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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

Green Power3/26/2018

Minnesota Governor Declares March 22 ‘Clean Energy Business Day’

On Thursday, Gov. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., delivered a proclamation that declared March 22 as “Clean Energy Business Day” in Minnesota.

The proclamation coincided with Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol – an advocacy day for business owners, clean energy workers and advocates.

“Clean energy businesses employ 57,351 Minnesotans, as of 2016, with wages 42 percent higher than the statewide average,” Dayton proclaimed. “Minnesota’s nation-leading clean energy policies have established a unique competitive advantage for innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses to deliver value-added products and services growing Minnesota’s clean energy markets.”

Source: North American WindPower, 3/23/18

Green Power3/23/2018

​DOE sponsors collegiate wind competition

According to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Wind Vision report, wind generation could double by 2020—and double again by 2030. As the U.S. power generation mix incorporates more wind energy, qualified workers will be needed to fill related jobs at all levels.

To help facilitate this process, DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory created the Collegiate Wind Competition in 2014. The competition aims to prepare students from multiple disciplines to enter the wind energy workforce by providing real-world technology experience.

Learn more about how to get involved in the Collegiate Wind Competition.

Source: DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 3/22/18

Reports and Studies3/23/2018

Resilient Solar: Powering and Empowering Communities

Institute for Sustainable Communities

This publication shares the stories of trailblazing resilient solar projects in New York City, Baltimore, Duluth, and San Francisco, and connects readers to tools, resources, and lessons learned that they can put to use in their own communities.

More Information

Communities across the U.S. are exploring how resilient solar can help strengthen resilience, advance renewable energy goals, and best serve vulnerable neighborhoods during disasters. Our latest publication showcases efforts in four U.S. cities—New York City, Baltimore, Duluth, and San Francisco—as promising examples of how resilient solar can power, and empower, communities. With strong leadership provided by community-based organizations, universities, and municipalities, these collaborative projects are demonstrating the power to profoundly improve the health, safety, and well-being of communities, particularly those who are historically underserved and often most vulnerable to disaster.

Read our report and join us April 5 for a webinar to learn more about these resilient solar projects and what made them successful.

This webinar will highlight how cities play an important role in advancing individual projects and developing resilience strategies.

Source: Institute for Sustainable Communities, 3/16/18


​USDA Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants

Apply by April 30

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications to provide guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

These loan guarantees and grants are part of USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which was created under the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized under the 2014 Farm Bill. REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations. Eligible systems may derive energy from wind, solar, hydro-electric, ocean, hydrogen, geothermal or renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters).

The deadline to apply for grants is April 30, 2018. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year round. Learn more about the program and how to apply. Note: Indian tribes are not directly applicable; however, Indian tribes with agricultural operations and or small businesses may be eligible. Please see the eligibility requirements and/or contact USDA directly with questions.

Source: DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, 3/23/18

Reports and Studies3/23/2018

Report: Offshore Wind Could Power East Coast ‘For Decades To Come’

From Maine to Florida, the winds blowing off the Atlantic Coast could be the power source for a clean energy future, according to a new report entitled “Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind,” released today by Environment America and Frontier Group.

The report finds that winds blowing off the Atlantic coast could provide four times more electricity each year than the region currently uses. Moreover, 12 of the 14 coastal states have offshore wind potential that exceeds their current electricity consumption, the report adds.

Source: North American Wind Power, 3/22/18


Up To $11.5 Million Available for Energy Infrastructure Deployment on Tribal Lands

Deadline: April 19

On February 16, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $11.5 million in new funding to deploy energy infrastructure on tribal lands. This funding through the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs will support Native American and Alaska Native communities interested in harnessing their vast undeveloped energy resources.

Source: US Department of Energy, 2/16/18

Green Power3/22/2018

On the duck's 10th birthday, here's how to keep it from eating the power system

In 2008, the Duck Curve revealed the high solar penetration threat; has it been met?

A fat, slow-moving, 10-year-old duck threatens the U.S. power grid, despite the many engineering minds that have been and are still hunting it.

Ten years ago, researchers began thinking about the impact of rising renewables penetrations on the power system. They noticed solar creates a unique challenge because it can take over for less variable generation during the day but fades just when demand peaks in the evening.

