Tag Archives: Department of Energy

Opening markets to solar & wind could save billions in the Midwest

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

When we think of hot solar markets, the area covered by PJM Interconnection does not usually come to mind. The 14 states in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest do not have the sunlight that California and the Southwest have. Additionally – New Jersey aside – they do not have the high electricity prices and supportive policy environment for solar seen in states like New York and Massachusetts.

The same could be said of the Midcontinent System Operator (MISO), the grid that covers the heart of the Midwest and stretches in a narrow band south to Louisiana. While MISO has some wind resources, none of the states that it covers have been leading solar markets. All of this is changing. As of the end of July, PV Magazine counted 47 GW of active solar projects in PJM’s interconnection queue, and 57 GW in MISO’s queue.
Read more here.

FERC: Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO) / Independent System Operators (ISO)

Wind Solar Alliance Website

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

LEGISLATION

Duckworth, Booker File Bill to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy for Poor Families, WTTW U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is the lead sponsor behind a new bill that aims to make solar energy more affordable for low-income Americans. Duckworth and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., recently introduced the Low-Income Solar Energy Act, which would expand an existing energy assistance program while also creating new energy financing programs for the poor.

NEW CESA INITIATIVE

Clean Energy States Alliance Launches Major Initiative to Advance Solar in Under-Resourced Communities

Department of Energy Funds CESA’s Efforts to Scale Up Solar for Low-and Moderate-Income Households, News Release. Montpelier, VT – The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) will lead a wide-ranging initiative to accelerate the development of solar projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households and communities. The “Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project” is being supported by a three-year funding award of $1.1 million from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The project team will focus on three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes, and multifamily affordable housing.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES / CIRCULAR ECONOMY 

Department of Energy Announces Winners of Solar Prize and Two New Innovative Solar Initiatives

Department of Energy News Release           

WASHINGTON, D.C. – [Tuesday], at Solar Power International, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Daniel R Simmons, announced the winners of the first round of the American-Made Solar Prize, a $3 million competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. As part of the prize, the winners each received $500,000 in cash for use at DOE National Laboratories. 

“The American-Made Solar Prize brings together private sector entrepreneurship with expertise at DOE’s national labs to foster next-level innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing,” said Assistant Secretary Simmons. “These transformative technologies will address critical needs in the U.S. solar industry, and develop impactful solutions for industry to utilize and overcome these challenges.”

More information on the Solar Prize winners can be found here. For more information on DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, click HERE.

Read the entire news release here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED SOLAR EXAMPLE

The SmartFlower is an all-in-one solar system. The petals open at morning and follow the sun on its path across the sky. They close up at night or if Nebraska winds get too gusty, reopening when the wind dies down. The system is 40% more efficient in energy production than traditional solar. The SmartFlower generates 5.5 Mwh of energy per year. The SmartFlower in the above photo is located at Timberlake Ranch Campus, a Christian family camp at 2709 North S Road, Marquette, Nebraska.  A second SmartFlower was installed at the Nebraska Christian School, 1847 Inskip Avenue in Central City, Nebraska.
SmartFlower Distributor & Installer: Interconnection Systems, Inc. based in Central City
Employment: To apply for a job with Interconnection Systems, Inc., send a cover letter with your C.V. to: info@isi.consulting

HYDROGEN

  • The slow, inexorable rise of green hydrogen, PV Magazine
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) believes the production of hydrogen from renewables has the potential to deliver 19 exajoules of energy in 2050. Some 16 TW of solar and wind power generation capacity – 120 exajoules – may be needed to generate green hydrogen or related products from electrolysis by that point. Today the world hosts around 7 TW of total power generation capacity, around 1 TW of which comes from solar and wind, according to IRENA’s Hydrogen: A renewable energy perspective report. An International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen stated fossil-fueled production of the fuel is responsible for “annual CO2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”.
  • Electrolysis breakthrough could solve the hydrogen conundrumby Alexandr Simonov, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Published by Phys.Org.
    Australia, with its abundant sun and wind, has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives.

