News Archive
  • The California PUC Just Ordered Southern California Utilities to Find More Renewable Energy

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 14, 2014
    The California PUC just told Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric that they need to find 600-MW of new renewable energy capacity. The order was part of a larger hearing over the closing of Edison’s San Onofre nuclear facility. That facility provided 2,200-MW until it stopped operation in January 2012. Now that the utilities have decided leave San Onofre offline, the PUC decided that they need to make up some of the difference. From the Pasadena Star News...
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  • Minnesota Is Setting a Statewide Net-Metering Formula for the Value of Solar

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 14, 2014
    The Minnesota PUC has set a statewide formula to determine the value of solar power. This makes Minnesota the first state to institute such a formula for net-metering, the system under which consumers with on-site solar panels can sell power they capture back into the grid...
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  • Construction and Operation News Roundup - March 13

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 13, 2014
    Lots of bad news lately, from severe floods in Brazil to an ethanol plant explosion in Minnesota, but some positive developments as well…
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  • The African Renewable Energy Fund Will Invest in Renewable Energy Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 13, 2014
    The African Renewable Energy Fund, an organization that invests in renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa, announced that they’ve raised $100 million so far, and that they hope to bring the total up to $200 million this year...
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  • $2B, 500-MW Geothermal Energy Project Planned in Ethiopia

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 12, 2014
    Icelandic company Reykjavik Geothermal plans to develop a $2 billion geothermal project in Ethiopia, using geothermal steam from the Carbetti Caldera, a collapsed volcano in the Rift Valley. They plan to begin drilling this July, and hope to be running a plant with a 500-MW capacity by 2020. The site may eventually be able to generate as many as 1,000-MW...
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  • Net-Metering Debate Is Ramping Up in Colorado

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 12, 2014
    The Colorado PUC has planned a hearing on net-metering for April. Utility Xcel Energy has been in the middle of a net-metering debate in Colorado for some time now, and the PUC is starting their process to address it...
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  • When Dams Run Low, Other Energy Sources Pick Up The Slack

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 11, 2014
    Last month, we heard how California’s drought would reduce the amount of hydro power produced in the state. So how is California making up the difference? According to an in-depth National Geographic article, California is leaning most on natural gas, followed by its new supply of renewable power...
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  • Try This Interactive Map of the US’s Large-Scale Solar Farms

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 11, 2014
    The Center for Land Use Interpretation has put together a google map of large-scale solar farms across the US. It shows includes solar facilities with a capacity of at least 15-MW, constructed or planned as of March 1st of this year. Check out the map and the full list of facilities here...
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  • Remote Town of Yakutat, Alaska Will Try Out Wave Energy

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 10, 2014
    The tiny and remote town of Yakutat, Alaska, is preparing to try out a wave energy system. In 2015 they plan to install a surge wave converter on the seafloor, which will pump water to a generator on land. Until then, the city planners and managers are looking into the cost of anchoring the device on the seafloor, and researching possible impacts to the community and to the environment, and what the Borough Manager Skip Ryman calls “the big question”...
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  • Minnesota’s Solar Industry Is About to Boom

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 10, 2014
    Less than a year after Minnesota passed its renewable energy law, the solar industry is growing fast, and it’s expected ramp up more in the next few years. Stacy Miller with the state Commerce Department has said that the state’s solar capacity could grow from its current 14-MW to 400-MW by 2020...
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  • Construction and Operation News Roundup – March 7

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 07, 2014
    Big programs underway in India and Nepal, energy deals in the Midwest, and more…
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  • Legislation News Roundup - March 7

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 07, 2014
    Several states are considering changes to their renewable energy policies. Here are the latest bills in the works...
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  • California Company Trying New Loan Plan to Encourage Rooftop Solar

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 06, 2014
    Solar start-up Mosaic and rooftop solar company RGS Energy have a new plan to give zero-deposit loans to homeowners for rooftop solar systems. (As an aside, Mosaic is part of the solar tech incubator we wrote about last week.) While leases are common, and some other companies offer loans, U-T San Diego reports that these loans “will set themselves apart from those at credit unions and banks in part by incorporating the federal investment tax credit into loan payments from the first installment...
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  • Iowa Was the Top Wind Power State of 2013

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 06, 2014
    To follow up yesterday’s story on Iowa’s wind power economic boom, a new report from the American Wind Energy Association has named Iowa the number one wind power state. In 2013, it got 27% of its energy from wind, one percentage point ahead of the runner-up, South Dakota. In terms of total wind energy produced, Iowa was second only to Texas...
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  • Maine Supreme Court Overruled Maine PUC’s Approval for a Wind Farm

    by Henry Kaplan | Mar 05, 2014
    Back in 2012, Maine’s Public Utility Commission approved a deal between developer First Wind and several Maine and Canada utilities. The deal would have allowed First Wind and the utilities to form a new wind power company that would generate and sell wind power in the state. But last Tuesday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court overruled the PUC’s approval of the project, saying that the PUC had misinterpreted a state law...
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