Tag Archives: community solar

What Changed In The Solar & Energy Storage Industries In 2018?

By Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

I started covering the solar energy industry seriously in 2009. It seemed like a hopping, exciting time in the industry — growth was exploding. I remember one early story in which readers
admonished me a little because I put “Solar Power Exploding” in a headline, and they thought I was referring to genuine explosions. In 2019, 2009 and 2010 progress looks like anthills.

Scrolling back through our What Changed archives, below is a lengthy rundown of notable
changes within the solar energy and energy storage industries in 2018. I’m sure I missed some of them — drop a note in the comments if you have a favorite I skipped. I’m also sure this post is far too long for the casual reader — do your best. Additionally, stay tuned for record-breaking progress in 2019. Read more here.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan
spends most of his time on CleanTechnica as its
director and chief editor. He’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zachary is
recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert.

 

ALSO IN THE NEWS

FEATURED REPORT

Design and Implementation of Community Solar Programs for Low- and Moderate-Income Customers, by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Clean Energy States Alliance

The report 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. CESA hosted a
webinar with report authors Jenny Heeter and Lori Bird from NREL in August 2018 to discuss the report’s findings. Watch it here


UPCOMING DOCUMENTARY & WEBINAR

FRONTLINE Documentary: Coal’s Deadly Dust
January 22, 2019 at 9 pm on PBS

FRONTLINE and PBS investigate the rise of severe black lung disease among coal miners. This joint investigation reveals the biggest disease clusters ever documented, and how the industry and the government failed to protect miners. Watch the Trailer Here.

Recommended Reading: An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It

Drive Electric Earth Day: How To Participate  
January 22, 2019 at 1 pm

Drive Electric Earth Day is a national campaign to share information about electric vehicles during April 2019. The event is an opportunity to highlight clean energy by including electric vehicles in your community’s Earth Day celebration. Plug In America, Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association serve as the national team providing support to the events throughout the country.

If you’re thinking of organizing or helping at an event, you’re encouraged to attend this Drive Electric Earth Day Webinar.

Final hurdle cleared in California’s solar mandate for new homes

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

In the words of Kelly Knutsen, it’s officially official. Today the California Building Standards Commission unanimously voted to confirm a change to the state’s building code which will require that all newly built low-rise (three stories or less) residential units in the state either incorporate rooftop solar or hold a community solar contract, starting in 2020.

“These highly energy efficient and solar-powered homes will save families money on their energy bills from the moment they walk through their front door,” stated Knutsen, the director of technology advancement for the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA). Knutsen also notes that this will include a solar plus storage option. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Lincoln, Nebraska-based GRNE Solar, “The Sun Haven.”

 

News Release: California Solar Building Requirement Crosses Finish Line, Solar Energy Industries Association

 

Jared Polis wants Colorado 100 percent powered by renewable energy, but talk is easier than the walk

By Mark Jaffe, Special to the Colorado Sun

Denver wants to do it, as do Fort Collins, Pueblo and Breckenridge. Aspen has already done it, and Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis wants the whole state to do it by 2040: run on 100 percent renewable energy. There is even a push by incoming congressional Democrats, led by U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Casio-Cortez, of New York, to set a national 100 percent renewable energy goal as part of a “Green New Deal.” U.S. Rep.-elect Joe Neguse, who will take Polis’ seat in the House, has signed on to the plan.  Read more here.

Xcel Energy Photo: Wind turbines in Limon, Colorado.

MORE NEWS FROM COLORADO & OTHER STATES

COST OF SOLAR POWER


ENERGY CONSERVATION

Deck the halls with energy savings

Clean Energy Funds Target Growing Demand for Renewable Energy

By Amy Brown, Triple Pundit

According to the International Energy Agency’s latest market forecast, renewables will continue their expansion in the next five years, covering 40 percent of global energy consumption growth. Their use continues to increase most rapidly in the electricity sector, and will account for almost a third of total world electricity generation in 2023.

As such, large utilities like NextEra Energy and MidAmerican Energy are making huge investments in renewables. James L. Robo, CEO of NextEra Energy, one of the country’s largest power generators, predicted that solar and wind power will be cheaper than coal or nuclear generation by the beginning of the next decade. MidAmerican Energy, the majority of which is owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has set its sights on getting 100 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2020.  Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS & RESOURCES

Photo by Rob Davis

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

EXAMPLES OF PROJECTS FUNDED BY DOE’S RECENT $53 MILLION SOLAR INVESTMENTSClick image to link to the American Solar Workforce Website.

FEATURED VIDEO

U. S. Air Force Tech Report: Solar Power

Solar energy is playing a larger role in how the Air Force is modernizing bases, making them more resilient and less dependent on fossil fuels. Using the sun is also a cost-effective way to update aging power grids.

