Tag Archives: transmission

Illinois Poised for Nation-Leading, Equitable Climate Bill

By J.C. Kibbey, Natural Resources Defense Council

After years of work, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the Illinois House has voted (83 yes to 33 no) to pass the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB2408), a nation-leading bill to fight climate change, create good-paying jobs, improve the health of Illinoisans, and support disadvantaged communities. The bill now goes to the Senate, where legislative leaders say they intend to pass it swiftly. Governor Pritzker has championed the bill and has said he will sign it. Read more here.

More about the writer: With Family Roots in the Mines, He’s Championing Illinois’s Clean Energy Future, NRDC

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

USDA accepts more grassland CRP signup, North Platte Telegraph
[Lands] enrolled in CRP — including grasslands — play an important role in addressing climate change. For example, this enrollment of more than 2.5 million acres of grazing land into Grassland CRP will mitigate an additional estimated 22,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

By the numbers: Nebraska ranked third in acres enrolled, behind only Colorado and South Dakota. Montana and New Mexico round out the top five enrollment states.

About the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The Future of Agriculture Combined With Renewable Energy Finds Success at Jack’s Solar Garden, NREL News Story. Jack’s Solar Garden is the largest commercially active agrivoltaics system researching crop and vegetation growth under photovoltaic solar panels in the United States. For more information, visit Jack’s Solar Garden, stay tuned for updates on more agrivoltaics projects, and read more about the InSPIRE project’s research at sites around the country.

Making the right buy: LCOE of monofacial vs bifacial modules, PV Magazine
When does increased energy production outweigh increased cost? Clean Energy Associates looks to answer one of its most-asked questions in a new case study.

Wisconsin farmers to receive record-breaking support this year from USDA, NBC26

BIDEN’S INFRASTRUCTURE PLANS & AMERICA’S WORKFORCE

Biden Has Ambitious Infrastructure Plans. But A Worker Shortage Could Hinder Them, NPR
“We were having trouble finding skilled workers for construction jobs, water and energy utilities, telecom and broadband expansions – all the areas where we think this infrastructure bill was going to be investing even before the pandemic. – Andy Van Kleunen, CEO of the National Skills Coalition

GRID INFRASTRUCTURE – NEW ACORE REPORT 

Transmission Makes the Grid Resilient to Extreme Weather, T&D World
New report released by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). ‘Transmission Makes the Power System Resilient to Extreme Weather’, details the value additional transmission would have provided during five severe weather events in Texas, the Northeast and the Midwest between 2014 and 2021. 

PREVIOUSLY POSTED ON INFRASTRUCTURE

Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report  card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement.

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan, The White House Briefing Room
Statement about America’s manufacturing infrastructure:
The U.S. manufacturing sector accounts for 70 percent of business R&D expenditure, 30 percent of productivity growth, and 60 percent of exports. Manufacturing is a critical node that helps convert research and innovation into sustained economic growth . . . While manufacturing jobs have been a ladder to middle-class life, we have let our industrial heartland be hollowed out, with quality jobs moving abroad or to regions with lower wages and fewer protections for workers.

Supply Chain Woes Call Attention to Solar Manufacturing Possibilities

SEIA Blog

Recently, Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act alongside Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). This commonsense legislation will provide tax credits for American manufacturers at every stage of the solar manufacturing supply chain, from polysilicon to solar cells to fully assembled solar modules.

In support of Senator Ossoff’s proposal and the effort to reach 100 GW of annual renewable energy manufacturing capacity, SEIA announced a new target of 50 GW of annual domestic production capacity by 2030, a ten-fold increase from where we are today.This ambitious goal aims to dramatically ramp up American solar manufacturing capacity which would cover all key elements of a solar energy system, including polysilicon, ingots and wafers, cells and modules, racking and trackers and inverters. Read more here.

Related Reading

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE ACT

INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

Climate change is no longer other worldly, and inaction is no longer an option, USA Today Editorial Our View: Heat dome killed hundreds in the Pacific Northwest as global temperatures rise. Biden infrastructure bill is a good start to protect America.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

BACKLOGGED TRANSMISSION QUEUES 

Gridlock in transmission queues spotlights need for FERC action on planning, Utility Dive
Generation interconnects to transmission through queues managed by the seven regional transmission and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) and utility transmission owners. And capacity in those queues “is growing year-over-year,” according to an analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) of an estimated 85% of U.S. electricity load at the end of 2020.

