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
- Groundswell, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance partner to localize benefits of corporate solar power purchases, Solar Power World. Groundswell and the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) are joining forces to accelerate an equitable clean energy future for all by leveraging corporate renewable energy purchases to deliver local community benefits alongside clean energy.
- Previously Posted: Investing in equitable access to solar energy for Hispanic communities, PV Magazine. As one of the fastest growing American communities, the Hispanic population has been historically underrepresented in solar energy. The barriers that have excluded Hispanic people from solar, however, are not permanent and work can be done to ensure an equitable energy transition.
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.
Sarah Golden, Senior Energy Analyst & VERGE Energy Chair, GreenBiz
- 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
- Vail Resorts invests in massive Nebraska wind farm, Yale Climate Connections
None of the 34 ski resorts owned by Vail are in Nebraska. But the company is investing in the state’s abundant wind power. Vail has committed to buying 310,000 megawatt-hours of energy from the new Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County. That’s enough to offset more than 90% of the electricity used at all of Vail’s North American resorts.
- Posted one year ago today: “Red” Nebraska Is Ready For Its Wind Power Closeup, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica
- Rocky Mountain Institute Resource: Introduction to the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement
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.
- 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 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.