Energy Democracy Media Roundup — Week of January 8, 2018

Energy Democracy Media Roundup — Week of January 8, 2018

Date: 8 Jan 2018 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This week in Energy Democracy News:

Mayors lead the fight for renewable energy goals; towns in Maine gravitate towards solar power; North Carolina focuses on charging station infrastructure to attract “EV tourists”; and Minnesota’s Solar Capacity continues to grow.

Featured Stories

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.

Solar power continues to gain ground in central Maine By Colin Ellis, Portland Press Herald

The energy that the company does not use will be sold to the power grid that serves the state, returning to the company a credit… Rocky’s is the first stove shop in Maine to convert to solar energy, Holly Noyes, public relations manager at ReVision, said, but the company works with a lot of businesses to become more energy-efficient, and the arrays can meet all or the majority of the businesses’ needs. Studies have indicated they have a lifetime close to 40 years.

North Carolina hopes to lure ‘EV tourists’ with rural charging stations By Elizabeth Ouzts, Southeast Energy News

West Jefferson is among the first communities to benefit from an effort by North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives to lure electric-vehicle drivers off the beaten path to remote and scenic areas they might have otherwise avoided out of range anxiety.

The push by the cooperatives, which cover nearly half the state’s land mass, comes as North Carolina decides whether to spend $13.8 million on charging infrastructure from a settlement with Volkswagen for producing illegally-polluting vehicles.

Minnesota’s solar capacity on track to keep growing in 2018 By Elizabeth Dunbar, MPR News

Minnesota added enough solar panels in 2017 to power about 53,000 homes, and strong growth is expected to continue in the new year.

The state’s overall capacity is now at more than 700 megawatts, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which tracks solar installations.

Energy Democracy News Across the States

Alabama

Chambers County solar project now serving Walmart By Michael Sznajdermas, Alabama News Center

 

California

Taking action locally to combat climate change By Cindy Piester, VC Reporter

This move by the CPUC favors the interests of So Cal Edison who recently proposed a new, bigger long-distance transmission line to bring renewable energy to our area. So Cal Edison prefers this approach to one where local CCEs take control of planning distributed solar generation from rooftops and parking lots and offshore wind that is much less vulnerable to wildfires or earthquakes.

This effort by the utilities and their captured regulators slow the inevitable development of local energy democracy, resilience and speedier emissions reductions.

Utility-Scale Solar Installations Can Avoid Using Farmland, Study Says By Hannah Hauptman, Yale Environment 360

 

Colorado

Plug into democratic electricity By Kate Clark, Gunnison Times

In the Gunnison Valley, however, our utilities were designed with democratic accountability in mind. Whether you live in the City of Gunnison and are served by the city’s public utility, or you live in the unincorporated county or another municipality, where every Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA) ratepayer is also a memberowner of that utility, you have a voice in these democratic institutions.

This also means that, exercising that voice, we have the capacity to act on climate change: to use our collective resources to call for a rapid shift to clean and renewable fuel sources like wind and solar power, if that is indeed what our valley desires.

 

Florida

Tallahassee solar farm set to go live, light up thousands of homes By Jeffrey Schweers, Tallahassee Democrat

On Jan. 1, a $33.2 million, 20 megawatt solar farm will be connected to Tallahassee’s energy grid, giving thousands of customers the option of lighting up their lives with energy harvested from the sun.

New Florida bill supports solar+storage projects for grid resiliency during natural disasters By Kelly Pickerel, Solar Power World

 

Illinois

Chicago seeks to expand its electric bus fleet By Kevin Stark, Midwest Energy News

 

Indiana

Trump tariff decision could further destabilize Indiana solar industry By Emily Hopkins, IndyStar

 

Iowa

Potential Loss of Solar Tax Credits May Concern Local Producers By AJ Taylor, KIOW

 

Kentucky

Utilities targeting solar By Wallace McMullen, Lexington Herald-Leader

 

Maine

Solar power continues to gain ground in central Maine By Colin Ellis, Portland Press Herald

The energy that the company does not use will be sold to the power grid that serves the state, returning to the company a credit… Rocky’s is the first stove shop in Maine to convert to solar energy, Holly Noyes, public relations manager at ReVision, said, but the company works with a lot of businesses to become more energy-efficient, and the arrays can meet all or the majority of the businesses’ needs. Studies have indicated they have a lifetime close to 40 years.

