Tag Archives: Energy Storage News

The latest trends in renewable-energy tech, markets, and policy

By Energy Dialogues, Environmental Defense Fund

Renewable energy, and its role in energy future, is an intense topic that spans across all corners of the energy spectrum. For example, our recent Mexican Energy Series featured a lively discussion of whether Mexico is on course for the 2024 target of 35% renewable energy, and what this pledge means for the country. Each year, as new corporations, municipalities, and countries make bold and vocal commitments to offsetting energy consumption, and to pursuing clean energy resources at a higher level, the conversation intensifies.

For an insider perspective about the current state of renewable energy, we called upon Lenae Shirley, Senior Director, Technology Innovation and Market Adoption for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Lenae is working at the nexus of technology, markets and policy, leading efforts with EDF’s demonstration partners to prove the impact of clean technology innovations. As a result of these initiatives, Lenae identifies trends and market opportunities to accelerate the transformation of the electricity sector, with data-driven decisions that push forward market adoption for renewable methods. Here is our conversation. Click here to continue.

Photo: Kearney, Nebraska Solar Farm

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NEWS & OPINION FROM OTHER STATES & PUERTO RICO

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

HIGH-SCHOOL RENEWABLE ENERGY TRAINING PROGRAM

OMCO Solar Announces Commitment to Future of Northeast Renewable Energy, Solar Energy Industries Association
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Educator/Trainer Program

GREEN JOBS LISTINGS: SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS

Jobs

New project expands solar offerings for Minn. Residents

Associated Press, Post Bulletin

CleanChoice won a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to develop an easy online experience for joining community solar projects, said Kate Colarulli, a vice-president for the company. The new Minnesota solar network is one of the first projects to use this technology, she said, which has been in the works for more than a year. “We’re really proud that this is like a 10-minute signup experience as opposed to something that would require multiple sit-down meetings, loans, etc.,” Colarulli said. There’s no initial investment required to sign up, either.
Read more here.

Photo Credit: Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

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WIND ENERGY NEWS

CORPORATE NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

BIOFUELS NEWS

The scientist still fighting for the clean fuel the world forgot, MIT Technology Review
Jay Keasling grew up in a small Nebraska town, on a corn farm that’s been in his family for five generations.

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.

Sustainability is the future of management

By Steven Cohen, Executive Director of the Columbia University
Earth Institute. Posted by GreenBiz

Today, organizations throughout the globe are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint, minimize climate and environmental risk, enhance resiliency and incorporate sustainability into their operations. The problem is they do not know how to do it. Companies, governments and nonprofits are recognizing they need to take these actions, but their expertise lies in their own core functions, not in developing sustainability plans and assessing operational risk within this context. To have meaningful change on sustainability, corporations, nonprofits and governments must bring it into the regular fabric of organizational life. In the long run, we should not need a “sustainability office;” every office should become a sustainability office. Read more here.

The Earth Institute – Columbia University

ALSO IN THE NEWS

New Reports

Report Examines ‘Rural Perspectives’ On Iowa Renewable Energy, North American Windpower The Center for Rural Affairs has released “Powering Iowa: Rural Perspectives on Iowa’s Renewable Energy Transformation.”

Study: Coal job losses to keep hurting Appalachia, beyond, Knoxville News
The five-part study, “An Economic Analysis of the Appalachian Coal Industry Ecosystem,” notes that coal production in Appalachia fell nearly 45 percent between 2005 and 2015, more than double the rate of the national decline during the same period . . . “in keeping with our commitment to generate safer, cleaner energy, we’re beginning to retire older, less efficient coal-fired plants and replacing them with low- or zero-emission electricity sources” –  Statement on the website of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the largest coal user in Knoxville, quoted in the article.

Wind And Solar News

Energy Storage News

How to get suppliers to act on climate

By Cassandra Sweet, GreenBiz

More than 1,000 of the world’s largest companies report their greenhouse gas emissions and have emissions-reduction targets for their own operations. Now, they want the thousands of companies that supply them with goods and services to reduce their own emissions. To jumpstart the process, 99 large companies ask the CDP to survey more than 9,000 of their suppliers to determine how many have climate goals and where they are in the process.
Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

INVESTMENT NEWS
New York’s Giant Pension Fund Doubles Climate-Smart Investments, Inside Climate News
The $2 billion boost was announced at the Investors Summit on Climate Risk, where top fund managers discussed finance for a low-carbon, clean energy future.

