Tag Archives: Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Military experience provides natural transition to clean energy careers, veterans say

By David Thill and Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

Kevin Johnson served as a captain in the U.S. Army and spent a year stationed in Baiji, Iraq, home to a major oil refinery. The war made clear to him the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Johnson was stationed “at the heart of the oil infrastructure in Iraq,” he said, “watching the infrastructure being attacked on a daily basis and having my soldiers ask me, ‘When are we going home?’” That was the genesis of Johnson’s career in clean energy. “I knew that when I got out that I wanted to be on the other side of that fight,” he told the Energy News Network.
Continue reading here.

Photo by Ken Oltmann / U.S. Department of Energy

Among other resources, the authors reference the 2019 Clean Jobs Midwest survey, which provides information on 12 states, including veteran representation.

Our State’s Executive Summary: Nebraska: Home to 19,004 Clean Energy Jobs

In Nebraska, 9.6 percent of the state’s clean energy workers are veterans. By comparison, veterans make up 6 percent of the national labor force. The large ratio of veterans transitioning to clean energy jobs is partially the result of the U.S. Department of Defense’s long-standing commitment to investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and training programs that prepare veterans for private-sector employment in industries like solar. Small businesses drive the state’s clean energy sector – 70.9 percent of Nebraska’s clean energy businesses employ fewer than 20 individuals.

SUMMARY: With 19,000 jobs and counting, the clean energy industry is a significant employer in Nebraska. Even as jobs in the state overall are decreasing, jobs in Nebraska’s clean energy industry are growing at a relatively healthy 3.5 percent clip. Clean energy employers in Nebraska are bullish when it comes to ongoing hiring: they predict a 7.7 percent increase in clean energy jobs in 2019, higher than the regional average.

Additional Recommended Reading 

  • Take Action to Bring Solar Jobs to More Veterans, Solar Energy Industries Association
    This Veterans Day, the solar industry is doubling down on its commitment to hire and uplift veterans and former service members. More than 19,000 veterans are working in the solar industry throughout the United States, or 7.8% of all U.S. solar workers. We’re proud that the solar industry is hiring veterans at a higher percentage than the overall economy, but we still can do so much more to welcome and train former service members.
  • New Solar Veterans Initiatives to Advance Training and Career Pathways, SEIA News Release
    The Solar Foundation is launching two new solar workforce development programs to connect transitioning military service members and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces with career training, professional development, and employment opportunities in the solar industry. In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s “Hiring Our Heroes” program, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), The Solar Foundation is leading efforts to expand and strengthen a nationwide pipeline of talented job candidates with military experience into a range of advanced roles at solar companies across the United States. These projects — the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship Program and the Solar Opportunities and Readiness (SOAR) Initiative — are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) as part of the expanding Solar Ready Vets Network.
  • Saluting America’s wind power veterans: Wind brings stability, Guest Bloggers, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog. Steven Valentine is a Wind Tech 2 at Clearway Energy’s Elbow Creek Wind project in Big Springs, Texas. He is a U.S. Army veteran. 
  • Saluting America’s wind power veterans: Teaching the next generation, Into the Wind

Demand from first-time, repeat buyers powers new era of large-scale renewables growth

By Monica JaburgDeputy Director, Communications and Media,
Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance. Published by GreenBiz.

Large-scale energy buyers are driving the energy landscape shift by collectively voicing their demand for accessible clean energy options to decrease their carbon impacts. In 2018 alone, the group accounted for 6.3 gigawatts in announced renewable energy deals — an amount equal to over 60 percent of all new renewables generation added in the United States last year.

However, the U.S. commercial and industrial sector is still the most energy-intensive, accounting for about 50 percent of all power consumption and 34 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. So what’s next for this community when it comes to advance its clean energy and GHG emissions reduction mandates? Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

TRI-STATE NEWS

IN NEBRASKA

  • Excelsior to buy 109 MW of Nebraska wind capacity from Invenergy, Renewables Now
    Prairie Breeze II and Prairie Breeze III initiated operations in late 2015 and early 2016, respectively. They have 25-year power purchase agreements (PPA) in place with Lincoln Electric System and City of Grand Island. The transaction is seen to be completed next month. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the tax equity investor in the projects, the announcement says.
  • Wind costs’ decline aids rural Nebraska, Letter to the Editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Cody Smith, Ames, Iowa Policy associate, Center for Rural Affairs

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO NEBRASKA SOLAR BUSINESSES

Solar Jobs Census: The Solar Foundation is again collecting data for their annual National Solar Jobs Census. This confidential survey will take fifteen minutes of your time and will provide essential feedback to ensure that your company’s contributions to our economy are well
understood by policymakers and the general public. Deadline: November 15, 2019.
Complete the survey here.

LEGISLATION

  • SEIA garners industry support and lobbies for ITC extension, Solar Power World
    Solar contractors are on a time crunch to fit as many installations into 2019 as they can, because in 2020 the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) starts to lose its effectiveness. The ITC is a federal tax subsidy that, in its current capacity, gives solar system owners a 30% return on a solar project’s total tax liability in any market segment. In 2020 the ITC is slated to drop to 26%, 22% in 2021 and in 2022 it will decrease to a 10% subsidy for commercial and utility markets, and zero for residential, indefinitely. That is, unless, the renewables subsidy receives another extension. SEIA’s Campaign: Defend the Solar ITC
  • Legislation aims to accelerate geothermal energy development, American Public Power Association

EV NEWS

GM sells shuttered Ohio plant to EV truck start-up, Reuters

INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS – EXXON TRIAL

Exxon’s Climate Fraud Trial Nears Its End: What Does the State Have to Prove to Win?
With only days left before the two sides deliver their closing arguments, here’s a look at what the attorney general needs to prove and how Exxon is fighting the claims.

See Also

Previously Posted

Yale University Survey: Yale Poll Finds Majority of Americans Think ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Other Fossil Fuel Companies Should Pay for Climate Change Damage, Union of Concerned Scientists Blog. new survey by Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communications and supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) finds that most Americans (57 percent) think fossil fuel companies should pay for the damages caused by global warming.

Interactive Map – Click link and scroll down: This tool maps variations in Americans’ opinions about existing or potential lawsuits against fossil fuel companies.

Nebraska Data

  • A search by state shows that 50% of Nebraskans surveyed hold fossil fuel companies responsible for the local damage of global warming.
  • Several searches by county show the following results:

Cherry County: 58%
Colfax County: 56%
Dawes County: 57%
Douglas County: 56%
Lancaster County: 55%
Thurston County: 61%

Hundreds of Mayors Call on Congress to Extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of 231 mayors from Tacoma, Wash to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. sent a letter to Congress today urging them to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act (HR 3961/S. 2289), a five-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

“More than 200 mayors from 39 states are stepping up to defend the ITC,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Mayors are increasingly turning to solar energy to fight the effects of climate change and generate millions of dollars of private investment in their cities. We’re thrilled to have their support as we fight to preserve one of the most successful clean energy policies in U.S. history.” Read the entire news release, which includes several statements from mayors, here.

Learn more about SEIA’s fight to defend the solar ITC here.

Local View: This week, celebrate public power

By Layne Sup, LES Administrative Board Chair,
Lincoln Journal Star

The week of Oct. 6-12 is Public Power Week, our annual chance to highlight public power and what it means. While public power is honored nationwide this week, Nebraska has special cause to celebrate.

Public power utilities in Nebraska have had a long tradition of providing customers safe, reliable electric service. Ours is the only 100% public power state in the United States because Nebraskans understand the value proposition of public power — affordability, reliability, safety and community control.

Continue reading here.

