Tag Archives: Microgrid Knowledge

It’s the economics: Red states embracing wind energy don’t do it for the climate

By Sarah Mills, University of Michigan, The Conversation, 
San Francisco Chronicle

The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.

Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma lead the nation in renewable energy generation, with more than 30 percent of the power generated in each of these states coming from wind turbines and other renewable sources. Three nearby Great Plains states, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, are also in the top 10 . . . One reason why these states are greening their electricity is simple. They are in the nation’s windiest region, which runs through the middle of the country from North Dakota down through Texas. Another reason for this wind boom: Many communities in these states see renewable energy as an economic opportunity. Read more here.

NEBRASKA NEWS

OPPD proposes goals of 50% renewables, 20% cut in ‘carbon intensity’, Omaha World-Herald
OPPD has asked the public to weigh in on the new draft directive by Nov. 4, using a form on its website, oppd.com. Officials plan to sift through the next round of public comments in time to share them with the board. If the compromise appears acceptable, the OPPD board could adopt it during its Nov. 15 board meeting. If not, it could be sent back to the drawing board.

The Wire, OPPD Blog Posts

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

NATIONAL NEWS

MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE POSTS

CESA LAUNCHES LOW-INCOME SOLAR DIGEST

The newsletter will be published every other month with news and resources from around the country on bringing the benefits of solar electricity to low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. Email CESA Project Director Nate Hausman at nate@cleanegroup.org with LMI solar news and information. CESA welcomes your comments or questions on the newsletter. Click image to download the first newsletter and to subscribe for future issues.

The Clean Energy States Alliance is a national nonprofit coalition of state and municipal clean energy funds working with federal, regional, industry, and other stakeholders to promote clean energy markets and technologies. CESA has worked on low-income clean energy issues for over a decade. More resources are available on CESA’s low-income clean energy webpage, including CESA’s publications and upcoming and archived webinars.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Longi forecasts 1 TW PV market, PV Magazine International 
Zhenguo Li, founder and CEO of the Chinese solar manufacturer told the Future of Energy Summit in London the global PV marketplace would pass the milestone in the near future.

ADDITIONAL NEW RESOURCE

Tracking the Sun: 2018 Edition

This report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory documents trends in U.S. grid-connected solar installations, including overall price changes and how pricing depends on the location, system design, installer, customer, and other factors. 

Learn more.

Study: Using EVs Instead of Stationary Batteries Could Save Billions

Guest Post, Microgrid Knowledge

NRDC’s Pamela MacDougall and Vignesh Gowrishankar report on new energy storage research that indicates that using EVs for grid storage instead of stationary batteries could save electricity customers billions of dollars.

study recently published by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) shows that the electric vehicles (EVs) expected in California in 2025 could be used to meet the majority of the Golden State’s energy storage mandate that calls for 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of battery capacity by 2024. In fact, EVs can accomplish this both reliably and at about one-tenth the cost of stationary energy storage approaches. This level of storage could power nearly one million average homes, at least for a short while. That EVs can be this valuable to the grid is a hugely significant finding. Read more here.

Image Credit: Jessica Russo, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

 ALSO PUBLISHED BY MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE

Free Microgrid Knowledge Newsletter & Additional Resources

Microgrid Knowledge provides news and resources on microgrids and distributed energy resources. Their audience includes energy businesses, organizations and policymakers, along with customers who use microgrids and distributed energy — or are considering doing so.

Visit their website to explore articles and white papers. Subscribe to their free Microgrid Knowledge Newsletter.

Additional  Resources Include

Photo by Brent Pernak: Solar canopy installation is well underway at the Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The project broke ground in July 2017, and completion is expected by winter 2018.
Source: Microgrid to Ensure ‘Resiliency’ for Emergency Services. The Town Courier Gaithersburg

States that Fail to Invest in Clean Energy Pay in Higher Electricity Costs

By Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge

A new NRDC study finds that higher electricity costs occur in states that fail to invest in clean energy. NRDC’s Ralph Cavanagh describes the study.

Ralph Cavanagh

Ralph Cavanagh

According to the data, the least-renewable friendly states saw bigger residential per kilowatt-hour rate increases from 2000 to 2015 than states that increased their clean energy portfolios. For example, residents of Iowa, which has increased its percentage of generation from renewable sources more than any state since 2000, pay only 0.6 cents more per kilowatt hour, adjusted for inflation, than they did in 2000, when renewable energy development was still in its infancy . . .  The impact of efficiency initiatives on utility bills between the most and least energy-efficient states is stark. Read more 


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Environment America launches campaign for cities to go big on solar

EnvironmentAmerica

Albuquerque, NM – On the heels of a major solar energy victory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Environment America today announced the launch of a nationwide campaign to convince cities and local governments to generate much more of their power from the sun. The “Shining Cities” campaign will engage and mobilize thousands of Environment America members, volunteers and supporters to convince local governments to expand the use of pollution-free solar power. 

This week, the campaign won a major victory in Albuquerque, where the city council unanimously voted to generate 25 percent of electricity used by city facilities from solar power by 2025. Environment New Mexico, the state organization driving the campaign, successfully mobilized constituents to make the case for the tremendous environmental and economic benefits of locally-generated clean energy. Read the entire News Release.

Environment America is a national federation of statewide, citizen-based advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
$12.4M Multi-Utility Microgrid Project Announced by U.S./Canadian Team, Microgrid Knowledge
A North American consortium plans to build a $12.4 million multi-utility microgrid project, designed to show how microgrids save money and help integrate renewables with advanced software.

Inside the new guidebook for electric utility regulation, Utility Dive
For anyone — industry veterans and curious consumers alike — seeking to understand the intricacies of electricity regulation and how it affects society, the book delivers authoritative answers in clear, digestible language.

Ohio city’s energy financing tool could be start of regional trend

Written by Douglas J. Guth, Midwest Energy News

pnc-tower

The program allows building owners to utilize Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for upgrades on non-residential properties via bonds or governmental loans. The amount borrowed is repaid via a special assessment on a property tax bill over a period of up to 30 years.

In PNC [Plaza’s] case, the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority leveraged PACE in concert with a regional energy fund to pay for eligible building updates. The loan is tied to the facility’s property bill and does not count as debt, meaning PNC’s owners can spread repayment costs over the life of the project so generated savings eclipse that of the annual loan payment.
Click to read more.

Photo by Friscocali / Creative Commons: A clean energy financing district in Columbus, Ohio helped obtain $3.2 million for upgrades to the PNC Plaza.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Indian Creek Nature Center ‘Amazing Space’ is a green machine, The Gazette
Lawmaker’s View: Minnesota can follow Germany’s lead in combating climate change, Duluth News Tribune
Independence Day: Local utilities ditch power suppliers for renewables, stable pricesUtility Dive
Massachusetts Becomes Third State to Set an Energy Storage Mandate, Microgrid Knowledge
2016 Solar+Storage Jobs: A Discussion Paper, The Solar Foundation
Report: Growth of grid-tied storage to rival solar’s recent trajectory in upcoming decade, Utility Dive
Big batteries for every home and business: Energy storage to double this year, Computer World 

Minnesota advocates ‘pleasantly surprised’ with new U.S. Bancorp climate policy

Written by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

us-bank

Minnesota climate activists say they are “pleasantly surprised” after Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp issued a new environmental policy in June that will reduce lending for coal-fired power plants, coal mines and other environmentally harmful projects. Two bank officials have been meeting with MN350 members for the past several months on a new environmental policy that would discourage lending to fossil fuel interests. Advocates say the policy move — which they add could be stronger — is important because U.S. Bancorp (the parent company of U.S. Bank) is one of the largest financial services companies in the United States. Click to read more.

Photo: Climate activists outside U.S. Bancorp’s headquarters in Minneapolis. Credit: MN350

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Deutsche Bank Pulls Back from Deals in Coal-Mining Sector, The New York Times
Solar energy powers Iowa jobs, The Gazette
North Dakota panel approves proposed $250 million wind farm, Bismarck Tribune
Regulators pave way for 102-megawatt wind farm in western Wisconsin, Journal Sentinel
Sonnen Launches a Home Battery for Self-Consumption at a 40% Reduced Cost, GreenTech Media
22 Proposed Microgrid Sites in Boston Could Save $1 Billion, Microgrid Knowledge
Student prompts schools to consider renewable energy, Winston-Salem Journal
Could Net-Zero Energy Schools Improve Children’s Education?, Rocky Mountain Institute
Solar car team prepares for race at Homestead, Beatrice Daily Sun
Utilities rebuild an aging lexicon to keep pace with change, EnergyWire