Tag Archives: Google

DOE Partners With Carnegie Mellon University to Launch The 2022 Global Clean Energy Action Forum

U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of International Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced its partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to launch and host the 2022 Global Clean Energy Action Forum (Global Energy Forum) in Pittsburgh, PA, September 21–23. This landmark convening brings together energy leaders from around the world to turn clean energy ambition into action and accelerate the transition toward a more secure energy future. 

“By convening the Global Clean Energy Action Forum, the United States is continuing its leadership on the world stage to foster greater international cooperation to achieve our shared climate ambitions, drive innovation, and accelerate the deployment of clean energy solutions, while creating millions of good paying jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. Continue reading here.

MORE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NEWS RELEASES

SOLAR+STORAGE

Solar-plus-storage potential everywhere in the US’: Recurrent Energy interview, by Andy Colthorpe, Energy Storage News

Around 60% of new solar PV projects planned for deployment in US utility service areas over the next two years are hybrid resources paired with storage. That’s equivalent to about 6GW and growing all the time. Although a clear majority of this new capacity will be clustered in the leading regional markets for solar, like California or Arizona, it’s increasingly becoming a national phenomenon. For context, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables said in recent research that a total 3GW of utility-scale energy storage came online during 2021 in the US, so it’s clear batteries paired with solar will be a significant complement to standalone battery storage in terms of new additions.

Also written by Andy Colthorpe: Biden’s executive action to support solar likely to run in tandem with support for energy storage

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

Over 16 GW of planned wind capacity in SPP supported by robust financial outlook, S&P Global 
Developers are taking notice of the impressive performance of wind projects in the Cornhusker state as the pipeline for wind has swelled to 4,947 MW, ranking fourth in the country in planned onshore wind capacity. Over 40% of this capacity, however, is tied up in a single wind project still in early planning: the 2,000 MW Wildcat Ridge Wind Farm-Geronimo, which will be owned and operated by National Grid PLC subsidiary National Grid Renewables LLC.

IOWA’S PROPOSED ‘WIND PRIME’ PROJECT

Google, Facebook Stoke Wind-Farm Debate, Data Center Knowledge
(Bloomberg) — Google, Facebook and Microsoft Corp. — three of the world’s biggest corporate buyers of clean power — are sounding the alarm that a nearly $4 billion, Warren Buffett-backed renewable-energy project proposed in Iowa isn’t necessarily in the best interest of customers, including them. The fight is an important one to watch because it demonstrates the increasing influence technology giants have on the energy transition. Tech companies have pushed utilities in other parts of the US to offer more clean energy options as they seek to clean up the sources of power for their energy-intensive operations. And since they buy so much power, the utilities often listen to them.

Previously Posted Berkshire Hathaway Energy News Release: MidAmerican Energy Company Announces Wind PRIME Project

FEATURED ORGANIZATION

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.

NSAC member groups advance common positions to support small and mid-size family farms, protect natural resources, promote healthy rural communities, and ensure access to healthy, nutritious foods by everyone. By bringing grassroots perspectives to the table normally dominated by big business, NSAC levels the playing field and gives voice to sustainable and organic farmers.  

Nebraska Groups

Recent NSAC Blog Post: Climate And Agriculture Legislation Roundup
NSAC Publications

Conservation officials blast Gov. Ricketts’ opposition to ‘America the Beautiful’ initiative,

By Paul Hammel, Nebraska Examiner

LINCOLN — Conservation groups on Thursday lambasted claims by Gov. Pete Ricketts and a property rights group that a presidential proposal to restore forests and river banks, enhance federal conservation efforts and protect endangered species is a “land grab.” Officials with the Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups said President Joe Biden’s “America the Beautiful Initiative,” initially called the “30-by-30” plan, is a voluntary program to enlist farmers and ranchers in conserving more land to benefit wildlife and combat climate change. Continue reading here.

Poll Discussed In The Article 

New Polling Data Shows Nebraska Voters Overwhelmingly Support Voluntary Conservation Programs and America the Beautiful Goals, Nebraska Farmers Union, April 21, 2022 

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA – Nebraska Farmers Union was joined today by leaders from three conservation organizations to release the findings of a new public opinion poll that shows overwhelming support from Nebraska voters for conservation programs, including the national goal to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Majorities across all parties support the national 30×30 targets, including 64 percent support among Nebraska Republicans, 90 percent support among Democrats, and 88 percent support among Independents.