Related

Your utility: 5 facts about public power, The Wire
American Public Power Association Stats and Facts

  • One in seven Americans are served by a public power utility. More than 2,000 communities – in 49 states and 5 U.S. territories – have a public power utility.
  • 10% of electricity generated in the U.S. is from public power facilities.
  • In 2017, more than 40% of this electricity was generated from non-carbon emitting sources.
  • Public power reduced its carbon emissions by 33% from 2005 to 2017.

News From Other States

Lithium Batteries

SPI Sneak Preview: Expanding the U.S. Solar Manufacturing Base

By John Smirnow, SEIA Blog

A strong U.S. supply chain for solar and other clean energy products will facilitate an equitable and inclusive transition to a clean energy economy, moving us to renewable energy sources while promoting economic growth. The solar industry alone is poised to add more than 350,000 jobs over the next decade, increasing our manufacturing base will ensure those jobs are available in all 50 states and for Americans of every background.

To make this happen, SEIA is putting a renewed focus on manufacturing at all levels. We’ve launched a new manufacturing division for our members, which will serve as a forum to collect and develop ideas and proposals for spurring new manufacturing across the country. While trade wars and tariffs have dominated national news, there are many ways to support manufacturing at the local, state and federal levels, and we’ll work with our members and other stakeholders to bring the best ideas forward.
Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

U.S. Utility Solar Pipeline Soars to 37.9 GW, A New Record

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

The U.S. solar industry now has the largest pipeline of utility-scale solar projects in history, signaling promising future prospects for solar energy development. According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the contracted pipeline has ballooned to a record 37.9 gigawatts (GW), the highest in the history of U.S. utility solar photovoltaics (PV). This follows record-high procurement of 15 GW in 2018. More than 6 GW of solar capacity were added to the five-year forecast since last quarter because of the uptick in utility-scale deals. Utility solar project announcements surged to 11.2 GW in the first half of 2019, with 6.2 GW contracted in Q2 alone. In addition to the utility solar pipeline growth, residential solar deployment rebounded from the same period last year.
Continue reading here.

Previously Posted

Consulting firm sees U.S. wind market adding 14.6 GW in 2020, American Public Power Association. The U.S. wind market will add 14.6 gigawatts of capacity in 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest North America wind power outlook. The record-setting mark underlines the strength of the 23 GW pipeline Wood Mackenzie has identified as currently under construction or contracted for commercial operation in 2020, the consulting firm said on Sept. 12. The phase out of the Production Tax Credit beginning in 2021 has developers rushing to complete projects in 2020, driving major bottlenecks in both logistics and interconnection queues, Wood Mackenzie said.

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?, U.S. Department of Energy

Federal Legislation Will Streamline Solar Permitting, Grow Clean Energy Economy

SEIA News Release

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and industry leaders commend U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Susan Collins (R-ME) for introducing the American Energy Opportunity Act, which will provide voluntary assistance and tools to local governments to simplify, standardize, and automate clean energy permitting for their residents and businesses while enhancing safety.

The legislation builds on the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) initiative launched by SEIA and The Solar Foundation last year. The goal for both SolarAPP and the American Energy Opportunity Act is to simplify the process for permitting and inspecting distributed solar and battery installations through a free, universally-available online permitting portal for local governments. Continue reading here.

States March toward 100% Clean Energy–Who’s Next?

By Jeff Deyette, Director of State Policy & Analysis, Clean Energy,
Union of Concerned Scientists Blog

Eight states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico (not pictured here) have committed to 100% Renewable or Clean Energy Standards. Another 13 states are actively considering similar measures.

One year ago this week, the California legislature passed landmark legislation committing the state’s power providers to supplying 60% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and setting a target of 100% clean, or carbon-free, power by mid century. It was a bold action that significantly raised the bar for other states considering policy action. And over the last 12 months, another six states (bringing the total to eight states) plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have answered the call with various obligations toward 100% clean energy over the next few decades. What’s driving this surge in state-level clean energy leadership? And which states will be the next to step up? Read more here. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ENERGY NEWS NETWORK ARTICLES

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Solar Industry Calls on FERC to Enforce PURPA, Increase Competition
The proposal provides utilities with a new framework for offering competitive solicitations based on their integrated resource plans, while also complying with PURPA’s requirement to purchase energy and capacity from small renewable and cogeneration facilities. SEIA’s competitive bidding solution is designed to prevent utility self-dealing while opening the market for new capacity to independent developers.

