Tag Archives: Green Mountain Power

Next Era’s Bet on Renewable Energy Was a Winner All Along

By Kyle Stock, Bloomberg

NextEra’s wind and solar farms, now scattered across about half the U.S., produce enough juice to power Greece. The company has plans to nearly double its renewable capacity — enough turbines and panels — to power 11 million homes. That’s about 10 percent of the country. From there, the next 10% should come far cheaper. Read more here.

Previously Posted: 5 Major US Utilities That Haven’t Promised to Fully Decarbonize: Some of the holdouts will surprise you, by Julian Specter, Greentech Media

Photo: NextEra built Nebraska’s 5-megawatt solar array on 35 acres east of Fort Calhoun, which became operational in late December of 2019. NextEra contracted with OPPD to sell the power it produces to the utility for at least 20 years. See: Here comes the sun: OPPD awards contract for community solar, The Wire

More On NextEra & Nebraska

About Power Purchase Agreements

Solar Power Purchase Agreements, Solar Energy Industries Association 
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost. 

TRANSMISSION

Dynamic Line Rating: Expanding Transmission Grid Capacity for Clean Energy, by Jeff St. John, Greentech Media

Renewable energy projects are “awaiting interconnections because of the inefficiency of the transmission we have,” Jon Wellinghoff, FERC chairman from 2009 to 2013 and CEO of Grid Policy, told GTM. “If we start providing developers with incentives to improve that efficiency, we’ll see interconnections will happen much more quickly, more smoothly, and at a much lower cost.”  While President-elect Joe Biden’s most aggressive clean energy plans may face roadblocks from Republicans in Congress, transmission development could be a realm where federal policymakers could align, [Hudson Gilmer, CEO of DLR provider LineVision] noted. “Modernizing our grid, especially using advanced technologies, is an area that both sides of the aisle can agree on.” 

NATIONAL & LOCAL SOLAR INFORMATION

Solar Jobs, Solar Installations, & Homes Powered by Solar in Top 10 US Solar States, by Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

In October, I published reports on the top US solar states per capita, the top US solar states as a percentage of electricity, and the top US states in terms of total installed solar power capacity. Based on that first ranking system, I’m going a bit broader and looking at some more solar stats.

Local Resource: Solar Energy Generation In Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

DOE FUNDS STUDY ON CO-LOCATING SOLAR & POLLINATOR HABITATS

UIC receives $1.8M from DOE to study effects of pollinator habitats at solar energy facilities, by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Newswise

The three-year project, “Evaluation of Economic, Ecological, and Performance Impacts of Co-Located Pollinator Plantings at Large-Scale Solar Installations” will examine the economic, ecological and performance impacts of pollinator habitats co-located at five large-scale solar photovoltaic facilities in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.


LEGO’S CARBON REDUCTION GOALS

The LEGO Group’s carbon goal approved by Science Based Targets initiative, WebWire

The LEGO Group has committed to reducing its absolute carbon emissions by 37% by 2032 to ensure the company plays its part in limiting the effects of climate change1. The target has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative as consistent with levels required to keep global warming to below 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.

About The Science Based Targets Initiative
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. More information can be found here.

RE100 Member
Since 2012 the LEGO Group has invested approximately $890 million in offshore wind power. In May 2017 the company joined RE100 and achieved its ambition to balance 100% of its electricity use with energy from renewable sources. RE100 members include over 270 of the world’s most influential businesses.

GLOBAL IMPACT INVESTING

The unglamorous approach to impact investing in energy, PV Magazine article contributed by David Riester, a partner at Lacuna Sustainable Investments

Even the most cynical among us (rest assured I will have my moments herein) must be heartened by the near $1 trillion dedicated across the globe to “double-bottom line” investments, especially considering that ten years ago, using the same methodology, the pool of capital was $50 billion. Yet, as I stare at a press release for the twelfth ESG focused “SPAC”, I wonder: is the impact investment community directing its energy sector allocation optimally? The coming pages will touch upon 1.) Where the money is going now, 2.) Where it should go, and 3.) Why it isn’t going there.

special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a company with no commercial operations that is formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. – Investopedia

VEHICLE-TO-GRID CHARGING

Vermont’s Green Mountain Power deploys vehicle-to-grid charger, by Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

Vermont power company Green Mountain Power (GMP) has successfully deployed what it says is a first-of-its kind vehicle-to-grid charger to reduce energy use on the grid during peak demand.

DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS

Solar Energy is Hitting a Growth Spurt. So Is The Disinformation Around It, Texas Observer
Disinformation about renewable energy isn’t new. For decades, fossil fuel companies and conservative think tanks have painted wind turbines as a bird-killing, unreliable, and property-value damaging source of energy. “We’re starting to see the same forces shift over, focusing on solar farms,” says Dave Anderson, a researcher with the Energy and Policy Institute who tracks fossil-fuel-funded disinformation about renewable energy. 

Report recap: Four highlights from AWEA’s Wind Powers America Third Quarter Market Report

By Greg Alvarez, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

We’re three quarters of the way through an eventful 2020 (quite the understatement), but the good news is U.S. wind power just posted the best third quarter on record. That means more affordable, reliable, clean power for millions of American families and businesses. This finding and more are contained in AWEA’s Wind Powers America Third Quarter Market Report. Here’s a roundup of four notable highlights to keep an eye on: Continue reading here.

Photo by Mike Zakrzewski, Nebraska farmer in O’Neill: The Grande Prairie Wind Farm

AWEA FACT SHEETS

Wind Energy In Nebraska
Installed Wind Capacity: 2,364 MW
State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 12th

  • Iowa
    Installed Wind Capacity: 10,664 MW
    State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 2nd
  • Kansas
    Installed Wind Capacity: 6,524 MW
    State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 4th
  • Illinois
    Installed Wind Capacity: 5,659 MW
    State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 6th

MICROGRIDS & VIRTUAL POWER PLANTS

Tesla Expanding Into Solar Microgrids And Virtual Power Plants, CleanTechnica
The renewable energy revolution is in full swing. It will involve decentralized power generation as well as enhanced long distance transmission lines. Nothing is off the table. Tesla is creating an enormous virtual power plant in Australia that will incorporate rooftop solar and battery storage at 50,000 homes. Green Mountain Power is conducting a similar program in Vermont. Just as one day soon electric vehicle sales will surpass sales of conventional vehicles, our grandkids will likely grow up in homes that have residential storage batteries in the garage or in the basement next to the electrical panel.

GREEN HYDROGEN

It’s Time For Elon Musk To Admit The Significance Of Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Forbes
Contributed article by Alex Ivanenko, “co-founder and CEO of HyPoint, the company developing zero-carbon emission hydrogen fuel cell systems for aviation and urban air mobility.”

The technology for zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells for use in transportation and other industries isn’t a pipe dream — it already exists. Though you might not know it, hydrogen-powered trainstruckscarsairplanes and ships are already out in the wild. CNBC noted that “there are dozens of fuel cell buses in use or planned in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Massachusetts, as well as California” and that “more than 23,000 fuel cell-powered forklifts in operation at warehouses and distribution centers across the U.S. in more than 40 states, including at Amazon and Walmart facilities.” That’s just the beginning.

MORE CLEAN TECHNICA ARTICLES

COMMUNITY SOLAR 

FEATURED DOE INITIATIVE: EQUITY IN ENERGY 

News Release by DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity

On August 20th 2020, the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) launched its trademark Equity in Energy Initiative at the 43rd Annual National Conference of the American Association of Blacks in Energy’s (AABE). Equity in Energy, under the direction of the Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette [leads] the charge in fostering an inclusive energy economy at the DOE and the energy sector. 

Equity In Energy Booklet

UCS RECYCLING SERIES

About the Writer
James Gignac, is lead Midwest energy analyst for the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Prior to joining UCS, Mr. Gignac served as environmental and energy counsel and as assistant attorney general to the Illinois Attorney General. Mr. Gignac earned a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BA in history and political science from Albion College.

Included in the series:

FEATURED NEBRASKA SOLAR INSTALLATION

Lomneth Farm’s 12-kilowatt solar system in North Omaha. Installed by GC ReVOLT, which is owned by Graham Christensen. View more GC ReVOLT projects here.

See Solar Examples for more photos and descriptions of solar-powered farms in Nebraska.

