Tag Archives: Facebook

Clean energy should prioritize creating equitable partnerships

Utility Dive article contributed by Lavannya Pulluveetil Barrera,
access and equity program manager at Vote Solar.


Partnerships with frontline communities, communities of color, and low wealth communities are essential to creating a just energy system. It should come as no surprise that those closest to the problem hold the most transformative solutions, yet often the leaders representing those communities are absent from coalition tables pushing clean energy policy, are not heard on main-stage panels at conferences, are not contacted when building projects where people stand to benefit the most from the clean energy transition. Read more here.


PUERTO RICO

White House authorizes $9.6B to rebuild Puerto Rico’s grid, but how can it be spent?, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

The Trump Administration on Friday announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized $9.6 billion to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power infrastructure — three years after the island’s electric grid was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Questions remain, however, about how the federal disaster recovery funding can be spent, including whether the money can go towards new distributed generation or must be spent repairing existing infrastructure.

FIRST-EVER SOLAR MORTGAGE REIT

How Solar Investors Can Help Pave The Way For A Green Economic Recovery, Forbes
The writer, a Forbes Councils Member is Co-Founder and CEO of RadiantREIT, targeting institutional investors to build the first-ever solar mortgage real estate investment trust.

SOLAR RACKING & TRACKING INNOVATION

US solar racking industry now innovating, consolidating, PV Magazine
With installers and developers trying to squeeze every kilowatt-hour out of every rooftop and every array, racking and trackers are the unsung heroes that secure and tilt panels, while maximizing output and protecting wiring and other gear.

AMERICAN WIND POWER FACTS

Six Facts to Know About American Wind Power During National Clean Energy Week, Climate Week NYC, REVE

U.S. wind power plays an important role in diversifying America’s energy portfolio, and provides affordable, reliable electricity for millions of Americans.  As we kick off both NCEW and Climate Week NYC and their discussion of common-sense solutions to support economic recovery, here are six things you need to know about wind energy:

WALMART

FACEBOOK’S NEW CLIMATE STRATEGY

Facebook aims to fight climate misinformation and reach net zero emissions by 2030, BusinessGreen article republished by GreenBiz

Following years of criticism for its part in the spread of climate misinformation, Facebook has announced plans for a new virtual Climate Science Information Center that will connect its users to up-to-date science-based climate information. The Climate Science Information Center initially will launch in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France and bring together factual resources from the world’s leading climate organizations. The firm announced the launch of the dedicated climate space on its site last week as it announced a new plan to reach net zero emissions from its supply chain, including suppliers, employee commuting and business travel, by 2030. 

TESLA BATTERY DAY

Tesla slashes the price of the Powerpack by 27% on Battery Day

AWEA’s American Wind Week 2020: Businesses power up with wind

Do you know how much of your day is powered by wind? The answer is probably more than you think! To close out #AmericanWindWeek2020, we’re celebrating our corporate buyers of wind power. Fortune 500 Companies are building a new way to do business by powering their factories, data centers and stores with wind. Not only does this practice help their bottom line, it’s good stewardship as well. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading – American Wind Energy Association Post
#AmericanWindWeek 2020: Wind powers community investment

In Nebraska: Facebook & Other Corporations Are Purchasing Renewable Energy

Shown in the above photo by Enel Green Power: Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm, which became operational at the end of 2018, is Nebraska’s second-largest wind farm. Facebook’s Data Center in Papillion purchases power virtually from the wind farm.

“We’ve made a commitment to powering our data centers with renewable energy. This benefits us, Nebraska and to the environment in general. Our partnership with Enel Green Power supports this, bringing 320 MW of wind energy onto the State’s grid and boosting new investments and jobs in eastern Nebraska.” – Bobby Hollis, Director of Global Energy for Facebook