Potential Model for Nebraska: Onsite in North Providence, Rhode Island’s solar powered landfill – with PHOTOS

By John Weaver, PV Magazine USA

The most important picture, below, of the entire site is the landfill gas vent – rerouted because this solar power plant is built atop the collected refuse of humanity. Much ado was made of the “barren land” made use of by the solar project – especially noted, by every single politician, how the town was now making money from a site that was costing North Providence money. The win-win-win cliche was definitely in the air.

Read the entire article and view more photos here.

Nebraska Brownfields: FAQs

ALSO PUBLISHED BY PV MAGAZINE

CORPORATE PURCHASING 

Corporate Renewable Energy Deals Smash Records in 2018, Greentech Media
According to the latest figures from Business Renewables Center, a membership program at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), corporate buyers in the U.S. have purchased a total of 4.81 gigawatts of renewable energy so far this year — and the figure is expected to top 5 gigawatts by December. The total number of commercial and industrial renewable energy deals will be even higher, as RMI’s numbers refer only to contracts for large, off-site renewable energy projects.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Flickr Photo: River City Parking Ramp in St. Paul, Minnesota

COMMUNITY SOLAR NEWS

NEW STUDY


Deloitte sees renewable energy in the fast lane, PV Magazine International
Solar PV and wind energy are now evolving from established to the preferred energy sources, according to a recent Deloitte study analyzing the global renewable energy market. In addition to the price-parity factor, Deloitte experts claim increasing improvements in storage technologies will make the integration of renewables easier.

COFFEE POWER 

Dunkin’ Donuts tiny house runs on coffee power, CBS News
More than mere mortals run on Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Case in point is a transportable tiny home that’s powered by a biofuel blend using 80 percent coffee oil extracted from spent Dunkin’ coffee grounds.

Kansas City utility packages clean energy with federal tax savings

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Kansas City Power & Light’s plan to return federal tax savings to customers also includes measures to encourage renewable energy purchases, community solar and reduce energy usage. The package includes a green tariff, demand response aggregation and new rate designs available to about 800,000 electricity customers in the Kansas City area. Missouri utility regulators are expected to approve the plan soon. The measures also provide policy certainty for the City of Kansas City to move ahead with some of the ambitious clean energy goals it articulated just over a year ago. Continue reading here.

Photo: Caleb Zahnd

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES & PUERTO RICO

We Want Sun: A 100% Renewable Puerto Rico?

AGGREGATION NEWS

 

Hawaiian Electric selects 7 solar-plus-storage projects for a combined 260 MW of renewable energy, Pacific Business News

 


ZERO-ENERGY HOMES

Zero energy homes makes cents – as Vivint builds in Rhode Island,
PV Magazine
RMI has released an economic analysis of Zero Energy homes, suggesting their economics meet industry standards and stay within homeowner appetites for larger investments, while Vivint Energy has built such a home in Rhode Island

 

The Sun Haven: Solar-Powered, Net-Zero Energy Home in Lincoln
Lincoln-based GRNE Solar teamed up with Wilderness Construction to build this net-zero energy home, with solar on the roof and outlets for electric vehicles in the garage. The home, called the Sun Haven, is located at 6077 Chartwell Lane in Lincoln. Through the use of solar power this home will produce as much energy as it consumes. YouTube Video: Drone View of The Sun Haven

FREE SEPA REPORT – CLICK IMAGE TO ACCESS IT

  • Over 1 GWh of Energy storage deployment by utility type and market segment
  • Overviews of 10 projects showcasing diverse energy storage applications
  • Easy to grasp summary of every state-level storage mandate and incentive

FYI FOR SOLAR SYSTEM OWNERS

 

Is It Necessary to Clean Solar Panels?
Mr. Green shines a light on the answer, Sierra Magazine

Could solar be a better deal than demand response for Iowa customers?

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

An Iowa clean energy advocate is trying to convince the state’s largest electric utility to rethink the way it manages peak demand. Kerri Johannsen, energy program director for the Iowa Environmental Council, thinks MidAmerican Energy could deliver better value for ratepayers by investing in solar instead of its expensive demand response programs . . . Johannsen calculated the cost to MidAmerican’s ratepayers at about $60,347 per megawatt hour. About $48,000 of that was for capacity, or the guarantee of access to power when needed. Continue reading here,

iStock Photo

MORE IOWA NEWS

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?, U.S. Department of Energy

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NEBRASKA’S SOLAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

SEIA: Nebraska Solar – Data Current Through Q2 2018
Solar Installers: Complete this survey to add your business to SEIA’s database. If you have questions or concerns about SEIA’s Nebraska stats or would like to request that additional solar projects or other information be added to our state’s data, contact SEIA research staff at data@seia.org or 202-469-3735.
SEE ALSO: Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Energy Office. Updated September 28, 2018

100% RENEWABLES NEWS

RE100: Why a successful energy strategy calls for a board-level commitment, PV Magazine Contributor, Anesco
One key topic to grab the headlines during Climate Week NYC was the news that RE100 companies – a group of organizations who have all made a public commitment to go ‘100% renewable’ – are outperforming their peers.


