Tag Archives: Utility Dive

NextEra’s secret recipe for energy storage: Planning

Sponsored Content by Siemens, Utility Dive

NextEra Energy, North America’s leading wind and solar generator, is adopting an aggressive approach on the falling cost of energy storage by evaluating the addition of batteries to its existing solar facilities. A small but growing number of utilities across the United States are taking a similar approach to NextEra and adding storage at existing solar plants. In doing so, they can claim the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), tap additional revenue streams, and maximize the existing grid infrastructure. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

Upcoming webinar hosted by Utility Dive, NextEra Energy, and Siemens Digital Grid:
Energy Storage – Moving the Needle, April 9, 2020 at 12 pm.

WOOD MACKENZIE RESEARCH

Analyst expects recovery for PV and storage supply chains, PV Magazine
Business intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie says the COVID-19 outbreak will jeopardize solar project completion in the short term, affect supply chains to various degrees and potentially erode demand for PV. However, “Asian-dominant supply chains for solar and energy storage are in the process of rebounding after contractions in February,” the analyst stated, adding: “Near-term development activity and local logistics in leading European and North American markets are expected to outweigh lingering supply issues.”

NAVIGANT GLOBAL MARKET REPORT 

A Boom Is Coming for All-Electric Homes Despite Lagging Consumer Awareness, Greentech Media
“Electrification technologies are rapidly becoming more cost-effective and more reliable than fossil fuel systems in a variety of planning scenarios and climatic conditions,” Daniel Talero and Neil Strother, research analysts at Navigant Research, wrote in a new report on the global market for “fully electrified home” technologies.

NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENT

New Solar Energy Innovation Network Teams Announced, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy News Release

[On March 23rd] the U.S. Department of Energy selected eight teams to participate in the second round of the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN), a program that supports multi-stakeholder teams pursuing new applications of solar energy and other distributed energy resources in unique locations and contexts. The solutions developed by the teams are demonstrated and validated in real-world contexts, making them ready for replication and scale. 

The second round of teams will research innovations to help increase solar energy adoption and resilience in rural communities and at the commercial scale. Their research projects will include resilience solutions that pair solar energy with energy storage, which allows the use of solar energy when the sun is not shining, and microgrids, which can function independently to deliver power in the event of a larger grid outage.

Previously Posted DOE News Release: Department of Energy Announces $125.5 Million in New Funding for Solar Technologies

EXAMPLES OF ON-THE-JOB SOLAR TRAINING

How to get a job building utility-scale solar, PV Magazine
As more utility-scale solar installations are announced in more states, solar contractors are hiring people who are new to the industry, and offering on-the-job training and long-term employment.

FLOATING WIND PROJECTS

Total Becomes Latest Oil Major to Enter Floating Wind Market, Greentech Media
Building on its solar momentum, Total this week invested in a U.K. floating wind project and acquired a French wind developer.

NYSERDA’S RECENT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

New York allocates 1 GW of solar as renewables auction delivers $18.59/MWh average price, PV Magazine. The results of NYSERDA’s most recent renewable energy request for proposals are in. 21 large-scale renewable projects totaling 1,278 MW in new capacity have been awarded, with 17 of those projects and 1,090 MW being solar.

ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS FROM OPPD

Staying home doesn’t have to mean higher bills, The Wire

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

Utility Dive Awards 2019 – Executive of the Year: Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power

By Julia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive

Green Mountain Power (GMP) prides itself on encouraging programs to accelerate clean energy adoption outside of traditional utility rate mechanisms. This outlook is based on an internal cultural change, the seeds of which were planted when Mary Powell transitioned to the CEO position 12 years ago. GMP “set a really big, hairy, audacious goal,” to transform the energy portfolio of Vermonters to a reliable, low-carbon, low-cost one, she said.

The Vermont-based investor-owned utility has since revolutionized its approach to expanding distributed energy resource access, ensuring that residential battery systems are being aggregated into grid resources while also saving customers money. “That first vision just naturally then grew into building out a community home and business-based energy system,” she told Utility Dive. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Photo Credit: Green Mountain Power

Michigan opens 3.3M farmland acres to bee-friendly solar projects

By Catherine Morehouse, Associate Editor, Utility Dive

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday announced an executive decision that frees up 3.3 million acres of farmland protected under the state’s Farmland and Open Space Program to solar development. Previously, the land was allowed to host wind turbines and oil and gas exploration, but solar was historically restricted because it was considered to have a larger footprint, Tom Zimnicki, agriculture policy director at the Michigan Environmental Council, told Utility Dive. But innovations in solar siting are making those installations more compatible with agricultural land, and under Whitmer’s decision, solar projects on protected farmland will be required to meet Michigan’s pollinator-friendly guidelines. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading 

About Catherine Morehouse

Before joining Industry Dive, Catherine was at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska where she worked as News Editor and then Editor-in-Chief of The Creightonian. She has a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from Creighton.

More articles by Catherine


About Rob Davis

Rob Davis directs the Center for Pollinators in Energy and also leads the Media & Innovation Lab at Fresh Energy in Minnesota. Top photo by Davis.

Posts by Rob Davis

 

Kearney’s Solar Farm is a nationally-recognized pollinator-friendly site, benefiting local food producers. 

