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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – Week of November 13, 2017

| Written by Kelsey Henquinet | No Comments | Updated on Nov 15, 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-november-13-2017/

This week in Energy Democracy News:

Puerto Rico plans to build a grid after Hurricane Maria; Clean and efficient energy should be introduced to all types of communities throughout the United States; and a coalition of mayors in the Chicago-area is forming to spread solar energy throughout the region.

Featured Stories

Can Puerto Rico Overcome a Colonial Past to Build a Greener Grid? By John Farrell, GreenTech Media

Unlike other island grids, Puerto Rico’s has been under assault for years. A decade-long recession and utility mismanagement of an aging grid exacerbate problems rooted in Puerto Rico’s commonwealth status. The unfortunate combination of colonialism and local miscues make rebuilding infrastructure a taller task than for other island nations or the U.S. mainland.

Commentary: Clean, efficient energy can turn Rust Belt communities around by Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Midwest Energy News

Minnesota community solar capacity soars to 170 MW by Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

“Minnesota’s program is the best in the country,” Farrell wrote in a blog piece touting the program. “There 10 times more community solar projects in the queue — 400 MW — in Minnesota than have been built in the history of community solar in the United States (outside Minnesota).”

Chicago-area mayors hope collaboration will spark more interest in solar by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

There is currently very little solar installed in the participating municipalities, but leaders hope that by creating affordable and uniform permitting processes and “solar landing pages” on municipal websites, both residents and developers will be motivated to create new markets for rooftop solar.

Sunny side up by Samm Quinn, Greenfield Daily

Will All New Vehicles Be Electric By 2030? One Expert Says Yes — Episode 46 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Boulder County Incentive Program Drives Adoption Of Two “Sexy Electrics” — Solar & Electric Cars (Episode 47 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast) by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Video: Choosing The Electric Avenue, An Electric Vehicles Webinar by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

 

Energy Democracy News Across the States

California

California extends grandfathering period to rooftop solar customers on older TOU rates by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

 

Colorado

Boulder municipalization persists after surprise election comeback by Alex Burness, Boulder Daily Camera

 

Florida

A New No. 2 State for Utility PV: The Upside of Solar in Florida by Colin Smith, GreenTech Media

FPL seeks state go-ahead to purchase Vero Beach’s power company by Jim Saunders, Miami Herald

 

Hawaii

One small step for Hawaii solar, one leap toward 100% renewables by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

Illinois

Communities in Illinois can take lead against climate change by Howard A. Learner, Chicago SunTimes

Lincoln Community High School going green with solar panels by Fox Illinois News Team, Fox

Chicago-area mayors hope collaboration will spark more interest in solar by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

There is currently very little solar installed in the participating municipalities, but leaders hope that by creating affordable and uniform permitting processes and “solar landing pages” on municipal websites, both residents and developers will be motivated to create new markets for rooftop solar.

Solar Projects Focus Of Town Hall Meeting By Jennifer Bailey, Commercial News

Will Chicago be competitive in the community solar market? By Kevin Stark, Midwest Energy News

 

Indiana

Efficiency on the upswing in Indiana, but slower after repeal of key policy by Jeff Brooks-Gillies, Midwest Energy News

Energy savings from customer-funded programs initially dropped by 40 percent over two years as lawmakers made it the first and only state to repeal rules setting demand-side management targets for its regulated electric utilities. Clean energy advocates are still concerned about investments in efficiency, but planned utility savings have since ticked up slightly and show signs of growth under the weaker voluntary rules that replaced the standard.

Sunny side up by Samm Quinn, Greenfield Daily Reporter

Taylor Community School Corporation unveils finished solar park by Caele Pemberton, Kokomo Tribune

The project cost the district $3 million, and according to officials with PSG energy, the company that worked on the project with Taylor, the field will pay itself off in the next four years with energy savings.

New Indiana solar law could cripple small businesses and customer savings by Sarah Bowman and Emily Hopkins, IndyStar

 

Iowa

Iowa solar installer using storage to help customers avoid costly demand charges by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

In Iowa, a state with some of the highest demand charges in the nation, a solar installer is offering a storage solution that the company claims could cut power bills in half for some large electricity customers.

 

Michigan

Q&A: Michigan nonprofit seeks local solutions on clean energy by Howard Lovy, Midwest Energy News

News Focus: Solar arrays used for education, research by By Jef Rietsma, Sturgis Journal

Esky tests solar energy site by Jenny Lancour, Daily Press

As solar booms in Michigan, townships tackle land use questions by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

 

Minnesota

Minnesota community solar capacity soars to 170 MW by Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

“Minnesota’s program is the best in the country,” Farrell wrote in a blog piece touting the program. “There 10 times more community solar projects in the queue — 400 MW — in Minnesota than have been built in the history of community solar in the United States (outside Minnesota).”

