Distributed Energy Resources, GHG Emissions, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 16, 2021

Weekend reads: How a Northern Virginia county joined a solar agreement with Amazon; The 2021 outlook for DERs

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

2021 Outlook: The DER boom continues, driving a 'reimagining' of the distribution system (Utility Dive) Acceleration of the growth of distributed energy resources (DER) has power system analysts anticipating big changes on utility distribution systems in 2021 and throughout the 2020s. Continued falling prices of DER, ambitious new state and federal policies, and customer demand in 2021 will drive growth, power industry representatives said. And while utility-scale renewables growth will still boom, DER, including rooftop solar, batteries and electric vehicles (EVs), can be central to protecting reliability, according to a new Southern California Edison (SCE) paper describing the evolution of tomorrow's grid.

Solar synergy: How good timing and partnerships propelled a suburban D.C. county to its clean power goal (Energy News Network) Arlington County is no slacker on addressing climate change. So it isn’t surprising that the District of Columbia suburb is on the verge of leapfrogging a goal of harvesting half of its electricity for government operations from renewable sources by next year. What’s unique is how the Virginia county is greening its grid. Via a public-private partnership involving Amazon and Dominion Energy, it’s the first locality in the state to sign a large-scale power purchase agreement for off-site solar energy with an investor-owned utility. Arlington and Amazon will “share” a 120-megawatt solar farm Dominion is constructing on 1,500 acres in Pittsylvania County on the North Carolina border. It’s set to come online during the second half of 2022 — and provide at least 80% of the government’s electric power.

Webinar: 2021 State of Energy Management (BuildingOS) Thursday, January 21, 2021, 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. The COVID-19 pandemic left a lasting mark on the work of energy, facility, and sustainability leaders. Across organizations and around the country, teams adjusted system schedules, enacted shutdown protocols, and even began discussions on the future of their building utilization and portfolio makeup. Whatever comes next, it is fair to say the future of energy management looks remarkably different. In this webinar, we’ll review the findings from our State of Energy Management report, in which more than 240 professionals representing multiple industries provided their insights and perspectives on several key topics including the impact of COVID-19 on building occupancy and usage, top priorities for energy and sustainability programs and why time and money are still big barriers to implementing an EMIS. REGISTER HERE

United Airlines aims to suck carbon dioxide from the friendly skies (The Washington Post) United Airlines is investing in a venture that doesn’t make airplanes, transport passengers or ring up frequent flier miles on the company’s credit cards. And, even as it posts losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, United is providing millions of dollars to that venture, which has no direct ties to aviation and may not make any money. It is backing carbon capture — the nascent technology designed to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. United Airlines is the first major U.S. air carrier to take a step toward trying to remove some of the greenhouse gases spewed by it and every other airline, pollution that is driving up global temperatures.

Will Utah become ‘epicenter’ of research to electrify transportation? (Deseret News) In another step to advance the research of sustainable electrified vehicles, Utah State University is asking state higher education officials to authorize the university to issue up to $9.2 million in revenue bonds to update and expand its Electric Vehicle and Roadway building. Utah stands to become the “epicenter” of electrified transportation nationally, if not worldwide, according to USU trustee and former Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser. “Utah is in a prime situation with the inland port and other initiatives as well as the Olympics because they’ve got to be zero emissions. This electrification of transportation is a huge deal and Utah can be the epicenter for that and USU is playing a big, big role in it,” Niederhauser said in a recent trustees meeting.

Webinar: Energy Observer VIP Tour (ENGIE) Thursday, January 28, 2021, 11:00 AM CT. Welcome to the Energy Observer laboratory, where engineers, researchers, and scientists are developing innovations, which will make renewable energy a reality for all. Come aboard with our CEO, Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet for this unique opportunity to see technologies combining multiple sources – solar, wind, and hydropower and forms of storage, batteries, and above all hydrogen. In this webinar, your VIP tour will be followed by an opportunity to meet members of the crew that have been sailing around the world for the last 3 years. They will answer your questions and share what they have seen and learned through their odyssey. REGISTER HERE

Prince Charles Has an Ambitious New Plan to Combat Climate Change (Vanity Fair) Last January, Prince Charles traveled to Davos for the World Economic Forum where he urged corporate leaders to think about sustainability in between a few humorous handshakes. Though the trip, one of his last before the onset of the pandemic, initially drew headlines for the jovial meeting he had with teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, he also used the opportunity to announce his support for a new project, called the Sustainable Market Initiative. Now, one year later, Charles is back with the initiative’s first major project, a corporate sustainability pact called Terra Carta.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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