Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of March 6, 2017

This week in Energy Democracy news:

California introduced a bill to move the state more quickly towards 100% renewable energy, the Indiana legislature curtails net metering, and Nebraska communities are turning away from contracts with dirty energy.

Featured Stories:

Sherco power plant: The wrong project, for the wrong reasons, at a big cost by John Farrell & Karlee Weinmann, CleanTechnica

Picking up PACE after new federal guidance by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Indiana Senate approves bill to curtail solar incentive by Associated Press, US News & World Report

New California bill would accelerate the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by Natasha Geiling, Think Progress

The bill would require California to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045. It would also require California to get half of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025 — five years earlier than the current law mandates.

In search of cleaner energy, some Nebraska cities turn away from utility by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

NPPD derives about 32 percent of its power from coal and 42 percent from nuclear, with only 9 percent from wind despite the state having some of the country’s best resources.

Renewal of the long-term contracts, which for NPPD typically run 20 years, represent a rare opportunity for cities to make significant changes to their energy mix. The departures are in many ways reminiscent of higher-profile municipalization fights in Boulder, Colorado and Minneapolis, where city officials threatened to split from Xcel Energy to pursue a lower-carbon energy mix.

Energy Democracy News in the States:

California

New California bill would accelerate the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by Natasha Geiling, Think Progress

The bill would require California to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045. It would also require California to get half of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025 — five years earlier than the current law mandates.

CAISO urges flexibility and coordination to advance distributed energy resource aggregations at FERC: California Independent System Operator by National Law Review

Lancaster, Calif. requires newly built houses to fully power themselves with solar by Julian Spector, GreenTech Media

How California’s utilities are mapping their grids for distributed resources by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

Illinois

In Chicago neighborhood, guarded optimism about microgrid by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

 

Indiana

Indiana Senate committee clears bill to end net metering by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Not a bright idea: Changes to Indiana’s solar policy foolish, misguided by Sanya Carley & David Konisky, Daily Journal

Indiana Senate approves bill to curtail solar incentive by Associated Press, US News & World Report

 

Iowa

Clean energy advocates ask Iowa regulators to reconsider solar ruling by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

 

Kentucky

Advocates warn bill could mean end of residential solar in Kentucky by Erica Peterson, 89.3 FM WFPL

Kentucky anti-net metering bill would ‘kill’ residential solar by Danielle Ola, PV-Tech

 

Maine

Portland, South Portland approve plans to put solar farms on closed landfills by Randy Billings, Portland Press Herald

Concerns Linger: Maine’s new net metering rules may hurt consumers by Politic365 Staff, Politic 365

Maine net-metering battle could move to the legislature by Frank Andorka, PV-Magazine

 

Maryland

Solar jobs soar as Maryland prioritizes renewable energy by Sarah Gantz, Baltimore Sun

 

Michigan

Taxing solar panels undermines Ann Arbor’s goals, Sierra Club says by Ryan Stanton, MLive

The Sierra Club’s Huron Valley Group has joined the debate over whether Ann Arbor should be raising people’s taxes for going solar, something the city argues it has no choice but to do under state law.

In a statement shared with members of the Ann Arbor Solar Users Network, the club’s leaders said they are greatly disappointed it appears the city will continue raising residents’ property assessments for adding solar panels to their homes, without any form of local mitigation or offset for the increases.

Michigan businesses thank lawmakers for strengthening clean energy standards by Sarah Tyler, Midwest Energy News

 

Minnesota

Governor Dayton must step up to protect energy consumers by Jessica Collingsworth, Union of Concerned Scientists

Bipartisan effort seeks to double Minnesota’s renewable energy standard by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Power to the farmer: Minnesota and the Rural Electrification Administration by Linda A. Cameron, MinnPost

 

Montana

‘Solar Guy’ shines a light on renewable energy by Nicky Ouellet, Montana Public Radio

Guest opinion: Bipartisan plan would boost Montana’s solar energy choices by Andrea Davis, Billings Gazette

Rallying for renewables: Measure aims to expand solar opportunities by Tom Kuglin, Helena Independent-Record

House Bill 504 sponsor Rep. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, coined the bill the “Solar Jobs and Energy Freedom Act,” but it is officially titled the “Neighborhood Net Metering Act.” The House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations Committee heard testimony on the bill on Wednesday, and is expected to take action on it Friday.

 

Nebraska

In search of cleaner energy, some Nebraska cities turn away from utility by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

NPPD derives about 32 percent of its power from coal and 42 percent from nuclear, with only 9 percent from wind despite the state having some of the country’s best resources.

Renewal of the long-term contracts, which for NPPD typically run 20 years, represent a rare opportunity for cities to make significant changes to their energy mix. The departures are in many ways reminiscent of higher-profile municipalization fights in Boulder, Colorado and Minneapolis, where city officials threatened to split from Xcel Energy to pursue a lower-carbon energy mix.

 

New York

The future of power in New York by Brad Jones, Crain’s New York Business

New York ski resorts aim for 100 percent renewable energy by Associated Press, KOMO News

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News:

How electric utilities could revive their sagging fortunes and decarbonize the country by David Roberts, Vox

Here’s how 15 gigawatts of solar gets built in one year by Shayle Kahn, GreenTech Media

A surprising reason why some energy efficiency programs may not work, and how to fix them by Anant Sudarshan, Forbes

A step-by-step plan for grid modernization in a distributed energy world by Jeff St. John, GreenTech Media

 

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update.