PACE FINANCING

  • Green builders lean on a juggernaut loan program, The Philadelphia Tribune
    Developers grappling with the cost of new laws enacted to combat climate change are taking advantage of a little-known finance tool to help pay for green-building requirements. In Omaha, Nebraska, for instance, the Capitol District, a $205 million mixed-use entertainment development, has become the latest milestone in a long-running effort to revitalize the downtown area. The project’s developer, Shamrock Development, tapped a PACE program to pay for LED lighting, heat pumps, low-flow water fixtures, and other building materials and equipment to enhance energy and water efficiency.
  • In Chicago, a new financing tool for clean energy and efficiency upgrades, Energy News Network
    Advocates see strong potential in Chicago and surrounding areas for property assessed clean energy financing to boost investments.

RECYCLING EV BATTERIES

MORE ON UTAH’S SONNEN & RMP VIRTUAL POWER PLANT

Rocky Mountain Power prepares to operate largest US residential battery demand response project, Utility Dive. “In my opinion, this is the most transformative project we’ve worked on in the United States,” Sonnen CEO Blake Richetta told Utility Dive. That’s coming from a company that has installed more than 40,000 batteries globally and already developed multiple Virtual Power Plants that combine residential energy systems into grid resources. But Richetta, who took the helm at Sonnen earlier this year, said the Utah project stands out for multiple reasons.

Rocky Mountain Power is a division of PacifiCorp, a fully-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

Previously Posted

Fertile Ground for Community Solar Gardens

By Kennedy Maize, Power Magazine

Community solar is on a roll. Bringing solar photovoltaic power to consumers who, for a variety of reasons, can’t put solar panels on their roofs—apartment dwellers don’t own roofs, many roofs aren’t oriented to catch the sun’s rays, or the roofs are obscured by natural and manmade obstacles—is gaining momentum and attracting investment.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that 1,387-MW of community solar have been installed through 2018. SEIA says, “Shared renewable energy arrangements allow several energy customers to share the benefits of one local renewable energy power plant. The shared renewables project pools investments from multiple members of a community and provides power and/or financial benefits in return.” The terms community solar, solar gardens, and solar farms are interchangeable. Continue reading here.

News stories about Nebraska Community-Scale Solar projects and developers.

SoCore Energy Photo: Kearney’s 5.7-megawatt solar farm on 53 acres of the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing. It is currently the largest community-scale solar installation in Nebraska until Norfolk’s 8.5-MW array, coupled with a demonstration battery project, is built.

Also in the News
Council to consider letter of intent for solar project, York News-Times
The council will hear more information about the project during their regular meeting, Aug. 1, in the council chambers. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m., and as always, is open to the public.

Corporate Solar Investments Surge in United States, Report Finds

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tech giant Apple is now the leading procurer of corporate solar in the United States with nearly 400 megawatts (MW) of total installed capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Solar Means Business 2018 report. This report puts the power of corporate commitments to clean energy on display, as the world’s largest and most-recognizable companies turn to solar energy in historic numbers.

This 7th edition of the Solar Means Business report notes that each week 6.6 million people visit a Walmart store with onsite solar, Amazon’s solar installations offset the CO2 equivalent of more than 200 million miles of truck deliveries, and Apple’s solar facilities generate enough electricity each year to charge more than 60 billion smartphones. For more key takeaways, graphics, rankings and the report’s underlying data, go to SEIA’s digital Solar Means Business 2018 page at www.solarmeansbusiness.comRead the entire news release here.

Also In The News
The billion-dollar battery boom, PV Magazine
Corporations are buying up batteries and investing in their companies like it’s going out of style.