Groups look to expand solar bulk-buying programs in Minnesota by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Home power producer catches a tax break: State to recalculate sales tax By Tom Cherveny, West Central Tribune

City Council approves community solar garden subscription agreements by Nate Gotlieb, Southwest Journal

Minneapolis Park Board installs solar power systems at 5 parks by Faiza Mahamud, Star Tribune

“We’re becoming more energy efficient, and the residents see a park system they use as a system that’s trying to use renewable energy sources and become more sustainable,” said Cliff Swenson, the Park Board’s director of design and project management.

PUC rules that co-ops must change way they calculate solar fees by Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune

 

Nevada

NV Energy boasts ‘lowest-cost’ PPAs for 2 proposed solar projects by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

 

Ohio

Unusual alliances emerge in Ohio over plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants by Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

 

Oregon

Oregon greens cheer Brown’s orders on energy efficient buildings, electric vehicles by Pete Danko, Portland Business Journal

The order Brown issued on Monday tries to make up some of that ground, requiring state-owned buildings permitted beginning in 2022 to be carbon neutral, and new residential buildings to hit a federal “zero energy ready” standard beginning in October 2023. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, that means the homes need to be energy efficient enough “that a renewable energy system can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption.”

 

Puerto Rico

Bright Idea: Why Some In Puerto Rico Are Banking On A Solar Solution By Gabe Gutierrez And Bianca Seward, NBC News

Can Puerto Rico Overcome a Colonial Past to Build a Greener Grid? By John Farrell, GreenTech Media

Unlike other island grids, Puerto Rico’s has been under assault for years. A decade-long recession and utility mismanagement of an aging grid exacerbate problems rooted in Puerto Rico’s commonwealth status. The unfortunate combination of colonialism and local miscues make rebuilding infrastructure a taller task than for other island nations or the U.S. mainland.

 

Virginia

The other big loser in Virginia’s elections was Dominion Energy by David Pomerantz, Energy and Policy Institute

Two years after its creation, Virginia solar authority shows little progress by Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News

How other Midwestern states treat solar consumers by Emily Hopkins, Indy Star

The Next Big Obstacle for Electric Vehicles? Charging Infrastructure by Emma Foehringer Merchant, GreenTech Media

‘Blocking the Sun’: New Report Documents Efforts to Undermine Rooftop Solar by Environment American, EcoWatch

“It’s completely clear that Americans want more solar power, for the good of our environment, our health and our local economies,” said Bret Fanshaw, solar program coordinator with Environment America and report co-author. “We cannot allow for a narrow set of interests to block the ability of everyday citizens to tap into clean and renewable solar power on the roofs of our homes and businesses.”

The 20 cities leading the way for electric vehicles by Patrick Sisson, Curbed

Ex-GOP FERC regulator: DOE NOPR ‘a tax on customers’ to benefit Murray, FirstEnergy by Gavin Bade, Utility Dive

New report: EVs promise a more resilient grid and a more democratic energy system by Charles Morris, Charged Electric Vehicles Magazine

Solar Boom In Trump Country: It’s About Economics And Energy Independence by Lyndsey Gilpin, InsideClimate News

What is resonating with utility companies like Mississippi Power and communities like Hattiesburg is the economic argument for cheaper solar power.

Despite the lack of renewable-energy-friendly policies and the reluctance from Republican-led state legislatures to address climate change, states across the South and Appalachia―regions that voted heavily for Donald Trump―are rapidly expanding their solar markets.

By 2030, there’s a 48% chance your new car will be electrified by Greg Gardner, Detroit Free Press

Supporters of DOE coal rule haven’t proven their case, energy groups say By Timothy Cama, The Hill

How the House Tax Bill Would Impact Wind, Solar, Electric Vehicles and Utilities by Lacey Johnson, GreenTech Media

Commentary: Clean, efficient energy can turn Rust Belt communities around by Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Midwest Energy News

Will All New Vehicles Be Electric By 2030? One Expert Says Yes — Episode 46 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Boulder County Incentive Program Drives Adoption Of Two “Sexy Electrics” — Solar & Electric Cars (Episode 47 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast) by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Video: Choosing The Electric Avenue, An Electric Vehicles Webinar by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

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