Tag Archives: Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act

Wind energy, tax breaks sought to bring Google to Becker, Minn.

By Kirsti Marohn – Collegeville, Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio News

Google proposes to build the 375,000-square-foot data center on roughly 300 acres owned by Xcel Energy next to the Sherburne County Generating Station, the largest coal-burning plant in the Upper Midwest. Xcel will retire two of Sherco’s three generators in the next seven years. Google is working with Xcel to ensure that electricity used to power the data center will come from renewable sources. Continue reading here.

Previously Posted

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES


Have You Heard The Buzz? Displaced Coal Workers Follow In Tradition of Appalachian Apiculture, CleanTechnica

Appalachian Headwaters operates the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective, continuing a long-standing tradition of Appalachian apiculture. They say the Beekeeping Collective has the potential to bring millions of dollars into the region, offering job options and supplemental incomes for hundreds of people.

ADVICE ON GOING SOLAR

Column: Here’s why I went with solar, by Alan Youngblood / Star-Banner photo editor.
Published by The Ledger

Solar is pretty much a no-brainer. You reduce your carbon footprint while saving money or eliminating your power bill. The federal government has also extended the 30 percent tax credit on everything connected to the installation of residential solar panels through 2019. That means that 30 percent of what you spend on a solar installation comes right off the taxes you owe. Click image to watch YouTube video of the installation in fast motion. 

Residential & Business Incentives
Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems and small wind turbines: 30% through 2019. Small wind: 100 kilowatts or less. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

EV / ETHANOL NEWS

From Kaiser To Vail Ski Resorts, Companies Doubled Their Wind And Solar In 2018

By Grace Hood, Colorado Public Radio

Corporate giants like Facebook, Walmart, Microsoft and Apple made big deals in 2018, but now smaller corporate fish have waded into the pond. “We had Etsy do a deal last year, J.M. Smucker Company that makes jellies and jams,” [Kevin Haley, a program manager at the Business Renewables Center at Rocky Mountain Institute] said. “It’s a great way for them to reduce a lot of carbon all at once.”

Colorado-based Vail Resorts has joined the ranks of small companies as well. It inked a 12-year agreement to buy new wind that will be produced from a Nebraska farm starting in 2020. When the wind farm is operational, the purchased power will offset Vail’s fossil fuel use across North America. “This is the way that a company that’s geographically diverse can make a significant impact and bring new renewable resources online,” said Kate Wilson, director of sustainability for Vail Resorts. Read more here.

About Vail Resorts Corporation

Lincoln Clean Energy photo of the partially-completed 230 MW Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska. Once operational, the project will create high-paying local jobs and will result in over $3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne County area. This includes much needed property tax revenues, with some of the largest beneficiaries being the Norfolk and Winside school districts.

Previously Posted
Vail Resorts Announces Long-Term Wind Energy Contract, Renewable Energy Magazine
The company’s multimillion-dollar wind energy virtual power purchase agreement enables the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project. It is expected to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 100,000 U.S. homes each year.

Additional Colorado News: More Colorado co-ops announce clean energy goals, Clean Cooperative

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

Solar seen as bright career path at Illinois community colleges, Energy News Network

Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act included funding to make solar training more accessible to lower-income residents.
 

Catalyzing Clean Energy Innovation

By Jackie Wong and Arjun Krishnaswami, Natural Resources Defense Council

Clean energy is not a futuristic notion but rather a present reality. It already supports more than 3 million U.S. jobs for people of different skill sets and education levels. It also has become clear that clean energy can advance economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, AND energy security. Utilities’ commitments like those from Xcel Energy to eliminate carbon
emissions from its power plants and from Southern Company to be low- to no-carbon—both by 2050—are just some of the many signals that fully embracing clean energy is not only necessary and doable, but also an accelerating trend increasingly backed by businesses. Read more here.

Image: Pixabay / Public Domain

Also Published by NRDC: New Mexico Embraces Transition to 100% Clean Energy

ADDITIONAL 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


Green energy group aims to move Illinois toward 100 percent renewable energy, DeKalb Daily Chronicle

State Rep. Davis plans to introduce ‘Path to 100’ bill
within two weeks.

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


UNI offers incentive for solar panels, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier


In a push for more clean energy in Black Hawk County, experts from University of Northern Iowa are offering a smooth transition from using coal-fired power to naturally renewable solar energy . . . The “Go Solar” group-buy program gives businesses, farms and residents in Black Hawk County the opportunity to take advantage of reduced energy costs and join the increasing number of Iowans who are going solar and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

With little space for solar farms, suburbs are finding creative ways to embrace renewable energy

By Sarah Freishtat, Chicago Tribune

Solar farms are cropping up on Illinois’ open land, spurred by state requirements and a new state program, but several built-up suburbs are carving out room for solar power as well. From Evanston to Oak Park to Will County, communities are embracing solar power as a means to help meet renewable energy goals. And in Aurora, the state’s second-largest city, some advocates see solar power as part of their vision to get half of all Aurora’s energy from renewable sources within roughly 10 years . . . The growth of solar projects is spurred in part by the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, which took effect in 2017 and, among other things, created new solar programs and incentives. Read more here.

