Tag Archives: Solar United Neighbors (SUN)

In Iowa, grassroots energy districts aim to spur local clean energy conversations

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

A decade ago, Craig Mosher was one of a half-dozen people trying to rethink energy in their small hometown of Decorah in northeast Iowa.  “The general concern was climate change, but the specific concern was energy, and what we could do to reduce energy use and to shift to renewables,” Mosher recalled about the group’s early meetings at Luther College, a Lutheran school with a heavy environmental emphasis. Their solution? To create an “energy district,” an entity modeled after the soil and water conservation districts of the 1930s, but with a focus on energy. In the 10 years since the founding of the Winneshiek Energy District in Decorah, energy districts have become a movement in Iowa. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Winneshiek Energy District

Also In The News

Buying rooftop solar, in bulk

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

One of the oldest ideas about how to cut costs is advancing, not through a business, but through a non-profit. Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is reporting that it has added 13 “solar co-ops” in ten states over the last six months, which are allowing participating homeowners and small business owners to essentially buy rooftop solar in bulk, 30 roofs at a time.

These new cooperatives span the nation, from Arizona to Maryland, with four in a state that is experiencing a minor boom: Florida. Beaches Business Solar Co-opMiami Digital Solar Co-opOrlando Solar Co-op and Pasco County Solar Co-op. These co-ops work by gathering neighbors together through informative sessions run by SUN, and getting them to sign up more neighbors, often through word of mouth. Read more here.

Solar United Neighbors (SUN) Resources

Additional PV Magazine News Stories & Resources

  • FPL redefines community solar
    Florida Power and Light (FPL), in collaboration with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Vote Solar, and Walmart has officially filed a settlement to establish the nation’s largest community solar, after announcing plans for the program in the spring. The program, named Solar Together will be the biggest in the United States by a pretty wide margin, a piece of the larger 30×30 program that aims to install 30,000,000 solar panels by 2030, being described by SACE as 30×30’s ‘backbone.’
  • Solar + storage to survive disasters
    Roth Capital Partners has released a new research note on conclusions made and predictions about the solar industry, based off of observations made at Solar Power International 2019 (SPI). While the note is chiefly concerned with industry-wide solar stock performance, one bit of information stood out: Roth expects the U.S. residential solar market to exceed anticipated growth, increasing 25% year-over-year in both 2019 and 2020.
  • Energy storage and inverters to get you through power outages
  • Vertically integrated advanced energy manufacturing from SolarEdge
    SolarEdge is still fundamentally based on solar power, however, it is turning into a vertically integrated energy manufacturer and service provider.

Green Hydrogen News

Featured Resources

Local Events Part of National Solar Tour – The Largest Annual Grassroots Renewable Energy Event in the U.S.

This annual nationwide tour provides numerous opportunities for you to visit with Nebraskans who have invested in solar energy and with Hastings Utilities representatives at the city’s new solar farm, to gain information about how solar works, its benefits, and what local resources are available.

These open houses and tours are free, and people of all ages are invited to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you. Click links to learn more about each one and to RSVP:

National Solar Tour Event – Hastings Utilities Hosting Open House at Recently-Completed Community Solar Farm

This event is part of the National Solar Tour, the largest annual
grassroots renewable energy event in the nation.


RSVP HERE.

Hastings Utilities is hosting a tour and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 3 pm – 6 pm at the recently-completed Community Solar Farm. The project was installed by GenPro Energy Solutions. See solar panels up close, ask questions about how solar works, learn why people in a growing number of our communities are making the choice to go solar, and connect with others who support solar energy. This event is free and open to the public. More information is available about Hastings’ Community Solar Farm here.

MORE NEBRASKA EVENTS

The following solar open house and tours are also free and  open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you.

  • Bennington, Nebraska Solar Open House: October 5, 2019, 11 am to 6 pm
    20210 High Country Circle, Bennington, Nebraska 68007. “Our solar system was installed by Great Plains Renewables in 2018.” RSVP HERE.
  • Omaha, Nebraska Solar Tour: October 5, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.
  • Bellevue/Sarpy County Solar Tour: October 6, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HEREOmaha and Bellevue/Sarpy County Solar Tours’ Sponsors: Green Bellevue, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraskans for Solar

Green Bellevue celebrates 10 years

By Brody Hilgencamp, Bellevue Leader / Omaha World-Herald

Sharon Rea has been president of Green Bellevue for eight months, and she uses an apt metaphor to describe the organization she has been tapped to lead and the people who founded it. “The seeds that they planted — literally — everything is carrying forward,” she said.

