As a further sign that solar is going mainstream across the United States, a new report by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs finds that southeastern states hosted 40% of the utility-scale solar installed nationally in 2017. Interconnection queues have swelled to 188.5 GW of utility solar capacity, eight times more than installed capacity.
With Minnesota’s utilities set to exceed the state’s Renewable Energy Standard, a statewide clean energy association is talking with candidates for governor to promote a higher mandate, to help attract renewables investment and jobs. Similar efforts are underway in eight other states.
A utility survey shows battery storage capacity growing sharply, including solar + storage installations in several states. Looking ahead, FERC Order 841 could spark extensive new storage for grid services, helping more utilities become familiar with storage and its benefits.
Speaking the language of manufacturing, employment, and economic opportunity, five prominent corporations have backed a 2.2 gigawatt solar goal for Ohio by 2030.
The nonprofit has partnered with more than 40 Native American tribes to install about three megawatts of solar capacity since 2010, and train 550 individuals.
A study finds that “just the operating costs of many existing coal assets” now exceed total costs for new solar and wind power in the Mountain West. The Tri-State utility, for example, could save $600 million by 2030 by phasing out five coal units in favor of solar, wind and purchases of wholesale capacity and power.
According to a recent study, the benefits of distributed storage would well exceed its costs, making storage a cost-effective resource that utilities must employ under Massachusetts law. The benefit/cost findings may be applicable in other states, to the extent that the Massachusetts grid is representative of other grids nationwide.
A simple comparison of per-MWh costs for solar versus PacifiCorp’s existing coal-fired generation found that new solar would cost less than the going-forward costs of 11 coal units with a combined 2.73 GW of capacity.
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