Additional Recommended Viewing & Reading 

  • You Tube Video

Nebraska Currently In The News Here

  • Masdar Buys Into 1.6GW EDF Renewables Pipeline in One of the Year’s Biggest Deals, Greentech Media. Last year, state-owned Masdar, part of the United Arab Emirates’ Mubadala Investment Corp., made its first foray into the U.S. renewables market, buying stakes in two smaller wind farms from the U.K.-based John Laing Group. Mubadala is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. The latest eight-project deal with EDF is a big step up. Masdar will buy half-stakes in three wind farms in Nebraska and Texas totaling 815 megawatts, as well as five solar projects in California — two with batteries — totaling 689 megawatts of PV and 75 megawatts of storage.
  • 64 mayors sign letter urging Congress to extend solar tax credits, Solar Power World
    A bipartisan coalition of 64 mayors, representing 25 states across the country, joined with Environment America today to call on Congress to take action on clean energy. Specifically, the mayors have sent a letter to Congress urging members to extend solar and wind energy tax credits; expand incentives for electric vehicles and energy efficiency; and create new tax credits for energy storage projects. [
    Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning is among the signatories].
  • Public Hearing Set by Gage County Board, on Proposed Wind Energy Amendment, News Channel Nebraska. The Gage County Board will conduct a hearing on August 26th at 4:30 p.m. at the BHS Hevelone Center on the proposed amendment. NextEra Energy Resources is studying construction of a wind farm in northern Gage County but has not filed a permit application with the county’s planning commission.
  • Flood study grants, NCORPE debt payments in LRNRD budget, Kearney Hub
    In their written staff report to the board, [LRNRD Assistant General Manager Scott Dicke] and General Manager Todd Siel said the NCORPE board voted July 14 to approve a lease agreement with Chicago-based Invenergy for a study [of] solar and wind resources on NCORPE property in southern Lincoln County. Siel has said a renewable energy project could generate millions of energy-related tax dollars during a 25-year period for Lincoln County. 

Behind Microsoft’s bold plan to build social equity into clean energy buying

By Heather Clancy, Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group

There were plenty of juicy news tidbits in Microsoft’s recent progress report about its goal to become carbon negative over the next decade. But its new goal to link at least 500 megawatts of forthcoming solar energy contracts to environmental justice considerations is bold for many reasons

“We spend a lot of time talking about the energy transition needed if our society is going to transition to a net-zero economy by 2050,” Microsoft’s environment chief, Lucas Joppa, told me. “Microsoft’s position is that the transition has to be an inclusive and just one.” The arrangement, with project financer, investor and developer Sol Systems, will prioritize opportunities and investments in communities “disproportionately affected by environmental challenges.” What does that mean more specifically?  Read more here.

Photo by SolSystems: SolSystem’s 196-kilowatt solar installation at Christ Church apartments, a low-to-moderate income senior living facility located on the Baltimore Harbor. 

Additional Recommended Reading: Sol Systems Announces Groundbreaking Solar Power Community Investment Agreement with Microsoft, News Release by The Sol Systems Team

SOLAR-POWERED FARMS

Farmers Increasingly Look To Solar To Power Their Operations, by Jonathan Ahl, High Plains Public Radio. The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has $250 million available for renewable energy. They fund small projects where a farmer has to pay at least 75% of the total cost.  

Nebraska USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator
Jeff Carpenter, 100 Centennial Mall North, Suite 308, Lincoln, NE 68508
Telephone: (402) 437-5554 / Email: jeff.carpenter@usda.gov  / Website 

RE100

First Solar Commits to Powering 100% of Global Operations with Renewable Energy by 2028, Globe Newswire. America’s largest solar company joins RE100, pledges to power U.S. operations with renewable energy by 2026. With over 1GW of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed, First Solar is an industry leader in corporate solar. Its track record includes projects to support the decarbonization efforts of RE100 members such as AppleFacebookKellogg’s, and Microsoft.

RENEWABLE DENVER INITIATIVE

Denver looks to install 15 MW of community solar gardens, Solar Power World
The project is part of the Renewable Denver Initiative, which is supported by a $1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. As part of the initiative, the project will help the city move closer to reaching the goals set in its 100% Renewable Electricity Action Plan, while expanding the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy to more members of the community.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Is renewable hydrogen set to revolutionize the grid?, E&E News
Hydrogen has long been made in the United States at scale by steam-reforming natural gas or coal. Bringing low-carbon hydrogen to cost parity with those types by 2023, as Morgan Stanley projects, would exceed the overall hydrogen industry’s estimates by several years. The bank’s optimism reflects the mood of other energy analysts, who point to the outlays in European stimulus packages and a growing number of proposed projects worldwide in saying that the timeline for cheap green hydrogen could be closer than many assume.

Additional Recommended Reading: DOE News Release: Energy Department Announces Approximately $64M in Funding for 18 Projects to Advance H2@Scale. The grants include an award of $2,599,945 to Hexagon R & D LLC in Lincoln, Nebraska: Carbon Composite Optimization Reducing Tank Cost. See all the selections here.

