By John Flesher and Tammy Webber, Associated Press, ABC News
MONTICELLO, Minnesota — Silflower was among native plants that blanketed the vast North American prairie until settlers developed farms and cities. Nowadays confined largely to roadsides and ditches, the long-stemmed cousin of the sunflower may be poised for a comeback, thanks to solar energy.
Researchers are growing silflower at nine solar installations in the Minneapolis area, testing its potential as an oilseed crop. The deep-rooted perennial also offers forage for livestock and desperately needed habitat for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Continue reading here.
Photo Credit: Fresh Energy
MORE MIDWEST NEWS & COMMENTARY
- As utilities invest billions in solar, Wisconsin workers seek bigger share of jobs, Wisconsin State Journal
- Untapped potential: Rooftop solar could meet 2/3 of Wisconsin’s electricity needs, study finds, Wisconsin State Journal
- Kansas City wants to build a 2,000-acre solar farm at the KCI airport, KCUR, NPR in Kansas City
- Kansas City hopes its vision for airport solar will be ready for takeoff soon, Energy News Network
- Commentary: To sustain Michigan’s advanced energy economy, invest in clean mobility, Energy News Network. Opinion written by Laura Sherman, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, a trade organization of more than 120 advanced energy companies focused on improving the policy landscape for the advanced energy industry in Michigan.
If you are interested in submitting an article, see: Energy News Network’s Op-Ed Guidelines.
AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION POSTS
- Lazard Reports Show Continued Cost Declines For Renewables, Energy Storage, by Peter Maloney
- Senate Committee Advances Nomination of Phillips To Be FERC Commissioner, by Paul Ciampoli
- When oversized is really the right size
Researchers concluded that wind and solar generation resources that were sized at 1.5x along with three hours of energy storage would meet all but 200 hours of demand scattered throughout any given year.
- Should I include a battery with my home solar project? Part 2: Costs and savings
In part one of the two part series, pv magazine reviewed the backup power feature of batteries. In this part, costs, benefits and timing are evaluated.
- US utility paying solar customers to adopt energy storage
Rocky Mountain Power is a part of PacifiCorp, owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy.
CLIMATE CHANGE IN WYOMING & THE STATE’S ECONOMY
Wyoming climate data holds ominous clues about life, economy, by Dustin Bleizeffer, Energy News Network
This story is part of a WyoFile series examining climate change and what it means for the quality of life in Wyoming. It is supported by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative’s journalism fellowship program. Read about Wyoming climate trends here, and read about a Wyoming coal community in transition here.
Do you know how many tons of coal Nebraska imports from Wyoming annually? See Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) 2019 Data / February 1, 2021 Update here.
FROM FARM PROGRESS
- What’s in the Build Back Better Act for ag?, by Jacqui Fatka
Reconciliation bill includes $28 billion for conservation, $2 billion
for ag research and $12 billion for farmer debt relief,
According to a fact sheet released by the House Agriculture Committee, the Build Back Better Budget Reconciliation bill will make timely investments that will “provide resources to mitigate climate change, improve quality of life in rural communities and commit millions of dollars to agricultural education across the country.”
- Growing Climate Solutions Act: What’s in the bill?
Written by J. David Aiken, a Nebraska Extension agricultural and water law specialist.
On June 24, the U.S. Senate adopted S. 1251, the Growing Climate Solutions Act. Co-sponsored by 54 senators, including Nebraska’s Sen. Deb Fischer, S. 1251 seeks to make it easier for farmers and ranchers to participate in voluntary carbon credit markets, and to get a fair share of the carbon credit revenue they generate. If adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed by the president, S. 1251 would go a long way in facilitating effective producer participation in U.S. carbon markets.