Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal company in the United States recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This continues to be a trend for coal companies over the last couple of years. As renewables like solar and wind become more cost effective, they are beginning to move coal fired power plants out of the picture. Unfortunately, the effects of this bankruptcy will harm only the most vulnerable. It will lead to workers and coal miners getting the short end of the stick, and top executives at Murray Energy getting off scot-free. “It (Murray Energy) will seek to be relieved of its obligations to retirees, their dependents and widows. We have seen this sad act too many times before.” (Source)
This past week, 20,000 renewable energy professionals flocked to Salt Lake City for Solar Power International and North America Smart Energy Week. Nestled in the spectacular Wasatch mountains, Salt Lake City was the perfect host for the conference. The people of the city were warm and friendly, and the views were breathtaking.
Last week, I had a sit down with Andrew Breiter-Wu, President of Breiter Planet Properties. I asked him a few questions about himself and the company, and got to know more about his story. As we walked through the Prudential building in Boston, looking for a place to sit down and talk, Andrew noted: “I love this area, because there is always something going on. It’s great to be in the action.” In the solar world, Andrew is definitely “In the action”.
Is it possible for utilities to provide 100% renewable energy?
Xcel Energy is an electric utility based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It serves more than 3.3 million electric customers throughout Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Xcel has a goal of delivering 100% carbon free electricity by the year 2050. As of 2018, their delivery was 38% carbon free, and by 2030, Xcel hopes to deliver 80% carbon free electricity before reaching their ultimate goal of 100% carbon free by 2050.
The sun is rising on the cannabis industry in the United States. Cannabis is now fully legal in ten states: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, and the District of Columbia. With widespread legalization, the cannabis industry is growing rapidly. Despite its speedy growth, there are two major roadblocks that the cannabis industry faces. Energy costs and limited backing from traditional banks hinder the industry's further expansion.
The Big Apple? More like The Big Array! New York City is now home to the biggest array of solar panels on top of an apartment complex in the United States. This solar array sits proudly atop Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan with over 9,671 solar panels spanning 22 acres of roof space. