Tag Archives: community solar

In A Post-Pandemic World, Renewable Energy Is The Only Way Forward

By Enrique Dans, Senior Contributor, Forbes

The Economist’s regular cartoonist, KAL, summed it up neatly in his cartoon last week: the battle humanity is waging against the coronavirus is only the preliminary round, and after that, we have a much bigger and stronger opponent waiting for us, called the climate emergency. That some people still may think that something as objectively and scientifically proven is still up for debate could be seen as one of the greatest achievements of the fossil fuel industry. It’s not. It’s the greatest threat to human life. Read more here.

Also written by Enrique Dans: Are We Going To Take Advantage Of This Small Window Of Opportunity For Change?, Forbes

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Solar energy continues its exponential growth, Red, Green and Blue
According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) World Energy Outlook 2019, solar photovoltaic (PV) is set to become the largest source of installed electrical capacity in about 2035, if countries pursue policies as planned.

NEBRASKA/MIDWEST NEWS 

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

BLACK HILLS ENERGY

Pueblo, Colorado, set to vote on exiting Black Hills Energy, forming a municipal utility, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. The city of 111,000 also has a goal of reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2035, and Pueblo officials think forming a municipal utility will create an easier path toward that goal.

About Black Hills Energy
Founded in 1883, Black Hills Energy serves 1.2 million customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The company’s utilities are subsidiaries of Black Hills Corporation.

GREEN BONDS & ESG-LINKED LOANS

Green bonds are growing bigger and broader, GreenBiz article by Meghna Mehta, Senior Associate, MSCI Research

Like green bonds, ESG-linked loans have been growing over the past few years. Several entities have issued green bonds and taken out ESG-linked loans, mostly in the energy and utility sectors, given the pressure that these industries face to move toward a lower-carbon world. The coronavirus pandemic and its economic impacts may be occupying a great deal of investor attention at the moment, but climate change and sustainability remain high on many investors’ — and companies’ — agendas. Green bonds and their offshoots potentially could offer new opportunities to help make the pandemic recovery greener as well.

COMMUNITY SOLAR

  • Denver Receives $1,000,000 For Community Solar Gardens, Press Release from the City and County of Denver. Denver has been awarded $1,000,000 to support the city’s Renewable Denver Initiative from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Renewable Energy Challenge grant program. The city’s initiative will equitably accelerate Denver towards its goal of 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 by hosting low-cost community solar gardens across municipal properties.
  • So, What Exactly Is Community Solar?, Greentech Media
    In the first of a new series of explanatory articles, GTM will help you understand what community solar is and how it works.
  • Community-Scale/Utility-Scale Solar, Nebraskans for Solar Resource

Report examines battery storage, renewable premiums

By Peter Maloney, American Pubic Power Association

Pairing wind and solar power with battery storage can result in cost savings and fetch premiums in wholesale power markets, but those premiums could potentially be higher for generation and storage facilities that are not co-located, according to a recent report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The paper, “Motivations and options for deploying hybrid generator-plus-battery projects within the bulk power system,” examined utility scale hybrid generator-plus-battery applications that use variable renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power sited in wholesale power markets. Read more here.

TRI-STATE

Western Slope utility serving Delta, Montrose settles on $136.5 million fee to break up with Tri-State, by Mark Jaffe, The Colorado Sun. The Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) has since 2016 been sparring over renewable energy with Tri-State, a wholesale power production company serving 43 member electric cooperatives in Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

ROOFTOP SOLAR

Why 30 Million Solar Rooftops Should Be In the Next Relief Bill, by John Farrell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance. As the federal government looks to a second (or even third) stimulus bill, Congress should consider a huge opportunity to pay Americans that pays back: solar rooftops. By investing $450 billion in rooftop solar, the federal government could slash energy bills for Americans, cut air pollution, and create over 3.7 million jobs. The government could also get paid back.  

COMMUNITY SOLAR

OFFSHORE WIND

Iberdrola Plans to Take Top Spot in US Offshore Wind (and Keep It), Greentech Media
Spanish utility group Iberdrola wants to be the biggest player in the U.S. offshore wind market, but it will need to go through early market front-runner [Denmark’s] Ørsted to get there.

Keystone XL developer pushes back construction date in Montana

By Jay Kohn, KTVQ

A TC Energy spokeswoman told MTN News Wednesday that construction on the pipeline crossing between the United States and Canada, did not get underway this morning as was previously anticipated. Spokeswoman Sara Rabern described the situation as “fluid”. On Tuesday, TC Energy announced the Keystone Pipeline project has new life – thanks to a $1 billion investment from the government of Alberta that will fund the project for the next year. The pipelines would transfer oil from the tar sands of Alberta to an existing line in Nebraska. The project has multiple ongoing challenges in federal court. Read more here.

Previously Posted News Stories & Resources: 

 TAR SANDS’ PRICE

U.S. Coal Bankruptcies Reveal The Future Of Alberta Tar Sands, Forbes
With oil demand softening, only the most efficient oil producers will survive. By some estimates, “the price of oil could permanently plummet to $25 a barrel by the mid-2020s. Only the cheapest oil in places like Saudi Arabia could be economically produced. Canada’s oil sands, where most projects need an oil price of $60 to $80 a barrel just to break even, would cease to make financial sense.” 

STRANDED ASSETS

  • “Stranded assets” are referenced in the above article. What are they?
    According to the Carbon Tracker InitiativeStranded assets are now generally accepted to be fossil fuel supply and generation resources which, at some time prior to the end of their economic life (as assumed at the investment decision point), are no longer able to earn an economic return (i.e. meet the company’s internal rate of return), as a result of changes associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • The growing concern over stranded assets, GreenBiz

FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES’ ENERGY TRANSITION

Thriving in a low carbon future: M&A and the new energy economy, Utility Dive
Contributed article by Mary Anne Sullivan, Sarah Shaw and Alex Harrison, Partners at Hogan Lovells. Traditional oil and gas companies and utilities want to ride the wave of new technologies that can preserve their market position, even as old markets are redefined. Many companies have a combination of these motives. One particular trend we are witnessing in this sector is traditional oil and gas and utilities companies moving into new areas, principally renewable energy, electric vehicles and storage.

NEBRASKA’S ENERGY TRANSITION / LOCAL LEADERSHIP

SECURITIZATION 

Securitization laws are easing the transition from coal and other fossil fuels in the following states:

Community solar will open new markets for greater energy production

Opinion written by former U.S. Secretary of Navy John Lehman, PennLive

In late 2004, the 9-11 Commission published its report on the devastating September 11 terrorist attacks. As a member of the 9-11 Commission, I joined my colleagues in urging that America must begin producing its own energy in much greater amounts so that it would not be hostage to the geopolitics of a region fraught with war, repression, and ethnic and religious grievances.

It would have been hypocritical of me while urging this course on my fellow Americans not to practice what I had preached, so I invested in solar energy on my farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Continue reading here.

Referenced in the article: HB 531 would allow the installation of solar projects by multiple residents, farmers or business owners on a single property.

 Additional Recommended Reading 

Wind plants can provide grid services similar to gas, hydro, easing renewables integration: CAISO, Utility Dive

Utility-scale wind plants have the potential to provide grid services that match those of a gas plant or hydroelectric facility, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has found. CAISO, along with Avangrid Renewables, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and General Electric, conducted tests at a wind farm near San Diego last year. The takeaway was that “a wind plant could perform as well — and in some cases even better —​ than a conventional unit,” Clyde Loutan, renewable energy advisor and team lead, told Utility Dive. The study, published Wednesday, could have global implications for grids that are transitioning to renewables, according to the system operator. It’s just a first step, but “we’re very excited about it,” said Anne Gonzales, CAISO senior public information officer.  

DOE Report Confirms Wind Energy Costs At All-Time Lows

Posted by Betsey Lillian, North American Windpower

Lower installed project costs, along with improvements in capacity factors, are enabling aggressive wind power pricing. After topping out at 7 cents per kWh in 2009, the average levelized long-term price from wind power sales agreements has dropped to below 2 cents per kWh. Recently signed wind energy contracts compare favorably to projections of the fuel costs of gas-fired generation. Solar prices have also declined precipitously, pressuring wind’s competitiveness in some regions. Read more here.

Download the report here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

CLIMATE NEWS

  • The climate solutions beneath our feet, by Melissa Ho, Senior Vice President, Freshwater and Food, World Wildlife Fund. Published by GreenBiz. By using a combination of climate-smart practices — rotational cattle grazing on native grasslands, planting cover crops to keep soil in place and enrich it with nutrients, innovative feed options that provide nutrition and increase the efficiency of an animal’s gut biome — a producer theoretically could achieve net negative emissions.
  • USDA reports 19 million prevented planting acres in nation, Nebraska TV
    American farmers were not able to plant crops on more than 19 million acres in 2019, including more nearly a half-million acres in Nebraska alone. This marks the most prevented plant acres reported since USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began releasing the report in 2007, and it’s also 17.5 million acres more than last year at this time.
  • CBS News Documentary: A Climate Reckoning in the Heartland. Posted by Regenerate Nebraska. 

