Green Energy News

FERC provides deadlines for implementing elements of America’s Water Infrastructure Act

FERC announced Nov. 14 it has begun the process to implement the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

Tekniska problem i Ömossa vindkraftpark – hälften av möllorna går på tomgång #FIN

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 20:38
Produktionen av el haltar vid Ömossa vindkraftpark i Kristinestad på grund av tekniska problem. Fel har hittats i hälften av vindkraftverken som nu står stilla på grund av problemen. – Situationen är den att vi har hittat fel eller abnormaliteter i rotorbladen under kontroller. Därför har ungefär hälften av turbinerna lagts på tomgång medan vi analyserar problemen, säger Frans Liski, vd för EPV vindkraft. På plats har man också en lyftkran för att underlätta undersökningarna av rotorbladen. Ett rotorblad har . . .

First U.S. Residential Solar Projects Turn to Output Insurance

A tool designed as an insurance policy for solar-power generation will be used to manage the risk associated with U.S. residential systems for the first time as part of a financing agreement backing 4,000 projects in the Northeast.

To inspire energy-saving behaviors, local governments engage residents, hold contests, try games

ACEEE Blogs - Вт., 2018-11-15 17:25

Nearly two-thirds of behavior-based programs for saving energy involve in-person contact with residents, such as home energy audits, according to a new survey of 50 such programs nationwide. As energy efficiency programs increasingly target behavior, local governments are taking diverse approaches.

Our new report, Reducing Energy Waste through Municipally Led Behavior Change Programs, shows that the majority of locally led programs use more than one behavior change strategy. It finds that more than half include a competition, game, or educational component.

Figure 1. Percentage of programs in study containing behavior program categories (not mutually exclusive)

They target diverse audiences, too

Programs also vary based on their targeted audience. Almost two-thirds focus on residential households and 40% on municipal government operations. While transportation programs are less common, some local governments address energy use in transportation as well as other sectors.

For example, in California in 2016, Alameda County’s Community Commutes Day competition used an online game to encourage employees to use public transit, biking, or carpooling. Municipal buildings competed as teams to earn the most points through clean commuting and program engagement.

“Really think about the diversity of your employees and don’t fall into the trap of thinking everyone is like you,” said Sarah Church, Alameda County’s sustainability project manager. In providing advice to other local governments aiming to run similar programs, she added, “Reach out to all groups, even those who you’d least expect to participate, as you may be surprised who will engage.”


Photos of Community Commutes Day participants, courtesy of Alameda County.                           

They aim to meet climate and other goals

Our study finds that many cities joining We Are Still In or the Mayors Climate Alliance are using behavior change strategies and program designs as one way to help meet their Paris Agreement goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. New York City and Denver, for example, cite their climate action plans as a motivator for designing behavior change programs to save energy.

Local governments cite additional motivations for their programs, such as community engagement, economic development, job creation, and energy affordability. About a third of the programs surveyed focus on serving low-income or underserved households and communities. 

They face challenges

Many cities and counties face challenges in developing and implementing their programs. For example, Virginia’s Arlington County struggled to expand the scope of its Green Games program, which initially targeted energy and water savings in the commercial building sector in October 2010 to 2011. While the original program proved successful because of extensive staff engagement and relationship building in that sector, the county faced barriers such as competing priorities and low participation while trying to expand to the retail, restaurant, multifamily, and hospitality sectors. 

Strong evaluations can help measure success and identify solutions to program challenges, but measuring success can be difficult. Even though independent third-party evaluations are key, the vast majority of cities and counties surveyed did not complete them. Many local governments track some performance metrics internally, but programs would benefit from more robust evaluations.

Piloting and testing new ideas and concepts can also help determine solutions to program challenges.

We identify ways forward

In the new report, we provide recommended steps for local governments to ensure effective programs, such as conducting preliminary research, piloting ideas, and comprehensively evaluating outcomes. By following these steps and learning from past examples, cities and counties can build on these behavior change strategies to design programs that achieve long-lasting energy savings tailored to meet the goals and needs of their communities.


The UK’s First Deep Geothermal Electricity Plant Starts Drilling in Cornwall

Geothermal Engineering Ltd. (GEL) announced that drilling for the UK’s first deep geothermal electricity plant at the United Downs Industrial Estate near St Day in Cornwall began last week. The aim of the initiative is to demonstrate the potential of the geothermal resource in the UK to produce electricity and renewable heat. The plant will have a capacity of up to 3 MW.

Monsoon Winds Help Indian Wind Farm Owners in 2018

Wind speeds in India during the 2018 monsoon season were significantly higher than normal, and up to 20 percent higher than long-term averages in some regions, according to wind performance maps Vaisala published today. These higher wind speeds will benefit wind farm production; this is welcome news for wind energy operators and investors, who have faced several years of lower-than-normal wind energy production during the monsoon period.

California ‘Smart Home Study’ Underway

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is funding a study that it hopes will result in lower utility bills for customers and more control over electricity load for utilities. The project will involve 100 homeowners in Southern California who will install various types of distributed energy resources (DER) such as thermostats, load control switches, batteries, water heaters and eventually electric vehicle chargers.

California ‘Smart Home Study’ Underway

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is funding a study that it hopes will result in lower utility bills for customers and more control over electricity load for utilities. The project will involve 100 homeowners in Southern California who will install various types of distributed energy resources (DER) such as thermostats, load control switches, batteries, water heaters and eventually electric vehicle chargers.