Where solar penetrations rose fastest, power system operators and researchers saw increasing reason for concern about this challenge. It led them to discover new levels of grid flexibility that are still taking shape.

Source: Utility Dive, 3/22/18

Reports and Studies3/20/2018

​SEU 2018 survey: Utilities shaken, not moved, by Trump policies

A new survey of North American utility executives shows them wary of President Donald Trump's energy policies, but unmoved in their commitment to a cleaner energy future.

Utility Dive's 2018 State of the Electric Utility Survey, out today, reveals a sector still overwhelmingly committed to moving to a lower-carbon, more distributed electricity system. But it also shows that professionals are increasingly concerned with policy and market uncertainty following the first year of the Trump administration.

Source: Utility Dive via Energy Services Bulletin, 2/27/18

Green Power3/20/2018

Green Power Partnership Program Update, Issue #56

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

  • Reminder: Green Power Leadership Award Application Period Open through April 6!
  • Renewable Energy Markets 2018: Call for Abstracts
  • Upcoming Data Deadline for Top Partner Rankings and College & University Challenge
  • New Guidance Document: “Offsets and RECs: What’s the Difference?”
  • Green Power Partners Leading the Way
  • Partner Spotlight: Snyder’s-Lance
  • Photos of the Month: Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute
  • Webinar: Renewable Energy Markets 101
  • Webinar Recap: Feb 21 State of the Voluntary Market
  • Webinar Opportunity and Newly Released Guidance
  • Voluntary Data Request from NREL and WWF to Gauge Renewable Energy Interest in the Southeast

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 3/20/18

Green Power3/7/2018

Are utilities missing out on the opportunity to use old coal sites for solar?

Utilities could turn liabilities into assets by building solar arrays where burning coal has left a site unsuitable for other purposes — but only a few forward-looking utilities are even exploring the possibility.

Unused coal sites make up a small portion of the 450,000+ U.S. brownfields, where expansion, redevelopment or reuse is complicated by hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. But a coal site is a liability for its utility or independent power producer (IPP) owner. It offers no benefits and imposes maintenance costs that burden ratepayers and shareholders.

Two small utilities, one in Florida and another in Massachusetts, have turned financial burdens into financial opportunities, and other utilities may benefit by looking at what they've done.

Source: Utility Dive, 3/8/18

Reports and Studies2/14/2018

Energy storage webinar available online 

The Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) presented the webinar, State of the US Energy Storage Industry: 2017 Year in Review, on Feb. 13. Guest speakers from GTM Research shared insights related to recent developments in the US energy storage market, including deployment trends, policy updates and market outlook.

ESTAP is supported by The DOE Office of Electricity and Sandia National Laboratories support ESTAP, and the Clean Energy States Alliance manages the partnership.

Register for upcoming webinars 

  • Solar+Storage for Public and Affordable Housing
    Thursday, Feb. 22, 11 am-12 pm MT
  • One Year In – Energy Storage Proves its Worth in Sterling, MA
    Wednesday, March 7, 11 am-12 pm MT
  • Valuing Resilience: Exploring the Role of Solar+Storage in Grid Outages
    Wednesday, March 14, 11 am-12 pm MT

Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 2/13/18

Reports and Studies2/7/2018

Cost-Reduction Roadmap Outlines Two Pathways to Meet DOE Residential Solar Cost Target for 2030

Installing photovoltaics at the time of roof replacement or as part of the new home construction process could enable significant cost savings

Leveraging cost-reduction opportunities in the roof replacement or new construction markets for residential photovoltaic (PV) installations could help the United States meet the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) residential solar photovoltaic cost target by 2030, according to new research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2/8/18

Green Power1/31/2018

Awards for Saving Energy at Federal Facilities

Each year the Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) sponsors the Federal Energy and Water Management Awards to honor outstanding federal agency achievements in energy, water, and fleet management. Please distribute the attached 2018 Awards Criteria and Guidelines and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions to appropriate staff in your agency and encourage them to submit nominations for these awards. All nominations must be submitted into FEMP's Awards Nomination Website by Thursday, April 26, 2018. The system is now open to accept nominations.

FEMP will offer two identical one-hour WebEx presentations that will provide an overview of the 2018 awards criteria and eligibility requirements, as well as tips on how to prepare nomination narratives. Register for the February 22 meeting at 1:30 pm EDT, or for the March 13 meeting at 2:00 pm EDT.

