Wednesday, September 17, 2014

For Minnesota churches, clean energy is a higher calling | Midwest Energy News

Bethel Evangelical Lutheran and Minnesota Community Solar came together earlier this year to promote a solar garden that will sit atop the roof of the Minneapolis church.
Without a panel yet installed, the 40-kilowatt (kW) solar garden attracted enough support from the church’s members and surrounding Bancroft neighborhood to be fully subscribed. The project encapsulated for Rev. Brenda L. Froisland a deeper spiritual tug that speaks to her faith and the teachings of Christianity.
“Part of our vision is that in gratitude, Bethel amplifies God’s grace, nourishes God’s creation, reaches out and builds community,” she said. “This is very much a manifestation of those points and our vision. “We’re noting this incredible resource called solar energy God gives us, and we’re nourishing God’s creation by reducing our carbon footprint and consuming less coal — all that’s connected to global warming, sustainability and simplicity.”

Routt County commissioners hesitate to invest public monies in community solar garden

 — The Routt County commissioners placed an emphasis on the goal of transitioning to “future energy economies” in their recent strategic planning process, and they already oversee a significant solar array on top of the Routt County Justice Center on the west side of Steamboat Springs. But they weren’t ready Monday to tell Facilities Director Tim Winter to continue to explore investing in the new community solar garden that Clean Energy Collective is planning to begin constructing next month in Craig in collaboration with Yampa Valley Electric Association.

Commissioners Steve Ivancie and Doug Monger said they were uncomfortable investing public dollars given CEC’s unwillingness to share with them some of the financial details involved in building the solar array.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Off to China!

From Thursday September 18 until November 5, I will be traveling in China for the Low-Carbon Earth Summit and to meet with renewable energy professionals and NGOs. Depending on the access I have available, I may be able to blog as I travel. However, if my access is limited, there may be a gap in blog postings until I return.

Thank you so much to the Solar Gardens community! Thanks to all of you SGI has raised the full $5000 in cash and in-kind contributions to make this important journey a reality.

many thanks,

Joy Hughes
Founder, Solar Gardens Institute

Friday, September 12, 2014

Intelligent Generation: Integrating Solar And Storage Profitably - Forbes

In 2009, Jay Marhoefer observed what was going on in energy markets and decided it was time to create a virtual power plant.  There were few actors in the space at that time who were talking about virtual power plants, and most of them were demand response (DR) providers such as EnerNOC, Constellation, or Energy Curtailment Services. Those actors were looking at 'dispatching' energy from customers who would otherwise be consuming it at certain times.

Marhoefer, on the other hand, thought he could dispatch actual power from storage located on the customer premise.  In this way, he could create the same types of value as demand response, but without inconveniencing the customers by turning things off. The idea was to develop a software-as-a-service business, controlling storage assets behind the meter while creating value for the customer.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oregon: Central Electric Cooperative plans 'community solar project' meetings |

To educate its members about national and regional growth in utility-developed community solar projects and the possibility of establishing one of its own, Central Electric Cooperative today announced a slate of October informational meetings. Members can attend any one of eight meetings that fit their schedule.

A community solar project is a single, large facility powered arrays of solar photovoltaic panels and supported by the direct participation of individuals, businesses or agencies. In CEC’s case, participants must be co-op members.
“We want to explain the concept to our members and hear their ideas,” said Dave Markham, CEC president and chief executive officer.
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Soulardarity: Donate to bring solar streetlights to inner-city Highland Park, Michigan

This is an amazing grassroots, youth-led organization that is bringing solar-powered streetlights to a community that has been left in the dark. Please watch their video and donate to the cause!
Soulardarity is a community organization formed in response to the repossession of over 1000 streetlights from the city of Highland Park, MI. We’re building community power, promoting community-owned clean energy, and creating self-determination in Highland Park through the collective planning and cooperative ownership of 200 solar-powered streetlights. We just installed our second streetlight at a community park in HP. In the next year, we are launching a community cooperative and installing the first 20 streetlights owned by the Co-op. We need your help to raise $25K to pay local organizers, build the cooperative, and leverage full funding for the 20 streetlights in 2015, with the full 200 coming within two years.
Watch video and donate here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Washington: Community solar program pursued | The Columbian

Clark Public Utilities is pursuing a community solar project that would allow customers to purchase a stake in putting electricity generated by the sun onto the grid.
The utility is working with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes renewables, to develop the project's design and to prepare a request for bids to build an installation of solar panels.
Not all of the details have been worked out. And the utility's Board of Commissioners must give the final OK before a contractor goes to work, and before marketing and operations begin. But plans call for the utility to build and operate a solar panel array near the corner of Northeast Padden Parkway and Northeast 117th Avenue at the Clark Public Utilities Operations Center.