Tag Archives: commercial solar

Report: Natural gas is a loser for long-term utility shareholder value

By Matthew Bandyk, Utility Dive

Investment into new natural gas infrastructure like pipelines and power plants is “incompatible” with long-term shareholder value, and thus it is in the best interest of the investor community to push utilities away from natural gas, according to a new report from corporate social responsibility group As You Sow and environmental consulting firm Energy Innovation.

The report points to data from Lazard showing that unsubsidized solar plus battery storage already, in some cases, is cheaper than natural gas. It cites the example of NV Energy [a Berkshire Hathaway Energy company], which in 2019 procured 1,200 MW of solar at $20 per MWh and 580 MW of four-hour battery storage for $13 per MWh. The low end of Lazard’s 2019 estimate for the levelized cost of electricity from a new natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant is $44 per MWh. Read more here.

 

 

Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies Our vision is a safe, just, and sustainable world in which protecting the environment and human rights is central to corporate decision making. Corporations are responsible for most of the pressing social and environmental problems we face today — we believe corporations must be a willing part of the solutions. We make that happen. As shareholder advocates, we directly engage corporate CEOs, senior management, and institutional investors to change corporations from the inside out. Website: As You Sow

More About Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis
Renewable Energy Prices Hit Record Lows: How Can Utilities Benefit From Unstoppable Solar And Wind?, Forbes article contributed by Silvio Marcacci, Communications Director, Energy Innovation

Additional Related Reading
Utility Investors Risk Billions In Rush To Natural Gas: Is It A Bridge To Climate Breakdown?, Forbes article contributed by Michael O’Boyle, director of electricity policy at Energy Innovation, where he leads its U.S. power sector transformation program.

 

 


Energy Innovation
is a nonpartisan climate policy think tank delivering high-quality research and original analysis to help policymakers make informed energy policy choices. Energy Innovation accelerates the clean energy transition by supporting the policies and strategies that most effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Website: Energy Innovation

MORE ON CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY

FREE SCIENCE BASED TARGETS WEBINAR TOMORROW

Demystifying and Achieving Science-based Targets through Sustainable Procurement & Supplier Engagement, April 22 at 12 pm. Presenters: Cynthia Cummis, Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation, World Resources Institute, and Noora Singh, Director, Global Sustainability, PepsiCo. Register here.

The Science Based Targets Initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. 

NFL SOLAR PROJECTS

POWERHOME installs solar system on Pittsburgh Steelers stadium, Solar Power World
“Heinz Field is the fourth NFL facility to utilize POWERHOME to help meet sustainability goals,” said Jayson Waller, CEO of POWERHOME. “Large commercial sites like this help us educate consumers about the simplicity and benefits of renewable energy. We hope to encourage thousands of Steelers fans to consider solar energy and think more about the environment.”

SOLAR PANELS

HYDROGEN

Renewable Energy Magazine: What Place for Hydrogen? An interview with Professor Armin Schnettler, Executive Vice President and CEO of the New Energy Business at Siemens Energy, on the impact of hydrogen on the global green energy market.

Burping Cows Get the Green Light to Join Carbon-Offset Market

By Agnieszka de Sousa and Mathew Carr, Bloomberg
Reprinted In Today’s Omaha World-Herald

A garlic and citrus feed supplement that lowers the greenhouse gases burped out by cows is giving farmers the chance to become global carbon traders. Verra, the largest program for voluntary carbon-offset credits, has approved a method to reduce livestock emissions that was developed by Swiss agritech company Mootral. That means farmers using such feed supplements will be able to sell greenhouse-gas credits in the carbon-offset market. The global voluntary offset market was worth $296 million last year, 50% more than two years, according to researcher Ecosystem Marketplace. Continue reading here.

Mootral Website

Among NASA Resources: A Less Frequently Asked Question About Climate Change:
Which is a bigger methane source: cow belching or cow flatulence?

Additional Recommended Reading
Farmers eye opportunities for commercial solar farms, KMA Land
Economic return two or three times that of corn or beans. Guaranteed income for decades. No work required. That may sound too good to be true. But for some landowners in the Corn Belt, it’s reality. A growing number of them are converting parts of their grain farms into solar farms. 
Commercial solar fields could someday be as common a sight as grain bins. And while most incorporate only a few acres, some are massive. A site under construction in Wisconsin will cover 3,000 acres, the largest in the Midwest, according to Brian Ross, senior program director at the Minnesota-based Great Plains Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes renewable energy.

City ready for community solar gardens

By Jennifer Bailey, Commercial-News, Danville, Illinois

Illinois passed The Future Energy Jobs Act in December 2016. This legislation went into effect June 1, 2017. Under this legislation, the state created a new Community Solar program that will allow any customer of ComEd or Ameren to subscribe to a community solar garden, according to Solar in the Community which is a joint project of the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, The Accelerate Group and the Environmental Defense Fund . . . Under Illinois’ community solar program, “subscribers” can enter into an agreement to support a solar energy installation in their community — on the rooftop of a local school or community center, for example.
Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

MORE COMMUNITY SOLAR NEWS

LOCATING CLOSED LANDFILLS & OTHER LOCAL BROWNFIELDS

EPA’s RE-Powering Mapper is an online interactive web application that allows users to visualize key information on renewable energy potential at specific contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites.

