Tag Archives: Solar Industry Magazine

The innovations just keep coming in the corporate-utility deal space

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

The newest innovation may be the biggest. So far, it is simply an ongoing conversation between multi-jurisdictional, vertically-integrated utilities and core members of the WRI corporate buyers group. But according to Southern Company VP for Energy Policy Bruce Edelston, it “is much bigger and broader than green tariffs.”

Click map to enlarge it.

This new WRI-led forum is called the Clean Power Council (CPC). Its purpose is “an efficient and economic transition to clean energy resources,” WRI says. It is intended to go beyond renewable energy “to enable technologies that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while growing businesses.”  Read more here.

World Resources Institute:
The scale of the CPC membership, and potential impact, is illustrated in the CPC Utility Member Service Territories map above. WRI also coordinates this work with complementary efforts underway within the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). Together the REBA network aims to enable companies to buy 60 gigawatts of renewable energy in the US by 2025.


Solar, Wind Provided Nearly All New Electric Generating Capacity In January, February, Solar Industry Magazine 

Minnesota’s Commerce Department Launches Latest Round of Solar Incentives

Posted by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

“The Made in Minnesota program is helping drive growth in the state’s rooftop solar market,” says Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman in a press release. “The program is boosting Minnesota’s clean energy economy by making solar more affordable, creating more clean energy jobs and diversifying the state’s energy resources.” Continue reading.

More information about the ten-year program, which Minnesota’s legislature established in 2013 to expand the state’s solar industry, is available here.

Ten Predictions for Rooftop Solar in 2017

 By Barry Cinnamon of Spice Solar. Published by Greentech Media

I got lucky with my predictions for rooftop solar in 2016 — pretty much on target with nine out of the 10 darts that I threw. But this year is shaping up to be much more challenging, with routine solar-coaster turmoil combined with political uncertainty. Looking forward to 2017, my list no longer includes the benefits of the Clean Power Plan and 500 million solar panels (along with the EPA and half the equity in the remaining solar module companies). Nevertheless, I remain very optimistic about the future of clean technology industries simply because their economic benefits have been proven. So here are my 10 predictions for rooftop solar in 2017. Continue reading.

Vote Solar’s Take on the Top 10 Solar Trends of 2016, Greentech Media
What’s Ahead For Community Solar in 2017?  Solar Industry Magazine

The new guide to the community solar galaxy

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

While 15 states and the District of Columbia have policies to support community solar, each policy is structured differently and many, when put into practice, have not driven growth. As a result, only five states have active markets. To rectify this, experienced developers in the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) put together a report that aims to help policymakers design community solar programs. Read more here.

Photo credit: Coalition for Community Solar Access

Download Community Solar Policy Decision Matrix: Guidance for Designing Community Solar Programs here.

About the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Founded in February 2016, CCSA is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy nationwide through community solar. These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households. For more information on CCSA, visit the website at www.communitysolaraccess.org,


Lawrence, Kansas set to spend $11.4 million on energy efficiency, other sustainability projects

By Robert Valverde, Lawrence Journal World


The City of Lawrence is preparing to make millions of dollars worth of facility
upgrades — including solar panels, LED lights and smart thermostats — in order to make its operations more energy-efficient. “The savings each year would be the same as taking over 750 cars off the road and planting over 3,000 tress, in terms of an environmental benefit,” said Eileen Horn, sustainability coordinator for Lawrence and Douglas County. Continue reading.

Photo: A computer rendering shows solar panels on the roof of Fire Station Number 5, 1911 Steward Avenue in Lawrence, Kansas. About $11.4 million of sustainability projects have been added to the city’s capital improvement plan for 2017.


Farms, businesses have good solar options, advocates say

By Nancy Madsen, St. Peter Herald


The time has never been better for adding solar power, developers and renewable energy experts said during a discussion and tour organized by the Minnesota Farmers Union. “Prices of solar have really come down so that utility-scale solar is at grid parity with other sources of generation in 47 states,” said Chris Meyer, southeast regional coordinator with state-created Clean Energy Resource Teams. Continue reading.