As coal economics worsen, rural renewables development propels Midwest growth: NRDC

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Approximately 5 GW of new renewables were added across nonmetropolitan areas of 12 Midwest states between 2016 and 2017, compared to about 1.7 GW of capacity added in urban areas, according to the report. NRDC’s analysis focused on Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Development in the region is not slowing down either. Last week Capital Dynamics announced an agreement with power company Tenaska to develop 2,000 MW of solar across half the states listed in the report. And Illinois has 600 MW under construction with another 1.2 GW planned, which will more than double the state’s current rural renewables capacity of 1.6 GW.
Read the entire article here.

Download NRDC Report: Clean Energy Sweeps Across Rural America

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE
Data centers, EVs and cannabis poised to boost demand, American Public Power Association
An example of a public power utility attracting a data center can be found with the Omaha Public Power District. Facebook in 2017 said that it had selected a new Nebraska wind project that will supply power to the social media company’s new data center in Papillion, Neb. OPPD played a key role in bringing the data center to Nebraska through an innovative rate plan.

Colorado co-op seeks exit from coal-heavy Tri-State to pursue renewables

By Gavin Bade, Utility Dive

[Delta Montrose Electric Association’s] decision to leave Tri-State demonstrates how the increasing competitiveness of renewable energy is upending the economics of power production in the American West.

Tri-State is a generation and transmission provider that supplies power to more than 40 rural cooperatives across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. While it has increased renewable energy in recent years, coal is still its largest source of electricity — around half its capacity — and member co-ops are required to purchase all but 5% of their power from the company. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Flickr: Jimmy Thomas

NextEra Energy Partners, LP announces agreement to acquire approximately 1,388 megawatts of contracted renewables projects and enters into a $750 million convertible equity portfolio financing

NextEra News Release

JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE : NEP ) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to acquire a geographically diverse portfolio of 11 wind and solar projects, collectively consisting of approximately 1,388 megawatts (MW) . . . The assets include the Cottonwood Wind Energy Center, a 90-MW wind generation plant in Webster County, Nebraska. Read the entire release here.

Pixabay Photo

Additional Recommended Reading

  • NextEra’s Sholes Wind Energy Center project in northern Wayne County near the village of Sholes, 160 megawatts, will be completed in 2018. Omaha World-Herald news story:
    OPPD partner’s wind power project will continue utility’s renewable energy growth
    Once opened, it would boost OPPD’s amount of wind-generated electricity to 971 megawatts, OPPD says. That’s enough to power about 125,000 homes.
    The NextEra project is OPPD’s third-largest contract for wind power, behind the 400 megawatts the utility buys from Grande Prairie wind farm in Holt County and the 200 megawatts from the Prairie Breeze project in Antelope County. OPPD is also working with NextEra on building its first community solar power array, a 5-megawatt facility being built near Fort Calhoun.
  • NPPD Wind Generation: NextEra’s first Nebraska wind project was the Steele Flats Wind Farm near the Kansas Border in Jefferson and Gage Counties, 75 megawatts, which began commercial operation in 2013.
  • Utility Dive: NextEra’s renewables backlog grows to 7.4 GW as customers anticipate lower costs
    The influx of new signed contracts show confidence in lower prices of renewables products. ​NextEra, whose batteries have added $0.015/kWh to the cost of wind and solar projects built in the last six to 12 months, anticipates storage costs to fall to $0.005/kWh for projects paired with renewable energy in 2025.
  • PV Magazine USA: 

NextEra expects storage to add half a cent to solar in mid-2020’s

Iowa to extend wind power lead as Invenergy plans 400 MW

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Invenergy will develop a pair of wind farms in Iowa, each capable of generating 200 MW, with construction slated to begin next year, according to Iowa Radio. The new projects by the Chicago-based developer in the northwest corner of the state are expected to be online by early 2020 and include more than 80 wind turbines at each location. Iowa generates more of its power from wind resources than any other state in the U.S. and more projects are coming.
Continue reading here.

Wikimedia Commons Photo: Wind Turbines at Pioneer Prairie Renewable Energy Wind Farm, Iowa

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Pollinator habitats: The bees’ knees of rural solar development

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Adding more solar “should have been a slam dunk” for Connexus Energy, a “hometown favorite” electric cooperative in Ramsey, Minnesota, said Rob Davis, a clean energy advocate who observed the siting process. But the utility’s motion to build was almost denied. Land is valuable, and “anytime you build anything anywhere there’s a neighbor, and that neighbor is going to have an opinion for better or worse,” said Davis, who directs the Center for Pollinators in Energy and also leads the Media & Innovation Lab at Fresh Energy in St. Paul, Minnesota. The saving grace? Pollinator experts and ecologists testified this wouldn’t be just any solar development — it would be pollinator-friendly, giving work opportunities to local seeders and apiarists as well as providing ecological benefits to the surrounding area. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

Legislation

Indiana solar, solar+storage comes in at low prices

By John Weaver, PV Magazine USA

Indiana solar, solar+storage comes in at low prices

Also written by John Weaver

  • Texas power grid begging for solar power
    ERCOT has set mid-day demand records and touched pricing maximums over the past week as summer heat broke state records – all of which creates tremendous opportunities for solar.
  • Big oil going big solar

Big oil going big solar

ALSO IN THE NEWS