Tag Archives: Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Inflation Reduction Act could curb climate damages by up to $1.9 trillion, White House says

By Emma Newburger, CNBC

The analysis by the Office of Management and Budget, which administers the federal budget, is the first published estimate of avoided climate-related social costs resulting from legislation. The social cost of carbon is an estimate of the economic costs that would occur from a future level of carbon pollution.

The bill’s climate provisions are projected to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030. Early in his presidency, President Joe Biden pledged to reduce U.S. emissions from 2005 levels at least in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Read more here.

Office of Management and Budget Analysis: The Social Benefits Of The Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions (4-page PDF)

NEW RESEARCH ON PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS ABOUT CLIMATE CONCERN

Americans don’t think other Americans care about climate change as much as they do, CNBC
That’s the rough takeaway from research published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

  • Between 80 and 90 percent of Americans underestimate the concern their fellow Americans have for climate change and their support for “transformative” mitigation policies, according to research published Tuesday.
  • Between 66 and 80 percent of Americans support such policies, but they think that only between 37 and 43 percent of their peers hold that sentiment.
  • This kind of psychological disconnect is especially problematic in addressing climate change because it requires collective action.

AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

What’s in the Inflation Reduction Act for Agriculture?

The final bill includes nearly $40 billion for agriculture, forestry and rural development. This includes nearly $20 billion in funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), plus technical assistance.

In addition, it includes $14 billion for rural development to support the development of renewable energy and spending on biofuels infrastructure. The bill also provides $4 billion to mitigate the impacts of drought in the Western Reclamation states, with priority given to the Colorado River Basin and other basins experiencing comparable levels of long-term drought. 

USDA NEWS RELEASE

USDA Invests $121 Million in Critical Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change Across Rural America, August 24, 2022
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh today announced USDA is investing $121 million in critical infrastructure to combat climate change across rural America. The investments include $111 million for 289 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BLOG

How to Start Your Career in Clean Energy

This Energy.gov blog post was written by Isabelle Hamilton, an intern in the Office of Public Affairs. To learn more about internship opportunities available at the Department of Energy, visit the Department of Energy’s Students and Recent Graduates career page.


ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

ACP CEO Heather Zichal Statement on President Biden Signing the Inflation Reduction Act into Law

American Clean Power Association 

“With the stroke of the pen, a clean energy future is now the law of the land. This does for climate change and clean energy what the creation of Social Security did for America’s senior citizens. This law will put millions more Americans to work, ensure clean, renewable and reliable domestic energy is powering every American home, and save American consumers money.”  Continue reading here.

MORE NEWS RELEASES

“This new law will help the United States deploy enough clean energy to substantially decarbonize the electric grid and tackle climate change. It features long-term investments in clean energy and new incentives for energy storage, which give solar and storage businesses a stable policy environment and the certainty they need to deploy clean energy and meet the President’s ambitious climate goals. The bill also includes Senator Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, which will support domestic solar production through new tax credits, lay the groundwork for thousands of new manufacturing jobs by the end of the decade, and usher in a new era for solar manufacturing in the United States.” Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA President and CEO 

“With this legislation, America can finally move beyond years of on-again, off-again renewable tax credits to a long-term clean energy tax platform that will provide renewable companies with the stability they need to do business. This legislation will spur vital new investment that will help deploy thousands of megawatts of new renewable power, create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, lower the cost of electricity for American families, and substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to working with the Biden administration as they implement this law and build on it with additional measures to deliver the clean energy future Americans want and scientists say we desperately need.” – Gregory Wetstone, ACORE President and CEO

The Inflation Reduction Act includes long-term extensions of critical tax incentives supporting the deployment of all three wind applications – land-based, offshore and distributed – and new programs to support the siting and construction of high-voltage transmission lines, which will be important for both land-based and offshore wind. Also included are new production-based tax credits for domestic manufacturing and supply of wind components and equipment, which will provide strong incentives to onshore key supply chains of wind turbines and related components. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Exelon, PG&E, PSEG and others call on Congress to pass ‘ambitious’ clean energy spending package

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

  • Major utilities, solar companies, storage developers and others have called on U.S. lawmakers to pass a reconciliation package that includes tax credits for wind, solar, and batteries, expanded efficiency incentives and support for clean transportation. 
  • Exelon Corp., Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group and other companies are working to decarbonize but “corporate action alone is insufficient to meet the scope and scale of the climate crisis,” they said in a July 11 letter to Congressional leadership. Separately, more than 400 solar and storage companies organized by the Solar Energy Industries Association, known as SEIA, also advocated for a reconciliation package. Continue reading here.

SEIA News Releases

Also published by Utility Dive: High energy prices, Ukraine war and rising demand response potential spur energy efficiency efforts, by Herman K. Trabish

BUILDING A BETTER ELECTRIC GRID

What an $8B Western grid project means for U.S. clean energy, E&E News, EnergyWire

A planned 2,000-mile network of electric lines known as the Energy Gateway is more than a project to transport massive amounts of wind and solar energy among Western states that face potential supply shortfalls. It’s also a key piece of the Department of Energy’s clean electricity strategy. The cluster of high-voltage lines, located mostly in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah, is among two dozen “shovel-ready,” long-distance transmission projects that DOE is counting on to accelerate an enormous expansion of wind and solar power this decade.

MORE NEWS FROM VARIOUS STATES

A New Project in Rural Oregon Is Letting Farmers Test Drive Electric Tractors in the Name of Science, Inside Climate News

With tractors being used in vineyards, berry fields and hobby farms, the EV industry hopes to prove out the promise of electrifying the $38 billion US agricultural vehicle industry.

IOWA WIND ENERGY PROJECT

Fremont County supervisors okay wind energy project, KMAland News

(Sidney) — Plans for a major wind turbine project in KMAland received the Fremont County Board of Supervisors’ approval Wednesday morning. By unanimous vote, the supervisors accepted Invenergy’s application for the proposed Shenandoah Hills wind energy conversion system planned for portions of Page and Fremont counties. Board members took action following a marathon public hearing, in which residents spoke out on the project’s pros and cons

See Also: Shenandoah Hills Wind Energy Center, Invenergy

MORE GOOD NEWS ON SOLAR TARIFFS

US lifts tariffs on solar products from Canada, Mexico, PV Magazine


Canada, the United States, and Mexico signed an agreement to lift Trump-era tariffs, after an independent panel said that the duties violated the provisions of existing trade agreements.

Construction complete on largest solar farm in Nebraska

By Anne Fischer, PV Magazine USA

The City of Norfolk, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), and members of the community are celebrating the completion of construction of what is currently the largest solar farm in the state. The 8.5 MW solar installation is paired with NPPD’s first large-scale battery storage system, capable of storing up to 2 MWh. It’s also a pollinator habitat, and it was led by an all-woman development team. In a state that in 2021 ranked 47th in the country for installed solar and was deriving only 0.22% of its electricity from solar (according to the Solar Energy Industries Association), this system gives the state a serious boost. Read more here.

NFS Note: NPPD’s contracts allow municipal customers to generate no more than 10% of their peak load from renewable energy sources. See: Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler

See more community- and utility-scale projects under development here: Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

FEATURED RESOURCES

MORE ABOUT PROPOSED CO2 PIPELINES

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska requests impact study on proposed carbon dioxide pipelines, WOWT
The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is asking for an environmental impact study regarding two pipelines. The Winnebago Tribal Council has unanimously approved a new resolution that requests an environmental impact study for two proposed pipelines: The Summit Carbon Pipeline and the Navigator Heartland Greenway Carbon Pipeline.

Ghost Pipelines: How Landowners Suffer, Long After a Project Gets Canceled, Natural Resources Defense Council 

In the Midwest, Bold Alliance, a network created during the KXL fight, continues a similar mission of connecting landowners, including through the Nebraska Easement Action Team, a nonprofit education and legal defense fund. And as Bold Alliance ramps up efforts to resist the construction of carbon pipelines in the region, the eminent domain lawyers from the KXL days have agreed to represent landowners once again.

