Tag Archives: green hydrogen

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

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Postponed

After careful consideration, the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Planning Committee has made the decision to postpone the 2020 conference. Updates on the 2021 conference dates will be provided at: www.nebraskawsc.com

OPPD’S DECARBONIZATION STUDY

Pathways to Decarbonization, OPPD Community Connect
What is decarbonization? Simply, it’s the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, commonly referred to as our carbon footprint. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere, human activities over the last century have significantly increased levels of greenhouse gases. These include burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, and removing trees (deforestation) to enable other land uses, such as clearing rainforests for agricultural purposes.

OPPD is working across four areas of focus to develop a roadmap for making progress towards the utility’s net-zero carbon production goal. Learn more and share your ideas about OPPD’s work related to Energy Portfolio, Internal OperationsCustomer and Community.

NREL’S PV COST PROJECTIONS

NREL’s solar cost projections plummet in new forecast, PV Magazine 
The lower projected costs for PV could help guide some utilities to plan for more PV capacity, as the utilities develop their long-term resource plans.

CLIMATE ACTION

States Are Doing What Big Government Won’t to Stop Climate Change, and Want Stimulus Funds to Help, InsideClimate News

This story is part of a collaboration between InsideClimate News and The Nation as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. This article focuses on rural areas; to read how green recovery spending can impact cities, click here.

SOLAR POLICY

September solar policy snapshots, Solar Power World
A guide to recent legislation and research throughout the country.

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

FERC details carbon pricing conference as groups blast renewables, consumer and women exclusions, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Federal regulators on Friday announced details of a much-anticipated technical conference on carbon pricing, following a request from a broad group of renewable energy, gas and power groups for the commission to look at the issue more closely, but some stakeholders expressed disappointment with the lineup, decrying a lack of representation from renewable energy and consumer advocates, as well as lack of gender diversity.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Trickle Of Green Hydrogen Turns Into Flood Of Good News For Renewables, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Wind and solar developers are eyeballing green hydrogen as a pathway for future growth, and it looks like they won’t have to depend on the transportation sector for sole support. That’s because hydrogen has many other uses, aside from being used to power fuel cell electric vehicles. Take the vehicles out of the equation and you still have the potential for rapid growth in demand for green hydrogen — and therefore in the demand for wind and solar farms, too.

ZERO-EMISSION EV DRIVING

Enel X Partners with Uber to Support Zero-Emission EV Driving in the U.S. through New JuiceEco Product, Enel X News Release. Today Enel X, the leading provider of innovative energy and electric mobility solutions, introduced JuiceEco, a new option for electric vehicle (EV) drivers to power their rides with 100% renewable energy in the U.S. Available exclusively through Enel X, JuiceEco provides Green-e® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to match the consumption of any EV anywhere in the US with carbon-free electricity.

Uber pledges zero emissions platform by 2040, by Senior Editor Kristin Musulin, Smart Cities Dive Uber announced Tuesday a commitment to becoming a zero emissions mobility platform across its 10,000 cities and six continents by 2040. The company is striving for 100% of its rides to take place in zero-emission vehicles, public transit and micromobility.

TESLA ENERGY

Tesla Energy ramps hiring at Giga New York for accelerated solar production, Teslarati
Tesla is hiring for over 30 different positions at Giga New York, the facility where the company manufactures its solar products. Recent job listings on LinkedIn for the company’s facility in Buffalo indicate a wide variety of skills are being sought, including but not limited to engineering, equipment maintenance, production operations, and roof installers.


Certified Tesla Solar Roof Installer in
Nebraska: Weddle & Sons Roofing
Office locations in Lincoln and Omaha

Installing A Tesla Solar Roof, by Weddle & Sons Roofing


“EARTH FOCUS” SEASON 3 

An Episode Guide to ‘Earth Focus’ Season 3, KCET Original Series

“Earth Focus” features investigative reports and in-depth stories about our changing environment and how it affects people around the world. In this new season, “Earth Focus” examines the politics of the environment, including global youth climate activists, the transition away from coal in South Africa, curbing illegal gold mining in Peru, and the environmental politics of the New West.

