Friday, June 17, 2016

Maryland PSC Approves Final Community Solar Regulations | CleanTechnica

Maryland could soon be one of only 11 US states with community solar programs, as the state's Public Service Commission has just approved its final regulations for establishing a three-year pilot community solar program, which are expected to be published in the coming weeks and become final in mid-July.

By allowing more residents, especially low and moderate income residents, as well as those without ownership of their roofs or who live in multi-unit buildings, to participate in the solar energy revolution, Maryland's community solar program could enable a more inclusive renewable energy ecosystem in the state. Part of the new community solar regulations speak directly to that inclusiveness, with about 30% (60 MW) of the state's community solar cap (200 MW) being set aside for low to moderate income residents.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Amid industry shift, keen national interest in Boulder-Xcel settlement talks | Daily Camera

Last week, the city and Xcel announced in a joint statement that the two are in talks on a settlement that would end Boulder's municipalization push and allow Xcel to continue as the city's electric service provider.
Boulder is not suspending ongoing litigation related to its bid, and what kind of deal those talks produces can't yet be known. Officials on both sides say they won't comment on negotiations until a conceptual agreement is reached. Heather Bailey, the city's energy director and, with a salary of $279,000, its highest-paid employee, also said Friday she wouldn't comment on the general structure of the talks, or on the personnel Boulder brings to them.
After announcing the potential for a settlement, city officials rushed to declare that the idea of Boulder abandoning its bid after five-plus years and more than $10 million spent shouldn't scare anyone, and is in fact consistent with promises the City Council made years ago to settle in the event of a deal that moves the city closer to its climate goals. Chief among those is a tentative plan to make Boulder's electricity supply 100 percent renewable by 2030.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Duke's front and back of meter ultracapacitor-battery goes live | Energy Storage News

The ultracapacitors perform solar smoothing tasks in real-time at the distribution level, in other words compensating for clouds passing over solar PV systems or unforeseen circumstances affecting the output of solar systems. Meanwhile the batteries simultaneously shift megawatt-hours of energy from solar systems on the distribution circuits, including a 1.2MW PV array nearby.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Strange bedfellows: How solar and utilities struck a net metering compromise in New York | Utility Dive

Residential solar has been the focus of high profile net metering debates in other states, but not in New York. The state has two net metering rates: one for residential rooftop solar and one for community-shared distributed generation. While residential net metering has been growing "at a natural pace," the pressing issue in New York was "community net metering," said Stephen Wemple, director of the utility of the future team at Consolidated Edison, the power provider for New York City.

Community-shared solar was growing at a faster pace than residential solar, Wemple said. At the time, more than 3,100 MW of renewable energy systems eligible for net metering were in the interconnection queue or that are already hooked up to the grid. 

About half of those were community and remote net metering, Wemple said, which he said could raise ratepayer bills and pose problems for the "logistics" of grid interconnection. Something needed to be done, ideally to "establish a boundary for these larger projects."

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Presidential Candidates on Renewables

Sec. Clinton: I Want The U.S. To Be The "Clean Energy Superpower" Of The 21st Century. During an April 2016 MSNBC town hall, Sec. Clinton said, "We are ... going to look at how we use clean renewable energy to create more jobs because we have to deal with that. And somebody is going to be the 21st century clean energy superpower. It's either going to be China, Germany or us. I want it to be us because there will be a lot of jobs, again, that have to be done right here in America." [MSNBC, 4/25/16]

Sen. Sanders: "We Need To Act Immediately" To Move To "100 Percent Renewable Energy." In January 2016, Sen. Sanders tweeted, "We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and move to 100 percent renewable energy - and we need to act immediately." [@BernieSanders Twitter, 1/6/16]

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

'Solar revolution': Labor climate plan warms up to renters, pensioners | Sydney Morning Herald

Groups of renters could share a "garden" of solar panels and the technology would be encouraged in public housing and aged-care homes in a $98.7 million Labor push to bring the "solar revolution" to those who do not own their homes.

Projects might include community wind farms, "solar gardens" or shared arrays of solar panels for groups of renters, retrofitting social housing to promote energy efficiency and encouraging solar rooftop installations on social housing and aged-care properties.

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