Energy Democracy Media Roundup — Week of December 25, 2017

Energy Democracy Media Roundup — Week of December 25, 2017

Date: 28 Dec 2017 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This week in Energy Democracy News:

ILSR asks for clean energy policies for Christmas; Nebraska booms with community solar; and mayors action the nation unite for clean energy.

 

Featured Stories

Nebraska Communities Embrace Solar By Ariana Brocious, NET News

But the coal plant is aging. So when Newton came to Fremont a couple years ago, city officials started looking at ways to diversify the power supply. They bought 40 megawatts of power from a wind farm south of Hastings. Then Newton used a federal grant to explore building a community solar project.

“What we found out was, as a municipality, we could finance and do it cheaper than what we could buy it from a power purchase agreement or any other arrangement,” Newton said. The next step was a community survey to gauge interest from customers.

Dozens Of U.S. Mayors Declare Support For Solar By Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

Dozens of U.S. mayors from across the country have signaled their public support for solar energy to power their communities. A statement released Tuesday by advocacy group Environment America includes signatures from city mayors and local officials ranging from South Miami, Fla., to Traverse City, Mich., who agree on the need to tap into clean energy from the sun.

“There is no downside to solar energy,” comments Naples, Fla., Mayor Bill Barnett. “It’s a win-win for all involved.”

New Edison Electric Institute Lexicon Seeks to Mislead Customers on Demand Charges By David Pomerantz, Utility Secrets

Meet the microgrid, the technology poised to transform electricity By David Roberts and Alvin Chang, Vox

The highly digital modern world also demands a more reliable grid, capable of providing high-quality power to facilities like hospitals or data centers, where even brief brownouts can cost money or lives.

The renewable energy sources with the most potential — wind and solar — are variable, which means that they come and go on nature’s schedule, not ours. They ramp up and down with the weather, so integrating them into the grid while maintaining (and improving) reliability means finding clever ways to balance out their swings.

We speak of the humble microgrid.

Energy And Policy Institute Exposes 3 Ways Electric Utilities Stomp Innovation & Competition By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Dear Santa … ILSR’s Annual Energy Policy Wish List! By John Farrell, Clean Technica

 

Energy Democracy News Across the States

California

Can California Achieve 100% Renewable Electricity by 2040? Jerry Brown Thinks So By Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

A California First: Enlisting Distributed Energy for the Transmission Grid By Jeff St. John, GreenTech Media

California is already hosting several pilot programs to evaluate how distributed energy resources can help utilities at the level of their sprawling, low-voltage distribution grids. Now, the state is exploring how local clean energy resources can support reliability at the transmission level too.

 

Florida

Could Electric Buses Play A Role In Making South Florida More Resilient? By Kate Stein, WLRN

Solar program offers wholesale prices, 100% financing, Solar and Energy Loan Fund, YourNews contributor

 

Hawaii

Hawaiian Co-op And U.S. Navy Partner On Solar+Storage by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

 

Illinois

Local beer company starts construction in efforts to be more sustainable By Annie Victor, Daily Illini

New solar array could be first of many for Pinckneyville By Isaac Smith, The Southern

“We worked through the numbers, it’s going to save the taxpayers a lot of money over the long haul,” he said.

He said that savings will be half a million dollars over the next 25 years. This could go up, though. He said as a part of the PPA the tax incentives passed on from the city to Straight Up Solar will disappear in seven years. At that point, West said the city could purchase the array from the company at just 25 percent of the $900,000 — about $220,000.

Bureau County receiving first solar energy farm By Craig Sterrett, The NewsTribune

Galesburg Investigating Savings Through Solar Energy, WGIL Galesburg News

Local taxpayers in Galesburg could see savings in the form of solar energy due to tax credits from the state of Illinois.

After months of conversations Mayor John Pritchard says that the city administration is “fiercely investigating” developing a solar electrical project.

 

Indiana

Solar panels on the former New Creations site? That project is moving forward By Mickey Shuey, Palladium-Item

 

Kentucky

State Lawmakers Consider Changes To Small Renewable Energy Reimbursements By Ryland Barton, WFPL News Louisville

 

Maine

Challenge to solar rules heads to court, Associate Press, The News Tribune

Solar installers say a push to gradually reduce such credits for new customers would dissuade residents and small businesses from installing solar panels. The groups behind the legal challenge argue the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s adopted rule does not comply with Maine law.

Maine senator renews push for more energy independence, The Associated Press, Ledger-Enquierer

 

Michigan

Michigan city hopes solar-powered church will inspire others, Associated Press, WWMT News West Michigan

UPSTART provides results from proposed L’Anse community solar garden survey By Rebecca Bartelme, UP Matters

Detroit solar shines: How local solar organizations are linking sustainable energy and community By David Sands, Model D Media

 

Minnesota

Minneapolis is using electric bills to fight climate change by Adam Belz, Star Tribune

Small commercial property owners are more difficult for conservation advocates to reach and often have more pressing concerns than energy efficiency, said John Farrell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and a member of the Minneapolis Energy Vision Advisory Committee. And the city has fallen far short of its goal of retrofitting homes, with perhaps 15 percent retrofitted for energy efficiency, Farrell said.

“That 75 percent retrofit goal is the one that most starkly stands out,” Farrell said. “We’d have to increase the rate at which we’re reaching people and improving properties by almost tenfold over the next eight years in order to meet that goal, and I don’t know that the city can be successful, frankly.”

Solar Power is Blooming in Minnesota by Madeline Ostrander, Sierra Magazine

But Minnesota’s is currently the biggest and arguably most successful, in part because it places no upper limits on the amount of solar that can be developed in the state. “The success speaks for itself at this point,” says John Farrell, a Minneapolis-based energy expert for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “We’ve got more community solar than any other state. We’re going to continue to lead for quite a while.” Although Minnesota is hardly known for sunny weather, so far its residents seem to have an insatiable appetite for solar energy production.

California did it. North Carolina did it. Can Minnesota government go green? By Josephine Marcotty, Star Tribune

Minnesota’s solar garden program takes off in 2017 By Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune

 

Nebraska

Nebraska Communities Embrace Solar By Ariana Brocious, NET News

But the coal plant is aging. So when Newton came to Fremont a couple years ago, city officials started looking at ways to diversify the power supply. They bought 40 megawatts of power from a wind farm south of Hastings. Then Newton used a federal grant to explore building a community solar project.

“What we found out was, as a municipality, we could finance and do it cheaper than what we could buy it from a power purchase agreement or any other arrangement,” Newton said. The next step was a community survey to gauge interest from customers.

$11 million solar farm — Nebraska’s largest — is dedicated in Kearney, World-Herald News

 

New Hampshire

Webster begins installing first municipal solar array at school by Leah Willingham, Concord Monitor

 

New York

Community solar projects booming in mid-Hudson By Daniel Axelrod, Times Herald-Record

 

Ohio

Loophole could let Ohio utilities evade court review By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

PUCO to hear comments on home-based energy systems by Dan Gearino, Columbus Dispatch News

 

Oregon

Rooftop solar installations on way to record year in Oregon By Pete Danko, Portland Business Journal

 

Puerto Rico

Microgrids could save Puerto Rico. But first, a fight By David Ferris and Peter Behr, E&E News

New $17.6B plan would rebuild Puerto Rico’s grid with renewables, DERs By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

 

Utah

Salt Lake company unveils state’s biggest battery of electric vehicle chargers By Art Raymond, Deseret News

Commentary: Utah undervalues citizen-supplied solar power by Craig J. Provost, The Salt Lake Tribune

 

Virginia

Want More Solar in Virginia? Here’s How to Get It By Ivy Main, The Energy Collective

 

Wisconsin

Q&A: Conservative group wants to change the energy debate in Wisconsin By Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

We want them to think of it differently. When they hear solar we want them to think jobs — what does this do to their economy, how does renewable energy impact their state economy, so we’re no longer dealing with this on an ideological platform. This is a big ship that’s been sailing in one direction for a long time, it’s going to take time.

Tommy Thompson, conservative group launch effort to promote renewable energy By Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Sauk County Board to consider solar deal Tuesday By Tim Damos, Baraboo News Republic

Solar panel installation completed on Fen Oak, Sun Prairie Star

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News

How utilities are coping with 100% renewable energy goals by Herman K. Trabish, Smart Cities Dive

More 100% commitments are in the works. Over 150 Republican and Democratic Mayors have endorsed the objective. The United States Conference of Mayors in June approved a resolution reaffirming its support of the Paris Climate Agreement and of policies to grow renewables and cut emissions.

Power Failure: How utilities across the U.S. changed the rules to make big bets with your money By Tony Bartelme, The Post and Courier

As states update rules for solar, no guarantee of friendlier policies By Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Across the country, commissions have been playing catch-up with policies in the wake of rapid economic and technological change around clean energy, according to Karl Rábago, a distributed-energy consultant who has provided testimony in some Midwestern states.

In some states, notably California and New York, regulators have adopted new policies designed to advance clean energy, Rábago said. In others, “you’ll have … no recognition of the need for change. And in some places, you will see barriers erected.”

US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Rejects Energy Efficiency Restrictions By Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica

EIA: US solar output increases 47% in 2017 By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

Renewable Energy Is Surging. The G.O.P. Tax Bill Could Curtail That By Brad Plumer and Jim Tankersley, New York Times

Upscaling Local Solar and Renewables: Keys to Unlocking Universal Energy Access, Sustainable Development By Andrew Burger, Solar Magazine

These six states have the highest electric-car adoption rates in the country John Voelcker, Green Car Reports

Workshops aim to train architects, engineers on solar basics By Douglas J. Guth, Southeast Energy News

Arming design professionals with fundamental knowledge about solar makes it easier to introduce the concept at a project’s ground floor, as it’s less expensive to incorporate PV into initial blueprints than retrofitting an already existing building, noted Dan Lepinski, a Texas-based engineer who will serve as a trainer for the Birmingham group.

Power Failure By Tony Bartelme, Post and Courier

Dozens Of U.S. Mayors Declare Support For Solar By Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

Dozens of U.S. mayors from across the country have signaled their public support for solar energy to power their communities. A statement released Tuesday by advocacy group Environment America includes signatures from city mayors and local officials ranging from South Miami, Fla., to Traverse City, Mich., who agree on the need to tap into clean energy from the sun.

“There is no downside to solar energy,” comments Naples, Fla., Mayor Bill Barnett. “It’s a win-win for all involved.”

PepsiCo makes biggest public pre-order of Tesla Semis: 100 trucks By Eric M. Johnson, Reuters

Tax Compromise Keeps Wind and Electric-Car Credits, Source Says By Ari Natter, Bloomberg Politics

Some Republicans are reconsidering the tax bill’s attack on renewable energy By Umair Irfan, Vox

Meet the microgrid, the technology poised to transform electricity By David Roberts and Alvin Chang, Vox

The highly digital modern world also demands a more reliable grid, capable of providing high-quality power to facilities like hospitals or data centers, where even brief brownouts can cost money or lives.

The renewable energy sources with the most potential — wind and solar — are variable, which means that they come and go on nature’s schedule, not ours. They ramp up and down with the weather, so integrating them into the grid while maintaining (and improving) reliability means finding clever ways to balance out their swings.

We speak of the humble microgrid.

New Edison Electric Institute Lexicon Seeks to Mislead Customers on Demand Charges By David Pomerantz, Utility Secrets

Energy And Policy Institute Exposes 3 Ways Electric Utilities Stomp Innovation & Competition By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Dear Santa … ILSR’s Annual Energy Policy Wish List! 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.

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Kelsey Henquinet
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Kelsey Henquinet

Kelsey Henquinet was ILSR's Communications Assistant. She assisted the Communications Manager and managed ILSR’s social media networks.