Eversource’s Solar Suppression

Readers Write

Eversource’s solar suppression

I was disappointed to see the Recorder’s laudatory and rather
decontextualized appraisal of Eversource’s solar projects in this
week’s Monday Shorts (“Advancing solar,” 2/25).

While you mention Eversource’s reputation for foot dragging on many
private solar projects (and, I would add, on many community solar
projects as well), you appear to have accepted their corporate press
release at face value and failed to connect the dots for readers who
are unfamiliar with this issue.

It’s the distribution utilities (such as Eversource) that lobbied to have
a piece of the action in building out the alternative-energy
generation sector. It’s the distribution utilities that lobbied for
low caps on the total solar production to be built. And it’s the
distribution utilities that appear to be doing whatever they can to
ensure that as much as possible of the reduced capacity, given these
low caps, is composed of their own highly profitable projects.

Since these utilities are able to build their own projects with ease and
hold up any other project pretty much at will, and at many points
along the way, with no accountability mechanisms, we are left with
the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.

Such was the case here in Sunderland: the town’s own relatively modest
solar project was downsized and curtailed, after many delays, while
Eversource’s own larger solar field in Sunderland (near
Bub’sBar-B-Que on Route 116) sailed ahead without obstacle. Rather
than superficial coverage of the solar build-out in Massachusetts,
I’d like to see the Recorder do some deep digging that goes beyond
the utilities’ self congratulatory public relations.

I implore you to interview PV installers, developers, and array owners,
large and small, and gather the facts and information that will
expose this suppression and theft of the commonwealth’s solar power



Copyright © 2019 Greenfield Recorder 03/11/2019

March 11, 2019 1:58 pm (GMT +4:00)


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This Faith Leader Sees Climate Change as a Moral Emergency

This Faith Leader Sees Climate Change as a Moral Emergency


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ISO New England – Real Time Maps and Charts

ISO New England – Real Time Maps and Charts

Real Time Maps and Charts:   https://www.iso-ne.com/isoexpress/

ISO New England is the independent, not-for-profit company authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to perform three critical, complex, interconnected roles for the region spanning Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and most of Maine. Together, these three responsibilities help protect the health of the region’s economy and the well-being of its people by ensuring the constant availability of competitively-priced wholesale electricity—today and for future generations.

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Electrify America launches “Jetstones” ad campaign

Electrify America launches “Jetstones” ad campaign

Electrify America 350 kw chargers at Home Depot in Chicopee, Mass.Electrify America 350 kw chargers at Home Depot in Chicopee, Mass.

If regular automakers aren’t advertising their electric cars well enough, maybe purveyors of electric-car infrastructure can fill in the gaps.

Electrify America, VW’s court-mandated effort to build a nationwide DC fast-charge network, is launching its first ad campaign Monday on behalf of all electric cars.

Called the “Jetstones,” the ad campaign contrasts the stone-age Flintstones cartoon characters with the futuristic family in the (now almost equally old) Jetsons cartoon.

READ THIS: Electrify America switches on the first 350-kw Fast Charging station in Chicopee, Mass.

The Flintstones character, wearing a full beard and plaid shirt, pulls up to a stoplight in an aging Subaru Outback, painted orange to evoke Fred Flintstone’s stone-wheeled, foot powered car. On the back is a “Planet hugger” bumper sticker.

Next to him pulls the same actor, beard shaven, looking freshly rested, in a Chevy Bolt EV.

As the Flintstones theme song switches over to the Jetsons’, “George Jetson” dashes silently off, leaving Fred Flintstone, feet firmly planted inside the car on the pedals, stuck dopily at the stoplight.

The narrator intones: “With instant acceleration, electric cars are more fun to drive, and more affordable than ever.”

Since VW is required to make its Electrify America efforts brand-independent to spread electric cars, the company shows electric models from six automakers at the end of the clip: the Chevy Bolt EV, the BMW i3, the VW e-Golf, the Honda Clarity Electric, and the Nissan Leaf driving off into the sunset.

DON’T MISS: Electrify America maps out charging network to rival Tesla Superchargers

In between, as the ad talks about electric-car affordability, it shows the Hyundai Ioniq Electric at an Electrify America DC fast-charge station.

IHS Markit tallies 46 plug-in models on the market now, and says that number will rise to 70 models by 2020 and 258 by 2025, which may represent the majority of the car market.

