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Green Power8/7/2018

Introduction to Green Power Supply Options

Aug. 15
11 am-noon MT

A variety of green power supply options are available to consumers in today's market. This webinar, hosted by U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership, will provide a high-level review of each option, detail to whom and where the option is available, and discuss each option’s benefits and drawbacks. Attendees will learn about the following green power supply options: unbundled renewable energy  certificates, competitive electricity products, utility green power products, community choice aggregation, self-supply, green tariffs, shared renewables, and power purchase agreements.

The webinar will also provide a tutorial on EPA’s Green Power Supply Options Screening Tool. This free tool helps non-profit and for-profit organizations decide which supply options might work for them. Based on answers to a few simple questions, the tool returns easy-to-understand guidance about which green power supply options are available in their state.

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 8/7/18


Mark Your Calendar for the 2018 Office of Indian Energy Program Review

Save the date for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Annual Office of Indian Energy Program Review to be held the week of December 10, 2018, in Lakewood, Colorado. This annual Program Review is a tremendous opportunity for Indian tribes to meet, learn from other Indian tribes that are pursuing energy self-sufficiency, and share in each other's successes.

The 2018 Program Review will feature project status updates from tribes across the nation who are leveraging Office of Indian Energy grant funding to deploy energy technologies or initiate the first steps to energy development.

While the event is focused on currently funded projects, it is open to all of Indian Country.

Source: DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, 8/3/18


Advanced Wind R&D to Reduce Costs and Environmental Impacts

Concept Papers Due: Aug. 15, 2018
Department of Energy

The Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) invests in early-stage applied energy science research, development, and validation activities for United States land-based, offshore and distributed wind power generation, manufacturing, and market barriers to lower wind energy costs, increase capacity, accelerate reliable and safe energy production, and address environmental and human use considerations.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) contains three Topic Areas:

  • Topic Area 1: Advancing Smart Curtailment Strategies
  • Topic Area 2: Advanced Component Research and Development
  • Topic Area 3: Development and Validation of Offshore Wind Monitoring and Mitigation Technologies

Estimated Total Program Funding:  $6 million

Source: Van Ness Feldman LLP, 7/26/18

Green Power7/27/2018

Green Power Partnership Program Update

July 2018
Issue 59

The EPA Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program encouraging organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.

In This Issue

  • July 2018 Top Partner List Updates Posted
  • Reminder – Registration Open for Renewable Energy Markets 2018
  • Upcoming GPP Webinar: Introduction to Green Power Supply Options
  • GPLA 2017 Winner Highlight – Iron Mountain Information Management
  • NYSERDA Inquiry: Financing Solutions for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sectors
  • Renewable Energy News
  • Photo of the Month: Raytheon Company
  • News Release: 2016 Data Book Shows Continued Growth of Renewable Electricity

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 7/26/18

Green Power7/23/2018

Colorado Springs Utilities signs deals for 95 MW of solar

Public power utility Colorado Springs Utilities on July 17 said that it has signed agreements with developers for two utility-scale solar projects that will total 95 megawatts.

The two projects will boost the utility’s solar energy offering to 130 megawatts. Combined with hydro power, the utility’s renewable energy portfolio will total about 15 percent of its summer generating capacity when the projects come online, Colorado Springs Utilities said.

The energy generated by both projects combined will be purchased by Springs Utilities for less than $31 per megawatt hour.

Source: Public Power Daily, 7/18/18

Green Power7/16/2018

​Improved Way to Make III-V Solar Cells Could Hold Key to Lower Costs

For an example of extremely high-efficient solar cells at work, look no further than Mars. The rovers NASA sent to the red planet in 2003 relied on solar panels the size of a kitchen table and capable of converting about 27% of sunlight into electricity. To put that same technology to work on Earth, where the average rooftop solar panel is 15% efficient, the cost would be, well, astronomical.

That could change, however, as scientists at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) work to refine the technique called hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE), which holds the potential to produce cheaper, more efficient solar cells capable of producing more electricity.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 7/16/18

Green Power7/13/2018

Trump effort to lift U.S. offshore wind sector sparks interest - from Europe

The Trump administration wants to fire up development of the U.S. offshore wind industry by streamlining permitting and carving out vast areas off the coast for leasing - part of its ‘America First’ policy to boost domestic energy production and jobs.

