Tag Archives: U.S. Department of Energy

Why NextEra’s green hydrogen pilot is a big deal

By Christian Roselund, Editorial Director, Rocky Mountain Institute
Republished by GreenBiz

In its recent quarterly results call, U.S. power giant NextEra announced that its utility subsidiary Florida Power & Light (FPL) plans to build a 20-megawatt electrolyzer to produce hydrogen from water. If approved by regulators, the plant will run on power from otherwise curtailed solar and feed hydrogen to burn in FPL’s Okeechobee gas plant.

On the global stage, the scale of this investment does not raise eyebrows. “Green” hydrogen electrolysis plants of a similar scale are underway in a number of other nations, and some are scheduled for completion by the end of this year. In the United States, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) plan to convert its coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant in Utah to a mix of hydrogen and gas will involve a much larger supply of hydrogen from electrolysis. However, what is important is not just the megawatts. Continue reading here.

TENASKA NEWS

2GW pipeline of California battery projects revealed by Capital Dynamics and Tenaska, Energy Storage News. Asset management firm Capital Dynamics has signed a deal with Nebraskan independent power producer Tenaska to develop nine battery energy storage system (BESS) projects located in California’s highest electrical load centers.

NRECA NEWS RELEASE

NRECA, DOE Launch Rural Battery Storage Research Projects, August 17, 2020
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today launched four rural battery storage projects in partnership with five electric cooperatives and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity. The projects are being funded in part by DOE and will examine how energy storage systems can improve the resilience of critical infrastructure in rural areas. Two of the projects simultaneously will support military installations served by electric cooperatives and will help fulfill Department of Defense energy assurance goals. “This is a great example of how America’s electric co-ops and the more than 95 military facilities that they serve are evolving together,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.

Related News Stories

NRECA Member Co-Ops’ Renewables

MASS-MARKET “ENERGY-AS-A-SERVICE” MICROGRIDS

Schneider Electric and Huck Capital Launch ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ Microgrids for the Mass Market, Greentech Media. A new company, 5D Energy, will pitch no-money-down solar, storage and backup power for small and medium-size C&I customers.

UTILITY DIVE’S “PROPELLING THE TRANSITION” SERIES

GTM ‘S POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

How Texas Turned Green: On this week’s Political Climate, former FERC Commissioner and Chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission Pat Wood discusses competitive power markets and how a red state became a green energy leader.

GTM’S INTERCHANGE PODCAST

The Wild World of ESG Investing. This week on The Interchange podcast: Can we get environmental, social and corporate governance right?

UPCOMING GREENBIZ WEBCAST

Sustainable Recovery: ESG Values and our Resilient Future, September 15, 12 pm
This one-hour webcast will focus on the principles of sustainable recovery and how ESG-led strategies help organizations successfully navigate the trials of COVID-19 and today’s other complex challenges.

NEW SOLSMART SOLAR + EV GUIDE

SolSmart Report: Solar & Electric Vehicles, A Guide For Local Governments

This new report outlines key strategies including educating community members on the benefits of PV and EVs, organizing group purchase campaigns to support both technologies, providing financial and non-financial incentives on EV and PV regulation, and adjusting local regulations to reduce costs and ease integration.

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Solar Businesses Offer a Helping Hand to Communities Affected by COVID-19 (Part 3)
With COVID-19 cases still surging in the United States, solar companies continue to step up to make an impact in their communities and help our country #RebuildBetter. Here’s how several solar companies are giving back to their fellow Americans during this crisis.

Discriminatory rooftop solar charges may violate antitrust law

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

When his electric bill went up by about 65% because he has solar panels on his roof, William Ellis joined three others to file an antitrust lawsuit against their Arizona utility, Salt River Project (SRP), in federal district court. They alleged that SRP aimed “to stifle and eliminate all competition from the growing solar energy market.”

When the federal district court dismissed the case, the plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where they gained support last week from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Department’s Antitrust Division pursues antitrust cases for the federal government, and occasionally offers legal analysis in private antitrust cases. Read more here.

KANSAS ENERGY REPORT 

Secrecy in Kansas energy report irks clean energy, consumer stakeholders, by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network. A report commissioned by the Kansas Legislature to help guide future energy policy decisions leaves the public in the dark on the rationale behind key recommendations, critics say.  “Most of the solar information has been redacted,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the Kansas Climate & Energy Project. The only way she can see the entire unredacted report is to formally intervene in the matter, which she said she is now doing.

