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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of January 23, 2017

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 24, 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-january-23-2017/

This week in Energy Democracy news:

Mississippi implements net metering, Montana grapples with proper solar valuation, and the opportunity of infrastructure funding in a new administration offers grid modernization (but caution, too).

Featured Stories:

As Trump heads to White House, lack of actual policy threatens US energy future by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

How co-ops can make infrastructure great again by Nathan Schneider, Yes! Magazine

Customers can sell excess power to providers by Cecil Brown, Marion Clarion-Ledger

Solar users support bill to lock in net metering contracts by Holly Michels, Billings Gazette

House Bill 52, carried by Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings, came out of the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee with unanimous support. It was before the House Federal Relations, Energy and Telecommunications, which also heard another net metering bill Monday aimed at increasing the amount of energy government buildings could put back on the grid and get credit for.

Zolnikov said predictable rates let consumers make reasonable assumptions on the payback they will get from systems they install.

Energy Democracy News Across the States:

Arizona

Arizona regulators to reconsider grandfathering provision in NEM decision by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Arizona solar industry hinges on imminent grandfathering decision by Danielle Ola, PV-Tech

 

California

A California bill would require solar panels on all new buildings by Kate Wheeling, Pacific Standard Magazine

 

Colorado

Hickenlooper praises Colorado clean energy production in State of the State address by Mary Schimke, Bakken News

Boulder senator seeks to protect consumers’ energy storage rights by John Fryar, Longmont Times-Call

 

Hawaii

Decision on Hawaii community solar farms expected soon by Duane Shimogawa, Pacific Business Journal

 

Illinois

Solar power for five Valley View schools: District sees savings, revenue over lifetime of project by Grace Tucker, Bugle Newspapers

 

Iowa

Report ranks Iowa as top state for corporate access to clean energy by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Dubuque to install solar panels on fire stations by Michelle Corless, KWWL-7

Tiny town of Marathon looks to invest in solar by Ty Rushing, Sioux City Journal

 

Massachusetts

Lawmakers hope to completely wean state off fossil fuels by CBS Boston

A bill filed by Democratic state Reps. Sean Garballey, of Arlington, and Marjorie Decker, of Cambridge, would commit Massachusetts to obtaining 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources like solar and wind.

The bill would require the state to achieve total renewable electricity generation by 2035 and phase out fossil fuels across all sectors, including heating and transportation, by 2050.

 

Michigan

How popular are Grand Rapids’ electric vehicle charging stations? by Amy Biolchini, MLive

East Lansing’s solar park plan heats up by Kevin Lavery, WKAR – Michigan Public Radio

 

Minnesota

2016 was a bright year for solar energy in Minnesota by Elizabeth Dunbar, MPR News

Legislators propose bills to allow a new Xcel plant in Becker by Mike Hughlett, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“This is certainly unusual, if not unprecedented,” said Annie Levenson-Falk, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group in utility matters. The Public Utilities Commission is the proper forum to make a decision on an individual power plant, and the bills essentially represent an end run, she said.

“Our concern is that Xcel would get permission to build the plant without going through the process of discovering whether it is the least-cost alternative,” Levenson-Falk said. “It’s the only way to make sure ratepayers aren’t getting charged too much money.” Rate payers help pay for major capital investments by utilities.

Every rooftop’s solar potential revealed on new Duluth website by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Business, consumer groups bash Minnesota utility’s push for new natural gas plant by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Solar panels pop-up in Northfield by Philip Weyhe, Southern Minnesota Journal

Bill tailored for Xcel cuts PUC out of the process by Lee Schafer, Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

Mississippi

Customers can sell excess power to providers by Cecil Brown, Marion Clarion-Ledger

 

Montana

Solar users support bill to lock in net metering contracts by Holly Michels, Billings Gazette

House Bill 52, carried by Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings, came out of the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee with unanimous support. It was before the House Federal Relations, Energy and Telecommunications, which also heard another net metering bill Monday aimed at increasing the amount of energy government buildings could put back on the grid and get credit for.

Zolnikov said predictable rates let consumers make reasonable assumptions on the payback they will get from systems they install.