 

Michigan

More Michigan Utility Customers Produced Electricity in 2016, Associated Press, WDIO

Ann Arbor’s new clean-energy goal: go 100% renewable by 2035 By Ryan Stanton, MLive

Renewable energy residential, business projects up in Michigan By Jay Greene, Crain’s Detroit Business

 

Minnesota

Critics: Minneapolis should focus on efficiency over renewable credits By Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

The Minneapolis City Council approved a budget that features a $2.2-million infusion for sustainability programs. As much as $375,000 of the new money is set to be spent on renewable energy credits from Xcel Energy’s green tariff program.

That’s disappointing to John Farrell, a member of the city’s Energy Vision Advisory Committee, which proposed the fee increase that created the new revenue.

“We worked really hard to get this through, and we strongly pushed to have things that are customer-facing and would reduce energy costs in Minneapolis,” said Farrell, a distributed energy expert with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Sustainable: Planners charting Minnesota’s energy future By Frank Jossi, Finance and Commerce

Chippewa County is solar industry’s latest frontier By Tom Cherveny, West Central Tribune

Minnesota’s solar capacity on track to keep growing in 2018 By Elizabeth Dunbar, MPR News

Minnesota added enough solar panels in 2017 to power about 53,000 homes, and strong growth is expected to continue in the new year.

The state’s overall capacity is now at more than 700 megawatts, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which tracks solar installations.

 

Missouri

New solar power contract to come before city council By Brittany Ruess, Columbia Daily Tribune

The solar field’s initial energy production is estimated to be 23,000 megawatt hours annually, making the contract one of the city’s biggest for renewable energy. The city’s solar field produced 443 megawatt hours in 2016 and total megawatt hour renewable energy production was nearly 81,000 megawatt hours that same year.

A city ordinance approved by voters in November 2004 stipulates the amount of renewable energy that must make up the city’s total energy portfolio. The city is currently at 15 percent, meeting the exact goal for 2018, said Ryan Williams, assistant director of utilities.

 

Nevada

Regulators Deny NV Energy’s Rate Increase, Garnering Cheers From Solar Advocates By Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

 

New Hampshire

Nonprofit Helps Low-Income Families With Solar Panel Program By Annie Ropeik, New Hampshire Public Radio, U. S. News

 

New Mexico

New Mexico Utility Grapples With Costs of Closing Coal Plant By Susan Montoya Bryan, U. S. News

 

New York

Editorial: Trump administration should lead, not obstruct, on clean energy By Thomas DiNapoli, The Post Star

 

North Carolina

North Carolina hopes to lure ‘EV tourists’ with rural charging stations By Elizabeth Ouzts, Southeast Energy News

West Jefferson is among the first communities to benefit from an effort by North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives to lure electric-vehicle drivers off the beaten path to remote and scenic areas they might have otherwise avoided out of range anxiety.

The push by the cooperatives, which cover nearly half the state’s land mass, comes as North Carolina decides whether to spend $13.8 million on charging infrastructure from a settlement with Volkswagen for producing illegally-polluting vehicles.

 

Ohio

Many remain frustrated over ‘submeter’ companies’ methods By Dan Gearino, Times-Gazette

 

Pennsylvania

Solar Power System Installations Grow In State By Andrea Sears, Sanatoga Post

 

South Carolina

Letter: Solar energy help By Luke Byers, Post and Courier

Too cozy with regulators, Post and Courier

As South Carolina wrestles with the aftermath of one of the worst economic disasters in state history, ratepayers must be able to trust the people in charge of regulating the utilities responsible for that catastrophe. Instead, the PSC looks more like a captive agency that willingly does the utilities’ bidding.

 

Tennessee

TVA breaks energy demand records amid Artic blast, shares tips to reduce utilities costs By Brittany Crocker, Knox News, USA Today

 

Wisconsin

Spreading the Gospel of Solar Power By Laura Thompson, Urban Milwaukee

 

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.

A $100 Million Shot At Glory For US Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

A Year-End Update on Electricity Policy From the Field By Sonia Aggarwal, GreenTech Media

Residential Energy Storage Systems Ready for Prime Time By Travis Hoium, Madison.com

Energy storage for the residential solar market has always been something of a holy grail for advanced energy companies. If storage becomes cheap enough, it could allow a rooftop solar system to provide all of the energy a homeowner needs, potentially making it possible to go off-grid. It could also be the energy hub for the home, deciding how to use energy most efficiently and connecting the smart devices that are beginning to become more common.

Elon Musk says Tesla is planning to make a pickup truck, The Associated Press, TribLIVE

Electric Car Drivers Are Too Smart to Own Electric Cars By Kyle Stock, Bloomberg

Solar O&M: A Nationwide Game Played Locally By Cedric Brehaut, GreenTech Media

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell 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.