By Any Other Name… The Battle Over “Community Solar”

Noting the buzzworthy-ness of the term and the warm fuzzies associated with the very idea of community solar, utilities are currently spending significant time and money in an attempt to co-opt the term for themselves as a new name for what is already known as “utility scale” solar.

Congress Must Prevent Utilities From Skirting Coal Ash Landfill Requirements

The southeast has more coal ash per capita than any other region of the country, so we hope Rep. Johnson’s southern colleagues will co-sponsor and publicly support H.R. 4827.

Amazing Free Tool Shows How Wind Power Works

Finally, the WIND Toolkit helps eliminate any guesswork by wind energy advocates regarding newly proposed wind farm projects. Using the old 50 meter, 80 meter or 100 meter wind speed maps use to be the only way the public had any sense of what “good” wind resources looked like. However, those maps always proved too coarse for the average viewer to interpret accurately. Anti-wind activists frequently used outdated maps, some even dating back to the 1980s, to make a case against wind energy. The WIND Toolkit can now provide better analysis for stakeholders interested in learning more about wind energy. As a quick case study, the image below shows the results of the WIND Toolkit query compared to a 100 meter wind speed map in Northeastern North Carolina. The WIND Toolkit shows an average wind speed of approximately 7 meters-per-second (15.7 MPH), but the 100 meter wind map shows speeds of <6 m/s (13.4MPH). That 1 m/s difference results in the difference between a 30% capacity factor and a 40% capacity factor, based on the WIND Toolkit's power curve. In real terms, that is a 33% improvement in capacity factor. North Carolina's first wind farm recently broke ground in that region, and reports suggest average capacity factors of that wind farm to be near 40% – very similar to the results of the WIND Toolkit.

Climate Feedback: Scientists Collaborate to Sort Fact from Fiction In Media’s Coverage of Climate Change

The following guest post is from Climate Feedback, a global network of scientists who analyze and critique articles about climate change in the mainstream media, holding publications accountable for accurately reporting on the issue. Last year was the hottest year in human history, and last week we learned that the Great Barrier Reef is already […]

A somber 30th anniversary – Chernobyl’s legacy

The 30th anniversary of the devastating accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the former Soviet Union in the town of Pripyat is not something to celebrate, especially given that the site is still struggling with properly containing the destroyed Unit 4 reactor that exploded on that fateful day. This anniversary date is especially somber […]

Amendment 4 on August’s Ballot Seeks to Lower Solar Energy Costs in Sunshine State

Want to know the best-kept secret in Florida about one of the biggest barriers holding back meaningful solar development? It’s not the lack of sunshine – Florida has best solar resource east of the Mississippi. So, what is it you ask? Taxes – really burdensome taxes whose impact drives up the cost of solar power. […]

Just Energy Memphis Coalition Works to Ease Energy Burden

This Earth Day, we take a moment to recognize that clean energy solutions can not only help save our planet from the devastation of extreme climate change, but also help save families from suffering due to high energy costs. Just this week, Memphis, TN was named one of the top 10 cities with the highest energy burden in the country in a new report, with Memphians spending an average of just over 6% of their income on energy bills. This percentage more than doubles for low-income families in Memphis, with those families paying over 13% of their income on utility bills – the highest in the country! Families with high energy burdens suffer significant negative health impacts and economic hardship. They face greater risks for respiratory diseases and increased stress, and too often have to choose between putting food on the table and keeping their lights on.

TVA Puts Solar In its Place – Just Outside Memphis!

Where’s the best place for solar energy? It may not seem obvious to many readers, but Memphis, Tennessee is one of the smartest places to put solar energy in the Southeast. Just this week, TVA showed how it is following this kind of smart siting by signing a a 53 megawatt (MW) solar facility power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nashville-based renewable energy provider, Silicon Ranch Corporation, to construct what will be Tennessee’s largest solar array in Millington, TN, just north of Memphis.

What’s so smart about putting solar in the western part of TVA’s service territory? It turns out that on hot summer days, TVA can rely on the sun shining on West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi late into the day – producing solar energy just when air conditioners across the entire Tennessee Valley most needs this clean energy to keep folks cool.

Green Spirit Awards: North Charleston, SC Brewery Wants to Save Paradise, Says “No Drill, No Spill” to Offshore Drilling

Holy City Brewing Company in North Charleston, South Carolina released a beer this month dedicated to the paradise that is our Southeast coast: Paradise Session Ale. The ale is light, sessionable (meaning very drinkable for many rounds), and would be enjoyed by a variety of people, even if each had different palates. Paradise, therefore, is crafted to be a perfect beer for enjoying while hanging out for hours with friends on the beach and enjoying the coast we are blessed with. It is this picture of quintessential coastal life that motivated Holy City to make a statement with Paradise Ale: “Help save paradise. No drill, no spill. It’s not worth the risk.”

Electric Utilities Could Lose Billions of Dollars in Wind Energy Savings

Because of the PTC phaseout, there is a real urgency for wind farm development to begin as soon as possible. Electric utilities that delay purchase of wind energy resources may end up losing hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in ratepayer savings due to a reduction in the federal PTC value.