Columnists: Cheryl Kaften

Brandeis University Virtual-Net-Metered Solar Array to Save $2M Over 20 Years

Brandeis University, located in the Boston metropolitan area, expects to reduce its long-term energy bills through a PPA the school signed on January 13 to obtain solar power from a 1.27-MW rooftop system installed on a property in the city of Somerville, Massachusetts. Specifically, the system is anticipated to save the school an estimated $70,000   …Continue Reading

Montana House Moves to Limit Ratepayer Costs

Two bills designed to restrict how utilities pass costs on to their customers got hearings on January 11 in the Montana Energy, Technology and Federal Relations Committee, according to a report by KPAX-TV in Missoula.

California Bill Would Require Solar Panels on New Buildings

California State Senator Scott Wiener (D-11) introduced legislation (SB-71) on January 9 that would require buildings erected in the Golden State to be equipped with solar arrays, according to a report by Pacific Standard magazine.

Missouri PSC OKs Ameren Request for Higher Energy Efficiency Tariff

In a reversal of a January 2016 order, the Missouri Public Service Commission approved a request on January 11 (Case No. ER-2017-0149) filed by Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri to adjust the Energy Efficiency Investment Charge (EEIC) Rider that appears on the monthly bills of the utility’s 1.2 million electric customers statewide.

Study: EmPower Maryland Will Save Customers $4B Over Life of Upgrades

Residential and business electric customers will save more than $4 billion over the life of energy efficiency improvements made through the EmPower Maryland program; according to results of a study (Research Report U1701) released on January 12 by the nonprofit research group, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Oregon ALJ Signs Off on Ground Rules For Energy Storage

The Public Utility Commission of Oregon, in compliance with HB 2193 – a state measure passed in June 2015 that directed the Commission to develop energy storage guidelines by January 1, 2017 –approved competitive bidding requirements and project ground rules on December 28 (Order No. 16-504)

In Minnesota, St. John’s University Expands Solar Farm to Six Times Its Original Size

St. John’s University of Collegeville, Minnesota, announced on January 10 that it had expanded its community solar garden.

Kaua’i Utility and AES DE Seal Plans For Hybrid Solar, Energy Storage Plant

Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) – a member-owned utility serving 33,000 electric accounts on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i –  and AES Distributed Energy, a subsidiary of AES, sealed a power purchase agreement (PPA) on January 10 for a 28-MW solar photovoltaic energy plant, along with a 20-MW, five-hour duration energy storage system. The utility   …Continue Reading

Altenex Offers Renewable Energy PPA Tailored to Needs of Mid-Size, Smaller Companies

Altenex, an Edison Energy division that offers renewable energy advisory and procurement services, announced the availability on January 10 of PowerBloks – what the company claims is “a first-of-its-kind renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) structure for commercial, industrial and institutional electricity users.”

Colorado Springs Utilities Confidentially Cuts Commercial Rates for Customer

Colorado Springs Utilities is giving a secret deal to Chandler, Arizona-based Microchip Technology in order to reduce its payments of higher commercial rates that kicked in on January 1, according to an investigative report posted on January 8 by the Colorado Springs Gazette.