State Offering $44.7M in Grants for Microgrid Projects
In its second, and largest, major solicitation for microgrid projects, the state’s Energy Commission has begun offering $44.7 million in grants as part of a larger effort to increase the use of distributed energy resources.
Some $22 million of the microgrid grants will be allocated for military bases, ports and Native American tribes; $11.7 million for disadvantaged communities; and $11 million to commercialize microgrids at other locations, including rural areas, industrial complexes, universities and schools.
Individual grants will range from $2 million to $7 million, with recipients providing matching funds of 20 to 25%. The deadline to apply is Oct. 20.
More: Microgrid Knowledge
300 EV Charging Stations Coming to Denver
Lawsuit settlement money paid by Volkswagen after its diesel emissions cheating scandal will help fund the effort, which may include changes to the city building code to encourage installation of more charging stations near apartments and condos.
More: The Denver Post
State to Begin 4th Round of Microgrid Grants; $26.5M Available
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will be accepting applications from Sept. 1 through Jan. 1, 2018, for $26.5 million in grants for community microgrid projects.
The grants will be the state’s fourth round of incentives. The third round, totaling $30 million, ends on Aug. 31. From that money, the state has awarded $424,000 and has preliminarily set aside $3 million for a project that is currently under review. The remaining $26.5 million will carry to the fourth round, with more money possible if $3 million is not awarded for the project presently under review.
Grants in the fourth round will cap at $4 million per project, with an additional $2 million available for microgrids in towns that received certain assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Community Energy Assistance Program.
More: Microgrid Knowledge
City Rolls out EVs After Union Bargaining Delay
The city of Brockton has assigned 10 electric vehicles that it received in February to city employees after resolving a union bargaining issue.
The city leased the vehicles using $75,000 awarded this year through the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, along with $13,500 for a charging station. The move to EVs was part of Brockton’s effort to be designated by the state as a “Green Community” earlier this year, which qualified it for grant funding along with an initial $526,000 to fund energy-efficiency efforts. Altogether, the city has a total of 13 EVs.
The rollout of the vehicles was delayed by bargaining with the Brockton Association of Engineers and Inspectors over GPS monitoring devices that allow the city to track the location of the vehicles, Mayor Bill Carpenter said.
More: The Enterprise
State Launches Portal to Support Renewable Energy Projects
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority on Thursday launched a digital portal to support new opportunities for businesses and electric utilities to partner, create business models and deploy advanced energy technologies in the state.
The portal, REV Connect, provides information about opportunities created by the state’s renewable energy initiative. Businesses can submit responsive ideas for feedback and technical support, and be potentially matched with investor-owned utilities to pursue innovative partnerships.
AEP to Begin Installing Smart Meters
American Electric Power will begin its rollout Monday of what will eventually be 900,000 smart meter installations in homes across the state.
The initiative, which will begin in the central part of the state, will continue until 2021. Residents who refuse the smart meters will have a charge of $24 per month added to their bill.
The Delaware area will see the first installations. Lewis Center, Sunbury, Johnstown, Galena, Westerville, New Albany, Pataskala, Powell, Worthington, Dublin, Amlin and Plain City also are scheduled for smart meters this year.
More: The Columbus Dispatch
Sierra Club Sues over Registration Fees for EVs, Hybrids
The fees, which begin Jan. 1, are expected to raise more than $506,000 for fiscal year 2018 and $1.01 million for fiscal year 2019.
According to the lawsuit, the legislation is unconstitutional, as it was a revenue-raising bill passed during the last five days of the legislative session.
More: The Oklahoman
API Poll: State Voters Oppose Nuclear Plant Bailouts
Eighty-four percent of the state’s voters oppose legislation that would impose a special fee to bail out or fund Exelon’s nuclear power plants, according to a poll released Wednesday by API Pennsylvania.
The poll conducted by the American Petroleum Institute division also found that 77% of voters agree the electricity market should be based on the marketplace, rather than special treatment for one corporation, and 60% believe electricity prices are lower with competition.
More: API Pennsylvania
Judge Approves Three-Quarter-Mile Setback for Wind Towers
A 400-MW wind farm planned for Clark County must keep towers a minimum of 3,960 feet from residences, according to a Monday decision by the state’s Third Circuit Court.
If completed, Geronimo Energy’s Crocker Wind Farm would be the state’s biggest wind farm. Geronimo had challenged a decision by the Clark County Commission approving the project, but requiring towers be placed a minimum of three-quarters of a mile from residences.
Commissioner Francis Hass said the commission didn’t do enough homework before allowing a 2,000-foot minimum setback for an 11-tower project built a few years ago.
More: Watertown Public Opinion
State’s First Utility-Scale Facility Coming in 2019
The state is getting its first utility-scale solar facility by September 2019 on about 300 acres of an alfalfa field southwest of Hot Springs.
174 Power Global has negotiated 20-year leases with landowners to build the South Dakota Sun Solar Energy Project. Fall River County has no zoning regulations, so permits were not required for environmental surveys. But the company has been completing baseline surveys on its own during the last several months.
Black Hills Energy will purchase power from the 52-MW project.
More: Rapid City Journal
Energy Northwest Nuke Waste Shipping Suspended
The state Department of Health last month indefinitely suspended Energy Northwest’s authority to ship low-level nuclear waste after a July 20 shipment to Hanford was mislabeled.
The department’s July 26 order requires Energy Northwest, which operates the Columbia Generating Station, to come up with corrective actions within 90 days, submit to an inspection and participate in a management inspection. It marks the second time in less than a year that the state has barred the company from shipping waste after shipments didn’t match the manifest.
Mike Paoli, a spokesman for Energy Northwest, said the July 20 error involved an incorrect manifest mistakenly being sent along with correctly packaged waste and that it did not result in public health or safety risks.
Governor Wants $4.5B Bailout for Appalachian Coal Industry
Gov. Jim Justice is proposing to bail out the Appalachian coal industry by having the federal government pay $15 to eastern power companies for each ton of Appalachian coal they purchase.
The proposal, which Justice said is a “homeland security initiative” to protect the eastern energy grid, would cost taxpayers up to $4.5 billion a year.
Justice, who was elected as a Democrat but switched to the Republican Party this month, said President Trump has been receptive to his proposal.
More: The Washington Post