Tag Archives: renewable energy

How a utility became the world’s largest renewable developer

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News Reporter, Energywire

“There’s going to be enormous change for this industry; I don’t think the industry
has come to grips with it.” – Jim Robo, NextEra Energy Inc. CEO

“We have been able to turn NextEra Energy Resources into a Fortune 500 company from scratch; that’s taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” John Ketchum, the company’s CEO, said at a June investor conference with Wall Street analysts. The company plans to have as much as 34 gigawatts of wind, solar and storage projects by the end of 2022, up from the 18 GW it has now, said Jim Robo, CEO of parent company NextEra Energy Inc.

The U.S. market for wind, solar and storage is at its strongest and showing little signs of a slowdown. The appetite for renewables is starkly different from when it took the company 15 years to sign deals for 10 GW of wind and solar. Now it can do that in just 24 months. And 40% of those solar deals are connected to storage. Read more here.

Small Missouri utility proposes big pivot to clean energy in latest resource plan

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Missouri’s smallest investor-owned utility is charting a dramatically different course two years after being acquired by new owners. The Empire District Electric Co. in Joplin, Missouri, serves about 173,000 customers in southwestern Missouri and parts of Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Its current capacity consists of about 65% natural gas, 30% coal and 5% renewables in the form of wind and hydropower. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Lucia Bourgeois / U.S. Department of Energy

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Expanding customer choices in a renewable energy future

By Ahmad Faruqui and Mariko Geronimo Aydin,
American Public Power Association Blog

This is part of a series of monthly posts reflecting different thought leader perspectives on utility rate design. All five opinion pieces appear in full in Leadership in Rate Design: A Compendium of Essays, which was designed to help public power utilities to rethink rate design strategies in the face of evolving technologies and customer preferences. The essays were developed as part of the Association’s Moving Public Power Forward initiative.

The number of states, cities and counties committed to 100% clean energy is growing dramatically. The 100% clean electricity supply that seemed impossible 10 years ago has now become a tangible and feasible future. With higher renewables penetration, planning for greener electricity becomes less about building individual resources and more about building a resource portfolio and system that — as a whole — is tuned to take advantage of clean power when it is available. One key challenge is what to do about the hour-to-hour and minute-to-minute mismatch between renewables output and electricity consumption. Continue reading here.

Ahmad Faruqui is an internationally recognized energy economist. He has analyzed the efficacy of a variety of tariff structures and carried out a meta-analysis of experimental results. His areas of expertise include demand response, energy efficiency, distributed energy resources, advanced metering infrastructure, plug-in electric vehicles, energy storage, inter-fuel substitution, combined heat and power, microgrids, and demand forecasting. He has worked for nearly 150 clients on five continents and testified before commissions in several states and provinces.

Mariko Geronimo Aydin is an economist with almost fifteen years of experience in analyzing the policies and economics of electricity system planning, regulation and de-regulation of electricity supply, and wholesale electricity markets across the U.S. Mariko specializes in helping clients meet their potential in a changing industry, by evolving utility business models and by developing customer choice, resource planning, and wholesale market refinements that can make the best use of clean, distributed, and customer-driven power supply resources in synergy with more traditional resources.

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

Papillion’s Facebook data center, now officially online, part of company’s global infrastructure

By Reece Ristau, Omaha World-Herald

On Thursday, two years after construction began, a portion of the data center officially came online, connecting Papillion with Facebook’s network of similar centers that allow 2.38 billion monthly active users to share photos with friends, post life updates and stay connected from thousands of miles apart.

Facebook also is investing in Nebraska’s alternative energy sources. Committed to using 100% renewable energy to power its data centers, the company is buying wind power from the Omaha Public Power District, which in turn is purchasing it from the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project in Dixon County, about two hours north of Omaha. Read more here.

Enel Green Power’s Photo of the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm in Dixon County, Nebraska

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & VIEWING

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS & OPINION

APPA’s National Energy Innovator Award presented to NPPD, NPPD News Release
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) was recognized with the Energy Innovator Award from the American Public Power Association at the Association’s national conference held in Austin, Texas. NPPD was one of nine public power utilities recognized for service to APPA and the public power industry during the conference.

Innovation now NPPD’s calling card, Kearney Hub Editorial
NPPD has been on an innovative trajectory for at least the past 10 years, diversifying the ways in which it generates electricity, opening doors for innovation in communities such as Norfolk and Kearney, and re-purposing resources for experimental projects, such as the Sheldon Station plant that’s being retooled to burn hydrogen in a process that produces no greenhouse gases. In recent years, NPPD has been investing more in wind energy, and it’s helping local communities to explore how to broaden the use of new clean energy — including Norfolk with a battery storage experiment and Kearney with its 53-acre solar farm. 

LES CEO receives national public power award, LES News Release
AUSTIN, TX — Kevin G. Wailes, chief executive officer of Lincoln Electric System, received the Alan Richardson Statesmanship Award at the American Public Power Association’s national conference in Austin, Texas, on June 11, 2019. This award honors public power leaders who work to achieve consensus on national issues important to public power utilities.

