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October 15, 2021

U.S. planning offshore wind farms

from Maine to California

The United States plans to hold up to seven offshore wind auctions in the next four years and will extend its ambitions to areas that have yet to be developed such as off the coast of California and in the Gulf of Mexico,

a Biden administration official said on Wednesday.


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PJM reviews offshore wind transmission offers

from PSEG, Anbaric, LS Power, others

PJM's announcement is another step in the race to develop a U.S. offshore wind industry, with some East Coast states aiming to become leaders in the sector.

Last year, New Jersey became the first state to take advantage of PJM's "state agreement approach," which allows a state to propose and pay for transmission upgrades it needs to meet its energy goals. The process helps assure offshore wind farm developers they will be able to deliver power to New Jersey, breaking the "chicken and egg" problem of generation and transmission developers waiting for each other to move forward with their projects first.

In California and Hawaii,

the benefits of smart inverters are just beginning

Smart inverters have opened up opportunities for people with smart inverters to be paid for providing stored energy on demand and other grid services.

Smart inverters in the two states provide voltage control autonomously through the “volt-var” function specified by regulators in each state.

Following suit, next year California and Hawaii are expected to adopt the smart inverter standard IEEE 1547-2018. Minnesota, New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia also plan to adopt the IEEE standard. In nine other states, the utility regulatory body either had an inquiry or an open docket regarding the smart inverter standard, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.


Southern, Duke SEEM proposal takes effect as FERC deadlocks on market plan

A proposed trading platform for 15 utilities across the Southeast — the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) — took effect after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission again deadlocked on a major policy issue.

Two weeks after deadlocking on the PJM Interconnection’s revised minimum offer price rule, FERC, which has four sitting commissioners, was unable to get a majority to agree on another major policy issue.


Can the US take the lead on

cleaner lithium production?

Three companies are attracting private and public funding for their potentially game-changing efforts to extract lithium from brine in California.

The United States needs a domestic source of lithium that can be extracted using renewable energy. Lithium is a key element in the batteries that will enable us to decarbonize the power grid and vehicles.

The superheated brine trapped deep under the earth beneath California’s Salton Sea offers both lithium and renewable energy — and investors are starting to take notice.


Pennsylvania RGGI opponents mount tense last stand

Pennsylvania would be the first major fossil fuel producer to join RGGI,

and it poses a crucial test of how the program might affect energy prices

as the state seeks to cut emissions, experts say.

The state set a goal of Jan. 1 to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the 13-year-old carbon trading program comprised of11states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, following a two-year regulatory process kickstarted through executive actionby Gov. Tom Wolf. But Pennsylvania’s RGGI participation faces significant opposition from labor and coal and natural gas backers.


Developers increasingly pair batteries with utility-scale solar to combat declining value in crowded markets

Utility scale solar may have hit a record, and in many regions, a turning point in 2020, according to the national lab's new analysis.

  • After installing a record 12.8 GWdc across 161 new projects in 2020, the solar industry is on the cusp of a new normal, according to the authors of the 2021 Utility-Scale Solar report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

  • Upfront construction costs for new utility-scale projects continue to drop, with the largest projects benefiting from the lowest levelized costs, according to LBNL research scientist Mark Bolinger, and one of the report authors. However, power purchase agreement (PPA) prices have stagnated and crept upward over the year, suggesting future prices may rise, he said.

  • Hybrid projects with solar plus storage still represent a minority of overall solar projects. But Bolinger said their popularity appears to be increasing, particularly in regions where high solar penetration rates have eroded the value of solar energy on the grid.


Air Products plans $4.5b investment

in blue hydrogen facility

The Louisiana project is expected to create 170 permanent jobs and r

epresents Air Products’ largest-ever investment in the U.S.

Air Products said it plans to build a $4.5 billion blue hydrogen at a complex in Louisiana.

The company will build, own, and operate the project, which is planned to produce over 750 million standard cubic feet per day of blue hydrogen in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, south of Baton Rouge.

