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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – Week of December 11, 2017

| Written by Kelsey Henquinet | No Comments | Updated on Dec 13, 2017 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-media-roundup-week-of-december-11-2017/

This week in Energy Democracy News:

Virginia groups advocate for more solar; schools across the country are switching to solar power; and a solar cooperative in Vermont has avoided a rate increase for the 4th consecutive year.

 

Featured Stories

Virginia group seeks policy changes to boost solar in coal country by Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

5,500 U.S. Schools Use Solar Power, and That’s Growing as Costs Fall, Study Shows By Lyndsey Gilpin, InsideClimate News

The number of schools powered by solar is growing quickly. About 5 percent of all K-12 U.S. schools are now powered by the sun, and their solar capacity has almost doubled in the last three years, according to a new study by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), The Solar Foundation, and Generation 180, a clean energy nonprofit.

The nearly 5,500 schools using solar power today have a total of 910 megawatts of solar capacity, enough to power 190,000 homes, according to the study.

Vermont Electric Cooperative holds rates steady for fourth consecutive year By Andrea Cohen, VT Digger

Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) will not seek a rate increase for January 2018, marking the fourth consecutive year that VEC has kept rates flat.

Earlier in the year, VEC anticipated that a rate increase would be necessary, but VEC staff worked hard to identify savings in power supply and transmission as well as in other areas.

Tennesseans want more solar power and choices other than TVA By Dave Flessner, Times Free Press

Most Tennesseans want more of their electricity from the sun and are willing to change a fundamental tenet of the Tennessee Valley Authority in order to do so.

A new statewide survey of 600 Tennessee voters found 81 percent of respondents want Tennessee to increase its use of solar power and 88 percent said they would use more solar energy in their home if it was available at the same or lower price.

Podcast: Local Solar Power: Red Plus Blue Makes a Green Tea Party By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Declare Energy Independence With Solar (Just Shop Around First) — Episode 49 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

3 Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy & 3 Ways To Fight Back By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Energy Democracy – A Response to Trump’s Climate-Wrecking Agenda By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

 

Energy Democracy News Across the States

Arizona

Arizona’s rural electric companies turn to solar energy By Ethan Millman, AZ Central

 

Arkansas

Crucial Hearing in Solar Debate Is Thursday By Kyle Massey, Arkansas Business

“Net metering has been adopted by over 40 states, allowing homeowners, nonprofits and businesses with solar on their roofs to meet on-site load during the day and export excess kilowatt hours to the utility in exchange for an equal number of kilowatt-hours at night,” Keyes said. “Solar advocates want Arkansas to continue that policy, based on a study showing that excess kilowatts sent to the utility are actually worth more than the retail rate.”

Keyes said that when thousands of customers generate excess power on sunny afternoons, it means utilities won’t have to build more costly generation facilities, “which means that your neighbor’s solar panels are saving you money.”

 

Florida

Solar Co-op Advocates Express Opposition To JEA Policy Changes By Ryan Benk, WJCT

 

Hawaii

HECO changing payment options for utility-operated DC fast chargers in Hawaii By HJ Mai, Pacific Business News

How a renewable energy project benefits Hawaii’s homeless By HJ Mai, Pacific Business News

 

Illinois

From the community: St. Charles Solar Plant Test Site is Up and Running By Community Contributor City of St. Charles, Chicago Tribune

 

Indiana

Tri-Central, Tipton schools adding solar fields By Caele Pemberton, Kokomo Tribune

 

Michigan

Advocates say solar poised for growth under latest regulatory changes in Michigan By Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

With the ongoing decline of solar energy costs and now a favorable ruling by Michigan regulators recognizing its ability to produce valuable energy during peak times, advocates say the sector is poised for growth here.

Moreover, solar advocates at the national level have said Michigan could be a model for other states considering changes to “avoided cost” rates that utilities must pay independent power companies for their generation.

TCL&P to weigh renewable energy options By Jordan Travis, Traverse City Record-Eagle

 

Minnesota

Granite Falls launches community solar project for local residents By Kyle Klausing, Granite Falls Advocate Tribune

Minnesota adds solar electrical generating capacity By Todd Epp, KELO

La Crescent school lights the way By Noah Fish, Winona Daily News

Through participation in the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Made in Minnesota solar incentive program and an agreement with Aquilla Solar of Wabasha, Crucifixion has become the first school in town with a solar power system on its roof.

The 152 solar panels recently installed above the school’s gymnasium can produce 40 kilowatts of electricity, enough to provide around 80 percent of the school’s electricity.

