U.S. companies are dominating corporate procurement of clean energy this year even as global demand rises, and the record pace accelerated with two new and very different types of American firms announcing renewable power purchase agreements (PPA) totaling 160 MW this week.
Jelly maker J.M. Smucker Co. signed a long-term PPA with Lincoln Clean Energy for 60 MW of wind power from the 230-MW Plum Creek project in Wayne County, Nebraska. The Plum Creek PPA will help Ohio-based Smucker gain half of its electricity use from clean energy by 2020. Continue reading here.
From WINDExchange Newsletter Associations Allow Landowners to Collaborate on Wind Energy Developments
In conjunction with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, WINDExchange produced an audio interview with Paul Stout, board member of the Coalition of Renewable Energy Landowners, an organization launched in 2009. Landowner groups may allow rural landowners to collaborate to negotiate wind energy development agreements as a group. According to Stout, when wind energy developers need to assemble large parcels of land for a wind farm, it is easier for them when they have one negotiated agreement that everyone can sign. Learn more about wind project development at the WINDExchange website.
An official groundbreaking for the Scottsbluff Community Solar Project on Wednesday will begin the physical work on a project that’s been in the works for nearly two years. The public is invited to the event, which will eventually see a 128-killowatt solar array in the area, providing greener electricity to the city. Click here for additional details.
Current discussions on how to improve education have focused on better teachers, better technology and more funding (which deepens the debate on who should pay for it). But consider that each year K–12 schools spend more than $8 billion on energy — more than they spend on computers and textbooks combined. Too commonly overlooked is the opportunity to cost-effectively improve our nation’s schools and enhance student performance by tackling the performance of the very buildings in which children, faculty and staff spend more than eight hours each day. With energy costs averaging about $300 per student per year, cash-strapped districts have found improving energy performance as the best way to lower operating and maintenance costs.Click to read more
Photo: Schools that integrate solar panels onto their campuses can teach valuable hands-on lessons to students about physics, technology and global stewardship. Credit: Shutterstock / pisaphotography
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING The enormous scale of all the energy that we never used, by Chris Mooney, The Washington Post Click here to download the new American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE) Report that Mooney references in his article: The Greatest Energy Story You Haven’t Heard: How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the US Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change
By Kieran Coleman and Laurie Guevara-Stone. Posted on Green Biz. First published by Rocky Mountain Institute
Communities are a critical actor in the global effort to combat climate change. More than 1,000 locally elected officials from around the world were present at the Paris Climate Conference talks. Their voices, representing distant communities, were widely recognized as drivers of the international agreement. In the United States, communities and governments continue to drive toward more sustainable, inclusive economies by leveraging local solar power — most recently, in the form of community-scale solar. A unique benefit of community-scale solar projects is their very community orientation, which enables “community-supported development.” . Continue reading.
Photo: Aerial view of Boardman Hill Solar Farm in Rutland, Vermont.