Taking Action Now

Our blog highlights news of our project partners, important updates, and a range of suggestions to quicken the pace of energy improvement, helping you reduce the financial and environmental costs in your buildings.


The next money crop for farmers: Solar panels  

“Proposals for midsize projects have become so popular that Illinois is hosting a lottery to determine who will be awarded contracts to sell solar electricity to large power companies in the state, which then delivers it to subscribers.”

Source: The next money crop for farmers: Solar panels – The Washington Post

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Madison moving toward plan to meet 100 percent clean energy goals | Politics and Elections | madison.com

“City officials have an urgent need for future climate planning and implementation while promoting Madison’s vibrant culture to retain and attract the people who will continue to make contributions for our community, our planet, and our shared prosperity,” the report states

Source: Madison moving toward plan to meet 100 percent clean energy goals | Politics and Elections | madison.com

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Utilities are starting to invest in big batteries instead of building new power plants

“The grid requires power supplied right when it is needed, and usage varies considerably throughout the day. When grid-connected batteries help supply enough electricity to meet demand, utilities don’t have to build as many power plants and transmission lines.

Given how long this infrastructure lasts and how rapidly battery costs are dropping, utilities now face new long-term planning challenges.”

Source: Utilities are starting to invest in big batteries instead of building new power plants

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PGE, NextEra team up for largest wind-solar-storage project in US | Utility Dive

Portland General Electric is moving “aggressively” to integrate smart grid technology alongside renewables, President and CEO Maria Pope said in a statement. The Wheatridge project will be “a model for integrating renewable generation and storage,” she said, in order to cost-effectively reduce emissions and balance the grid.Source:

PGE, NextEra team up for largest wind-solar-storage project in US | Utility Dive

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US underwent a quiet clean energy revolution

The public perception of U.S. clean energy has undergone a major shift. In a recent survey, 70 percent of respondents said America should produce 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources; more than half thought renewables were a good idea even if they raise energy bills.

The change in perception could be a reflection of recent changes to the U.S. energy industry itself. While it didn’t garner much attention, the United States saw unprecedented growth in renewable energy purchasing, development and commitments last year.

Details at http://www.solardaily.com/reports/US_underwent_a_quiet_clean_energy_revolution_last_year_999.html

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Storage will replace 3 California gas plants as PG&E nabs approval for world’s largest batteries | Utility Dive

Approval of PG&E’s landmark energy storage solicitation is the most significant example to date of batteries taking the place of fossil fuel generation on the power grid.

Source: Storage will replace 3 California gas plants as PG&E nabs approval for world’s largest batteries | Utility Dive

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Xcel Energy Commits to 100% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2050 | Greentech Media

Xcel plans to cut its carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030, and be entirely carbon-free two decades later across the eight Western and Midwestern states where it operates. This target represents a first for the electric power industry.

We’re accelerating our carbon-reduction goals because we’re encouraged by advances in technology, motivated by customers who are asking for it and committed to working with partners to make it happen,” said Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy’s chairman, president and CEO, in a statement.

Source: Xcel Energy Commits to 100% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2050 | Greentech Media

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Renewable energy threatens to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt. – Vox

The centralized, top-down power grid is outdated. Time for a bottom-up redesign.

Source: Renewable energy threatens to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt. – Vox

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The Energy 202: The nation just elected a bunch of governors who campaigned on clean energy – The Washington Post

The newly minted governors, all of them Democrats, will serve from California to Maine and aim to inch the United States closer to meeting its emissions-reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement at a time when the federal government under Trump is largely ignoring scientists who say the world has little time to get climate change under control.

Source: The Energy 202: The nation just elected a bunch of governors who campaigned on clean energy – The Washington Post

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Renewable energy is catching up to natural gas much faster than anyone thought – Vox

The cost of natural gas power is tethered to the commodity price of natural gas, which is inherently volatile. The price of controllable, storable renewable energy is tethered only to technology costs, which are going down, down, down.

Source: Renewable energy is catching up to natural gas much faster than anyone thought – Vox

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