See Also: Greenest Region Compact, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Initiative

HAPPENING IN OTHER CITIES & STATES

Virginia’s solar freedom bill
In this op-ed for PV Magazine, Ivy Main looks at new legislation to remove barriers and allow Virginia to develop its distributed solar potential. Ivy is a lawyer, writer and energy consultant who also serves as the Renewable Energy Chair for the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club. Her articles on Virginia energy topics appear regularly in the Virginia Mercury and her blog, PowerforthepeopleVA.com.

CORPORATE NEWS


How Tesla is taking over neighborhoods with solar energy
, Electrek
Tesla has been betting on word of mouth to promote most of its products and solar has been no exception since it has acquired SolarCity. Here’s how Tesla has been taking over neighborhoods with solar energy thanks to the help of satisfied customers. Photo Credit: SolarCity



GE to install and test a ‘prototype’ of vast 12-megawatt turbine in the Netherlands, CNBC

 


FEATURED RESOURCES

Nebraska Utilities’ Programs & Incentives
NPPD Community / Rooftop Solar Resources
NPPD EnergyWise Incentives & Programs
OPPD’s Electric Vehicle Rebate Program – New rebates added.
More On OPPD Rebates & Programs
LES offers customers $1.5 million in Sustainable Energy Program incentives

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

 

NPPD’s R-Project. To learn more about the project, click here.
NPPD News Release: Contract awarded for R-Project transmission line construction by NPPD

 

City ready for community solar gardens

By Jennifer Bailey, Commercial-News, Danville, Illinois

Illinois passed The Future Energy Jobs Act in December 2016. This legislation went into effect June 1, 2017. Under this legislation, the state created a new Community Solar program that will allow any customer of ComEd or Ameren to subscribe to a community solar garden, according to Solar in the Community which is a joint project of the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, The Accelerate Group and the Environmental Defense Fund . . . Under Illinois’ community solar program, “subscribers” can enter into an agreement to support a solar energy installation in their community — on the rooftop of a local school or community center, for example.
Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

MORE COMMUNITY SOLAR NEWS

LOCATING CLOSED LANDFILLS & OTHER LOCAL BROWNFIELDS

EPA’s RE-Powering Mapper is an online interactive web application that allows users to visualize key information on renewable energy potential at specific contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites.

Using screening criteria developed in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EPA has pre-screened more than 130,000 sites for their renewable energy potential.

Access the updated RE-Powering Mapper here. 
Learn more about EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative here.

MORE GOOD NEWS FROM STATES 

This old coal plant is now a solar farm, thanks to pressure from local activists, Fast Company. In Massachusetts, one town fought to stop
pollution–and ensured a just transition for workers at the coal plant. For more than half a century, a coal plant in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts spewed pollution into the air. Now, the plant is closed, and 17,000 solar panels and a battery storage system–the largest in the state–send clean power to the grid. Photo by Toxics Action Center

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

INTERVIEW

Commercial Solar Outlook: A Q&A with GE Solar, Energy Manager Today
From import tariffs to corporate sustainability goals, 2018 was a big year for the commercial solar industry, with no signs of slowing down in 2019. To understand what’s on the horizon for the commercial solar market, we asked Ellen Roybal, Managing Director
of Strategy & Market Intelligence for GE Solar, for her take on the industry.

RE100 Members Increase Renewable Energy By 41% As Initiative Spreads Around The Globe

By Joshua S. Hill, CleanTechnica

The RE100 initiative, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, has grown leaps and bounds in recent years, and in 2018 — amidst the starkest warning yet from scientists of the dangers of climate change and unchecked global warming — RE100 added 37 new companies, bringing the total up to 155 companies creating demand for a phenomenal 188 terawatt-hours of renewable power each year — equivalent to the 23rd largest country in the world.
Read more here.

Photo Credit: IKEA

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Walmart to install solar panels on 19 of its stores in Illinois, including Belleville

By Terri Maddox, Belleville News-Democrat

The move was prompted by the state’s new Adjustable Block Program, which provides incentives for commercial and residential rooftop solar projects, as well as community solar farms. The company already has solar systems at about 350 of its 5,000 sites in the United States, including Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Walmart

Illinois’ impending solar energy boom, Minnesota Public Radio. The state of Illinois is about to see a 2,000 percent increase in solar energy projects by 2025 due to a new state law. The boom will likely create thousands of new jobs. 

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

SOLAR ENERGY & DOE FUNDING

Solar Energy Beats Coal On Critical Infrastructure Resilience, Says DOE, CleanTechnica. In addition to grid integration, the agency continues to support research that helps keep the cost of solar cells down, down, and downer (check out the latest perovskite research, for example). Its funding umbrella also covers ongoing support for solar energy adoption by rural electric co-ops as well as tribal lands and cities and towns. Helping to grow the PV industry workforce is another area of focus.