The rain gardens and recycling are big deals, leaders said, but the pièce de résistance would be the group’s next grand plan: a solar farm in the Bellevue area. The group hopes to work with Omaha Public Power District to make it happen. “I see us putting a lot of effort to that initiative in the next few months,” Rea said. “We’re determined.” Read more here.

Photo by Brody Hilgenkamp: Ruth Richter, left, Sharon Rea and Don Preister

Bellevue’s Proposed Landfill Solar Project – Previously Posted 

Given solar energy’s substantial price declines over the past several years since Bellevue’s landfill solar project was first proposed, it would be good to see an up-to-date analysis of the project’s levelized costs over a twenty-year power purchase agreement.

Bellevue/Sarpy County & Omaha Participating in The National Solar Tour

The National Solar Tour is the largest annual grassroots
renewable energy event in the nation.

The following local, second-annual solar tours are free and  open to the public – everyone is welcome to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you.

  • National Solar Tour Event – Omaha, October 5, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.
  • National Solar Tour Event – Bellevue/Sarpy County, October 6, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.

Local Solar Tour Sponsors: Green Bellevue, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraskans for Solar

SUN Guide: Battery Storage For Homeowners

The nonprofit Solar United Neighbors has published a
comprehensive guide to battery storage.

More homeowners than ever are looking into battery storage as an option for their homes. In the first quarter of 2018, the market for residential battery storage grew nine-fold! Our guide is designed to help you decide if adding battery storage is right for you.

This guide will inform you:

  • How battery back-up works
  • About the different types of batteries
  • What battery storage costs
  • How to best pair a solar system with battery storage
  • What to look for in a qualified installer

Click Link To Download: Battery Storage For Homeowners.

Ohio conservatives could shift solar debate in a positive direction

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

According to a new poll by Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, 79% of Republicans and independents who identify as conservative (the only groups polled) support the expansion of clean energy and policies to encourage such growth. Among the policy prescriptions those polled support include increasing the state’s renewable energy standard (RES) and changing wind setback rules. Public Opinion Strategies also found 60% of conservatives support requiring utilities to use renewable energy to produce 12.5% of their electricity by 2027, and 76% supported increasing research into battery storage technologies, which most analysts consider the next boom market in the renewable energy economic sector. Most surprising was the finding that 85% of conservative voters voiced willingness to pay more personally for their electricity if sourced from renewable energy sources. Click here to read more.

Ohio Conservative Energy Forum Website

Photo: Pixabay

MORE GOOD NEWS

Solar energy powers job market

By Tim Dwight, President of the Iowa Solar
Energy Trade Association, The Gazette

The growing solar energy industry in Iowa is harnessing the state’s sun potential at an ever-increasing pace. A new study, “Clean Jobs Midwest,” from the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs, found that 30,418 Iowans work in the state’s clean energy sector, including more than 700 in the solar industry. Continue reading.

NEBRASKA’S CLEAN ENERGY JOBS STORY
The number of people now working in clean energy industries throughout Nebraksa is 17,482, a more than 6 percent increase since 2015, according to an analysis released by Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). Job growth across sectors including renewable energy generation, advanced grid, energy efficiency, clean fuels, and advanced transportation is occurring almost seven times faster than overall job growth in the state.

The analysis, available at www.CleanJobsMidwest.com, is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a comprehensive survey of thousands of businesses across the region conducted by BW Research Partners.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Solar co-op innovator expanding nationwide, aims to empower homeowners

By Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

A solar advocate who found a way to create bulk-purchase discounts for home rooftop systems is growing it into a national movement to assert what she feels are the rights of system owners.

What launched as the Community Power Network in 2007 in the Washington, DC, home of Anya Schoolman is expanding under a new name – Solar United Neighbors (SUN). The new organization is targeting, Florida, Pennsylvania and other states by year’s end, with a goal of establishing operations in at all 50 states by the end of 2018. Click here to continue reading.

Photo by Solar United Neighbors

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST