Back to top Jump to featured resources
Article filed under Energy

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of October 30, 2017

| Written by Kelsey Henquinet | No Comments | Updated on Oct 31, 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-october-30-2017/

This week in Energy Democracy News:

Utilities are adapting and expanding their models of community solar; Electric vehicles are gaining popularity and will be the key to sustainable and clean cities; and a coalition of independent solar companies is harnessing its combined power to command more influence in the marketplace.

Featured Stories

Utilities take note: Next generation utility-led community solar is emerging by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

“The community solar model is still evolving,” energy consultant Jill Cliburn told Utility Dive. Cliburn is project manager for the Department of Energy-backed Community Solar Value Project, a public-private partnership. “We have to move through a period of innovation, which is by nature a bit unfocused,” she said.

But that innovation is happening — for example, with community solar developers adding complementary attributes like energy storage or demand response to their systems.

Five Climate Truths Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand by The Editorial Board, The New York Times

The worldwide average cost of wind and solar power has fallen sharply over the last three years, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency. While these sources of energy make up a small portion of the overall system — for example, about 15 percent of electricity generated in the United States last year and 24 percent generated worldwide — they are growing fast: Two-thirds of generation capacity added globally last year came from renewable sources.

Electric buses are coming, and they’re going to help fix 4 big urban problems by David Roberts, Vox

New “Electric Avenue” Report Points To Tesla’s Leading Role, EVANNEX, Inside EVs

Three ways Michigan can lead on electric vehicles by Liesl Clark, Bridge

EV sales are up 16 percent this year. There are currently 13,203 EVs on the road in Michigan and 332 publicly available charging stations. Michigan ranks in the top half nationally for EVs and charging infrastructure, but falls behind states like California, New York and Florida, whose policies encourage driving electric. Those policies include zero-emission vehicle requirements, clean air requirements and energy storage mandates.

Working Together, Small Solar Firms Compete With Big-Name Rivals — Episode 45 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast by John Farrell, Clean Technica

Reminder: The Fight For 100% Renewable Is Political by John Farrell, Clean Technica

Minnesota Regulators Eye Subcommittee To Resolve Distributed Generation Disputes by John Farrell, Clean Technica

The disconnect between what customers want and what utilities offer exists in markets, rural and urban, nationwide. State regulators, which generally have broad oversight authority over how utilities address customer needs, tend to be the main arbiters in debates over what utilities should do, and how.

In a significant move toward easing such tensions, Minnesota regulators confirmed earlier this year they are considering forming a subcommittee specifically to handle conflicts sprouting from distributed generation projects. While the specific mandate of the prospective body remains murky, it would be designed to fill a gap in the regulatory process that leaves customers at a disadvantage.

How States & Cities Can Unlock Local Clean Energy by John Farrell, Clean Technica

Energy Democracy News Across the States

California

California solar pilot shows how renewables can provide grid services by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

California allocates $55M for energy storage in low income neighborhoods by Peter Maloney, Utility Dive

 

Colorado

First solar garden built to benefit low-income families by Cory Reppenhagen, KUSA

The Denver Housing Authority is getting into the solar gardening business. They are building a field of solar panels, at a remote location, that creates energy for low-income families.

The DHA is the first housing authority in the country to do this.

 

Florida

Solar co-op innovator expanding nationwide, aims to empower homeowners by Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

Charging options in focus as Florida prepares for rise of electric vehicles by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

New Florida muni solar program cuts NEM rates, includes battery storage incentives by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Florida utility rolls back net metering, boosts solar program by Brye Steeves, Southeast Energy News

 

Illinois

Clean Power Plan Repeal Won’t Stop Clean Energy Future in IL by Karen Hobbs, NRDC

Just as undeniable are the benefits of the booming clean energy economy, which is why Illinois will continue in a different direction. Late last year, Illinois passed the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), landmark legislation that will increase energy efficiency savings, build new, in-state renewable energy while investing in low-income communities and encourage job growth.

