Tag Archives: interconnection

FERC Proposes Interconnection Reforms to Address Queue Backlogs

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission News Release, June 16, 2022

FERC today issued a proposed rule focused on expediting the current process for connecting new electric generation facilities to the grid. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) aims to address significant current backlogs in the interconnection queues by improving interconnection procedures, providing greater certainty and preventing undue discrimination against new generation. 

At the end of 2021, there were more than 1,400 gigawatts of generation and storage waiting in interconnection queues throughout the country. This is more than triple the total volume just five years ago. Projects now face an average timeline of more than three years to get connected to the grid. As the resource mix rapidly changes, the Commission’s policies must keep pace. Today’s NOPR proposes reforms to ensure that interconnection customers can access the grid in a reliable, efficient, transparent and timely manner. Continue reading here.

ACP & SEIA News Releases

ConnectDER Partners with Nebraska Public Power and Omaha Public Power District to Provide Simple Solar Integration

ConnectDER News Release, PR Newswire

ConnectDER, the innovative company that enables utilities and homeowners to expand access to distributed energy resources (DERs), is launching availability of its Solar Collar for new residential solar installations in Nebraska. ConnectDER’s simple, affordable meter collar can now be used in solar installations throughout Nebraska Public Power and Omaha Public Power District areas. The ConnectDER Solar Collar is a UL-Listed meter collar that enables rapid interconnection of grid-ready residential PV systems. The device creates a safe, standardized, low-cost alternative to traditional wiring methods for home installations. Continue reading here.

SOLAR APP+ ALSO EXPEDITING SOLAR PROJECTS & SAVING MONEY

LINKS TO RESOURCES FOR POTENTIAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CUSTOMERS

OPPD, NPPD, LES: Customer-Owned Generation

American Solar Energy Society (ASES)

Department of Energy

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

  • Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
    Eligible Technologies Include: Solar Water Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Wind (Small)
  • Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
    Eligible Technologies Include: Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Geothermal Electric, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Combined Heat & Power, Wind (Small), Geothermal Direct-Use, Microturbines

EnergySage

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Renewable Energy Series

Consumers Webinar for Residential / Small Business Solar
Speakers
David Rich: Sustainable Energy Manager, NPPD
John Hay: Extension Educator – Energy, UNL
Ron Rose: Renewable Energy Consultant, NPPD
Kirk Estee: Customer Alternative Energy Solutions Manager, OPPD
Marc Shkolnick: Manager, Energy Services, LES

Additional Resources

Happy New (Fiscal) Year! Recapping a Year of Accomplishments at the Wind Energy Technologies Office

DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office 

As Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 comes to a close, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) is celebrating a range of research and funding achievements—from an offshore wind supply chain roadmap to new resources to help communities plan wind energy developments.

Learn more about how WETO’s FY21 accomplishments have helped set the stage for U.S. wind energy to continue to grow.

Visit the Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) for the latest news, events, and updates.

 ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREEN CAMPUSES

 Six Months of Solar: DU Pushes Toward Carbon Neutrality Goals, University of Denver News
The project aims to reduce DU’s carbon footprint in line with its 25 sustainability goals to achieve by 2025, and to further carbon neutrality efforts.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO K-12 TEACHERS

NEED Curriculum Samplers

Available for FREE PDF download, these curriculum samplers recombine NEED favorites into a smaller and simpler format, allowing the NEED Project to showcase new curriculum activities before they go into full format. Click here to check them out and share with your colleagues.

Supply Chain Woes Call Attention to Solar Manufacturing Possibilities

SEIA Blog

Recently, Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act alongside Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). This commonsense legislation will provide tax credits for American manufacturers at every stage of the solar manufacturing supply chain, from polysilicon to solar cells to fully assembled solar modules.

In support of Senator Ossoff’s proposal and the effort to reach 100 GW of annual renewable energy manufacturing capacity, SEIA announced a new target of 50 GW of annual domestic production capacity by 2030, a ten-fold increase from where we are today.This ambitious goal aims to dramatically ramp up American solar manufacturing capacity which would cover all key elements of a solar energy system, including polysilicon, ingots and wafers, cells and modules, racking and trackers and inverters. Read more here.

Related Reading

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE ACT

INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

Climate change is no longer other worldly, and inaction is no longer an option, USA Today Editorial Our View: Heat dome killed hundreds in the Pacific Northwest as global temperatures rise. Biden infrastructure bill is a good start to protect America.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

BACKLOGGED TRANSMISSION QUEUES 

Gridlock in transmission queues spotlights need for FERC action on planning, Utility Dive
Generation interconnects to transmission through queues managed by the seven regional transmission and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) and utility transmission owners. And capacity in those queues “is growing year-over-year,” according to an analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) of an estimated 85% of U.S. electricity load at the end of 2020.