NEW REPORT

Renewables 2018: Market analysis and forecast from 2018 to 2023, International Energy Agency
Solar PV capacity is forecast to expand by almost 600 GW – more than all other renewable power technologies combined, or as much as twice Japan’s total capacity, reaching 1 terawatt (TW) by the end of the forecast period. Despite recent policy changes, China remains the absolute solar PV leader by far, holding almost 40% of global installed PV capacity in 2023. The United States remains the second-largest growth market for solar PV, followed by India, whose capacity quadruples.

AWEA FACT CHECK

No, wind turbines do not cause global warming,
Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Two researchers, David Keith and Lee Miller, released a new paper [Thursday] and their findings are problematic for several reasons. Furthermore, certain media outlets are misreporting what the paper actually says. 

Inspiring community service story: Lee’s Summit animal shelter goes green with help from teen

By Anne Marie Hunger, Kansas City Star

The community dedicated to the animals at Lee’s Summit Animal Control extends beyond the staff and volunteers who meet their needs. Advocates and activists focused on the long-term future of the shelter help ensure it can continue to care for more than 4,000 animals a year. 18-year-old Zach Burton is one of those activists.

In 2016, Burton approached city officials with a plan to promote green energy in Lee’s Summit through a solar power project. Burton has worked with the city, architects and energy professionals over the past two years to bring his project to fruition at Lee’s Summit Animal Control. Read more here.

Photo: The 96 solar panels at the shelter will reduce energy expenses by over $135,000 over the course of 25 years.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED WEEKEND READING

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

EXCELLENT ARTICLE BY KAREN UHLENHUTH
Nebraska tribe becomes a solar power leader on the Plains, Energy News Network

FEATURED NATIONAL NEWS

CORPORATE NEWS
Global Tech Giant Fujitsu Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity And Invests In Clean Energy Technologies, The Climate Group. IT giant Fujitsu has joined RE100 with a commitment to source 100% renewable electricity by 2050, with an interim target of 40% by 2030. Alongside investments in renewable energy technology, Fujitsu is also investing in its people. The company has been actively conducting seminars and events with an environmental focus for employees around the world. By educating staff on clean energy, Fujitsu aims to raise global awareness of renewable power.

RENEWABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM
DOE rolls out $2B loan guarantee program for renewable energy on tribal lands, Utility Dive
Under the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program, the DOE can guarantee up to 90% of the unpaid principal and interest of a loan made to a federally recognized Indian tribe for energy development.

INTERCONNECTION NEWS

RESEARCH

NET-ZERO ENERGY / COMMUNITY SOLAR NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

  • Tesla Powerwalls and PowerPacks save Vermont $500,000 during heatwaves, PV Magazine
    Green Mountain Power suggests 500 distributed Tesla Powerwalls plus two larger energy storage facilities have saved its customers $500,000 this summer during peak demand hours.
  • CPS Energy sees storage as key element of energy transition, American Public Power Association. San Antonio, Texas-based public power utility CPS Energy is pursuing a so-called “Flexible Path” approach to energy, one that incorporates new energy storage technology to guide its ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewables. “We want to look into new technology, innovation,” says CPS spokesman John Moreno. “We want to reduce our dependence on coal.”

SMART INVERTERS

Smart residential solar inverters prepping to run the grid

Report: Renewables push could mean billions for Michigan economy

By Andy Balaskovitz, Energy News Network

Michigan could see billions in economic impact and tens of thousands of new jobs if its major utilities follow through on voluntary pledges to boost renewable energy, according to a new report released Thursday by a conservative energy group.

The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum report highlights the potential economic impact as utilities comply with a 15 percent renewable energy standard by 2021. It also projects the impact if Consumers Energy and DTE Energy reach 30 percent renewable by 2027, which is generally in line with the stated goals of the companies. Read more here.

Photo: Solar panels on a hillside. Creative Commons License, Pixabay

CESA’S 2018 STATE LEADERSHIP AWARDS
State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards: Advancing Clean Energy Progress: Past, Present, and Future

ADDITIONAL NATIONAL NEWS

LG to make high-efficiency solar panels in Alabama

GLOBAL NEWS

California to become first U.S. state mandating solar on new homes

By Jeff Collins, Orange County Register

The California Energy Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday, May 9, on new energy standards mandating most new homes have solar panels starting in 2020. If approved as expected, solar installations on new homes will skyrocket. Read the entire article here.

ALSO IN THE NEWS