pvMB: 3/27/19: Lansing could go renewable, Freedom Forever expands to Illinois… and more!


Lansing could go 100% renewable – Lansing Michigan, come on down, you are the most recent American city to propose the switch to a 100% renewable energy mandate, according to a proposal by Lansing mayor Andy Schor. Furthermore, he wants the switch to happen at the beginning of the fiscal new year, including the switch in his budget proposal. The proposal must still be approved by the Lansing city council. Around Michigan, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor also reportedly have plans to switch completely to renewable energy sources. Source: Michigan Radio NPR


WV pumps brakes on killing net metering – You don’t want to be on the wrong side of a task force. As a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, you would not want to be near the International Ice Cream Task Force. The same is true of net metering and West Virginia’s Net Metering Task Force. Established in 2015, the force has spent four years attempting to “stop net metering ‘cross subsidization,’ to mandate new NEM and interconnection study and rules, and to limit NEM to 3% of aggregated load, with 0.5% for residential customers.” However, due to an exceptional public outcry led by Solar United Neighbors that led to thousands of public comments, the force has called its first time-out, signaling that support for the removal of net metering could be dwindling. Source: CleanTechnica


Mitsubishi launches U.S. renewable development arm – “Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MHPS) today announced the launch of Oriden, a renewable energy solutions provider… Located in Pittsburgh, PA, the organization will be fully-backed by MHPS to pursue end-to-end offerings of renewable energy solutions, yet will operate independent of the larger company… Oriden can fulfill multiple roles within the renewable energy space, providing customized solutions based upon end-user needs — including development and permitting, construction, financing/ownership, and asset management. The team will initially focus on distributed renewable solutions, with an emphasis on solar PV and energy storage systems. This will include community solar, behind-the-meter commercial & industrial customers, and distribution level front-of-the-meter projects.” Source: Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas


Colorado man to test effectivity potential of solar, agriculture and honeybee pairing – We’ve long relayed the natural symbiosis the comes with pairing solar arrays with flora and, sometimes, honey bee colonies. One Colorado man, Byron Kominek is putting this effectivity to the test, using his family farm as a research center for measuring whether the shadows panels provide are helpful to vegetation and insects. Byron is conducting this study along with researchers from Colorado State University, the University of Arizona and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The studying parties hope that shade provided when the sun is directly overhead will cut down on plants overheating, increase photosynthesis and lead to bigger harvests. Source: Times-Call Local News


Freedom Forever expands to Illinois – Residential solar installation company Freedom Forever is expanding operations into Illinois. This will be the fifth state of operation for Freedom Forever, with the other four being California, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. The company chose Illinois thanks to a recent commitment to renewable energy by state legislators under the auspices of the Future Energy Jobs Act. Source: Freedom Forever


Vistra Energy supports upcoming Illinois bill to transition former coal sites to solar – The upcoming Illinois Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act of 2019 is already receiving support before its filing, now from Vistra Energy. As alluded to in the title of the bill, the act would call for the addition of solar and battery storage systems to coal plants before they are ultimately shot down. This is significant because coal plants owned by Vistra subsidiaries account for 40% of MISO Zone 4’s summer capacity. This legislation will allow for a smoother transition away from these plants over the next five years than just shutting them down would. Source: Vistra Energy


Tesla launches Model 3 for the masses, sorta – In what could very well be a case of mass attempted upselling, or just more waiting on Tesla, thousands of customers of Tesla’s new base $35,000 Model 3 with standard battery pack are allegedly being told that their delivery is being delayed. Customers are receiving the following communication from Tesla: “Our apologies, we will need to reschedule your delivery appointment to a later date. A Tesla representative will reach out when we have a better estimate of your delivery timing.” Buyers are also reportedly being reached out to by reps of the company attempting to upsell them to the $60,000 Standard Plus Model 3. Source: Elektrek


A big diet makes for a portable, solar-powered tiny home – A pink and green vehicular monstrosity to some, a feat of engineering and opportunity to others. This is the tiny home that Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses was commissioned to make for a customer with very specific needs.Among those needs: two 360 watt solar panels, an additional, retractable solar awning and a storage system comprised of 3 24 V/ 100 Ah lithium batteries. The solar + storage aspect isn’t the only energy efficiency tech in the house either, as it was constructed to be 300 pounds lighter and a foot shorter than other tiny houses, in an effort to reduce weight and drag and increase fuel economy when towed. Source: New Atlas


Conti Solar to provide EPC services for NJR Clean Energy – “Conti Solar, a national solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), O&M and energy storage development company, announced today that it was selected by NJR Clean Energy Ventures (NJRCEV) to provide EPC services for two commercial solar projects located in Milford and Washington Township, New Jersey totaling approximately 20 megawatts (MW)… Conti and NJRCEV have previously worked together on the construction of three solar projects in the state with a combined installed capacity of 25 MW.” Source: Conti Solar


Wonderful Company to go 100% renewable in U.S. by 2025 – The Wonderful Company, known most likely for the company’s creative pistachio commercials and even better pistachios, has announced that it will be transitioning to 100% renewably sourced electricity for all of the company’s U.S. operations by 2025. This comes just months after The Wonderful Company signed a 23 MW purchase agreement with NextEra to develop a 23 MW solar facility in California’s Central Valley. The company has also joined RE100, a collaborative for businesses committed to transitioning to 100% renewable electricity. Source: The Wonderful Company

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