 

SOLAR INCENTIVES

 

Links to Incentives, Depreciation & Net Metering Information

 

South Sioux City Continues Green Energy Effort

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ

Wednesday is “Energy Efficiency Day” and South Sioux City has a variety of projects that use alternative forms of energy to power the city. South Sioux City has a goal to be the greenest city in Nebraska. City Administrator Lance Hedquist says over half of the city’s energy now comes from renewable sources: Continue reading here.

Photo by Tim Hynds / Sioux City Journal: South Sioux City’s array at a solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla subsidiary.
Previously Posted News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal

ACEEE’S ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCORECARD

Midwest cities show more improvement in annual efficiency scorecard, by Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network. Northeast and West Coast cities dominated the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s annual city scorecard released Oct. 6, but the Midwest boasted the two most-improved cities in the rankings: St. Paul and St. Louis. Minneapolis was the only city in the top 10, tied for 4th with San Francisco, while Chicago was 13th. New York, Seattle and Boston claimed the top three spots. David Ribeiro, lead author of the scorecard, said Midwestern cities have much untapped potential, and he said cities anywhere in the nation should be able to do just as well as coastal leaders in incentivizing saving energy. 

ALSO PUBLISHED BY THE ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

MORE MIDWEST NEWS & NDEE RESOURCE

  • Powered by renewables, by Andrew Weeks, Grand Forks Herald
    Renewables, or what is sometimes called green energy, is shaping the energy sector not only in the Midwest but across the country. “I think the thing to really look at is what’s going on with the trends in energy right now,” said Dwight Patterson, CEO of GenPro Energy Solutions in Piedmont, S.D. “Renewable energy is really taking center stage in the United States as well as globally.” Renewable energy is projected to grow substantially over the next four years, he said, noting, “it’s an incredibly fast-moving market; it’s growing very quickly.” According to information by the Pew research Center, changes in renewable energy will continue to trend upward and will affect the labor market, including demand for new skill requirements.
  • Kansas is a state full of sun, so why does Kansas lag behind in solar power?, by Sarah Spicer, Wichita Eagle. “We’ve got a top 10 resource,” said Zack Pistoria, the Kansas lobbyist for the Sierra Club, a national environmental organization. “We haven’t done anything on solar.” Part of the reason, he said, is some of the anti-solar policies the state has in place. One example is the demand fees utility companies charge residents who use solar to generate energy at home. Utilities argued the fee was needed as a way to maintain infrastructure and transmission lines, but critics saw it as a way to discourage solar in the state.
  • Omaha Public Power District announces sites for two new gas generators, by Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association. Locations for the solar components of the Power with Purpose project have not yet been announced because sourcing for solar portions of the project are still under way.
  • Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)

INNOVATIVE ENERGY STORAGE INCENTIVES PROGRAMS

Arizona OKs home battery incentives as Green Mountain Power program shows millions in customer savings, by Emma Penrod, Utility Dive

The Arizona Corporation Commission last month approved the state’s first residential battery storage program — an incentive pilot proposed in August by the Arizona Public Service Company. Around the same time, Green Mountain Power (GMP) said its growing network of stored energy in Vermont, including home batteries and other resources, has reduced customer costs by about $3 million so far in 2020. Arizona has several hundred thousand households with rooftop solar, according to Court Rich, vice president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association.

NEXT ERA

Wind and solar producer tops Exxon as most valuable U.S. energy company, CBS News
Exxon, once the world’s most valuable company, has seen its revenues and profits slide over the last decade. By contrast, NextEra —the largest wind producer in North America and one of the largest solar companies — has enjoyed profit margins of as much as 50%, while its stock has outperformed the broader stock market. 

U.S. CORPORATE SOLAR ENERGY PURCHASING

NUCLEAR ENERGY

Nuclear Energy — The High Cost Of A Dying Industry, by Johnna Crider, CleanTechnica
The nuclear sector, OilPrice says, simply can’t compete with the flood of inexpensive natural gas and is struggling to stay alive. However, it’s not just natural gas — renewable energy has been passing up natural gas in terms of new power capacity, and also growing strong in terms of new electricity generation. 