 Episode 1: The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

Alternative energy supporters vying for NPPD board

By Molly Hunter, The Columbus Telegram

Voters in Platte County will have a hand in influencing the state’s renewable energy future in November. The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is the Loup Power District’s wholesale power supplier. Eleven seats on the NPPD Board of Directors are up for election this fall. Supporters of alternative energy sources are vying for at least four of those seats, including the one that covers Platte County. Continue reading here.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

MORE LOCAL NEWS

OPPD board Chairman Craig Moody announces bid for Omaha City Council, Omaha World-Herald
Craig Moody, chairman of the Omaha Public Power District board and co-owner of a small business focused on sustainability, has announced a campaign for District 3, which covers the city’s downtown and midtown areas. Council President Chris Jerram, who currently represents the district, has said he won’t seek reelection.

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

CALIFORNIA 

US ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES NEW GOAL

100GW in 10 years: US Energy Storage Association issues ‘expanded vision’, Energy Storage News

The US national Energy Storage Association (ESA) has adopted a goal for the deployment of 100GW of new energy storage using a range of technologies by 2030, updating a previously set 35GW by 2025 target.
The trade group has nearly 200 industry stakeholder members.

EV CHARGING STATIONS WITH BATTERY STORAGE

Energy storage for EV charging can lower demand charges, Guidehouse reports, Utility Dive

EV charging stations with battery storage systems can make EV charging more cost effective by drawing energy from the grid during low-demand periods and releasing power to charge EVs during peak-demand periods, according to a Guidehouse Insights report. 

SOLAR-POWERED SCHOOLS & CHURCHES

Catholic Energies adding solar to Virginia schools and churches, Solar Power World
The combined projects will generate over 1.6 million kWh of clean electricity each year for decades and save the churches more than $2 million in energy operating costs during the term of their solar agreements.

Why NextEra’s green hydrogen pilot is a big deal

By Christian Roselund, Editorial Director, Rocky Mountain Institute
Republished by GreenBiz

In its recent quarterly results call, U.S. power giant NextEra announced that its utility subsidiary Florida Power & Light (FPL) plans to build a 20-megawatt electrolyzer to produce hydrogen from water. If approved by regulators, the plant will run on power from otherwise curtailed solar and feed hydrogen to burn in FPL’s Okeechobee gas plant.

On the global stage, the scale of this investment does not raise eyebrows. “Green” hydrogen electrolysis plants of a similar scale are underway in a number of other nations, and some are scheduled for completion by the end of this year. In the United States, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) plan to convert its coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant in Utah to a mix of hydrogen and gas will involve a much larger supply of hydrogen from electrolysis. However, what is important is not just the megawatts. Continue reading here.

TENASKA NEWS

2GW pipeline of California battery projects revealed by Capital Dynamics and Tenaska, Energy Storage News. Asset management firm Capital Dynamics has signed a deal with Nebraskan independent power producer Tenaska to develop nine battery energy storage system (BESS) projects located in California’s highest electrical load centers.

NRECA NEWS RELEASE

NRECA, DOE Launch Rural Battery Storage Research Projects, August 17, 2020
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today launched four rural battery storage projects in partnership with five electric cooperatives and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity. The projects are being funded in part by DOE and will examine how energy storage systems can improve the resilience of critical infrastructure in rural areas. Two of the projects simultaneously will support military installations served by electric cooperatives and will help fulfill Department of Defense energy assurance goals. “This is a great example of how America’s electric co-ops and the more than 95 military facilities that they serve are evolving together,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.

Related News Stories

NRECA Member Co-Ops’ Renewables

MASS-MARKET “ENERGY-AS-A-SERVICE” MICROGRIDS

Schneider Electric and Huck Capital Launch ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ Microgrids for the Mass Market, Greentech Media. A new company, 5D Energy, will pitch no-money-down solar, storage and backup power for small and medium-size C&I customers.

UTILITY DIVE’S “PROPELLING THE TRANSITION” SERIES

GTM ‘S POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

How Texas Turned Green: On this week’s Political Climate, former FERC Commissioner and Chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission Pat Wood discusses competitive power markets and how a red state became a green energy leader.

GTM’S INTERCHANGE PODCAST

The Wild World of ESG Investing. This week on The Interchange podcast: Can we get environmental, social and corporate governance right?

UPCOMING GREENBIZ WEBCAST

Sustainable Recovery: ESG Values and our Resilient Future, September 15, 12 pm
This one-hour webcast will focus on the principles of sustainable recovery and how ESG-led strategies help organizations successfully navigate the trials of COVID-19 and today’s other complex challenges.

