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Green Power News



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Summary
Green Power8/18/2017

Silicon Valley Power Recognized as Top 10 National Green Power Leader by U.S. Department of Energy

 Silicon Valley Power’s (SVP) green power program, Santa Clara Green Power, has once again been honored as one of the Top 10 utility green power programs in the nation by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.  This is the eleventh year that SVP’s Santa Clara Green Power program has made the esteemed Top 10 list and the second year in a row it has ranked in the top 10 in three out of four green power categories – percentage of customer participation, green power sales as a percentage of total utility retail electricity sales, and total green power sales.

Source: Silicon Valley Power, 8/15/17

Reports and Studies8/17/2017

Priority Considerations for Interconnection Standards

The power grid is much like our network of country roads and highways, carrying energy from its origin to its final destination. Interconnection standards are, in effect, the “rules of the road” set by policymakers, which both system owners and utilities must follow to keep traffic flowing smoothly. The quality of these rules facilitates an easy free-flow of traffic, or result in unnecessary gridlock.

This new quick reference guide serves as a supplement to IREC’s Interconnection Model Rules, with key considerations for states working to improve/update interconnection procedures. Each section offers a description of the key components to interconnection based on established and well-vetted national best practices.

Source: Interstate Renewable Energy Council, August 2017

Reports and Studies8/17/2017

​Annual Wind Power Report Confirms Technology Advancements, Improved Project Performance, and Low Wind Energy Prices

Wind energy pricing for land-based, utility-scale projects remains attractive to utility and commercial purchasers, according to an annual report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Prices offered by newly built wind projects in the United States are averaging around 2¢/kWh, driven lower by technology advancements and cost reductions. 
 
"Wind energy prices--particularly in the central United States, and supported by federal tax incentives--are at all-time lows, with utilities and corporate buyers selecting wind as the low-cost option," said Berkeley Lab Senior Scientist Ryan Wiser.

Source: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, 8/14/17

Green Power8/17/2017

CESA Releases Solar Consumer Education Video Series

The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), in conjunction with the George Washington University Solar Institute, has released three short videos for consumers who are considering adopting solar:

  • Rooftop Solar Financing 101 introduces three common solar financing methods: loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs) and briefly explains some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Choosing a Solar Installer offers advice for customers in selecting a solar contractor, questions that customers should ask a solar contractor, and information that should be included in a solar contractor’s bid.
  • Will Solar Panels Save You Money? discusses key questions homeowners should explore when assessing whether going solar makes financial sense, including how the cost of solar compares to savings from solar, how the federal tax credit works, and the extent to which a homeowner’s electricity bill can be offset by solar. 

The videos are free. States and municipalities and other solar stakeholders are encouraged to share the videos and to use them as resources on their websites.

Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 8/11/17

Green Power8/8/2017

​The CESA Brief​​ 

August 2017

The CESA Brief e-newsletter provides periodic updates about the programs and accomplishments of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) and its member organizations.

Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 8/7/17

Reports and Studies8/7/2017

​Wind-Wildlife Updates: News, Upcoming Event Details, and New Resources

Keep up with the latest information on sustainable wind-wildlife solutions. Also, learn about conferences and educational events coming to your area.

Source: American Wind Wildlife Institute, 7/31/17

Reports and Studies8/7/2017

New Study on Demand Charges Savings from Commercial Solar

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are collaborating in a series of studies to understand how solar PV can reduce demand charge levels for a variety of customer types and demand charges designs. Previous work focused on residential customs with solar. This study, instead, focuses on commercial customers and seeks to understand the extent and conditions under which rooftop can solar reduce commercial demand charges. To answer these questions, we simulate demand charge savings for a broad range of commercial customer types, demand charge designs, locations, and PV system characteristics. This particular analysis does not include storage, but a subsequent analysis in this series will evaluate demand charge savings for commercial customers with solar and storage.

Highlights of this work will be presented through a webinar, on Wednesday, August 16, at 9:00 AM Pacific Time. Please register in advance.

Source: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, 7/31/17

Green Power8/1/2017

As plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) become more common, the challenges to managing their interactions with the power grid increase accordingly. Argonne researchers provide support to emerging technology development in grid connectivity, bridging the needs of the EV manufacturers and the utility companies that supply electricity. This research and development effort focuses on practical applications that will enhance market acceptance of plug-in vehicles and their charging infrastructure.

