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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of November 14, 2016

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Nov 15, 2016 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-14-2016/

This week in Energy Democracy news:

Battles abound over energy policy across the United States, small town renewable energy builds local communities, and new interstate highway electric vehicle infrastructure proposed.

Featured Stories

Being Black still a barrier to rural cooperative board membership by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Size really doesn’t matter for renewable energy arrays by John Farrell, Smart Energy Universe

Messy battles over energy are on ballot across state by Ari Natter and Mark Chediak, Bloomberg Markets

The stakes are so high because there hasn’t been major federal energy legislation in nearly a decade.

There’s “the realization that we are not going to make progress at the federal level,” said John Farrell, a director at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a Washington-based non-profit that advises local governments on community development.

Energy policies on the 2016 ballot by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Video: A renewable energy revolution in small-town America by James and Deborah Fallows, The Atlantic

Cross-country trips in electric cars are about to get easier by Brian Fung, The Washington Post

The routes will have signs pointing drivers to nearby charging points, just as drivers of traditional cars currently benefit from highway signs notifying them of gas stations ahead. The new signs cover roughly 25,000 miles of roadway and will eventually be posted in 35 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Obama administration.

Here’s a map of the EV charging corridors.

ev-stations-us-map

Energy Democracy News Across the States

Arizona

Solar battles playing out on Arizona ballot this election by Will Stone, KJZZ

 

California

California’s electric-car rebates jump for lower-income buyers and vanish for more high earners by Rob Nikolewski, Los Angeles Times

Starting Tuesday, high-income earners are excluded from getting the rebates and prospective buyers from lower-income households will get more money under the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

California’s focus on income will not affect the substantial tax credits the federal government offers clean-car buyers.

California district set to save $250K per year with solar energy by Tara Garcia Mathewson, Education Dive

 

Colorado

City of Denver commits to adding 200 electric cars by 2020 by Danika Worthington, Denver Post

 

Florida

Down in the polls, utilities pump another $3.5 million into Amendment 1 campaign by Mary Ellen Klas, Miami Herald

Solar measure in the Sunshine State rankles environmentalists by Daniel C. Vock, Governing Magazine

Solar advocates to sue to keep Amendment 1 ballots from being counted by Mary Ellen Klas, Tampa Bay Times

Q&A: A Florida solar advocate calls out utilities on ballot measure by Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

Florida’s outrageously deceptive solar ballot initiative, explained by David Roberts, Vox

Florida wins the prize for the country’s most egregiously misleading referendum by Henry Grabar, Slate Magazine

Florida votes down controversial solar power amendment by Associated Press, WEAR-TV

Solar groups not sure how to proceed after Amendment 1 fails by Jim Turner, Lakeland Ledger

As rooftop solar costs drop, utility attempts to raise barriers may not work by Mary Ellen Klas, Miami Herald

 

Illinois

Benefits of rooftop solar power largely exceed net metering costs, analysis finds by Ellyn Fortino, Progress Illinois

In Illinois energy bill drama, demand charge is central and evolving by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

In Illinois, rural co-ops see energy advantage with broadband by David J. Unger, Midwest Energy News

The digital divide presents both a problem and an opportunity for the rural electric cooperatives that serve much of downstate Illinois. On one hand, the lack of infrastructure makes building a 21st-Century grid all the more challenging. On the other hand, there is a strong push to close that digital divide, and cooperatives find themselves uniquely positioned to play a role.

 

Maine

Portland becomes first city in Maine to require reporting on large buildings’ energy use by Randy Billings, Portland Press Herald

 

Massachusetts

Tariff system in works as tensions build over solar subsidies by Matt Murphy, South Coast Today

 

Michigan

East Lansing solar project promises lower energy bills by Alexander Alusheff, Lansing State Journal

Electricity ratepayers bear heavier burden in Michigan by Larry Ward, Bridge Michigan

Senate passes energy overhaul with 15% renewable mandate by Emily Lawler, MLive

 

Minnesota

‘Flicker’ disagreement could delay Minnesota community solar by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Less coal fosters more jobs in clean energy by Eric Pasi, St. Cloud Times

Minnesota Farmers Union hosts solar field day by Elizabeth Bateson, KEYC

Red Lake Band of northern Minn. plans for all-solar electric generation by Neal St. Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

Mississippi

Solar power opportunities by Mississippi Sun Herald

 

Nevada

Greens, solar advocates appeal Nevada net metering decision by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

 

New York

New York proposes new rates for distributed energy by Miles Farmer and Mark LeBel

The New York Department of Public Service has proposed to change the way distributed energy resources (like community solar and small wind projects) are rewarded for the benefits that they provide to the electricity system. The Department released a landmark report in its “Value of Distributed Energy Resources” proceeding, recommending a methodology by which these resources can receive credits that align more closely with their true value to the electricity system.

 

Utah

We still haven’t figured out true value of rooftop solar by Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board

Utah’s Rocky Mountain Power proposes Nevada-style net metering overhaul by Danielle Ola, PV-Tech

 

Wisconsin

Dairyland Power Cooperative signs up or 15 solar projects by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News

Fact-checking opponents of the Clean Power Plan by Richard L. Revesz, Denise A. Grab, and Jack Lienke, The Hill

Messy battles over energy are on ballot across state by Ari Natter and Mark Chediak, Bloomberg Markets

The stakes are so high because there hasn’t been major federal energy legislation in nearly a decade.

There’s “the realization that we are not going to make progress at the federal level,” said John Farrell, a director at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a Washington-based non-profit that advises local governments on community development.

Oasis microgrids speed recovery from large-scale electrical events by Microgrid Knowledge

Size really doesn’t matter for renewable energy arrays by John Farrell, Smart Energy Universe

100% renewables increasingly looks possible by Jeff McMahon, Forbes

This group is taking on the biggest obstacle to climate action in the country by Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress

U.S. Governors see microgrids and energy storage as a path to energy assurance by Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge

Comprehensive study proves solar customers don’t hurt non-solar ones by Frank Andorka, PV-Magazine

To date, at least 16 states have reviewed the question of whether having solar customers in a state burdens non-solar customers with excessive costs of infrastructure upkeep. EARPC’s analysis shows that the argument, often put forth by utilities trying to limit solar’s growth, is false. This analysis comes at a critical juncture for the solar industry, as rate design is currently a hot topic in almost every state.

U.S., 35 state to boost electric vehicle charging network by David Shepardson, Reuters

Energy world rocked by Trump win by Robin Bravender, Energy & Environmental Publishing

EVs could add up to 5GW of capacity to the grid by 2025 by Olivia Chen, GreenTech Media

Where will a President Trump take FERC and federal grid policy? by Jeff St. John, GreenTech Media

Trump’s energy vision holds plenty of promise for renewables by Karl-Erik Stromsta, ReCharge News

In solar proceedings, let the sun shine in by Anne Hoskins, Utility Dive

Why ‘a lot has become the new normal’ in state solar policy debates by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

The 117 policy actions in Q3 were spread across 42 states and a range of debate types. The most common were fixed charge increases, with 44 utilities in 25 states either involved in or proposing a fee hike of at least 10%.

Changes to net metering were considered or enacted in 22 states, while value of solar studies or evaluations of net metering’s costs and benefits were taken on in 15 states and D.C. New bill charges specific to solar owners were proposed by nine utilities in seven states.