In conjunction with the new ads Electrify America is launching a website, www.plugintothepresent.com, that promotes electric cars as affordable, with longer ranges of about 250 miles, and that ultra-fast 350-kw DC fast chargers will replenish batteries nearly as quickly as fuel from a pump. Electrify America is already installing such chargers.

It even promotes the benefits of hydrogen fuel-cell cars.

READ THIS: Electrify America expands fast-charging network to Simon malls

“Electric cars are not something of the future,” says Richard Steinberg, senior director at Electrify America, said in a statement. “They are here now and more accessible than many people know,”

Electrify America is in the first phase of rolling out $2 billion in electric car charging stations—most of which will be DC fast chargers—throughout the U.S. The effort will also include ads like the “Jetstones.” A consent decree with the court over Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating requires that the company complete the charging network by 2025.

source: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1118191_electrify-america-launches-jetstones-ad-campaign

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Listen to 257- Reversing the Grid from 99% Invisible in Podcasts.

Listen to 257- Reversing the Grid from 99% Invisible in Podcasts. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/99-invisible/id394775318?mt=2&i=1000385026309

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The first trillion watts of wind and solar

The first trillion watts of wind and solar

There are now 1 trillion watts of wind (542 GW) and solar (471 GW) power installed around the world, according to new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

It took a few decades to get here, but it’ll only take five years to do it again — and at a cost that’s nearly 50 percent cheaper. Now that we’ve reached the terawatt scale, the true acceleration begins.

As recently as 2007, there was just 8GW of PV capacity installed, compared with 89GW of wind. Since then, PV has grown from just 8% of total installed wind and solar capacity, to 46%. In the process, PV installations grew 57-fold, with utility-scale PV overtaking small-scale PV in 2014. Wind still represents the majority of the installed base at 54%, but is likely to relinquish this lead soon.

“By 2050, wind and solar technology provide 48% of total electricity – “50-by-50” – with hydro, nuclear and other renewables providing a further 23% of zero-carbon electricity.” – Seb Henbest, BNEF

“Our team has looked closely at the impact of the 79% decrease seen in lithium-ion battery costs since 2010 on the economics of this storage technology in different parts of the electricity system. The conclusions are chilling for the fossil fuel sector.” – Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF.

BNEF Historical and Future Power Generation.png
By 2050, renewables supply 87% of electricity in Europe, 55% in the U.S., 62% in China and 75% in India.
source: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/08/02/milestone-over-one-trillion-watts-of-wind-and-solar-installed/
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California moves towards 100% carbon-free electricity after landmark vote

California moves towards 100% carbon-free electricity after landmark vote

  • Legislators vote for complete shift to clean energy by 2045
  • Bill heads to state senate and then to Governor Jerry Brown

Oliver Milman in New York.  @olliemilman
Wed 29 Aug 2018 12.10 EDT Last modified on Wed 29 Aug 2018 12.29 EDT

Wind turbines near Rancho Mirage in southern California. State senator Kevin de Leon called the bill ‘a victory for clean air’.

Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Media

California has given fossil fuel-derived energy a hefty shove towards obsolescence after legislators voted to require that 100% of the state’s electricity come from carbon-free sources.

The bill, which will need to be approved by the state senate and Governor Jerry Brown, will require a complete shift to clean energy such as solar and wind by 2045. It would also demand that electric utilities source 60% of their power from renewable sources by 2030, up from the current target of 50%.

California ridding itself entirely of carbon-intensive energy has been a politically vexed proposition for the past two years, with state Republicans arguing it was unfeasible and would drive up electricity prices.

But the state has emerged as a bastion of defiance to the Trump administration on climate change, among other issues, as it has been scorched by record wildfires and a prolonged drought. A report released this week warned that the state is on course for punishing heatwaves, thousands of additional deaths and the erosion of two thirds of its coastline due to rising temperatures, wildfires and sea level rise.

Brown has already set out ambitious goals to expand renewables and the use of electric cars. The state legislature has already passed a law that requires newly built homes to be equipped for solar power. In July, the state announced its greenhouse gas emissions were lower than in 1990, despite a growing economy.

The bill to go 100% renewable energy was authored by state senator Kevin de Leon, who called it a “victory for clean air. It’s a victory to tackle climate change and the devastation that it’s leaving in its wake.”

