Tag Archives: microgrids

Minn. storage law may put pressure on gas-fired peakers

By Ethan Howland, American Public Power Association

Under an omnibus energy and jobs bill that was signed into law on May 31 utilities must assess how energy storage could meet generation and capacity needs as well as provide ancillary services. The bill includes several additional provisions aimed at jump starting energy storage in the state. When seeking to build power plants or power lines, utilities must show that energy storage cannot more cost effectively meet customer demand.

study released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in June found that a “substantial portion” of peaking capacity in the United States could be replaced by energy storage facilities. The capacity of the national peaking power fleet is about 261 GW and about 150 GW of that capacity is likely to retire over the next 20 years, NREL estimated. That could lead to the potential for about 28 GW of 4-hour battery storage that could serve as peaking capacity, NREL said. Read more here.

Previously Posted Article by Ethan Howland
Report puts $4.5 trillion price tag on grid decarbonization

ALSO IN THE NEWS

House and Senate Introduce Legislation for 5-Year Extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have introduced companion bills with a five-year 30% extension of Section 48 and Section 25D Solar Investment Tax Credits (ITC). The Renewable Energy Extension Act will call for the extension of the tax credits.

Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, urging lawmakers to pass this critical legislation:

Continue Reading Here.

MAYORS FOR SOLAR ENERGY

 

More than 250 mayors nationwide sign letter calling for increased solar power, Environment America News Release
Municipal leaders from all 50 states support more clean energy from the sun.


MORE NEWS & OPINION

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

SOLSMART NEWS

Southwest Virginia Communities Achieve National Recognition for Advancing Solar Energy Growth, News Release, Appalachian Voices. Eight Southwest Virginia communities have achieved designation under the national SolSmart program for encouraging the growth of local solar energy markets, at a time when several major solar installations on schools, businesses, and community centers are poised to begin across the region. These communities were each awarded a SolSmart designation for taking local action to reduce the time and expense required to install solar energy systems. 

Opportunity Zones May Spur Microgrid Development

By Ken Silverstein, Microgrid Knowledge

Opportunity zones, created in the US as part of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, are making a splash among green energy and microgrid investors.  “Opportunity zones create tax incentives for investors in real estate, businesses and assets in areas that might not otherwise draw investment,” says John Beidle, chief executive of New Energy Opportunities, in an interview with Microgrid Knowledge. “The further stacking of tax incentives in these areas for microgrid facilities is really a once in a lifetime opportunity especially if new employment is brought into these areas.”

An Economic Innovation Group analysis estimates $6.1 trillion in unrealized capital gains held by US households and corporations as of the end of 2017. “Even a small fraction of these gains reinvested into opportunity zones would make it the largest economic development initiative in the country,” says John Lettieri, founder of the group, in congressional testimony. Read more here.

Nonprofit Economic Innovation Group (EIG) Image: Opportunity Zones.

EIG is a bipartisan public policy organization that combines innovative research and data-driven advocacy to address America’s most pressing economic challenges. From their headquarters in the nation’s capital, EIG convenes leading experts from the public and private sectors, develops original research, and advances creative policy proposals that bring new jobs, investment, and economic dynamism to U.S. communities.

Additional Recommended Reading

Opportunity Zones Resources

Microgrid Knowledge Resources

Is Your Company Ready for a Zero-Carbon Future?

By Nigel Topping, Contributor, Harvard Business Review

More than 900 global companies representing over $17.6 trillion in market cap are already ensuring that their business strategies are built for growth and emissions reductions through the We Mean Business Take Action campaign. (We Mean Business is a nonprofit coalition of which I am CEO.) This includes over 560 companies that have committed to set ambitious science-based emission reduction targets, and over 175 that have committed to switching to 100% renewable electricity. Beyond that, companies are beginning to use their influence to speed an economy-wide transition by supporting climate policies targeting net-zero emissions by 2050. Others are demanding climate action throughout their supply chains. Read more about the We Mean Business campaign and other initiatives here.

Nigel Topping serves as CEO of We Mean Business coalition, which harnesses business leadership to drive the innovations and policies that accelerate action on climate change. Previously, Nigel was executive director of CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and he has 18 years of experience in the manufacturing sector.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

FEATURED RESOURCES

GLOBAL NEWS

The global transition to clean energy, explained in 12 charts

By David Roberts, Vox

Renewable energy is starting to make a dent in electricity – Fifth Chart:
All the growth and investments in renewable electricity are starting to add up. Renewables represent more than a third of the world’s installed capacity and, as the graphic below shows, more than 26 percent of global electricity produced.