NEW SOLSMART SOLAR + EV GUIDE

SolSmart Report: Solar & Electric Vehicles, A Guide For Local Governments

This new report outlines key strategies including educating community members on the benefits of PV and EVs, organizing group purchase campaigns to support both technologies, providing financial and non-financial incentives on EV and PV regulation, and adjusting local regulations to reduce costs and ease integration.

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Solar Businesses Offer a Helping Hand to Communities Affected by COVID-19 (Part 3)
With COVID-19 cases still surging in the United States, solar companies continue to step up to make an impact in their communities and help our country #RebuildBetter. Here’s how several solar companies are giving back to their fellow Americans during this crisis.

Propelling the transition: The battle for control of virtual power plants is just beginning

By Matthew Bandyk, Utility Dive

The largest power plants in the the U.S. — massive feats of engineering like the over 5,000 foot-long, 6,800-MW capacity Grand Coulee Dam — are proving to be no match in scale to the combined power of the rooftops and basements of homes and businesses across the country. Distributed energy, including rooftop solar, on-site batteries to store electricity and more, are on track to grow to nearly 400 GW in the U.S. by 2025, according to projections from Wood Mackenzie, significantly greater than the amount of coal or nuclear power capacity in the U.S. today.

The existence of that much power leads to an inevitable question: who controls it? Utilities see distributed energy as both a threat to their business models and an opportunity to harness this relatively new and massive source of energy to make money. The rise of distributed energy has led to a conflict between a utility-centered business model and a service model based around third parties. “The fundamental question is who can manage and schedule distributed energy resources (DERs) and how?” said Omar Saadeh, business strategy manager at Accenture. “It’s a question being asked in a number of states.” Continue reading here.

Photo by Sonnen: The all-electric Soleil Lofts apartment community in Herriman, Utah, a virtual power plant managed by Rocky Mountain Power, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE).

Clean Energy Group Webinar
An Introduction to Virtual Power Plants, September 28, 12 to 1 pm

NREL

This Lab Aims to Prepare the U.S. Electricity Grid for a Climate Transformation, by E&E News, Scientific American. A new test bed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will explore ways to ease the shift to renewables and energy storage systems.

ELECTRIC BILLING

The Current System of Electric Billing No Longer Makes Sense: Here are some suggestions for fixing it. Greentech Media article contributed by Dan Seif, vice president for market development at 7X Energy, a Texas-based solar developer.

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Black & Veatch Joins Board of U.S. Solar Trade Group
Globally, Black & Veatch has implemented more than 100 GW of solar and wind energy, over 2,500 MWh+ of battery energy storage, and has deployed more than 700 distributed energy buildouts through its range of solutions from engineering services to EPC.

800-WATT SOLAR PANEL

JA Solar launches 800 W solar panel, PV Magazine International
The new product, currently the most powerful panel on the market, was showcased at the SNEC PV Power Expo in Shanghai. Also presented at the fair was a 780 W product from Tongwei and a 660 W module from Trina.

FEATURED SOLAR PROJECT

Habitat La Crosse adds solar power, La Crosse Tribune


Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area’s “Soak up the Sun” Project is adding a 53.28 KW solar power system on the roof of their office and ReStore building in La Crosse. To learn more, visit: www.habitatlacrosse.org.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Starting a new industry, PV Magazine
As a business prospect, producing hydrogen via sustainable means remains in its infancy. However, analysts appear increasingly certain that we are seeing the dawn of a vital new industry. In Europe, some countries (such as Germany and Portugal) have already adopted national strategies for the production and use of the fuel. And in July, the European Union also published a comprehensive hydrogen strategy as a central part of a climate-neutral Europe.

EV CHARGING

How Convenient! Ultra Fast, Battery-Boosted EV Charging At ampm Stores, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica. The field of battery-enabled ultra fast EV charging is about to blow up out of nowhere. In the latest development, the company FreeWire Technologies has inked a deal with the convenience store chain ampm to install its battery-integrated Boost Charger System. Look for plenty more where that came from: ampm happens to come under the umbrella of newly minted clean tech giant bp through its bp America, Inc. subsidiary.

Previously Posted BP News Release: BP invests in mobile electric vehicle charging company FreeWire to deliver rapid charging at retail sites

It’s Time for American Leaders to Wake Up to the Threat of Climate Change for the Good of the Planet and Business

 Time Magazine Article Contributed by John R. Kasich,
Republican Governor of Ohio from 2011 to 2019

If we could have seen the pandemic coming and had the power to prevent it, of course, we would have. If we had that power but sat on our hands as millions became sick and died, that inaction would be unforgivable.

There is another problem that we know is coming, that we have the power to address, and yet which we continually do too little—or often nothing—to tackle. I’m talking about climate change.

Read more here.


AMERICA’S DIGITAL DIVIDE & OUR CLIMATE CRISIS

The digital divide worsens the inequitable impacts of the climate crisis, GreenBiz
This story originally appeared in Grist and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration to strengthen coverage of the climate story. The author, Maddie Stone, is a science journalist based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Vice, National Geographic, the Washington Post, the Atlantic and more. 

 SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS COLLABORATIONS – NEW GREENBIZ RESOURCES

From water to carbon, 5 new sustainable business collaborations, by Joel Makower, co-founder, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group Inc., producer of GreenBiz.com

For decades, collaborations and partnerships have been a fundamental part of the sustainable business toolkit, enabling companies to do together what none of them caneasily do alone. Over the years, those collaborations seem to have grown in lockstep with the profession of sustainability itself. Makower’s article includes established as well as “five recent collaborations worth knowing about.”

AMERICA’S FIRST ALL-SOLAR TOWN

Babcock Ranch Is America’s First All-Solar Town, Sarasota Magazine
Coupled with 9,000 acres of bicycle and hiking trails and interconnected lakes, it is to be a town that celebrates health, wellness and technology.

GEORGIA POWER’S SOLAR CUSTOMER COMPENSATION

Georgia Power Expands Renewable Energy with New Solar Program, Solar Industry Magazine
Georgia Power will purchase 100% of the solar energy generated by directly paying the customer. Renewable energy credits (RECs) will be retired by Georgia Power on behalf of participating customers, allowing the customer to claim the renewable benefits of the local solar energy.

OFFSHORE WIND

New auctions could support 28GW US offshore wind, reNEWS
WoodMac predicts $1.2bn in treasury revenue is achievable if BOEM leases more areas including California. New US offshore wind leases could support up to 28GW of clean energy capacity by 2022, according to a new study published by Wood Mackenzie. The study examines the economic impact of offshore wind activities as a result of potential Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) lease auctions in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

BP’S REVISED RENEWABLES TARGET

BP to Build 50GW of Renewables by 2030, Cut Fossil Fuel Output by 40%, Greentech Media
BP has set a 2030 renewables capacity target of 50 gigawatts, which puts it level with French utility giant EDF. BP’s renewables target includes a 20-gigawatt goal by 2025, up from the 2.5 gigawatts it has today. In June it upped its carbon price forecast for 2030 to $100 per ton, from the $40 it assumes now.

Related News Story: BP reports second-quarter loss after major write downs, halves dividend, CNBC

SHELL IN THE NEWS

Holy Floating Solar With Green Hydrogen Offshore Wind Farm, Batman, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Shell has been criss-crossing the CleanTechnica radar as it moves into wind power, among other renewable energy ventures. The Hollandse Kust nord wind project builds up the company’s new identity as a clean power fan, while also positioning it as a global leader for innovative solutions to the challenge of integrating massive quantities of intermittent energy into the grid.

POWERING ELECTRIC TRUCK FLEETS

Electric truck fleets will need a lot of power, but utilities aren’t planning for it, GreenBiz article contributed by Stephen Nadel, Executive Director, ACEEE

This issue is critical, because freight trucks emit more than one-quarter of all vehicle emissions. Recent product developments offer growing opportunities to electrify trucks and buses and slash their emissions (see our recent white paper). And just last week, a group of 15 states plus D.C. announced plans to fully electrify truck sales by 2050. Utilities will need to be ready to power electric fleets.

One Way to Retire Coal Plants: Buy Out the Owner

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

Municipal and cooperative utilities may have an easier time retiring coal plants early.

In 2016, New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative left its long-standing power supply relationship with Colorado’s Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association behind. Kit Carson paid nearly $40 million to sever its relationship with Tri-State, after realizing it could save its customers even more money — $50 to $70 million — and get access to more renewables by contracting with Guzman Energy, a wholesale power provider. Since Kit Carson made a run for the door, numerous Tri-State members have considered the same.

Think tank Energy Innovation, in a new analysis released Tuesday in partnership with energy modeling company Vibrant Clean Energy, is elevating Kit Carson’s flight as a model for coal retirement that allows third-party, private financiers — including energy providers such as Guzman, investors or renewables developers — to push municipal and co-operative utilities toward more renewables. Continue reading here.

Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC is a nonpartisan energy and environmental policy firm. 

MORE GTM ARTICLES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Microsoft Eyes New Tool in Decarbonization Quest: Green Hydrogen
    The tech giant announced Monday that it recently powered a row of data center servers for 48 hours using nothing but hydrogen fuel cells, which it believes to be the longest such test in the world for a data center operator at that scale. Microsoft is expanding its hydrogen testing and intends to leverage its vast size and energy consumption to help the green hydrogen industry scale up, Brian Janous, the company’s general manager for environmental sustainability, said in an interview. Last week NextEra Energy, the largest U.S. generator of wind and solar power, revealed plans to build its first green hydrogen facility in Florida, to be fueled by solar power.
  • Trump Administration Announces Long-Delayed Nomination of Democrat to FERC
    Nomination of NRDC attorney Allison Clements alongside Virginia utility regulator Mark Christie could restore political balance to key U.S. agency.
  • FirstEnergy CEO Defends Utility Amid Bribery Scandal Questions
    The utility’s share price and credit ratings have taken a hit after it was implicated in an Ohio nuclear and coal bailout corruption investigation.

NEW WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE REPORT

41 states have reduced their carbon emissions while growing their economies, Fast Company
Since 2005, 41 states and Washington, D.C., have increased their GDPs while reducing their carbon emissions, debunking the myth that economic growth can only happen at the expense of our environment. A new report from World Resources Institute (WRI) analyzes how states have decoupled their GDP growth from emissions, which Devashree Saha, a senior associate at WRI, says is “a hopeful sign for the United States and for the planet.” 

MORE ON NEW EIA DATA

Renewables have outpaced nuclear and coal to start 2020, PV Magazine
In the latest edition of Electric Power Monthly, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that renewable resources have generated more electricity through May 31st than both coal and nuclear power.

AGGREGATED COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECTS

First downstate project through Illinois community solar program underway, Energy News Network. The first community solar project in downstate Illinois facilitated by the state’s 2017 Future Energy Jobs Act is now being built, showing both the potential of the wildly popular program and the challenges of implementing it. Washington D.C.-based Summit Ridge Energy won the rights to sell renewable energy credits for 18 projects in downstate Ameren utility territory and 23 in ComEd’s territory in northern Illinois. So far it’s signed up 8,479 customers to participate in the community solar installations — just over half the subscribers it needs to be fully subscribed. 

MIDWEST SOLAR SCHOOLS

C2 Energy Capital Works with Solar Partners to Guide a School Solar Project to Successful Completion, C2 Capital News Release, PRNewswire

“The average price of a school solar installation has dropped 67% in the last ten years, making solar energy a smart decision for schools’ budgets. The most important factor for a successful solar installation in a school is an experienced team. Together, our partners have installed solar on dozens of schools in the Midwest and we are proud of the level of expertise, quality, and service we can offer,” says Richard Dovere, Co-founder and Managing Member of C2 Energy Capital.

The partnership between C2 Energy Capital, First Solar, and SP&L took a value-driven approach that resulted in cost-savings and reduced project risk for the school through strategic technology procurement, employing local and Ohio resources, and arranging ongoing project performance analysis. 

EVANGELICAL ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK

Can an evangelical group change Ohio lawmakers’ minds on clean energy?, Energy News Network

An evangelical group has a stark message for Ohio lawmakers: If you care about unborn children, clean up the air their mothers breathe. “As a pro-life Christian, I believe pollution harms the unborn, causing damage that lasts a lifetime,” reads a petition signed by more than 53,000 Ohioans in support of moving the state to 100% clean electricity by 2030. The petition, circulated by the nonprofit Evangelical Environmental Network, was delivered to lawmakers on July 16. Its potential political impact was unclear then and is even more so now after federal authorities arrested the speaker of the Ohio House and others as part of an alleged $60 million bribery scheme

SUNPOWER BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

SunPower to launch 625 W shingled module, PV Magazine
SunPower, which is majority owned by French energy giant Total, is planning to launch a new shingled module series with 625 watts of power output. Group spinoff Maxeon Solar Technologies will commercialize the Performance 5 line in the fourth quarter. The high-efficiency, bifacial mono-PERC solar panels will be made with large format eight-inch G12 wafers and will have an efficiency of 21.2%.

AWEA WEBINAR SERIES

Renewables 101 series: Wind recap, look out for solar, by Lauren Rudolphi, Into The Wind
As someone new to the renewable energy industry, this month’s Wind 101 Webinar Series offered an insightful and well-rounded look into the world of wind. From an overview of the market, to wildlife, siting & permitting, I walked away from the series feeling informed and excited to learn more! Below is a recap of my key takeaways.