Related Reading

Energy Storage Grows Up

By Jeff Postelwait, T&D World 

Energy storage is even maturing to the point where it can take the place of building a new power generation asset or building grid upgrades. “When you add storage to your mix, everything becomes more flexible. You can increase hosting capacity of a transmission circuit without having to build a lot of new facilities. So, it’s easy to think of it as a competitor, but what it really is, is more of an enabler and a partner.”    Jason Burwen, interim CEO of the Energy Storage Association. Read more here.

Also By Jeff Postelwait: Energy Goals: What Does a New Administration Mean for Utilities? A look at the future of energy at the federal and state levels, and how the commercial sector also is a powerful driver for renewables.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

MODEL POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY SOLAR BUSINESS

Solar Power + Bees = Extra Benefit For Massachusetts, by Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

Navisun is focused on small utility-scale solar farms and community solar farms. It co-develops, acquires, owns, and operates the solar projects. The two it has just completed, one of which is a community solar farm, are fairly small projects, totaling 3.8 MW of solar power, but the company is just getting rolling and it intends to build and operate many more. 

PRIVATE INVESTMENTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

The Future of Private Equity and Solar Energy, contributed by Christopher J. Macklin, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Solar Magazine

Investments in renewable capacity totaled more than $2.5 trillion between 2010-2019, according to BloombergNEF data. Solar alone drew in half of those funds—$1.3 trillion to be exact—and grew from just 25 GW at the beginning of 2010 to more than 660 GW by the end of the decade. That’s enough energy to power 100 million homes in the U.S. each year. The high volume of capital flowing into the renewable energy sector has increased asset prices. To counter this, private equity firms seeking higher returns are turning to projects under development as opposed to ones already operating.

SALESFORCE

Inside Salesforce’s bold play for supply-chain leadership, by Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

Last week, the cloud-based software company Salesforce notified its thousands of suppliers that it will include language in all future procurement contracts requiring them, among other things, to set science-based targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. And it set financial penalties for those that don’t. It was an unprecedented and bold move that, if emulated by others and aggressively enforced, could transform companies and markets far faster than any regulation ever could.

Salesforce Report: More Than a Megawatt: Embedding Social & Environmental Impact in the Renewable Energy Procurement Process

TENNESSEE VALEY AUTHORITY

Biden’s TVA appointments offer crucial chance for climate justice, Energy News Network

Biden’s nominations to the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority could help fulfill his climate promise by making TVA a model for how public power can lead the clean energy transition, writes guest commentator Gaby Sarri-Tobar, a campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity’s Energy Justice program.

SOLAR POWER WORLD 

Texas Power Crisis: No Energy Source Alone Is to Blame and There Is No One Answer

By Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State & Regulatory Affairs,
Solar Energy Industries Association

A lot is being said, written and tweeted about the power outages in Texas. Much of it is not constructive and some is fundamentally dishonest. The hot takes and political analysis that are divorced from reality do nothing to help the millions of people who are without power in freezing conditions, nor are they constructive ways of stopping future outages.

While regulators are trying to restore power, and are making initial assessments of what happened, it is clear that solar plus storage can bring needed power to homes and businesses, emergency facilities such as hospitals and fire departments, and whole communities. Here is one example: Continue reading here.

Explore SEIA’s Initiatives & Advocacy Here.

Welcome to The Power Line

By Greg Alvarez, Deputy Director, Communications
American Clean Power Association

The clean energy transition is here, and it’s a time of tremendous opportunity and excitement as the pace of the transition seemingly accelerates by the day. This shift to a 21st century clean energy economy will be one of the dominant stories of the next decade, and to help overcome the transition’s challenges and ensure U.S. homes and businesses are increasingly powered by clean energy, we’re thrilled to announce the formation of the American Clean Power Association (ACP).

ACP brings together wind, solar, transmission, and storage companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms, and corporate purchasers to advocate on behalf of the clean power industry. All the different kinds of companies involved in building the utility-scale clean energy projects of the future are now uniting behind a powerful common voice. Read more here.

ACP Video

ACP Report

A Majority Renewables Future
The report, conducted by international analysis group Wood Mackenzie, finds that reaching a majority renewables grid will:

  • Deploy over $1 trillion in capital investment over the next decade.
  • Support nearly 1 million direct, renewable energy jobs.
  • Stabilize wholesale power prices and preserve grid stability.
  • Reduce U.S. carbon emissions by over 60 percent.