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS 

New Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power a Home for a Day in Just 7 Seconds

By John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

The first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States may use the largest wind turbine in the world. Here are a few ways to think about what all that might mean. The developers of the Vineyard Wind project off Massachusetts have just announced that they’ll be using GE wind turbines—specifically, the GE Haliade-X. That turbine recently got a capacity upgrade, from a world-leading 12 megawatts (MW) to a world-leading-by-even-more 13 MW. Those developments got me thinking about both the turbine and the project. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

President-Elect Biden Must Prioritize Coal Communities—and Here’s How, by Jeremy Richardson, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS

The Energy 202: Young people want to do something about climate change. Biden may have an answer, by Dino Grandoni, with Alexandra Ellerbeck, Washington Post

During the campaign, Biden called for mobilizing “the next generation of conservation and resilience workers through a Civilian Climate Corps.” Now Biden’s allies are beginning to think about what exactly such a program will look like as he prepares to take office next month.

GTM’S POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

‘The Landscape Has Shifted’: Neil Chatterjee on FERC’s Role in the Energy Transition, by Julia Pyper, Greentech Media


In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee about several of the agency’s recent rulemakings, past controversies and his outlook for the future of U.S. energy policy in today’s shifting political landscape.

 

GREEN BANKS

Green bank advocates hope Biden win can help reinvigorate idea in Minnesota, by Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

The coalition suggested that a bank with $100 million in capital could create as many as 15,000 jobs in Minnesota. Fifteen green banks operate in 12 states and have financed $5 billion in energy investments, returning more than $3.60 for every $1 spent, the report says. Most green banks operate on the coasts, with Michigan Saves being the only one in the Midwest. Ohio and Missouri have begun exploring the concept.

Coalition for Green Capital Report:  A Green Recovery For Minnesota: Job Creation, Environmental Justice, and Clean Energy

GOOGLE

Google calls for more RTOs, designs ‘intelligent platform’ to meet 24/7 clean energy goal, by Emma Penrod, Utility Dive

Achieving Google’s new 24/7 clean energy goal will require both the adoption of new technologies, and new purchasing options, the company’s head of global energy markets and policy said Thursday on a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) panel. Eighty percent of offsite corporate procurement takes place in regions with access to competitive wholesale markets, according to Bryn Baker, director of policy innovation at the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.

Previously Posted

SELLING ENERGY EFFICIENCY + SOLAR AS A PACKAGE

POWERHOME SOLAR Named Silver Honoree In Inc.’s Best In Business Awards, PR Newswire
POWERHOME SOLAR is an energy efficiency company that provides high-quality American-made solar panels as part of a complete energy-savings package for residential customers. The company launched in 2014 in Mooresville, N.C., and today has nearly 1,700 employees, including a commercial division. Operating in 10 states, it is ranked No. 255 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America — the third time in four years that the company has made the top 300 on this prestigious list. 

ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers rely on to make well-informed decisions. Click here to find ways to save at home.

PV RECYCLING – AN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

Solar panel recycling in the US — a looming issue that could harm industry growth and reputation, PV Magazine

According to a 2016 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the economic benefits of a U.S. circular economy could be around $135.3 million in 2020, $1.4 billion by 2030, and $10.1 billion by 2050. “Economic multipliers would significantly increase these amounts,” said Vanderhoof.

LETTER TO EV BUYERS

Letter to a Friend Buying an Electric Car, by Joe Wachunas, CleanTechnica
Two friends recently bought electric cars for their families after thinking about it for a long time. Beyond wanting to congratulate them, and click my heels together like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain, I felt the need to describe, in detail, just how big a deal this EV purchase is, beyond platitudes like “EVs are so amazing for the world.” So I wrote them a letter.

About Joe Wachunas
Joe Wachunas lives in Portland, Oregon, and works for the nonprofit Forth, which promotes electric transportation. He is also involved with Electrify Now because he believes that electrifying everything, from transportation to homes, is the quickest path to an equitable, clean energy future. And of course, Joe and his family live in an all-electric home and drive an EV.

Retired teacher, first-time elected official to join OPPD board

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

Mary Spurgeon said she is looking forward to working collaboratively with the existing board on its goal of moving toward heavier reliance on renewable energy. Incumbent Amanda Bogner was unopposed to represent Subdivision 1, which serves northwest and west-central Omaha. Sara Howard won in Subdivision 2, which covers central and South Omaha. Read more here.

More Election News

AMAZON’S FULFILLMENT CENTER IN SARPY COUNTY

Amazon joins list of high-profile names in Sarpy corridor, The Wire
“Partnerships like the one OPPD has with Amazon and all of our local economic development partners and local officials allows our entire area to thrive,” said Tim Burke, president and CEO of OPPD, and chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s executive committee. “Helping our local economies grow, and bring jobs to the area, is just one way we honor our community.”

Additional Recommended Reading: Amazon’s Sustainability Initiatives & Partnerships

DATA CENTERS

Data center construction market continues to boom, Construction Dive
Google, Amazon and Facebook are the biggest names in data center construction in the U.S. Here’s a closer look at the state of data center construction across the country for the three internet giants.

REBA’S NEW INITIATIVE 

Additional Recommended Reading: 5 predictions for the corporate renewable energy market in 2021, PV Magazine article contributed by Rob Collier of PPA marketplace, LevelTen Energy.

SPP AND “UNECONOMIC SELF-COMMITMENT”

Time for SPP to Commit to Competitive Clean Energy, NRDC Expert Blog by John Moore, Director, Sustainable FERC Project, Climate & Clean Energy Program.

Consumers across the heartland are paying about $60 million more a year than they should for electricity to power their homes, farms and businesses. That is because of a practice employed by some coal-fired generators to the detriment of wind power producers. It’s long past time for the regional grid operator to put an end to this practice called “uneconomic self-commitment,” but, unfortunately, the Southwest Power Pool is deliberately downplaying the issue.

Panel discusses benefits of wind development in southwest Iowa

By Ryan Matheny, KMAland

Organized by the group Power Up Iowa — which advocates for local, state and federal policies that bring wind energy investment into Iowa — the forum was held in conjunction with the Page County Board of Supervisors and was moderated by board chair Chuck Morris. Bob Ramaekers is Vice President of Tenaska, a private, independent energy company based in Omaha. He says the industry’s goal is to work with landowners, not infringe on property rights when it comes to wind development. Read more here.

Power Up Iowa is a statewide coalition of renewable energy supporters advocating for local, state and federal policies and initiatives that enhance Iowa’s wind energy investment. By educating, raising awareness, and participating in conversations with our state’s leaders, Power Up Iowa will help make the case for renewable energy investment to revive and drive our local economies. Iowa ranks 2nd in the nation for wind power capacity. Up to 10 thousand jobs in Iowa are directly supported by wind energy.

LOCAL FOODS / LOCAL ENERGY MOVEMENTS

The distance local energy goes to bring power to the people, ScienceDaily
A University of California – Davis study published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainability, comparing energy providers, finds parallels to the local foods movement.

RURAL ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE

Trump Administration Invests nearly $42 Million to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure in Rural Missouri, Iowa, & Nebraska, USDA News Release. The funding, made possible through the Electric Loan Program, will benefit more than 77,000 rural residents and commercial customers in Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska.

CLEAN-ENERGY EXPERTS & ADVOCATES SHARE VIEWS OF BIDEN’S FIRST 100 DAYS

Biden’s First 100 Days: What Would They Look Like for Clean Energy?, Greentech Media
We asked clean-energy experts and advocates what’s most likely to get done in the first 100 days of a Biden presidency.

COMMUNITY SOLAR STUDY

Penn State study finds opening community solar market could generate $1.8 billion in economic impact for Pennsylvania, Solar Power World

new study conducted by Penn State found that construction of new community solar facilities would generate an estimated $1.8 billion in economic impact, create over $793 million in labor income, and support over 11,000 jobs in various sectors across Pennsylvania. The study, conducted by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences’ Center for Economic and Community Development, analyzed 235 planned community solar projects across 48 counties which can move ahead if community solar legislation passes the General Assembly.