Brown has yet to confirm he will sign the bill his predecessor as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, wrote to lawmakers to back the legislation and urge them to be “undeterred by those who wish to stop our progress and move backwards”.

California becomes the second US state, after Hawaii, to call for carbon-free electricity by 2045. The clout of the Californian economy could help spur some other states, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey, to do the same.

Environmentalists hailed the vote as a landmark moment.

“This is a pivotal moment for California, for the country, and the world,” said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club.

“California is showing the world that moving to 100% clean energy is within our reach and what bold climate leadership looks like in the face of a Trump administration.”

California currently sources around a third of its electricity from clean sources. Opponents of the 100% renewable bill warned that electricity prices would go up if the state relied too heavily upon intermittent solar and wind before energy storage improves.


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How solar power saved $6.7 million on a Tuesday

How solar power saved $6.7 million on a Tuesday

A report analyzing the week of a heat wave in the Northeast estimates that solar power saved $30 million in wholesale electricity costs due to lowering demand at its peak during mid-day – including $6.7 million in savings on July 3rd.

Boston set a record August 29th with the temperature at 98 degrees and the highest peak in New England – Mt Washington – set a record of 65 degrees recently. And while 65 degrees may not seem particularly warm, back in January Mt Washington was the second coldest place on the planet.

With all that, this summer has been a hot one in which grids in several parts of the nation have leaned heavily on solar power. We saw hints of this coming back in the cool spring days of April when it became clear that New England had developed a case of the duck curves, with solar meeting 20% of demand and pushing peak pricing to after sundown. On July 19 solar provided as much as 15% of total electricity in New England, knocking a full 2 GW off of demand at its peak and shifting that peak to the early evening.

Recent data from the Department of Energy showed the changes in electricity generation of New England to the broader world, with solar representing more than 10% of in-state electricity generation in both Massachusetts and Vermont in the first half of 2018.

As this summer cruises into September, SunCommon decided to quantify a portion of the value of solar in a new pair of reports by Synapse Energy EconomicsWholesale Cost Savings of Distributed Solar in New England & New York.

The reports look specifically at the wholesale pricing market and how solar power lowered the amount of demand on the grid, which in turn lowered the price of electricity. During the six days of July 1 – 7, 2018 the wholesale electricity markets saved approximately $29.9 million. New York saved $10.2 million, while New England’s savings totaled $19.7 million.

On Tuesday July 3, New England and New York combined to save $6.7 million. During the whole of the week, New York saved 6% of its wholesale costs and New England saved 14%. Between the two regions, 154 GWh of solar electricity was generated – with New York peaking at approximately 1 GW of solar generation and New England at 1.6 GW, representing 3% and 7% of the peak demand, respectively, during the week.

Though back in April solar made up more of total demand (20%), the yellow sliver at the top of that curve on July 3 was much pricier during the summer heat waves – and so very valuable for the grid. Nor has this phenomenon ended for the year, as just yesterday we saw New England electricity pricing hitting extremes.

These numbers don’t account for the role that energy storage is playing, and Green Mountain Power has estimated that Vermont was able to save $500,000 during the heat waves due to its distributed energy storage facilities.

source: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2018/09/04/how-solar-power-saved-6-7-million-on-a-tuesday

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Climate Action & Sustainability Fair

On Saturday May 7, 2016 @ 11 am to 11 pm is the Climate Action & Sustainability Fair!
Located at Shire City Sanctuary, 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA.

SHIRE poster FINAL!-page-001

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The Solar in MA is Grinding to a Halt

The Solar in MA is grinding to a halt in National Grid Territory in MA

The Net Metering Cap is maxed for 171 MA towns in National grid territory. Only systems smaller than 10kW residential or 25kW 3 phase are exempt. The net metering cap is a percentage based on the historic peak demand in each utility territory. There is still space in Eversource territory due to the less competitive rate structure for net metering credits.

Reaching the Net metering cap means all the progress of building a robust, growing renewable energy sector is slowing down. As well as progress for 100% renewable energy is slowing down in MA.

We need the net metering caps raised if we are to have any chance of keeping and growing the 12,000 solar jobs, moving commercial and large scale solar projects from the drawing boards into reality, helping municipalities reduce their electric bills, and provide equitable access to solar for low income or residents without a viable solar roof.
Send this template letter to the members of the TUE.

check solarisworking.org for more info

Thank you, Claire and John

JCTUE addresses 2015

Sample template letter raise the cap TUE

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