Tag Archives: PV Magazine

Power, plants: Seed mixes and ag innovation for PV solar

By Rob Davis, Director, Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy

Driven by rapidly declining costs and 100 percent clean energy commitments from corporations and municipalities, demand for large-scale solar energy development is surging. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) forecasts farmers and other landowners will lease 2-3 million acres of land for ground-mounted solar arrays by 2030, a 10-fold increase from 2020.

This rapid bloom in leasing land to produce solar energy isn’t just a lifeline for farmers looking to stabilize on-farm income, it’s also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create habitat at scale to help species critical to agriculture and ecosystem health. Climate change and loss of habitat pose significant threats to honey bees, bumblebees, monarch butterflies and a wide variety of pollinators. A recent global analysis found that 40 percent of pollinator species may be at risk of extinction in the coming years. Continue reading here,

Photo by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy: ENGIE project in Vermont

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

AWEA INTO THE WIND BLOG POSTS

American wind power supports COVID-19 relief efforts in communities across the country
Our society and economy continue to grapple with the unprecedented challenges COVID-19 presents. Ensuring the wind energy workforce’s safety and protecting U.S. wind jobs remains the top priority, and when the economy can safely reopen, wind power stands ready to play a leading role in the recovery. However, communities across the country are struggling right now, and the U.S. wind industry is doing its part to aid in the recovery effort.

Fact check: New Michael Moore-backed documentary full of errors, fundamentally misunderstands electric systemA new Michael Moore-backed documentary has been released that examines the climate crisis and the lack of progress made so far in combating the problem. Unfortunately, and somewhat strangely, the filmmakers chose to focus much of their attention erroneously critiquing a leading climate solution—renewable energy. Let’s set the record straight on where this film gets it wrong. See this article for an in-depth look at the film’s problematic portrayal of solar power.

FROM WIND EXCHANGE – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NEWSLETTER

The wind industry needs a broad range of workers, including turbine engineers, project developers, and supply chain managers, to support growth. Unfortunately, employers report difficulty hiring well-qualified candidates to support this growth, while graduates have also had difficulty finding jobs. Follow these tips from wind energy professionals to help narrow this gap and learn how to breeze into the wind energy workforce.

ROOFTOP WIND

Rooftop Wind Power Might Take off by Using Key Principle of Flight, by Scientific American, EcoWatch

Solar panels perched on the roofs of houses and other buildings are an increasingly common sight in the U.S., but rooftop wind systems have never caught on. Past efforts to scale down the towering turbines that generate wind power to something that might sit on a home have been plagued by too many technical problems to make such devices practical. Now, however, a new design could circumvent those issues by harnessing the same principle that creates lift for airplane wings.

Image: An artist’s rendering of AeroMINES along the edge of a roof and combined with solar arrays. Sandia National Laboratories

GOOGLE

Google Tests Load-Shifting at Data Centers to Capture the Grid’s Peak Clean Energy Hours, Greentech Media. In its quest for 24/7 renewables, Google tries scheduling “non-urgent” computing tasks at times of maximum wind and solar output.

Previously Posted: Google is a member of two regional transmission organizations: Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

The global corporation is also a member of RE100 and the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA).

Inside Clean Energy: The Case for Optimism

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

You might say I’m the climate change therapist in my neighborhood. When people find out that I write about climate change and clean energy, they often react with some version of a despair story. And that’s when I launch into my case for optimism. It goes like this: I spend just about every day talking to the researchers, entrepreneurs and advocates behind the transition to clean energy. Their enthusiasm, plus the evidence of their progress, makes me feel like I’m covering the story of our lifetimes.
Continue reading here.

Click here to read more articles by Dan Gearino.

Additional Recommended Reading

New report: Renewable energy generation jumped 77 percent during 2010’s, by Greg Alvarez, AWEA Blog. The Business Council for Sustainable Energy has released its annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook:

Today, the U.S. has three times the amount of wind that it did when the 2010’s began. As noted when we announced the U.S. wind industry’s 100 gigawatt (GW) milestone, it took 28 years to build the country’s first 25 GW of wind. But it only took 11 to build the next 75. That’s an explosive growth rate, and with another 44 GW of wind under development and a burgeoning offshore wind resource, more wind is on the way. Looking pan renewable, the Factbook finds almost 150 GW of wind and solar were built over the past decade.

Previously Posted

Renewvia’s New Solar Canopy System Protects and Powers Up EchoPark Dealerships in Colorado

Renewvia Energy Corporation News Release, Newswire

Renewvia Energy Corporation announces that the first two solar-canopy systems for EchoPark® Automotive, a subsidiary of Sonic Automotive, Inc., are up and running at the LEED-certified flagship store in Thornton, Colorado, and at EchoPark Centennial. These innovative carports, complete with energy-efficiency, under-canopy lighting, will protect a total of 929 cars and SUVs from millions of dollars’ worth of hail, snow and sun damage. By generating more than 1.21 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, Renewvia’s system is providing 100 percent of the power required to operate the dealerships on an annual basis. Read more here. 

