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Summary
Green Power12/11/2018

Smart blades given US outing

Three 20-metre long structures designed with bend-twist coupling by Fraunhofer IWES put to the test

Three innovative 20-metre long wind turbine blades are undergoing testing in the US as part of a German government-backed project.

The blades, which were designed by the Fraunhofer IWES research centre and built by the German aerospace centre, have been installed at the US Department of Energy's National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colorado, as part of the SmartBlade2 project.

The aim is to clarify how well the blades – designed with bend-twist coupling – are able to effectively dampen peak loads during strongly variable wind speeds.

Source: renews.Biz, 12/10/18

Funding12/11/2018

DOE Announces Intent to Issue New Funding Opportunity for Tribal Energy Infrastructure Development

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs announced a Notice of Intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) entitled “Energy Infrastructure Development on Indian Lands - 2019” early next year.

Through the planned FOA, the Office of Indian Energy intends to solicit applications from Indian tribes, which, for the purposes of the FOA, include Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations, and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations, to:

  • Install energy generating system(s) and/or energy efficiency measure(s) for tribal buildings;
  • Deploy community-scale energy generating system(s) on tribal lands; or
  • Install energy system(s) for autonomous operation (independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid) to power a single or multiple essential tribal facilities during emergency situations or for tribal community resilience.

DOE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of grants. Under the planned FOA and as required by statute, a 50% recipient cost share of the total project costs is required and must come from non-federal sources, unless otherwise allowed by law.

Source: DOE Office of Indian Energy, 12/12/18

Funding12/2/2018

​First deadline approaching for USDA 2019 guaranteed loans, grants

The Department of Agriculture provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. The deadline for Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants is Jan. 31, 2019.

Source: Van Ness Feldman, 12/3/18

Reports and Studies11/26/2018

State of the US Renewables Market: Rapid Growth and a ‘Lot of Risk’

The worlds of power markets and renewables are colliding, and nobody seems quite sure what to do about it.

Though still a miniscule fraction of grid power in many places, renewable energy resources have momentum on their side. As they grow, they alter the functioning of the markets in ways that look different from traditional generation.

Wood Mackenzie launched its Power & Renewables Summit last year to unpack these changes, and in the intervening time, the signs of change have grown clearer. Deployment queues in every U.S. region show a dramatic turn toward wind and solar, proving this is not just a groovy California thing anymore.

Once built, these resources, which are essentially free to dispatch but cannot be called on command, push down wholesale prices, initiate transmission congestion and create sharp ramping needs for dispatchable power plants.

Source: Greentech Media 11/16/18

Reports and Studies11/26/2018

​Explaining the plummeting cost of solar power

Researchers uncover the factors that have caused photovoltaic module costs to drop by 99 percent.

The dramatic drop in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which has fallen by 99 percent over the last four decades, is often touted as a major success story for renewable energy technology. But one question has never been fully addressed: What exactly accounts for that stunning drop?

A new analysis by MIT researchers has pinpointed what caused the savings, including the policies and technology changes that mattered most. For example, they found that government policy to help grow markets around the world played a critical role in reducing this technology’s costs. At the device level, the dominant factor was an increase in “conversion efficiency,” or the amount of power generated from a given amount of sunlight.

Source: MIT News, 11/20/18

Funding11/25/2018

​NREL Awarded $2.8M from ARPA-E to Develop Low-Cost Thermal Energy Storage

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been awarded nearly $2.8 million in funding from DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop a system for grid electricity storage and power generation. The system includes a high-temperature charging device, low-cost thermal energy storage modules, a high-performance heat exchanger, and a closed-loop Brayton cycle turbine.

As NREL Principal Investigator Zhiwen Ma explains, "When electric power is cheapest, electric heaters will ‘charge' the storage modules by heating stable, inexpensive solid particles to more than 1,100 degrees Celsius. And when it's time to discharge this energy, the hot particles will move through a heat exchanger to heat a working fluid that drives a high-efficiency closed-Brayton combined cycle attached to an electric generator."