MOODY’S ANALYSIS – MISSOURI UTILITIES

Feeling the heat: Missouri utilities sit in bull’s-eye for heat stress, analysts say, by Bryce Gray, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In the next 10 to 20 years, rising temperatures are projected to stress Missouri’s power system more than any other state’s, driving up days at peak demand, increasing the frequency of rolling blackouts and making it harder for utilities to cool power plants, according to a report from a top U.S. credit rating agency. Days before the Moody’s report came out, the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, used an annual address to highlight climate change as “a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects,” and a catalyst for “a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

CLIMATE RISK

A CFO’s take on climate and risk management, GreenBiz article contributed by Vincent Manier, Chief Financial Officer of ENGIE Impact. While climate risk remains an often overlooked or undervalued factor in risk management programs, there is an urgent need to integrate resiliency into core business strategy if businesses want to continue to thrive — or even remain operational.

ESG

An unexpected breakout year for the social side of ESG, by Mike Hower, GreenBiz
The great thing about ESG is that it isn’t a zero-sum game. A renewed focus on the S actually might help companies do a better job of addressing environmental challenges because the two are linked. People of color or low-income socioeconomic status, for example, are suffering and will continue to suffer first and worst from the negative effects of the climate crisis, says Union of Concerned Scientists.

SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION REPORT

US installed more solar in Q1 2020 than ever before, by Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine
According to SEIA, the U.S. solar market will install 113 GW of solar from 2020-25, which is actually down 3.6 GW from the projections the company made in 2019, due to the ongoing pandemic.

ENERGY STORAGE

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENT

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $21 Million for Research in EPSCoR States, EIN Presswire
The award teams are led by universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  The proposed teams include partner institutions in Louisiana and Nevada.

BIDEN-SANDERS UNITY TASK FORCE REPORT

Biden-Sanders task force calls for installing 500 million solar modules in next five years, PV Magazine. report from the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force calls for the installation of 500 million solar modules in the next five years. Solar module sizes vary widely these days — but that’s hundreds of gigawatts of solar and several times the current U.S. appetite for PV.

GRAIN BELT EXPRESS TRANSMISSION LINE

Whoosh! Wind Power Wins, Pipelines Implode In Fossil Fuel Week From Hell, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica. “The project will benefit many Missourians who receive their electricity from community-owned, non-profit local municipal utilities,” the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) explained in a statement dated May 15, 2020. For those of you keeping score at home, that covers 350,000 Missourians served by 39 community-owned utilities. According to MPUA, the Grain Belt Express is expected to save its members $12.8 million annually while 1,500 jobs and $500 million in infrastructure investment into Missouri.

100% GREEN MICROGRIDS

Hydrogen May Be The Crucial ‘Jigsaw’ Piece For Green Microgrids, by Ken Silverstein, Senior Contributor, Forbes. “In the last decade, renewable energy sources have been transforming the microgrid landscape, consequently reducing or even eliminating the need for costly fossil fuels. This has been made possible through the use of hydrogen,” says Thomas Chrometzka, a strategist with Enapter, which makes electrolyzers — a device used to split apart the hydrogen and oxygen from water. “Introducing hydrogen to microgrids solves the problem of seasonal or long-term storage that batteries cannot provide. It is the crucial jigsaw piece for 100% green microgrids.”

COMMUNITY ORCHARD WITH SOLAR-POWERED CLASSROOM

South Sioux City Community Orchard continues to grow, KTIV
Along with fruit trees, the orchard features a home for honey bees, and in 2018 a classroom was added to allow for educational classes. To help power the classroom, solar panels were added.

IEA REPORTING

Has the International Energy Agency finally improved at forecasting solar growth?, PV Magazine Something strange has happened at the IEA — the agency has finally begun to take solar and other renewables seriously.

Environment America Launches a 10-state campaign calling for all new homes to be built with solar panels

Environment America News Release

BOSTON — In January 2020, California became the first state to require all new houses to be built with solar panels. Today, Environment America is launching a first-of-its-kind campaign calling on additional states across the country to set similar standards for solar power on new homes. The coordinated national campaign will advocate for a solar homes requirement in at least ten states: Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. While each state may have slightly different goals, the campaign’s intention is to introduce bills in 10 states in the next two years. Continue reading here.

ACCELERATING ADOPTION OF COMMUNITY SOLAR

New US Solar Power Scheme Aims At Invisible Middle, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica
A vast middle ground of opportunity for solar power development is ripe for the picking if only somebody could see where it is. Well, the US Department of Energy sees it, and is determined to pick it. The agency is moving forward with a plan to kickstart activity in the area of mid-sized arrays ranging from 50 kilowatts to 3 megawatts. That may sound like peanuts, but it includes the important community solar sector, so — wait, what is community solar anyways?

ENERGY STORAGE

The magnificent seven: US states with energy storage mandates, targets and goals, Energy Storage News. The US national Energy Storage Association’s policy director, Jason Burwen, spoke with Andy Colthorpe about the seven early adopter states and whether this is likely to be a spreading pattern across the country.

OPPD IN THE NEWS

TRADE ASSOCIATIONS’ STATEMENTS ON HOUSE $1.5 TRILLION INFRASTRUCTURE BILL 

GREEN BIZ’S “30 UNDER 30” AWARDS

The 2020 GreenBiz 30 Under 30, GreenBiz Editors
We are proud to introduce our fifth annual cohort of twentysomethings who are sustainability leaders within — and without — their companies, nonprofits and communities. The Class of 2020 hails from seven countries, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil and Taiwan, and they are tackling diverse challenges — from cultivating a more sustainable food system to advocating for climate justice on behalf of disadvantaged communities to testing best practices for circular cities to negotiating impactful renewable energy contracts. The list of their accomplishments is long and growing longer by the day, and they’re just getting started.

AGRIVOLTAICS

Pollinator-Saving Solar Panels: Good for Farmers, Good for Business, by Tina Casey, Triple Pundit. Conventional solar arrays typically force farmers to choose between raising crops and generating electricity in order to survive financially. However, a new body of research called agrivoltaics is demonstrating that farmers can have the best of both worlds. A recent report the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for example, indicates that properly designed, low-impact solar arrays can be compatible with agricultural use.

MORE ON AMERICA’S RENEWABLES INVESTMENT ATTRACTIVENESS

ALSO IN THE NEWS

TRANSITION IN COAL COUNTRY: PART ONE

EV NEWS

Is this electric plane the future of flying?, GreenBiz article contributed by David Elliott, Senior Writer, World Economic Forum. The world’s largest all-electric plane has completed its maiden voyage, flying for 30 minutes in the skies above Washington state. Its safe landing in Moses Lake, about 186.5 miles southeast of Seattle, is a milestone in a dream that’s been floating about since the late 1800s — air travel powered by electricity.

Missouri Ag And Climate Change: Farmers Scramble To Find Solutions Like Cover Crops, No-Till Methods

By Michele Skalicky, KSMU/Ozarks Public Radio

Missouri Farmers are trying to work around more frequent floods and drought, which scientists say are the result of climate change. The Missouri Department of Agriculture said it doesn’t currently have anyone in the department looking at the impact of climate change on the state’s top industry, so many farmers are trying to figure out solutions on their own. Read more here.

USDA Photo: No-till farming.

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

DOE FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT

Energy Department to Invest. More Than $5 Million in Tribal Energy Infrastructure Deployment ProjectsBetween 2010 and 2019, the DOE Office of Indian Energy invested nearly $85 million in more than 180 tribal energy projects implemented across the contiguous 48 states and Alaska. These projects, valued at over $180 million, are leveraged by over $95 million in recipient cost share. See the DOE’s Office of Indian Energy website for a map and summaries of these competitively funded projects.

Nebraska Energy Projects 

Source: Tribal Energy Projects Database

SOLAR POWER WORLD VIDEO, ARTICLES & RELATED NEWS RELEASE

Inside Clean Energy: The Case for Optimism

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

You might say I’m the climate change therapist in my neighborhood. When people find out that I write about climate change and clean energy, they often react with some version of a despair story. And that’s when I launch into my case for optimism. It goes like this: I spend just about every day talking to the researchers, entrepreneurs and advocates behind the transition to clean energy. Their enthusiasm, plus the evidence of their progress, makes me feel like I’m covering the story of our lifetimes.
Continue reading here.

Click here to read more articles by Dan Gearino.

Additional Recommended Reading

New report: Renewable energy generation jumped 77 percent during 2010’s, by Greg Alvarez, AWEA Blog. The Business Council for Sustainable Energy has released its annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook:

Today, the U.S. has three times the amount of wind that it did when the 2010’s began. As noted when we announced the U.S. wind industry’s 100 gigawatt (GW) milestone, it took 28 years to build the country’s first 25 GW of wind. But it only took 11 to build the next 75. That’s an explosive growth rate, and with another 44 GW of wind under development and a burgeoning offshore wind resource, more wind is on the way. Looking pan renewable, the Factbook finds almost 150 GW of wind and solar were built over the past decade.

Previously Posted

U.S. Department of Energy Launches Energy Storage Grand Challenge

DOE News Release, January 8, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C. –  Today, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette announced the launch of the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies and sustain American global leadership in energy storage. The Grand Challenge builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative announced in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request.

