DC spreads solar energy benefits through ‘Solar for All’: Unlike most people, Sam Buggs actually looks forward to getting his electricity bill. That’s because his monthly statement from Pepco regularly includes a credit of $40 to $50. It’s the discount he gets because of the power generated to the grid by photovoltaic panels on the rooftop of his apartment building in the District of Columbia. Buggs is one of thousands helped so far by the District’s ambitious Solar for All initiative, which aims to provide 100,000 low-income families with the benefits of locally generated clean energy — and cut their energy bills in half in the process. He lives in the Maycroft Apartments, 64 units of affordable housing in Columbia Heights where two-thirds of the residents earn 30% or less of the area’s median income. Because he’s disabled and living on a fixed income, Buggs said the credit on his power bill means he can afford to buy a couple of extra meals every month or pay another bill he’d been putting off. “It’s a blessing. I can’t say it enough,” he said. Source: Bay Journal
Peachtree Corners – the nation’s first smart city environment powered by real-world infrastructure and next-generation connectivity – unveiled the city’s new solar roadway system which produces energy for a solar-powered EV charging station located at city hall. The installation also marked the first road surface-powered solar panels to be activated in a United States city. The solar roadway is located in a section of Technology Parkway’s autonomous vehicle test lane and was provided to the city through a partnership with The Ray, a nonprofit living laboratory and proving ground located along an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85 spanning between LaGrange and the Georgia/Alabama state line. The new system at Peachtree Corners will produce more than 1,300 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually for a Level 2 EV charger at city hall at no cost to EV motorists. The charger is also equipped with an energy storage system for nighttime charging. The Wattway solar roadway panels, manufactured by French transportation innovator Colas Group in partnership with the French National Solar Energy Institute, were engineered to be more durable and efficient – resulting in a 21% performance increase over previously deployed panels. Source: City of Peachtree Corners, Georgia
The Oakland City Council voted unanimously to ban natural gas in newly constructed apartment and commercial buildings. The measure requires all developers to design new residential and commercial buildings without natural gas. Developers can apply for waivers for “technology feasibility reasons” to avoid abiding by the new regulation. Existing buildings, additions and accessory dwelling units are not affected by the legislation. “Oakland’s national leadership to build cleaner, safer, and healthier cities for all families continues with this historic transition to all-electric buildings,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf in a statement. Councilman Dan Kalb, the lead author of the legislation, said Oakland can’t meet its climate goals without shifting away from natural gas use. Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Ohio bill would ban new large solar and wind projects for up to three years: The bill’s sponsors voted last year to gut state clean energy standards while subsidizing nuclear and coal bailouts. An Ohio bill introduced last month would halt most large solar or wind energy development for up to three years — an echo of previous policies that stunted the state’s renewable growth for much of the last decade. The legislation does not appear to have broad support, but it is concerning to critics nonetheless because it reflects some lawmakers’ ongoing hostility to renewable energy, despite its growing economic importance. “It’s a relentless attack on the inevitability of where the energy market is today and where it’s going,” said Rep. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, who opposes the bill. “It’s a bury-our-heads-in-the-sand mentality that is just so, so locked in with the status quo, while the rest of the world and country are moving on.” Source: Energy News Network
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