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 11/26/18

Funding11/18/2018

DOE Announces Funding for Advanced Wind Turbine Generator R&D

The U.S Department of Energy's (DOE's) Wind Energy Technologies Office has announced a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled "Advanced Next-Generation, High-Efficiency, Lightweight Wind Turbine Generator." The primary objective of this FOA is to develop a lightweight, more efficient wind turbine drivetrain system (gearbox and generator, or direct drive generator) that minimizes the use of rare earth magnets and contributes to the scaling of wind turbine power capacities beyond 10MW. Projects funded through this funding opportunity will result in the design, fabrication, and up-tower testing of advanced multi-megawatt-scale wind turbine prototype drivetrains. This work will further DOE's goal to reduce the cost of energy from wind by decreasing nacelle and tower mass, reducing O&M and replacement costs, and improving performance.

Source: DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office, 11/14/18

Reports and Studies11/14/2018

Study says Minnesota can economically reach renewable energy goals by 2050 

Minnesota can economically get 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050, as prices for wind, solar and battery storage continue to fall, a study has found.

The deployment of more solar and wind generation would be no more costly than new natural gas power, a cheap source of electricity, according to the study done for the state Department of Commerce. Enough solar generation could be added cost-effectively by 2030 to meet Minnesota’s ambitious solar-power goals.

Source: Minnesota Star Tribune, 11/15/18

Green Power11/14/2018

Green Power Partnership Program Update Issue 61 • November 2018

Green Power Partnership (GPP) Program Updates are published monthly and provide the latest news and updates on the Partnership.

In This Issue

  • 2018 Green Power Leadership Award Winners Announced
  • Top Partner Rankings & Green Power Communities List Updated October 29
  • GPP Kicks Off 2018–19 College & University Challenge
  • Partner Spotlight – Bank of America
  • Green Power Partners in the News
  • GPP Featured on Twitter
  • NEW – Solar Project Portal Video for Local Governments
  • Webinar: Solar Project Site Assessment for Local Governments
  • NREL Releases Status and Trends Report on Voluntary Green Power Market
  • National Scorecard Reports How States Stack Up on Shared Renewable Energy Programs

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 11/14/18

Green Power11/12/2018

BLM Soliciting Public Input On NextEra’s Borderlands Wind

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Socorro Field Office will hold a public meeting to accept written public comments, provide information and answer questions related to the 100 MW Borderlands Wind Project, a New Mexico facility proposed by NextEra Energy.

The meeting will be held at Quemado Elementary and High School, 3484 Highway 60, Quemado, NM, on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 5-7:30 p.m.

Borderlands Wind LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, is proposing a wind generation facility in western Catron County. The Borderlands Wind Project would be built near Quemado and the Arizona-New Mexico border on 40,348 acres of land.

Source: North American Windpower, 11/5/18

Funding11/12/2018

​Golden's NREL Federal Grant: $7 Million For Solar Energy Research

Golden-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory received $7 million in federal grant funding for solar energy research, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday. The grant is part of a $72 million package aimed at developing solar energy systems that can generate extreme heat for industry and thermal storage systems.

NREL's Pathway to SunShot team, led by Principal Investigator Craig Turchi, proposes a "molten salt power tower." According to the Dept. of Energy, the project will "design, develop, and test a two-megawatt thermal system consisting of the solar receiver, thermal energy storage tanks and associated pumps, heat exchangers, piping, valves, sensors, and heat tracing."

Source: EnergyCentral.com, 11/5/18

Green Power11/12/2018

​Navajo Nation Eyes Utility-Scale Solar with Growing Interest

Momentum is growing around modernizing tribal renewable-energy policies on the Navajo Nation of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, according to a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

The report —“Growing Interest in Developing Navajo Utility-Scale Solar Industry: Policy Momentum and Grassroots Support; Vast Tribal Natural Resource Remains Largely Untapped”— details movement on three fronts.

Source: Renewable Energy World, 11/1/18

Reports and Studies11/8/2018

How Will Wind Industry Find the Answer? With WISDEM

When doctoral student Katherine Dykes visited the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) eight years ago for an inaugural workshop on combining wind energy with systems engineering, she saw a similar PowerPoint slide at each of the presentations: "What is systems engineering?"

"Thankfully, I haven’t seen it in a while," said Dykes, who joined the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) NREL in the summer of 2011 and now works as a senior engineer at the NWTC.