FREE AWEA WEBINAR SERIES

Wind workforce webinar series to kick off #AmericanWindWeek 2020, by Greg Alvarez, Into the Wind, American Wind Energy Association Blog

To help both industry employers recruit the best and brightest as well as provide students with the essential resources to set them on a path toward a rewarding career in the wind energy workforce, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in partnership with AWEA, is hosting a free, three-part Wind Workforce Webinar Series, Monday, August 10–Wednesday, August 12, as part of #AmericanWindWeek.


GLOBAL OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY

China poised to power huge growth in global offshore wind energy: Report finds the offshore industry could create 900,000 jobs globally over next decade, The Guardian
The world’s offshore windfarm capacity could grow eightfold by the end of the decade powered by a clean energy surge led by China, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). A new industry report has revealed stronger than expected growth for the offshore wind industry, which could reach 234GW by 2030, from a global tally of just over 29GW at the end of last year.
Also Published by The Guardian: Green energy could drive Covid-19 recovery with $100tn boost

 

The Guardian is partnering with Covering Climate Now, a global news collaboration of more than 400 news outlets, to boost coverage of solutions to the climate crisis.

 

TESLA NEWS

Tesla may become power provider in Germany, PV Magazine
The high-profile electric car maker is conducting a survey of German customers to gauge their interest in a Tesla electricity tariff.

SOLAR PERMITTING APP

SolarAPP residential solar permitting app to launch this fall, PV Magazine
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is “pushing toward” widespread release in October for SolarAPP, a web-based tool that local governments may adopt to speed permitting of residential solar installations. The October launch goal was announced by Jeff Cook, leader of the SolarAPP development project at NREL, in a webinar. The tool will be free to local governments, and will be funded by “a small fee” paid by solar contractors, an NREL spokesperson said.

PV-POWERED PARKING MACHINES

Solar for parking machines, PV Magazine

New Zealand researchers have proposed a way to assess the technical and economic feasibility of PV-powered parking machines. Solar might be an ideal solution, but the siting of the machines is critical and should be planned in advance, in line with available solar radiation and potential shading. The researchers presented their findings in “Solar resource assessment of modern parking machines in an urban environment,” which was recently published in Renewable Energy. Image: Southern Institute of Technology

ROBOTIC LAWNMOWER

Solar Alliance tests robotic lawnmower at Tennessee ground-mount project, Solar Power World


Solar Alliance Energy announced it is working with Husqvarna, Leeper Hardware and Appalachian Outreach as part of a test to determine the capabilities of the Husqvarna Automower robotic mower at an operating solar system in Tennessee.

Can The US Wind Industry Beat The Coming Headwinds?

Forbes article contributed by Joshua Rhodes, Senior Energy Analyst,
Vibrant Clean Energy LLC in Boulder, Colorado

This is the second installment of a multi-part series.
Rhodes’ first article in the series: The Future Of US Solar Is Bright

The US wind industry currently supports over 110,000 jobs and, in 2018, about $11 billion was invested in new wind projects in the US. There are currently over 57,000 wind turbines in the US, totaling over 100,000 MW of total capacity. In 2018, wind provided about 6.5% of all US electricity generation, and year after year wind-heavy grids such as the Southwest Power Pool and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas break records for the amount of wind instantaneously meeting demand on the system. As of 2019, these records stand at almost 67% and 56%, respectfully.

The deployment of wind has been fast and furious and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that “wind turbine service technicians” will be in high demand over the next decade and will be the second-fastest growing job in the US — for those not afraid of heights. Read more here.

Northeast Community College
Northeast Community College in Norfolk is the only institution in Nebraska offering an Associate of Applied Science degree in wind energy. Learn more about Northeast’s wind technology degrees and programs and watch a brief video, Northeast Wind Energy Program, here.