Related Reading

More proof the clean energy transition is well underway: An oil and gas major embraces renewables

By Greg Alvarez, American Clean Power Association

While some observers might claim we’re on the cusp of a clean energy transition, the reality is a widespread shift to renewables began years ago. The U.S. already has enough clean energy capacity to power 50 million homes, and over 300,000 Americans already have direct clean energy jobs. Economics are one of the biggest drivers. Because wind and solar costs have fallen by 90 and 70 percent, respectively, over the last decade, they’re now the most affordable sources of new electricity in much of the country. Nor are wind and solar niche technologies—many of the world’s biggest names in energy are rapidly adding renewables to their portfolios. The latest news comes from bp, which just announced a deal to acquire 9 gigawatts (GW) of solar projects currently under development. Continue reading here.

NEBRASKA NEWS

More Nebraskans to be eligible for heating assistance

MORE NEWS & RESOURCES

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM

NEW REPORT OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

America has the capacity to build an energy system around clean, renewable resources, according to a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group: We Have the Power: Reaching America’s potential for clean, renewable energy. The report found that U.S. solar energy resources have the technical potential to meet America’s 2020 electricity demand more than 77 times over, and U.S. onshore and offshore wind resources could meet America’s 2020 demand 11 times over. In addition, all 50 states have sufficient solar or wind potential to meet current electricity needs, and 49 have enough to do so under a 2050 scenario in which energy uses like transportation and buildings run on electricity.

Website Links

Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group are part of The Public Interest Network. The Public Interest Network runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.

Prairie Island tribe prepares to chart course toward zero emissions

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

The Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota is expected to name a consultant this month to help propel the tribe toward net-zero emissions. The tribe announced its intent to offset all of its energy emissions in early 2018, but details have been sparse about how — or how fast — it would proceed. The process is expected to pick up in the coming months thanks in part to $46 million in funding allocated last spring by the Minnesota Legislature.

Shelley Buck, president of the Prairie Island Tribal Council, said the effort has the potential to “change the narrative” of a community that has long been associated with its close proximity to the Xcel Energy nuclear power plant and radioactive waste storage facility that shares its namesake. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Bobby Bloomer

Previously Posted: Solar Bear helps tribes seize sovereignty, economic opportunities with renewable energy, Tribal Business News. Post includes links to news stories about the Nebraska Winnebago Tribe’s renewable energy development.

TRIBAL ENERGY WEBINAR SERIES

Tribal Energy Success Stories
December 9, 2020―12 pm to 2 pm. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy, 2020 Tribal Energy Webinar Series

Many tribes across Indian Country have had energy successes. Each situation is unique, with differing reasons, approaches, and challenges. By sharing the successes of other tribes, we can gain valuable inspiration and insights. This webinar will share a few of these tribal energy success stories. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required.

EQUITABLE ENERGY TRANSITION

Ready for 100 Coordinator calls for equitable energy transition in Chicago, Medill News Service, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism

The writer, Emily Little, a health, environment and science reporter at Medill, interviews Kyra Woods, “the Ready for 100 Coordinator for the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club. [Woods] works to develop partnerships across the city of Chicago to ensure a just and equitable energy transition.”

Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Website

EV EQUITY

With bans on gas-powered vehicles, here are key steps to increase EV equity, GreenBiz article contributed by Pamela Gordon, Managing Director, PGS Consults, Presidio Graduate School

At Presidio Graduate School, we see affordability of EVs as being both an equity and a diversity factor. Some of our professors reserve an empty seat in their classroom representing those who are not able to join the discussion. Although most new product and service adoptions are at first expensive before becoming more affordable, it’s time to buck the old way of targeting markets that inherently exclude those not usually in the room.

THE ENERGY GANG PODCAST

The Role of the Customer in Utility Zero-Carbon Targets, Greentech Media
In this special podcast from Opower and Oracle, we map out the ways utilities and customers can work together to slash emissions.

SOO GREEN TRANSMISSION LINE UPDATE

Underground electric transmission line moving ahead, Radio Iowa
Neil Jones, Soo Green’s vice president of real estate, says they’re working to pair up companies known as “shippers” that are interested in “transmission capacity rights,” generation companies or utilities that want to sell power on the line, and customers interested in buying that power. The buyers and sellers may be utilities, data centers, and others who want to buy Renewable Energy Credits. They’d pay for access rights to fund operations while ratepayers in Iowa would not be charged at all. Jones says Soo Green needs a permit from the Iowa Utilities Board to proceed and filed a petition in September.

SOO Green Transmission Project Website

MISO GRID CONGESTION

The clean energy benefits slipping through states’ fingers, Utility Dive article contributed by John Moore, Director of the Sustainable FERC Project

From 2016 through October 15, 2020, developers withdrew 278 wind, solar and battery storage or hybrid solar-storage projects from the Queue, and this just counts withdrawn clean energy projects that had reached advanced stages of the interconnection study process. If they’d been built, they would have supplied nearly 35,000 MW, enough to power more than 8 million homes and create about 72,000 jobs. The median wage for jobs in clean energy today is about $24 an hour.

