Nebraska Solar Schools has been awarded $31,250 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a pilot project within its Solar Energy Education and Development Program: 100 Solar Energy Kits for 100 Nebraska Schools.The focus of the new pilot project is on K-12 schools in Nebraska towns and cities that have developed or plan to develop solar projects, including rooftop solar, solar farms or other installations.The cities and towns in the pilot project’s focus group include but are not limited to: Kearney, Lexington, Loup City, Ainsworth, Aurora, Central City, Chadron, Fremont, Gothenburg, Grand Island, Hastings, Hemingford, Lincoln, Norfolk, Omaha/Fort Calhoun, O’Neill, Pawnee City, Schuyler, Scottsbluff, South Sioux City, Superior, Venango/Grant and York.The purpose of Nebraska Solar Schools’ Solar Energy Education & Development Program is to provide resources for K-12 teachers to facilitate integration of more solar energy education into their classrooms or after-school programs.
Analysts say legislation to subsidize Ohio’s nuclear plants through the creation of a statewide “Clean Air Program” would discourage development of wind and solar energy because it would undermine renewable energy requirements set in place a decade ago. The bill would eliminate a surcharge allowing utilities to pass along their costs for complying with the state’s renewable portfolio standard, replacing a competitive renewable energy market with subsidies that appear aimed toward existing nuclear and coal power plants.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission rejected a Vectren proposal to build an 850-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant to replace its aging coal-burning A.B. Brown Generating Station. The IURC order took Vectren to task for not adequately considering various combinations of other less expensive alternatives, especially renewable energy sources, of which it said there was a lack of evidence that Vectren "...made a serious effort to determine the price and availability of renewables."In denying Vectren preapproval for the new power plant — which was projected to cost $781 million — the commission cited the potential financial risk to customers who would be stuck paying for it over a 30-year period in a time when the energy industry is rapidly evolving.
The Northwestern state joins three others in mandating that all of its electricity comes from carbon-free sources by midcentury, as its governor prepares for a run at the presidency.
In their push to upend the economics of rooftop solar, Iowa’s major electric utilities are up against an opponent as politically potent as they are: the state’s pork producers. Hog farmers in the nation’s top pork-producing state have made clear that they don’t want legislators messing with their net metering arrangements.“Their voice is making a huge difference,” said Kerri Johannsen, who directs the Iowa Environmental Council’s energy program. “The things they are doing are definitely a big part of what’s held this bill up.”The bill, which the Senate speedily approved on a 28-19 vote on March 19, is moving much more slowly now that it’s awaiting a vote on the floor of the House. The House Commerce Committee recommended passage on March 5 and the bill has been sitting ever since. House leadership could call it up for a vote at any time. Or not.The bill eliminates the current net metering law and replaces it with several alternatives that, as one clean energy lawyer put it, are structured “so that no one would want to select any of them.” The options include:
Nashville wants to sell its energy system that heats and cools more than 40 buildings downtown — including the Tennessee state Capitol — for $60 million. Metro's District Energy System uses electricity and natural gas to produce steam and chilled water that is distributed through 91,100 feet of underground pipes to its downtown customers.But city officials say its no longer financially viable for Nashville and are in final negotiations with Engie Development, LLC to sell the system.
Renewable energy jobs are booming across America, creating stable and high-wage employment for blue-collar workers in some of the country’s most fossil fuel-heavy states, just as the coal industry is poised for another downturn.The renewable energy industry has become a major U.S. employer. E2’s recent Clean Jobs America report found nearly 3.3 million Americans working in clean energy – outnumbering fossil fuel workers by 3-to-1. Nearly 335,000 people work in the solar industry and more than 111,000 work in the wind industry, compared to 211,000 working in coal mining or other fossil fuel extraction. Clean energy employment grew 3.6% in 2018, adding 110,000 net new jobs (4.2% of all jobs added nationally in 2018), and employers expect 6% job growth in 2019. E2 reports the fastest-growing jobs across 12 states were in renewable energy during 2018, and renewable energy is already the fastest-growing source of new U.S. electricity generation, leading the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to forecast America’s two fastest-growing jobs through 2026 will be solar installer (105% growth) and wind technician (96% growth).
The Missouri House passed legislation that could effectively block one of the nation’s largest wind energy projects by prohibiting its developers from using eminent domain to run a high-voltage power line across the Midwest. The House vote targets a $2.3 billion project that would carry electricity generated by Kansas windmills on a 780-mile (1,255-kilometer) path across rural Missouri and Illinois before hooking into a power grid in Indiana serving eastern states.The project’s private developers say it has the potential to bring affordable, renewable energy to millions of homes. But the long-delayed power line has faced opposition from some property owners in its path and trouble clearing some regulatory requirements.
New Jersey utility customers are officially committed to paying $300 million each year for the next three years to keep the state’s three remaining nuclear reactors open. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities decided Thursday to award Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G), the state’s largest utility, three “Zero Emission Certificates” — massive subsidies that have been fiercely debated in Trenton for well over a year.
Scott Pruitt, the embattled former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, registered Thursday as a lobbyist with state regulators. Pruitt's filings with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission identify him as a self-employed consultant and list RailPoint Solutions LLC as his sole client. His lobbying topics include "energy" and "natural resources."It's unclear what, exactly, Pruitt is working on or who he is meeting with at the Statehouse, but he has ties to the Indiana coal industry. IndyStar's attempts to reach him Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.RailPoint Solutions does not appear to have a web address, nor is a company by that name registered to do business in Indiana. A search of Delaware business records, however, shows an incorporation date of Jan. 22.