SUNDAY 09 MARCH, 2014 |
Illinois - The Quiet Renewable Energy Achiever
Since 2013, more than 90 Illinois towns and cities - representing 1.7 million
people - have made the switch to 100% renewable electricity using Community Choice Aggregation
Established in the state in 2009, CCA works a little like some of the recent
electricity switching initiatives in Australia; helping local communities to pool their electricity purchasing power.
This allows areas to then choose an electricity supplier; not only driving down
the price of power, but also the type of energy supplied.
The Illinois experience has seen demand for energy sources such as wind and solar
increase by over 6 terawatt hours (TWh) - enough to take 250,000 homes entirely off
fossil fuel generated electricity.
"Illinois is showing what can happen when change at the local level is harnessed to create a collective movement, and I hope other states take
notice;" said Senator Dick Durbin.
According to a new report released by WWF and partners; cities in five other states
- California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Rhode Island - are also using this tool to boost renewable energy
"Without fanfare, 91 local governments in Illinois have decided that renewable electricity is the best
option," said WWF's Keya Chatterjee. "No one knew this was happening, and I doubt anyone would have guessed. America’s green energy revolution is here; and it starts in
Leading from the Middle: How Illinois Communities Unleashed Renewable Energy can
CCA's also leverage the power of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), very similar
to Australia's renewable
energy certificate system
The report shows how communities can use CCAs to not only purchase RECs, but also invest in
new renewable energy projects that create jobs and focus the social and environmental benefits in the local community.
SunEdison Launches National Women in Solar Initiative
US company SunEdison has announced a USD $1.2 million philanthropic partnership with GRID
Alternatives that aims to boost the number of women participating in the
nation's solar industry.
Under the initiative, GRID Alternatives will provide
hands-on training and experience in the field in solar system installation to
over 1,000 women.
"Taking this step to create and advance the Women in Solar Initiative is not only the right thing to do, it is a smart business investment," said Ahmad Chatila, CEO of SunEdison. "The continued success of the solar industry depends on recruiting and nurturing the best and brightest people, and this initiative is going to help do exactly that."
also join GRID Alternatives employees to help install solar power systems for low-income families around the country.
is the USA's largest non-profit solar installer, bringing the benefits of solar technology to communities that would not otherwise have access.
Since 2004, the organisation has installed more than 12 MW of renewable energy systems for over 4,000
families; providing more than $110 million in energy cost savings.
In other recent SunEdison news, the company along with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, National Bank of Arizona
and Sol Systems announced a $50 million fund to build a 13.4 megawatt solar portfolio for the State of California prison and hospital systems.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) already has
approximately 37 MW of solar energy installed at its prisons and by the end of 2014,
it expects to have over 41 MW installed capacity. Over a 20-year period, CDCR
expects to save over approximately $84 million in electricity costs.
Once the projects are complete, SunEdison will manage the installations via its Renewable Operations Center
(ROC); which the company says is one of the world's largest solar management centers; monitoring over 1.9 gigawatts
of solar projects around the world.
News for Friday 07 March, 2014
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