RENEWABLES FORWARD INITIATIVE

It’s Time for the Solar Industry to Act on Diversity and Inclusion, Greentech Media
As a first step, leaders from Capital Dynamics, Cypress Creek Renewables, EDF Renewables, Generate Capital, Mosaic, Nautilus Solar Energy, New Columbia Solar, Nextracker, Volt Energy, Sol Systems, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Foundation have come together to share experiences, evaluate best practices and make changes. Our goal is to identify concrete ways to work together to create the change we all recognize is needed, commit to this change and drive a larger industrywide partnership between CEOs and organizations: thRenewables Forward Initiative.

AWEA NEWS RELEASE

AWEA Statement on Collaboration between Hydropower Industry and Environmental Community
Washington, D.C. – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today issued the following statement after the U.S. hydropower industry and environmental and conservation organizations agreed to increase collaboration on decarbonizing the nation’s electric grid, while protecting America’s waterways. AWEA this year partnered with America’s hydropower, solar, and energy storage industries as part of a shared vision of renewables reaching a majority of U.S. electricity generation by 2030.

ENERGY STORAGE

Wartsilla’s 9 MW battery storage system reduces a city’s demand peaks, saves transmission costs, PV Magazine USA. An independent power producer, AEP OnSite Partners, will be the first to deploy Wärtsilä’s new storage product. The 9 MW/15.6 MWh battery system will respond to PJM market signals and reduce the city’s peak demand by about 9 MW, while saving $1 million per year in transmission and capacity costs

GREEN HYDROGEN

GE, partners shifting Ohio gas-fired plant to hydrogen beginning 2021, Renewable Energy World
In one of the most striking signs that the hydrogen-powered generation revolution may be upon the industry sooner than later, a group will transition its combined cycle gas turbine power plant to run partially on hydrogen by a late 2021 start-up and go 100 percent H2 by 2030.

ADVANCED NUCLEAR PLANTS

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $160 Million in First Awards Under Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, DOE News Release

DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program will provide $80 million to each award winner, DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette said Tuesday. DOE intends to invest about $3.2 billion over the next seven years into advanced nuclear, subject to future congressional appropriations, he said. The remainder of the $230 million appropriated for the program in the fiscal 2020 budget is meant to support additional nuclear demonstration projects. But Tuesday’s grant winners “stand out for advancing the technology,” as well as for the financial wherewithal to match DOE’s grants and complete their work within seven years, Brouillette said.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY’S PACIFICORP / ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER

Wyo criticizes utility’s plans to replace coal with renewables, Wyo File
PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power’s IRP, released in the fall of 2019, is a rolling analysis for how to provide reliable, lowest-cost electricity for the next 20 years. Preferred alternatives called for retiring several Wyoming coal-fired units early and developing renewable generation and storage. Shortly after release of the plan, the PSC announced it would investigate the IRP — an unusual measure for the commission to take.

SOLAR CELL EFFICIENCY

Forget silicon. This material could be a game-changer for solar power, CNN Business
Solar energy is poised for what could be its biggest transformation in over half a century. A group of materials called perovskites are being used to create the next generation of solar panels, which could eventually be twice as efficient as current models, and flexible enough to wrap around entire buildings. Researchers at Oxford PV, a company spun out of the University of Oxford, made a major breakthrough in 2018. By coating silicon with perovskite they achieved 28% efficiency. The company believes it can eventually reach 40%, or higher. Improved solar cell efficiency will enable installations to pump out more power with fewer panels, reducing costs, and the amount of land, labor and equipment needed to operate them.

EU’S CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

EU to tackle methane gases, boost energy efficiency, Associated Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune
The EU sees itself as a world leader in climate and environmental policy. It wants to slash greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% of what they were in 1990 over the next decade. That goal is a stepping-stone toward the broader aim of producing zero net polluting emissions across Europe by 2050.

