Tag Archives: MidAmerican Energy

Incentives for Energy and Transportation Are Climate Action

By Grant Carlisle, Natural Resources Defense Council

The newly minted Biden administration has made clear that climate change is a top priority. A vital arrow in the administration’s quiver should be tax policies including predictable and long-term extensions and upgrades to clean energy and clean transportation incentives. See here for a letter from 45 environmental, faith and business groups sent to President Biden today supporting robust clean economy tax policies. These policies will help clean energy and clean transportation play a critical role in building an ascendant 21st century American economy, putting people back to work, and laying the foundation for a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous future. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NATIONAL GREEN BANK BILL

National Green Bank Bill Targets $100B for Business Sectors Key to Biden’s Climate Agenda, Greentech Media. A report this week from the National Academies of Science highlighted the need for federal funding to bolster private capital sources that are “unlikely to be sufficient to finance the low-carbon economic transition, especially during the 2020s when the effort is new.” 

CORPORATE NEWS

LIHEAP

APPA, other groups call for a $10 billion emergency supplemental appropriation for LIHEAP, American Public Power Association

A group of national gas and electric utility associations, including the American Public Power Association, on Feb. 4 sent a letter to Congress calling for a $10 billion emergency supplemental appropriation for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).The letter was sent to House and Senate Appropriations committee chairmen and ranking members.

“LIHEAP is the bedrock of America’s energy safety net, providing heating and cooling assistance to our most vulnerable, including the elderly, those with disabilities, and families with young children,” the letter noted.

Nebraska LIHEAP Program

Keep your eyes on these 9 electric truck and van companies in 2021

By Mike De Socio, Contributor, GreenBiz 


Last year, a number of automakers announced or advanced ambitious plans to electrify heavy-duty big rigs, semi-trucks, box trucks, delivery vans and more. That article was one of GreenBiz’s most popular stories throughout the year. And the demand and interest in this technology is only growing stronger. Given that trucks consume the vast majority of energy compared to other modes of freight transportation, electrification in this area has huge potential to decrease the carbon impact of fleets. Continue reading here.

Virtual Renewable Energy Education Summit


Thursday, February 4, 2021, 10am – 4pm Central Time

The KidWind Project and REpowering Schools are inviting educators, researchers and practitioners from around the world to come together to discuss the state and future of renewable energy education in a collaborative, day-long virtual summit. This is an application-based event. Participants will receive a $150 stipend for their time. Click here to learn more and to apply.

News From Other States

OPPD Maintains Strong Credit Rating, Helping Utility Keep Rates Low For Customer-Owners In Challenging Economy

OPPD News Release 

Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s latest ratings give OPPD an Aa2 and AA, respectively. These ratings are among the highest ratings a public power utility can receive. OPPD’s solid financial position has allowed it to access credit markets during the current market downturn, while lower rated entities have had limited access . . . The board received an update on OPPD’s Pathways to Decarbonization strategic initiative. A long-term study is underway to identify pathways to improve our environmental impact while maintaining reliability, resiliency and affordability. During its committee meetings this week, the board received an update on OPPD’s Power with Purpose (PwP) plan, approved in November 2019. The plan includes the addition of between 400 and 600 megawatts of accredited utility-scale solar generation, as well as the addition of modernized natural gas backup generation assets. Read the entire news release here.

For more information, click here.
OPPD invites customer-owners to submit feedback at OPPD Listens.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

THE HEROES ACT

House Democrats unveil $3 trillion COVID-19 response proposal, American Public Power Association. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in late March by President Trump included $900 million for LIHEAP to help low-income households pay their utility bills during the crisis. But the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) on April 6 said that due to the depth of the crisis, “this funding only scratches the surface of what families will need to stay afloat.” 

CLEAN ENERGY FORWARD INITIATIVE

Republicans Are Leading On Clean Energy, Newsweek
Opinion contributed by Heather Reams, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, a non-profit organization that recently launched Clean Energy Forward to engage Republican policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge.