The Europeans have taken note.

The drive to open America’s offshore wind industry has attracted Europe’s biggest renewable energy companies, who see the U.S. East Coast as a new frontier after years of success across the Atlantic.

Less experienced U.S. wind power companies, meanwhile, have struggled to compete in their own backyard, according to lease data and interviews with industry executives. Many are steering clear of the opportunity altogether, concerned by development costs and attracted to cheaper options on land.

Source: Reuters via Wind Energy SmartBrief, 7/5/18

Reports and Studies7/13/2018

AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2017

The 10th edition of the Annual Market Report is now available. This comprehensive 160+ page report containing more than 100 charts and graphics covering the latest and most relevant industry trends, market rankings, and sector activity.

Maintaining a commitment to providing the industry with the most valuable industry information, this year’s report contains a suite of new content:

  • A map of wind project installations in 2017
  • A review of partial repowering activity
  • Expanded State Wind Power Rankings
  • 2017 Wind generation shares in each RTO/ISO
  • A map of completed and under development transmission lines

Download the full report now!

Source: American Wind Energy Association, 7/11/18


Department of Energy Announces $40 Million for Bio-Based Research

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $40 million in funding for 31 projects to advance research in the development of microbes as practical platforms for the production of biofuels and other bioproducts from renewable resources.

The projects will further the ongoing revolution in biology and biotechnology, and will increase our understanding of how nature’s sophisticated production capabilities at the cellular level can be harnessed to produce sustainable, clean, and efficient fuel as well as drive other industrial production processes.

“In coming years, the revolution in biotechnology and bio-based production methods are expected to transform the face of industry,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.  “These projects will help ensure that America continues to lead the way in developing the knowledge and expertise needed to capitalize on the many new opportunities of the emerging bioenergy fields.”

Source: DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 6/14/18

Green Power6/26/2018

Wind energy is making its way to Ward County

Wind energy is making its way to more areas in the Western region.

Officials in Ward County say three companies are in interested in projects: NextEra Renewable Resources, Southern Power and EDF Renewables.

Officials anticipate these companies will bring 200 wind turbines into the county over the next four years.

Construction on some of these projects are set as early as this fall.

Source: Minot Daily News via Wind Energy Smartbrief, 6/25/18

Green Power6/11/2018

Green Power Partnership Program Update

Issue 58 - June 2018

The EPA Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program encouraging organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.

In This Issue

  • Renewable Energy Markets 2018 – Registration Now Open
  • GPLA 2017 Winner Highlight – Clif Bar & Company
  • WRI Report: Describing Purchaser Impact in U.S.
  • Voluntary Renewable Energy Markets
  • Webinar: Setting a Renewable Energy Goal for Local Governments
  • Local Government Partners - Check out the Solar Project Portal
  • New GPP Resource! Green Power Equivalency Calculator
  • Partners In the News—Recent Press on the Green Power Partnership
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Releases
  • 2017 Rankings for Top 10 Utility Green Pricing Programs
  • Green Power and Renewables in the News

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 6/11/18

Reports and Studies6/7/2018

​Access to Data Accelerates Innovation and Adoption of Geothermal Technologies

The future of research and development in the geothermal sector is being driven by data-informed decisions and research built upon the quantifiable outcomes of previous endeavors.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has adopted a strategy of measuring success “not when a project is completed, or an experiment concluded, but when scientific and technical information is disseminated.” The timely dissemination of critical information is what allows future research projects to build upon previous lessons learned, reduce duplication of efforts, and combine findings into new innovative research projects.

Over the past few years, NREL’s geothermal team has developed several tools and platforms to streamline the collection and sharing of geothermal data sets, enabling new breakthroughs in geothermal research and development.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 5/18/18

Green Power6/7/2018

Sale Of Two Dot Wind Farm In Montana Now Complete

NJR Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), the clean energy subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, has completed the sale of its 9.7 MW wind farm in Two Dot, Mont., to South Dakota-based utility NorthWestern Energy.

NorthWestern Energy purchased the Two Dot wind farm for $18.5 million. The transaction, previously announced in March, was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 18.