SOLAR MAPPER

Total and Google Cloud Develop Solar Mapper, a Tool for Estimating the Solar Energy Potential of Houses’ Roofs, Business Wire

Total and Google Cloud have pooled their expertise to jointly develop an innovative tool, Solar Mapper, which aims to accelerate the deployment of solar panels for individuals (B2C) by providing an accurate and rapid estimate of the solar energy potential of their homes, first in Europe and then worldwide.

Google Pledges 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy by 2030

By Jeff St. John, Senior Editor, Greentech Media

Google on Monday pledged that by 2030 it will run its entire business on carbon-free energy — every hour of every day of the year. The promise commits the tech giant to an even more aggressive program of sourcing clean energy and enabling the infrastructure to make it available even when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

Monday’s commitment from Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, comes amid record-setting wildfires across the U.S. West driven by increased heat and dry conditions linked to global warming from human-produced carbon emissions. “The science is clear: The world must act now if we’re going to avert the worst consequences of climate change,” Pichai wrote in the blog post. Continue reading here.

Recommended Reading & Viewing

Opportunity for Solar to Dot the Coalfields of Southwest Virginia

Contributed by Chelsea Barnes, Solar Industry

[In April Governor Ralph Northam signed the Solar Freedom Act and the Virginia
Clean Economy Act into law]. The new laws set up enormous opportunity for solar developers in Virginia’s coalfields. To boost the potential even more, eight local governments in the region achieved SolSmart designation in 2019, setting themselves up to more readily facilitate solar development. Over the past four years, the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia has readied the region for solar energy development through education, collaboration and advocacy, but its efforts were stymied by policy inequities and regulatory barriers. Now, the new laws mean solar developers can walk through the region’s door of opportunity and deliver the solar services so many people are seeking. Read more here.

Chelsea Barnes is the New Economy Program Manager for Appalachian Voices, a regional environmental advocacy nonprofit. Photo Credit: Appalachian Voices

Previously Posted

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW INDIANA COALITION

Farmer-focused renewable energy coalition formed, AgriNews
The Indiana Agriculture Coalition for Renewable Energy announced its formation across the state following two informational conference calls in March and April. The conference calls convened farmers, landowners, renewable energy developers, nonprofits and corporations to discuss knowledge and resource gaps related to the intersection of renewable energy and agriculture in Indiana.

GREEN CAMPUSES

MISO NEWS

MISO deploys GridUnity platform to streamline electric generation interconnection, GridUnity News Release, PR Newswire

The GridUnity platform has been deployed by utilities and ISO/RTOs across 17 U.S. states to date. Learn more at https://gridunity.com.

Prior to the GridUnity solution, MISO engineers were manually reviewing each application in detail. With the new GridUnity tool, applicants receive immediate, automated feedback if an entry is incomplete, ensuring all submitted applications meet established standards. MISO staff will now be able to review and respond to submitted applications in a fraction of the time that was previously required, providing guidance throughout the rest of the interconnection process. This will create a fully transparent and near-real-time interconnection queue, freeing engineers to spend their time addressing the higher-value needs of their customers.

WOODEN WIND TURBINE TOWERS

Wooden Turbine Towers Promise To Push Wind Industry To Greater Heights, contributed by Mike Scott, Forbes. A new design for wind turbine towers could see them made from wood rather than steel, soaring to ever-greater heights and producing more power, if a new trial proves successful.

FORECASTING THE WIND

Thanks To Renewables And Machine Learning, Google Now Forecasts The Wind, by Jeff McMahon, Senior Contributor, Forbes

Google and the Google-owned Artificial Intelligence firm DeepMind combined weather data with power data from 700 megawatts of wind energy that Google sources in the Central United States. Using machine learning, they have been able to better predict wind production, better predict electricity supply and demand, and as a result, reduce operating costs.  In a Deepmind blog post, they outline how they boosted profits for Google’s wind farms in the Southwest Power Pool, an energy market that stretches across the plains from the Canadian border to north Texas:

EV CHARGING

Retail co-location may prove key to sustainable funding for EV charging, panel finds, Utility Dive Adding charging facilities at retail and restaurant locations is one of the most profitable ways to increase EV infrastructure, a senior project manager at Atlas Public Policy said during a Wednesday webinar hosted by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions that also featured representatives from Georgia Power and EVgo.