Rocky Mountain Institute officials agree Carbon County, Wyoming is breeding grounds for transition into renewable energy sources

By Ray K. Erku, Wyoming Business Report

RAWLINS – In many respects, Carbon County is at the forefront of a modern-day gold rush. Instead of mining for precious metal, however, fortune seekers look to harvest one of the Cowboy State’s most natural of resources: Wind . . . For the Anschutz Corporation, parent company of Power Company of Wyoming, the slated 1,000-turbine Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farms will eclipse $5 billion in projected costs. Once completed, it’ll be considered the largest onshore wind generation facility in North America . . . PacifiCorp and Rocky Mountain Power, subsidiaries of multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, which is headed by Buffett, are beginning to stomp their footprints in the county by partnering with Invenergy Co. to spearhead production of not just the Ekola and TB Flats projects, but the Gateway West Transmission Line. Read more here.

Photo by Power Company of Wyoming: According to Business Insider, a 2017 analysis revealed that it took $102 to generate one megawatt-hour from coal, compared to wind, which took $45. 


Managing the Coal Capital Transition, Rocky Mountain Institute

 

 

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

COSTS OF SOLAR PANELS CONTINUING TO DROP

Module prices have fallen by up to 25% so far this year, by Emiliano Bellini, PV Magazine
According to a Q3 report by EnergyTrend, monocrystalline module prices have fallen almost 20% this year, while those for polycrystalline modules have dropped by more than 25%. Increased consolidation among manufacturers and developers is expected to occur in China, and the global solar market, with more merger deals, plans for capacity reductions, and even factory closures.

PV MAGAZINE: SEIA GUIDE UPDATE 

Best practices for building residential solar power and market confidence

Free SEPA Research – Value Stacking in Minster: A rural village leverages solar, storage and 4 revenue streams

Grid-edge innovation of another order
With one award-winning solar-plus-storage project under its belt, the Village of Minster,
Ohio — population, just under 3,000 — thought adding a community solar project to its portfolio would be the logical next step. That is, it seemed logical until Dannon, the town’s largest energy user and employer, decided to add a 280,000-square-foot distribution center to its already massive yogurt-making plant, and wanted to power it with clean, solar energy.

Minster tackled the challenge by switching the community solar project to commercial. The town is also planning a third project, with additional storage to create a microgrid and sell power into the regional wholesale electricity market.

Small town, big vision
In 2016, Minster became the first small public utility to pair solar, and storage demand, serving  as a model for the kind of public-private partnerships that are needed to advance the combination of these technologies. The town’s story underlines why, sometimes, designing a successful community solar program means knowing when to put a project on hold, while staying focused on customers’ needs, shifting market conditions and the bottom line.
Download the Research Report here. 

Find out more:  Watch SEPA’s video on Minster’s successful strategies for expanding its solar and storage projects here.

SEPA’s On-Demand Webinars


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

BROWNFIELDS NEWS

The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2018: What’s changing for the Brownfields Program?, Lexology

The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2018, which was part of the omnibus spending bill, does not significantly overhaul the old Brownfields program, rather it “builds” on it by:

  1. Significantly increasing the program’s funding and ability to participate in the Brownfields programs;
  2. Incentivizes the redevelopment of contaminated properties adjacent to water or those which will promote renewable energy; and
  3. Expands the exceptions from liability under CERCLA.

SolSmart: An Opportunity For All Nebraska Communities

Since the SolSmart program launched in April 2016, 78 communities have achieved SolSmart Gold, Silver or Bronze designations, recognized nationally for making it faster, easier and cheaper to go solar.

Lincoln, Nebraska has achieved the SolSmart “bronze” designation. Recently, Mayor Beutler released the Lincoln Environmental Action Plan 2017-2018. Among the plan’s many goals:

By December 2017 obtain a “gold” designation in the Department of Energy’s
SolSmart program, which measures whether City policy and processes are
solar friendly for residents and businesses that seek to start solar projects.

All cities and counties are eligible to join SolSmart and receive no-cost technical assistance from The Solar Foundation and its partners.

To learn more, visit: http://www.gosparc.org

The Home of the Future . . . Today: The Zero Energy Ready Home – YouTube Video


In 2016, the Zero Energy Ready Home team launched a new consumer video, “The Home of the Future…Today.”  Now live on the Tour of Zero home page and also available on YouTube, the short video helps consumers learn why leading experts would choose a Zero Energy Ready Home for themselves based on seven essential systems.

The Tour of Zero, the virtual showcase for the best of Zero Energy Ready Homes, features over 120 home profiles from builders across the country.   Visitors are able to tour certified homes in every major U.S. climate zone and can view images of the home’s exterior, interior and technical solutions (in that order).

Tour a Turbine

Click image to view the YouTube video created by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) and experience what it’s like climbing to the top of a wind turbine.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
Free January 10th Department of Energy Wind Transmission Webinar