By David Brooks, Concord Monitor
People tend to over-estimate how much electricity is put out by solar panels, so I was very dubious when I heard that a 29-unit apartment complex coming to West Lebanon would get all of its energy, including heating and cooling, strictly from panels on the building. There’s no chance that’s correct, I told myself, secure in my poorly informed certainty. Somebody misunderstood something, I said; I’ll double-check and set the record straight. Shows how much I know.
“There are more and more people who realize this isn’t rocket science. They have to change some practices,” said Bill McLay, an architect whose advocacy for energy savings includes his book, The New Net-Zero about design and construction methods for buildings that create as much energy as they use. Continue reading here.
Image: Architect’s rendition of Tracy Street Community Housing in West Lebanon. Courtesy Twin Pines Housing
The New Net-Zero, Published by Chelsea Green
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
- Solar Installers Should Bundle Panels With Heat Pumps, Study Says, Contributor, Forbes. Solar installers could offer rooftop customers even more savings by bundling solar panels with heat pumps and other electric appliances, according to a recent study by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
- ‘Electrification of Everything’ Would Spike US Electricity Use, but Lower Final Energy Consumption, Greentech Media
- How to start a solar panel manufacturing facility in the United States, Solar Power World. U.S. demand is enough that companies are building new facilities exceeding what Suniva and SolarWorld (previously the country’s largest c-Si manufacturers) were producing at their peak. Tariffed or not, the United States needs more panels, and major global brands are ready to step in.
- Utilities are reluctant to invest in coal plants, even after Trump tries to save them, Washington Examiner. Many coal plants are too old to make upgrades worth investing in. Others have already done the efficiency work EPA outlines in its proposal, experts say. In addition, the rule won’t be implemented for years, and will be contested in court, meaning coal plants may die prematurely.
- Setting an example: Three ways for U.S. jurisdictions to make solar energy a priority, Solar Builder Magazine
MORE NEWS FROM STATES & REGIONS
- How solar power saved $6.7 million on a Tuesday, PV Magazine
A report analyzing the week of a heat wave in the Northeast estimates that solar power saved $30 million in wholesale electricity costs due to lowering demand at its peak during mid-day – including $6.7 million in savings on July 3rd.
- Navy now considering plans for ocean wind farms — and Morro Bay is a top prospect, The San Luis Obispo Tribune
- Connecticut public-private partnership deploys solar to underserved communities, Energy News Network. In Connecticut, a private solar company is working with the state’s green bank to help low-income homeowners save money on their energy bills.
- Arizona Supreme Court rules 50% renewables initiative will appear on ballot, Utility Dive
- ‘It sort of exploded’: the rapid rise of solar energy in North Carolina, The Daily Tar Heel
- Spokane Tribe launches ‘Children of the Sun’ solar initiative, with long-range plans for energy independence, The Spokesman-Review
- GRID Alternatives launches fund to solarize Native American communities, PV Magazine
- Commercial solar is about to become a reality in Alaska, Anchorage Daily News
- California leads on sustainability innovation while Trump digs coal, by Steve Cohen, Earth Institute, Columbia University, Phys.Org
CORPORATE RENEWABLES PROCUREMENT
- News Release: Salesforce Announces Largest Renewable Energy Agreement to Date, on Path to Achieving 100 Percent Renewable Energy. This week Salesforce has made two announcements that sees it leading the way on a clean agenda. The first was when Marc Benioff announced: “the ethical and humane use of technology, a strategic initiative at Salesforce.” It saw the creation of a new position at Salesforce that will oversee the issue. The second was an announcement that it has signed up its largest renewable energy deal as part of its goal to achieving 100% percent usage of green energy. The announcement comes just before the Global Climate Action Summit begins on September 12th in San Francisco.
- Exxon Is Looking to Buy Cheap Renewable Energy, Greentech Media
A recent report from GTM Research forecasted that solar prices could bottom out around $14 per megawatt-hour in coming years. Current wind bids in the U.S. are averaging $20 per megawatt-hour — with prices at the lower end near Exxon’s headquarters in windy Texas. “In general, corporate interest in long-term PPAs for wind and solar is growing rapidly across all sectors,” said Colin Smith, a senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. “Corporate adoption of renewable PPAs is becoming an arms-race; more and more you need to do it in order to keep up with your competitors who are doing it to earn profit or lower long-term costs.”
CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS
Schuette goes to bat for ExxonMobil; brief calls climate change ‘unsettled science’, Bridge Michigan
The company has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. ExxonMobil now states on its website: “The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action. Increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. There is a broad scientific and policy consensus that action must be taken to further quantify and assess the risks.”
- Renewable energy dominating global M&A sector in 2018, Electric Light & Power
- A solar-paneled German car aims to make your daily commute free, Quartz
ENERGY STORAGE NEWS