That said, hydropower, at almost 16 percent, makes up more than half the renewables total. What people tend to think of as renewables, wind and solar, make up only a combined 8 percent. Even in electricity, renewables have a long way to go. Read more here.

FEATURED GLOBAL INITIATIVE: CLIMATE ACTION 100+

To date, more than 300 investors with more than $33 trillion in assets under management have signed on to this initiative. Climate Action 100+ is coordinated by five partner organizations: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, and Principles for Responsible Investment.

MORE NEWS & RESOURCES

How PV is changing the world of energy

By Sandra Enkhardt, Senior Editor of PV Magazine Deutschland

The annual expansion of photovoltaics throughout the world surpassed the 100 GW mark last year. The multi-terawatt market is looming on the horizon and PV is becoming a “game changer” in the global energy system in five specific areas, according to a consortium of research institutes. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

INTERVIEW

#Solar100’s Nat Kreamer: Clean Energy’s Captain America, PV Magazine Guest Post
Richard Matsui, Founder & CEO of kWh Analytics, speaks with Nat Kreamer, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy: 
Nat Kreamer served in the Afghan War with special forces in the U.S. Navy, helped found what is now the largest residential solar company in the United States, held the position of board chair at Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and was recognized by President Obama as a “Champion of Change” for his work as a veteran in clean energy. Now he’s bringing these experiences to his role as CEO of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), where he leverages policy advocacy and inter-industry collaboration to advance clean energy.

Analysis: New wind, solar cheaper than operating most existing coal plants

By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network

Locally generated solar and wind energy could already replace almost three-fourths of electricity made by U.S. coal plants for less than the cost of continuing to operate those plants, according to an analysis released today by two clean energy research groups.

By 2025, the share of “at risk” coal generation will jump from 74 percent to 86 percent, adds the report by Energy Innovation Policy & Technology in San Francisco and Boulder-based Vibrant Clean Energy. “We’re not talking about replacing every coal plant overnight,” said report co-author Eric Gimon at Energy Innovation. “What we’re saying is every coal plant should be looked at.” How do coal plants compare to solar or wind energy in the analysis? Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading 

Photo by SoCore Energy: Kearney Solar Farm

Kathiann M. Kowalski is the author of 25 books and more than 600 articles, and writes often on science and policy issues. In addition to her journalism career, Kathi is an alumna of Harvard Law School and has spent 15 years practicing law. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

Small Iowa town hopes benchmarking makes big impact on energy efficiency, by Karen Uhlenhuth

As state lawmakers and investor-owned utilities in Iowa retreat from energy efficiency investments, Bloomfield stands in stark contrast. The building benchmarking program is part of an aggressive plan to tap efficiency and renewables to meet a goal of total energy independence by 2030 for the small town of about 2,700 people in far southeastern Iowa. Photo by Jo Naylor, Flickr, Creative Commons: Bloomfield, Iowa

Microgrid boosters hope Michigan ‘energy district’ will spur more interest, by Andy Balaskovitz

Microgrid advocates hope a Michigan utility’s proposed “energy district” can help demonstrate the technology and spur more interest in similar projects. Consumers Energy announced plans last month for a smart energy district on a 4-square-block area near the utility’s headquarters in Jackson. Though not formally a microgrid, the plan calls for developing a “smart energy community” around renewables, battery storage and electric vehicles, mirroring concepts of interconnected “smart cities.” Photo Credit: Consumers Energy

Community Microgrids with Energy Storage: Cost Effective and Clean

By Jacqueline DeRosa, Vice President of Energy Storage at Ameresco, Microgrid Knowledge

The growth of distributed resources is forcing utilities and grid operators to transition from standard operations to more decentralized power systems.  Already, local and clean distributed resources can directly provide a local community’s energy needs. Distributed renewable energy paired with energy storage is not just technically feasible, but also cost-effective for many applications today. New predictive analytics can optimize the use of solar, advanced energy storage, energy efficiency, and other resources to allow communities to procure renewable, low-cost energy and maintain reliability. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Energy Storage Has A Breakout Year On Both Sides Of The Meter, by Jeff McMahon, Forbes. Wood Mackenzie has not yet released its report on 2018, but Finn-Foley offered a sneak preview to Clean Energy States Alliance members Thursday, telling them that the fourth quarter of 2018 broke energy storage records everywhere.