TRANSITION PATHWAY INITIATIVE

Investor group: No European oil and gas major has a credible net zero plan, GreenBiz
That is the conclusion of a new analysis from the influential Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), backed by investors representing $19 trillion of assets worldwide.

TRI-STATE

SOLAR PLUS STORAGE

GAF SOLAR ROOF

GAF Energy Launches New Flex Option for Roof-Integrated Solar System, Solar Industry Magazine

GAF Energy, a provider of roof-integrated solar solutions in North America, has launched their “Flex” option for use with the company’s redesigned Decotech 2.0 roof-integrated solar product. Flex maintains the efficiency of standard system sizing, while also introducing new configuration choices for homeowners.

  • Homeowners interested in learning more about the GAF solar roof, click here.
  • Roofing contractors interested in installing GAF Energy products, click here.

THIN-FILM SOLAR MODULES

A new player appears in American thin-film cadmium telluride solar module manufacturing, PV Magazine. Toledo Solar is trying to distinguish itself from First Solar’s cadmium telluride dominance by operating in the residential and commercial markets, markets which have been historically unkind to the technology.

GREENTECH MEDIA’S INTERCHANGE

Mapping the Post-COVID Future for Electric Cars, Behavior Change and Energy Demand, Greentech Media. This week on The Interchange, we talk with futurist Ramez Naam about a wide range of scenarios for energy.

MORE ON MICHAEL MOORE’S CONTROVERSIAL DOCUMENTARY

What Michael Moore’s New Climate Documentary Gets Wrong About Renewables, Forbes

15 books about women leading the way on climate change

By Michael Svoboda, Yale Climate Connections

To observe Women’s History Month, Yale Climate Connections has again chosen to present a selection of new and recent titles on how women’s lives will be affected by climate change and on how women are changing the politics and prospects for action. Read more here.

 ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

DOE NEWS RELEASE

Energy Department Announces $20 Million Investment in Workforce Development in Emerging Fields.

EV NEWS

 CIRCULAR BATTERY

The case for designing a circular battery, by Jesse Gerstin, GreenBiz
Jesse Gerstin is director of Sustainable Business at SimpliPhi Power, providing energy storage solutions and access to energy for underserved communities globally.  

All Hell Breaking Loose Examines Climate Change From the Perspective of the U.S. Military

All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective
On Climate Change, by Michael T. Klare

The Pentagon, unsentimental and politically conservative, might not seem likely to be worried about climate change―still linked, for many people, with polar bears and coral reefs. Yet of all the major institutions in American society, none take climate change as seriously as the U.S. military. Both as participants in climate-triggered conflicts abroad, and as first responders to hurricanes and other disasters on American soil, the armed services are already confronting the impacts of global warming.

The military now regards climate change as one of the top threats to American national security―and is busy developing strategies to cope with it. Drawing on previously obscure reports and government documents, renowned security expert Michael Klare shows that the U.S. military sees the climate threat as imperiling the country on several fronts at once. Read more about the book here.

Related Reading 

Additional Recommended Reading

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter – Iowa’s Outstanding Wind Energy Development

Here’s what Buffett is telling shareholders in his annual letter, Omaha World-Herald

Buffett talked up the success of Berkshire’s energy subsidiary, which was launched in 2000 when Berkshire purchased MidAmerican Energy in neighboring Iowa. He said MidAmerican will hit a significant milestone in 2021 when it’s projected to be producing 25.2 million megawatt-hours of electricity from wind. That’s more than the annual needs of all of its Iowa customers. “In other words, our utility will have attained wind-energy self-sufficiency in the state of Iowa,” he said.

He noted the company has done that with rate increases of less than 1% a year, and the company has pledged no rate increases through at least 2028. He contrasted that to the other major utility in Iowa, which gets less than 10% of its power from wind and which has rates 61% higher than MidAmerican. Buffett also put out an offer to the rest of the industry. Berkshire has the operating talent and experience to manage “truly huge utility projects” of $100 billion or more, he said. “We stand ready, willing and able to take on such opportunities,” he said. 

