Tag Archives: Star Tribune

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.

South Sioux City approves hydroelectric turbine application

By Alex Boisjolie, Sioux City Journal

To lower rates for residential and business customers and add more renewable sources of power, the South Sioux City municipal utility has spent the last few years moving to diversify its mix of wholesale power. In January 2015, the city council voted to reduce by 30 percent the power it gets from its longtime partner, Nebraska Public Power District, starting Jan. 1, 2018. The city’s contract with the state’s largest utility is scheduled to expire in 2021. Click to read more.

Photo Credit: Jim Lee / Sioux City Journal

Higher fixed fees in play as Nebraska public utilities cut demand growth forecasts,
Utility Dive
Scottsbluff solar project one step closer to reality, Scottsbluff Star Herald
Iowa co-op’s unique solar installation business expands outside its territory, Midwest Energy NewsA Twin Cities apartment owner bets big on solar energy, Midwest Energy News
Wind & Solar Aren’t Alternative Energy Anymore, CleanTechnica
In Minnesota churches, let there be light – solar light, Star Tribune
Top Solar Myths EBook, The Climate Reality Project
New $3.6B Project in Iowa Could Be One of Many ‘Mega’ Wind Orders, Greentech Media
Wind power helps U.S. cities go big on clean energy, Into the Wind, the American Wind Energy Association Blog

Wind farms in Nebraska to help Aspen achieve its 100 percent renewable energy goal

By Dana Drugmand, Earth Island Journal

Photo: Red Mountain Productions

Photo: Red Mountain Productions

When it comes to going green, the real action appears to be happening in cities . . . Now the swanky mountain community of Aspen, Colorado, is set to join the exclusively renewable electricity ranks. As of 2014, about 75 percent of the city’s power came from renewable energy, nearly half from hydropower. Power purchased from wind farms in Nebraska made up the rest of the renewable mix. New contracts for additional wind power capacity, as well as a small amount of landfill gas, are under negotiation and, if approved, Aspen will achieve its goal of 100 percent renewable electricity by the end of this year.

Read more.

Additional Recommended Reading
Cologne, Minn., signs deal to go all-solar for its municipal electricity: 
Other cities are looking at cost-saving deals with solar developers to offset electricity for government buildings and operations, by David Shaffer, Star Tribune

Macalester College commits to solar for its electricity

By David Shaffer, Star Tribune

The St. Paul college will join Northfield’s St. Olaf College as a carbon-neutral campus.

Macalester College said Thursday that solar power will offset all of its electricity use in two years, resulting in substantial savings on its utility bills.

The St. Paul liberal arts school is the second college in Minnesota to announce solar deals that will result in carbon-neutral campuses. In February, St. Olaf College in Northfield said it would add more solar to its existing wind energy, offsetting all its electricity with renewable power.

Read more.

Wind and solar projects will power half of U.S. utilities’ new output for 2015

by Ron Meador, veteran journalist, Star Tribune / Posted on MinnPost.Com

The U.S. Energy Information Administration “ . . . just closed out its data gathering for calendar 2014, a process that includes asking utility-scale electric power generators about the new capacity they are adding in the year ahead.

For 2015, these companies told the EIA they plan to boost their combined output by about 20 gigawatts. More than half of that will come from new wind and solar installations.”

Click here to read the entire article.