Global battery storage pipeline reaches 15 GW, by Julian Jansen, IHS Markit Senior Analyst. PV Magazine International. With the U.S. market poised for exponential growth in 2019, the Americas already have a project pipeline of over 4.3 GW. As policy frameworks advance across the United States, IHS Markit already tracks project activity in 39 states, which have operational energy storage systems, with an additional five states with projects planned or under construction.

City ready for community solar gardens

By Jennifer Bailey, Commercial-News, Danville, Illinois

Illinois passed The Future Energy Jobs Act in December 2016. This legislation went into effect June 1, 2017. Under this legislation, the state created a new Community Solar program that will allow any customer of ComEd or Ameren to subscribe to a community solar garden, according to Solar in the Community which is a joint project of the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, The Accelerate Group and the Environmental Defense Fund . . . Under Illinois’ community solar program, “subscribers” can enter into an agreement to support a solar energy installation in their community — on the rooftop of a local school or community center, for example.
Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

MORE COMMUNITY SOLAR NEWS

LOCATING CLOSED LANDFILLS & OTHER LOCAL BROWNFIELDS

EPA’s RE-Powering Mapper is an online interactive web application that allows users to visualize key information on renewable energy potential at specific contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites.

Using screening criteria developed in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EPA has pre-screened more than 130,000 sites for their renewable energy potential.

Access the updated RE-Powering Mapper here. 
Learn more about EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative here.

MORE GOOD NEWS FROM STATES 

This old coal plant is now a solar farm, thanks to pressure from local activists, Fast Company. In Massachusetts, one town fought to stop
pollution–and ensured a just transition for workers at the coal plant. For more than half a century, a coal plant in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts spewed pollution into the air. Now, the plant is closed, and 17,000 solar panels and a battery storage system–the largest in the state–send clean power to the grid. Photo by Toxics Action Center

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

INTERVIEW

Commercial Solar Outlook: A Q&A with GE Solar, Energy Manager Today
From import tariffs to corporate sustainability goals, 2018 was a big year for the commercial solar industry, with no signs of slowing down in 2019. To understand what’s on the horizon for the commercial solar market, we asked Ellen Roybal, Managing Director
of Strategy & Market Intelligence for GE Solar, for her take on the industry.

Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement Continues to Break Records in 2018

Rocky Mountain Institute News Release

Corporate renewable energy procurement has set a new single-year record for new capacity of announced wind and solar deals in 2018, the Business Renewables Center (BRC), a membership program at Rocky Mountain Institute, reported in its updated corporate-backed renewable energy procurement deal tracker.

“The record number of companies successfully pursuing renewable energy this year sends a clear signal that environmental sustainability is a serious priority for business leaders across the economy,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. “These companies aren’t going to wait for public policy on climate issues to catch up—they are taking the initiative to
accelerate toward a prosperous, low carbon economy.” Read more here.

RMI REPORT
RMI offers playbook to support non-wires projects, American Public Power Association

IN NEBRASKA / THE MIDWEST

One for the Books: The Biggest Corporate Renewable Deals of 2018,
Energy Manager Today. Facebook: The BRC found that the social media giant signed 20 renewable contracts totaling 1,894.5 MW in 2018, which tops all the corporate deals the BRC tracked in 2016 put together. Those deals included a power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power North America in March for energy from Enel’s planned 320 MW
Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Wind and Solar Are Revitalizing Rural America, by Grant Smith, Senior Energy Policy Advisor, Environmental Working Group
The St Louis Post-Dispatch reports that solar companies are streaming into Illinois and partnering with farmers to lease some of their land for solar projects. But this is not happening only in Illinois. Across the nation, wind and solar investments are revitalizing rural economies, providing a boost to the ups and downs of farm income.

INTERVIEW

Not for lack of ideas: an interview with NREL’s Dr, Peter Green, PV Magazine
In this interview pv magazine talks with the chief research officer at the United States’ foremost clean energy laboratory about the work that NREL has been doing, and what to expect for the
future of electricity and transportation.

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN E-BOOK


Climate Change: Planet Under Pressure
, by Scientific American Editors  $5.99

From increasingly severe storms to collapsing coral reefs to the displacement of Syrian citizens, in this eBook we examine the effects of Earth’s changing climate on weather systems, ecosystems and human habitability and what this means for our future.