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December 6, 2013 - TVA's 2014 Green Power Providers Program Incentives announced: While rates have fallen to a $0.04/kWh premium and the capacity for 2014 has remained at 10 MW, TVA did follow the suggestion of KYSES and double the reserved capacity for residential users.
November 17, 2013 - KYSES Announces Solicitation for Nominations to KYSES Board - open through 3/31/14. In preparation for the KYSES Q2 2014 annual meeting, KYSES
, is now happy to accept nominations to the board. Please send a brief bio of the candidate to email@example.com. The bio should be sufficient for inclusion in KYSES voting literature.
November 15, 2013 - Results of Arizona Utility's net-metering challenge announced: Minor rate increase for future participants in state's net-metering program. http://www.cnbc.com/id/101198537
August 14, 2013 - NPR's "Here and Now" presents two excellent pieces on solar: "Utility Companies Push Back on Solar Incentives; and," 2) "Utilities Challenged by Spread of Solar."
July 29, 2013 - KySES Issues Statement on TVA's 2014 Solar Program:
"KySES supports varying incentives by system size to the end of increasing the smaller residential market. KySES believes it is important to encourage the residential market, as solar then becomes more visible to more people. Incentives should provide an equal return on investment (ROI) across the different market segments. Economies of scale, varying tax benefits, accelerated depreciation, commercial production benefits and the like should factor into the incentive amounts.
Smaller systems should receive a bigger incentive per kWh, and larger systems a smaller.
The present incentives are likely a bit too high, especially for larger systems, and too few smaller projects find a place in TVA's annual allocations."
June 11, 2013 - 10-megawatt (or so) solar farm to open this fall at Indianapolis airport. 25 megawatts planned.
March 2013 - 8.99 cents per kWh for solar in Indianapolis!
In a reverse auction, Indianapolis Power and Light recently received and accepted a bid for a 10 million watt solar farm to produce electricity at 8.99 cents per kilowatt hour. The company now seeks approval of the contract from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
The company received 70 bids under $0.13 / kWh.
March, 2013 - Hawaii Grapples with Parity
As the first jurisdiction in the US to reach solar PV parity, Hawaii is working out emerging issues and thus providing examples and solutions for the rest of us.
Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) now publishes maps of its circuits showing how much PV is on each circuit. They allow simplified installation of net metered systems so long as the circuit has no more than 15% peak load of PV systems. "Simplified installation" means that HECO will not concern itself with reviewing the effect of an installation on its grid.
If a circuit has more than 15% peak load of solar PV, a new installation is subject to more examination and analysis prior to approval.
The takeaway? HECO finds that under 15% peak load of solar PV on a circuit poses no problem to a utility's grid.
December, 2012 - University of Delaware Report Says Solar / Wind / Storage Can Economically Meet 99.9% of PJM Load
Engineers at the University of Delaware have released a study showing that 99.9% of the PJM load can be met by wind, solar and storage. PJM is a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) of electrical utilties in the Mid-Atlantic and eastern Midwest. Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative has applied to join PJM in PSC case 2012-00169.
Key finding of the study include:
- most of the load would be met by wind;
- intermittency of renewable resources would be more cheaply addressed by builkding more capacity
of generatiors than more capacity of storage;
- excess generation would occur in the winter, and this excess generation could displace naural gas
used for space heating, thus contribuitng to the overall economy of the system.
- backup would employ existing fossil fuel plants - no new fossil fuel plants would be needed.
The study examined and addressed the PJM load for the years 1999 - 2002. KySES suggests that the PJM load could be reduced well below that which existed in 1999 - 2002, through the employment of efficiency and conservation.
December, 2012 - Solar Jobs Outnumber Coal Jobs
The third annual National Solar Jobs Census reports that as of November, 2012 the U.S. solar industry employed 119,016 Americans and was experiencing 13% annual growth. The Census was performed by BW Research Partnership in collaboration with The Solar Foundation and Cornell University.
The coal mining industry employed 80,000 people at the same time. The number of coal jobs has, unfortunately, been declining for some time.
November 30, 2012 - Wind, solar and gas power online in November
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, the following power projects came online in November 2012:
- 740 MW of wind power;
- 17.2 MW of geothermal;
- 19.35 MW solar, and;
- 610 MW of natural gas facilities specifically designed to integrate with intermittent renewable generation sources
November 5, 2012 - German Solar Production Jumps 50%
Germany produced 25,000 gigawatt hours of solar energy from January through September, up from 16,500 gigawatt hours for the same period the year before, per USA Today. A gigawatt hour is 1 million kilowatt hours. Most large nuclear reactors produce a bit over a gigawatt, so 25,000 gigawatt hours would be about 2 to 2 1/2 years production of a large nuclear reactor running 24/7.
October 24, 2012 - All New US Energy Capacity in September was Wind or Solar
433 MW of new energy generation capacity came online in the US in September, 2012. It was all either wind (300 MW) or solar (133 MW). Source.
August 10, 2012 - New Direction for Utility Industry
In June, engineering and consulting firm Black & Veatch issued its 6th annual utility industry survey Strategic Directions in the U.S. Electric Utility Industry. Key findings include:
- Economic and environmental regulation motivate utility investment decisions.
- Lack of regulator knowledge and customer interest impede deployment of smart grid programs.
- Water supply is second only to carbon emissions legislation as the industry's top environmental concern.
- The industry’s view on renewable energy is shifting from hesitation to opportunity.
- Solar is the top-ranked renewable technology for the second year in a row. It was the top-ranked renewable technology in all geographic regions of the country.
- Fewer industry people see an economically viable future for coal.
June 6, 2012 - Germany Sets World Record for PV Production
At noon on Saturday May 26, 2012, all the grid-tie solar installations in Germany were producing in excess of 22 Gigawatts of electric power into the grid. This equalled almost 50% of all power demand in Germany at that time.
Germany has only 75% of the solar resource enjoyed by Kentucky.