Kennedy’s role involves exploring energy solutions

By Laura King-Homan, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Courtney Kennedy doesn’t just tour wind farms. Kennedy, OPPD’s manager for alternative energy programs, and her team also research new alternative energy technologies, explore partnerships with large customers and work with system planning groups on how to best meet OPPD’s future load needs with alternative energy solutions. In short, Kennedy and her team are where the utility, and customers, can turn to get answers about renewable energy. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Omaha Public Power District

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Companies Exploring Solar Energy, Establishing Foothold in Hot Industry

Network News Wire Editorial, PR Newswire

With climate change a hot topic and the Green New Deal providing a possible pathway for progress, solar power may be a more viable — and profitable — source of energy than ever before . . . Network News Wire holds no shares of any company named in this news release.
Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

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

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES


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.

ADVICE ON GOING SOLAR

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)

EV / ETHANOL NEWS

Working Toward A Renewable Energy Future in Rural CO

Julesberg Advocate

MEAN projects are increasing the percentage of our energy mix that comes from coal generation through 2030. A Gunnison based research organization, Sustainable Development Strategies Group (SDSG), has identified growing concern in MEAN’s service communities about this reliance on coal. This spurred a study of MEAN’s system in Colorado, and whether their policies encourage or inhibit renewable energy generation at the local level. SDSG’s study is now public.

Recommendations from the study, A Renewable Energy Future For Colorado Communities Served by MEAN, include “that MEAN move away from its policy currently limiting municipal generation to a maximum of 2% of their energy requirement.” Read more here.

Related Article: Lights shined on city power, by Kate Gienapp, Gunnison Country Times

About MEAN
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is the not-for-profit wholesale electricity supply organization of NMPP Energy. Created in 1981, MEAN provides cost-based power supply, transmission and related services to 69 participating communities in four states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. MEAN members/participants

More Colorado News
Ski industry climate change efforts shift to electric utilities and their regulators, Clean Cooperative
The ski industry is increasingly focusing its sustainability efforts on decarbonizing the electric grid, by engaging with their power suppliers, regulators, and state policymakers. In the latest move, a group of Colorado ski resorts are supporting Delta-Montrose Electric Association’s efforts to end its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and pursue more renewable energy.

Previously Posted
Colorado co-op seeks exit from coal-heavy Tri-State to pursue renewables, Utility Dive
Tri-State is a generation and transmission provider that supplies power to more than 40 rural cooperatives across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. While it has increased renewable energy in recent years, coal is still its largest source of electricity — around half its capacity
— and member co-ops are required to purchase all but 5% of their power from the company.

Flickr Photo

Decarbonizing enterprise: The path to 100 percent corporate renewable energy

Center Stage Podcast, GreenBiz

It’s clear that 100 percent renewable energy is imperative to fight climate change. And it’s already starting. Chris Clark, president at Xcel Energy; Bill Weihl, former sustainability and energy efficiency manager at Facebook; and Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy at Google talked about how to push and pull all companies, utilities and the public toward accessible 100 percent renewable energy. Listen to the Podcast
More Center Stage Podcasts

ALSO IN THE NEWS

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

SOLAR MODULE NEWS


Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better,
PV Magazine
NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves. Image: NREL, Hit me with your SunShot


ENERGY SECURITY

100% Renewable Energy As Catalyst For Achieving Peace & Justice
By Rob van Riet, Director of the Climate Energy Program at the World Future Council and a regular contributor to The Beam
Unlike fossil fuels, which are characterized by the uneven geographical distribution of natural reserves, RE is abundant across regions and countries. Photo by Justin Holzgrove, DOE’s Hit me with your SunShot


HOW DOES THAT WORK? SERIES

Mutual Aid, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

WHAT IS IT?
 Mutual aid is an agreement through which other utilities offer their restoration services after natural disasters strike and cause widespread power outages. OPPD has been on both sides of the aisle. Photo: OPPD trucks line up in Tampa, Florida, part of the mutual aid deployed to help restore power following a hurricane.

Akon Launches “Akon Lighting America” in Effort to Assist the United States in Becoming a Leader in the Global Sustainable Development Goals

News Release Posted by the Solar Energy Industries Association

NEW YORK– Philanthropist, business mogul and five-time Grammy nominated artist Akon has initiated a partnership to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 and assisting participating US states to meet their renewable energy goals . . . As of January 2019, Akon Lighting America will begin developing utility scale renewable energy projects throughout the United States and constructing renewable energy solutions for rural and low-income housing communities. Read more here.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

MORE GOOD NEWS

NEW GLOBAL REPORT

Renewable Energy Market to Garner $2,152 Billion by 2025, Reveals Report, Interesting Engineering

A new report published by global market consultancy Allied Market Research is revealing a very promising future for the renewables industry with hydro and ocean power leading the way.


FEATURED EV INITIATIVE

The EV Drive Coalition is working to urge Congress to reform the federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit so automakers can continue producing, workers can continue building, and consumers can continue buying vehicles that produce zero emissions. Supporters of EVs and the tax credit have formed this coalition to ensure that EVs remain viable in the United States. Supporters include consumer advocates, environmental groups, free market advocates and automakers, among others. See AlsoFact Sheets