Lake Olympia solar co-op selects Sunfinity, more renewables do not lead to more air pollution: pvMB 11/4/19

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Lake Olympia solar co-op selects Sunfinity Renewable Energy – “The Lake Olympia Co-op has selected Sunfinity Renewable Energy to install solar panels for the 33-member group. Co-op members selected Sunfinity through a competitive bidding process over seven other firms. Co-op members selected Sunfinity because of their competitive pricing, variety of products offered including different types of panels and batteries. The co-op is open to new members until November 15. Missouri City residents interested in joining the co-op can sign up at: https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/lakeolympia/” Source: Solar United Neighbors

 

More renewables do not lead to more air pollution from power plants, science finds – In news that will absolutely shock you, the Union of Concerned Scientists has concluded that the increased use of renewable energy in California has not increased the overall amount of air pollution from power plants. Wow. This disputes the common claim that high penetrations of renewables actually bring more pollution onto the grid, via the ramping in non-renewable generation used to cover intermittency. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

 

TVA contract drawbacks outweigh benefits for Knoxville – Last Thursday, I attended the Knoxville Utility Board’s (KUB) monthly Board meeting where I encouraged KUB to refrain from signing the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new long-term contracts. The utility has been strongly encouraging local power companies (LPC) to enter 20-year all requirement contracts, over the current 5-year contracts. While the long-term contract TVA is presenting to LPC’s come with a few incentives, after scrutinizing the ill-defined and non-flexible contract, it’s clear to us at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) that what TVA is laying out on the table isn’t worth the negatives associated with signing it. So far 131 other utilities across TVA’s service territory have signed the new contract. Notably some of TVA’s largest customers, including Memphis Light, Gas and Water have not signed. It’s unclear to us at SACE how much KUB’s Board will be involved in the decision to move forward with them. We have unsuccessfully reached out to KUB’s CEO Gabe Bolas on the issue. Regardless, we urge KUB to not prematurely sign the contract and retain power and flexibility for the customers they serve to achieve Knoxville’s newly established carbon goals.” Source CleanEnergy.org

 

Constellation breaks ground on Georgetown solar farm expansion – The Delaware Electric Cooperative’s Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm in Sussex County, Delaware has begun the upgrade process, as Constellation is currently building a 17-acre, 4.2 MW-dc addition to the solar farm. The 17-acres of new solar panels at the farm are expected to provide enough energy to power more than 400 homes. The combined 40-acres of solar panels located at the site are expected to produce enough energy to power nearly 1,000 homes. Source: Constellation

 

Chair of Energy and Commerce Committee calls out utility obstruction to rooftop solar – Energy and Commerce Chairman (D-NJ) delivered the following remarks today at an Energy Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions for the U.S. Power Sector.” The hearing is the fifth hearing in the Committee’s climate change series aimed at developing comprehensive legislation to achieve a 100 percent clean economy by 2050:

In the power sector, there are clear, achievable ways to get to 80 percent decarbonization – but it’s the last 20 percent that will, by far, be the biggest challenge. We must use all available tools. Getting to 100 percent will require a balanced portfolio of low- and zero-carbon technologies – including solar, wind and nuclear power – as well as energy storage and carbon capture technologies. Without this balanced portfolio, deep decarbonization will happen at a slower pace and at a higher cost to homeowners and businesses. A solution that is unaffordable or technologically infeasible isn’t really a solution at all. As we transition to a 100 percent clean economy, we must ensure that it does not harm people already struggling to afford their electricity bills. We must also look to break down market barriers to clean electricity development. For example, in some areas of the country, monopoly utilities effectively prevent customers from installing and using rooftop solar. Over 70 percent of corporate renewable energy purchases occur in areas with competitive electricity markets, which illustrates the challenges that exist to renewable development in markets where one utility has a monopoly. Source: Sunrun