Renewable Energy

Living roofs take root in wine country

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — It's a warm day in the Napa Valley and the summer sun that turns the region's plump grapes into prized cabernet sauvignon is beating down on the Odette Estate winery.

But inside the winery's production facility, temperatures are pleasant — with nary a whisper of air conditioning.

The reason is Odette Estate's innovative roof, which combines 8,500 square feet of planted, living roof with 2,500 square feet of solar panels.

Top federal officials discuss energy development

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The potential for renewable energy development in the Southwest is tremendous, but two top officials in President Barack Obama's administration said Monday much work needs to be done to meet the challenges of exporting that power to market.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz were among dozens of state and tribal officials who met in Santa Fe as part of the administration's effort to develop recommendations regarding the transmission, storage and distribution of energy.

Jewell and Moniz said one of the biggest challenges has been working across state lines and Native American jurisdictions to site and permit transmission and pipeline projects. They pointed to the $2 billion SunZia project between New Mexico and Arizona as one example.

Republicans court Tesla, ‘gigafactory’ jobs

National Journal

Despite Republican opposition to Department of Energy backing for green energy projects, a number of GOP governors are lobbying strongly to get electric car maker Tesla to build its battery ‘gigafactory’ in their states, presumably bringing thousands of jobs with it, National Journal reports.

BOEM graphic

Interior moves forward with N.C. offshore wind plan

Three Atlantic Ocean areas off North Carolina will be made available for offshore wind energy development, the Interior Department announced Monday, including one that was placed farther out to sea to avoid being seen from Kitty Hawk and from another historic site on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The areas to be open to leasing total nearly 308,000 acres: the 122,405-acre Kitty Hawk area situated 24 miles off the coast, and two others located 10 and 15 miles off Wilmington, respectively, near the border with South Carolina.

Giant Wyoming wind farm gets significant state approval

Casper Star-Tribune

The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council has given unanimous approval for a proposal to build what could be the largest land-based wind farm in the country -– Power Company of Wyoming’s Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project -- which would have up to 1,000 turbines generating up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.

Utilities blocking solar installations in many sunny Southern states

Los Angeles Times

Rules governing solar power in many Southern states that get a lot of sunshine -– including Florida -– discourage the installation of panels, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Shrinking surcharge for Austin customers to get wind power

StateImpact Texas

Because publicly-funded transmission lines have brought the cost of wind-generated power down, Austin Energy is charging only 1 cent per kilowatt hour extra to customers who want to use the GreenChoice program and get their electricity from wind sources, StateImpact Texas reports.

More rooftop installations, more losses for SolarCity in 2Q


SolarCity Corp. is sticking with its strategy of installing more rooftop solar despite the cost: The company said in the second quarter it added 107 megawatts but its loss increased to $47.7 million, Bloomberg reports.

Geothermal projects to get $18 million from DOE

The Hill

Thirty two projects to reduce geothermal energy costs – including research and development as well as mapping – will get up to $18 million from the Department of Energy, geothermal technology office chief Doug Hollett announced Wednesday, The Hill reports.

Minnesota regulators to decide on solar payments


The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission – having agreed that an original proposal of 10 cents a kilowatt-hour was too low -- is expected to decide Thursday how much Xcel energy will have to pay for electricity generated by community solar gardens, E&E reports.


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