Consumers puts Michigan’s largest rooftop solar + battery project online – “Consumers Energy today dedicated Michigan’s first ever rooftop solar array and battery storage system in a vibrant and growing area of Grand Rapids. Nearly 1,800 solar panels atop the Bridge Street Market and adjoining buildings between Bridge and First Streets within the Circuit West district are accompanied nearby by a 500-kilowatt battery. It’s the first such energy distribution setup in Michigan and one of the first in the country intended to make renewable energy increasingly reliable and cost effective.” Unfortunately this also comes as Consumers has asked state regulators to stop accepting applications for new solar projects. (see our accompanying story this morning). Source: Consumers Energy
BlackRock names new head of renewables – BlackRock Inc. has named a new global head of renewable power, David Giordano. Giordano is replacing Jim Barry after eight years overseeing renewables in BlackRock’s Asia-Pacific and Americas regions. Giordano will be joined by Rory O’Connor, who was named global chief investment officer for the renewables group. Source: Bloomberg
300 MW, 3,200 acre, 5.5 square mile solar farm in Wisconsin by Invenergy, getting local pushback – Neighbor Alan Jewell – “To an accountant, it’s dirt,” Jewell said. “To somebody that works with land and feels it’s a partnership … it’s not an element to buy or sell, it’s an element to respect…This is an ugly, ugly mark on the land. Why am I having to have this thrust upon me?” People like him, who are not a part of the project, will live with the downsides but no benefit, he says. Badger Hollow is slated for completion in 2023, pending approval by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. It plans to use 2,200 acres of the site for up to 1.2 million solar panels. Wisconsin Public Service Corp. and Madison Gas & Electric plan to purchase interests equivalent to half of the plant’s generating capacity. – Source: Wisconsin Watch
Minneapolis “Green Zones” helping solar get installed in low income areas – Green zones were first created in California before spreading to Kansas City, Buffalo and a handful of other cities. The Minneapolis version came out of the city’s Climate Action Plan and was driven by environmental justice advocates. Businesses and nonprofits installed 6.2 megawatts of solar energy this year at 30 sites. Green zone solar projects receive 35 cents per kilowatt-hour; the rest of those in the city get 25 cents per kWh. That’s on top of state and federal incentives. Source: The Wichita Eagle
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