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, 8/1/17

Reports and Studies8/1/2017

​ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment 

Following are the terms of the ENERGY STAR Partnership Agreement as it pertains to the manufacture and labeling of ENERGY STAR certified products. The ENERGY STAR Partner must adhere to the following partner commitments: 

  • Certifying Products 
  • Using the ENERGY STAR Name and Marks 
  • Verifying Ongoing Product Certification
  • Providing Information to EPA
  • Training and Consumer Education 
  • Performance for Special Distinction

Source: EPA Energy Star Program, 8/1/17

Green Power8/1/2017

​Hydro Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 8​

  • Lack of FERC Quorum Continues
  • Legislative Update
  • Fourth Circuit Holds That Licensees Need Not Maximize Recreation Development
The professionals at Van Ness Feldman possess decades of experience covering every aspect of hydroelectric development, ranging from licensing, environmental permitting, regulatory compliance, litigation, transmission and rates, public policy, transactions and land use planning.  If you would like additional information on the issues touched upon in this newsletter, please contact any member of the firm’s hydroelectric practice

Source: Van Ness Feldman, 7/31/17

Green Power7/28/2017

Green Power Partnership update for July 2017  

Issue 51, July 27, 2017

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

  • Updated Top Partner Rankings
  • New Partners Promote Green Power & EPA Partnership
  • Partner Spotlight: Amphitheater Public Schools
  • Photo of the Month: Intel’s Solar Carport
  • IREC’s Shared Renewables Scorecard
  • Renewable Energy Markets Conference – Early Bird Registration Through August 14
  • NREL Releases 2016 Rankings for Top 10 Utility Green Pricing Programs
  • Center for Resource Solutions Webinar Recap: Overview of Updates to the Green-e Energy National Standard
  • Clean Energy States Alliance RPS Webinar Recap: When Renewable Portfolio Standards Max Out

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 7/27/17

Reports and Studies7/25/2017

New Berkeley Lab annual report on state RPS policies​​

Berkeley Lab has released U.S. Renewables Portfolio Standards: 2017 Annual Status Report, an annual report by Berkeley Lab reviewing key trends in state renewables portfolio standards (RPS).
 
This annual update, which is published in slide-deck form, builds on Berkeley Lab's ongoing efforts to track and analyze state RPS policies. Among other topics, it describes recent legislative revisions, key policy design features, past and projected impacts on renewables development, compliance trends, and costs. The 2017 edition of the report presents historical data through year-end 2016 and projections through 2030. The report is published along with several data files that include Berkeley Lab's RPS demand projections and historical compliance data. 

Source: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, 7/24/17

Reports and Studies7/25/2017

As part of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Electricity Innovation Lab, RMI partnered with three leading utilities—Arizona Public Service (APS), Avista Utilities, and Con Edison—to explore best practices for utility innovation and the design, execution, and evaluation of utility pilot and demonstration projects. Industry stakeholders representing regulatory bodies, utilities, technology providers and advocates gave broad input on what works well, what does not and how to improve project results.

The new report, Pathways for Innovation: The Role of Pilots and Demonstrations in Reinventing the Utility Business Model, provides recommendations for utilities, regulators, and DER providers, centered around five primary themes that emerged when researchers investigated the state of utility demonstration programs in the U.S.

Download the report and join RMI for a webinar Wednesday, July 26, at 11:00 am Mountain Time to learn more.

Source: Rocky Mountain Institute, 7/25/17​

Reports and Studies7/21/2017

Updating State Utility Interconnection Rules for Improved Distribution System Modeling and Advanced Inverter Functions

This research paper briefly summarizes the current status of interconnection rules and reviews the many changes now being developed within the IEEE and Underwriters Laboratory (UL) standards working groups, as well as the various screening methods used for evaluating interconnection applications that states and utilities have recently updated.

The paper also reviews several practices for facilitating safe and reliable interconnections that are already working well in some jurisdictions, and that could be readily adopted by other states and utilities.

Source: The National Regulatory Research Institute, 7/15/17

Funding7/21/2017

​Grant Opportunity: Photovoltaics (PV) Innovation Roadmap

Deadline: July 31, 2017

The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to PV technology pathways in order to inform SunShot’s strategic planning. We greatly appreciate your time and contribution to enhance the relevance and timeliness of federally funded research. This is solely a request for information and not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). EERE is not accepting applications. Please note that all submission must be submitted to the PVRD@ee.doe.gov in order to be accepted.

Source: Grants.gov, 6/27/17

Funding7/20/2017

About $330M left in New Clean Renewable Energy Bond program

About $329.7 million of New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds can still be allocated to states, localities and other users, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The unused allocations stand at $150.3 million for governmental bodies and $179.36 million for cooperative electric companies, the IRS stated in its latest update published on July 3.

The overall program was authorized for $2.4 billion in bonding authority.

One third of the $2.4 billion New CREBs program was authorized for use by public power companies, but unlike governmental bodies and electric cooperatives they faced a deadline to apply.