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE’S LATEST ISSUE
Renewable Energy World Magazine, January/February Issue

Enel starts operating two new US wind farms in Oklahoma

By Editors of Electric Light & Power/ POWERGRID International

Enel Green Power North America started operations of the Thunder Ranch wind farm, which has a capacity of around 298 MW, and of the Red Dirt wind facility, which has a capacity of around 300 MW, both located in Oklahoma . . . The investment in the construction of Thunder Ranch totaled around $435 million, while the investment in the construction of Red Dirt was about $420 million. Click here to read more.

ENEL’S SPRING PROJECT IN NEBRASKA
Enel plans to start construction of Nebraska’s second-largest wind farm, Rattlesnake Creek, this spring. According to company officials, when completed, the 320-megawatt project “will distribute $80 million in property tax and landowners payments over the first 20 years of its existence.” Source:  Facebook wind farm to cost $430M, Sioux City Journal

NEWS & OPINION FROM OTHER STATES AND THE U.S. COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO

HYDROPOWER NEWS
Missouri  River power generation up in ’17, The Brookings Register
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages dams and reservoirs along the 2,341-mile river, said energy production from the dams in the Dakotas, Montana and Nebraska totaled 9.6 billion kilowatts of electricity last year, up from 7.6 billion kilowatts. A billion kilowatt-hours of power is enough to supply about 86,000 homes for a year, said Mike Swenson, a corps engineer in Omaha, Nebraska.

RECOMMENDED WEBINAR
Upcoming Webinar Addresses Financial Upsides To Using Solar Panels, Ag Web

Utilities Closed Dozens Of Coal Plants In 2017. Here Are The 6 Most Important

By Silvio Marcacci, Forbes

U.S. electricity generation economics have completely reversed. Building new coal is more expensive than building new renewable energy across the U.S. , and in many parts of the country, keeping existing coal plants open is more expensive than building new wind turbines (and solar, in some places). From 2007 to 2016, 531 coal units representing 55.6 GW of capacity were retired across the U.S., at an increasingly rapid pace. Read more.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Corporates #RocktheGrid by Driving Up Renewable Energy Demand

By Jennifer Runyon, Renewable Energy WorldClick image to link to RMI’s Business Renewables Center.

Power-Gen International Conference Presentation:  In #RocktheGrid – New Market Demand for Renewables, Lily Donge of the Rocky Mountain Institute and head of the Business Renewables Center (BRC), an organization that helps corporations understand how to buy renewable energy, said that this year 16 corporations have signed deals to purchase renewable energy and of those 16, 13 are new, indicating the growing interest. When the BRC was launched in 2015, Donge said they hoped to attract about 50 organizations. Today the BRC has 213 member companies and 47 have signed PPAs for renewable power. Those 47 are driving the growth of more than 8 GW of power. Businesses need the BRC because in general purchasing power is not their core business. (See chart for the list) so the organization arms them with enough information to understand how the power market works and then helps them negotiate a deal. Read more here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Three reasons why renewable energy leaders are optimistic

By Sneha Ayyagari, NRDC

Deep in the heart of Austin, Texas, at the Green Tech Media’s U.S. Power and Renewables Summit, the room was buzzing with optimism and enthusiasm as utility company executives, renewable energy developers, regulators, and financiers shared their research and experiences from different angles of the rapidly evolving renewable energy industry. Here are 3 key takeaways from the conference.

Extensive investment in renewable energy is already underway, and the future is bright with massive advancements and investment into clean energy technology and policy innovation.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

We’re entering PV3.0 and high-efficiency monocrystalline panel dominance

By Wenxue Li, president of LONGI Solar, Solar Power World

PV3.0 will be marked by a return to the high-yielding and reliable monocrystalline cell technology. Due to the higher efficiency associated with monocrystalline modules, developers can also pack the same amount of generating power into a smaller footprint. This translates into cost savings during project development, as high-quality modules allow for less labor, fewer materials and much less overall maintenance. There is also less degradation associated with monocrystalline technology, ensuring the longevity of projects and savings from delaying system replacements. Read more here.

About the author: Since assuming leadership of LONGi Solar, Mr. Wenxue has overseen the company’s rapid growth and expansion, and made great contributions to upgrading corporate management and improving production efficiency and worker productivity. In the past year, LONGI has become one of the fastest growing PV manufacturers in the world, in addition to being named a tier one manufacturer by Bloomberg and appearing as the only new energy company on Goldman Sach’s ‘Nifty 50’ list of Chinese companies.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Father-son team plans Antarctic trek powered by renewable energy