Tag Archives: landfill solar

The U.S. Government Has Ambitious Energy Goals. Community Solar Will Be Key To Achieving Them

By Allison Steele, Coalition For Community Solar Access

Summit Ridge Energy recently unveiled the nation’s largest rooftop community solar array, a 9.2-MW solar project in Maryland that will provide monthly energy savings to about 1,300 residential and small commercial customers across the state. 

“This is a marquee project for Summit Ridge, our capital partners at Hannon Armstrong and the entire community solar industry,” said Steve Reader, CEO of Summit. “Leveraging 23 acres of largely unused roof space to generate energy savings for thousands of Marylanders is precisely the direction our nation’s energy generation strategy needs to head.”  Read more here.

NFS Note: Nebraska has many small towns and villages with fewer than 1,000 residents, rural places that would require a relatively small number of megawatts of community wind and/or solar plus storage to provide 100% of their energy needs.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

U.S. GOVERNMENT’S FISCAL YEAR 2023 BUDGET

Statement by President Joe Biden on the FY 2023 Budget, The White House Briefing Room

Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America.  

My Administration is on track to reduce the federal deficit by more than $1.3 trillion this year, cutting in half the deficit from the last year of the previous Administration and delivering the largest one-year reduction in the deficit in U.S. history. That’s the direct result of my Administration’s strategy to get the pandemic under control and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out. 

NFS Note: The U.S. federal government’s fiscal year is from October 1 to September 30.

Related 

Also From The White House Briefing Room

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NEWS RELEASES

Midwest Communities
Duluth, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
Highland Park, Michigan
Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
Jackson County, Illinois
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pembroke Township and Hopkins Park, Illinois

Hot Solar Summer: Building Back Better with Clean Energy Infrastructure

Solar Energy Industries Association 

America is facing an unprecedented opportunity to enact bold federal policies to decarbonize our electric grid and generate hundreds of thousands of quality clean energy jobs. To achieve this, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is mobilizing a nationwide campaign urging leaders in Washington to act. Hot Solar Summer will help to keep pressure on lawmakers to meet this moment and accelerate an equitable transition to a clean energy economy. Read more here.

Join the Hot Solar Summer campaign and learn how your company or organizations can get involved at www.seia.org/AmericanJobs.

Previously Posted: 100+ Organizations Urge Congress to Act on a 10-year Investment Tax Credit (ITC) extension

SITING SOLAR ON CONTAMINATED LAND

How ‘unusable’ capped landfill can gain a second life as a solar farm,  by Michelle Lewis, Electrek

Putting solar farms on landfill is a great way to generate clean energy on what were previously considered unusable sites, but there are some special factors to consider. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points out that “it is important to think about PV projects on landfills in terms of an integrated system, not as separate landfill and PV systems.”

When it comes to making solar work on landfill, Gretchen Dolson, renewable energy lead for HDR, an architectural, engineering and consulting firm based in Omaha, Nebraska [via Waste 360], says: Always begin with the end in mind and know it’s never too early to plan and think of alternate uses, regardless of the type of waste facility. Solar is often viable. But it depends on how the landfill was designed to function and how it was closed. (Pixabay Photo)

Links to Resources

  • RE-Powering America’s Land
    RE-Powering America’s Land is an EPA initiative that encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites when such development is aligned with the community’s vision for the site.
  • EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse contaminated properties. To learn about EPA’s broader efforts to put previously contaminated properties back into productive use, read about the Land Revitalization Program.
  • Brownfields and Land Revitalization in Region 7
    EPA Region 7 manages  Brownfields and Land Revitalization Programs in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. On this page you will find information specific to Region 7’s Brownfields and Land Revitalization activities. Visit the national Brownfields Program and Land Revitalization Program websites for more information about these programs’ competitive grants.
  • Brownfields: FAQs, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

Lancaster County’s rules governing turbines still floating in the wind

By Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

If the Lancaster County Board wants to loosen rules regulating wind farms hoping to build turbines here, members will do so without support of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission. The six commissioners present Wednesday voted unanimously to recommend clarifying rules requiring a third party to perform any necessary noise studies but voted against changes recommended by the Planning Department. Continue reading here. Requires digital subscription.