Photo Credit: Northeast Community College

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Why One Solar Power Project In South Dakota Will Rule Them All, CleanTechnica
    The developer, Germany-based Wircon GmbH, is planning on a $100 million payout for 500,000 solar panels and $15 million on an underground connector cable, all up and running by 2021 under the name of Lookout Solar Park. Look out, indeed. The new solar power plant represents a 180-degree turnaround for South Dakota. As recently as 2018, South Dakota ranked dead last for solar power among all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
  • Renewable energy production could exceed coal generation by next year, Buffalo Bulletin
    Led by solar and wind, renewable generation could produce as much as 21.6% of the nation’s electricity by 2021 — beating out coal at 20.8%, according to new projections published last month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “That’s not a surprise,” University of Wyoming economist Rob Godby said in response to the data agency’s latest forecasts. “While a lot of people still aren’t aware of it, renewables are really the cheapest and most promising form of new energy generation in most places.”
  • 8minute Solar Energy: ‘Every Project’ Could Have Built-In Storage, Greentech Media
    A year after a leadership shakeup, 8minute has more projects in more states — and a record for solar-and-storage pricing.
  • Omaha-based Tenaska in the news here: IMPA Grows Toward More Sustainable Energy, Inside Indiana Business. IMPA is a nonprofit organization whose members include municipally-owned electric utilities. They provide power to 61 communities in Indiana and Ohio.
  • WoodMac: Lifting US Import Tariffs Would Knock 30 Percent Off Solar System Prices, Greentech Media. Solar system prices dropped 90 percent over the last nine years, but the decline was tempered by American trade tariffs, leaving U.S. prices 45 percent above those in Europe and Australia, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

REBA NEWS

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Announces Top 10 U.S. Large Energy Buyers in 2019, News Release
The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), has announced the release of its Deal Tracker highlighting 2019’s Top 10 Large Energy Buyers, topped by Facebook with the procurement of 1.546 gigawatts (GW). The REBA Deal Tracker showcases total announcements of 9.33 GW of renewable energy in the U.S. and a shift in the energy landscape driven by the demand for accessible clean energy options. “Well over half of all energy consumption comes from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector, so it is increasingly important that large energy buyers are identifying opportunities to reduce emissions,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO, REBA.

TRIBAL CLIMATE ACTION PLANS 

Indigenous tribes are at the forefront of climate change planning in the U.S., Grist
According to a database maintained by the University of Oregon, at least 50 tribes across the U.S. have assessed climate risks and developed plans to tackle them. With more than 570 federally recognized tribes controlling 50 million combined acres, these adaptation plans could prove a crucial element in building resilient communities that can thrive despite weather-related catastrophes and changes to the natural environment.

Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook

DIVESTMENT NEWS

Harvard Faculty Vote in Favor of Divestment 179-20, The Harvard Crimson
The vote marks the culmination of a fourmonthlong debate in faculty meetings over the proper role of the University in combating climate change. Ultimately, 179 faculty members supported a motion in favor of divestment, while just 20 voted to oppose it. Faculty supporters who spoke at the meeting argued that Harvard should be at the forefront of an international divestment movement.

Harvard’s Climate Action Plan

Facebook and Google: Utilities Must Take Lead on Grid Decarbonization

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Utilities, not green-minded corporations, need to lead on decarbonizing the grid, said executives at Google and Facebook. Corporate procurement now ranks among the top drivers of large-scale U.S. renewables purchases. But it’s not the long-term answer to clean energy deployment, the technology executives said Thursday, speaking at an event hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy. They’d rather see large market shifts than an emphasis on voluntary corporate renewables goals. Google and Facebook are currently the nation’s largest corporate buyers of renewable power in 2019 and among the largest in the world. Read more here.

Google Photo: Data center operators are driving demand for renewable power around the world. 

Additional Recommended Reading

Corporate leaders: It’s time to lead on climate policy, by Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of the nonprofit Ceres. At this vital moment in the global climate crisis, corporate leadership on climate policy is a top priority. This week, I joined ten other executives of leading nonprofit organizations in an open letter calling on corporate CEOs to use their voice, their global platforms, their credibility, and their networks to support a policy agenda to get us to net-zero emissions by 2050. That is the goal that scientists say is necessary to limit global warming and avoid unprecedented damage to our planet, our economy and our communities. 

Ceres is one of the cofounders of We Are Still In, a coalition of more than 3500 investors, companies, mayors, governors, college presidents and other leaders committed to U.S. action on climate change.

RE100 Update: 204 influential businesses, including Google and Facebook, have made a commitment to 100% renewable energy. A growing number of RE100 members also are driving their global supply chains to transition to clean energy.

REBA: Google and Facebook are also members of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands. REBA’s Vision & Initiatives.

Recommended Viewing
What is REBA?, Two-minute video by REBA on Vimeo.

