Tag Archives: Microgrid Knowledge

States Are Tackling Climate, Using Federal Cash as Congress Lags

By Zach Bright, Bloomberg Law

Some Republican-led states such as Nebraska and South Carolina, despite resistance to sweeping plans framed as climate action, are nonetheless lowering greenhouse gas emissions as they move to clean energy because of its long-term economic benefits over fossil fuels.

Read more here.


LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY STUDY

Solar-plus-storage vs. wind-plus-storage, by Emiliano Bellini, PV Magazine
Scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have compared the costs of several of solar-plus-storage configurations with those of other wind-plus-battery plants across seven US wholesale electricity markets. They described their findings in Keep it short: Exploring the impacts of configuration choices on the recent economics of solar-plus-battery and wind-plus-battery hybrid energy plants,” which was recently published in the Journal of Energy Storage.

MODEL ‘SOLAR-AS-A-SERVICE’ PROGRAM

IPS plans largest solar energy project in state history by a school systemFox 59
Indianapolis Public Schools has announced plans to move forward with the largest solar energy project by an educational institution in the state of Indiana. According to IPS, the solar energy project would significantly reduce cost, cut carbon emissions and boost sustainability efforts for 20 schools. Sun FundED has worked in bringing solar energy to other educational institutions including Indiana Wesleyan University and Taylor University. They’ve also signed up, or are soon to sign up, schools in Michigan, Florida, South Carolina, Minnesota and Virginia, according to the company.

See Also: IPS Partners with Indiana Firm to Plan Largest K-12 Solar Project Ever in Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools

Featured Resources

CARBON DIOXIDE PIPELINES

Biden invokes Defense Production Act to bolster domestic battery manufacturing for EVs, energy storage

By Ethan Howland, Senior Editor, Utility Dive

 

“We need to embrace all the tools and technologies that can help free us from our dependence on fossil fuels and move us toward more homegrown clean energy technologies made by American companies and American workers,” Biden said during a press briefing Thursday. “We need to end our long-term reliance on China and other countries for inputs that will power the future.” Read more here.

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NEWS 

DOE Releases New Study Confirming Strong Performance of Energy Efficiency Loans

 

“Energy efficiency is the lowest cost clean energy resource we have,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The findings in this study are a compelling invitation to financial institutions to invest with homeowners, states, and local governments to maximize clean energy deployment under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and beyond.

 

NEW GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CARBON STANDARDS 

GSA to impose first national carbon standard for concrete, E&E News, Climatewire
The procurement arm of the federal government is imposing new limitations on high carbon-emitting building materials for all its major projects, a move that will affect billions of dollars of federal infrastructure investments. The new General Services Administration standards — to be released this morning — will require that federal contractors use climate-friendly concrete and asphalt in all the agency’s major projects. GSA oversees $75 billion in annual contracts, and the agency’s real estate portfolio comprises more than 370 million square feet.

VALMONT INDUSTRIES NEWS RELEASE

Valmont SM Secures Minimum USD $209.0 Million Multi-Year Order with Siemens Gamesa for Production of Rotor Houses for the European Offshore Wind Industry

OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Valmont® Industries, Inc. (NYSE: VMI), a leading global provider of engineered products and services for infrastructure development and irrigation equipment and services for agriculture, today announced that Valmont® SM has entered into a supply agreement with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) to provide components for the next generation of rotor houses for the offshore wind market. The order is the largest single order in Valmont SM’s history.

New Biden Administration website and guidebook focus on implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The White House 

Delivering Results from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
President Biden forged consensus and compromise between Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to demonstrate our democracy can deliver big wins for the American people. After decades of talk on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, President Biden delivered the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – a historic investment in America that will change people’s lives for the better and get America moving again.

A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Our Administration is committed to maximizing transparency so communities across America know what to apply for, who to contact, and how to get ready to rebuild. That’s why we’ve created a guidebook for state, local, tribal, and territorial leaders. This guidebook is a roadmap to the funding available under the law, as well as an explanatory document that shows, in as much detail as currently available, program-by-program information. Learn more here.

ENERGY ASSISTANCE PART OF THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW

White House Announces Additional Actions to Help Families Afford Energy Bills, Building on Historic InvestmentsWhite House Briefing Room, February 1, 2022

The White House is joining states, localities, advocacy groups, and utilities in encouraging American families to apply for programs that can help hard-pressed families address home energy costs. These resources include the record funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provided by the Biden-Harris Administration this year and funds to reduce home energy costs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In addition to outreach efforts across the Administration, the White House also announced information encouraging states to use all available American Rescue Plan resources for energy assistance and funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reduce home energy costs. 