Top 8 Reasons to Oppose Risky Carbon Pipelines, by Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska

FERC Proposes Interconnection Reforms to Address Queue Backlogs

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission News Release, June 16, 2022

FERC today issued a proposed rule focused on expediting the current process for connecting new electric generation facilities to the grid. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) aims to address significant current backlogs in the interconnection queues by improving interconnection procedures, providing greater certainty and preventing undue discrimination against new generation. 

At the end of 2021, there were more than 1,400 gigawatts of generation and storage waiting in interconnection queues throughout the country. This is more than triple the total volume just five years ago. Projects now face an average timeline of more than three years to get connected to the grid. As the resource mix rapidly changes, the Commission’s policies must keep pace. Today’s NOPR proposes reforms to ensure that interconnection customers can access the grid in a reliable, efficient, transparent and timely manner. Continue reading here.

ACP & SEIA News Releases

SEIA News Release: Interconnection Whitepaper Details Near Term Reforms Needed to Extricate Hundreds of Gigawatts of Solar Power

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released a whitepaper detailing the extensive interconnection reforms needed to rapidly decarbonize the electricity grid. Across the country state and federal leaders are doubling down on their clean energy goals, but distribution utilities and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) are struggling to keep up with overflowing interconnection queues.

The new whitepaper, Lessons from the Front Line: Principles and Recommendations for Large-scale and Distributed Energy Interconnection Reforms, discusses the various opportunities utilities and regulators have to standardize, automate, and clarify interconnection procedures and policies. On June 16 FERC is expected to publish a proposed rule that will cover many of the same topics raised in this whitepaper. Read the entire news release.

 Additional Recommended Reading 

BREAKING: Biden Admin set to pause new solar tariffs for two years

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine USA

According to reports, alongside the moratorium on new tariffs, President Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act as a means to accelerate American manufacturing across the solar supply chain and alleviate overall dependency on imported PV hardware and materials. Reports indicate that the goal of invoking the act is to raise domestic solar manufacturing capacity to 22.5 GW by 2024. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading & Viewing

Previously Posted Department of Energy News Release

Biden Administration Launches Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Initiative to Connect More Clean Energy to the Grid, May 31, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden Administration through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today launched the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) — a new partnership funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that brings together grid operators, utilities, state and tribal governments, clean energy developers, energy justice organizations, and other stakeholders to connect more clean energy to America’s power grid by solving challenges facing the power industry. The partnership will help reduce wait times for clean energy sources in interconnection queues and lower costs to connect to the grid. As the Biden Administration ramps up expansion of new renewable energy to reach the President’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035, i2X partners will develop solutions for faster, simpler, and fairer interconnection of clean energy resources through better data, roadmap development, and technical assistance.

DOE will kick off the partnership June 7 at a virtual event with Secretary Granholm.

Partnership in i2X is free and only requires signing up: Join the partnership and learn more about the Solar Energy Technologies Office and Wind Energy Technologies Office.

Solar Industry Launches Nonprofit to Alleviate Clean Energy Roadblocks

SEIA News Release

While the organization will focus on a variety of issues, one emerging challenge in the solar industry is land use. Siting clean energy projects requires community engagement and long-term planning that minimizes impact to the environment and surrounding community. These projects must also account for access to transmission lines, upgrades to grid infrastructure, and several other factors that can affect the outcome of a large-scale solar project. SI2’s first research project will create best practices for solar companies looking to create large-scale solar projects and other resources that will help the industry navigate these challenges. Read more here. 

To learn more about the new nonprofit, visit Solar and Storage Industries Institute (SI2): www.ssii.org 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING  

NFS Note: As the Energy Information Association (EIA) data show, Nebraska and Iowa continue to lag behind most states on Solar as a Percentage of Total Generation (SPG): Nebraska 0.17% / Iowa 0.47%. Both states, however, are national leaders on Solar + Wind as a percentage of Total Generation (SWPG): Nebraska – 31.22% / Iowa – 67% (currently #1).

