Tag Archives: Solar

Subdivisions, solar, and alcohol @ LCC 2018-11-12

Back on the agenda for Monday morning is the subdivision that does not match any of the criteria the Lowndes County Commission is supposed to consider, so will they approve REZ-2018-17 The Settlement North, 5999 Val Del Road?

The Planning Commission recommended denying that one, but has since recommended approving this one: REZ-2018-18 Knights Landing, Phase III, 3982 Bemiss Knights Academy Road.

County staff want ABM to help reduce energy costs. How about add some solar panels to the roof of the county palace and over its parking lot, while you’re at it?

On the roof, A Year of Firsts, ABM

As ABM says:

With the cost of solar installations rapidly declining, and the number of government and utility incentives increasing, solar has undergone a radical evolution from a feel good environmental story to a source for businesses to gain a financial advantage over their competitors.

See ABM Energy Vice President Ted O’Shea, Leveraging Solar to Gain a Competitive Financial Advantage: Why go Solar at Your Facility: White Paper.

The rest of the agenda is Continue reading

Southern Company sells off gas assets second time this year 2018-11-07

For the second time this year, Southern Company sells off gas-fired assets. Could it be to service debt for those way-late and over-budget Plant Vogtle nukes?

Southern Company, PR, 7 November 2018, Southern Power Reaches Agreement to Sell the Mankato Energy Center,

Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, today announced that it has entered an agreement to sell the Mankato Energy Center to Xcel Energy for $650 million.

Mankato, a natural gas combined-cycle generation facility, will have a maximum capacity of approximately 760 megawatts upon completion of an ongoing expansion project. The completion of the sale, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, is expected to be mid-2019.

“The Mankato Energy Center is a valuable part of the local community and the regional energy infrastructure,” said Southern Power President and CEO Mark Lantrip. “This transaction is a great opportunity to deliver value for the benefit of Southern Company shareholders.”

Proceeds from this transaction will be used to strengthen the balance sheet of Southern Company and position Southern Power to continue providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable wholesale energy to its customers across the U.S, including the expansion of one of the nation’s largest carbon-free renewable energy portfolios.

What does “strengthen the balance sheet” mean? Continue reading

Solar and wind can power Georgia

Solar power is here right now. Georgia is #10 in the nation (up from #22 in 2017) by solar deployed (1,552.98 MW) and #7 in projected growth, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). That’s ahead of Florida, but still behind much farther north New Jersey and Massachusetts, which have less sun.

Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News
Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News

This Georgia solar improvement is despite Southern Company and Georgia Power cutting back on renewable energy investment last year and a hostile federal administration.

Graph: Georgia's Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews
Graph: Georgia’s Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews

Sheer economies of scale continue decreasing solar prices and driving more solar installations, with more jobs. Continue reading

Why Bezos started Amazon

Jeff Bezos sent his biographer to find the graphs; that’s when I learned about this. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Paperback, August 12, 2014, by Brad Stone (PDF, google book)

Intrigued by Shaw’s conviction about the inevitable importance of the Internet, Bezos started researching its growth. A Texas-based author and publisher named John Quarterman had recently started the Matrix News, a monthly newsletter extolling the Internet and discussing its commercial possibilities. One set of numbers in particular in the February 1994 edition of the newsletter was startling. For the first time, Quarterman broke down the growth of the year-old World Wide Web and pointed out that its simple, friendly interface appealed to a far broader audience than other Internet technologies. In one chart, he showed that the number of bytes—a set of binary digits —transmitted over the Web had increased by a factor of 2,057 between January 1993 and January 1994.

Internet Resource Discovery Services by Bytes
Internet Resource Discovery Services by Bytes, John S. Quarterman, Matrix News 4.2, MIDS, February 1994.

Another graphic showed Continue reading

A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet

Just as four years ago I projected solar growth ten years ahead, a quarter century ago I projected Internet growth ten years into the future:

A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet
Graph: A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet, John S. Quarterman, Matrix News 2.2, MIDS, February 1992.

From 7.7 million Internet users in 1992, I projected the exponential growth of the previous few years ahead a decade, to about 3.8 billion people in 2002.

How close was that estimate? Continue reading

Rep. Lamar Smith thinks Russians are behind opposition to pipelines and fracking

Years ago I met Rep. Lamar Smith at the Texas State Capitol. He studiously avoided my attempts to talk to him about solar power. And is House Committee report on energy markets does not mention solar power even once, and wind only to sneer at it. The report does spend quite a bit of space promoting fracking.

Oh, it’s supposed to be about those horrid Russians. It builds its case otherwise around 4% of 9,097 social media posts over two years, which is about one every other day. I personally post more than that. Not a very impressive report.

Sabine Pass LNG Export
Justin Mikulka, Desmog, February 18, 2018, Safety Officials Order Partial Shutdown of Sabine Pass LNG Export Facility After Discovering 10-Year History of Leaks.

Here’s a sample from the Majority Staff Report, Continue reading

Model Solar Ordinance Public Workshop, Tifton, GA 2018-03-12

A few years ago, a doctor in Valdosta applied for a variance for solar panels over his parking lot. The Zoning Board of Approvals (ZBOA) tabled it, because Valdosta’s Land Development Regulations (LDR) did not permit that. I think he then made the panels connected to his building, which put them a different and already-permitted category.

What if Valdosta and other local governments updated their codes to enable parking lot and other solar power?

When:

4-6PM Monday, March 12, 2018

Where: National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Library (NESPAL)
2356 Rainwater Road, Tifton, GA 31793

Event: eventbrite

What: “The Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and University of Georgia have come together to develop a model solar zoning ordinance to provide county and city officials and other decision-makers in Georgia access to best practices and a common baseline from which to work. We will produce a comprehensive document that addresses multiple scales and types of solar energy systems that counties and cities can adopt and adapt to their needs.”

Georgia 2017-01, Maps

More about the event: Continue reading

Solar Valdosta Schools 2018-02-13

Yesterday the Valdosta Board of Education voted for the sun.

No byline, WCTV, 14 Feb 2018, Valdosta City Schools votes to lease land to solar company,

The school system will begin leasing some of its extra property to the solar energy company Radiance Solar.

Solar Site Map by Radiance Solar, Maps

Radiance Solar will reportedly pay Continue reading

FPL parent NextEra Energy admits solar and wind far better investments than pipelines 2018-01-26

Even Sabal Trail partner NextEra Energy’s earnings call has far more about record solar and wind deployment and earnings (“added $0.67 per share”) than about pipeline declining earnings (“added $0.10 per share”) and misinformation, claiming Sabal Trail is operational and on schedule when it isn’t.

Which is better, NextEra, $0.67 or $0.10 per share? Oh, wait, effectively you answered that: “As the world’s current leader in wind, solar, and storage development….”.

Solar, NextEra Energy
Solar, NextEra Energy

One sentence is NextEra’s only mention of Sabal Trail; nothing about the Sierra Club lawsuit against FERC that less than a week later saw the DC Circuit Court reject all requests for rehearing, meaning as early as next week the court may mandate shutting down Sabal Trail. NextEra company FPL is the sole remaining customer listed in Sabal Trail’s custoner index. Maybe it’s time to bail out and get on with solar power in the Sunshine State.

NextEra Energy, via Motley Fool, 26 January 2018, NEE earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2017,

CEO and Chairman James L. Robo:

Fourth, we’re advancing our renewable product offerings as we prepare for the next phase of renewable development. As a result, our prospects for new renewables growth has never been stronger. As Continue reading