$1B Gemini Solar Project will be largest solar project in U.S. history

The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved a proposal to construct and operate a 690-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar energy facility about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, greenlodgingnews.com reports. The estimated $1 billion Gemini Solar Project “could be the eighth-largest solar power facility in the world when finished and is expected to generate enough electricity to power 260,000 homes in the Las Vegas area and potential energy markets in Southern California,” according to the article. Project construction “is anticipated to average 500 to 700 construction workers” at a time, “supporting up to an additional 1,100 jobs in the local community and injecting an estimated $712.5 million into the economy in wages and total output during construction.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Federal Updates, Renewable Energy

Columbus exceeds EV adoption goal, leads Midwest

Smart Columbus recently announced that it has exceeded a goal set three years ago “to facilitate the purchase of 3,200 electric vehicles [EVs],” with 3,323 EVs sold in the Columbus region from April 2017 to February 2020, 10TV.com reports. In addition to surpassing that goal, Columbus “became the fastest-growing city in the Midwest for electric vehicle adoption,” according to the article. Because transportation “accounts for nearly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. according to the Environmental Protection Agency,” Columbus could also see environmental benefits from increased EV adoption. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Smart Cities, State Updates

Dairy farm begins production of renewable natural gas

Clover Hill Dairy in Wisconsin recently began producing renewable natural gas from the biogas “produced from the farm’s existing digester,” Northwest Signal reports. Nacelle Solutions partnered with U.S. Gain, a renewable natural gas developer and distributor, on the project. Nacelle’s technologies “have been designed to upgrade the biogas to renewable natural gas” which is then transported to an offsite injection point “where U.S. Gain will dispense it into the transportation market,” according to the article. Joe Bonlender of Clover Hill Dairy said the farm now has “an additional income stream as well as environmental benefits such as less noise pollution, cleaner air and less odor.”

Environmental, Renewable Energy

Renewables could overtake coal generation in 2020 as COVID-19 accelerates transition

The latest short-term energy outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows renewables generation “is set to outpace coal generation in 2020,” amid “shrinking electricity demand caused by COVID-19 response measures as well as low natural gas prices,” Utility Dive reports. Coal consumption “is expected to decrease by nearly a quarter to 453 million short tons this year” due to competitive gas prices and lower power consumption, according to the article. Renewable generation, on the other hand, has been “following an upward trend” and is projected to grow by 11% this year, “despite COVID-related impacts to new generation capacity builds in the coming months.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Federal Updates, Renewable Energy

Columbus’s energy benchmarking ordinance is the first in Ohio

Officials in Columbus “are getting ready to help building owners comply with the state’s first energy benchmarking ordinance,” which will require those owners “to report data on building size, energy usage and utility bills,” energynews.us reports. An EPA energy manager program will use that data to provide “Energy Star scores for energy and water usage,” according to the article. Stefan Schaffer, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s city strategist for the American Cities Climate Challenge, said the building sector “accounts for the majority of carbon emissions in Columbus,” at 58%. Cities that have adopted benchmarking policies have reported a 3% to 8% reduction in annual carbon emissions two to four years after implementation. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates

Cleveland Heights going greener with more solar panels on city buildings

Cleveland Heights city officials “plan to go greener in the coming months,” adding rooftop solar installations to three more city buildings, Cleveland.com reports. City Council is expected to authorize a 30-year contract with Enerlogics Solar LLC to add solar panels to City Hall, the Community Center and the Service Department garage, according to the article. The city will piggyback “on a Cuyahoga County Aggregated Solar Project administered through the county’s Cooperative Purchasing Program” and pay no setup cost for the generation and distribution systems. Cleveland Heights Capital Projects Manager Joe Kickel said the electricity “will be consumed exclusively at each respective facility,” increasing the city’s usage of “green energy.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Honda, GM joint venture could “add spark” to Lordstown battery plant

General Motors and Honda have pledged to jointly develop two all-new electric vehicles with a propulsion system “based on GM’s new proprietary battery platform, the cells for which will be manufactured at the planned $2.3 billion plant in Lordstown [see our March 31, 2020 blog post],” The Vindicator reports. Honda “will design the interiors and exteriors of the new electric vehicles” while production “will be at GM plants in North America,” according to the article. GM and Honda “have an ongoing relationship around electrification” that includes “work on fuel cells and the Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving and shared vehicle, that will contain a battery pack with Lordstown-made cells.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, State Updates

2019 was second-biggest year for new installed wind power

Installations totaling 60.4 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity wind power worldwide made 2019 the second-biggest year on record for wind power, nawindpower.com reports. The article cites a recently released report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) that showed year-over-year growth of 19% and a total global capacity for wind energy over 651 GW, “an increase of 10% compared to 2018.” Market-based mechanisms were the main driver of growth, “with auctioned wind capacity in 2019 surpassing 40 GW worldwide, accounting for two-thirds of total new capacity and doubling auctioned capacity” compared to the previous year. The report forecasts continued growth, with “over 355 GW of wind energy capacity potentially added over the next five years.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy

Clean Fuels Ohio partners with Lordstown Motors to promote Endurance electric trucks

Lordstown Motors Corp. recently announced it has a letter of intent from Clean Fuels Ohio, “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of advanced technologies in Ohio,” to “promote the deployment of 500 of the startup automaker’s Endurance electric trucks,” The Business Journal reports. Clean Fuels Ohio will partner with Lordstown Motors “to help educate fleet operators across Ohio and encourage purchases of the trucks,” according to the article. Steve Burns, Lordstown Motors CEO, said Clean Fuels Ohio’s “history of collaboration with the transportation industry to promote the use of advanced fuels and vehicle technologies has broken down decades-old barriers and helped create a level playing field.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, State Updates

Investment in Ohio natural gas power plants tops $15 billion

In recent years, Ohio “has seen proposals for nearly a dozen new natural gas-fired power plants representing more than 9,200 megawatts [MW] and more than $15 billion in investments,” energyindepth.org reports. Plants that are currently operational include the 955-MW Oregon Energy Center, representing $880 million in investment; the 908-MW Oregon Clean Energy Center, representing $800 million in investment; and Carroll County Energy, with another $800 million in investment. The largest plant, the planned 1,875-MW Guernsey Power Station, totals $1.4 billion in investment and is expected to be operational in 2022, according to the article. Ohio’s “abundant supply of clean-burning, affordable natural gas has contributed significantly to U.S. energy security, consumer savings, and economic growth — all while helping to drive America’s emissions down to a level not seen in over 15 years.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates
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