Photos of Renewvia Projects

In Nebraska

Lexington city council considers housing development plan for St. Ann’s property, Lexington Clipper-Herald. A Kansas based development group interested in building a housing development on St. Ann’s property near Taft St. presented their plan to the Lexington City Council on Tuesday. The city council then looked into the opportunity to construct a 60kW solar facility and carport behind Lexington city hall. Over 25 years, the city could see a $150,000 benefit from the facility and this would improve car storage for the city itself.

Previously Posted PV Magazine Articles

EV Charging & Renewable Energy  

New solutions are needed to pair EVs and renewables, contributors Lori Bird and Norma Hutchinson, World Resources Institute. Published by GreenBiz.

Several utilities, automakers, cities and EV charging providers across the United States are rolling out new pilot programs and services that not only allow residential and commercial customers to use renewable energy for their EVs electricity needs, but also to charge at times that help integrate more renewable energy sources on the grid. Daytime charging syncs with peak solar output, while nighttime charging often can align well with wind output. Here are four types of programs offered, primarily highlighting examples that look to match the timing of EV charging with renewable energy generation more closely.

For a more in-depth view of the range of different approaches and emerging program designs in market, downloadUsing Renewables for Electric Vehicle Demand: A Review Of Utility Program Designs & Implementation Strategies.

Buying rooftop solar, in bulk

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

One of the oldest ideas about how to cut costs is advancing, not through a business, but through a non-profit. Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is reporting that it has added 13 “solar co-ops” in ten states over the last six months, which are allowing participating homeowners and small business owners to essentially buy rooftop solar in bulk, 30 roofs at a time.

These new cooperatives span the nation, from Arizona to Maryland, with four in a state that is experiencing a minor boom: Florida. Beaches Business Solar Co-opMiami Digital Solar Co-opOrlando Solar Co-op and Pasco County Solar Co-op. These co-ops work by gathering neighbors together through informative sessions run by SUN, and getting them to sign up more neighbors, often through word of mouth. Read more here.

Solar United Neighbors (SUN) Resources

Additional PV Magazine News Stories & Resources

  • FPL redefines community solar
    Florida Power and Light (FPL), in collaboration with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Vote Solar, and Walmart has officially filed a settlement to establish the nation’s largest community solar, after announcing plans for the program in the spring. The program, named Solar Together will be the biggest in the United States by a pretty wide margin, a piece of the larger 30×30 program that aims to install 30,000,000 solar panels by 2030, being described by SACE as 30×30’s ‘backbone.’
  • Solar + storage to survive disasters
    Roth Capital Partners has released a new research note on conclusions made and predictions about the solar industry, based off of observations made at Solar Power International 2019 (SPI). While the note is chiefly concerned with industry-wide solar stock performance, one bit of information stood out: Roth expects the U.S. residential solar market to exceed anticipated growth, increasing 25% year-over-year in both 2019 and 2020.
  • Energy storage and inverters to get you through power outages
  • Vertically integrated advanced energy manufacturing from SolarEdge
    SolarEdge is still fundamentally based on solar power, however, it is turning into a vertically integrated energy manufacturer and service provider.

Green Hydrogen News

Featured Resources

U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab Report: Tracking the Sun

Berkeley Lab’s annual Tracking the Sun report summarizes installed prices and other trends among grid-connected, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States.

The latest edition of the report focuses on systems installed through year-end 2018, with preliminary trends for the first half of 2019. The analysis is based on project-level data from approximately 1.6 million systems, representing 81% of all distributed PV systems installed in the United States through the end of 2018.

Key findings from this year’s report include the following: Continue reading here.

A webinar summarizing key findings from the report will be held on October 2, 2019, at 12 pm Central Standard Time. Register Here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Small solar is bigger, cheaper and more efficient in the USA, PV Magazine

Solar and pollinators: a photo essay

By Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy
at Fresh Energy, PV Magazine

A promising new trend is showing signs of incrementally helping the solar industry to increase revenue, decrease operations and management costs, open up new markets, accelerate permitting, decrease litigation risk, and attract new land lease partners. It’s not a new module, inverter, or racking — it’s an innovative approach to the vegetation design and management. Civil engineers working on LEED-certified building design have long known that the vegetation specified in a project can provide meaningful functional benefits, in addition to being a cost-effective way to gain points toward the standards. These innovations—using ecology to benefit technology—have now made their way into the solar industry in projects throughout the country.
Continue reading here.

 

Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy.
Posts by Rob Davis

 


Previously Posted

Kearney’s Solar Farm is a pollinator-friendly site.


Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Program for All Ages


Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification Program

This program is open to Nebraska homeowners, schools, businesses, parks, homeowner associations, farmers, acreage owners and community gardens.

The Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification application form with complete requirements and lists of pollinator-friendly plants is available here.

Renewable energy will surpass coal in April & May

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

According to an analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), renewable energy sources including hydroelectricity are set to generate more electricity than coal, for the first time ever. The analysis shows that renewables generate 2.32 and 2.27 terawatt-hours (TWh) in April and May, ahead of the 2.00 and 2.24 TWh anticipated to be generated by coal . . .  Not only does EIA predict that 7 gigawatts of coal additional coal plants will go offline by the end of 2020, but an analysis by Energy Innovation has shown that in 74% of cases it is cheaper to build new wind and solar than to keep running existing coal plants, and that this number will increase to 86% by 2025. Read more here.

Also Published by PV Magazine

The Solar Decathlon winner designs solar+lifestyle living space, by John Weaver

Virginia students have won the 2019 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge with their treeHAUS highly sustainable solar+storage+trees+food waste+sound and so much more design focused on expanding their local campus’ student housing resources.

Photo: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Solar Decathlon design

Hormel Foods to Be Powered by Nearly 50% Renewable Energy

By Emily Holbrook, Energy Manager Today

Hormel Foods recently announced a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for wind energy. Through this and other initiatives, the company will be supplied by almost 50% renewable wind power. In addition, the project will result in a reduction of approximately 197,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The new wind farm will be located near Milligan, Nebraska. Construction is expected to be completed in 2020. The farm will be capable of generating 74 MW of power and an estimated 349,000 MWh of electricity each year. Read more here.

Recommended Reading
Virtual Power Purchase Agreement: Introduction to the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement, Rocky Mountain Institute

Nebraska Also In The News Here:

  • NPPD/city relationship remains a strong one, by Melanie Wilkinson, York News-Times
    Looking to the future, NPPD is considering a solar power generation facility for York, as the organization continues to look at renewable energy options.
  • Supersized solar in the Midwest, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
    Long seen as a slow region for solar deployment, the U.S. Midwest has seen an explosion of project development in recent years. And while there is still a lot of speculation and uncertainty, one way or another this region is going to see major development.

Analysis: New wind, solar cheaper than operating most existing coal plants

By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network

Locally generated solar and wind energy could already replace almost three-fourths of electricity made by U.S. coal plants for less than the cost of continuing to operate those plants, according to an analysis released today by two clean energy research groups.

By 2025, the share of “at risk” coal generation will jump from 74 percent to 86 percent, adds the report by Energy Innovation Policy & Technology in San Francisco and Boulder-based Vibrant Clean Energy. “We’re not talking about replacing every coal plant overnight,” said report co-author Eric Gimon at Energy Innovation. “What we’re saying is every coal plant should be looked at.” How do coal plants compare to solar or wind energy in the analysis? Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading 

Photo by SoCore Energy: Kearney Solar Farm

Kathiann M. Kowalski is the author of 25 books and more than 600 articles, and writes often on science and policy issues. In addition to her journalism career, Kathi is an alumna of Harvard Law School and has spent 15 years practicing law. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

Small Iowa town hopes benchmarking makes big impact on energy efficiency, by Karen Uhlenhuth

As state lawmakers and investor-owned utilities in Iowa retreat from energy efficiency investments, Bloomfield stands in stark contrast. The building benchmarking program is part of an aggressive plan to tap efficiency and renewables to meet a goal of total energy independence by 2030 for the small town of about 2,700 people in far southeastern Iowa. Photo by Jo Naylor, Flickr, Creative Commons: Bloomfield, Iowa

Microgrid boosters hope Michigan ‘energy district’ will spur more interest, by Andy Balaskovitz

Microgrid advocates hope a Michigan utility’s proposed “energy district” can help demonstrate the technology and spur more interest in similar projects. Consumers Energy announced plans last month for a smart energy district on a 4-square-block area near the utility’s headquarters in Jackson. Though not formally a microgrid, the plan calls for developing a “smart energy community” around renewables, battery storage and electric vehicles, mirroring concepts of interconnected “smart cities.” Photo Credit: Consumers Energy

NextEra, Nebraska farmers aim to build largest solar farm in the Midwest

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a massive solar project in northeastern Nebraska that, if built, would be the largest in the Midwest and among the largest in the country. The 423 megawatt project is in the early stages of development and still hinges on how much it will cost to connect to the regional transmission grid. “We’re in a holding pattern until we get clarification from the Southwest Power Pool,” said Phil Clement, NextEra’s project director in Nebraska. “We need to know if it’s viable.” Sean Gallagher, vice president for state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the project could be a sign of things to come in the region, which is increasingly attractive for large solar projects.
Continue reading here.

Photo by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

Previously Posted