Administrative and legislative policies can pave the way for the U.S. to achieve these benefits within the next 10 years.

Download the executive summary.

American Clean Power Association Launches

ACP News Release

WASHINGTON, DC, February 8, 2021 — The American Clean Power Association (ACP), the new multi-technology renewable energy industry trade group, today unveiled its new website and rolled out the association’s first ever ad campaign showcasing the size and economic punch of the industry and its massive future potential.

The new trade association, which began operations on January 1 and formally launched this week, brings together wind, solar, transmission and storage companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, project developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms, and corporate purchasers of clean power. 

About American Clean Power

American Clean Power represents the renewable energy industry in the United States, bringing together over 1,000 member companies, 120,000 members, and a national workforce located across all 50 states. By uniting the power of wind, solar, storage, and transmission companies and their allied industries, we enable the transformation of the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable and renewable power system.

Read more here.

2021 Outlook: 10 power sector trends to watch

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Utility Dive spoke to over half a dozen power sector experts who tentatively predict big changes on the horizon in 2021. A new administration under a new party is one of many signs that 2021 will look different for policymakers, regulators, utilities and other stakeholders, but the continuation of some older trends is expected as well: Utilities will continue to invest aggressively in renewable energy resources, and the power sector will continue to evolve toward a less centralized model. Here are 10 stories to watch in 2021: Read more here.

Also Published by Utility Dive
New transmission approaches can cut billions in decarbonization costs: MIT, clean energy coalition, by Robert Walton

The Highs and Lows for Solar in 2020: Wrapping up the biggest stories of a chaotic year.

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

Joe Biden’s win presents big upside for the solar industry. The candidate campaigned on a national plan to reach 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. Solar offers a key technology to achieve that goal, with 2020 marking its second year in a row to claim the largest share of new generating capacity of any resource. Read more here.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY GREENTECH MEDIA

10 Victories for Virtual Power Plants in 2020, by Julian Spector
This concept goes by various names — virtual power plants, flexible loads, behind-the-meter networks — and encompasses tools like rooftop solar, batteries, smart thermostats, smart appliances and electric vehicle chargers. Though small individually, distributed energy resources are projected to grow to 387 gigawatts in the next five years, according to research by Wood Mackenzie.

So, What Exactly Are Virtual Power Plants?

Greentech Media’s Must-Read Grid Edge Stories of 2020, by Jeff St. John
By far the biggest grid edge story of 2020 was the continued commitment of U.S. utilities to midcentury decarbonization goals — or more pertinently, those utilities that aren’t already facing state-level mandates to eliminate their carbon footprints.

Solar Foundation and Interstate Renewable Energy Council to Merge

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The non-profit Solar Foundation will soon become part of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, merging two groups with a common vision for an increasingly clean-powered grid. The organizational union announced Thursday is the latest in a series of moves by renewable energy groups to unite around a common goal of producing the majority of the U.S.’s electricity, rather than pursuing that work from different technological focuses. 

The American Wind Energy Association, for instanceannounced in September it would merge into a new group called the American Clean Power Association, to better advocate for a variety of renewable solutions. In June, AWEA along with solar, hydropower and storage industry trade groups also introduced a joint vision to achieve “majority renewables” by 2030. Continue reading.

Solar Foundation Initiatives

Interstate Renewable Energy Council Initiatives

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY REPORT

Wind and solar capacity will overtake both gas and coal globally by 2024, World Economic Forum
Wind and solar capacity will double over the next five years globally and exceed that of both gas and coal, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report. The Paris-based intergovernmental agency anticipates a 1,123 gigawatt (GW) increase in wind and solar that would mean these power sources overtake gas capacity in 2023 and coal in 2024.  

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY  

Green Hydrogen Could Fill Big Gaps In Renewable Energy, Scientific American
Companies are working to develop electrolyzers that can produce green hydrogen as cheaply as gray or blue hydrogen, and analysts expect them to reach that goal in the next decade. Meanwhile energy companies are starting to integrate electrolyzers directly into renewable power projects.

Previously Posted

  • The Green Hydrogen Revolution Is Now Underway, Forbes 
    While renewables are now the fastest growing energy industry, hydrogen is following closely behind in a massive gale. The 21st century will likely witness the rise of a mega-billion hydrogen fuel industry. Countries are taking first steps – and it’s breathtaking.
  • Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout, Vox
    After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet.

COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION

Rochester Community Power Launched to Develop 100% Renewable Energy Program for Rochester Residents and Businesses, Joule Community Power News Release, PR Newswire

The City of Rochester announced that it will launch a renewable energy program intended to provide their residents and small businesses with locally-sourced 100% renewable energy at a low, fixed rate. Offered through Rochester Community Power, the community choice aggregation (“CCA” or “community choice”) program will leverage the collective buying power of Rochester’s more than 80,000 Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) utility account holders to solicit bids from energy suppliers. 

GREEN BANKS 

The State of Green Banks 2020 report, authored by Rocky Mountain Institute, Green Finance Institute, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, showcases trends among both operational and emerging green banks. It includes an analysis of 61 institutions in 36 countries based largely on the data the report authors gathered through surveys and interviews, as well as on additional desk research. The report highlights successes, trends, and lessons learned from existing green banks and presents trends in countries seeking to set up new green banks. These trends include the technologies they will invest in, types of financial instruments they will deploy, capitalization strategies, and obstacles green bank champions face during the establishment process. A video summary of report findings by authors Angela Whitney and Karim Arslan is available at the above link.

​​RMI News Release: First global survey of green banks finds rapid growth in their numbers and importance in low carbon finance

WE ARE STILL IN NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Leaders Will Show Up In Force At U.N. Climate Talks Despite Federal Action To Withdraw The U.S. From Paris Agreement

American leaders unveiled detailed plans today to host the U.S. Climate Action Center at the upcoming COP25 climate talks in Madrid, and announced a delegation of over 70 U.S. leaders who are stepping up as the federal government steps away from global climate leadership. The current list of the delegation can be found here. This will be the third year in a row that We Are Still In will organize a Pavilion, in partnership with the U.S. Climate Alliance, Climate Mayors, America’s Pledge and other groups, to fill the U.S. climate leadership vacuum at the U.N. talks.

At COP25, America’s Pledge will release its third annual report, “Accelerating America’s Pledge: Going All-In to Build a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Economy for the United States.” This report analyzes the collective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by U.S. states, cities, businesses, and other non-governmental entities and projects the level of carbon emissions reductions the U.S. can reach by 2030.

TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE

Transmission for renewables shall be a clear winner in Biden White House, Renewable Energy World
The stars are aligned for a big chunk of transmission infrastructure investments across the country. Statements from New England Governors, PJM on offshore wind integration, and Midwest Governors Association offer insights into future transmission plans for renewables. However, since transmission — specifically high voltage lines — cannot be built overnight, the state and federal policy advisors should not lose sight of distributed energy resource (DER) potential and alternatives to transmission solutions. Leveraging both utility-scale renewables and distributed generation makes more sense to balance the curtailment risk with an abundance of renewable energy production.

CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS

Mr. President-elect, America needs a Civilian Climate Corps, Opinion Contributors Jay Lemery and Lewis Goldfrank, The Hill

For those who think a national service program is only viable in a bygone era and another example of executive overreach, one that could never survive the scarlet letter of “socialism” in today’s political climate, don’t be so sure. Recent public opinion research has found that the American public is widely supportive of national serviceEighty percent of voters (70 percent Republicans, 90 percent Democrats) back increasing federal investment to help communities respond to and recover from COVID-19, specifically regarding funds directed toward graduates and the unemployed. What could this look like?

Jay Lemery, MD, is the co-director of the Climate & Health Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and co-author ofEnviromedics: the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health.”

Lewis Goldfrank, MD, is the Herbert W. Adams professor of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU-Langone Health Center, and the founding editor of Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies.

NCORPE may advance Lincoln County wind project

By Lori Potter, Kearney Hub

The next step toward a possible wind energy project in southern Lincoln County may be made next week. It will be the focus Tuesday at the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement project’s 5:30 p.m. board meeting at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte. NCORPE is owned and operated by four NRDs — Upper, Middle and Lower Republican and Twin Platte — that have repurposed groundwater use on the property from crop irrigation to streamflow enhancements in both basins. Continue reading here. 

Nebraska Also In The News Here

Wyoming, Neb. public power entities join SPP Western market, American Public Power Association
The Wyoming Municipal Energy Agency (WMPA) and Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) will be participants of Southwest Power Pool’s Western Energy Imbalance Service (WEIS) Market when it launches in February 2021, SPP said on Dec. 12. WMPA is the wholesale electricity provider for 8 public power communities in Wyoming. Created in 1981, MEAN provides cost-based power supply, transmission and related services to 69 participating communities in four states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming.