Tag Archives: Michigan Technological University

Six things the Evergy refund could mean for Kansas solar

By Sarah Spicer, The Wichita Eagle

“Perhaps most significantly, the decision to rule the fees illegal and order a refund to the customers will likely discourage other states from pursuing these demand charges.”

More than a year after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that solar customers were being charged unfairly by Evergy, Kansas’ largest utility, some customers will be refunded the difference between what they paid and what they should have paid. After the [Kansas Corporation Commissioners] ordered the refund, Chair Andrew French added that he thought a value-of-solar study could help regulate solar users and determine how to charge them. Such a study is something solar advocates have pushed for in the past, saying that the benefits of solar go beyond the economics of saving money and backup energy for the grid and environmental benefits. Read more here.

VALUE OF SOLAR RESOURCES

The True Value of Solar: Measuring the Benefits of Rooftop Solar Power
Written by Emma Searson and Rob Sargent, Environment America Research & Policy Center and Gideon Weissman, Frontier Group. Download the report.

Public policy that fails to account for the full range of benefits may deter the addition of solar power to the grid, with ramifications for the environment, public health, and the operation of the electric grid.

 

Study shows homeowners with PV are subsidizing their neighbors, Renewable Energy World
For years some utility companies have worried that solar panels drive up electric costs for people without panels. Joshua Pearce, Richard Witte Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, has shown the opposite is true.  

Value of Solar, Solar United Neighbors (SUN)
Beyond individual solar owners, solar electricity also benefits society at large, creating local jobs, generating local wealth, improving energy security, and improving public health. Solar also benefits the entire electric grid. The brilliant tangle of wires, poles, substations, and meters that we call “the grid” is made stronger, cheaper, and more efficient thanks to distributed solar energy (like rooftop solar panels). This translates to long term savings for all ratepayers. 

Inside Clean Energy: What Happens When Solar Power Gets Much, Much Cheaper?

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

The plummeting price of electricity from solar panels is one of the driving forces aiding the transition to clean energy. Government policies and scientific innovation around the world have helped to reduce the average cost of utility-scale solar power by more than 80 percent since 2010, making it the least expensive power source in many, if not most, places. Now the Department of Energy  has set a target of reducing the cost by more than half again by 2030, to an unsubsidized average of 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. That cost, which takes into account the price of construction and operation, would have seemed like a fantasy not long ago. Read more here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

BROOKINGS INSTITUTION REPORT

How renewable energy jobs can uplift fossil fuel communities and remake climate politics, by Adie TomerJoseph W. Kaneand Caroline George

The U.S. transition to a low-carbon economy is already underway, and some of the most striking progress is within the energy-generation sector. As the cost of solar, wind, and other renewable sources continues to fall, market forces will continue to encourage renewable energy generation and lead to the closure of fossil fuel extraction and generation activities. 

MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY STUDY

Study shows homeowners with PV are subsidizing their neighborsRenewable Energy World

For years some utility companies have worried that solar panels drive up electric costs for people without panels. Joshua Pearce, Richard Witte Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, has shown the opposite is true — grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) owners are actually subsidizing their non-PV neighbors.


OPPD WORKSHOP

Customers invited to workshops about decarbonization, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire

As OPPD moves forward with Pathways to Decarbonization, the utility will seek input from the community through a variety of channels, including workshops for the energy portfolio. The first of these online workshops will be Wednesday, April 7. 

Customers can engage with OPPD through OPPD Community Connectthe utility’s stakeholder engagement platform that hosts up-to-date information, details about the workshops, workshop recordings and ways to submit ideas or ask questions around the initiative. 

OPPD Resource: Guidance for adding solar panels and more

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Midlands Voices: Renewables provide a sound energy path for Nebraska

By Chuck Hassebrook, Omaha World-Herald

Gov. Ricketts’ statement blaming wind energy for electric outages was misleading and his proposed solution of reliance on coal profoundly misguided. It would ultimately worsen the problem. We all agree that electric outages are unacceptable. But to prevent them, we need to understand what caused them.

Continue reading here. Requires a digital subscription.

Chuck Hassebrook, of Lincoln, works in solar power development and is a former regent of the University of Nebraska.

 

NEW FERC PROCEEDING

FERC to examine threat of climate change, extreme weather to reliability, American Public Power Association

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Feb. 22 said that it will open a new proceeding to examine the threat that climate change and extreme weather events pose to electric reliability.