Innovative measurement tool will help Illinois calculate the benefits of smart-grid investments by Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund

Slowik: Cook County prepares for public solar energy projects in Southland by Ted Slowik, The Chicago Tribune

Cook County is a leading an effort for several significant solar-energy projects, including some that could potentially be installed on public buildings and land in the Southland by 2019.

What’s more, south suburban residents and business owners have the opportunity to “sponsor” communal solar panels and realize potential savings on their utility bills.

 

Indiana

Bloomington government to adopt solar power by Christine Fernando, Indiana Daily Student

 

Louisiana

Deadline to Submit Documentation for Solar Tax Credits Looms, Associated Press, U.S. News

 

Michigan

Three ways Michigan can lead on electric vehicles by Liesl Clark, Bridge MI

EV sales are up 16 percent this year. There are currently 13,203 EVs on the road in Michigan and 332 publicly available charging stations. Michigan ranks in the top half nationally for EVs and charging infrastructure, but falls behind states like California, New York and Florida, whose policies encourage driving electric. Those policies include zero-emission vehicle requirements, clean air requirements and energy storage mandates.

MSU officially open largest solar power array in North America by 6 News Web Staff, WLNS

 

Minnesota

St. Paul’s “Green Line” is getting greener by Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

Winona joins with solar energy company by Glen Olson, Winona Daily News

Nuns bring another solar array to Mankato by Mark Fischenich, Mankato Free Press

When a developer suggested in 2015 that the Mankato-based School Sisters of Notre Dame sign up as a subscriber for the power generated by a planned solar array in the area, the nuns had a more ambitious idea: build the array on our land.

Two years later, Innovative Power Systems of Roseville is beginning construction on a 1.3 megawatt solar array with roughly 40,000 solar panels capable of creating enough energy to power 165 average Minnesota homes.

Minnesota to recalculate sales tax for many home solar, wind systems by Tom Cherveny, Duluth News Tribune

 

Mississippi

State-subsidized solar panel maker to close in Mississippi by Associated Press, Miami Herald

 

Missouri

Arch Of The Covenant by Zoya Teirstein, Grist

 

Nevada

Las Vegas shines as a model for solar power by Jessica Mendoza, Christian Science Monitor

But in sunny southern Nevada, the focal point of change is solar energy. Last year Acciona, a global infrastructure and renewable energy company, unveiled a 400-acre, 64-megawatt solar power plant in Boulder City, just south of Las Vegas. The third-largest such plant in the world, the facility can power more than 14,000 homes a year – and helped the Las Vegas city government fulfill its promise to power all its municipal and public buildings entirely with renewable energy. The city has since been named among the nation’s top 10 metros leading the way on solar power.

 

New York

No Roof? No Problem. Community-Shared Solar Offers Solar Energy for All by Tina Trinh, VOA News

Head to the roof of the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies and you’ll discover row upon row of solar photovoltaic panels.

The solar panels generate about 159 kilowatts of renewable energy, just a drop in New York City’s energy bucket, and are part of a citywide initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

 

North Carolina

Utilities step up attempts to increase fixed charges, minimum bills by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

 

Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irma Unleashes The Forces Of Privatization In Puerto Rico by Kate Aronoff, Angel Manuel Soto, Averie Timm, The Intercept

For struggling governments around the world, privatizing utilities has come to be seen as a kind of get-rich-quick scheme, offering an upfront infusion of cash to underfunded municipalities. Given Prepa’s size and that of its debt — $9 billion — it has been a long-standing target for privatizers, even before Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act last year to help rein in Puerto Rico’s mounting debt crisis.