NEBRASKA AMONG STATES IN BIDEN’S METHANE REDUCTION PLAN

White House methane plan funds orphan well cleanup, rewards reduced farm emissions, Ohio Capital Journal

The White House plan listed how it would distribute $1.15 billion to 26 states eligible to receive funds to cap so-called orphan wells, which are no longer used for oil and gas extraction but can leak methane because former operators neglected to cover them. Each state is eligible for a $25 million initial grant, plus a combined $500 million in additional grants in the program’s first year. The Interior Department will provide more detailed instructions “in the coming weeks,” the department said in a news release.

Biden Administration Announces $1.15 Billion for States to Create Jobs Cleaning Up Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells, Department of the Interior News Release

UNL IN THE NEWS

WVU researchers to improve the flow of renewable energy to power plants with $7.5 million in grants, West Virginia University Today

The project team is extensive and is comprised of an entire supply chain—the research is being conducted within the Statler College, tested at Oak Ridge Laboratory, manufactured by General Electric Research and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is slated to be commercialized by General Electric if successful.

U.S. CLEAN ENERGY CORPS

US Clean Energy Corps To Pursue Climate Resilience, CleanTechnica

A new program launched by the Biden administration will hire 1,000 people in the US to help expand the country’s clean energy infrastructure, a step the White House says is “critical to achieving the president’s goal of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035.” The Clean Energy Corps will draw from engineering, physical science, legislative affairs, and contract management sectors in its multi-disciplinary work. The creation of the Clean Energy Corps represents the largest expansion of the DOE’s workforce in nearly half a century. 

PEAKING PLANTS

Activists urge Massachusetts to take another look at need for peaking plants, Energy News Network

Campaigns in Boston and western Massachusetts are taking aim at existing and proposed peakers. Critics say the facilities are bad for the climate and public health, and that cleaner and more economical alternatives now exist

INTERCONNECTION CLOGS / BUILDING A BETTER GRID INITIATIVE / MICROGRIDS

Overwhelmed by Solar Projects, the Nation’s Largest Grid Operator Seeks a Two-Year Pause on Approvals, Inside Climate News

The nation’s largest electric grid operator, PJM Interconnection, is so clogged with requests from energy developers seeking connections to its regional transmission network in the eastern United States that it is proposing a two-year pause on reviewing more than 1,200 energy projects, most of them solar power.

Solutions Underway

‘NOVEL’ CROSS-SEAM TRANSMISSION STUDY

SPP, MISO identify 7 cross-seam transmission projects that could unlock 81 GW of new generation, Utility Dive

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) have identified seven possible transmission projects across their joint border that could allow 81 GW of potential generating capacity to interconnect with the grid. The transmission projects, costing about $1.8 billion, would relieve transmission constraints that are preventing wind, solar and other potential projects along the grid operators’ seam from being able to come online, according to a draft study released last week by the grid operators.

FEATURED ORGANIZATION 

The AgriSolar Clearinghouse is a nationwide hub developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology to connect businesses, landowners, and researchers with trusted resources to support the growth of co-located solar and sustainable agriculture, also known as agrivoltaic development. 

NEW NATIONAL NETWORK

Daimler, NextEra, and BlackRock to deploy nationwide US electric trucking network, PV Magazine

An initial investment of about $650 million divided evenly among the group will launch the deployment of EV and hydrogen medium- and heavy-duty trucks and charging stations across the US.

In Midst of Record Heat Wave, Oregon Passes Clean Energy Bill with Microgrid Provisions

By Lisa Cohn, Microgrid Knowledge

In the midst of a record-breaking heat wave, wildfires and power outages, the Oregon Legislature Sunday passed a billHB 2021 C, that calls for 100% clean energy by 2040 as well as the inclusion of microgrids as part of community-based renewable energy projects. Oregon Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill. Temperatures hit 108 degrees on Saturday, 112 degrees on Sunday and 116 degrees on Monday in Portland. In addition, on Wednesday Brown called for a state of emergency in response to the wildfire threats across the state. Continue reading here.

Also Published by Microgrid Knowledge 

As Extreme Heat Overwhelms the Northwest, Congressional Briefing Looks to Microgrids
Microgrids give communities and people independence and the ability to take control of their power reliability, according to [Representative Jimmy] Panetta, sponsor of a bill that would provide a 30% tax credit for microgrids.