“Energy storage is key to capturing the full value of our diverse energy resources,” said Secretary Brouillette. “Through this Grand Challenge, we will deploy the Department’s extensive resources and expertise to address the technology development, commercialization, manufacturing, valuation, and workforce challenges to position the U.S. for global leadership in the energy storage technologies of the future.” Continue reading here.

About the Energy Storage Grand Challenge

Department of Energy Announces $128 Million in New Projects to Advance Solar Technologies

Department of Energy News Release

[Yesterday], the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced selections for $128 million in new projects to advance solar technologies. Through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, DOE will fund 75 innovative research projects that will lower solar electricity costs, while working to boost solar manufacturing, reduce red tape, and make solar systems more resilient to cyberattacks. Continue reading here.

See the full list of SETO projects here.

View lists of projects by topic areas:

Learn more about DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy here.

Report says new storage capacity increasingly included in IRPs

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association Blog

“Of the 45 states taking grid modernization actions during the quarter, 40 took actions related to energy storage,” said Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Senior Manager of Policy Research at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC). “Utility integrated resource plans are increasingly including new energy storage capacity, while states continue to evaluate how energy storage is addressed in resource planning rules.” Other key grid modernization trends in the third quarter highlighted by the center are utilities filing innovative rate design proposals and states and utilities planning online energy data portals. The executive summary for the report is available here. Read the entire article here.

Additional Recommended Reading 

  • Engie’s renewables chief on scaling corporate contracts, hydrogen hopes and offshore wind, GreenBiz. Many new renewable contracts Engie intends to sign will include clauses for making sure renewables are available 24/7, which means they’ll be hybrid arrangements that include a mix of clean (or cleaner) power sources such as solar, wind and hydro and, increasingly, some sort of storage — Engie has big aspirations in green hydrogen. Heather Clancy interviews Gwénaëlle Avice-Huet, executive vice president in charge of the global renewables and green hydrogen business line for Engie, and president and CEO of the Engie North America operation.
  • EDF’s Energy Storage Ambitions Come Out of Hibernation, Greentech Media
    After something of a hiatus, EDF has acquired Pivot Power — along with its 2-gigawatt storage pipeline and its unique approach to the market. “EDF has made a lot of noise with ambitions to be a leader of the global energy storage market announced last year,” said Rory McCarthy, senior storage analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “However, they haven’t [followed through on] this with anything in the U.K. market — until now.”
  • Previously Posted: Huge Battery Investments Drop Energy-Storage Costs Faster Than Expected, Threatening Natural Gas, Forbes. The global energy transition is happening faster than the models predicted, according to a report released by the Rocky Mountain Institute, thanks to massive investments in the advanced-battery technology ecosystem.

Bipartisan Legislation

Energy Storage Tax Credit – H.R.2096/ S. 1142: Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2019.

Actions: Introduced in House April 4, 2019

Battery Recycling

House and Senate Introduce Legislation for 5-Year Extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have introduced companion bills with a five-year 30% extension of Section 48 and Section 25D Solar Investment Tax Credits (ITC). The Renewable Energy Extension Act will call for the extension of the tax credits.

Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, urging lawmakers to pass this critical legislation:

Continue Reading Here.

MAYORS FOR SOLAR ENERGY

 

More than 250 mayors nationwide sign letter calling for increased solar power, Environment America News Release
Municipal leaders from all 50 states support more clean energy from the sun.


MORE NEWS & OPINION

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

SOLSMART NEWS

Southwest Virginia Communities Achieve National Recognition for Advancing Solar Energy Growth, News Release, Appalachian Voices. Eight Southwest Virginia communities have achieved designation under the national SolSmart program for encouraging the growth of local solar energy markets, at a time when several major solar installations on schools, businesses, and community centers are poised to begin across the region. These communities were each awarded a SolSmart designation for taking local action to reduce the time and expense required to install solar energy systems. 

Corporate World Weighs Up Trillions Of Dollars Of Climate Risks – And Opportunities

Mike Scott, Contributor, Forbes

Some of the world’s biggest companies, representing $17 trillion in market capitalization, have said that climate change could cost them almost $1 trillion, much of it within the next five years, with a potential $250 billion write-off of stranded assets.

However, they also said that there are climate opportunities of $2.1 trillion, “nearly all of which are highly likely or certain”. Financial companies alone saw potential revenue of $1.2 trillion from low emissions products and services but they also face almost 80% of the total financial impacts, increasing the urgency for them to shift their investments into lower-carbon projects. Read more here.

Previously Posted

ALSO IN THE NEWS