 

Missouri

Missouri advocate for renewable energy brings solar power to Puerto Ricans By Eli Chen, St. Louis Public Radio

 

New Mexico

Who will own Santa Fe’s energy future? By Regina Wheeler, Santa Fe New Mexican

 

Ohio

Cincinnati signs deal to run most facilities on 100% green energy By Katie Pyzyk, Smart Cities Dive

Denison University solar arrays nearly ready By Marc Kovac, The Columbus Dispatch

 

Puerto Rico

Stakes Are High for Solar Power as Puerto Rico Rebuilds By Alana Casanova-Burgess, WNYC

“I am 100 percent backing renewables,” he said. “This is an opportunity to make micro-grids in Puerto Rico so they can be sustained in different areas.”

Meyer said he was encouraged by what he’s heard but he had some advice for the Governor: Don’t let solar power be only for the rich.

“If there is one thing I would tell Governor Rosello, it’s that we don’t want to do this on the backs of the working poor in Puerto Rico,” he said. “We have to take care of community-based solar first and foster its growth because it’s easy to mow it over.”

 

Tennessee

Tennesseans want more solar power and choices other than TVA By Dave Flessner, Times Free Press

Most Tennesseans want more of their electricity from the sun and are willing to change a fundamental tenet of the Tennessee Valley Authority in order to do so.

A new statewide survey of 600 Tennessee voters found 81 percent of respondents want Tennessee to increase its use of solar power and 88 percent said they would use more solar energy in their home if it was available at the same or lower price.

 

Texas

Wind power blows past coal in Texas By Ryan Maye Handy, Chron

 

Vermont

Vermont Electric Cooperative holds rates steady for fourth consecutive year By Andrea Cohen, VT Digger

Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) will not seek a rate increase for January 2018, marking the fourth consecutive year that VEC has kept rates flat.

Earlier in the year, VEC anticipated that a rate increase would be necessary, but VEC staff worked hard to identify savings in power supply and transmission as well as in other areas.

 

Virgina

Virginia group seeks policy changes to boost solar in coal country by Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

Arlington to Add Solar on Five Schools, For Largest Such Procurement in Virginia By Will Driscoll, Blue Virginia

Perriello and Laskey column: Building a pipeline to energy independence By Tom Perriello and Alex Laskey, Richmond Times-Dispatch

It’s no coincidence that the states decentralizing their energy sectors the most are the ones producing the most jobs. Just look at Kansas and Missouri, where job growth in energy efficiency and clean energy is projected to outgrow the rest of the economy several times over.

Localized energy offers the chance to both create jobs and help build back communities that have seen too many sons and daughters leave for better economic opportunity.

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News

A tale of 2 states: Massachusetts and California provide different lessons on growing community solar By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

While Minnesota leads the U.S. with 168 MW of private-sector-led community solar, Massachusetts, with much less open land and cloudier skies, is second. California, with wide deserts under abundant sun, has none.

There are two important areas of “distinct difference” between Massachusetts and California, according to Tom Hunt, director of policy for U.S.-leading private sector community solar developer Clean Energy Collective (CEC). The overall rate of compensation in Massachusetts is much higher, more easily understood and stable. And the regulations, though not easy, are “manageable and rational.”

Microgrids Keep These Cities Running When the Power Goes Out  By Erica Gies, InsideClimate News

5,500 U.S. Schools Use Solar Power, and That’s Growing as Costs Fall, Study Shows By Lyndsey Gilpin, InsideClimate News

The number of schools powered by solar is growing quickly. About 5 percent of all K-12 U.S. schools are now powered by the sun, and their solar capacity has almost doubled in the last three years, according to a new study by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), The Solar Foundation, and Generation 180, a clean energy nonprofit.

The nearly 5,500 schools using solar power today have a total of 910 megawatts of solar capacity, enough to power 190,000 homes, according to the study.

US Energy Storage Deployments Up 46 Percent Annually in Q3 2017 By Mike Munsell GreenTech Media

For drivers without garages, charging a big barrier to electric cars By Kate Galbraith, San Francisco Chronicle

The Best-laid Plans By Zoya Teirstein, Grist

The Vermont senator introduced a bill on Tuesday that would completely revamp the energy infrastructure in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under the plan, Puerto Rico would get about 70 percent of its energy from renewable sources like solar and wind within 10 years.

What ‘Resilience’ Means in a Clean Energy Future By Mike O’Boyle, GreenTech Media

Guide provides roadmap to gauge solar’s affect on home prices By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

US Energy Storage Deployments Up 46 Percent Annually in Q3 2017 By Mike Munsell, GreenTech Media

Podcast: Local Solar Power: Red Plus Blue Makes a Green Tea Party By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Declare Energy Independence With Solar (Just Shop Around First) — Episode 49 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

3 Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy & 3 Ways To Fight Back By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Energy Democracy – A Response to Trump’s Climate-Wrecking Agenda By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell or Karlee Weinmann on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update.