Bright, Sunny, And Big Savings

Building Indiana 

Three separate solar utility projects were recently completed by South Bend-based Inovateus Solar on behalf of Northern Indiana Public Service Company. The projects are the utility’s first solar installations of what will likely be many. NIPSCO has announced plans to retire all of its remaining coal-fired electric generating stations by 2028 and replacing them with less expensive, cleaner energy.  According to data from late last year, Indiana is projected to add about 1,628 MW of solar energy over the next five years. That’s a whole lot of free, clean energy for Hoosiers and it could be a bright spot for business. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)

FEATURED COMMENTARY

Guest Commentary | Renewable energy provides red, white, blue and green jobs for Illinoisans
By Julie Vogel, co-owner and president of worker-owned New Prairie Construction, The News-Gazette


I started New Prairie Construction with my partner in 1988. After growing our team steadily for nearly 30 years, New Prairie became East Central Illinois’ first worker-owned construction company in 2018. Our 20-person team is now part of the vast clean-energy industry in Illinois after we launched New Prairie Solar in 2015 to provide solar-panel installation to the area.

 

AWEA NEWS RELEASE

American Wind Energy Association Urges U.S. Electric Grid Operators to Prepare to Harness the Benefits of Hybrid Energy Projects, July 22, 2020

Washington D.C. – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today stressed the need for the U.S. Regional Transmission Operators and Independent System Operators (collectively referred to as ISOs) to update their policies to accommodate the growing number of hybrid renewable energy and storage projects requesting interconnection to the nation’s electric grids. These hybrid and co-located projects, which often include pairings of wind, solar, storage, or all three technologies, now represent over ten percent of the resources seeking interconnection to ISOs in the U.S.

NEW RMI REPORT

Changing grid architecture creates resilience opportunities: report, Utility Dive
Utilities are expected to make $1 trillion in electric system upgrades across the next decade, and a new report from Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) frames this as an opportunity to “reimagine grid resilience” by rethinking upstream investments and focusing outage prevention and restoration upgrades “as far downstream as practical.”

SUN DAY CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS OF NEW EIA DATA

Renewable energy provides more than 25% of US electricity in 5-mo 2020, Renewables Now
Renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) produced significantly more electricity than either coal or nuclear power during the first five months of 2020, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of just-released data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). In May alone, renewable sources accounted for more than one-quarter (25.3%) of the nation’s net electrical generation — an all-time high.

DIRECT CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING

World’s Largest Customer-Sited Solar-Storage Plant Planned for Nevada Desert, Greentech Media Capital Dynamics is building a massive solar-plus-storage plant next to a Switch data center. Switch was able to subscribe to this project thanks to a Nevada law allowing large industrial customers to source their own power. Casino company MGM famously used this Direct Access rule to exit utility NV Energy in 2016, with the goal of doubling its share of clean energy while cutting energy costs. The state initially rejected Switch’s request to leave the utility, but later granted it in 2016. NV Energy is now working toward a statewide goal of 50 percent clean energy by 2030. But Switch has already achieved 100 percent clean energy by buying on its own. “Direct access is significantly cheaper than going through the utility, and more sustainable,” [Switch EVP of Strategy, Adam Kramer] said.

HYDROGEN

PURPA

What does the overhaul of PURPA mean for solar power?, PV Magazine
The long-awaited overhaul of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 is upon us, bringing with it substantial changes to the policy that has benefited over 30% of today’s solar facilities. What these changes will mean for American solar moving forward remains to be seen.

RE100

World’s Largest Semiconductor Foundry Joins RE100 And Calls On Peers To Step Up On Renewable Energy, The Climate Group

One of Taiwan’s biggest companiesTSMC, is today committing to source 100% renewable electricity globally as part of RE100, and urging peers across the electronics industry to follow suit. RE100 is a global initiative led by international non-profit the Climate Group in partnership with CDP, bringing together more than 240 global businesses switching to 100% renewable power.

TSMC is the first semiconductor manufacturer globally to join RE100, driven by an ambitious approach to renewables and now favorable market conditions in Taiwan. It supplies major electronics companies such as Apple, which last week announced it aims to have a carbon neutral supply chain by 2030. Today’s commitment is expected to put pressure on other major semiconductor companies, including Samsung, to join RE100 with a global 100% renewable electricity goal.