Pair of wind energy projects moving forward in Banner County

By Mark McCarthy, Scottsbluff Star-Herald

HARRISBURG — Two companies are showing renewed interest in wind farms in Banner County, and hope to have systems up and running in the next couple of years. Orion Energy and Invenergy LLC are both working on securing leases, conducting environmental assessments and conducting public surveys in the hopes of getting projects up and running. Representatives for both companies projected that there would likely be systems up and running over the next two years. Ben Turner, manager of renewable development for Invenergy LLC, said they are looking at a project of up to or over 500 megawatts, likely utilizing between 150 and 200 turbines. The company has just over 100,000 acres leased. Continue reading here.

Map Credit: World Atlas

IOWA NEWS

In Iowa, clean energy advocates hope solar will complement wind farms, written by Karen Uhlenhith, Energy News Network

Iowa has long been one of the nation’s leading producers of electricity from wind. Now, the state appears ready to take a great leap forward with utility-scale solar. Invenergy, a major developer of large renewable generation projects nationwide, began construction in December on three solar arrays with a total capacity of 750 megawatts. It may at some point add three batteries with a capacity of 190 MW. The Iowa Utilities Board about a month ago issued generation certificates for the projects, which are in three adjacent counties on the Iowa-Minnesota border. 

Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act will improve the state’s economic climate

By Christine Hicks, Environmental Defense Fund

A recent study developed by The Accelerate Group measured the economic impact of CEJA and found the answer — it’s tens of billions of dollars. The new economic impact report released by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition shines a light on just how much CEJA would contribute to the state’s economy. Here’s the bottom line: the legislation, if enacted, would result in $39 billion in new private investment in Illinois through 2030. Read more here. 

ALSO IN THE NEWS

UPCOMING WEBINAR

Solar Plus Storage as Resiliency: Friday, December 13, 9 to 9:45 a.m. 
As part of Michigan Energy Options’ Winter Solar Webinar Series, Seth Mullendore, Vice President and Project Director for Clean Energy Group, will discuss how solar PV with battery storage can create resiliency in communities and replace traditional power plants with clean technologies. 

Register here.

NEW STUDY

Biased capacity markets accelerating gas over solar, storage, PV Magazine
Regional markets for energy capacity favor new gas generation over solar and storage, at a high cost to consumers. Eight U.S. Senators have taken notice, while a new report marshals the evidence. The Grid Strategies report, titled Too much of the wrong thing: the need for capacity market replacement or reform, was written by Rob Gramlich and Michael Goggin. The Sustainable FERC Project, which commissioned the report, is a partnership among 24 citizens’ groups.

WOMEN IN AG LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Generations of leadership is focus of Women in Ag Leadership Conference, LeMars Daily Sentinel
Iowa State alumnus Elizabeth Burns-Thompson is the capstone speaker. Among the nation’s first cohort of 30 Under 30 leaders in agriculture, she is passionate about Iowa’s renewable energy. She will encourage women of all generations to follow their dreams and trust their own abilities and opportunities. Online registration is available at www.aep.iastate.edu/leadership
General registration is $60 and student registration is $30.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES

RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE RESOURCES

NRECA’s Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) Resources
NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Solar
NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Community Solar
NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Wind

FEATURED HOLIDAY WISH LIST

2019 holiday wish list: Power sector edition, Utility Dive 
With the holiday season upon us, many kids — and some adults — are making wish lists. In that spirit, Utility Dive queried a dozen industry and environmental/advocacy groups about their policy wish list.

New Project Would More Than Double Wisconsin’s Solar Energy Output

By Hope Kirwin, Wisconsin Public Radio

A major utility in western Wisconsin has announced plans for a new solar farm in Jefferson County. Dairyland Power Cooperative plans to purchase 149 megawatts of solar energy from the Badger State Solar project. That’s almost six times Dairyland’s current solar investment and would more than double the state’s solar production, The new partnership would create one of the largest solar farms in Wisconsin. The solar farm would be built by development company Ranger Power on private land in the towns of Jefferson and Oakland. Read more here.