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Cass County officials seek outside counsel on solar project

By Ethan Hewett, KMA News

During its latest regular meeting, the county’s board of commissioners approved seeking outside counsel on a proposed solar farm through Boulevard Associates–which would be one of the largest in the state. While saying the board has not selected specific counsel yet, County Zoning Administrator Mike Jensen tells KMA News the outside perspective was sought to assist with reviewing a large amount of information soon to be placed in front of the county. In August 2021, the commissioners approved an updated set of solar regulations. While saying he and the board are confident in their regulations, Jensen says a big focus has been on the decommissioning process. Read more here.

NextEra Energy Resources is the parent company for Boulevard Associates, LLC.

Previously Posted: Cass County solar farm plans unveiled, by Ethan Hewett, KMA News

Nebraskans for Solar Note: We commend Cass County officials for their plan to thoroughly study Boulevard Associates’ proposal for a 350MW solar project near Murray and for consulting with other jurisdictions. This sets an excellent example for all Nebraska communities that are considering or are in the process of planning community- or utility-scale solar projects.

One large (81MW) project under development by Community Energy is “Platteview Solar” in eastern Saunders County, near Yutan:

Resources On Decommissioning / PV Recycling

NextEra Energy Resources

Solar power for Plattsmouth discussed

By Timothy Rohwer, The Plattsmouth Journal

PLATTSMOUTH – The idea of bringing solar power to Plattsmouth was brought up Monday evening. Craig Vincent, account manager for the Nebraska Public Power District, went before the Plattsmouth City Council to discuss NPPD’s Sunwise Community Solar Program.

“We’ve had discussions with Plattsmouth going on several years now,” Vincent said. “It’s a service to communities to facilitate a solar energy product for communities to use and residents to take advantage of. It is sized to the community.” Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: IEW. Posted on City of Norfolk.Gov.

About NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

NFS Note: NPPD’s contracts allow municipal customers to generate no more than 10% of their peak load from renewable energy sources.

More About Nebraska Public Power District

As a publicly-owned utility and a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, NPPD is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the people they serve. Our chartered service territory is vast, including all or parts of 84 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. NPPD was formed on Jan. 1, 1970, when Consumers Public Power District, Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District (PVPPID) and Nebraska Public Power System merged to become who we are today. NPPD is grounded in serving Nebraska’s energy needs. We are respectful of the rich public power history in the state, yet we are mindful that the state’s energy future is being defined by what we do each and every day.

FEATURED QUOTATION

“We used to talk about affordability and reliability as the imperatives. Now I think
we have a three or four-legged stool. We need sustainability and resilience.”

– Mary Harding, NPPD Board of Directors member and former chair
Source: Midwest Energy News 

MORE ABOUT NEBRASKA’S LARGEST COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECT

Norfolk’s 8.5-megawatt solar farm nearing completion, Siouxland Proud

The program is made possible through a 30-year partnership between Norfolk’s energy supplier, Nebraska Public Power District, and Sol Customer Solutions. [Mayor Josh] Moenning said there’s much more demand for solar energy these days, specifically from corporations.

“We think this is very forward-looking. A lot of businesses now are looking only for renewable sources, clean sources of energy and we’ll be able to accommodate them to a certain extent with this project and we’re hopeful we can develop more in the future,” said Moenning.

Learn more here: City of Norfolk.Gov
Project Camera Link

Referenced by Mayor Moenning – Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasers

  • Visit Clean Energy Buyers Association for a sampling of corporate members who are among their large renewable energy buyers.
  • American Clean Power Association members also include large corporate renewable energy purchasers.
    > More than 1,000 utilities, cooperatives, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies buy wind and solar power.
    > Corporate buyers have contracted 46 GW of wind and solar to power their businesses.

Previously Posted Midwest Energy News Story

Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler

“Northeast Nebraska is the renewable energy hotbed of the state,” said Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning. “I’d much rather use clean energy that’s made in our backyard than haul it in on a coal train from Wyoming, which is the status quo in Nebraska.”

Moenning is happy about the solar project with NPPD, which will also include a 1-megawatt battery, but it doesn’t satisfy his city’s renewable aspirations, and they “absolutely” want more.

ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY SOLAR RESOURCES