FOLDABLE SOLAR ROOF

A Solar Roof That Only Comes Out When The Sun Is Shining, CleanTechnica
A company in Switzerland and its partner, Kronberg and St. Gallish-Appenzellische Kraftwerke (SAK), have created something unique with solar. More than just a typical roof that one would install on their homes, this roof is meant for parking lots and would keep vehicles cool while it’s hot out. In the US today, you can get rooftop solar for $1.49/watt from Tesla and a similar price from others. Maybe these retractable solar roofs are another step forward for a niche segment of the market. The question we haven’t seen answered, though, and can’t figure out is: what’s the benefit of folding up? Why can’t the panels just be fixed and stable like in a traditional solar carport?

SOLAR WINDOWS

ClearVue to supply solar windows for US energy innovation project, Renewables Now
Australian smart building materials maker ClearVue Technologies Ltd today said it will supply solar windows for a hotel development in the US, part of a bigger energy innovation project. The project, which is due to break ground in the final quarter of the year, will consist of 12 hotels with 4,280 rooms.

GTM’S ENERGY GANG PODCAST

Biden’s Trillion-Dollar Climate Ambitions

On this week’s episode of The Energy Gang;

Biden supercharges his clean-energy infrastructure dreams. Then, Facebook’s disinformation problem: We look at why Facebook is rejecting the conclusions of its fact-checkers on some articles about climate change. Finally, U.S. attorneys in Ohio and Illinois have been busy investigating racketeering and bribery by high-ranking public officials who are doing the bidding of utility companies. In Ohio, the speaker of the House is arrested and in Illinois a utility is put on probation. There’s a common thread.

EV NEWS

BYD’s Fully Electric Refuse Trucks Make It Easy To Upgrade Fleets To Zero Emissions, CleanTechnica


Noisy trash trucks may soon be a thing of the past if BYD has anything to say about it. In partnership with Hudson County Motors, BYD is providing the first fully electric rear loader refuse collection trucks to the East Coast of the US. The new trucks will have sufficient range to run typical full day routes in Jersey City, providing not just zero emission service, but nearly silent service.

Discriminatory rooftop solar charges may violate antitrust law

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

When his electric bill went up by about 65% because he has solar panels on his roof, William Ellis joined three others to file an antitrust lawsuit against their Arizona utility, Salt River Project (SRP), in federal district court. They alleged that SRP aimed “to stifle and eliminate all competition from the growing solar energy market.”

When the federal district court dismissed the case, the plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where they gained support last week from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Department’s Antitrust Division pursues antitrust cases for the federal government, and occasionally offers legal analysis in private antitrust cases. Read more here.

KANSAS ENERGY REPORT 

Secrecy in Kansas energy report irks clean energy, consumer stakeholders, by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network. A report commissioned by the Kansas Legislature to help guide future energy policy decisions leaves the public in the dark on the rationale behind key recommendations, critics say.  “Most of the solar information has been redacted,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the Kansas Climate & Energy Project. The only way she can see the entire unredacted report is to formally intervene in the matter, which she said she is now doing.

MOODY’S ANALYSIS – MISSOURI UTILITIES

Feeling the heat: Missouri utilities sit in bull’s-eye for heat stress, analysts say, by Bryce Gray, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In the next 10 to 20 years, rising temperatures are projected to stress Missouri’s power system more than any other state’s, driving up days at peak demand, increasing the frequency of rolling blackouts and making it harder for utilities to cool power plants, according to a report from a top U.S. credit rating agency. Days before the Moody’s report came out, the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, used an annual address to highlight climate change as “a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects,” and a catalyst for “a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

CLIMATE RISK

A CFO’s take on climate and risk management, GreenBiz article contributed by Vincent Manier, Chief Financial Officer of ENGIE Impact. While climate risk remains an often overlooked or undervalued factor in risk management programs, there is an urgent need to integrate resiliency into core business strategy if businesses want to continue to thrive — or even remain operational.

ESG

An unexpected breakout year for the social side of ESG, by Mike Hower, GreenBiz
The great thing about ESG is that it isn’t a zero-sum game. A renewed focus on the S actually might help companies do a better job of addressing environmental challenges because the two are linked. People of color or low-income socioeconomic status, for example, are suffering and will continue to suffer first and worst from the negative effects of the climate crisis, says Union of Concerned Scientists.

SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION REPORT

US installed more solar in Q1 2020 than ever before, by Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine
According to SEIA, the U.S. solar market will install 113 GW of solar from 2020-25, which is actually down 3.6 GW from the projections the company made in 2019, due to the ongoing pandemic.

ENERGY STORAGE

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENT

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $21 Million for Research in EPSCoR States, EIN Presswire
The award teams are led by universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  The proposed teams include partner institutions in Louisiana and Nevada.

BIDEN-SANDERS UNITY TASK FORCE REPORT

Biden-Sanders task force calls for installing 500 million solar modules in next five years, PV Magazine. report from the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force calls for the installation of 500 million solar modules in the next five years. Solar module sizes vary widely these days — but that’s hundreds of gigawatts of solar and several times the current U.S. appetite for PV.

GRAIN BELT EXPRESS TRANSMISSION LINE

Whoosh! Wind Power Wins, Pipelines Implode In Fossil Fuel Week From Hell, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica. “The project will benefit many Missourians who receive their electricity from community-owned, non-profit local municipal utilities,” the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) explained in a statement dated May 15, 2020. For those of you keeping score at home, that covers 350,000 Missourians served by 39 community-owned utilities. According to MPUA, the Grain Belt Express is expected to save its members $12.8 million annually while 1,500 jobs and $500 million in infrastructure investment into Missouri.

100% GREEN MICROGRIDS

Hydrogen May Be The Crucial ‘Jigsaw’ Piece For Green Microgrids, by Ken Silverstein, Senior Contributor, Forbes. “In the last decade, renewable energy sources have been transforming the microgrid landscape, consequently reducing or even eliminating the need for costly fossil fuels. This has been made possible through the use of hydrogen,” says Thomas Chrometzka, a strategist with Enapter, which makes electrolyzers — a device used to split apart the hydrogen and oxygen from water. “Introducing hydrogen to microgrids solves the problem of seasonal or long-term storage that batteries cannot provide. It is the crucial jigsaw piece for 100% green microgrids.”

COMMUNITY ORCHARD WITH SOLAR-POWERED CLASSROOM

South Sioux City Community Orchard continues to grow, KTIV
Along with fruit trees, the orchard features a home for honey bees, and in 2018 a classroom was added to allow for educational classes. To help power the classroom, solar panels were added.

IEA REPORTING

Has the International Energy Agency finally improved at forecasting solar growth?, PV Magazine Something strange has happened at the IEA — the agency has finally begun to take solar and other renewables seriously.

Advanced macro grid initiative announced in US

By Jean Haggerty, PV Magazine

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid are launching the Macro Grid Initiative to improve the country’s balkanized electricity transmission system and better integrate low-cost renewable energy. Breakthrough Energy, an organization that Bill Gates formed in 2015 to expand clean energy investment and innovation, will provide substantial funding for the initiative. “To respond to the challenge of climate change, we need ambitious investments in our electrical grid. Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources are booming, moving us toward a carbon-free future,” said Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

News Release: Macro Grid Initiative Launches to Expand and Upgrade America’s Transmission Network

The R-Project in Nebraska: You can learn more about NPPD’s construction of the 345,000-volt transmission line and stay informed on the latest R-Project information here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW JERSEY’S WIND PORT & THE STATE’S 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY COMMITMENT

UNILEVER’S HOLISTIC CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Unilever unveils climate and nature fund worth more than $1 billionGreenBiz
Unilever CEO Alan Jope emphasized the company intended to eschew a sustainability strategy that focused on emissions alone and instead take a holistic approach. “Climate change, nature degradation, biodiversity decline, water scarcity — all these issues are interconnected, and we must address them all simultaneously,” he said.

RE100: Unilever is one of 241 RE100 companies that have made a commitment to go 100% renewable. An increasing number of them are also working with their supply chains to help the companies purchase renewable energy for their own operations, providing an exponential boost to its deployment. Read about the actions RE100 businesses are taking and why here.

REIT HOSTS ROOFTOP COMMUNITY SOLAR 

Duke Realty Set To Become New Jersey’s Largest Community Solar Host, Duke Realty News
Duke Realty, the largest domestic-only, pure-play logistics property REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) in the United States, has announced it will host solar projects covering nearly 1 million square feet of roof space across four of its New Jersey industrial sites through a partnership with Solar Landscape. The Clean Energy Act of 2018 established a statewide Community Solar Program in New Jersey. The pilot program allows property owners to lease their rooftops or land to solar developers to construct large solar projects that power their communities. The pilot program is being rolled out over three years.