From there, Dykes has spread the word throughout the wind industry about systems engineering. This interdisciplinary approach takes everything into account so that customer needs and wind turbine design, performance, and cost are all equally important.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 11/7/18

Funding11/4/2018

Learn about the DOE Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program

Nov. 7
Noon-1 p.m. MT

In July, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its initial solicitation for the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP), which made up to $2 billion in loan guarantees available for tribal energy development. As with all new programs, we think it is important to share information with potential beneficiaries and make sure they know how best to engage with the program.

As part of DOE's effort to create awareness about TELGP and learn more about tribal energy needs, the program has participated in a number of events over the past few months, including the Fall Finance & Tribal Economies Conference of the Native American Finance Officers Association. As a follow-up to that conference, DOE is partnering with NAFOA to host a webinar about TELGP on Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 12–1 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

The topics to be covered in this conversation include:

  • Goals of TELGP
  • Project eligibility
  • How the TELGP application process works
  • Case studies of DOE’s experience with its similarly structured Financial Institution Partnership Program
  • How DOE engages with borrowers as a collaborative partner

Register for the webinar. 

Source: DOE Office of Indian Energy, 11/5/18

Green Power10/26/2018

Can the price of rooftop solar keep falling?

Rooftop solar's growth has slowed nationally, but its price to customers continues to fall, leaving market watchers questioning its future.

In 2017, the installed price of residential photovoltaic (PV) solar continued its 20-year price decline, but at a slower pace than the 2009 to 2013 glory years. Tariffs on imported solar products and the rising cost of finding customers slowed the price decline and flattened growth, leaving installers, policymakers and utilities asking if the price will keep falling and, if it does, how low it will go. Changing solar incentives make this question especially important.

Source: Utility Dive, 10/18/18

Reports and Studies10/26/2018

​California regulators prod utilities to start drafting roadmap to 100% clean energy

The sum of renewables procurements from California electricity providers is not enough to achieve the state's 2045 target, and regulators are struggling for solutions.

California's 44 electricity providers are updating their formal plans to meet the state's new 60% renewables by 2030 mandate and its 100% clean energy by 2045 goal.

Investor-owned utility (IOU) regulatory filings say they have adequate renewables to meet the 2030 requirement and will begin procuring again after that. Customer choice aggregator (CCA) filings say they will procure adequate renewables to meet the 2030 mandate, though they do not specify how or when. And electric service providers (ESPs) say they don't do long-term procurements.

Source: Utility Dive via Wind Energy SmartBrief, 10/25/18

Green Power10/15/2018

EPA Honors 2018 Green Power Leaders

 Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces its 18th annual Green Power Leadership Awards, recognizing 10 Green Power Partners across the country, including Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and University of California.

“The 2018 Green Power Leadership Award winners have proven real leadership, demonstrating to American businesses that through their investments they can together not only grow America’s renewable energy market, but also reduce air emissions and protect the environment,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum.

The award winners are being recognized for their efforts in advancing the nation’s voluntary green power market. From using enough green power to meet 100 percent of electricity needs to signing long-term contracts that enable new green power project development, these organizations are demonstrating leadership by furthering the case for accessible, affordable green power use.

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 10/10/18

Reports and Studies10/12/2018

Combined wind and solar made up at least 20% of electric generation in 10 states in 2017

Wind and solar electric generation, including small-scale solar photovoltaics, reached or exceeded 20% of total generation in 10 states in 2017. During some months in 2017, wind accounted for more than 50% of in-state electricity generation in Iowa and Kansas, and solar accounted for more than 20% of in-state electricity generation in California. Total annual generation from wind and solar in the United States in 2017 reached 8% for the year and peaked at 11% in April of that year.

Wind and solar resources are unique among sources of electricity. Unlike most other generating technologies, grid operators generally do not dispatch wind and solar generation because these generators produce electricity only when the associated resources are available. Even so, some wind and solar plants may allow for limited dispatcher control on a minute-to-minute basis. For example, by setting operating levels to slightly lower than achievable levels for current conditions, operators have some flexibility to increase or decrease output in response to market signals.