Also written by John Moore: Time For SPP To Commit To Competitive Clean Energy

INSPIRING RENEWABLE ENERGY PARTNERSHIP

Vanderbilt and Nashville undertake bold new renewable energy partnership to address climate change, Vanderbilt News

Vanderbilt University and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, have announced a Green Invest partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service—a collaboration that will allow the region to take a bold step forward in expanding availability and access to renewable energy at a critical time in global efforts to address the threat of climate change. Through this new partnership, Vanderbilt is tackling climate change head-on by working towards its goal of powering its campus entirely through renewable energy and committing to carbon neutrality.

Learn more about the university’s sustainability efforts.

FEATURED NATIONAL SOLAR INSTALLATION

Southwest Virginia bike shop is now a beacon for solar power in the region, by Elizabeth McGowan, Energy News Network

A 16-kilowatt array on the roof of Iron Works Cycling is the first successful project for a regional group trying to seed solar projects across seven coalfield counties.

FEATURED NEBRASKA SOLAR PROJECT

10-kilowatt solar array at Duchesne Academy, an independent, college-preparatory school for young women in Omaha. Interconnection Systems Inc (ISI), based in Central City, installed the project in 2019. The energy generated by the solar system powers multiple classrooms, including the school’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math lab. where students can integrate data from the solar system into coursework. See Solar Examples for descriptions and photos of more Nebraska projects.

ISI’s current projects include two in Nebraska:

  • Elkhorn: 8.3MW
  • ​Valley: 1MW

ISI Careers

Congratulations to Wayne Williams, owner of Interconnection Systems Inc!
Williams wins Subdivision 7 seat on NPPD board, Grand Island Independent

RECENTLY PUBLISHED CLEAN ENERGY JOBS REPORT

The Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report is the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector. According to the report, workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage, clean fuels and clean vehicles earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019 compared with the national median wage of $19.14. In addition, jobs in many clean energy sectors are more likely to be unionized and come with health care and retirement benefits than the rest of the private sector, the analysis shows.

E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) produced the report in partnership with BW Research.

Minnesota renewable energy output grows as pollution from electric generation declines

By Neal St. Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minnesota’s renewable energy industry grew in 2019 and coal burning and carbon emissions declined, according to data released Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. “This report shows the significant progress Minnesota is making as we transition to a clean energy economy,” Gregg Mast, chief executive of Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, said in a statement. “This report also emphasizes the fact that wind and solar are the cheapest forms of new power generation in the market,” he said. Read more here.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO NEBRASKA SOLAR PROFESSIONALS

The following articles are posted on Solar Power World.com

SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURING

GCL Plans To Invest $2.5 Billion In World’s Largest Solar Panel Factory, CleanTechnica
A report by Power Technology claims China’s GCL Systems Integration Technology plans to invest more than $2.5 billion to construct the world’s largest solar panel factory. Citing a report by Bloomberg, it says the new facility will be built in eastern Hefei province. According to a regulatory filing with the Shanzen stock exchange, the company says the new factory will be able to produce 60 gigawatts (GW) of solar panels each year, enough to meet half of global demand.

THE ENERGY GANG PODCAST

Does the Economic Crisis Shift the Clean Energy Calculus?, Greentech Media
This week on The Energy Gang: a conversation about keeping the lights on and the money flowing during this unprecedented crisis.

RENEWABLE HYBRID SYSTEMS

Fine tuning the hybrid proposition, by Ben Willis, Energy Storage News
Work to develop the necessary technical backbone for hybrid systems is well underway, with some heavyweight technology companies already well embedded in this emerging space. Notable examples include GE, which has launched a dedicated ‘renewable hybrids’ unit, and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, which has a dedicated test hybrid facility in Spain where it has been trialling solar, wind and various battery technologies in combination. 

TOYOTA GREEN ENERGY

Toyota to enter renewable energy business with new power venture, Recharge
Japanese car giant links with Chubu Electric to set up Toyota Green Energy.

Federal Legislation Will Streamline Solar Permitting, Grow Clean Energy Economy

SEIA News Release

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and industry leaders commend U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Susan Collins (R-ME) for introducing the American Energy Opportunity Act, which will provide voluntary assistance and tools to local governments to simplify, standardize, and automate clean energy permitting for their residents and businesses while enhancing safety.

The legislation builds on the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) initiative launched by SEIA and The Solar Foundation last year. The goal for both SolarAPP and the American Energy Opportunity Act is to simplify the process for permitting and inspecting distributed solar and battery installations through a free, universally-available online permitting portal for local governments. Continue reading here.