Contributed by Lee Barker, The Missouri Times
Missourians do not like living paycheck to paycheck paying high utility bills and soon many won’t have to. The Grain Belt Express Transmission Line will lower the cost of utility bills to dozens of communities throughout the state. When built, the Grain Belt Express will deliver low-cost wind and solar power from Kansas to Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. In Missouri, the line will span eight counties delivering at least 500 megawatts of low-cost energy (and probably much more). Read more here.
Lee Barker is the former city administrator for Higginsville, Missouri.
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
- Panelists: Renewable energy could be an economic boon to rural Iowa, by Perry Beeman, Contributing Writer, Times-Republican.
In an American Wind Energy Association session moderated by Dave Price, political director of WHO-TV and carried live by Politico, the panelists said they hope to see Iowa’s already strong wind industry — one of the largest in the nation — double or triple its size in the next couple of decades.
- How To Go Solar Without The Rooftop Panels, contributed article by Craig Miller, Science Journalist, Next Avenue. Next Avenue is “the PBS website for grown-ups who want to keep growing.”
SOLAR WITH JUSTICE REPORT
The sun shines for all: Community solar for low-income populations, by Meena Dayak, American Public Power Association. The Solar with Justice report from the Clean Energy States Alliance notes that participation in the solar economy can help ease the disproportionate social and economic burdens that low- to moderate-income households bear by helping to reduce electricity bills, provide jobs, and build sustainable communities. “Solar can also make decision-making more democratic by giving residents of under-resourced communities more control over their energy choices,” the report states.
- BlackRock Targets Storage With New Multibillion-Dollar Renewables Fund, Greentech Media
Martin Torres, BlackRock’s renewables chief in the Americas, talks batteries, offshore wind — and why things may be easier once subsidies disappear.
- Previously Posted Climate Action 100+ News Release: BlackRock joins Climate Action 100+ to ensure largest corporate emitters act on climate crisis. With the addition of the world’s largest asset manager, with more than $6.8 trillion USD in assets under management, Climate Action 100+ continues to grow in size and influence. BlackRock joins more than 370 global investors already participating in the initiative. The addition of funds it manages, brings total assets under management represented by investors participating in Climate Action 100+ to more than $41 trillion.
LOCAL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
Look Locally For Solutions to Climate Crisis, Guest Column, Hibbing Daily Tribune
Recently we had the chance to visit a factory producing solar panels, and to hear about grassroots clean energy projects popping up all over northeastern Minnesota. The “we” was a group of about two dozen people from Duluth and the Iron Range. We were participating in an event on January 7 called Let There Be Light: Solar Initiatives Close to Home.
WISCONSIN’S SOLAR SCHOOLS PROGRAM
Wisconsin Schools Asked To Plan For Solar Projects, Wisconsin Public Radio
The Solar on Schools program is asking K-12 schools in Wisconsin to consider installing solar panels as part of their energy mix. The program wants to attract 100 schools in the next four years to install the renewable energy source. The program is a joint venture between the Coulliard Solar Foundation in Deerfield and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association based in Custer.
CARBON-NEUTRAL CAMPUS CELEBRATES ACHIEVEMENT
Colorado College achieves decade-long goal of carbon neutrality, The Gazette
In 2007, Colorado College sophomore David Amster-Olszewski circulated a petition that 70% of the school’s 2,000 students signed in 10 days, calling for the campus to commit to reaching carbon neutrality. Two years later, the campus set 2020 as the date to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from certain campus operations and use renewable energy sources. On Jan. 24, the college celebrated the realization of that goal.
SAVING ENERGY & MONEY
Alliant Energy study uses artificial intelligence to hunt down phantom power, target waste, Wisconsin State Journal. A 2015 study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimated nearly a quarter of all household electricity use in the United States is consumed by appliances and other equipment in standby mode. Over the course of a year, that can add up to more than $300 worth of electricity for the average Wisconsin household and the equivalent output of 50 large power plants. Using off-the-shelf Sense home monitoring devices powered by artificial intelligence, the Madison-based utility and the consulting firm Cadmus determined most customers can cut their overall use by 9% just by tracking down and eliminating some of this phantom load.
ELECTRIC & SELF-DRIVING CARS
GM commits to $2.2 billion investment and 2,200 jobs at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Detroit Free Press. The automaker said Monday the plant will provide 2,200 jobs as it shifts to become the company’s first all-electric vehicle plant. Detroit-Hamtramck will start production of an all-electric pickup in late 2021, then build the Cruise Origin, an all-electric self-driving car.
CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT
- Corporations inked 19.5 GW of clean energy contracts in 2019, PV Magazine
Corporations contracted a record amount of wind and solar energy through power purchase agreements in 2019, up more than 40% from the previous year’s record, says a new report from BloombergNEF. The bulk of this purchasing occurred in the U.S. with tech companies and oil and gas majors leading the charge.
- Texas Is the Center of the Global Corporate Renewable Energy Market, Greentech Media
The U.S. drove growth in global corporate renewables deals last year, with even oil producers now picking up the wind and solar habit.