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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – February 29, 2016

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 2, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-media-roundup-february-29-2016/
Democratic Energy Media Roundup 2.29.2016

This week in Energy Democracy: 

Palo Alto, California considers a new solar contract under $40 per megawatt hour.

Rural electric cooperatives start getting into solar.

Big Ohio utilities are prompting the ire of citizens.

Featured Stories:

FirstEnergy, AEP deals in Ohio prompt 55K protest emails by The Toledo Blade

To lease or to own: simplified solar calculator by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Rural electric co-ops, traditionally bastions of coal, are getting into solar by David Roberts, Vox

This is definitely not to paint rural co-ops as pure-hearted defenders of the poor. In practice, they fall short of the “seven cooperative principles” of true co-ops in a number of ways, as John Farrell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has written. Among other things, the actions of the governing boards often do not reflect the opinions of their membership. Rural co-ops are one of the oldest of the nation’s old-boy networks.

Why community solar is becoming big business by Lauren Hepler, GreenBiz

City of Palo Alto considers solar power contract at under $37/MWh by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

Last Tuesday a committee of the city council of Palo Alto, California, recommend approval of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with developer Hecate Energy for what may be the lowest price paid for power from a solar project to date: US$36.76 per megawatt-hour (MWh).

Hecate will supply the electricity from its 26 MW Wilsona Solar project, which will be located near Palmdale in Los Angeles County, California. Wilsona Solar is scheduled to begin delivering electricity in 2021, and the project is expected to deliver 75,000 MWh in the first year of service.

Questioning solar economies of scale, 2015 edition by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

 

Energy Democracy News in the States:

Arizona

Rural utility’s case could have big impact on rooftop solar fees by Ryan Randazzo, AZ Central

The Alliance for Solar Choice opposes the plan and hired an expert witness. “In essence, UNS is proposing to look behind the meter into someone’s home (or at a minimum on their roof) to see if they are using a particular technology and then force them onto a different rate,” said Mark Fulmer, principal with MRW & Associates research in Oakland, Calif. “This strikes me as unreasonably invasive of customers’ privacy.”

 

California

City of Palo Alto considers solar power contract at under $37/MWh by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

Last Tuesday a committee of the city council of Palo Alto, California, recommend approval of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with developer Hecate Energy for what may be the lowest price paid for power from a solar project to date: US$36.76 per megawatt-hour (MWh).

Hecate will supply the electricity from its 26 MW Wilsona Solar project, which will be located near Palmdale in Los Angeles County, California. Wilsona Solar is scheduled to begin delivering electricity in 2021, and the project is expected to deliver 75,000 MWh in the first year of service.

 

Colorado

Negative prices require positive changes in community solar by Adam Capage, GreenTech Media

 

Hawaii

Which should be lowered: electric rates or electric bills? by Henry Curtis, Ililani Media

 

Illinois

It’s time for Illinois to step up and be a clean energy leader by Jessica Collingsworth, Union of Concerned Scientists

 

Iowa

Iowa lawmakers look to boost funding for popular solar tax credit by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

 

Kansas

Kansas wind industry isn’t waiting for EPA court drama to blow over by Curtis Tate, Sun Herald

 

Maine

As solar power grows in Maine, so does tension over its future shape and direction by Tux Turkel, Portland Press Herald

Will Maine become a battleground in solar war? by Andy O’Brien, Free Press

While Nevada is an extreme example, several other states, including Maine, are struggling with the same question of how to balance the increasing demand for solar with monopoly utilities’ need to make a profit. Once a marginal sector of the energy market, the number of distributed solar arrays has jumped from 7,000 rooftops in 2005 to more than a half million today.

Maine may try an innovative way to spur solar power by David Brooks, Granite Geek

 

Maryland

Maryland regulators provide initial guidance on rules for community shared solar by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

Massachusetts

Powering Needham: Town’s solar panel array almost done by Emma Murphy, Needham – Wicked Local

 

Michigan

Michigan researchers issue guidelines for sustainable energy storage by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

Advocates say policy changes could stunt Michigan’s solar job growth by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

 

Minnesota

Solar job growth expected to continue in Minnesota by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Clean-Power advocates expect more from target’s solar plans by Brian Campbell, Public News Service

Clean Power Plan: Weigh in – can Minnesota do more? by Duluth News Tribune

Red Lake Band to go fully solar within five years by Michael Meuers, Indian Country Today

Red Lake will install 15 megawatts—equal to 15 million watts—worth of solar panels across the rooftops of the band’s largest buildings. When they’re done, the panels will generate enough power to light every bulb in the tribe’s three casinos, the tribal college and all government buildings. The ultimate goal is to generate enough solar power on tribal land to supply every home on Red Lake within five years, said Band Chairman Darrell G. Seki Sr. at the February 18 signing ceremony, at which the tribe also approved the utilization of the Olson Energy Corp. for the projects’ financing.

“We’ll provide our own energy for our people, not from the power plants that pollute our lakes,” Seki said, pointing out mercury levels largely generated by “coal burning power plants, mining and related activities.”

Community solar to meet member demand by Michael W. Kahn, Electric Cooperative Times

Let’s keep moving Minnesota’s clean-energy vision forward by Will Steger & Kendra Roedl, MinnPost

 

Montana

Montana ballot initiative calls for more renewable energy by Karl Puckett, Great Falls Tribune

Montana-Dakota Utilities drops demand charge push after deal with solar advocates by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

Nebraska

Coalition seeks loosened wind energy regulations by Kevin Abourczek, Lincoln Journal Star

 

Nevada

Regulators vote to phase in solar rate hike more slowly by Nevada Appeal

Attorney argues referendum petition on net metering should be rejected by Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review Journal

 

New Hampshire

Franklin solar project on hold until net metering cap raised by Allie Morris, Concord Monitor

 

New Mexico

DPU seeks public input on policies for customer-owned solar systems by Carol A. Clark, Los Alamos Daily Post

 

New York

New York needs 4 GW of storage by 2030 to meet REV goals, advocacy group says by Peter Maloney, Utility Dive

New York cracks down on independent energy retailers by Belleville News Democrat

New York sets a new standard for clean energy, climate leadership by Mary Ann Hitt, Huffington Post

 

Ohio

FirstEnergy, AEP deals in Ohio prompt 55K protest emails by The Toledo Blade

 

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania regulators set retail net metering for distributed generation by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Solar advocates decry PUC decision on net metering by Susan Phillips, State Impact – Pennsylvania

 

Tennessee

Tennessee Senator Lee Harris introduces clean energy legislation by Clarksville Online

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News:

Court may slow, not stop, state carbon-cutting talks by Emily Holden, Elizabeth Harball and Rod Kuckro, E&E Publishing

Why community solar is becoming big business by Lauren Hepler, GreenBiz

Coalition of US states pledge to accelerate renewable energy efforts by Oliver Milman, The Guardian

Beyond net metering: how location can help put a value on DERs by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

US solar market sets new record, installing 7.3GW of solar PV in 2015 by Mike Munsell, GreenTech Media

New report finds net metering under attack across the United States by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

46 states took policy action on solar in 2015 by Katherine Tweed, GreenTech Media

FERC chairman: energy storage potential “game changer” by James Osbourne, Fuel Fix

How utilities and their regulators will determine the future of solar by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive