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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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.
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.
“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.
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.
By 2050, renewables supply 87% of electricity in Europe, 55% in the U.S., 62% in China and 75% in India.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 (Published in print: Thursday, October 3, 2013)
LEVERETT — The Solar Store, a Greenfield-based solar panel retail and installation service, has been awarded the contract to build a 15 kilowatt solar panel array in Leverett.
The Solar Store was one of two developers to submit a proposal to build the solar array, which will be located between the town’s elementary school and public safety complex.
“There’s a little hill there that separates the two buildings and the Solar Store will put five pole-mounted solar arrays on that land because of it’s south-facing slant,” said Town Administrator Marjorie McGinnis.
Bidders were given the flexibility to choose the site they preferred to place the array on, with a plot of land between the Leverett Library and the elementary school being the other possible location.
McGinnis said that the entire project will cost $98,016 and will be funded by a $138,750 grant the town received through the Massachusetts Green Communities Act last year. The town’s original estimate put the cost between $70,000 and $80,000.
Leverett is one of 110 communities in the state that have earned “green community” designations. In addition to the solar energy project, the town has also used funding from the grant to install energy-efficient lighting in Town Hall, in the safety complex and in library buildings.
The only other company to submit a bid was GM Industries of Tolland, Conn.
McGinnis said the Solar Store was chosen because it had experience working in western Massachusetts and chose the installation location that the town preferred.
“We’re excited to get it all done and get the poles in, and so far our relationship with the bidder had been very good,”