Source: Council of Development Finance Agencies, 7/10/17

Reports and Studies7/13/2017

​NREL releases new solar tools for midsized projects

Prospective solar customers interested in projects smaller than 2 megawatts now have new resources to help them make sound decisions that are right for their circumstances.

The Natioonal Renewable Energy Laboratory has launched a website based on State Solar Policy Resource: A State-by-State Policy Guide for Midsized Solar Customers. The guide equips prospective solar customers with the tools necessary to understand and use the solar policies of their state for midmarket solar projects. Midmarket projects are behind-the-meter PV systems with a generation capacity between 50 kilowatts and 2 megawatts.

This inventory serves as an online and up-to-date version of the report's state-by-state summaries. Each state's webpage highlights policy gaps and opportunities in that state's policies that either inhibit or enable midmarket projects.

Also, a new fact sheet, Sustainability Actions in Higher Education, explains how solar and other renewable purchasing options can fit into campus sustainability planning. This fact sheet reviews solar pricing trends (both over time and regionally), provides resources for evaluating solar, and compares solar to other sustainability actions, such as efficiency investments and renewable purchasing.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 7/12/17

Green Power7/13/2017

​NREL Brings Midmarket Solar PV Technical Assistance to 36 Universities and Colleges

NREL has offered no-cost technical assistance to American universities seeking to go solar. The program, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot initiative, is designed to increase the deployment of mid-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at universities, engage stakeholders to develop deployment solutions, and empower decision makers.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 6/2/17

Reports and Studies7/13/2017

CESA posts presentation from renewable portfolio standard webinar

Many state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies will reach their peak requirement over the next few years. This webinar explores what could happen to state RPSs when they max out, and what options the states have when, and if, they begin to plan for the end of RPS in their states.

This webinar draws on a new RPS Collaborative report, When Renewable Portfolio Standards Max Out.  In this webinar, author Ed Holt presented the report’s key findings. Warren Leon, executive director of CESA, hosted the webinar.

This webinar was presented by Clean Energy States Alliance for the RPS Collaborative.

Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 7/12/17

Funding7/13/2017

​Funding available for building tribal energy development capacity

Deadline: Oct. 9, 2017

The Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs for the Department of the Interior, through the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, Division of Energy and Mineral Development is soliciting grant proposals from federally recognized Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, regional or village corporations, tribal organizations, and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations to build tribal capacity for energy resource development or management.

For this program, capacity building refers to developing organizational structures, business entity structures, or developing or enhancing regulatory functions, all related to tribal energy development for the purpose of strengthening tribal capacity for development and management of energy projects.

See the FOA.

Source: Van Ness Feldman, 7/11/17

Funding7/13/2017

​RFI: Photovoltaics Innovation Roadmap

Applications Due: July 31, 2017

The purpose of this request for information is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to PV technology pathways in order to inform SunShot’s strategic planning.

See the RFI.

Source: Van Ness Feldman, 7/11/17

Funding7/13/2017

​Proposals for improving undergraduate STEM education requested

Applications Due: Oct. 10, 2017

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience invites proposals that specifically address the current needs and opportunities related to undergraduate education within the geosciences community. The primary goal of the IUSE: GEOPATHS funding opportunity is to increase the number of undergraduate students interested in pursuing undergraduate degrees and/or post-graduate degrees in geoscience through the design and testing of novel approaches for engaging students in authentic, career-relevant experiences in geoscience. In order to broaden participation in the geosciences, engaging undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups or from non-geoscience degree programs is a priority.

The IUSE: GEOPATHS solicitation features two funding tracks:

  1. Engaging students in the geosciences through extra-curricular experiences and training activities (GEOPATHS-EXTRA), and
  2. Improving pathways into the geosciences through institutional collaborations and transfer (GEOPATHS-IMPACT).

See the FOA.

Estimated Total Program Funding:  $5 million

Source: Van Ness Feldman, 7/11/17

Green Power7/10/2017

​DGIC hosts plug-and-play solar webinar

July 19
12 PM MT

A free webinar on the topic of plug-and-play solar will be presented by the Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative July 19.

To date, the solar interconnection process has involved a narrowly defined set of equipment, installed by professionals in a specific way. However, new technologies may radically simplify the construction, wiring and interconnection of these systems. Learn how these new "plug-and-play" technologies and techniques could deliver equipment and labor cost savings, require changes to interconnection standards and procedures and even reduce utility effort needed for analysis and inspection.