Community Microgrids: A Guide For City Leaders Seeking Clean, Reliable and Locally Controlled Energy

Community microgrids are central pillars of today’s local energy revolution. Being developed in municipalities large and small, they are a key feature of the new clean and efficient electrical infrastructure that is beginning to transform America’s energy grid into a less centralized and more democratized entity.

Mayors and city leaders are especially tuned into this transformation because of the severe stress that extended power outages create in their communities . . . Click link to read more. 

Previously Posted: A Ready-Made Microgrid at Zero Cost? Yep. A Nebraska Utility Did It

Next Up at Microgrid 2021: How Microgrids Provide Local Control of Energy While Reducing Costs

Presenters for the May 20 session, “How to Pay for Your Microgrid,” will include Scott Benson, Resource & Transmission Planning Manager, Lincoln Electric System.

Event Update By Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge

Take a look at the article published this week on Microgrid Knowledge about a microgrid being built at an electric bus depot in Maryland.  These are the kind of topics being discussed by visionary panelists at Microgrid 2021, a virtual event now underway through June 3. We encourage you to join the conversation. You can register for free and watch any of the webinars, panels, tours or showcases. Join us live to ask questions of panelists or watch the replay of past sessions (the event began May 11).

Here’s what’s in store for next week when sessions will be held May 18 and May 20. The focus is on how microgrids reduce costs.

  • May 18, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: How Microgrids Reduce Energy Costs
  • May 18, 12 to 1 p.m.: Network with Microgrid Solutions Experts
  • May 18, 1 to 2 p.m.: Crunching the Numbers on Microgrids
  • May 20, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: How to Pay for Your Microgrid
  • May 20, 12 to 1 p.m.: Network with Microgrid Solutions Experts
  • May 20, 1 to 2 p.m.: Why Does a Microgrid Cost What It Costs?

Microgrid Knowledge invites you to register for these sessions through June 3 free of charge. Please note: They are unable to accept registrations for a session the day it’s scheduled to occur. 

Read Elisa Wood’s entire article here.

Renewable Energy Capacity Jumped 45% Worldwide In 2020; IEA Sees ‘New Normal’

By Bill Chappell, NET

Despite the pandemic, the world’s renewable energy capacity jumped 45% to 280 gigawatts in 2020, part of “an unprecedented boom” in wind and solar energy, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. It’s the largest annual increase since 1999.”An exceptional 90% rise in global wind capacity additions led the expansion,” the report states. It also cites a 23% expansion in new solar power installations.

In 2020, renewable power was “the only energy source for which demand increased … while consumption of all other fuels declined,” says the IEA, whose mission is to make the world’s energy supply more reliable, affordable and sustainable. The IEA predicts large capacity gains in renewable energy will become the “new normal” in 2021 and 2022, with increases similar to 2020’s record total. Continue reading here.

MICROGRID 2021 VIRTUAL CONFERENCE 

Microgrid 2021 Kicks Off with Expert Panel on Why Today’s Grid Makes Microgrids Necessary
Join Microgrid Knowledge May 13 for the second day of Microgrid 2021 for more lively discussions on microgrid reliability. Registration for the live, online event is free. However, to join the May 13 sessions, registration must be completed by midnight May 12. See more sessions by clicking on the previous link.

IN NEBRASKA

A Ready-Made Microgrid at Zero Cost? Yep. A Nebraska Utility Did It, by Ethan Howland, Microgrid Knowledge

The key to the microgrid is the J Street generator, which is able to follow load, according to
[Scott Benson, LES manager of resource and transmission planning]. The solar and energy storage that is part of the microgrid is handled as load and doesn’t need to be controlled, he said. While many of the critical buildings in the microgrid have emergency generators, the microgrid will give them days of power, according to Benson..

US House Bill Would Give Microgrids 30% Tax Credit

A Ready-Made Microgrid at Zero Cost? Yep. A Nebraska Utility Did It

By Ethan Howland, Microgrid Knowledge

Lincoln Electric System (LES), the public power utility serving greater Lincoln, Nebraska has set up a microgrid with 5 MW of load to serve critical facilities. The cost? Zero. The microgrid in downtown Lincoln is based around an existing duel-fuel, 29-MW generating unit and a substation and its infrastructure, according to Scott Benson, LES manager of resource and transmission planning. The project didn’t require any new equipment or a microgrid controller.

The US Department of Energy is preparing a publication that highlights the J Street microgrid project as an example of how to use existing infrastructure to provide new community benefits, [Scott Benson, LES manager of resource and transmission planning] said. Read more here.