October 8, 2021

California legislators push for community solar provision in new net-metering plan

“Clean energy options remain out of reach for many low-income Californians and those living in disadvantaged communities,”said Senator Connie M. Leyva. “The Net Value Billing Tariff would address several important needs for viable community renewable energy projects in California, specifically ensuring that disadvantaged communities and low-income residents are able to directly participate in and benefit from the transition to renewable energy.”

Southern, Duke, PJM, others call for more transmission, coordination to handle renewables surge

  • Eastern Interconnection grid operators and planners including Southern Co., Duke Energy and the PJM Interconnection called for more transmission and coordination to help meet renewable energy goals in a white paper released Tuesday.

  • Large amounts of renewables make the grid more complex to operate compared with traditional power plants and complicate the transmission planning process, the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) said in the white paper, Planning the Grid for a Renewable Future.

  • Reforms to transmission planning, cost allocation and facility siting can overcome those challenges, according to the collaborative, which consists of 19 grid operators and planners like the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and the Tennessee Valley Authority.


Congressman Jimmy Panetta:

Microgrids to Move to Front Line of Climate Fight

Panetta talks about the bill (H.R. 2482) he introduced, called the Making Imperiled Communities Resistant to Outages with Generation that is Resilient, Islandable and Distributed Act, or MICROGRID Act, and how it will help make micrograms more affordable. He also identified many ways that microgrids can help: providing resilience during public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), helping universities and colleges shrink their carbon footprints and keep the lights on, allowing the military to enjoy reliable power and bolster its cybersecurity, ensuring hospitals keep patients safe, avoiding airport outages that can wreak havoc, and providing clean water during power shutoffs.


North Carolina pases bill expected to give Duke timely cost recovery, implement clean energy plan

The North Carolina General Assembly approved HB951 on Oct. 7 after it passed the state Senate the day before. Luis Martinez, director of Southeast epnergy for the Climate & Clean Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, urged Gov. Roy Cooper, D, to sign the bill, saying it "is not perfect, but it is much improved and presents many opportunities for clean energy in North Carolina." However, "some business and consumer groups oppose the bill, saying it could lead to higher rates," Blue Ridge Public Radio reported. Cooper is expected to sign the bill. "The strong bipartisan vote for the energy bill is a win for people all across North Carolina who will benefit from clean, renewable and reliable energy that is more accessible for everyone and better for the environment," he said in a statement issued after the General Assembly vote.


The battle over wind, solar and storage

In this podcast episode from CohnReznick Capital: what does the surging M & A activity tell us about the health of renewables?

In this latest podcast episode, brought to you by CohnReznick Capital, we speak with Britta Von Oesen about who's doing the acquiring, who's doing the selling, and what it all means for the growth of US clean energy.


COP26: Four reasons why solar is vital for

the energy transition

COP26 negotiations should focus on removing barriers to solar deployment

Solar is undeniably one of the most important technologies in the energy transition. It has already taken centre stage in numerous studies examining how to address the climate crisis. And it’s likely to be a major focus at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November. While solar is on a strong growth path globally, COP26 negotiations will need to focus on removing barriers to solar deployment to achieve climate targets.

But what makes solar such a vital part of the energy transition?

It can be boiled down to four different reasons.


DOE Sets 2025 Community Solar Target to

Power 5 Million Homes

2025 Milestone Will Play a Key Role in Achieving Justice40 Goals

and Create $1 Billion in Energy Savings

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a new National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) target: to enable community solar systems to power the equivalent of five million households by 2025 and create $1 billion in energy bill savings. Reaching these milestones will help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and ensure that all Americans can reap the benefits of renewable energy while building community wealth and resiliency.

“Community solar is one of the most powerful tools we have to provide affordable solar energy to all American households, regardless of whether they own a home or have a roof suitable for solar panels,” said Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “Achieving these ambitious targets will lead to meaningful energy cost savings, create jobs in these communities, and make our clean energy transition more equitable.”


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About the National Community Solar Partnership

The National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) is a coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand access to affordable community solar to every American household and enable communities to realize other benefits, such as increased resilience and workforce development. The Partnership is a U.S. Department of Energy initiative led by the Solar Energy Technologies Office, in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Partners leverage peer networks and technical assistance resources to set goals and overcome barriers to expanding community solar access for disadvantaged communities.

