Written by Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque and a member of
Mayors for Solar Energy, Guest Columnist, The Gazette
The federal government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment should be a major wake-up call for the Midwest. The report details the serious consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels in communities such as Dubuque and throughout the Midwest. Our elected leaders not only need to acknowledge the gravity and urgency of the problem but do everything in their power to solve it . . . Dubuque is working to prevent the worst of these effects by advancing clean, carbon-free renewable energy at the local level. With the adoption of Dubuque’s plan to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent below 2003 levels by 2030, the City Council solidified our commitment to mitigating and adapting to climate impacts. Read more here.
Image: Alliant Energy’s Solar Facility in Dubuque
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) announced April 2018 that the Dubuque Solar project earned the Envision Platinum rating for sustainable infrastructure – the highest Envision award level. This is the first solar project to receive Envision recognition, and second project in Iowa to receive an Envision Platinum rating.
NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE
Wind Dominates First-Quarter Midwest Power Project Starts, Completions, an Industrial Info News Alert, PR Newswire
Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) is tracking nearly $6 billion in Power Industry projects that are planned to start or be completed in the U.S. Midwest market region in first-quarter 2019. The Midwest includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Wind power dominates these projects in terms of project value. Iowa, with more than $1.8 billion in planned starts and completions, leads in terms of project value.
Minnesota Regulators Approve Nobles 2 Wind PPA, North American Windpower
Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE Inc., has received unanimous approval from the
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with
[Omaha-based] Tenaska Inc. for 250 MW of wind-generated electricity.
MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS
Solar farm approvals on deck; B-N group-buy matches first, Bloomington Pantagraph. McLean County is on track to have 18 solar farms considered for state approval this spring, with small-scale solar development still marching along after another successful group-buy program. StraightUp Solar Photo: A solar farm at Home Nursery, a wholesale nursery in Albers, Illinois.
- Minnesota set to see second consecutive year of strong solar energy growth, Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Iowa power co-op plans state’s biggest solar project, The Gazette
An Iowa electric cooperative and Idaho-based solar energy company have announced joint plans to build the state’s largest solar project. Boise-based Clénera will build and operate Wapello Solar, a 100-megawatt solar facility in Louisa County, according to a December news release. Energy provider Central Iowa Power Cooperative, which has offices in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Creston and Wilton, will purchase the energy for 25 years.
- Regulators approve NV Energy plan to build six new solar power plants, Elko Daily Free Press
First filed in June, the approved IRP allows the electric utility to enter into power purchase agreements with six planned solar photovoltaic plants across the state, with a total capacity of 1,001 megawatts.
- Warren Buffett trades for six solar plants, retiring a coal unit, PV Magazine
- Crystal Ball 2019 Outlook Q&A: Patti Poppe, CMS Energy Corp., MiBiz
Patricia K. Poppe is President and Chief Executive Officer of CMS Energy and its principal
subsidiary, Consumers Energy. Interview conducted by Andy Balaskovitz.
UTILITIES IN THE NEWS
Xcel Energy: Utility of the Year?
By Robert Rapier, Moneyshow.com
Historically, most of Xcel’s wind generation was produced under power-purchase agreements from third parties. But that’s about to change. Xcel has approved 4,780 MW of new wind power by 2021, of which it will own 74%. Xcel plans to invest $1 billion in Colorado over the next few years. It is targeting an increase in renewables to about 55% of its energy mix by 2026 . . . Expect more utilities to follow Xcel’s example. Global pressure to address climate change has been a factor to this point in the rapid adoption of renewables. But now that they are becoming cost-competitive with coal, renewables increasingly look like a smart decision, for both utilities and investors. Flickr Photo
Utilities are accelerating microgrid investments in innovative and strategic ways, GreenBiz
The electric utility sector is at a crossroads between centralized generation and distributed energy
resources (DERs), with 2018 DER deployments exceeding additions for centralized generation.
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