TRANSPORTATION INEQUITY STUDY

Parking and public transit tell us a lot about equity in cities, by Joe Cortright, GreenBiz
University of Northern Illinois professor Chris Goodman recently compiled data for the nation’s 30 largest cities on the price cities charge for on street parking permits compared to the price of a transit pass. The disparity between what people pay to park their cars on the public street (nothing or very little) and what they have to pay to use transit speaks volumes about privilege and equity in transportation. To take advantage of free or low cost on street parking, you have to own a car, which automatically means the poorest households receive little or no benefit; meanwhile, because car ownership is highly correlated with income, more benefits go to high income households.

NATURAL BEER CARBONATION

Are the bubbles in your beer made from sustainable CO2?, by Jesse Klein, GreenBiz
Most beer produced in the United States is forcibly carbonated by injecting pressurized CO2 into the liquid. It can take up to two weeks to naturally carbonate beer, according to George, so few breweries do it for economic reasons. Carbon capture technology could provide a version of natural carbonation at a fraction of the time by grabbing the naturally produced gas for use later.

EPA-FUNDED BIODIGESTER PROJECT

Pa. college plans to power two farms from cafeteria waste, cow manure, and brewery scraps, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Kenneth Shultes, in charge of the school’s sustainability planning, said the biodigester project will reduce the school’s overall carbon emissions by 120 metric tons annually. “This fits with the college’s mission, and everything that we’re doing with sustainability,” Schultes said.

4 misconceptions about large-scale solar

By Patrick Smith, American Public Power Association

When it comes to large-scale solar for utilities and municipalities, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports that there are 37,000 MW in operation, with a whopping 74,000 MW additional in development. With such widespread solar adoption, it’s clear that many believe in the power of solar. However, there’s also a lot to understand behind the scenes, which can sometimes lead to misconceptions. Here, we’ll address and correct some of the more common ones. Continue reading here.

Also Published by the American Public Power Association
Report sees dramatic increase of solar-plus-storage projects, by Peter Maloney

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREEN CAMPUSES

Sol Systems, University of Illinois sign PPA for 12.1-MW solar project, Solar Power World
The PPA structure will yield cost savings for the university of approximately $300,000 in the first year and an estimated $5 million over the life of the project. Sol Customer Solutions (SCS), the joint venture between Capital Dynamics and Sol Systems, will design, build, operate, finance and maintain the solar farm for the life of the PPA.

MICROGRID NEWS & RESOURCES

 INTERVIEW

The EV Resistance: Gas Automakers Vs Tesla, by Brooke Crothers, Forbes
General Motors and Toyota were early leaders in electric vehicles. But a lot has changed in 20 years. I recently spoke with Chris Paine, director of the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car” (2006) and the sequel “Revenge of the Electric Car” (2011), and a longtime follower of the EV and Tesla.

GLOBAL SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING MARKET

Rising Adoption of Solar Power Driving Solar Panel Recycling Market, PV Magazine International
The global solar panel recycling market was valued at $80.7 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $269.8 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 22.0% during the forecast period (2018–2023).

In Iowa, grassroots energy districts aim to spur local clean energy conversations

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

A decade ago, Craig Mosher was one of a half-dozen people trying to rethink energy in their small hometown of Decorah in northeast Iowa.  “The general concern was climate change, but the specific concern was energy, and what we could do to reduce energy use and to shift to renewables,” Mosher recalled about the group’s early meetings at Luther College, a Lutheran school with a heavy environmental emphasis. Their solution? To create an “energy district,” an entity modeled after the soil and water conservation districts of the 1930s, but with a focus on energy. In the 10 years since the founding of the Winneshiek Energy District in Decorah, energy districts have become a movement in Iowa. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Winneshiek Energy District

Also In The News

Green Mountain Power partners with Sunrun to expand BYOD storage program

By HJ Mai, Utility Dive

Green Mountain Power (GMP), Vermont’s only investor-owned utility, is continuing to expand its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) battery storage program with the addition of Sunrun’s Brightbox home solar battery system. Customers can choose from six battery providers. With the introduction of Brightbox in Vermont, Sunrun is offering its battery system in nine states and Puerto Rico. Read more here.