Ranger Power Photo

Related

MORE NEWS FROM STATES


Big cheese gets big solar+storage proposal, PV Magazine
Invenergy has proposed a solar project up to 200 MWac / 300 MWdc in capacity with a 50 MW / 200 MWh battery in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

State of the states: 4 reasons that red plus blue makes green economics, Utility Dive Contributor Malcolm D. Woolf, managing director of MW Energy Advisors and former chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials. Washington, D.C. is abuzz with the Green New Deal, but my bet is that the most pivotal energy legislation enacted this year comes from red and blue state houses across the nation.

GLOBAL NEWS

Rise of bifacial lifts profits for the world’s tracker companies, PV Magazine

Soltec Image: Single-axis tracker

Omaha utility’s carbon intensity goal obscures ongoing fossil fuel use

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

The carbon intensity goal passed on a 6-2 vote. The goal could change if the board revisits the issue after January, when newly elected board members — including three clean energy supporters — are seated. A debate about carbon intensity also surfaced recently in Iowa, where
MidAmerican Energy won regulatory approval last week for a 591-megawatt wind farm known as Wind XII. In its application, the utility’s president and CEO, Adam Wright, noted that the project would lower the utility’s carbon intensity to about 638 pounds per net megawatt-hour, compared to 1,839 pounds per megawatt 15 years ago, before it began investing in wind energy. “The carbon intensity, even if it’s calculated correctly, doesn’t mean they’ve reduced their emissions that much,” said Paul Chernick, an attorney representing the Sierra Club in the case.
Read the entire article here.

Pat Hawks / Flickr / Creative Commons Image

Related News Stories

CARBON CAPTURE RESEARCH
DOE spent more than $500M on dead projects, E&E News
Nearly half the $2.7 billion in fossil research money spent by the Department of Energy over the last seven years supported nine carbon capture demonstration projects, the majority of which were canceled or withdrawn.

Four key takeaways from a Michigan utility’s clean energy transition

By Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

In a speech this week to a large, business-friendly crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe presented an economic case for solar power, electric vehicles and moving past coal. The company closed seven Michigan coal plants in 2016, cutting carbon emissions 25 percent without hurting its workforce. As the company focuses on solar in the coming years, Poppe said electric vehicles will play a growing role in the company’s “triple bottom line” principle of serving people, the planet and prosperity. Read more here.

Photo: Consumers Energy’s community solar array at Grand Valley State University.

MORE CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

EIA says 4 GW of coal-fired capacity may retire by end of 2019, American Public Power Association. So far in 2018, 11 GW of coal-fired generating capacity has retired through September, and another 3 GW are expected to retire in the final three months of the year, based on data reported to EIA by plant owners and operators. “If these plants retire as planned, 2018 will be the second-highest year for coal retirements. Another 4 GW of capacity are planning to retire by the end of 2019,” EIA reported.

U.S. energy storage storm grows in strength, PV Magazine

A Wood Mackenzie report shows U.S. energy storage deployments tripling in capacity during Q3 ’18 versus last year’s volume, while noting that the future pipeline growth rate doubled versus prior quarters to reach a 33 GW of future projects.


NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

EV NEWS

 

New plans by VW, Tesla and BYD support predictions that EV sales are set to skyrocket, PV Magazine

 

 

Major Study Shows Electric Bikes Good For Health, CleanTechnica
There was moderate evidence that e-cycling provided physical activity of at least moderate intensity, which was lower than the intensity elicited during conventional cycling, but higher than that during walking. There was also moderate evidence that e-cycling can improve cardiorespiratory fitness in physically inactive individuals. Photo: Omaha QuikByke Kiosk

ENERGY CONSERVATION

 

Rule your attic, save on energy costs, The Wire, OPPD Blog