Tag Archives: solar group-buying programs

Solar industry unveils campaign to streamline solar permitting

SEIA News Release Posted On PV Magazine USA

As Solar Power International kicks off in California, the U.S. solar industry is taking a major step toward alleviating one of the biggest hurdles to installing solar on homes and businesses – cumbersome and inconsistent permitting and inspection processes.

With the support of industry leaders, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation today are unveiling the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) initiative, which will streamline permitting and slash the cost of solar installations.
Read more here.

Photo: Bob and Gina’s solar-powered home in Lincoln. Installed by SWT Energy.


Plans move ahead for solar-powered, mixed-income Ann Arbor community, Michigan Live

“It would be the most innovative project probably easily within the state,” said County Commission Chairman Andy LaBarre. “It’s something I look at not just as good policy but as a great thing to do.”


TetraPak Adds Solar Array to Headquarters in Texas, Energy Manager Today: Tetra Pak plans to install a new solar array at the company’s US and Canada headquarters in Denton, Texas. Once up and running, the array will produce 1,027,638 kWh annually, according to the global food processing and packaging solutions company. As a member of RE100, Tetra Pak aims to use only renewable electricity across all global operations by 2030. Currently global company gets half its electricity supply from renewables. Tetra Pak has more than 23,000 employees based in over 80 countries working on food processing and packaging.

Local solar at the heart of Cleveland’s 100% renewable energy goal, PV Magazine
The Midwestern city is looking to put community solar on vacant and contaminated land and making it easier for residents and business to go solar, as well as employing community choice aggregation.

Unprecedented landfill solar project completed in Maryland, PV Magazine
An 18 MW project developed by BQ Energy has turned otherwise unusable land into enough generation to power 12% of the city of Annapolis.

The Wright Way, Windpower Monthly
Having joined the company as an intern, MidAmerican CEO Adam Wright combines in-depth experience of the business with the competitiveness of a former professional NFL player as the utility works to deliver on its 100% renewable energy promise. The 100% renewables benchmark will be met — even exceeded — when the company’s $922-million 591MW Wind XII project is completed in late 2020 or 2021. It is subject to approval by the Iowa Utilities Board. Photo: Adam Wright, left, interviewed by AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan at Windpower 2018, YouTube.

The Death Of The Gasmobile: EV Charging As A Service 
CleanTechnica sat down for a phone interview with Enel’s Alberto Piglia. For those of you new to Enel, the company’s ventures as a sustainable energy provider are on high profile display in the US, with its massive 320-megawatt Rattlesnake wind farm in Nebraska.
Mr. Piglia is head of e-mobility services for Enel X, the wing of Enel tasked with marrying digital solutions to zero emission driving. Think cloud-based services and you’re on the right track . . . The EV charging market has been heating up in the US, too, so brace yourself. Enel X is casting its eye on the US and other EV charging markets beyond Italy (if all this is beginning to sound familiar, keep your eye on the company 
eMotorWerks, which was acquired by Enel just last fall).


Con Ed Buying $1.54B Renewable Energy Portfolio From Sempra Energy, North American Windpower
The assets in the sale include the Broken Bow II wind farm in Nebraska.

Photo: NPPD Wind Generation


  • Despite Tariffs, Utility Solar Is Picking Up Steam, Greentech Media 
    New data from Wood Mackenzie shows a surge in project procurement in 2018.
  • URI ocean engineer: Sound from wind farm operations having no effect on environment,
    University of Rhode Island News. The researcher is James H. Miller, University of Rhode Island professor of ocean engineering. Miller’s acoustic monitoring of the wind farm is part of an effort by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to understand the impact of wind turbine construction and operations on the environment so future wind farms can be planned appropriately. The Bureau has funded Miller  — through Nebraska-based engineering consultants HDR Inc. — to evaluate the sound from wind farm construction and operations at other locations along the East Coast. 
  • If you build it, they will buy it: sPower refinances $499 million of wind and solar, PV Magazine. The independent power producer has closed on a $499 million, investment grade, private placement financing representing approximately 650 MW of utility-scale wind and solar power projects.


Exclusive: Exxon, Chevron join global industry climate group, Axios. Some of America’s most powerful U.S.-based oil companies — ExxonMobil, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum — are joining a global consortium of oil and gas producers seeking to address climate change, Axios has learned. Why it matters: The companies are the first U.S.-based members of the group, called the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative. This is one of the strongest signs yet of how America’s biggest oil companies, under pressure from investors and lawsuits, are joining most other U.S. corporations in working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions despite President Trump reversing America’s course on the matter.