Sunrun Brings Brightbox Home Solar Batteries, Virtual Power Plant To Vermont, Sunrun News Release, Globe Newswire

Rural Electric Co-ops Dive Into Gas-Killing Solar Panels + Farmland Fray

Written by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy legislative session over in the great state of Michigan, where policy makers are considering the idea that putting solar panels on farmland is a good thing. If the state does relax its restrictions, look for other US states to amp up the solar power rush. Read more here.

Photo Credit: George Parker / Fresh Energy

ALSO WRITTEN BY TINA CASEY

 

New Plan To Save Coal Jobs: Teeny, Tiny Coal Power Plants, CleanTechnica

 


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

  • Washington 100% renewable bill passes both Houses, PV Magazine
    Washington is looking to become the fourth state to make the move to 100% renewable electricity, with only a Senate review and the hand of Governor Inslee left in the way of SB 5116.
  • Homeowners play a role in Atlanta’s Clean Energy Plan, Atlanta Journal Constitution
    Developed by the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, the Clean Energy Plan was approved in March by the City Council. It offers the framework to overhaul energy usage of municipal operations and the community with short- and long-term strategies aimed at achieving 100% clean energy by 2035.
  • Green Mountain Power on 100% clean energy: hold my beer, PV Magazine
    The Vermont utility has set a plan to decarbonize more aggressively than even Washington DC, as the second utility know to pv magazine to set a 100% clean electricity target.

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

Utility Helps Wean Vermonters From the Electric Grid

By Diane Cardwell, New York Times

The projects are part of a bold experiment aimed at turning homes, neighborhoods and towns into virtual power plants, able to reduce the amount of energy they draw from the central electric system. But behind them are not green energy advocates or proponents of living off the land. Instead, it’s the local electric company, Green Mountain Power.

Green Mountain’s chief executive, Mary Powell, sees the program here as the best way to please customers while making the system more environmentally and physically sustainable. “Customers, especially in Vermont with the energy-independence values that people have, want to move more toward self-generation.”

Read more here.

Top Photo: Each unit of the McKnight Lane development in Waltham, Vermont, has solar panels installed on the roof. Credit: Jacob Hannah for The New York Times

New Solar + Storage Microgrid Project to Provide Resilient Power

With support from the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) and Clean Energy Group (CEG), Green Mountain Power, a Vermont utility, has broken ground on a major new solar + storage resilient power microgrid located in Rutland, Vermont.

This will be among the first microgrids in the country to be powered exclusively by solar PV, with over 7,700 solar panels on the site, backed up with 4 MW of battery capacity, and absolutely no use of fossil fuels.

The microgrid will be built on a landfill, contributing to the city’s brownfield recovery efforts, and will help to integrate solar generation on the distribution grid; it will also supply resilient power to a public school designated as a Red Cross emergency shelter, powering the shelter in emergencies when the grid is down (Rutland suffers frequent power outages due to storms).

Visit CESA’s website to read the full press release: http://www.cesa.org

Upcoming Webinar: A Solar Storage Microgrid for the Energy City of the Future

CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) will host a webinar on the Stafford Hills Microgrid Project on Friday, August 22 from 12-1 pm Central Daylight Time.

Green Mountain Power has broken ground on its solar plus storage microgrid located in Rutland, Vermont.  This will be among the first microgrids in the country to be powered exclusively by solar PV, with over 7,700 solar panels on the site, backed up with 4 MW of battery capacity, both lithium ion and lead acid types.

The microgrid will be built on a landfill and will help to integrate solar generation on the distribution grid; it will also supply resilient power to a public school designated as an emergency shelter, powering the shelter in emergencies when the grid is down (Rutland suffers frequent power outages due to storms).

This is the first step in a larger plan to make Rutland, VT the “energy city of the future.”  The project is funded in part by grants from the state of Vermont and from U.S. DOE, Office of Electricity, with support from CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership. 

Speakers:
• Imre Gyuk, Energy Storage Program Manager, U.S. DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
• Josh Castonguay, Director of Generation and Renewable Innovation, Green Mountain Power
Categories: Technology
Related Project: Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership:
http://www.cesa.org/projects/energy-storage-technology-advancement-partnership/

To register for the webinar, click here: http://www.cesa.org/webinars/estap-webinar-a-solar-storage-microgrid-for-the-energy-city-of-the-future/view/2014-08-22