RECOMMENDED KIDS’ BOOKS

Stop the Summer Reading Slide With Eco-Themed Kids’ Books

Dakota County tables action on wind farm moratorium

By Nick Hytrek, Sioux City Journal

Dakota County leaders have decided more study and public input is needed before voting on a moratorium on wind farm developments. The board’s decision was applauded by Josh Moenning, director of New Power Nebraska, a renewable energy development organization that promotes and develops wind energy projects. The Norfolk, Nebraska, mayor, Moenning participated in the meeting via teleconference. “I think it’s the right call,” he said in a statement emailed to the Journal. “This decision requires a fair, full hearing in order for public officials to have the benefit of all perspectives.” Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

INVESTOR-OWNED UTILITIES’ EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

Investor-owned utilities pay top executives millions — are they worth it?, PV Magazine
Energy and Policy Institute has tracked the past three years of CEO compensation at 41 investor-owned utilities across the country. And, while the numbers are eye-popping, a well-paid CEO does not necessarily reflect company success. Some of the highest-paid CEOs on the EPI  list head utilities — such as Southern Company and NextEra — that have slowed the growth of residential solar in their regions.  

Utility CEOs received over $1 billion in executive compensation from 2017 – 2019, Energy And Policy Institute

IREC HIRING

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council is seeking a Communications Coordinator to join their (all remote) team. The Coordinator will support day-to-day communications operations, including social media, email and website management. Advance your communications career while helping IREC build the foundation for a 100% clean energy future. The application deadline is this Friday, May 8th. Apply today or share the opportunity with qualified candidates in your network. To apply, submit a resume, cover letter and professional writing sample to info@irecusa.org. Learn more here.

Power, plants: Seed mixes and ag innovation for PV solar

By Rob Davis, Director, Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy

Driven by rapidly declining costs and 100 percent clean energy commitments from corporations and municipalities, demand for large-scale solar energy development is surging. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) forecasts farmers and other landowners will lease 2-3 million acres of land for ground-mounted solar arrays by 2030, a 10-fold increase from 2020.

This rapid bloom in leasing land to produce solar energy isn’t just a lifeline for farmers looking to stabilize on-farm income, it’s also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create habitat at scale to help species critical to agriculture and ecosystem health. Climate change and loss of habitat pose significant threats to honey bees, bumblebees, monarch butterflies and a wide variety of pollinators. A recent global analysis found that 40 percent of pollinator species may be at risk of extinction in the coming years. Continue reading here,

Photo by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy: ENGIE project in Vermont

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

AWEA INTO THE WIND BLOG POSTS

American wind power supports COVID-19 relief efforts in communities across the country
Our society and economy continue to grapple with the unprecedented challenges COVID-19 presents. Ensuring the wind energy workforce’s safety and protecting U.S. wind jobs remains the top priority, and when the economy can safely reopen, wind power stands ready to play a leading role in the recovery. However, communities across the country are struggling right now, and the U.S. wind industry is doing its part to aid in the recovery effort.

Fact check: New Michael Moore-backed documentary full of errors, fundamentally misunderstands electric systemA new Michael Moore-backed documentary has been released that examines the climate crisis and the lack of progress made so far in combating the problem. Unfortunately, and somewhat strangely, the filmmakers chose to focus much of their attention erroneously critiquing a leading climate solution—renewable energy. Let’s set the record straight on where this film gets it wrong. See this article for an in-depth look at the film’s problematic portrayal of solar power.

FROM WIND EXCHANGE – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NEWSLETTER

The wind industry needs a broad range of workers, including turbine engineers, project developers, and supply chain managers, to support growth. Unfortunately, employers report difficulty hiring well-qualified candidates to support this growth, while graduates have also had difficulty finding jobs. Follow these tips from wind energy professionals to help narrow this gap and learn how to breeze into the wind energy workforce.

ROOFTOP WIND

Rooftop Wind Power Might Take off by Using Key Principle of Flight, by Scientific American, EcoWatch

Solar panels perched on the roofs of houses and other buildings are an increasingly common sight in the U.S., but rooftop wind systems have never caught on. Past efforts to scale down the towering turbines that generate wind power to something that might sit on a home have been plagued by too many technical problems to make such devices practical. Now, however, a new design could circumvent those issues by harnessing the same principle that creates lift for airplane wings.