New Guide Offers Pathways To Bring Solar To More Multifamily Residents

By Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

IREC has released a new guide developed for local governments, housing providers, utilities and other interested stakeholders to better understand the various pathways to solar for multifamily housing, based on the experience in Seattle, Wash. According to the group, the guide will help states and municipalities as they develop the tools needed to make this next step toward a cleaner and more equitable energy future. Read more here.

The guide, titled “Access for All: Pathways to Expand Solar Options to Renters and Multifamily Households in the City of Seattle,” is available for download here.

Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Website


City of Fremont Works for a Second Solar Farm After the First Sells Out

By Kari Lawrence, US92, Nebraska News Channel

FREMONT – Due to the first solar farm in Fremont selling out, and the overwhelming response from the community, the City of Fremont is planning a second farm. The City of Fremont is working toward a grant to help fund the making of the second solar farm in Fremont. The grant would come from The Nebraska Environmental Trust, which Executive Assistant of Communications and Grants, Lottie Mitchell says made the most sense. Read more here.

To learn more about Fremont’s First Solar Farm, click the following links:

Fremont Business Park, Greater Fremont Development Council

  • 80 acres municipally-owned, shovel ready; Olsson Associates master planned site
  • 10MW power available with ability to grow with customer
  • Power rates in the 4.5 to 4.9 cent range per kWh – Municipally-owned utilities
  • Fixed rate period up to 5 yrs. available per Nebraska State law and dependent on size and scope of project
  • Municipality has two sources for power backup; NPPD & OPPD through automatic interconnect agreements

Earlier Articles Showing the Solar Farm’s Progression

Illinois group-buy program aims to boost renewable energy

By David Proeber, The Pantagraph

A large solar system helps power a house on Ironwood Golf Course in north Normal.

A large solar system helps power a house on Ironwood Golf Course in north Normal.

Group-buy programs like Solar Bloomington-Normal allow local residents and businesses to pool their resources and install individual solar energy systems at lower bulk rates. StraightUp Solar estimates the average Twin City homeowner could save 20 percent in upfront costs through Solar Bloomington-Normal.

While the initial investment is still expensive — an example from StraightUp Solar estimated the cost of a 5-kilowatt home system at $15,950 after the group-buy discount — customers can receive not only free energy, but tax credits and incentives that reduce the long-term cost of the system. After those credits, the same home system falls to an estimated $5,250.  Read more.

How much does a PV system currently cost in Nebraska?
Cheaper by the Dozen: Solar Group Purchase Programs, American Solar Energy Society
Group solar purchases helping Midwest cities cut carbon emissions, Midwest Energy News
Milwaukee’s solar group-buying program is expanding, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Solar Bulk Purchases, Community Power Network

Opinion: How group purchasing programs can supercharge EV sales

Wikipedia-Electric Cars1

By Michael Shepard, Utility Dive Guest Post. Utility Dive Editor: Michael Shepard is the chairman of energy research and advisory firm E Source. This article is the fifth in a five-part series on the opportunity for utilities in electric vehicles. You can find the rest of the series here. If you are interested in submitting a guest post to Utility Dive, please review these guidelines. Photo credit: Wikipedia

In the last four months of 2015, a community-based “group purchase” program helped the Nissan dealership in Boulder, Colorado sell four times as many Leaf electric cars as the dealership sold in the same period in the prior two years—62 cars per month vs. 13 cars per month. During the campaign, this one modestly sized dealership sold 5% of all Leafs purchased in the entire country. That is a remarkable testament to the effectiveness of the group purchase concept for electric vehicles, which is starting to be replicated in other communities. The program was launched by a consortium of local governments, led by Boulder County, in partnership with several local organizations who pledged to provide outreach about the program to their employees and constituents. Continue reading.  

Another Model for Nebraska Communities / Organizations: Solar Group-Buying Programs 

Potential model for Nebraska: Milwaukee’s solar group-buying program

MadiSun Program

By Thomas Content of the Milwaukee / Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

A Milwaukee group-buy program that aims to provide volume discounts for homes and businesses adding solar systems is expanding citywide this year, and beyond the city limits to Shorewood. The group-buy program was launched by Milwaukee Shines and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association three years ago and has gone from neighborhood to neighborhood until now. Read more here.

Milwaukee Shines Solar Group Buys
Community Power Network
American Solar Energy Society