THE GREEN ACT

New Green Act Could Extend and Create New Credits for Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, Carbon Capture, and Electric Vehicles, National Law Review

On 5 February, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures announced the reintroduction of theGrowing Renewable Energy Efficiency Now (GREEN)Act. The bill was previously introduced in June 2020. If passed, the legislation would provide for a host of incentives across the renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture, and electric vehicle industries. Some notable provisions include:

BROOKINGS INSTITUTION REPORT

How renewable energy jobs can uplift fossil fuel communities and remake climate politics, Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, by Adie TomerJoseph W. Kane, and Caroline George

The U.S. transition to a low-carbon economy is already underway, and some of the most striking progress is within the energy-generation sector. As the cost of solar, wind, and other renewable sources continues to fall, market forces will continue to encourage renewable energy generation and lead to the closure of fossil fuel extraction and generation activities. 

MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY STUDY

Study shows homeowners with PV are subsidizing their neighbors, Renewable Energy World

For years some utility companies have worried that solar panels drive up electric costs for people without panels. Joshua Pearce, Richard Witte Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, has shown the opposite is true — grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) owners are actually subsidizing their non-PV neighbors.

SOLAR TARIFFS

America’s Clean Energy Leaders Urge President Biden to Repeal Trump Solar Tariff Proclamation, SEIA News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Seventeen leading renewable energy CEOs are calling on President Biden to rescind the Trump Administration’s October 2020 solar proclamation, which improperly increased tariffs on solar panels and rescinds the exclusion for bifacial solar panels. Led by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and supported by the American Clean Power Associationthe letter calls attention to the proclamation’s impact to existing solar contracts and discusses how harmful the Section 201 tariffs are to the U.S. economy and the industry’s ability to address climate change. Importantly, the CEOs are asking the President to return the tariffs to status quo and restore business certainty.

SEPA MICROGRIDS REPORT

Smart Electric Power Alliance: Voices of Experience / Microgrids for Resiliency

Despite increasing customer demand, microgrids are sometimes challenging to justify economically, especially with regards to resiliency. SEPA partnered with NREL and DOE to bring you a guide to help you navigate the opportunities and challenges of microgrids.


Key takeaways from the report include:

  • What is a Microgrid? How you define it matters.​​​​​
  • Accounting for the value of resiliency.​​​​
  • The role of utilities in microgrid development.
  • Insights from utilities on siting a microgrid.
  • The challenges and opportunities around the economics of microgrids.

SOLAR SCHOOLS

Student leads effort to get solar panels at Athens Drive Magnet High School, WRAL
RALEIGH, N.C. — What started as a student project has now turned into one school’s journey to reduce the use of fossil fuels through solar energy. Athens Drive Magnet High School is the first school in Wake County to have a solar array system, consisting of 12 solar panels, through NC GreenPower Solar+ Schools, a non-profit grant. Rocco Nociti, a former student, transformed his homework into a real-life application of renewable energy. Determined to get his high school using renewable energy, he applied for the grant.

GREENBIZ INTERVIEW

Bill McDonough at 70: A look back … and ahead, by Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

Architect, designer and author William McDonough is well-known to many in sustainability — as a pioneer in green building; as the erstwhile “green dean” of architecture; as co-author of the seminal 2002 book “Cradle to Cradle”; as a designer of breakthrough buildings and materials; as a deep thinker about how design relates to a healthy and abundant future; and as an enthusiastic framer of the concepts and language that have become part of the sustainability lexicon.

On the occasion of his 70th birthday this month, I caught up with McDonough to discuss his journey and some seminal moments in his life and career, and how they influenced his work. And to take a peek into where he may be headed next.

Cradle to Cradle Institute

Coal to solar: Retraining the energy workforce

Provided by Michigan Technological University. Posted on Phys.Org

Phys Org

As more coal-fired power plants are retired, industry workers are left without many options. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though.

In a new study published in Energy Economics, researchers from Michigan Technological University and Oregon State University offer hope for coal workers for high-quality employment in the rapidly expanding solar photovoltaic industry. Read more.

Photo: Joshua Pearce’s lab at Michigan Tech focuses on the accessibility of solar and 3-D printing technologies. Credit: Michigan Tech / Sarah Bird

Explore further: Shifts in electricity generation spur net job growth, but coal jobs decline

More information: Edward P. Louie et al, Retraining investment for U.S. transition from coal to solar photovoltaic employmentEnergy Economics (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2016.05.016