Source: US Energy Information Administration via Chron, 10/11/18

Green Power9/26/2018

Solar trade groups roll out tool to streamline permitting, interconnection

Dive Brief:

  • Two national solar groups on Monday launched a new campaign aimed at streamlining the permitting and inspection process, which they say adds approximately $1/watt to the cost of a typical residential solar energy installation.
  • The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation (TSF) teamed up on the proposal to replace the current "patchwork" of rules and regulations with "standardized online permitting and interconnection" tools they say could save $7,000 on the average rooftop installation.
  • The groups say a move its Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) could mean the development of an additional 1.1 million residential solar systems and 30,000 jobs over a five year period.

Source: Utility Dive, 9/25/18

Reports and Studies9/26/2018

NREL releases report on solar potential for low income households

Rooftop Solar Technical Potential for Low-to-Moderate Income Households in the United States expands upon previous NREL research investigating the technical potential of rooftop solar in the United States, aiming to improve the understanding in the residential sector, particularly for low-to-moderate income households. Technical potential is a metric that quantifies the maximum generation available from a technology for a given region and does not consider the economic or market viability. A unique contribution of this work is to estimate rooftop solar technical potential of residential buildings per U.S. Census Tract by income, building type, and tenure.

NREL researchers actively publish their latest scientific findings and breakthroughs in technical reports, journal articles, conference papers, patents, presentations, and more. 

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 9/1/18

Funding9/25/2018

Energy Department Announces $5 Million for Energy Planning, Innovative Energy Practices, and Technical Assistance in 16 States

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced approximately $5 million in funding for 16 states to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and improve energy productivity. Through DOE’s State Energy Program (SEP), each of the 16 awardees will work to advance energy efficiency, renewable energy, grid resiliency, and improve energy reliability and affordability. Several of the SEP projects are multi-state partnerships, expanding the impact of these investments.

Learn more about the projects announced today HERE
 
Source: DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 9/21/18

Green Power9/20/2018

​First Distributed Energy Conference to be held in Colorado

Oct. 15-17
Denver Marriot West
Golden, Colorado

Drawing on the experience and 135+ year history of POWER magazine, along with two decades of success in bringing together power generation professionals with the ELECTRIC POWER conference, our team is launching the Distributed Energy Conference (DEC), providing a platform for power industry executives and operational specialists with hands-on experience to exchange insights and ideas. DEC offers a fresh look at distributed generation through a conference program and sponsor opportunity prospectus focused on commercial, industrial, and utility applications; business case strategies; regulatory issues; and grid integration challenges.

Source: Power Magazine, 9/20/18

Green Power9/20/2018

Demand Response & Distributed Energy Resources World Forum: Optimizing Auto-DR and Distributed Energy Resources for the Future Network 

Oct. 16-17
Costa Mesa, California

Utilities around the world are under increasing pressure to accommodate energy efficiency, control load, and integrate distributed energy resources such as renewables. These factors plus an urgent need to control greenhouse gasses are driving new requirements for energy resiliency, sustainability, and power quality -- all of which impact the traditional utility business case. For utilities to thrive in this changing market, they must embrace greater network agility and work with customers to maximize value for all stakeholders in the value chain.

Source: Utility Dive, 9/19/18

Funding9/20/2018

​DOE provides $148M in funding for separate energy storage research efforts

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday announced $148 million in funding for two separate initiatives aimed at advancing research into energy storage technologies.
  • The DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program announced awards totaling just over $28 million for 10 projects that aim to increase the duration of energy storage systems up to 100 hours.
  • The DOE also said it would provide $120 million over five years to renew funding for the Joint Center for Energy Story Research (JCESR) program that does research and development on new battery materials

Source: Utility Dive, 9/19/18

Reports and Studies9/17/2018

​OK, You Met Your Renewable Goals — Now What? 

State laws boosting wind and solar power have seen remarkable success over the past two decades.

But in the past couple of years, the role of renewable portfolio standards — state requirements for utilities to supply a minimum amount of retail electricity from renewable energy — has waned, according to a Lawrence Berkeley National Lab study. In some cases the use of renewables has grown even without mandates, but many environmental leaders contend they are still necessary to drive growth in the industry.

Source: Stateline, 9/12/18

Reports and Studies9/17/2018

Led by Surging Residential Sector, Q2 US Energy Storage Deployments Grow 200% Year-Over-Year

Highlights from the latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor.

