Tag Archives: renewable energy incentives

Wind energy, tax breaks sought to bring Google to Becker, Minn.

By Kirsti Marohn – Collegeville, Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio News

Google proposes to build the 375,000-square-foot data center on roughly 300 acres owned by Xcel Energy next to the Sherburne County Generating Station, the largest coal-burning plant in the Upper Midwest. Xcel will retire two of Sherco’s three generators in the next seven years. Google is working with Xcel to ensure that electricity used to power the data center will come from renewable sources. Continue reading here.

Previously Posted


Have You Heard The Buzz? Displaced Coal Workers Follow In Tradition of Appalachian Apiculture, CleanTechnica

Appalachian Headwaters operates the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective, continuing a long-standing tradition of Appalachian apiculture. They say the Beekeeping Collective has the potential to bring millions of dollars into the region, offering job options and supplemental incomes for hundreds of people.


Column: Here’s why I went with solar, by Alan Youngblood / Star-Banner photo editor.
Published by The Ledger

Solar is pretty much a no-brainer. You reduce your carbon footprint while saving money or eliminating your power bill. The federal government has also extended the 30 percent tax credit on everything connected to the installation of residential solar panels through 2019. That means that 30 percent of what you spend on a solar installation comes right off the taxes you owe. Click image to watch YouTube video of the installation in fast motion. 

Residential & Business Incentives
Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems and small wind turbines: 30% through 2019. Small wind: 100 kilowatts or less. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)


Ohio No. 2 on federal list of new distributed wind power capacity

By Megan Henry, The Columbus Dispatch

Unlike wind power from wholesale generation where power is sent through transmission lines and substations, distributed wind power is used at or near where it is generated, according to DOE. Iowa had the most new distributed wind capacity installed in 2017 with 63.47 megawatts, according to the report.

Distributed wind systems are connected on the customer side of the meter to meet the onsite load or directly to distribution or micro grids to help grid operation or offset large loads close by, and are possible for approximately 49.5 million residential, commercial or industrial sites, according to an analysis by the DOE. The U.S. wind industry installed more than seven gigawatts of capacity in 2017, according to the report. Read more here.



Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems and small wind turbines: 30% through 2018 and 2019. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

USDA Seeks Applications for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants
The deadlines to apply for grants are October 31, 2018, and April 1, 2019. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

Thank you to all who attended yesterday’s tour of Karen & Darren Dageforde’s Net-Positive Energy Home!

First of all, thank you to our hosts, Karen and Darren Dageforde and their son, Pierce: Karen for providing an excellent presentation on their all-electric home’s many green building and clean energy features, and to all three of them for providing individual discussions and tours afterwards. Karen also talked about their family’s commitment to saving energy, water and other natural resources and provded steps attendees can take in their own homes.

Many thanks, too, to everyone who made the beautiful drive to attend the event, coming from Blair, Omaha, Bellevue, Lincoln, Council Bluffs and as far away as Seward!

Built in 2010, the home’s features include a passive solar design; huge windows for natural lighting; insulated concrete-form floors and walls, which prevent air infiltration and loss, a major contributing factor to the typical home’s energy costs; Energy Star windows and Energy Star appliances; R-50 attic insulation; 5 closed-loop geothermal wells for heating, cooling and hot-water generation; a 5-ton HVAC system; radiant flooring that provides free cooling; and photovoltaic (PV) systems: 18 panels installed in July 2011 and 14 in May 2016.

  • These were both do-it-yourself projects designed and installed by Karen and Darren.
  • The total energy generated by their PV system in 2017 was 11,303 kilowatt hours (kWh), providing 100+% of their home’s energy needs!

The cost of designing and building their net-positive energy home was very comparable to the cost of a conventional build.

Karen, now retired, holds a degree in accounting, and Darren, director of utilities in UNMC Facilities, Management and Planning, has a degree in mechanical engineering. They are also volunteers at the Washington County Recycling Center, working alongside others to sort boxes of cans and bottles, paper and plastic.