Image: An artist’s rendering of AeroMINES along the edge of a roof and combined with solar arrays. Sandia National Laboratories

GOOGLE

Google Tests Load-Shifting at Data Centers to Capture the Grid’s Peak Clean Energy Hours, Greentech Media. In its quest for 24/7 renewables, Google tries scheduling “non-urgent” computing tasks at times of maximum wind and solar output.

Previously Posted: Google is a member of two regional transmission organizations: Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

The global corporation is also a member of RE100 and the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA).

Lincoln Journal Star Letter: Commit to clean energy

Written by Alison Krohn

The City of Lincoln and Lincoln Electric System have taken steps towards a sustainable future through multiple efforts. The Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (2017-2018) calls for a 25% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 while increasing the use of renewable energy 50%.

LES offers several incentives for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvements. The utility obtains approximately 40% of its distributed power from renewable sources. But are these goals and incentives enough? Continue reading here.

Photo: Telesis Inc’s solar array on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED RESOURCE: LOW-INCOME SOLAR POLICY GUIDE

Best Practices for Utility Ownership
In considering the roles utilities can and should play in making solar available for low-income households and underserved communities, Principles and Recommendations for Utility Participation in Solar Programs for Low-Income Customers from the Environmental Law & Policy Center, GRID Alternatives, and Vote Solar outlines three interrelated sets of guidelines and considerations for policy makers and regulators to review.

NEBRASKA GRID INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS

USDA Invests $8.2 Million For KBR Rural Public Power District, USDA News Release
The power district serves 4,847 customers over 2,604 miles of line in five counties in north central Nebraska.

APPA ANNUAL REPORT

Wind, solar, natural gas dominate capacity in development, American Public Power Association
Wind, solar, and natural gas are the three dominant sources in the development pipeline for electricity generation in the US, according to a report from the American Public Power Association. America’s Electricity Generating Capacity, 2020 Update is the Association’s 14th annual look at the country’s current and future capacity. Wind, natural gas, and solar projects account for 94% of all capacity under construction, which is consistent with additions over the past five years, of which 97% came from these three resources.

ENERGY STORAGE

US Storage Industry Achieved Biggest-Ever Quarter and Year in 2019, Greentech Media
“Storage is being deployed all across the country now, at megawatt-scale, in more than half of U.S. states,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association. Eight states now contain utility-scale storage facilities adding up to more than 50 megawatts. Another 11 states operate more than 10 megawatts each. Only 15 states have yet to adopt any advanced storage in front of the meter, according to WoodMac’s data. Overall, U.S. storage installations are expected to nearly triple in 2020 and more than double in 2021. Residential numbers, in particular, will triple this year compared to last year.

NEW 500-WATT SOLAR PANELS

How the new generation of 500 watt panels will shape the solar industry, PV Magazine
There are two solar module manufacturers, Risen Energy and Trina Solar, that have unveiled first-of-their kind 500W, 50-cell, PV modules. “For applications where you have a lot of area, particularly commercial and especially utility-scale, it’s really significant,” CEO of Cinnamon Energy Systems Barry Cinnamon told pv magazine. “You could just use fewer modules, it reduces handling costs and overall balance-of-system costs go down.” If there are less modules needed to reach the capacity specifications of a project, that means overall project costs will go down as these modules become economically viable. A significant area that will see cost reduction will come from the racking and trackers.

NREL’S FREE DATABASE

WattBuy to automate and expand NREL’s utility rate database, PV Magazine
With this new, free database, WattBuy can help residential homeowners more accurately calculate the return on investment (ROI) on a solar and/or solar-plus-storage system and make a more informed decision, Hood said. For solar financiers and energy efficiency companies, the new data will be useful for targeting new markets and for tracking projects’ ROI, he added.

EV NEWS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Project developers can secure cash from new IRENA funding pot, PV Magazine
The Climate Investment Platform launched by three multilateral bodies in September is now open for business and renewables companies in developing nations could qualify for help with clean energy facilities, renewables-related grid improvements and energy efficiency schemes.