By Celeste Wanner, American Wind Energy Association
Many of the businesses across the country that power our everyday lives are increasingly choosing wind energy to power their operations. Once a niche market, corporate customers now routinely represent 40 percent or more of announced wind power contracts in a given year and are some of the most sought-after customers by wind project developers. A new AWEA report released today, Wind Powers American Business, focuses on this growing segment and highlights the top corporate buyers of wind energy in the U.S. The bottom line: Companies powering up with wind is no longer just a trend, it’s the new normal. Let’s dig into some of the top trends: Continue reading.
Image: Plum Creek Wind Farm
WIND ENERGY INVESTMENT IN NEBRASKA
Report says Nebraska in the top five states for wind energy investment, by Caitlyn Lorr, Siouxland Proud. Nebraska is among the top five states in the country for attracting direct business purchases of its wind energy resources, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
NEWS FROM OTHER STATES
- Solar projects underway: County buildings to begin utilizing sustainable power, Gunnison Country Times. The project was temporarily put on hold in spring of last year as the county and Gunnison city leaders negotiated a contract involving the city’s electric provider, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska.
- Santee Cooper, Central look to add up to 500 MW of utility-scale solar, American Public Power Association. Santee Cooper, the state-owned public power utility in South Carolina, has sent a request for proposals (RFP) to nearly 30 solar developers.
- Geronimo Energy Contracts with Michigan-Based J. Ranck to Build 40 MW Michigan Solar Portfolio, Geronimo Energy News Release
- Regulators approve wind farm in Burke County, Bismarck Tribune
- Great Northern Transmission Line powers up, bringing Manitoba hydropower to Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune. Minnesota Power will soon receive half of its electricity from renewable sources.
- Missouri S&T researchers study factors affecting renewable energy adoption, The Rolla Daily News. Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have received $250,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how utility customers use electricity, how utility companies distribute power, and how consumer acceptance levels and economic factors affect the adoption of renewable energy, specifically solar power.
- St. Louis Adopts Midwest’s First Building Performance Standard, Greentech Media
DOE’S BETTER BUILDINGS INITIATIVE
DOE Announces $11 Billion in Energy Cost-Savings from Better Buildings Initiative Partners, Department of Energy News Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly $11 billion in energy-cost savings by more than 950 public and private sector organizations in DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative. To date, partners have saved nearly 1.8 quadrillion British thermal units of energy, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 27 million homes in America over one year. Learn more about DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative HERE.
ZERO ENERGY COMMUNITIES
Here’s how to design communities that give back as much energy as they take
GreenBiz contributor Charles F. Kutscher is a fellow and senior research associate of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, a joint institute between the University of Colorado-Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
My colleagues and I study the best ways to rapidly reduce carbon emissions from the building sector. In recent years, construction designs have advanced dramatically. Net zero energy buildings, which produce the energy they need on site from renewable sources, increasingly are the default choice. But to speed the transition to zero carbon emissions, I believe the United States must think bigger and focus on designing or redeveloping entire communities that are zero energy.
MORE ON THE 2035 REPORT
- A Clean Electricity Future is Affordable and Attainable—It’s Time to Act, Rocky Mountain Institute. GridLab and UC-Berkeley show that a 90 percent carbon-free US electricity grid is both reliable and lower cost. The Berkeley/GridLab report represents a distinctive new chapter in the evolving discourse playing out around the country regarding the future of the US electricity system. The study will likely be an important benchmark against which individual utilities’ investments are evaluated for compatibility with least-cost and feasible decarbonization outcomes. Investors, utilities, regulators, and policymakers should take advantage of the wealth of insight and information contained within this body of work, and plan accordingly for their own role in accelerating the decarbonization of the US power grid. Website: www.2035report.com
- 90% clean power by 2035 is ‘challenging but feasible’, PV Magazine
“90% by 2035 is the sweet spot” for a pathway that uses existing technology, allows “judicious use” of existing generation assets, and “achieves near-complete decarbonization in a realistic timeframe,” said study co-author Nikit Abhyankar of UC Berkeley. The resulting lower wholesale cost of electricity by 2035 “was a surprise for us.”
- Falling renewable, storage costs make 90% carbon-free US grid feasible by 2035, UC Berkeley finds, Utility Dive
NEW GTM POLITICAL CLIMATE EPISODE
Racial Justice Protests Put a Spotlight on Pollution and Clean Energy Solutions, by Julia Pyper, Senior Editor, Greentech Media
On this episode of Political Climate, National Wildlife Federation’s Mustafa Santiago Ali connects the dots between the clean air, affordable energy and the racial justice movement. Ali has been on the front lines of the fight for environmental justice since he was a teenager and throughout his 24 years at the EPA. Now, as vice president of environmental justice, climate and community revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation, Ali says he’s hopeful this historic moment will accelerate equitable energy solutions.
The time for electric trucks and buses is now, by Katie Fehrenbacher, GreenBiz
Despite the pandemic, sales of electric trucks and buses are expected to surge in the United States and Canada over the next couple of years. And perhaps, surprising to many, they’ll soar even within this year (the year that can best be described as WTF). That’s according to new data released recently by the clean-transportation-focused nonprofit CALSTART. The organization expects there to be 169 zero-emission commercial vehicles available for purchase, or soon to be available, in North America by the end of 2020; that’s a 78 percent increase from the number of zero-emission commercial vehicles available at the end of 2019. What’s more, between 2019 and 2023, the number of zero-emission commercial vehicle models is expected to double, to 195.
SECOND-LIFE EV BATTERY STORAGE
Used EV Batteries Could Power Tomorrow’s Solar Farms, IEEE Spectrum
An MIT study finds promise in repurposing swapped-out EV battery packs for solar grid storage.