Garden City – The municipal electric utility now uses more than 30 percent renewable energy resources to serve its customers after the City began taking a portion of its power needs from Buckeye Wind Energy Center on June 1.
As the economics of traditional power operations become more challenging, public power utilities are turning to a range of cutting-edge generation resources — from small modular reactors to renewables.
“As community-owned utilities, our members are at ground zero for a lot of changes, from energy efficiency to decisions about decommissioning plants,” said Carolyn Slaughter, director of environmental policy at the American Public Power Association. “Our planning horizons are long-lived because we’re making the most economical decisions for operating these units. We don’t make decisions for three years; we look at 30-year horizons.”
The Association’s Public Power Forward initiative aims to help public power utilities prepare for the new era in electricity. It includes a business, policy and technology assessment toolbox that utilities can use in their own business models to meet customer demands with next-generation energy sources.
Given their smaller size and community connection, public power utilities are uniquely positioned to broaden their generation portfolios in response to customer preferences. Many utilities are getting at least some of their electricity from newer energy sources like solar, wind, and combined-cycle natural gas.
Warren Buffet-owned utility MidAmerican Energy recently made national news by announcing it was on track to offset 100 percent of its electricity with renewable energy – while keeping costs low for customers.
Garden City, KS(westernkansasnews.com) The municipal electric utility now uses more than 30 percent renewable energy resources to serve its customers after the City began taking a portion of its power needs from Buckeye Wind Energy Center on June 1.
By Paul CiampoliAPPA News DirectorPosted December 5, 2017
The Grand River Dam Authority on Nov. 30 said that it has signed a contract with Google under which Google will receive 140 megawatts from the Red Dirt Wind Farm, a 300-MW facility located in Oklahoma’s Kingfisher and Logan counties.
Westar Energy launched a new program this week that its leader called “a powerful economic development tool” that will allow businesses access to wind energy.
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A Kansas Corporation Commission final order issued Thursday was a “real loss” for residential wind and solar users, an energy activist said, expressing dissatisfaction at the commission’s lack of willingness to engage in a substantive study of how distributed generation users affect the power grid.
“We do feel like it was a real loss,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the climate + energy project, based in Hutchinson. “But I will say we are not giving up.”
The KCC ruling laid out guidance regarding how utility companies can charge distributed generation customers, closing a general investigation opened in July 2016. Distributed generation is the term used to describe customers who can self-produce energy in small amounts to reduce their monthly energy bills.
On one side of the issue were utilities that say customers who get the bulk of their energy from residential wind or solar platforms aren’t paying their fair share of the fixed costs of the power grid. The companies want to set up a fee schedule that takes into account how DG customers use the grid, even as their solar or wind production reduces their energy consumption.
On the other side are energy advocates and solar/wind companies that say they want the utility companies to demonstrate exactly what the fixed costs are they’re not covering, and asking for an in-depth review of the costs and benefits that distributed generation users bring to the grid.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will launch a solicitation in the fourth quarter for 800 megawatts of offshore wind to jump start a major offshore initiative under an order issued by the New York Public Service Commission on July12.
Wind power project developers signed 3,560 megawatts of power purchase agreements during the first quarter of 2018, the strongest quarter for PPA announcements since the American Wind Energy Association began tracking PPA activity in 2013, AWEA recently reported.
Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of investor-owned Ameren Corporation, on May 21 said that it has entered into an agreement to acquire, after construction, a 400-megawatt wind farm in northeast Missouri, which Ameren said will be the largest ever in the state.
Countywide zoning for renewable energy projects – including commercial wind and solar farms – along with imposing stricter flood zone regulations are among recommendations in a draft update to the Comprehensive Plan for Reno County.
Wind and solar
During a final meeting of the planning commission on the draft before it went to the county commission, the body unanimously supported a specific recommendation to pursue countywide zoning just for wind and solar.
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ERIE – Representatives of a wind farm planned for southwest Neosho County met with county commissioners Thursday evening to update them on the project.
Senior Development Manager Jade Scheele and Julianna Pianelle of Apex Clean Energy met with Neosho County commissioners and discussed agreements for road use and other aspects of the Neosho Ridge wind project.
“We’re excited that the community has been so welcoming,” Scheele said.
The project is planned for 40,000 acres between Thayer and Erie. She said the Charlottesville, Va.-based company has leased 35,000.
Wind farms totaling 5,322 megawatts started construction during the second quarter of 2018, bringing total construction activity to 18,987 MW, the American Wind Energy Association said in a recently released report.
Wind power is poised to surpass hydroelectricity as the largest renewable energy generation source, the Energy Information Administration said on Jan. 24.
The Energy Information Administration on June 14 reported that for the first time, monthly electricity generation from wind and solar (including utility-scale plants and small-scale systems) exceeded 10% of total electricity generation in the U.S., based on March data in EIA’s Electric Power Monthly report.
And EIA thinks it is likely that electricity generation from wind and solar will exceed 10% of total U.S. generation again in April 2017.
The county zoning board is pursuing a plan for two new meteorological towers, which could lead to new wind turbines.
The proposed sites lie midway between Marion and Peabody, with one between 140th Rd. and Old Mill Rd., and the other between 100th and Mustang.