More Articles About Utility Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Previously Posted

New LES Media Release

NPPD Media Release

  • Mary Harding elected NPPD Board Chair for 2021
    Columbus, Neb. – Mary Harding of Plattsmouth was elected as Chair of Nebraska Public Power District’s Board of Directors for 2021 following that body’s annual election of officers Wednesday in Columbus. Also elected were Jerry Chlopek of Columbus as first vice chair, Melissa Freelend of Kearney as second vice chair, and Ed Schrock of Elm Creek as secretary. NPPD Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Traci Bender was elected treasurer.

4 misconceptions about large-scale solar

By Patrick Smith, American Public Power Association

When it comes to large-scale solar for utilities and municipalities, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports that there are 37,000 MW in operation, with a whopping 74,000 MW additional in development. With such widespread solar adoption, it’s clear that many believe in the power of solar. However, there’s also a lot to understand behind the scenes, which can sometimes lead to misconceptions. Here, we’ll address and correct some of the more common ones. Continue reading here.

Also Published by the American Public Power Association
Report sees dramatic increase of solar-plus-storage projects, by Peter Maloney

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREEN CAMPUSES

Sol Systems, University of Illinois sign PPA for 12.1-MW solar project, Solar Power World
The PPA structure will yield cost savings for the university of approximately $300,000 in the first year and an estimated $5 million over the life of the project. Sol Customer Solutions (SCS), the joint venture between Capital Dynamics and Sol Systems, will design, build, operate, finance and maintain the solar farm for the life of the PPA.

MICROGRID NEWS & RESOURCES

 INTERVIEW

The EV Resistance: Gas Automakers Vs Tesla, by Brooke Crothers, Forbes
General Motors and Toyota were early leaders in electric vehicles. But a lot has changed in 20 years. I recently spoke with Chris Paine, director of the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car” (2006) and the sequel “Revenge of the Electric Car” (2011), and a longtime follower of the EV and Tesla.

GLOBAL SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING MARKET

Rising Adoption of Solar Power Driving Solar Panel Recycling Market, PV Magazine International
The global solar panel recycling market was valued at $80.7 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $269.8 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 22.0% during the forecast period (2018–2023).

Free Greentech Media & Microgrid Knowledge Resources for Businesses, Nonprofits and Utilities

Checklist for Engaging Your Utility on Renewable Power: An energy buyer’s guide to finding the right partners to achieve your clean energy goals.

While large corporations were responsible for nearly 6 gigawatts’ worth of wind and solar power-purchase agreements last year, the options for affordable, clean, low-carbon energy are increasingly available to companies of all sizes. And when it comes to choosing an energy partner, the distribution utility that already serves your organization may be the best place to start. In this paper, Greentech Media discusses a framework for engaging your utility to move toward achieving your clean energy goals, whether the driver is sustainability, reliability, cost savings or a combination thereof.
Download the white paper here.

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The Evolution of Distributed Energy Resources

In the words of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, we will enter a time soon when we no longer make our morning toast with energy sent from a power plant hundreds of miles away. Peduto is describing an evolution toward a more decentralized power grid, a shifting away from electricity delivered via large central power plants and long transmission lines.

While energy industry insiders are well aware of these changes, many energy consumers are not. For those managing large energy budgets, such as commercial operations, industrial facilities, hospitals and universities, this can mean money left on the table. Microgrid Knowledge produced this report, sponsored by NRG Energy, Inc., to help these sectors understand the suite of new energy options. Download the white paper here.

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How Corporations Can Embrace Distributed Energy Like Never Before

Distributed energy is an increasingly valuable player for any sustainable company that has a focus on integrating environmental and economic considerations into every aspect of the business, from supply chain management to workforce development to energy, to redefine business as usual. Whether companies want to hit sustainability goals, manage risk or optimize assets for financial gain, the expanding use of DERs is creating significant opportunities to power business in new ways.

In this white paper, Centrica Business Solutions outlines how a mix of sophisticated partnerships across the energy landscape, along with innovative financing and technology collaboration, can unlock flexible energy solutions for businesses of all sizes to embrace energy management like never before.  Download the paper here.

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2019 Trends in Utility Renewable Energy Financing

U.S. utilities of all sizes are now actively investing in lowest-cost energy options while also seeking low-carbon alternatives as states step up their clean energy mandates, with various states looking at 50 to 100 percent clean energy standards between now and 2050. Although the path for utilities to achieve scale in renewable investment varies, there are some interesting near-term issues that are relevant to a large swath of utilities.

In this white paper, CohnReznick and CohnReznick Capital experts dissect those issues, including the impact of build-transfer agreements, the challenges of third-party tax equity and the opportunity to better serve commercial & industrial clients in this shifting landscape. Download the paper here.

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.