Saturday, July 26, 2014

California - Making Community Solar Gardens Work | M.Cubed

California has been quite successful at encouraging the development of (1) large utility-scale renewables through the renewables portfolio standard (RPS) and other measures and (2) small-scale, single structure solar generation through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) and measures such as net energy metering (NEM).  However, there have been numerous market and regulatory barriers to developing and deploying the “in-between” community-scale and neighborhood-scalerenewables that hold substantial promise.
Community-scale and neighborhood-scale distributed generation (DG) includes some technologies that simply are not cost-effective at the small scale of a single house or business, but are not large enough to justify the transaction costs of participating in the larger wholesale electricity market.  These resources, such as “community solar gardens”, can meet the demands of many customers who cannot take advantage of adding renewables at their location and can also reduce investment in expensive new transmission projects. Examples of these types of projects are parking structure-scale solar photovoltaics, solar-thermal generation and space cooling, and biogas and biomass projects, some of which could provide district heating.  Technology costs are falling so rapidly that these mid-scale projects are becoming competitive with utility-scale resources when transmission cost savings are factored in. SB 43 (Wolk 2013) recognizes that the promise of mid-scale renewables has not been realized.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Solar-powered Gondola Saving Clean Mountain Air in Colorado

Visiting Telluride, Colorado, the first thing you notice, besides the spectacular mountain view, is a free gondola. The gondola, traveling from the town of Telluride to the town of Mountain Village, is the first and only free public transportation of its kind in the United States. It was built to improve air quality in the region by keeping cars off the road.
The town is also participating in SMPA’s community-owned solar program.  In December 2012, SMPA completed the 1.1-MW solar PV system in Paradox Valley, Colorado. It is "the nation’s largest community-owned solar array,” said Brad Zaporski, manager of member services at SMPA.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Westminster inks deal to draw energy from community solar gardens | Denver Post

Westminster is joining other communities in providing a way for residents to buy into solar energy without installing solar panels.

Denver-based SunShare is currently building solar fields in Jefferson and Adams county that will deliver a combined total of 4 megawatts of energy per year when they go online at the beginning of 2015.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nebraska - LES offers 'SunShares' as way to buy into community solar energy project

Lincoln Electric System customers who want to support renewable energy growth will have an opportunity to invest in a community-funded solar energy project.
The LES Administrative Board on Friday unveiled a new customer participation program that allows customers to buy so-called SunShares for $3 a month through their bills.
The city-owned utility plans to launch a marketing program soon to encourage customers to sign up for the voluntary program set to begin Aug. 2.
The size of the project that will use photovoltaic cells to generate electricity has not been determined, but LES is looking at up to 10 megawatts of capacity. One megawatt can power about 250 homes.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

San Juan Islander | COMMUNITY SOLAR for our SCHOOLS

Enroll in Community Solar today and be a part of the renewable energy future of San Juan County.
Your participation in Community Solar for our Schools will provide our students with renewable energy education and will generate renewable solar energy for our schools, reducing our schools' electricity costs.
To top it off, all participants receive payback through annual production incentive payments.
Four solar-electric systems will be installed at the schools on Lopez, Orcas, San Juan, and Shaw Islands. There will be no cost to the school districts for the purchase or installation of the solar-electric systems.
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Electricity Without the Grid | Center for American Progress

Community own solar microgrids can bring energy ownership to everyone, fighting poverty and climate change at the same time.

- Joy


Around the world, approximately 1.4 billion people, or one in five, lack any access to electricity. Millions more are limited to only intermittent access. This is commonly referred to as "energy poverty." Energy poverty remains a primary barrier to improving economic growth and well-being in the world's poorest communities. It disproportionately affects people living in rural areas, as many energy-deficient communities are located in areas that are too remote or impoverished to attract investment for centralized grid access. Now, new off-grid clean energy technology is revolutionizing electricity access in developing countries around the world.

The lack of energy access negatively affects many areas of daily life. Energy poverty has left more than 1 billion people in developing countries without access to adequate health care because the lack of electricity means health care facilities have to treat patients in the dark and cannot store medical supplies in refrigerated, sterile environments. Without the ability to store vaccines, blood, and some medicines at a constant temperature, these potentially life-saving treatments may go to waste. In India, 46 percent of the country's health care facilities, which serve around 580 million people, operate without electricity.

This Texas solar farm uses sheep for its landscaping needs | Grist

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