They and their son Pierce “walk the walk” in this area, too, in a variety of ways and encourage others to do so, as well, as they did yesterday, including: not only recycling but also purchasing recycled products; trading with others; buying in bulk, thus reducing packaging, and taking reusable, washable containers to stores, including mesh produce bags; and repurposing materials, as Karen and Darren did when they recovered lumber that had been thrown away to build their chicken coop.

Each one of these steps conserves energy, water, and other natural resources over the manufacturing and use of new things.

Following up on the Dageforde family’s inspiring presentation, handouts, and individual tours and discussions yesterday, the links to resources, below, provide additional information on energy conservation and renewable energy incentives for homes and businesses.


Iowa lawmakers look to boost funding for popular solar tax credit

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Photo by Mike Linksvayer / Creative Commons

Photo by Mike Linksvayer / Creative Commons

A popular tax credit in Iowa that’s been instrumental in nurturing the state’s solar industry would grow from $5 million to $7.5 million annually under proposed legislation, though lawmakers still face a basic funding hurdle . . . The state credit amounts to about 18 percent of the cost of a solar installation. Combined with the 30 percent federal tax credit, the cost of solar panels is cut nearly in half. “Our sense is that the tax credit has been pretty important,” said Nathaniel Baer, energy program director for the Iowa Environmental Council. “And we have this window while the federal investment tax credit is at full value for the next few years.

Read the entire article here.

The bill was unanimously voted out of a Senate subcommittee last week:
Globe Gazette’s Capitol Digest, by Thom Thoma. (Scroll down to the post).
Sen. Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, said the state has provided $11.6 million in tax credits to support 1,821 projects in 92 counties, which has leveraged $85 million in investment. Also, he said 700 jobs have been created in Iowa’s solar energy industry. 

Backers of wind & solar energy tax credits plan to try, try again

Nebraska Radio Network – Written by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton

John-HansenA Nebraska agricultural group is working with state legislators on a proposed tax credit for wind and solar energy projects. The effort fell short of passing last session but backers of the incentives say they’ll try again in 2016.

Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen says there’s plenty of support for the measure.

Hansen says, “We look at poll after poll after poll and the preliminary data from the Nebraska Rural Poll, it’s going to continue to show that the overwhelming, very high percentage majority of Nebraskans, including rural Nebraskans, support more rural energy development.”

Read the entire story here.

Nebraska Legislative Bill 423

White House Fact Sheet & Today’s Release of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Today at the White House, President Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will release the final Clean Power Plan, a historic step in the Obama Administration’s fight against climate change.

Photo: Newswire.Com

Photo: Newswire.Com

Excerpts from the White House Fact Sheet:
The Clean Power Plan establishes a Clean Energy Incentive Program that will drive additional early deployment of renewable energy and low-income energy efficiency. Under the program, credits for electricity generated from renewables in 2020 and 2021 will be awarded to projects that begin construction after participating states submit their final implementation plans. The program also prioritizes early investment in energy efficiency projects in low-income communities by the Federal government awarding these projects double the number of credits in 2020 and 2021. Taken together, these incentives will drive faster renewable energy deployment, further reduce technology costs, and lay the foundation for deep long-term cuts in carbon pollution.

Low Income Solar: Last month, the White House announced a new initiative to increase access to solar energy for all Americans, in particular low-and moderate income communities, and build a more inclusive workforce. The initiative will help families and businesses cut their energy bills through launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems and sets a goal to install 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing by 2020. Through this initiative housing authorities, rural electric co-ops, power companies, and organizations in more than 20 states across the country committed to put in place more than 260 solar energy projects and philanthropic and impact investors, states, and cities are committed to invest $520 million to advance community solar and scale up solar and energy efficiency for low- and moderate- income households. The initiative also includes AmeriCorps funding to deploy solar and create jobs in underserved communities and a commitment from the solar industry to become the most diverse sector of the U.S. energy industry.

Read more.