October 1, 2021

House bill would channel $3.5 billion

to domestic solar manufacturing

The act would boost investment in U.S. solar manufacturing.

Representative Val Demings (D-FL) introduced the Reclaiming the Solar Supply Chain Act. It would provide $3.5 billion for U.S. solar manufacturing.

If passed, $700 million would be invested annually from 2022 through 2026. The legislation would provide funding for the construction of new manufacturing facilities and to retrofit, retool, and expand existing facilities. Priority would be given to manufacturers that provide the greatest potential for domestic job creation and economic development in economically distressed regions.

Photovoltaics in Africa on the Rise

With many of the continent’s countries paving the way for ambitious photovoltaics projects, a general spirit of optimism prevails in Africa’s budding solar industry. This is the conclusion of the Intersolar Solarize Africa Market Report 2020, prepared by the Becquerel Institute and the German Solar Association (BSW Solar)

with support from Intersolar Europe


Chemical company donates decommissioned

305-kW solar array to nonprofits

Croda International has donated 1,000 SunPower solar panels to three non-profit organizations for use in low-income housing and crop generation.

Decom Solar provides decommissioning and repurposing services for end-of-life solar arrays. Working with non-profits and recycling partners, Decom Solar determines removal solutions for each client.


Related Topic

Decommissioning solar is a current issue that will come to a head in the next couple of decades. Solar systems are long-lasting under the right conditions, yet arrays are regularly put out of commission today.

“We can’t keep up with the calls, to be honest,” said Cesar Barbosa, president at Verdant Project Management


Climate Resilience in America's Hottest City

Mark Hartman, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Phoenix, Arizona, talks about how technology is being used to reduce heat and create resilient infrastructure in one of the hottest urban climates in the U.S. Esri Conservation Solutions Director David Gadsden investigates how large cities use location intelligence to increase quality of life for residents and reach green goals in the face of climate change.


Duke Energy’s Sustainable Solutions planning its first wind farm in Iowa

Duke Energy’s newly formed Sustainable Solutions unit, merged from several entities only months ago, is building a 207-MW wind power project in Iowa.

Construction on the Ledyard Windpower site in Kossuth County will be Duke Energy Sustainable Solutionsfirst renewable energy project in Iowa. The non-regulated commercial brand of Duke was formed with the combination of several previous units, including REC Solar, Duke Energy Renewables Wind, and other subsidiaries.


Ford plans $11.4 billion investment to build

EVs and batteries

The company will partner with South Korea-based SK Innovation to build facilities to produce and eventually recycle EV batteries.


Iron Battery Breakthrough Could Eat Lithium’s Lunch

Iron-flow technology from ESS is being deployed at scale in the U.S.

The world’s electric grids are creaking under the pressure of volatile fossil-fuel prices and the imperative of weaning the world off polluting energy sources. A solution may be at hand, thanks to an innovative battery that’s a cheaper alternative to lithium-ion technology.

SB Energy Corp., a U.S. renewable-energy firm that’s an arm of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., is making a record purchase of the batteries manufactured by ESS Inc. The Oregon company says it has new technology that can store renewable energy for longer and help overcome some of the reliability problems that have caused blackouts in California and record-high energy prices in Europe.


What is the total cost of ownership and emissions

for different #EVs?

How does vehicle charging affect a city’s or state’s electricity demand?

The Alternative Fuels Data Center has tools to answer these questions and more:


DOE launches $2.5 million prize to expand energy justice and inclusiveness goals

DOE launches $2.5 million prize to expand energy justice and inclusiveness goals

The prize is intended to fund organizations working with disadvantaged communities in clean energy as well as foster connections between DOE and innovators.


The $36M #CleanEnergyHubsNY initiative.

NYSERDA’s Director of Climate and Energy Equity, Chris Coll breaks it down for

@CapPressRoom and how it will help unlock #CleanEnergy

benefits in underserved communities.

October 1, 2021 – As part of her barrage of climate week announcements in September, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a $36 million state commitment toward 10 regional clean energy hubs. Chris Coll, director of energy and climate equity for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which is spearheading the initiative, explains how the money will be spent and the impact the hubs could have.


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