Photo: Ralph Kaehler, vice president of business development at Novel Energy Solutions, standing next to a 10-kilowatt array at the Brian Vetter farm in rural Kasota.  Credit: Nancy Madsen/St. Peter Herald

Novel creates a payment plan based on what the tax credits and incentives are, with the remainder covered by what the property owner’s electricity bill is. The property owner will wrap up payments after about 10 years. “You’re using money you’re already spending,” Kaehler said. 



State-Backed Community Solar To Help Low-Income Families In Colo.

By Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine


On Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., joined project partners and volunteers to help install a community solar array that will provide 50% of the power demand for up to 20 qualified low-income families served by Fort Collins Utilities. Last year, the CEO awarded GRID a $1.2 million grant to add low-income community solar with utilities across the state.
Continue reading.

Photo: Governor Hickenlooper


Grid Alternatives will install 92 solar projects on U.S. tribal lands

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine


Six tribal communities in California, Montana and South Dakota will receive 394 kW of solar energy in the form of 92 installations, courtesy of non-profit installer Grid Alternatives and a more than $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE created an initiative in March to provide clean energy and energy efficiency projects for 24 tribal communities. Continue reading.

Photo Credit: Grid Alternatives

Sheridan school district switches buildings to solar energy, The Republic
School District To Save Millions With Solar Carports And Storage, Solar Industry Magazine
Could nursery school farms be the way of the future? Treehugger
Science ministers from around the world gathered at the White House yesterday for the first-ever Arctic Science Ministerial
WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET: United States Hosts First-Ever Arctic Science Ministerial to Advance International Research Efforts
Tenaska buys 470 MW of wind projects in Minnesota, North DakotaPublished by Platts
Solar option would save money at new sewer plant, Sauk Valley.Com

A University of Illinois student wants to see the energy world at his feet

Written by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News


At 19 years old, Swarnav Pujari wants to do nothing less than “revolutionize the energy market.” The University of Illinois materials science and engineering student envisions office buildings, convention centers and tourist attractions powered simply by the hundreds of people who walk through them each day. Pujari’s company, Touch Light Innovations LLC, has made “Power Pads,” one-square-foot devices that are placed under flooring or carpet and generate energy with each footfall. Click to read more.

Photo: Swarnav Pujari speaks at WISE competition. Courtesy of Phyllis Frankfort.

Partners Kick Off Community Solar Work In Minnesota, Solar Industry Magazine
In 2013, the Minnesota state legislature passed the Solar Energy Jobs Act, allowing Minnesota citizens to access locally produced solar energy and expanding the use of solar in the
state . . . “Minnesota is slated to have the largest community solar program in the country,” said David Amster-Olszewski, founder and CEO of SunShare.

Dubuque mulls more solar panels, works to cut gas emissions, Quad City Times
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials in Dubuque are considering placing solar panels atop more city buildings as they strive to reduce electricity consumption and produce more power without creating climate-warming gases.

Xcel plans big expansion in wind power, adding enough capacity for 750,000 homes, Star Tribune The company will add eight to 10 new wind farms in the Upper Midwest.

Utility Puts Out Massive RFP For More Midwest Wind Energy, North American Wind Power
According to the company, this request for proposals  (RFP) announcement is another step in its long-term plan to transform its energy fleet and represents one of the largest wind energy proposals in the nation.

Los Angeles to study 100% clean energy goals, Utility Dive
Sierra Club notes that Los Angeles would be the largest American city to commit to 100% clean energy, joining the likes of Salt Lake City, San Diego and Boulder, along with international names like Paris, Sydney and Vancouver, to examine the goal.

It’s the Dawn of the Community Solar Farm

By Chris Martin, Bloomberg News


It’s like rooftop solar, without the rooftops. A growing number of consumers are buying into community solar farms that allow renters and apartment dwellers to access renewable energy produced on neighborhood plots that can be small enough to host a little league baseball game. Some are so modest they’re referred to as “solar gardens.” Continue reading.

Image: 13 acre, 1.5-megawatt Jefferson County Community Solar Garden.
Photographer: Andy Cross / Denver Post via Getty Images