 

Virginia

After epic corporate feud, energy giant Dominion emerges to dominate regulators, legislators By Michael Martz, Richmond Times-Dispatch

 

Wisconsin

Panel of experts discuss Madison’s clean energy initiative by Avery Aurand, The Badger Herald

Residents urge regulators to cap utility rates, profits during hearing in La Crosse by Chris Hubbuch, The La Crosse Tribune

Ribbon-cutting held for new Eau Claire solar garden by Ruth Wendlandt, WEAU

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News

Electric buses are coming, and they’re going to help fix 4 big urban problems by David Roberts, Vox

Winter reliability strong, RTOs tell FERC, undermining DOE NOPR justification by Gavin Bade, Utility Dive

(Don’t) Fight The Power: How electricity competition excels in the Midwest by David Bahr, R Street

New connection technology is cutting cost of solar installation by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Utility customers in Ohio and Nebraska are among those taking advantage of a new and simpler technique for connecting solar arrays and other renewable energy systems to the grid.

ConnectDER, as it’s known, generally eliminates the need to enter a home and it greatly reduces the amount of electrical work required.

Taking Back Power: Public Power as a Vehicle Towards Energy Democracy by Johanna Bozuwa, The Next System Project

Solar Panels: 10 Midwestern Cities With the Most Potential by Ellen Chang, The Street

Five Climate Truths Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand by The Editorial Board, The New York Times

The worldwide average cost of wind and solar power has fallen sharply over the last three years, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency. While these sources of energy make up a small portion of the overall system — for example, about 15 percent of electricity generated in the United States last year and 24 percent generated worldwide — they are growing fast: Two-thirds of generation capacity added globally last year came from renewable sources.

The Potential Impact of Solar Tariffs in 12 Charts by Shayle Kann And Mj Shiao, GreenTech Media

GTM warns of solar installation declines ahead of ITC trade case remedy vote by Krysti Shallenberger, Utility Dive

Study: Utilities should get in the drivers seat on electric vehicle infrastructure by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

It’s widely accepted that electric vehicles will become increasingly popular and affordable in coming years, and utilities are trying to make sure their grids can handle an influx of vehicles plugged in.

But a recent study by the global consulting firm Deloitte argues that utilities should embrace electric vehicles even more aggressively, treating them almost like power plants and “batteries on wheels,” incorporating them into the fabric of their electricity delivery and generation systems and ideally into their rate-bases.

How Federal Grants Are Accelerating the Adoption of Electrified Mass Transit by Paul Stith, GreenTech Media

Utilities take note: Next generation utility-led community solar is emerging by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

“The community solar model is still evolving,” energy consultant Jill Cliburn told Utility Dive. Cliburn is project manager for the Department of Energy-backed Community Solar Value Project, a public-private partnership. “We have to move through a period of innovation, which is by nature a bit unfocused,” she said.

But that innovation is happening — for example, with community solar developers adding complementary attributes like energy storage or demand response to their systems.

Solar co-op innovator expanding nationwide, aims to empower homeowners by Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

Solar installers press homeowners to buy ahead of tariff by Nichola Groom, Reuters

New “Electric Avenue” Report Points To Tesla’s Leading Role, EVANNEX, Inside EVs

Working Together, Small Solar Firms Compete With Big-Name Rivals — Episode 45 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast by John Farrell, Clean Technica

Reminder: The Fight For 100% Renewable Is Political by John Farrell, Clean Technica

Minnesota Regulators Eye Subcommittee To Resolve Distributed Generation Disputes by John Farrell, Clean Technica

The disconnect between what customers want and what utilities offer exists in markets, rural and urban, nationwide. State regulators, which generally have broad oversight authority over how utilities address customer needs, tend to be the main arbiters in debates over what utilities should do, and how.

In a significant move toward easing such tensions, Minnesota regulators confirmed earlier this year they are considering forming a subcommittee specifically to handle conflicts sprouting from distributed generation projects. While the specific mandate of the prospective body remains murky, it would be designed to fill a gap in the regulatory process that leaves customers at a disadvantage.

How States & Cities Can Unlock Local Clean Energy by John Farrell, Clean Technica

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