Related Reading
Local View: Revisiting wind rules, by John Hansen and Ken Haar, Lincoln Journal Star
John Hansen is president of the Nebraska Farmers Union. Senator Ken Haar served in the Legislature from 2009 to 2016.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

UNIQUE SOLAR CUSTOMER INCENTIVE

Con Edison Can ‘Connect’ Customers With Solar Energy And Savings, News Release, Consolidated Edison Company of New York

Con Edison is offering, free of charge, a device that can save upwards of $1,000 for a residential customer installing a new solar array. The Smart ConnectDER, built by ConnectDER, Con Edison’s partner on the project, allows the customer to avoid the cost of upgrading the circuit breaker panel. It also eliminates the need for excessive electrical boxes on the side of the home.

ConnectDER News Release

ConnectDER Granted U.S. Patent for Plug and Play Distributed Energy Resource Connection

GTM’S ENERGY GANG PODCAST

 

Why Local Solar + Storage Is a Pillar of the Net-Zero Grid

This week on The Energy Gang: we dig into an analysis showing how local distributed resources are a cheaper way to build out the future grid.

 

 

FEATURED SOLAR+STORAGE GUIDE

Understanding Solar+Storage: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Solar PV and Battery Storage, Clean Energy Group

This guide addresses commonly asked questions about solar PV and battery storage technologies. It is based on the results of a survey identifying the most common knowledge gaps around solar and energy storage. The information presented in the guide focuses primarily on customer-sited, behind-the-meter solar+storage installations, though much of the information is relevant to other types of projects as well, including storage-only projects and front-of-the-meter solar+storage projects. It is meant to serve as a starting point to establish a foundation of knowledge and understanding for individuals and organizations beginning to explore solar+storage options for their homes, businesses, or community facilities.

HYDROGEN

Shell Says Hydrogen Is Heavy Transport’s Future. What Now for Biofuels?, Greentech Media
A Deloitte report commissioned by Shell finds that the heavy-freight sector is increasingly planning for a switch to hydrogen. The study, carried out by global accountancy firm Deloitte on Shell’s behalf, questioned 158 executives in the road freight sector in 22 different countries. Of those asked, 70 percent ranked decarbonization as a top-three concern for their business. Many participants interviewed for the Getting into Gear report said they expect hydrogen to be commercially viable in just five to 10 years. 

Solar energy is better for the environment and your pockets

By Alyssa Curtis, KMTV

BELLEVUE – The country’s largest renewable energy event is being held this week. National Solar Tours is an opportunity for people around the country to learn about making the switch to solar energy from their neighbors. Continue reading or watch the video here.

Part of the National Solar Tour: Don Preister’s home in Bellevue with solar + a geothermal heat pump.
Solar Installation: 8.4-kilowatt, grid-tied, OPPD net-metered system, ground mounted on south-facing slope with no battery storage (yet) and 28 optimizers. Installation was completed in December 2016, with enough capacity for all electrical needs in an all-electric residence of 2000 square feet. There is extra capacity to charge his electric vehicle.
Photo Credit: Eugene Curtin / Bellevue Leader
Installer: Solar Heat & Electric with help from the Preister brothers

Are you installing solar for your home or business? See Links to Incentives, Depreciation and Net Metering

MISSOURI REAP PROJECTS

Missouri Farmers Increasingly Look To Solar To Power Their Operations, KCUR Here and Now Story by Jonathan Ahl, Harvest Public Radio

Chris Bohr’s farm in Martinsburg, Missouri, has hundreds of acres of soybeans and corn. It also has a 5,000 head hog barn that requires a lot of electricity to power its ventilation system, cooling fans and lights. About fifty yards away from the barn are three rows of solar panels. Bohr is among a growing number of farmers that are generating solar power to meet their needs. Bohr received a Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to help pay for his solar panels. And the number of farmers applying for the grants is going up.

PV MAGAZINE ARTICLES

FROM ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

Grid congestion a growing barrier for wind, solar developers in MISO territory, Energy News Network
A recent analysis found 245 clean energy projects that were withdrawn during the advanced stages of development, with many blaming a lack of transmission capacity.