Stay tuned to the DGIC website for more information on our webinar planned for September on aggregation of distributed energy resources.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 7/7/17

Reports and Studies7/10/2017

Webinars on the Latest Wind-Wildlife Research and Tools

The American Wind Wildlife Institute hosts regular NWCC webinars on the latest research and tools related to the interactions of wind energy, wildlife, and wildlife habitat.  To receive notifications about upcoming webinars, please sign up for the NWCC email list.

If you are interested in sharing your work on a webinar, please contact Paige Johnson.

Source: National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, 7/7/17

Green Power7/10/2017

Nevada’s New Solar Law Is About Much More Than Net Metering  

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 405 into law on Thursday to the cheers of solar companies and advocates. AB 405 reinstates net metering for rooftop solar customers in Nevada, after utility regulators eliminated the policy in December 2015, throwing the Silver State’s solar market into disarray.

Because the policy change was applied retroactively, it triggered enormous public outcry, and the steep new fees effectively put a freeze on new rooftop solar installations. Nevada saw a 32 percent decline in solar jobs last year after large residential installers chose to pull out of the state. But with the new law now in place, Tesla, Sunrun and Vivint Solar said they plan to resume sales immediately.

Source: GreenTech Media, 6/16/17

Reports and Studies7/10/2017

CEC launches clean energy tracking web page

The California Energy Commission's Tracking Progress webpage provides sector-specific summaries of California's progress toward a cleaner energy future. An update on Energy Efficiency is now available. This also incorporates an update on the California Clean Energy Jobs Act: Prop 39 which had previously been reported on separately in the Tracking Progress page.

Source: California Energy Commission, 7/5/17

Reports and Studies6/30/2017

​Solar Plus: A Holistic Approach to Distributed Solar PV

A new NREL report analyzes “solar plus,” an emerging approach to distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment that uses energy storage and controllable devices to optimize customer economics.

Changes in electricity rate structures could make distributed PV adoption less economically attractive to customers. Several states and utilities have implemented or proposed policies to move away from net metering and have developed new residential time-of-use rate structures that affect the customer value of PV generation. At the same time, increasing PV adoption has raised concerns about the variability of PV generation and its impact on the electricity grid. These issues have prompted the PV industry to consider new ways to optimize the customer value of distributed PV systems.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 6/29/17

Reports and Studies6/29/2017

Berkeley Lab report examines factors influencing community acceptance of wind energy

Wind power is consistently rated in opinion polls as among the most popular forms of energy, yet individual wind farms can meet strong opposition from their host communities. What explains this gap, and what are the factors that influence these attitudes?

A new Berkeley Lab report attempts to get answers by reviewing three decades of research on community acceptance of wind energy in North America.

The full report, "Thirty years of North American wind energy acceptance research: What have we learned?" is available for download.

The report has also been published in the peer-reviewed journal, Energy Research and Social Science. The journal article version   is available for free until July 14, 2017.

Source: Berkeley Laboratory, 6/28/17

Green Power6/29/2017

​Transmission grid is focus of day-long webinar

This year's second WIRES University explored an oft-neglected but fundamental aspect of North American INFRASTRUCTURE—the high voltage electric transmission grid. This whole-day session explained the grid’s importance as an enabler of markets and new technology as the economy becomes more thoroughly electrified. Our grid must also adapt to a distributed energy future which calls for a smarter and more flexible network.

This session delved into the details of why modernizing our high-voltage grid infrastructure is more critical than ever, given the age of the nation’s transmission facilities, the fundamental changes occurring in electric generation, and the demands on the system. Expansion and upgrade of the grid will make it more resilient and deliver increased economic, environmental, and consumer benefits in the range of $50 billion annually.

Source: Environmental and Energy Study Institute, 5/25/17

Green Power6/29/2017

Green Power Partnership Update for June

Issue 50, June 20, 2017

The Green Power Partnership is proud to announce that this marks the fiftieth issue of our Program Update! Before the Program Update, GPP published the Green Power Planet. Check out this excerpt from the very first issue of the Green Power Planet e-newsletter, which was distributed on June 25, 2003.

  • Issue Number 50!
  • Partner Data Deadline is July 5, 2017 for GPP Top Partner Rankings
  • Partner Spotlight: L’Oréal USA
  • In the News
  • On Twitter? If You Choose, You Can Use #EPAGreenPower For Your Tweets about Your Green Power Use
  • Partners Celebrating Their 10-Year Anniversary with the Green Power Partnership
  • Welcome New Partners
  • Photo of the Month
  • New Resources Added to Toolbox for Renewable Energy Project Development
  • New Report on Corporate Sourcing of Renewable Energy Internationally
  • State and Metro Rankings Released: Download Clean Edge’s 2017 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index
  • Washington State’s Clean Air Rule

Source: EPA Green Power Partnership, 6/20/17

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