MICROGRIDS

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY BUYERS

Big tech companies are becoming the top buyers of green energy to meet data needs: BNEF, Utility Dive. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) data shows the tech industry has signed deals for 10.4 GW of renewables and tech-related corporate purchasing has already set records this year. Google has become the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world, as it tries to eliminate all emissions from its footprint, but other big names like Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, are also investing heavily. Google Image.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO DO-IT-YOURSELFERS

Off Grid Solar, by Joseph P. O’Connor 

Off Grid Solar is a pocket guide and quick reference for anyone looking to build a solar system with the free sunshine available to us all. “The limitations to widespread solar are not centered on the cost, the efficiency, or the need for advancements in technology. The limitations are solely due to the lack of widespread knowledge on the subject.”

Solar industry job fair: Illinois companies seek to fill openings in fast-growing field

Illinois Solar Energy Association News Release

CHICAGO, Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The solar industry in Illinois is encouraging job seekers to attend the Solar Job Fair, set for Thursday, Nov. 15, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Organized by the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) and featuring more than 15 solar companies, the event will connect applicants with job opportunities and present information on careers in the solar industry. Illinois solar businesses have immediate openings for sales, installation and other positions. The industry plans to hire hundreds of new workers in the next few months.

Solar already employs thousands across the state and the industry is quickly expanding. Illinois is on track to install thousands of new solar systems by 2021. That opportunity has attracted dozens of new companies to Illinois, creating well-paying jobs and economic activity in communities stretching from Chicago to Carbondale.

Local and national solar energy firms, along with experienced solar industry professionals, will be on-hand at the Solar Job Fair to answer questions and educate job seekers on the various career paths available in the industry.

“Solar companies are hiring here in Illinois and this job fair is part of our work to connect applicants with the companies who need to staff up,” said Lesley McCain, ISEA’s executive director. “Jobs in solar are well-paying and rewarding, and the growth in our industry means workers with the right skills will be in demand for a long time.”

For more information on the event and online registration, visit bit.ly/SolarJobFair
Lincoln, Nebraska-based GRNE, listed in Nebraskans for Solar’s online directory, is among the participating companies.

Solar Job Fair
When: 1-4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15
Where: McCormick Place, West Building, Room 192AB
2301 S King Drive, Chicago, IL 60616

The news release is available here.
See Also: Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act

Illinois is set to become the Midwest’s solar power leader

By Karen Graham, Digital Journal

Illinois is experiencing a boom in solar energy projects stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, a 2016 law that sets a target of getting 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 . . . At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018, Illinois ranked 34th, up from 43rd in 2017 in solar capacity. The state has only 97.84 MW of installed solar power. Rankings and installed solar capacity are about to change for the better, so much so that Illinois could end up being the Midwest’s leader in solar energy in a matter of a few years. Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

Photo: Shedd Acquarium in Chicago. The 265-kilowatt solar project is a highlight in itself—it is the largest installation at any cultural institution in Illinois—but it’s only the first step of Shedd’s plan to cut energy usage in half by 2020.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NATIONAL NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE RESOURCES

Special coverage of energy storage markets & technology, courtesy of pv magazine, by Christian Roselund. PV Magazine brings you a special edition devoted to the fast-growing energy storage space, including a look at its thornier challenges.

Click image to download and save the PDF.

 

Clean Energy Group has redesigned their Resilient Power Toolkit to make it easier to locate the resources you need to understand resilient power system technologies, their economics, and how to approach developing a new resilient solar+storage project.

“We’re always refining our toolbox of resources and making new additions, like our recent permitting and interconnection guide and a storage guide for homeowners from Solar United Neighbors. If you know of useful resources missing from our toolkit or are looking for something you can’t find, send us an email.” – Seth Mullendore, Vice President, Project Director: seth@cleanegroup.org

Clean Energy Funds Target Growing Demand for Renewable Energy

By Amy Brown, Triple Pundit

According to the International Energy Agency’s latest market forecast, renewables will continue their expansion in the next five years, covering 40 percent of global energy consumption growth. Their use continues to increase most rapidly in the electricity sector, and will account for almost a third of total world electricity generation in 2023.

As such, large utilities like NextEra Energy and MidAmerican Energy are making huge investments in renewables. James L. Robo, CEO of NextEra Energy, one of the country’s largest power generators, predicted that solar and wind power will be cheaper than coal or nuclear generation by the beginning of the next decade. MidAmerican Energy, the majority of which is owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has set its sights on getting 100 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2020.  Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS & RESOURCES

Photo by Rob Davis

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

EXAMPLES OF PROJECTS FUNDED BY DOE’S RECENT $53 MILLION SOLAR INVESTMENTSClick image to link to the American Solar Workforce Website.

FEATURED VIDEO

U. S. Air Force Tech Report: Solar Power

Solar energy is playing a larger role in how the Air Force is modernizing bases, making them more resilient and less dependent on fossil fuels. Using the sun is also a cost-effective way to update aging power grids.