NEW WOODMAC REPORT

Global Energy Storage Capacity to Hit 741GWh by 2030, Greentech Media
The U.S. will account for half of the world’s installed energy storage capacity by the end of the decade. Global energy storage capacity is now expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31 percent through 2030, according to Wood Mackenzie’s new global storage outlook.

COMMUNITY STORAGE

SMUD’s Energy StorageShares program: The first virtual energy storage program in the US, Renewable Energy World

SMUD’s innovative Energy StorageShares program is the first virtual energy storage program in the US. StorageShares allows SMUD’s commercial customers to invest in an off-site battery storage system and enjoy energy cost savings without siting batteries at their facilities. In this newly launched pilot program, eligible commercial customers make an up-front payment to SMUD for program participation; in exchange, they receive a monthly on-bill credit. SMUD bundles the investments from program participants with its own capital, procures a battery, and installs it in a location that optimizes grid benefits.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD

NEBRASKA CLIMATE CHANGE STORIES

These stories were developed as part of a yearlong UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications depth-reporting project examining the impact of climate change on Nebraska. To learn more, visit: climatechangenebraska.com

SOLAR ACCESS IN HISPANIC COMMUNITIES

Investing in equitable access to solar energy for Hispanic communities, PV Magazine article contributed by Javiar Chacon, a Customer Analyst on the SREC Operations team at Sol Systems, where he works closely with customers to help mint their SRECs.

As one of the fastest growing American communities, the Hispanic population has been historically underrepresented in solar energy. The barriers that have excluded Hispanic people from solar, however, are not permanent and work can be done to ensure an equitable energy transition.

HDR & LANDFILL SOLAR 

Rethinking post-closure landfill care, Waste Today Magazine
HDR Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, has been supporting municipal and private solid waste clients for over 40 years with the planning, permitting and construction of secure solid waste landfills across the U.S. Of HDR’s beneficial use projects, one of the company’s most reputable post-closure developments is the Hickory Ridge Landfill in Atlanta. In 2010, HDR utilized a new exposed geomembrane solar cap technology to transform the landfill into the largest solar energy-generating facility in Georgia.

According to the company, it is the world’s largest solar energy cap and the first use of the technology as part of a fully permitted landfill final closure system. Utilizing over 7,000 solar panels to convert sunlight into more than 1 megawatt of clean, renewable electricity, the new technology essentially takes a durable, high-strength geomembrane material made for outdoor exposure on roofs and secures it to the landfill like a bedsheet through the use of vertical anchor trenches.

SMUD aims for carbon neutrality by 2030 in new climate emergency declaration

By Kavya Balaraman, Utility Dive

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) last week committed to delivering carbon-neutral electricity by 2030, 15 years ahead of California’s broader goal of supplying 100% of electricity from zero-carbon and renewable energy resources by 2045.

The commitment is included in a “climate emergency declaration” that was unanimously approved by SMUD’s board of directors last Thursday, setting the utility on the path to “finding reductions in the quickest way possible and investing in our most vulnerable communities,” SMUD Board President Rob Kerth said in a statement. The move reflects a broader cultural transition among the country’s utilities. Read more here.

Links to Resources on Zero-Carbon / 100% Renewable Energy

BLACK ROCK IN THE NEWS

BlackRock censures seven utility companies for lack of climate action, warns of other penalties. Utility Dive. Asset management firm BlackRock has published a list of 244 companies it says have taken insufficient action against climate change. BlackRock has taken voting action against 53 of these companies, including seven utilities, according to the report. Public censure and voting action by BlackRock sends a clear message to the firm’s portfolio companies, and may be part of a wider trend toward investor activism, analysts say. However, environmental advocates say market forces, consumer trends and other forces seem to hold more sway with utilities than action by investors.

Previously Posted 

  • BlackRock joins Climate Action 100+ to ensure largest corporate emitters act on climate crisis, Climate Action 100+ News Release. With the addition of the world’s largest asset manager, with more than $6.8 trillion USD in assets under management, Climate Action 100+ continues to grow in size and influence. BlackRock joins more than 370 global investors already participating in the initiative. The addition of funds it manages, brings total assets under management represented by investors participating in Climate Action 100+ to more than $41 trillion.
  • BlackRock Sends Huge Warning Shot at Companies Ignoring Climate Risk, GTM
    In a move that will resound across the world of energy investing, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, this week warned of a “fundamental reshaping of finance” as the impacts of climate change become better understood. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said in an open letter that his company will end support for thermal coal, screen fossil fuel investments more closely, and redesign its own investment approach to put sustainability at its core. 

EVANGELICAL ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK

More than 53,000 Pro-Life Ohioans Signed Call for State to Transition to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030, EEN News Release, PR Newswire

Over the past several months, 53,000 pro-life Ohioans have signed a petition calling on Governor Mike DeWine and the members of the Ohio Legislature to transition Ohio to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030. “Strong support for building a clean energy economy is a natural extension of the values that evangelicals hold most dear,” said Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, Midwest Director for the Evangelical Environmental Network, the organization that sponsored the petition.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

GTM’S ENERGY GANG PODCAST

Did Congressional Lawmakers Create the Most Complete Climate Policy Plan Ever?

A group of House lawmakers recently released a 547-page report on climate change. Reporters at E&E News called it “arguably the most comprehensive climate policy plan in American politics.” This week, we’ll discuss why this report is so significant. We’ll also look at a companion infrastructure bill from House Democrats that makes clean energy a centerpiece. Can it become a reality after the election? Then, drama for pipelines and batteries. We’ll look at a slew of legal decisions for pipelines in just two weeks, and what they mean for the future of fossil fuel infrastructure. 

ENERGY STORAGE

Long Term Value of Grid Storage Is All About Capacity, Study Finds, Greentech Media
The grid is heading in the direction of more renewables, with or without overarching policies to guide it. There’s general agreement that the ability to store electricity will become more valuable as this happens, but the exact value of energy storage in a dynamically evolving electrical system is hard to pin down. A new study from current and former MIT energy system modelers attempts to quantify this.

BLUE NEW DEAL

How a Blue New Deal charts a course for a sustainable sea change, by Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Director, GreenBiz Group

The Ocean Climate Action Plan (OCAP), produced by the Center for the Blue Economy at the Middlebury Institute and the nonprofit Blue Frontier, aims to fill the shortcomings of the Green New Deal, offering a four-part set of policy recommendations that, it says, “contains both conservative and liberal economic philosophies that are mutually reinforcing.”

Solar project at landfill still moving forward

By Melanie Wilkinson, Managing Editor, York News-Times

YORK – The project that will result in a solar energy facility on York’s landfill property remains underway. Craig Vincent from the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) recently met with city officials and the council to provide an update on the progress.

It is being recommended, Vincent said, that the project be awarded to GRNE Solar, which is headquartered in Lincoln. Vincent said the company’s proposal meets all requirements and they have previous solar installation experience. Vincent said NPPPD is currently doing another such project with them in northeast Nebraska. Read more here.

Photo: Kearney Solar Farm. The panels for York’s solar project will be mounted on a tracker designed racking system similar to Kearney’s.

NPPD’s Community Solar

Learn more about GRNE Solar here.

Coal retirements in Indiana could be hastened by 2.6GW of wind, solar and energy storage

By Tom Kenning, Energy Storage News

US utility Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) has issued request for proposals (RfPs) for a mix of technologies across solar, energy storage, wind and others to meet requirements for extra power generation identified under its Integrated Resource Plan (2018 IRP). The Merrillville-headquartered company is one of seven utilities of NiSource Inc. and serves close to half a million customers in the northern part of Indiana. It currently has 2.9GW of generation capacity spread across coal, gas and hydropower. It now plans to divest away from coal assets, with a plan to retire most of this capacity by 2023, largely driven by calls from the local community to reduce pollution. Earlier this year a NIPSCO executive said that renewables are so cheap that it may now be able to retire its coal plants earlier than expected. Read more here.

