As the US heads towards fall this Labor Day, solar has been working hard. A new study showed that across New England rooftop solar saved utility customers $30 million over just one week. Meanwhile in California and Colorado efforts to grow renewable energy got significant boosts.
In California efforts to move towards carbon-free electric generation moved forward significantly with the passage of Senate Bill 100 (SB100) by the state’s Assembly. The bill would transition the state to 100 percent clean energy by 2045. The bill would also increase the state’s renewable energy portfolio to 60 percent by 2030. The bill previously passed the state’s Senate but now returns to it for a vote to approve Assembly amendments before heading to the Governor’s office for approval.
In Colorado the state utility commission approved a plan by the state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, to shutter 660 megawatts (MWs) of coal-fired power plants 10 years earlier than expected, replacing their output with cheaper, cleaner, wind and solar power. The utility will install 707 MWs of solar power, 1,131 MWs of wind, and 275 MWs of energy storage. When the projects are complete in 2026, the utility will be sourcing 55 percent of electricity from renewable resources.
States in New England just proved how solar power is saving customers money as well. In one hot week in July alone, rooftop solar or distributed solar resources saved everyone in the region $30 million. The study covered rooftop solar across seven states, including New York. It didn’t look at the broader impact of commercial and utility-scale solar had on lowering energy prices but it does show how distributed resources are providing a net benefit for all in the region, rather than, as some utilities had previously claimed, cost customers more money.
Native American tribes and nations will benefit from the new Tribal Solar Accelerator. The accelerator was launched by Wells Fargo and Grid Alternatives with $5 million in funds from Wells Fargo. The accelerator will support the construction of solar power projects on tribal lands over the next three years. It also builds on previous efforts by both organizations to support solar power on tribal lands and in disadvantaged communities.Tweet