Tag Archives: smart meters

Solar Power Is Blooming in Minnesota

 By Madeline Ostrander, Sierra Club

In the past few years, several other states—including New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Illinois—have passed laws enabling solar garden programs. But Minnesota’s is currently the biggest and arguably most successful, in part because it places no upper limits on the amount of solar that can be developed in the state. “The success speaks for itself at this point,” says John Farrell, a Minneapolis-based energy expert for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “We’ve got more community solar than any other state. We’re going to continue to lead for quite a while.” Although Minnesota is hardly known for sunny weather, so far its residents seem to have an insatiable appetite for solar energy production. Read more here.

Photo by XXLPhoto/IStock 


Video: How the smart grid is changing the job market in Illinois

By Craig Duff, a Chicago-based video journalist whose work has appeared on The New York Times, NBC News and MSNBC.
This video explores how evolving grid technology, as well as new and existing state policies, have contributed to clean energy job growth in Illinois.

Watch at Midwest Energy News or YouTube


In Minnesota, most solar is beneficial to pollinators (and crops)

 By Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

2016 was the first year of Minnesota’s solar bloom — but there’s plenty more to come. While even more solar sites are planned to be built in the years ahead, tens of millions of native flowers and short-growing meadow grasses will be taking root under and around the panels. Look for black-eyed susans to develop faster than the rest, followed by purple prairie clover, partridge pea, butterfly weed, and more. Continue reading.

Webinar Rob Davis references in his post: Co-Location of Solar and Agriculture: Benefits and Tradeoffs of Low-Impact Solar Development


Community solar comes to coal country

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

A community solar program in coal country would have been unheard of as recently as five years ago. But in light of a recent report that most U.S. utilities say they will close coal-fired generation plants to comply with current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, coal country is becoming increasingly fertile solar ground. Utilities plan to take enough coal-fired plants to generate 20.5 TWh of energy annually off the books in 2017 alone.
Read more here.

A terawatt (TW) is the equivalent of one trillion (1012)) watts.
1 terawatt (TW) for 1 hr = 1 terawatt hour (TWh) or 1 gigawatt (GW) for 1000 hrs = 1 terawatt hour (TWh).
A terawatt-hour (TWh) is equal to 1,000,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), or 1,000,000 megawatt hours (MWh) or 1,000 gigawatt hours (GWh). The average household uses approximately 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.


Do smart meters cut CO2 emissions? Ask Chicago’s ComEd

Photo: U.S. Department of Energy

Photo: U.S. Department of Energy

By Peter Behr, E&E reporter, EnergyWire

Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison has agreed to test whether customers with smart electric meters use less power and cause less damage to the environment than consumers with conventional meters.

“The ability to calculate the environmental benefits of clean energy investments, like smart meters, is critical to accelerating the new energy economy,” said the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which negotiated the agreement with ComEd, along with the Illinois Citizens Utility Board.

Continue reading.