Tag Archives: renewable energy development in the U.S.

Take local action on climate change

Written by Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque and a member of
Mayors for Solar Energy, Guest Columnist, The Gazette

The federal government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment should be a major wake-up call for the Midwest. The report details the serious consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels in communities such as Dubuque and throughout the Midwest. Our elected leaders not only need to acknowledge the gravity and urgency of the problem but do everything in their power to solve it . . . Dubuque is working to prevent the worst of these effects by advancing clean, carbon-free renewable energy at the local level. With the adoption of Dubuque’s plan to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent below 2003 levels by 2030, the City Council solidified our commitment to mitigating and adapting to climate impacts. Read more here.

Image: Alliant Energy’s Solar Facility in Dubuque
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) announced April 2018 that the Dubuque Solar project earned the Envision Platinum rating for sustainable infrastructure – the highest Envision award level. This is the first solar project to receive Envision recognition, and second project in Iowa to receive an Envision Platinum rating.

 

Mayors for Solar Members in Nebraska
Mayors join call for more solar power

 

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Wind Dominates First-Quarter Midwest Power Project Starts, Completions, an Industrial Info News Alert, PR Newswire
Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) is tracking nearly $6 billion in Power Industry projects that are planned to start or be completed in the U.S. Midwest market region in first-quarter 2019. The Midwest includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Wind power dominates these projects in terms of project value. Iowa, with more than $1.8 billion in planned starts and completions, leads in terms of project value. 

Minnesota Regulators Approve Nobles 2 Wind PPA, North American Windpower
Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE Inc., has received unanimous approval from the
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with
[Omaha-based] Tenaska Inc. for 250 MW of wind-generated electricity.

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Solar farm approvals on deck; B-N group-buy matches first, Bloomington Pantagraph. McLean County is on track to have 18 solar farms considered for state approval this spring, with small-scale solar development still marching along after another successful group-buy program. StraightUp Solar Photo: A solar farm at Home Nursery, a wholesale nursery in Albers, Illinois.

UTILITIES IN THE NEWS

Xcel Energy: Utility of the Year?
By Robert Rapier, 
Moneyshow.com
Historically, most of Xcel’s wind generation was produced under power-purchase agreements from third parties. But that’s about to change. Xcel has approved 4,780 MW of new wind power by 2021, of which it will own 74%. Xcel plans to invest $1 billion in Colorado over the next few years. It is targeting an increase in renewables to about 55% of its energy mix by 2026 . . . Expect more utilities to follow Xcel’s example. Global pressure to address climate change has been a factor to this point in the rapid adoption of renewables. But now that they are becoming cost-competitive with coal, renewables increasingly look like a smart decision, for both utilities and investors. Flickr Photo

Utilities are accelerating microgrid investments in innovative and strategic ways, GreenBiz
The electric utility sector is at a crossroads between centralized generation and distributed energy
resources (DERs), with 2018 DER deployments exceeding additions for centralized generation.

SOLSMART UPDATE

 

The SolSmart Application has been revised.
Click here to download and review it.

SEIA CEO Abigail Hopper On The Future Of Solar

CleanTechnica Interview by Charles W. Thurston

CleanTechnica: What is your outlook for the U.S. solar industry?

Hopper: The future of solar is bright, I have to say. Our company members knew about the step-down of the federal tax credit, have planned for it, and are still building their businesses. In the next five years, solar installation will double. Some 8 gigawatts were announced during the first half of this year. Corporate and industrial projects are now about 10% to 12% of demand, so there are opportunities along the value chain.
Continue reading here.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Dane County working to become a national leader in renewable energy, Madison Magazine

In 2017, Madison became the first Wisconsin city (and the 25th in the nation) to formally commit to 100 percent renewable energy, and now groups such as the city’s Sustainable Madison Committee and Dane County’s Council on Climate Change are working with consultants, utilities, businesses, nonprofits and citizens to go completely green. According to those involved, this is not some utopian liberal Madison goal — it makes the most fiscal sense for taxpayers and the timing has never been better.

MORE U.S. RENEWABLE ENERGY & STORAGE NEWS

Utility Solar + Storage Accelerates Ahead Of Expectations — #CleanTechnica at #SPI2018

The current demand timetable is “a profound shift and one that is faster than we anticipated,” says Hugh McDermott, the senior vice president of development and sales for iron flow battery maker ESS, based in Portland. This acceleration in demand in the market — estimated at close to 2 GW of energy storage capacity for a 4 hour period — was echoed by other industry execs during the opening day of the Third International Battery & Energy Storage meeting here in Anaheim, California.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

World Bank bets big on batteries for solar energy boost, Phys.Org

Solar energy could be a huge source of power in Africa, but its potential has been stymied by storage batteries that are too expensive and inadequate for use in poor countries. The World Bank aims to break through that bottleneck, announcing plans Wednesday to invest $1 billion—and leverage it by another $4 billion—to boost developing countries‘ energy storage capacity from 4.5 to 17.5 Gigawatt hours by 2025. Photo: Solar array at George Airport, South Africa’s first solar-powered airport. 

