Tag Archives: National Law Review

Renewables on Tribal Land: Addressing Environmental and Economic Equity on the Path to a Clean Energy Economy

National Law Review article by Bart J. Freedman, Teresa A. Hill,
Benjamin A Mayer, K&L Gates LLP

Demand for renewable energy projects has never been greater. The newest, latest trend is the push for renewable energy projects with positive social impacts and benefits to marginalized communities. Indeed, some of the most significant consumers and supporters of renewable and carbon-free power are now making environmental and economic justice a central focus and condition of their use of and investments in clean energy projects. Utility leaders have identified racial justice as a top concern in the transition to a clean energy economy. Key stakeholders and influential civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, have created toolkits and are advocating for just energy policies and practices. The Rocky Mountain Institute announced this summer that it will be launching a residential solar program to expand the use of solar in communities of color. At the same time, clean energy transition legislation throughout the country is accelerating the need for carbon-free resources, including wind, solar, and storage projects, to replace traditional fossil fuel resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, to power the grid. Continue reading here. 

Photo Credit: The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED GREEN BIZ WEBINAR

Embedding Social and Environmental Benefits in Renewable Energy, October 15, 2020 at 12 pm
Renewable energy deployments are on the rise. The U.S. alone is expected to add 132 to 157GW of new renewable energy capacity in the next five years. How and where that renewable energy is deployed can drive radically different outcomes — with the potential to maximize positive impact for a range of stakeholders or limit benefits to just a few. 

Moderator
Sarah Golden, Senior Energy Analyst & VERGE Energy Chair, GreenBiz

Speakers

  • Megan Lorenzen, Sustainability Manager, Salesforce
  • Bruce McKenney, Director for Strategic Initiatives, Energy & Infrastructure, The Nature Conservancy 
  • Henry Richardson, Senior Analyst, WattTime.org
  • Alex Klonick, Manager, REBA

CLEAN TECHNICA REPORT

  • Top Solar Power States Per Capita, by Zachary Shahan
    As you can see, the top solar power state per capita is probably not the one that came to mind for almost all of you. Would I have guessed that it would be Nevada? Nope. In fact, Nevada is so far in the lead that it has more than double the amount of solar power installed per capita as #6 Vermont, and nearly double the results for #5 North Carolina. That said, the top 5 states are certainly states that lead for solar in a variety of ways. Nevada, Hawaii, California, Arizona, and North Carolina all have great solar resources, and they have policies that provide just enough incentive for large corporations, utilities, small businesses, and homeowners to go solar.
  • Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

MORE ON NEBRASKA’S PLUM CREEK WIND FARM

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY ENERGY’S ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER IN THE NEWS

Wyoming, Utility Clash Over Coal-Boosting, Climate Fighting Tech, Bloomberg Law
Coal-dependent Wyoming, aided by a Trump administration study, is arguing for extending the life of the state’s coal-fired power plants and others across the country by retrofitting old plants with technology that would capture and either store or use climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions. But Rocky Mountain Power, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, wants to retire several of its aging coal-generation plants in Wyoming ahead of schedule and invest roughly $4 billion in new wind energy, transmission, and battery storage projects in the state. And environmental groups favor that plan, rather than extending the life of coal plants.

COLORADO

  • Why Colorado needs an RTO, by Allen Best, Mountain Town News
    On a September morning in which smoke was wafting eastward across the Great Plains from the wildfires in the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast, I sat in a cabin near Nebraska’s Lake McConaughy to hear representatives of Colorado’s two largest electrical utilities and one state legislator explain how they thought Colorado might get an RTO or its close relative, an ISO. The former once again stands for regional transmission organization, and the latter an independent system operator. The function in both cases is much the same. These organizations pool electrical generation resources and also consolidate transmission.
  • Recommended reading about the Interconnection Seams Study, which Allen Best references in the above article: How a Plan to Save the Power System Disappeared, The Atlantic and Investigate West
  • Also Written by Allen Best: Colorado utilities fear wildfire risk — and liability — amid warming climate, Energy News Network
  • Solar-powered steel production from Lightsource bp’s Bighorn Project in Colorado, PV Magazine
    The iron and steel sector is the “world’s largest industrial source of climate pollution.” This steel mill in Pueblo, Colorado will be the first in North America to rely on solar power.

GLOBAL ENERGY STORAGE

Global storage heading to 741 GWh by 2030, WoodMac projects, amid ongoing challenges, Utility Dive

Global energy storage capacity could amount to 741 GWh by the end of the decade, representing a 31% compound annual growth rate, analysis from Wood Mackenzie has found — and the U.S. could make up nearly half of that.