Source: North American Windpower, 6/4/18

Reports and Studies5/29/2018

NREL Researchers Measure Impact of Eclipse on Electrical Grid

Despite temporary loss of nearly 6 gigawatts, stability and reliability was unaffected

During last summer’s total eclipse, solar energy output in the West dropped by about 5.9 gigawatts (GW) according to new analysis from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The August 21, 2017, solar eclipse cast a shadow from Oregon to South Carolina, completely concealing the sun along a 70-mile-wide path and causing the rest of the continent to experience partial darkness. The event provided the opportunity for researchers to see the effects of an eclipse on the U.S. electrical grid, which has had a steady increase in power from photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 5/9/18

Green Power5/24/2018

California to require rooftop solar for new homes

The California Energy Commission approved the 2019 Building Energy Code on Wednesday, requiring renewable energy access for all new residential homes in the state starting in 2020.

  • The code includes incentives for energy storage while mandating that the construction of new homes include advanced energy efficiency measures and rooftop solar.
  • The mandate could require between 68 and 241 MW of annual distributed solar buildout, according to ClearView Energy Partners' research using 2017 data.
  • All told, the new code is meant to save Californians a net $1.7 billion on energy bills, while advancing the state's efforts to build-out renewable energy, the commission said.

Source: Utility Dive, 5/9/18


Department of Energy Announces $72 Million to Advance High-Temperature Concentrating Solar Power Systems

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $72 million for new projects to advance high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies. These projects will extend previous research on high-temperature components, develop them into integrated assemblies, and test these components and systems through a wide range of operational conditions.

CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a focused point where it is collected and converted into heat. This thermal energy can be stored and used to produce electricity whenever it is needed. The best commercially available technologies can only reach 565 °C. The high-temperature thermal systems targeted by this program seek to achieve at least 700 °C, which would boost the efficiency and lower the cost of the electricity. If successful, these projects will lower the cost of a CSP system by approximately $0.02 per kilowatt-hour, which is 40 percent of the way to the office’s 2030 cost goals of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for baseload CSP plants.

Source: DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 5/15/18

Green Power5/14/2018

Q&A with Andy Walker: The Ins and Outs of Renewable Energy Optimization

Andy Walker is a recently appointed research fellow at NREL and the creator of Renewable Energy Optimization (REO), for which he holds a patent. REO techniques inform institutions across the world, from businesses such as Frito-Lay to government policies such as the U.S. Air Force’s approach to on-site generation. REO has since been developed by NREL staff to become the REopt tool. Andy’s research has centered on renewable energy cost analysis and renewable building design. He also teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado School of Mines, and Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has led the Solar Energy Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), edited the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, and is an ASME fellow.

The following is a discussion of REO’s transition to REopt and what’s on the way for the renewable energy planning software. This conversation has been edited for length.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 4/30/18

Reports and Studies5/4/2018

Renewables Account for More Than 70% of Proposed Net Generation Additions Over Next Three Years

Wind, solar, and other renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower) accounted for almost 95% (i.e., 94.9%) of all new U.S. electrical generation placed into service in the first quarter of this year, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of data released today by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions (FERC).

FERC's latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" (with summary statistics for January, February, and March 2018) shows that 16 new "units" of wind, totaling 1,793 megawatts (MW), came into service in the first three months of 2018 along with 92 units of solar (1,356-MW) for a total of 3,149-MW.  In addition, there was one unit of geothermal steam (19-MW), five units of water (18-MW), and three units of biomass (3-MW). 

Among non-renewable sources, six units of natural gas provided another 79-MW of new capacity along with five units of oil (10-MW), and one unit of nuclear (4-MW). There were also six units (80-MW) defined as "other" by FERC (e.g., fuel cells, batteries & storage). No capacity additions were reported for coal during the quarter.

FERC data also reveal that the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources now provides over one-fifth (i.e., 20.69%) of total available U.S. generating capacity. Combined, wind and solar alone exceed one-tenth (i.e., 10.44%) of installed capacity - a share greater than that of nuclear power (9.14%) or hydropower (8.52%) or or oil (3.56%).