Using screening criteria developed in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EPA has pre-screened more than 130,000 sites for their renewable energy potential.

Access the updated RE-Powering Mapper here. 
Learn more about EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative here.

MORE GOOD NEWS FROM STATES 

This old coal plant is now a solar farm, thanks to pressure from local activists, Fast Company. In Massachusetts, one town fought to stop
pollution–and ensured a just transition for workers at the coal plant. For more than half a century, a coal plant in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts spewed pollution into the air. Now, the plant is closed, and 17,000 solar panels and a battery storage system–the largest in the state–send clean power to the grid. Photo by Toxics Action Center

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

INTERVIEW

Commercial Solar Outlook: A Q&A with GE Solar, Energy Manager Today
From import tariffs to corporate sustainability goals, 2018 was a big year for the commercial solar industry, with no signs of slowing down in 2019. To understand what’s on the horizon for the commercial solar market, we asked Ellen Roybal, Managing Director
of Strategy & Market Intelligence for GE Solar, for her take on the industry.

Farms finding advantage in going solar

By Kathleen Clark, My Journal Courier

It’s a site becoming more common throughout Illinois: solar panels. Some are on roofs, others on pedestals in open areas. These large panels are helping their owners be thrifty on their power bills as the state strives to become more dependent on renewable energy. Not only can they be found in residential areas, but also on commercial buildings and businesses.
Read more here.

Photo: The Hammond Farm, by Matt Ryerson, Lincoln Journal Star

See “Solar Examples” for photos and descriptions of the following Nebraska farms and ranches that are powered by solar energy:

Beller Farm Near Lindsay, Blakeman Ranch in Custer County, Brummond Farm, Deblauw Family Farm in Hartington, Family Farm Just Outside the Village of Craig, Family Farm in Minden, Greisen Farms in Platte Center, Hammond Farm, Jenkins Ranch Near Callaway, Knopik Farm Near Belgrade, Kruger Farm South of Lake Minitare, Kush Farm in Monroe, Liebig Farms in Platte Center, Meristem Organic Farm and Nursery in Papillion, Pandorf Land & Cattle Company Ranch Northwest of Callaway, Powell Farm and  Richards Farm, both near Oakland.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

SOLAR GROUP BUY / SOLARIZE NEWS & RESOURCES

Solarize Metro East builds on past successes with more solar energy, The Telegraph

Resources for Organizing a Solar Group Buy or Solarize Program in Your Community

NEW REPORTS

COMMUNITY SOLAR RESOURCES

LMI SOLAR RESOURCES

How Corporations ‘Bypassed the Politics’ to Lead on Clean Energy in 2017

By Julia Pyper, Greentech Media

Click image to watch an AWEA video showing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos smashing a bottle of champagne to launch Amazon Wind Farm Texas in October 2017.

As of December 12, when heads of state joined to commemorate the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement, 327 major corporations, worth a cumulative $6.5 trillion, had committed to matching their emission reduction plans with the Paris goals through the Science Based Targets initiative. Another 864 companies have stated their intention to adopt a science-based target within two years . . . In addition, some 1,700 U.S. businesses from every state and of varying sizes — from Walmart to Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot in Bozeman, Montana — have signed the “We Are Still In” declaration. The initiative, which also includes cities, statehouses and college campuses, was intended to demonstrate America’s enduring commitment to delivering on the promise of the Paris Agreement. Click here to learn more.

EIA: Small-scale installations make up a third of solar generation

This photo of a solar array at Birdsong Peanuts' shelling and drying facility in Colquitt, Georgia illustrates a 1MW solar project. Photo Credit: Hannah Solar

This photo of a solar array at Birdsong Peanuts’ shelling and drying facility in Colquitt, Georgia illustrates a 1MW-size solar project. Photo Credit: Hannah Solar

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has begun including data on small scale solar PV installations in its Electric Power Monthly reports, noting that the systems “have grown significantly in the United States over the past several years.” . . .  Although each distributed PV system is very small [defined as up to 1MW], EIA noted that “there are hundreds of thousands of these systems across the country that add up to a substantial amount of electricity generating capacity.”

Read more.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
EIA electricity data now include estimated small-scale solar PV capacity and generation
Small-scale distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, such as those found on residential and commercial rooftops, have grown significantly in the United States over the past several years. Starting this month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is including monthly estimates of small-scale distributed solar PV capacity and generation by state and sector in EIA’s Electric Power Monthly.

US: EIA to begin including small-scale solar output in new data, PV Magazine