FEMP plans to announce the 2018 Federal Award winners in July 2018.

Source: US Federal Energy Management Program, 2/1/18

Reports and Studies1/31/2018

​Promising PV Financing Strategies for Low- and Moderate-Income Customers

Historically, low-and moderate-income (LMI) customers have lacked equal access to solar photovoltaics (PV), in large part because of the unique barriers they face. Rent, lower credit scores, and limited savings often make upfront investments in PV more difficult for these customers. To begin addressing this issue, some states have adopted innovative financing programs to provide LMI residents with access to PV. A new report from National Renewable Energy Laboratory could offer important guidance for these programs.

Unlocking Solar for Low- and Moderate-income Residents: A Matrix of Financing Options by Resident, Provider, and Housing Type examines 13 financing options—such as direct cash incentives, on-bill financing, and third-party leasing—to finance PV for LMI customers across three housing types: single family, multifamily, and manufactured housing. Variables, such as housing type, ownership status, and whether the resident receives federal housing assistance, affect which of the financing options will be optimal for a given customer.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory via, 2/1/18

Reports and Studies1/24/2018

N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center Releases Q4 Solar Policy Update to The 50 States of Solar

The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, in conjunction with Meister Consultants Group, Inc., announces the release of a special annual review edition of the quarterly report, The 50 States of Solar. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on distributed solar policy, with a focus on net metering, community solar, residential fixed charges, residential solar charges, third-party ownership, and utility-led rooftop solar programs.

This latest edition includes an extensive review and analysis of major solar policy developments during the 2015 calendar year, followed by comprehensive solar policy changes proposed and adopted during the last quarter of 2015.

Source: North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, via Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, 1/24/18


Environmental Education Local Grants Program for Regions 1-10: Solicitation Notice for 2018

Applications Due: March 15, 2018
Environmental Protection Agency

The purpose of the Environmental Education Local Grants Program is to support locally-focused environmental education projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental and conservation issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment.

Source: Van Ness Feldman, 1/17/18

Green Power1/21/2018

​2018 Webinar Series: Tribal Sovereignty and Self-Determination through Community Energy Development

The DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs and WAPA are pleased to co-sponsor the 2018 webinar series, entitled Tribal Sovereignty and Self-Determination through Community Energy Development. The series includes 11 webinars, all offered at no cost and held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mountain Time the last Wednesday of each month, beginning in January and concluding in November.

Roughly two million American Indians and Alaska Natives from 567 federally recognized tribes live on or near 56.2 million acres of Indian land. The 2018 webinar series will provide these diverse communities with information and knowledge to evaluate and prioritize energy options; establish tribal consensus on energy goals and objectives; take short and long-range actions; make informed technical, financial, market, policy and regulatory decisions; and take advantage of proven tribal energy development best practices. The webinars will highlight tribal case studies and provide attendees with tools and resources to facilitate and accelerate community energy and infrastructure development in Indian Country.

There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. Attendees must have Internet access, computer compatibility with GoToMeeting software, and a phone line. Find additional information and register for the webinars.

Source: Office of Indian Energy, 1/18/18

Green Power1/15/2018

Two NREL Projects Awarded More Than $3 Million to Advance Novel Solar Forecasting Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced its selection of two projects led by researchers at NREL, each to receive more than $1.5 million, to advance predictive modeling for the uncertainty of solar power while improving grid reliability. The projects will be led by Bri-Mathias Hodge, manager of the Power Systems Design and Studies Group in the Power Systems Engineering Center (PSEC); and Manjit Sengupta, a chief scientist in the Sensing and Predictive Analytics Group in PSEC.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1/11/18 

Green Power1/15/2018

​Hydro Newsletter - Volume 5, Issue 1

In our first installment of Van Ness Feldman's Hydro Newsletter for 2018:

  • Full Panel of FERC Commissioners Restored
  • Legislative Update
  • DC Circuit Affirms FERC Order Denying Claim for Headwater Benefits Overpayments
  • FERC Issues Final Rule Modifying Its Methodology for Calculating Annual Charges for Use of Government Lands in Alaska

Source: Van Ness Feldman, 1/2/18

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