By Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News
Solar incentives in Illinois’ 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act helped Josh Lutton grow his Chicago solar company to 30 employees in the span of just a few years. Now, Lutton is hoping for even more growth with the rollout of one of the law’s marquee programs aimed at making solar accessible to more people. Illinois Solar for All is designed to serve people traditionally left out of the solar market: low-income households, including rural homeowners and renters in urban apartment buildings; people of color; and residents of environmental justice communities most impacted by pollution from fossil fuels . . . The Clean Energy Jobs Act and another bill that would expand solar incentives in Illinois, Path to 100, are before the Illinois Legislature, which closes its session at the end of the month. Read more here.
HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES
- FPL opens the floodgates on a tidal wave of solar, PV Magazine
Florida Power and Light is ramping up construction on its “30 by 30” plan, announcing the beginning of 10 projects across the Sunshine State, each one clocking in at 74.5 MW, for a grand total of 745 MW of solar. Florida is far from alone. With the huge projects that we are seeing approved in previously under-developed markets such as Ohio and Indiana, even bigger projects in Texas, and the boom in projects applying for interconnection in queues across the nation, the solar tsunami that we talked about at the beginning of this year is becoming a fact on the ground.
- FPL begins building 10 solar power plants around Florida, Herald-Tribune
- Nearly 200 MW of solar coming to Indiana at under $1/watt, PV Magazine
According to the MISO interconnection queue, there are 5.7 GW of projects this big and larger planned for Indiana by the end of October 2023. If you’re thinking to yourself that that’s absolutely astronomical predicted development, you should know that figure excludes any project on the queue under 199 MW. Now when all proposed interconnection projects are considered, that number jumps to nearly 8.6 GW, for a state that, once again, has 331 MW to its name so far.
- Wisconsin regulators reject effort to block state’s first large-scale solar farm, La Crosse Tribune
Both solar farms would be larger than any currently built east of the Rocky Mountains and will result in a five-fold increase in Wisconsin’s solar energy capacity. The utilities said they need to replace aging fossil fuel generators and that the $389.7 million investment will save customers $181 million compared to other alternatives.
- MadiSUN: New solar energy initiative, WMTV
- sonnenCommunity comes to the Midwest, PV Magazine
The new net energy positive development in Marengo, Illinois maximizes energy efficiency and meets Passivhaus standards, as well as offering power in the event of a blackout.
- Wyoming Solar Energy Association forms as state’s first solar trade organization, Gillette News Record
- Texas legislature recognizes Tri Global Energy’s wind efforts, Windpower Engineering Development. The Garden County, Nebraska 100-MW Sugarloaf Wind Farm is among the projects initiated by Tri Global Energy since its founding in 2009.
VW SETTLEMENT NEWS
Report: States missing opportunities to electrify transportation with VW money, by Frank Jossi, Energy News Network. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and the Environment America Research & Policy Center created a scorecard to grade states on how they are allocating money from the settlement. Most states earned D or F grades for allowing money to be spent on diesel and other fossil fuel vehicles. The program’s second phase could offer bigger, if fewer, grants to pay for electric vehicle purchases.