Net metering bills get first hearing by Corin Cates-Hearney, Montana Public Radio

Montana legislature revisits net-metering regulations by Sam Wilson, Daily Inter Lake

Does Montana need a net metering study? by Corin Cates-Carney, Montana Public Radio

 

Nevada

How and why Las Vegas embraced solar energy by Katie Fehrenbacher, GreenTech Media

All of Las Vegas’s city-owned buildings now run on renewable energy by Meredith Rutland Bauer, Motherboard Vice

Las Vegas’s city-owned buildings and other public infrastructure are now entirely powered by renewable energy as of December, including about 48,000 streetlamps, lights inside City Hall and power at city parks, Las Vegas spokesman Jace Radke said.

“The move to renewable energy has been seamless,” Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said in a statement. “The city of Las Vegas has long been a leader in sustainability, and becoming the first large city in the country to rely on 100 percent renewable energy [for city-owned buildings] is an incredible accomplishment that sets a great example for our residents and businesses.”

 

New Jersey

New Jersey reaches 2 GW of installed solar by Christian Roselund, PV-Magazine

 

New York

Renewable energy advocates slam utilities for slow progress under REV by Christian Roselund, PV-Magazine

 

North Carolina

In North Carolina, solar boom extending to schools by Rhiannon Fionn, Southeast Energy News

 

Ohio

Solar incentive program reopening early this year by Ann Thompson, WXVU

Cincinnati, known as Ohio’s “solar capital,” according to Director of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability Larry Falkin, saw a 33 percent increase last year in residential solar installation.

He credits “Solarize Cincinnati,” an incentive program where home owners bulk buy solar panels to drive down costs. That program will be opening to city residents early this year. Falkin encourages interested residents to get a free online assessment here.

Co-op touts solar panels by Janelle Patterson, Marietta Times

 

Oregon

Vulnerable Oregon coast studied for resiliency through microgrids by Lisa Cohn, Microgrid Knowledge

 

South Dakota

BHSU goes solar by Alex Mentele, Black Hills Pioneer

‘A lot of upside’ to renewable energy by John Hult, Argus Leader

 

Vermont

Vermont’s new governor sticking with renewable energy goal by The Associated Press

 

Wisconsin

Q&A: Bright spots and opportunities for solar in Wisconsin by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

Wisconsin has stood out nationwide for state officials’ hostility toward solar and other renewable energy sources, as codified in decisions by the Public Service Commission as well as moves by Gov. Scott Walker and state legislators. But there are also numerous bright spots in Wisconsin’s clean energy landscape, including leadership by rural electric cooperatives in renewable development.

Wisconsin’s renewable energy markets and the larger benefits of renewable energy are among the topics to be explored at a day-long clean energy summit hosted by RENEW Wisconsin on Thursday in Madison.

Madison City Council approves plans to support Regent Market Co-op, Sector 67 by Logan Wroge, Madison State Journal

Madison can lead by pledging 100% clean energy by Bradley Campbell, The Cap Times

2016 shines as Wisconsin’s brightest year for solar by Thomas Content, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News:

Midwest startups compete for clean-tech investment funding by David J. Unger, Midwest Energy News

Obama in scientific journal: ‘The trend toward clean energy is irreversible’ by Brad Dennis, Washington Post

Clean energy is a heartland value by Rhea Suh, National Resource Defense Council

Additions to renewable energy capacity expected to dominate by Ryan Handy, Fuel Fix Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that renewable energy sources, like solar and wind power, will have made the biggest contribution to electricity capacity in 2016, when all the data is in.

The agency expects that additions to electric capacity during the fourth quarter will account for more than half of all added electricity for the third year running.

A silver bullet? Inside FERC’s landmark energy storage rulemaking by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Jigar Shah and Karl Rabago talk policy, pragmatism at NYSES event by Christian Roselund, PV-Magazine

How co-ops can make infrastructure great again by Nathan Schneider, Yes! Magazine

3 Midwestern states that refuse to abandon the renewable energy revolution by National Resource Defense Council, EcoWatch

Learn how solar rebates and incentives can reduce your installation costs by Vikram Aggarwal, Mother Earth News

Subscriptions or sales: Which community solar approach promises the best growth? by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

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