions of jobs. All this progress could be in jeopardy due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and government support for the declining fossil fuel industry.

But there is a better way—one that spurs economic growth, creates jobs, reduces costs for Americans and fights climate change. Our new paper synthesizes the latest research on the benefits of U.S. climate action in today’s economic reality. We found that strong climate action and investments in low-carbon infrastructure can be effective ways to build back better from COVID-19 and secure the economy’s long-term success. Here are 10 charts drawn from America’s New Climate Economy, which illustrate the economic benefits of advancing climate policies in the United States: Continue reading here.

Photo of a rancher at his solar water pump, an example of a clean energy project that can help states decouple emissions from GDP. Credit: Lance Cheung/USDA.

Additional Recommended Reading
COVID-19 Bailouts Should Target Oil and Gas Workers and Communities, Not Companies, by Devashree Saha, World Resources Institute

WRI WEBINAR RECORDING

Building America’s New Climate Economy: The webinar features a brief presentation on America’s New Climate Economy: A Comprehensive Guide to the Economic Benefits of Climate Policy in the United States.

ENERGY POLICY TRACKER UPDATE

U.S. public money commitments to different energy types:
Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020, the United States has committed at least USD 99.72 billion to supporting different energy types through new or amended policies, according to official government sources and other publicly available information.

  • At least $72.35 billion supporting fossil fuel energy / $220.43 per capita
  • At least $27.37 billion supporting clean energy / $83.38 per capita

Previously Posted: United States Spend Ten Times More On Fossil Fuel Subsidies Than Education, Forbes

NEW COMMUNITY SOLAR GUIDE

Community Solar Power — What’s Happening? What’s New?, CleanTechnica
We’ve published a new community solar power guide for regular reference, and updates as needed. The first version of it is published below. If you have anything to add, correct, or request, please let us know.

SOLAR-POWERED MILITARY COMMUNITIES

Hunt Military Communities Supporting U.S. Military Leadership in Energy Conservation, Hunt Military Communities News Release, PR Newswire

Hunt Military Communities (HMC), the largest U.S. military housing owner, today announced that they have generated over 116,000 MWh of solar energy, in support of the sustainability goals of the U.S. Military. HMC, the largest owner of privatized military housing in the United States, owns approximately 52,000 homes spread across more than 40 military installations on Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps bases. The installation of solar panels in Hunt communities across the country has been a pillar of the company’s efforts, for which it was recognized with Duke Energy’s long-standing Power Partner award for 2019. Photo: Dover Air Force Base in Delaware

EVERGY’S ENERGY TRANSITION

Evergy, Elliott Management agree on a renewable-increasing strategic plan, avert a sale, The Business Journals. Evergy Inc. announced on Wednesday a new five-year strategic plan designed to speed its transition to cleaner energy and — importantly — to do so as a stand-alone company.

GROUND-BREAKING FORM OF SOLAR CELL

Solar Energy Breakthrough Paves Way For Electricity-Generating Colorful Windows, The Independent

Researchers in South Korea have manufactured a ground-breaking form of solar cell using thin films of colored copper. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) successfully tested the cells by coating thin layers onto films of glass substrate. The researchers discovered that the innovative cells have a higher sunlight absorption rate than other non-silicon based solar cells, resulting in a higher conversion efficiency and longer stability.


JOB LISTINGS

Clean Energy Group (CEG) and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) seek a Project Manager to work on the organizations’ initiatives related to solar and energy storage for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and environmental justice communities, with an emphasis on outreach to state energy agencies and community-based organizations. For more information, see www.cleanegroup.org and www.cesa.org.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is hiring a full-time management and program analyst to serve as the National Community Solar Partnership program lead. This role is a federal supervisory position at the GS-14 level. Responsibilities include managing complex, multi-partner technical assistance programs; coordinating a team of solar energy technical experts to plan and carry out these programs; developing concepts for new programs and funding mechanisms aimed at reducing the non-hardware, or soft, costs of solar; and more. Apply by August 12.

CESA’S 2020 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards

The Clean Energy States Alliance is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards, recognizing six state and municipal programs and projects that demonstrate creativity and leadership in advancing renewable energy. The six winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges, and will be featured in an upcoming report and webinar series. The 2020 awards were given to the following organizations:

Read the entire announcement on CESA’s website.

In July, CESA will release a report on the State Leadership in Clean Energy Award winners that will include case studies of the programs.

CESA will also host a webinar series highlighting the 2020 award winners. The webinars, which will take place in the summer and fall of 2020, will be free to attend and open to the public.

About CESA
Incorporated in 2002, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is a national, nonprofit coalition of public agencies and organizations working together to advance clean energy. CESA works with state leaders, federal agencies, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop clean energy programs and inclusive renewable energy markets. CESA members—mostly state agencies—include many of the most innovative, successful, and influential public funders of clean energy initiatives in the country.

More CESA Webinars Are Available Here.

CESA Launches 100% Clean Energy Collaborative

CESA News Release 

The Clean Energy States Alliance has launched the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative, a new initiative to provide critical information sharing and knowledge transfer among states that have established 100% clean energy goals for their electricity sectors. The rapid adoption of aggressive clean energy targets by states has been one of the most important energy and climate change policy developments of the past few years; 14 states plus the District of Columbia have now set such goals. The new Collaborative will create a forum for those states to cooperate on program development in order to speed progress towards achieving the states’ ambitious targets.

California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild underscored the importance of the effort, stating, “The extraordinary momentum for 100% clean energy that is unfolding across the US presents an important opportunity. The more states collaborate on strategies, policies, and regulations to support the 100% vision, the greater the likelihood of success. That is why I strongly support this new forum for states engaged in the 100% clean energy vision.”
Continue reading here.

100% Clean Energy Collaborative

Upcoming CESA Webinars:

Related Article 

Virus Or Not, US States Foment 100% Renewable Energy Rebellion, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Also In The News

New CESA Resource: State Pollinator-Friendly Solar Initiatives

By Georgena Terry, Clean Energy States Alliance

Recognizing that solar installations can coexist with pollinator habitats, seven states have enacted legislation to promote pollinator-friendly solar development. This white paper provides an overview of these state efforts and offers suggestions for what other states can do to promote solar while also creating or preserving healthy habitats for pollinators. Download the paper.

Opening markets to solar & wind could save billions in the Midwest

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

When we think of hot solar markets, the area covered by PJM Interconnection does not usually come to mind. The 14 states in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest do not have the sunlight that California and the Southwest have. Additionally – New Jersey aside – they do not have the high electricity prices and supportive policy environment for solar seen in states like New York and Massachusetts.

The same could be said of the Midcontinent System Operator (MISO), the grid that covers the heart of the Midwest and stretches in a narrow band south to Louisiana. While MISO has some wind resources, none of the states that it covers have been leading solar markets. All of this is changing. As of the end of July, PV Magazine counted 47 GW of active solar projects in PJM’s interconnection queue, and 57 GW in MISO’s queue.
Read more here.

FERC: Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO) / Independent System Operators (ISO)

Wind Solar Alliance Website

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

LEGISLATION

Duckworth, Booker File Bill to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy for Poor Families, WTTW U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is the lead sponsor behind a new bill that aims to make solar energy more affordable for low-income Americans. Duckworth and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., recently introduced the Low-Income Solar Energy Act, which would expand an existing energy assistance program while also creating new energy financing programs for the poor.

NEW CESA INITIATIVE

Clean Energy States Alliance Launches Major Initiative to Advance Solar in Under-Resourced Communities

Department of Energy Funds CESA’s Efforts to Scale Up Solar for Low-and Moderate-Income Households, News Release. Montpelier, VT – The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) will lead a wide-ranging initiative to accelerate the development of solar projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households and communities. The “Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project” is being supported by a three-year funding award of $1.1 million from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The project team will focus on three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes, and multifamily affordable housing.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES / CIRCULAR ECONOMY 

Solar Industry Experience Shines When Mentoring A Diverse Workforce

By Caroline Fortuna, CleanTechnica

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) determined that the US installed 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity in Q1 2018 to reach 55.9 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 10.7 million American homes. This represents a 13% increase year-over-year. Total installed US PV capacity is expected to more than double over the next 5 years, and, by 2023, over 14 GW of PV capacity will be installed annually.

Alongside this pattern of solar industry growth comes the major challenge to educating future renewable energy professionals. There is an essential need to build a conduit from the classroom to solar installation worksite. Since solar is an emerging field, many students have a limited understanding of how to translate engineering theory into actual solar practice. Professional role models who offer their personal insights and solar industry experience narratives can offset those gaps and create a robust and diverse solar energy workforce.
Continue reading here.

Top Photo Credit: Grid Alternatives

About Carolyn Fortuna
Carolyn Fortuna, Ph.D. is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to eco justice. She’s won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation.


ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

#Solar100’s Anne Hoskins: The Adam Smith of Solar Policy, PV Magazine

#Solar100’s Anne Hoskins: The Adam Smith of Solar Policy

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS
USTDA backs feasibility study for 100-MW PV project in Mozambique, Renewables Now
The grant has been awarded to WHN Solar SA, which has picked Nebraska-based consulting firm HDR International Inc to conduct the study.

UPCOMING CLEAN ENERGY STATES ALLIANCE (CESA) WEBINAR  
Community Solar Program Design and Implementation for Low-and Moderate-Income Customers, Thursday, August 30, 12 to 1 pm CT
Guest speakers from NREL will discuss their new report, which reviews existing and emerging Low-and Moderate-Income (LMI) community solar programs, discusses key questions related to program design, outlines how states can leverage incentives and finance structures to lower the cost of LMI community solar, and examines marketing and outreach considerations.