Last week’s elections ushered in a slew of new pro-renewable energy candidates and a couple of key decisions boosting renewable energy. Solar also is gaining ground in the Southeast with numerous new projects being announced in states with previously little solar.
Conservation and renewable energy advocates heralded election results that ushered in seven pro-solar and renewable energy governors. They included California’s Gavin Newsom (D), Colorado’s Jared Polis (D), Illinois’ JB Pritzker (D), Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer (D), Minnesota’s Tim Walz (D), Nevada’s Steve Sisolak (D) and New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham (D).
While many state initiatives related to renewable energy failed Nevada’s Question 6, expanding its renewable energy standard to 50 percent by 2030, passed with a 60 percent margin. A similar effort in Arizona failed. Most other efforts that could make it easier to expand renewable energy would have limited fossil fuels and those state measures failed. There was some more success with local measures, like the Portland Clean Energy Initiative.
A new development in Florida may be the largest residential LEED Platinum project in the US. The project will include 148 home and 720 affordable apartments in at the Hunters Point, Pearl Homes Community and Marina in Cortez, FL. The net-zero energy project, is being developed through a partnership between sonnen and Pearl Homes and will include solar, energy storage and Google Home.
Florida has been adding in solar for years, as has Georgia, but other states in the south have been slow to add in solar power. That might be changing as last week saw new utility-scale solar projects announced in numerous states, like a 200 megawatt solar farm in Georgia.
In Mississippi, Entergy Mississippi announced the first utility-scale solar project in the state, the 100 MW Sunflower Solar Facility. Previously, the largest projects Entergy had in the state were three 500 kilowatt projects. being built for Entergy Mississippi represents a huge jump in the size and scope of solar projects in the state.
Meanwhile Facebook and other IT companies are helping speed adoption of renewable energy in such states. Last week the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced that Facebook, the social media giant, will power its Huntsville, AL, data center by the largest solar farms being built in Alabama and Tennessee. In all TVA will install 377MWs of solar between the two states.Tweet