News

Wind Is the New Corn for Struggling Farmers

Source: By Jennifer Oldham, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago. As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has become the newest cash crop, saving family farms across a wide swath of the heartland

Florida Ballot Breakdown: Amendment 1, Pro Or Against Solar Energy?

Source: By David Sutta, CBS Miami • Posted: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

This November we will be voting on a series of amendments. One of them involves solar power and whether utility companies can charge solar users special fees. On the surface the amendment appears to be pro-solar but as CBS4’s David Sutta discovered, that may not be the case.

Is The Tide Turning On State-Level Solar Policy Fights?

Source: By Jesse Grossman, Solar Industry • Posted: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Utilities continue filing requests to increase fixed charges, but reports show regulators have denied the majority of these requests. Compromise solar valuation regulatory decisions occurred in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada. Meanwhile, policymakers in New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island have taken progressive solar action, and voters overwhelmingly supported expanding solar access in Florida.

The Solar Energy Paradox: Why Solar Is Booming and Companies Are Going Out of Business

Source: By Travis Hoium, The Motley Fool • Posted: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

With solar panel prices down 20%-25% in the last few months, and the cost of financing rising for some developers, we’ll likely see more solar companies go out of business in the next two years. Whether or not that leads to a more sustainable industry or not — only time will tell. If it does, the upside will be tremendous for the winners.

An energy first as UK successfully transmits data via national electricity grid

Source: By Damian Carrington, The Guardian • Posted: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Data has been transmitted across a national electricity grid for the first time, in what could be a significant step towards the creation of virtual power stations, where many thousands of homes and businesses combine to manage electricity use more smartly. The new technology could lead to lower energy bills for consumers who allow small variations in the energy consumption of their appliances, such as water heaters or freezers.

U.S. Tax Credit Powers Wind-Farm Upgrades

Source: By Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Some wind producers, encouraged by turbine makers, are deciding to “repower” existing wind farms to tap the tax credits, including NextEra Energy Inc., which has 110 wind farms in 19 states and Canada. NextEra reaped $73 million in Production Tax Credit subsidies in the first six months of the year. Armando Pimentel, chief executive of NextEra Energy Resources, the company arm that develops renewable power, recently told investors that while retrofitting “certainly wasn’t something we were thinking about six months ago,” he believes it may now make sense for nearly a third of the company’s 13,000-megawatt wind portfolio.

Group salutes ‘lifetime solar pugilist’ Reid

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 7th, 2016

The Solar Energy Industries Association awarded five members of Congress with solar awards, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The Nevada Democrat, who’s retiring from Congress at the end of this session, was awarded the association’s first “lifetime solar pugilist award,” partly for spearheading the solar investment tax credit in 2005 and pushing to extend it in 2008 and 20

Why It’s So Hard to Get Solar in Florida (That’d Be the Sunshine State)

Source: By NICK STOCKTON, Wired • Posted: Friday, October 7th, 2016

But the Florida amendment is a bit different from what happened in Nevada. This is a compromise measure: Allow people to lease, but give utilities an option to recoup some of their operating money. If you are a Floridian interested in solar energy, this leaves you in a position of deciding who to trust. (Spoiler: Nobody.)

New Mexico celebrates state’s largest solar energy project

Source: By Kayla Root, KRQE • Posted: Friday, October 7th, 2016

State and local leaders celebrated one of New Mexico’s largest solar energy projects Thursday. The Roswell and Chaves County Solar Energy Centers feature approximately 600,000 solar panels. The panels are equipped with trackers that will follow the sun from east to west each day to maximize energy production. That’s enough solar energy to power 40,000 homes.

In Rural Bangladesh, Solar Power Dents Poverty

Source: By Amy Yee, New York Times • Posted: Friday, October 7th, 2016

Kismat Ali is a 33-year-old mason living in Kakhin Bimile, a village a few hours drive from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s crowded capital. He lives in a large brick home on a dirt road with his wife, son, parents and five brothers. This semirural area is off the main electrical grid, so residents rely on kerosene lamps and electricity from wires strung across the village to a noisy privately owned diesel generator. It runs about five hours each night