Tag Archives: CleanTechnica

How To Tell A Good Community Solar Program From A Bad One

By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Scores of community solar programs are already up and running in the US, but until recently subscribers typically had to pay a premium over the regular utility rate to get their hands on all those clean electrons. The good news is that clean power rates don’t necessarily have to go up. In today’s energy landscape, rates could very well go down — if the program is designed and marketed properly. Continue reading here.

EPA photo of a community solar farm on a former landfill.

About the Author

 

Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites.

The US Is Ready For 100% Clean Energy — 10 Cities Model How To Get There

By Carolyn Fortuna, CleanTechnica

The Sierra Club’s “2018 Ready for 100 Case Study Report” outlines how 10 US cities have made ambitious commitments to be powered with 100% clean energy. These cities are embracing renewable energy options like wind and solar to show the progress and impact that cities can make to lead climate action globally and locally.

More than 80 cities in the US have now established policies to move away from dirty fuels and repower their communities with 100% clean, renewable energy sources. As a direct consequence, fossil fuels are being pushed out and expectations are rising for electric utilities, states, and energy generators to go all-in on clean and renewable power. Continue reading here.

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.

Solar Power Legislation In Illinois Could Generate $250-350 Million In Tax Revenue

By Jake Richardson, CleanTechnica

Illinois Governor Rauner recently signed two bills to support solar development conditions for Illinois farmers and rural areas.  They are SB 486 and SB 2591. The first creates a standard tax assessment value for local solar farms in Illinois. The second sets standards for the construction and deconstruction of solar farms on agricultural land. Lesley McCain, the Executive Director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association, answered some questions for CleanTechnica about the legislation. Continue reading here.

Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act Website

Pixabay Photo

Windfall: Minnesota counties use wind tax money for roads, tax relief

Written by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Minnesota’s wind energy tax is helping rural counties hold the line on levy increases and pay for road repairs and other infrastructure projects. Revenue from the state’s wind energy tax has increased more than fivefold over the past decade to $12.7 million in 2018, according to Minnesota Department of Commerce. Wind farms larger than 12 MW pay $1.20 per MWh, while smaller farms pay just 36 cents per MWh. “Wind revenue is now a key source of income for many counties, relieving the property tax burden on homeowners and businesses,” said Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. Continue reading here.

Photo by Michael Janke of wind turbines on a Minnesota Farm

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Corporate customers show up for #AmericanWindWeek

By Hannah Hunt, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

And there’s quite a lot to celebrate. Corporate and other non-utility customers have procured more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power to date, including more than 9,700 MW in power purchase agreements (PPA) through the second quarter of this year. That’s more than Oklahoma’s installed wind capacity, the country’s number two wind state.

#AmericanWindWeek coincided with a historic announcement this week that Apple, Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re are partnering together to purchase 290 MW from planned wind and solar projects in Illinois and Virginia, respectively. Aggregating demand can help smaller demand customers access renewable energy projects with economies of scale. Just last week, Smuckers announced a 60 MW PPA with a planned Nebraska wind project; the following day, Facebook announced its most recent 139 MW PPA with the Headwaters II Wind Farm in Randolph County, Indiana. Read more here. 

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

US Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement Hits Record High

Corporate Buyer’s Guide to Wind Energy

AWEA’s newest primer introduces new corporate customers to the world of wind energy procurement.

The primer explains the multiple ways that a buyer can purchase wind energy. For those interested in learning more about PPAs, it also provides detail on the common terms found in a PPA, the typical negotiation points that can be expected, and the ways in which buyers and sellers can allocate risks inherent to the negotiation points.

GreenBiz Webinar
The Next Frontier: Emerging Models in Renewable Energy Procurement
August 21st from 12 to 1 pm Central Time

New ILSR Report & Q&A With John Farrell: A Solar Power & Energy Storage Revolution Is Upon Us

By Jake Richardson, CleanTechnica

new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance describes some of the implications of the growing solar power and energy storage trend as it relates to the current, centralized utility-based electricity distribution model. Because solar and energy storage can be cost competitive with grid electricity prices in some places, consumers now have an alternative to only using utility-based electricity. Report author John Farrell answered some questions for CleanTechnica.

Continue here.

Renewable Energy Is Critical To Stopping Global Warming

By Jake Richardson, CleanTechnica

This article is part of our “CleanTechnica Answer Box” collection. For some reason, there are certain anti-cleantech talking points that get thrown around over and over that are absolute bunk. We got tired of dealing with the same myths repeatedly and also saw others who spent time responding to these untruths in many discussions on CleanTechnica and elsewhere could use some help more efficiently and effectively doing so, so at the suggestion of a reader we created this resource in the same vein as Skeptical Science’s responses to global warming & climate change myths.

Read the entire article here.

Interview With John Kostyack & David Gardner — A New Wind Energy Foundation Report (CleanTechnica Exclusive)

By Carolyn Fortune

The Wind Energy Foundation has just released a new report. In it, they talk about the need for US transmission planners to modify their calculations based on the number of big companies that are increasingly signing deals to buy wind and solar power. In this CleanTechnica exclusive, we interview John Kostyack, executive director of the Wind Energy Foundation, and David Gardiner, lead author representing David Gardiner and Associates, about the report and its consequences for broader wind and solar energy access.

Information from the report: “The strongest and often lowest-cost renewable energy resources are located in the central U.S. region, 15 states between the Rockies and the Mississippi River: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. This region accounts for 88% of the country’s wind technical potential and 56% of the country’s utility-scale solar photovoltaic technical potential, yet is home to only 30% of projected 2050 electricity demand. This finding suggests that future transmission is needed to export this electricity from this high-production region to the growing demand outside of this region.”
Read More Here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Center for Rural Affairs Report: Generation and Delivery: The economic impact of transmission infrastructure in rural counties, written by Timothy Collins, consultant, with support from Johnathan Hladik, Policy Program Director

US Energy Dept. Sees Microgrids, Renewables In Puerto Rico Future

By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica


The Energy Department’s new point person for power restoration in Puerto Rico is
Bruce J. Walker. He won confirmation as the Energy Department’s Assistant Secretary of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE for short) just last month, shortly after Hurricane Maria tore through the island. Walker has a long (long, long) list of credits on the side of grid reliability and modernization. That experience is on display in an article under Walker’s byline that appeared on the Energy Department’s website last week, under the title “How the Energy Department is Helping to Restore Power in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

According to Walker, the Energy Department has already identified 200 locations for microgrids at hospitals, water treatment plants, and other critical facilities in Puerto Rico. That adds up to 11 megawatts, and that’s just the beginning. Four hundred more locations in Puerto Rico are also being scouted for microgrid potential. Read more here.

Top Photo: Crews from the Energy Department’s Western Area Power Authority work on a transmission line in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Credit: Western Area Power Administration.

Tina Casey is a freelance writer specializing in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. She is a regular contributor to CleanTechnica and TriplePundit. She is also currently Deputy Director of Public Information for the County of Union, New Jersey. Many of Tina’s articles have been reposted on ReutersScientific American, and other mainstream media sites.