For the first time ever, the U.S. saw more home energy storage than front-of-meter storage deployed in a single quarter.

According to the latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor from the Energy Storage Association and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (formerly known as GTM Research) 156.5 megawatt-hours of energy storage were deployed in the second quarter of 2018, triple what was deployed in the second quarter of 2017. The residential segment led the way, growing tenfold year-over-year.

Residential deployments were concentrated in two states, California and Hawaii, which together account for 72 percent of megawatt-hours on the quarter. Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables senior analyst Brett Simon notes that there are no signs these two states will relinquish their residential market lead; however, he posits that there is an exciting race for the No. 3 spot. Simon points to both Massachusetts with its new SMART program and Arizona, which may see some new tariff structures, as key contenders.

Source: Greentech Media, 9/6/18

Reports and Studies8/27/2018

​Updated Guide to Purchasing Green Power Released

EPA is pleased to announce the release of the updated Guide to Purchasing Green Power. The Guide provides current and potential buyers of green power with information about green power purchasing. It covers the green power procurement process, different green power supply options, benefits of green power purchasing, as well as information on how to capture the greatest benefit from your purchase.

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 8/22/18

Reports and Studies8/27/2018

​2018 Utility Solar Market Snapshot - Part I of a III part series

Direct from utilities: hard facts, no guesswork.

The 11th annual Utility Solar Market Snapshot delivers what no other industry report can: analysis and figures based on verified interconnection data from over 420 utilities across the United States. In this year’s snapshot, you'll find the most significant solar deployment insights along with national trends to keep you up to date on the U.S. solar market.

SEPA surveyed electric utilities from across the country to bring you the most accurate data, trends, and insights possible.

Source: Smart Electric Power Association, 8/22/18

Funding8/27/2018

Department of Energy funds $9 million in tribal energy projects, includes solar

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today nearly $9 million in funding for 15 tribal energy infrastructure projects. This funding through the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs will help Native American and Alaska Native communities harness their vast undeveloped energy resources to reduce or stabilize energy costs, as well as increase energy security and resilience.

These energy projects, valued in total at nearly $25 million, are the result of a competitive funding opportunity announcement (FOA) announced February 16, 2018.

“This funding opportunity was the first time the Office of Indian Energy has solicited fuel- and technology-neutral projects, which expands the potential for tribes to utilize the particular resources they have available on their lands,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “These new projects exemplify this Administration’s all-of-the-above energy policy and principles of true tribal sovereignty.”

Source: Solar Power World via Utility Dive, 8/15/18

Reports and Studies8/27/2018

More Breakthroughs Are Needed to Keep Wildlife From Curtailing Wind Farms

The wind industry has done a lot to protect wildlife. But there are still more technological and operational solutions to pursue.

People with binoculars stationed around a wind farm in Wyoming spotted just 17 out of 100 birds flying nearby that a battery of computer-driven cameras was able to “see” with their electronic eyes.

The camera system, within a half a second of spotting each bird, could tell whether it was an eagle with over 90 percent accuracy. That compared to 70 percent accuracy for the eyes of human spotters.

The trials have been so promising that Duke Energy bought 24 of the IdentiFlight units to anchor a smart curtailment strategy at its Top of the World site in Glenrock. The project was previously handed a $1 million federal fine in 2013 for fatal collisions with birds, including 14 golden eagles.

Source: Greentech Media via American Wind Energy Association, 8/13/18

Green Power8/27/2018

What Red State Kansas Can Teach Blue State Mass. About Renewable Energy

Cloud County, Kansas, is about as far as you can get, politically speaking, from proudly progressive Massachusetts. In the 2016 election, 75 percent of the county’s  voters supported Donald Trump. Yet it was there, almost a decade ago, that I saw my first utility-scale wind farm, its turbines stretching gracefully across wheat fields and cattle pastures. Why, I wondered at the time, was wind power welcomed by this staunchly conservative farming and ranching community while we New Englanders — avid theoretical supporters of clean energy — were so busy fighting wind development in the Berkshires and on Nantucket Sound?

Source: WBUR Radio via American Wind Energy Association, 8/14/18

Green Power8/27/2018

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 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

Funding8/3/2018

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

Funding7/27/2018

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

Funding6/27/2018

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

Funding5/24/2018

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

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