Meeting room overflows, public hearing gets rescheduled #ND

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
The Burleigh County Planning and Zoning Commission had to reschedule a public hearing in regard to the proposed Burleigh-Emmons Wind Farm due to a larger crowd showing up at the City/County Building, located in downtown Bismarck, than it could sufficiently hold. More than 150 citizens filled three rooms of the venue Wednesday night during a meeting that was initially delayed 45 minutes while commissioners tried to figure out how to properly accommodate all the people who showed up to make . . .

Fairbank wind farm dealt legal blow #IA

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
WATERLOO – Owners of wind energy turbines east of Fairbank have lost another round in their battle to keep the structures up. A three-judge panel of the Iowa Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal filed by attorneys for Mason Wind, Dante Wind 6, Galileo Wind 1 and Venus Wind 4, which are under a Fayette County District Court order to remove three turbines by Dec. 9. Justices Brent Appel, Thomas Waterman and Edward Mansfield confirmed a July 11 decision by . . .

Seneca East school district joins opposition to wind farm project #OH

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
ATTICA, Ohio – With no discussion, the Seneca East board of education unanimously approved a resolution to intervene in upcoming Ohio Power Siting Board hearings that will decide the fate of the controversial Seneca Wind project. The 5-0 vote was taken Tuesday night at a special Seneca East Local Schools meeting called to discuss and vote on the resolution. In approving it, the school district joined four of five Seneca County townships that have passed similar resolutions to intervene, the most . . .

Wind farm opponents: Zoning is best protection #KS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
ST. PAUL – Some people have questioned why Apex Clean Energy would want to build wind turbines in Southeast Kansas. Lack of zoning regulations in Neosho County could be one of the greatest enticements for the company, according to information shared with Neosho County residents Tuesday night at Tony’s Function Junction near St. Paul. Anderson County residents Dane Hicks and Burk Peterson spoke to citizens at the event center who have raised concerns about the Neosho Ridge Wind project that is . . .

Wind turbine foes ask for county wide ordinance #MI

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
BRANCH COUNTY – After losing the election to force Union Township to adopt a zoning code, Concerned Citizens of Branch County urged Branch County Commissioners, at its Tuesday meeting, to create a county wide wind turbine zoning ordinance. With over two dozen supporters in attendance, Anna Keim told the board, “we are concerned that Union Township, with no zoning in place, would have dire consequences with regard to the health, safety and welfare of its residents, but particularly those who have . . .

Wind farms deliver a blow to birds of prey, says study #IND

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
PUNE: A study done in the Satara region of the Western Ghats confirmed the deeper ecological consequences of wind farms in biodiversity-rich areas by establishing a link between such farms and the number of predatory birds and ground-dwelling lizards in their vicinity. The study, conducted jointly by city-based independent researchers Harshal Bhosale and Amod Zambre and Bengaluru-based Maria Thaker, found that wind farms reduce the number as well as the activity of predatory birds. The drop in the number of . . .

L’Anse wind project gets zone change #MI

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
L’ANSE – Zoning ordinance changes concerning wind turbines dominated the discussion Monday at a meeting of the L’Anse Township Board. The new ordinance, which passed by a 4-1 vote, allows for a waiver of setback requirements on wind turbines between participating properties. Under the old ordinance, a setback of at least 1.5 times the total height of a turbine is required, even on property lines between participating properties. A participating property is defined by the ordinance as one that is part . . .

Call for urgent talks with residents over Mayo wind farm project #IRL

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
An appeal has been issued to Bord na Mona and the ESB to talk directly to the residents living near the Oweninny wind farm and accept the principle that those communities living closest to the turbines should receive special benefits. “While the operational fund of €232,000 per annum for community benefit projects is welcome it is a pre- requisite that BnM and ESB accept the principle that those communities living closest to the wind turbines should benefit in a special . . .

Wind farm proposal public input meeting delayed due to attendance #ND

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
In continuing coverage, Tonight marked the next step in deciding whether Morton Township could be the site of a new wind farm. At a Burleigh County Planning and Zoning meeting, public input was expected to dominate the conversation. The City-County building was packed around 4:30 when we arrived for the meeting. People were lined up, all the way up the stairs from the meeting room, out the door onto the sidewalk. They were waiting to voice their concerns about the . . .

7 big turbines rise in Johnston — biggest onshore wind farm in R.I. #RI

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
JOHNSTON – The wind turbines appear up ahead as you drive west on Route 6, rising high on a hill over Johnston. In a matter of weeks, Green Development, of North Kingstown, has installed six of the German-made behemoths that each stand 524 feet tall when their blade tips are at their highest point – higher than the Industrial Trust building in Providence. With only one turbine left to go, the wind farm in a largely industrial area off Plainfield Pike and . . .

Turbine turbulence: Public hearing rescheduled due to large turnout, limited space #ND

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
BISMARCK, N.D. – Morton township reached an impasse on a wind farm permit, an issue that divided the community. They sent it to Burleigh County for resolution at a hearing that has been delayed. So many people came to Wednesday’s public hearing at the City County Building in Bismarck that the issue had to be delayed. Officials are rescheduling the hearing in a public space large enough to fit the crowd. A sea of red shirts spanned three floors for . . .

Information sessions and comment hearings held on Number Three Wind project #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Вт., 2018-11-15 14:00
LOWVILLE – The Number Three Wind company’s application to create a wind farm spanning the towns of Lowville and Harrisburg moved forward in the state’s vetting process with official public hearings Wednesday. The process, known as Article 10 under the Public Service Law, was set in motion in January when the wind company filed an application seeking the coveted certificate that ensures the public need and environmental compatibility of their 105.8 megawatt wind farm. The hearings, held at the Town Hall . . .
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