Image credit: Flickr/Joe Passe

ALSO IN THE NEWS

NEW STUDY

US ‘green economy’ generates $1.3 trillion and employs millions, new study finds, CNBC
The green economy is driving growth and job creation in the United States, but as the rest of the world catches up, the U.S. will have to enact new and supportive policies to remain competitive, a new study from University College London found.

Opening markets to solar & wind could save billions in the Midwest

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

When we think of hot solar markets, the area covered by PJM Interconnection does not usually come to mind. The 14 states in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest do not have the sunlight that California and the Southwest have. Additionally – New Jersey aside – they do not have the high electricity prices and supportive policy environment for solar seen in states like New York and Massachusetts.

The same could be said of the Midcontinent System Operator (MISO), the grid that covers the heart of the Midwest and stretches in a narrow band south to Louisiana. While MISO has some wind resources, none of the states that it covers have been leading solar markets. All of this is changing. As of the end of July, PV Magazine counted 47 GW of active solar projects in PJM’s interconnection queue, and 57 GW in MISO’s queue.
Read more here.

FERC: Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO) / Independent System Operators (ISO)

Wind Solar Alliance Website

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

LEGISLATION

Duckworth, Booker File Bill to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy for Poor Families, WTTW U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is the lead sponsor behind a new bill that aims to make solar energy more affordable for low-income Americans. Duckworth and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., recently introduced the Low-Income Solar Energy Act, which would expand an existing energy assistance program while also creating new energy financing programs for the poor.

NEW CESA INITIATIVE

Clean Energy States Alliance Launches Major Initiative to Advance Solar in Under-Resourced Communities

Department of Energy Funds CESA’s Efforts to Scale Up Solar for Low-and Moderate-Income Households, News Release. Montpelier, VT – The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) will lead a wide-ranging initiative to accelerate the development of solar projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households and communities. The “Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project” is being supported by a three-year funding award of $1.1 million from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The project team will focus on three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes, and multifamily affordable housing.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES / CIRCULAR ECONOMY 

Green Bellevue celebrates 10 years

By Brody Hilgencamp, Bellevue Leader / Omaha World-Herald

Sharon Rea has been president of Green Bellevue for eight months, and she uses an apt metaphor to describe the organization she has been tapped to lead and the people who founded it. “The seeds that they planted — literally — everything is carrying forward,” she said.

The rain gardens and recycling are big deals, leaders said, but the pièce de résistance would be the group’s next grand plan: a solar farm in the Bellevue area. The group hopes to work with Omaha Public Power District to make it happen. “I see us putting a lot of effort to that initiative in the next few months,” Rea said. “We’re determined.” Read more here.

Photo by Brody Hilgenkamp: Ruth Richter, left, Sharon Rea and Don Preister

Bellevue’s Proposed Landfill Solar Project – Previously Posted 

Given solar energy’s substantial price declines over the past several years since Bellevue’s landfill solar project was first proposed, it would be good to see an up-to-date analysis of the project’s levelized costs over a twenty-year power purchase agreement.

Bellevue/Sarpy County & Omaha Participating in The National Solar Tour

The National Solar Tour is the largest annual grassroots
renewable energy event in the nation.

The following local, second-annual solar tours are free and  open to the public – everyone is welcome to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you.

  • National Solar Tour Event – Omaha, October 5, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.
  • National Solar Tour Event – Bellevue/Sarpy County, October 6, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.

Local Solar Tour Sponsors: Green Bellevue, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraskans for Solar

The Global Energy Map Is Changing Faster Than You Think

By Enrique Dans, Contributor, Forbes

Renewable energy is already the cheapest and most logical way to produce energy without the need for subsidies. By introducing hydroelectric and geothermal energy into the equation, in addition to solar and wind energy, Costa Rica has already managed to go for 300 days in a row without burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. Portugal has managed four days with only renewable energy, the UK, a thousand hours without burning coal, while US states like Colorado are staggered at the cost competitiveness of renewables, even adding a diverse range of storage infrastructure. Within renewable energies, solar stands out for its increasingly lower costs. The goal of generating 100% of the world’s energy from renewable processes is becoming more feasible and cheaper every day. Read more here.

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