FERC's report further suggests that the rapid expansion and growing dominance of renewable energy sources will continue at least through April 2021. Proposed new net generating capacity (i.e., additions minus retirements) by renewables over the next three years totals 148,281-MW or 70.1% of the total (i.e., 211,621-MW). Proposed new net generating capacity by wind (85,625-MW) and solar (49,088-MW) alone are 63.7% of the total - supplemented by hydropower (11,824-MW), geothermal (1,130-MW), and biomass (614-MW).

Most of the remaining net proposed new generating capacity to be added between now and April 2021is accounted for by natural gas (74,624-MW - 35.3%). Net proposed additions by nuclear total only 1,831-MW while those from oil are just 268-MW. FERC also lists proposed new net generating capacity from waste heat (96-MW) and "other" sources (680-MW). Notably, the net generating capacity of coal would actually decline by 14,177-MW as 15,864-MW of coal capacity is retired, eclipsing just 1,687-MW of additions.   

Source: Sun-Day Campaign, 5/2/18

Green Power5/4/2018

​Green Power Partnership Program Update

The EPA Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program encouraging organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.

In this issue:

  • EPA Concludes the 2017–18 College and University Green Power Challenge
  • April 2018 Top Partner List Updates Posted
  • 2017 Green Power Leadership Award Winner Spotlight – Stanford University
  • Photo of the Month – Johnson & Johnson
  • New GPP Resource!
  • ICYMI: Introduction to the Local Government Solar Project Portal Webinar
  • New NREL Training Resources for Local Governments
  • Report: Companies signed deals for 1,731 MW of renewables in Q1

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 4/30/18

Reports and Studies4/17/2018

Solar to jump 6% despite tariffs

The global solar PV market is set to grow 6 percent this year, despite tariffs enacted by President Trump.

GTM Research reported this morning that more than 100 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity will be added for the first time ever, even though the world's largest solar markets — the United States, China, India and Japan — are expected to decline collectively 7 percent this year partly because of ongoing trade battles, the market research firm said.

Annual installations of at least 100 GW globally also are projected to continue through at least 2022, according to the report.

Source: Greenwire, 4/16/18

Green Power4/13/2018

These huge new wind turbines are a marvel. They’re also the future.

The latest model has blades longer than football fields.

The declining price of solar power gets more press, but there are big things happening in wind technology too. And I mean big.

The math on wind turbines is pretty simple: Bigger is better. Specifically, there are two ways to produce more power from the wind in a given area.

The first is with bigger rotors and blades to cover a wider area. That increases the capacity of the turbine, i.e., its total potential production.

The second is to get the blades up higher into the atmosphere, where the wind blows more steadily. That increases the turbine’s “capacity factor,” i.e., the amount of power it actually produces relative to its total potential (or more colloquially: how often it runs).

Source: Vox, 4/13/18

Green Power4/6/2018

Utilities take note: Hybrid renewables projects are coming

An innovation in renewables generation that could change the way utilities think about meeting reliability and peak demand took some big steps forward in 2017.

Only a few U.S. utilities are pursuing hybrid projects that combine wind, solar and/or battery storage in various combinations. Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is operating a solar-plus-storage project that may be the first U.S. renewables-powered peaker plant. And Arizona Public Service (APS) just contracted with First Solar for what is said to be the first utility-scale renewables peaker plant.

Source: Utility Dive, 4/3/18

Green Power4/6/2018

Thanks to blockchain, change is on the horizon for renewable energy & carbon markets

5 ways blockchain is poised to “upgrade” existing systems and open access to renewable energy across the globe

Renewable energy and carbon market industry leaders gathered in Amsterdam on March 13–14 for the annual REC Market Meeting. At this global expert meeting focused on energy attribute tracking systems, representatives from 200+ organizations rallied around the notion of collaborative competition: the idea that all market participants, even industry competitors, stand to benefit from improvements to market fundamentals that increase investments in solar, wind, and other forms of renewably generated electricity. To advance this notion of collaborative competition, conference attendees called for greater transparency to enhance consumer choice as a means to unlock investments.