Center Stage Podcast: Jon Foley is moving Project Drawdown from advice to action

By Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz

With the unprecedented environmental challenges that face us today, many are disillusioned about the future of the planet.  Jon Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, is here to inject a sense of optimism. At GreenBiz 19 in Phoenix, Foley described to GreenBiz Executive Editor Joel Makower how he sees the drawdown framework move into the next phase. Two years after the release of bestselling book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, Foley is focusing on how to implement the climate change solutions proposed in the book on a granular level. Read more here.

Find all CenterStage episodes here, and subscribe to it here on iTunes.

Project Drawdown is partnering with Penn State to hold the first international conference on Drawdown: Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown, September 16-18, 2019.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GLOBAL STUDY

A global 100% renewable energy system, Physics World
new report by LUT University in Finland and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) in Germany outlines a cross-sector, global 100% renewable energy system, backing up the version it released last year. The full modelling study simulates a total global energy transition in the electricity, heat, transport and desalination sectors by 2050.

SEIA Adds Storage, Manufacturing Divisions as Part of Planning for the Solar+ Decade

SEIA News Release

“These changes in our structure emphasize the massive overhaul the electricity system is undergoing,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “Adding board seats for storage companies and manufacturers and creating policy committees to advance solar plus storage and community solar will help us build toward the Solar+ Decade and achieve our ambitious goals.” Read more here.

On The Navajo Reservation, Turning From Coal To Renewables

By Laurel Morales, NET Nebraska

The Navajo and Hopi have fought hard to hold onto coal. Three generations have worked for the west’s largest coal-fired power plant, the Navajo Generating Station. The tribes have relied heavily on its revenue. So when the Phoenix-based Salt River Project announced it was shutting down the plant at the end of the year, the tribe scrambled to find a buyer or — as a last resort — purchase the plant themselves. It finally came down to a vote late last month at a Navajo Nation Council Special Session meeting. The delegates deliberated for eight hours.
Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Nebraska News

Corporate Purchasing News & Opinion

New Mexico Passes 100% Clean Energy Bill

By Noah Long, Natural Resources Defense Council

The bill will double renewable energy use in the state by 2025, require 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent carbon free electricity generation by 2045. This means New Mexico can quickly transition from dependence on fossil fuels for electricity to joining other states to lead a new clean energy economy. Read more here.

Related

  • New Mexico will be the third US state to go 100% renewable, PV Magazine
  • Power to the people — community solar works, Santa Fe New Mexican
    Written by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, and Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber
  • Southwest States Make Large Strides on Renewable Energy Targets, E&E News, Reprinted by Scientific American. New Mexico and Nevada are poised to enact far-reaching changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Nevada, NV Energy was once viewed as an enemy of residential solar development after backing state regulators’ attempt to end the practice of net metering. But the utility acquiesced to efforts to restore net metering and has sought to tout its renewable ambitions in recent months . . . Public Service Company of New Mexico, the state’s largest utility, had already pledged to divest itself of all its coal assets by 2031.

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Hoboken commits to 100% renewable energy by 2030, The Stute
In a statement released on February 21, 2019, Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced that the city of Hoboken, New Jersey will begin purchasing 100% clean, nonpolluting renewable electricity for all municipal facilities starting April of 2019. This includes offices and buildings used for the Hoboken local government, such as city hall.

FPL announces plans for the largest community solar program in the U.S.

Florida Power & Light Company News Release, PR Newswire
FPL is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy.

FPL SolarTogether will significantly expand solar energy in Florida. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490 MW of new universal solar at 20 new solar power plants across its service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program.  “This program will more than double the amount of community solar currently in the U.S.” – Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL. Read more here.

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

Toyota Driving Demand For Solar Power In Ohio Valley, WKU Public Radio
Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major investment in solar and other renewable energy in Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine property in Kentucky. Photo by Sydney Boles: Part of the 700-acre surface mine still remains to be reclaimed.

GREEN CAMPUSES

RV SOLAR

 

Consider These 7 Key Benefits Of Solar Power For RVing,
Blue and Green Tomorrow