Sarpy County data centers have $522 million impact statewide, UNL report shows

By Reece Ristau, Omaha World-Herald

Business leaders in Nebraska take every available opportunity to refer to the state as the “Silicon Prairie,” a play on the term for Northern California’s cluster of big technology companies. The idea behind the term — to bring those companies, and by extension, high-paying jobs and more money, into the state — is playing out in Sarpy County, which recently landed its eighth data center with Google’s $600 million announcement. University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers recently set out to determine how big an impact the data center industry has on the local economy, and their findings revealed some whopping figures. Continue reading here.

Here’s how 6 countries are stepping up to meet the Paris climate goals

By Julia Rosen, Los Angeles Times

World leaders are gathering in New York for Monday’s Climate Action Summit. The summit’s goal, according to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is to encourage countries to get serious about climate change. “Don’t come with a speech,” Guterres has warned. “Come with a plan.”

You can follow the latest Paris pledges at the World Resources Institute’s Climate Watch.

Read the entire article here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Facebook’s Papillion data center goes live

Written by Jodi Baker, The Wire, OPPD Blog

For Nebraska, it’s meant an investment of more than $1 billion, including 1,000 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs, so far. And that’s just for the first phase. The second  phase, set for completion in 2023, will bring more construction and another 100 permanent jobs. During a grand opening event June 13, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said, “OPPD was really the linchpin in helping make this deal happen, because they were able to offer Facebook 100% renewable energy.”

The company is partnering with the Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation to invest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at the high-school level. The company’s skilled and technical trades program will build on the schools’ existing STEM education to benefit more than 1,000 students the first year alone. Read more here.

NEBRASKA’S LARGEST UTILITIES’ EV PROGRAMS & INCENTIVES

Papillion’s Facebook data center, now officially online, part of company’s global infrastructure

By Reece Ristau, Omaha World-Herald

On Thursday, two years after construction began, a portion of the data center officially came online, connecting Papillion with Facebook’s network of similar centers that allow 2.38 billion monthly active users to share photos with friends, post life updates and stay connected from thousands of miles apart.

Facebook also is investing in Nebraska’s alternative energy sources. Committed to using 100% renewable energy to power its data centers, the company is buying wind power from the Omaha Public Power District, which in turn is purchasing it from the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project in Dixon County, about two hours north of Omaha. Read more here.

Enel Green Power’s Photo of the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm in Dixon County, Nebraska

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & VIEWING

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS & OPINION

APPA’s National Energy Innovator Award presented to NPPD, NPPD News Release
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) was recognized with the Energy Innovator Award from the American Public Power Association at the Association’s national conference held in Austin, Texas. NPPD was one of nine public power utilities recognized for service to APPA and the public power industry during the conference.

Innovation now NPPD’s calling card, Kearney Hub Editorial
NPPD has been on an innovative trajectory for at least the past 10 years, diversifying the ways in which it generates electricity, opening doors for innovation in communities such as Norfolk and Kearney, and re-purposing resources for experimental projects, such as the Sheldon Station plant that’s being retooled to burn hydrogen in a process that produces no greenhouse gases. In recent years, NPPD has been investing more in wind energy, and it’s helping local communities to explore how to broaden the use of new clean energy — including Norfolk with a battery storage experiment and Kearney with its 53-acre solar farm. 

LES CEO receives national public power award, LES News Release
AUSTIN, TX — Kevin G. Wailes, chief executive officer of Lincoln Electric System, received the Alan Richardson Statesmanship Award at the American Public Power Association’s national conference in Austin, Texas, on June 11, 2019. This award honors public power leaders who work to achieve consensus on national issues important to public power utilities.

A radical idea to get a high-renewable electric grid: Build way more solar and wind than needed

The Conversation

Article contributed by Richard Perez, Senior Research Associate in Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York and Karl R. Rabago, Professor of Law; Executive Director, Pace Energy and Climate Center, Pace University.

Excerpt: Once firmed up through a combination of overprovisioning and storage, variable renewable energy resources become effectively dispatchable – able to provide power when as needed – and functionally equivalent to traditional power plants. In this way, renewables can replace these generators without major grid reengineering.

Our team has modeled a high-solar and overbuilt solution for the not particularly sunny state of Minnesota. The goal was to determine the least costly combination of grid-connected solar, wind and storage necessary to provide round-the-clock, year-round energy services. Read more here.

Recommended Viewing: Richard Perez’s 3-minute YouTube video summarizes his scalable strategy to achieve 100 percent renewables, which he refers to as the “Perfect Forecast.”

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

NEW IRENA REPORT

Renewable energy costs hit new lows, now cheapest new power option for most of the world, Electrek
The findings come from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in its new report, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018