2020 Outlook: Coal faces headwinds from aging plants, adverse market signals and high remediation costs

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

New legislative and gubernatorial leadership elected in the 2018 midterm elections brought heightened pressure to the coal industry in 2019 — a pressure that’s expected to continue from state legislators, regulators and evolving power markets in 2020, according to stakeholders.

Over 10 GW of coal-fired power was retired in 2019, driven largely by “a sustained downward pressure on the market” expected to continue throughout 2020, a ScottMadden analyst told Utility Dive in an email. Natural gas surpassed coal as the number one producer of electric power in 2016, and in April and May of 2019 renewable energy supplied more power than coal for the first time. Read more here.


Catherine Morehouse
Before joining Industry Dive, Catherine was at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska where she worked as News Editor and then Editor-in-Chief of The Creightonian. She has a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from Creighton.


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

SECURITIZATION
Kansas considering securitization for aging coal plants, but caution urged, Utility Dive
Securitization of uneconomic electric utility assets has become a growing strategy to allow for the retirement of coal plants before the end of their useful lives without saddling ratepayers with the cost of these stranded assets. Several other states, such as Colorado, Montana and New Mexico, have passed legislation that makes this option available to utilities. Kansas lawmakers are now considering the securitization option as well.

Previously Posted

NAACP’S JUST ENERGY PROGRAM

For Indiana NAACP, energy justice has long been a civil rights issue, Energy News Network
The NAACP has recently encouraged state and local chapters to avoid being influenced by utilities or fossil fuel interests that donate money to the historic civil rights organization but push policies and take actions that hurt African American and other environmental justice communities. In Indiana, a conservative state where fossil fuel interests and utilities are considered to have much influence, it’s a dynamic the NAACP state chapter is well versed in navigating.

Just Energy Toolkit

The Just Energy Policies and Practices Action Toolkit is 8 modules of practical, user-friendly guidance on how you can phase out toxic energy like coal, nuclear, and oil facilities and bring in clean energy like wind and solar.  Designed to be downloaded as an entire toolkit or as individual modules, you can start planning energy justice plans to best fit the needs in your community. 
Learn more about the toolkit and other Just Energy resources here.

MORE ENERGY TRANSFORMATION NEWS & ANALYSIS

ACORE’s four policies to clean the grid, PV Magazine
The report, titled Policy Options That Most Effectively Put Renewable Energy to Work, notes that  just over 1 TW of utility-scale, electric generation capacity is renewable (22%), while two-thirds of our generation capacity is fossil-based. To replace this capacity by 2050, we’ll need deploy about 30 GW a year of renewable energy.

Previously Posted: 2020 Renewable Energy Industry Outlook, Deloitte
The prospects for short-term solar and wind energy growth appear favorable, with about 96.6 percent of net new generation capacity additions (~74 GW) expected to come from these two resources in 2020. With several states increasing their renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in 2019, the industry will likely see mandatory RPS-driven procurement growth through the mid-2020s, while voluntary demand will continue to hit new levels. As of late 2019, at least 10 utilities have announced 100 percent decarbonization goals, and we’ll be watching for that list to grow in 2020.

ENERGY STORAGE

What Would It Take for the US to Become an Energy Storage Manufacturing Powerhouse?, Greentech Media. After “missed opportunity” in solar, Trump administration wants a domestic supply chain for energy storage. Is that realistic?

MORE NATIONAL NEWS

 JLC Infrastructure acquires and rebrands Greenskies Renewable Energy, Solar Power World
Greenskies Renewable Energy, a developer of commercial and industrial solar power facilities, has successfully completed a transaction that brings JLC Infrastructure in to accelerate the platform’s expansion in the high-growth C&I and municipal sectors. The Greenskies team has delivered over 350 MW of rooftop, carport and ground-mount solar projects, ranging in size from 100 kW to over 80 MW, in 19 states across the United States. Customers include large retailers, technology companies, municipalities, schools, universities and electric utilities.

NATIONAL LAW REVIEW SERIES

2020 Renewable Energy Outlook: Strategies to Elicit Community Support, by Alex Garel-Frantzen,
Amy Antoniolli, Brent Cooper

Even though communities are likely to reap many benefits from proposed renewable energy projects, local opposition can delay – or altogether thwart – the progress of renewable energy projects. Most renewable energy projects require some level of zoning or permit approvals to proceed, and garnering support is proving to be especially difficult. This final post of our three-part series on the 2020 renewable energy outlook (read the first post here and the second post here) examines how local opposition can form and what utilities can do to gain a community’s backing and trust.