China and India lead the surge to solar energy, Financial Times
Emerging markets leave developed nations behind in race for renewable power.

Netherlands to test viability of solar roads

Can a three-story building really get all its energy from its own solar panels?

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

Publisher’s Excerpts
Preface and Chapter Two – Defining the New Net Zero
Chapter Three – The Roots of Net Zero Design

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

MORE NEWS FROM STATES & REGIONS

CORPORATE RENEWABLES PROCUREMENT 

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.”

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

Grid-connected battery energy capacity grew 68 percent last year

New tiny solar homes to benefit homeless female veterans in New York

By Kelly Pickerel, Solar Power World

Cindy Seymour, President of Serenity for Women, believes the following three words should never be linked together – homeless, women and veteran. As women veterans are nearly three times more likely to be homeless as non-veteran women, Seymour sought out partnerships and property to create long-term, sustainable homes for these women in the Syracuse, New York, community. Read the complete story here.

Photo by Mission Solar

MORE INSPIRING NEWS STORIES

Future wind farm to benefit local economy

By Katie Stevenson, News Editor, Northwest Missourian

“Tenaska is developing a 200 to 300-megawatt wind project near Maryville in Nodaway County,” Ten Kley [Director of Strategic Development & Acquisitions at Tenaska] said. “Since we first started talking to landowners in April, we have signed agreements for the majority of the acres needed to construct the project, and we are driving toward completion of our leasing efforts.”

The Tenaska wind farm will boost the local economy, according to Ten Kley. The total estimated construction will cost between $200 million to $300 million but will also increase tax revenue to the local government. Continue reading.

Photo: Tenaska Headquarters in Omaha

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

JPMorgan Chase goes all in on renewable energy

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

The financial services giant plans to source renewables for 100% of its global energy needs by 2020, and to facilitate $200 billion in clean financing through 2025 – the largest commitment by any global financial institution to date. Continue reading.

Read about more companies that have made a commitment to go 100% renewable, the actions they are taking and why at RE100.Org: http://there100.org/companies

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

New best friends: GOP governors and renewables

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter, Climatewire

A number of Republican governors, like Iowa’s Kim Reynolds support clean energy programs. Unlike their Democratic counterparts, who are apt to cite climate benefits of clean energy initiatives, Republicans are content to focus on economic benefits.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is fresh off a legislative session in which he signed nine bills aimed at supporting the clean energy sector. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a tax exemption that solar installers say is essential to jump-starting the residential and commercial market in the Sunshine State. And in Iowa, where wind now accounts for 36 percent of the state’s electricity generation, newly installed Gov. Kim Reynolds recently finished an energy plan that calls for growing the wind, biofuels and solar industries. “For years, our fields have fed the world. Now, they energize it”

Click here to read the entire story.

Photo credit: Amy Mayer/Iowa Public Radio Images/Flickr

South Sioux City is looking to purchase wind energy

By Tiffany Lane, KTIV, Siouxland’s News Channel

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE (KTIV) – South Sioux City has been focusing on going green through renewable energy, and most recently wind energy. The city has looked at nearly 20 companies and brought their choices down to two Nebraska companies that could be providing South Sioux City with wind energy in the future. Click here to continue reading. 

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Excel Energy switches on 32MW of community solar in Minnesota

 By Danielle Ola, PVTech

Xcel Energy has commissioned seven new community solar gardens, totaling 32MW in Minnesota. The projects were developed under the utility’s Solar Rewards Community programme that aims to spur community solar among residential subscribers and local businesses. Xcel Energy currently has 57MW of community solar gardens online at 17 project sites as part of its programme, which was launched in 2014. The projects are also part of a larger 96MW of community solar to be developed by BHE Renewables and Geronimo Energy that will provide clean energy throughout the Twin Cities metro area and greater Minnesota. Continue reading.

Photo: More community solar comes online in Minnesota, with seven new projects by Xcel Enegy, Geronimo Energy and Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables. Source: Xcel Energy

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & VIEWING

Rural and rust belt America: wind power is ready to help

Written by Greg Alvarez, American Wind Energy Association Blog, Into the Wind

greg-alvarez
Wind farms increase local tax revenue, providing small-town America with resources to fix roads, build hospitals, and buy new emergency equipment. It’s been a huge boon for local schools . . . Wind power is now cost-competitive in many areas of the country with all other sources of electricity, saving consumers money on their electric bills and hedging against rising prices for fuel. All forms of energy have incentives, most of them permanent in the tax code.

 

 
The federal incentive for wind power is already being phased out starting on Jan. 1, having succeeded in creating a new low-cost solution for America’s power needs.

Read more here.