Source: Energy Web Foundation via Rocky Mountain Institute, 4/5/18

Reports and Studies4/6/2018

The two key questions about going to 100% renewables in Los Angeles

Will it be solar or more solar in Hollywood? And can solar star without fossil fuel backup?

In Hollywood, the big stars can sell a movie by themselves and Hollywood's utility wants to know if renewables are ready for stardom.

In 2016, the Los Angeles City Council asked the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to study the possibility of moving to a 100% renewables resource mix. For renewables, this could be what Hollywood calls a “marquee moment.” Many see in renewables the 'star' quality to run the 'show' on their own.

Others worry that co-stars, in the form of backup fossil generation, will be needed into the 2040s if LADWP is to guarantee reliable electricity for its 1.5 million-plus customers. That's because if renewables get casted, LADWP faces a big challenge: Limits on regional transmission constrain LA’s renewables choices largely to solar and more solar.

Source: Utility Dive, 4/5/18

Green Power4/5/2018

What makes a wind turbine break? NREL's drivetrain experts want to know.

As part of an investigation into turbine operational conditions most likely to cause drivetrain failures, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently installed a new gearbox and main bearing in the U.S. Department of Energy-owned General Electric 1.5-megawatt SLE turbine.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 3/21/18

Reports and Studies4/2/2018

Efficiency, DERs saving $2.6B in avoided transmission costs, CAISO says  

The transmission plan approved last week may be more significant for the projects it recommended canceling, than for the projects approved. The recommendations follow a lengthy stakeholder process that included public comment.

"The changes were mainly due to changes in local area load forecasts, and strongly influenced by energy efficiency programs and increasing levels of residential, rooftop solar generation," the grid operator said in a statement.  Another seven PG&E projects are either on hold or recommended to be delayed "pending further review in future transmission planning cycles."

Source: Utility Dive, 3/26/18

Green Power4/2/2018

Proposed Texas rule highlights storage's challenges in bridging competitive, regulated energy markets  

Energy storage’s unique ability to act as both generation and load makes it a round peg in the square peg board of utility regulation.

That mismatch is destined to come into sharper relief as a rulemaking on energy storage in Texas moves forward, highlighting some of the contentious issues the technology raises in competitive power markets.

Source: Utility Dive, 3/27/18

Green Power4/2/2018

Wind and solar costs continue to drop below fossil fuels. What barriers remain for a low-carbon grid?  

Wind and solar are now cheaper than virtually anyone predicted, and renewable technologies have reached an inflection point: Rapid cost declines made renewable energy the cheapest available sources of new electricity, even without subsidies, in 2017.  In many locations across America, building new wind energy projects is cheaper than running existing coal-fired power plants.

Since utilities are still overwhelmingly planning for a lower-carbon more distributed grid, we must reconsider and reform the institutions impeding a high-renewables, low-cost, reliable grid.  Siting and permitting, transmission construction and planning, utility business models, wholesale markets, finance policy, and distributed energy resource planning and compensation are all areas where policy lags behind technology and institutions threaten to stymie growth.

Source: Utility Dive, 3/21/18

Green Power4/2/2018

A huge new record in the Southwest Power Pool 

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) just set a huge new wind penetration record: on March 16 a little over 60 percent of the system’s electricity came from wind power. That’s a big deal for a system that provides electricity to customers across 14 states.

SPP serves many states right smack in the middle of the country where wind continues to grow– Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma, among others—so it’s no surprise that wind has routinely smashed penetration records over the past few months. In fact, SPP reports that wind has broken penetration records “six or seven” times in the past 90 days alone.

Source: Into the Wind, the AWEA blog; 3/22/18

Green Power3/26/2018

Want sustained solar growth? Just add energy storage.

2018 is poised to be a record-breaking year for solar globally. GTM Research projects that solar PV installations in 2018 will be the same as all solar installations pre-2013 combined. Certainly, in the short to medium term, solar power has a strong outlook. In the long term, however, solar power’s outlook is not so clear.  As solar PV penetration increases, the value of additional solar energy on the grid decreases due to falling capacity value. This has been shown by studies as well as empirical data from grids with large ‘duck curves’ like California which need to curtail solar when there is more solar generation than the grid can support. 

Source: Fluence via Energy Central, 3/26/18

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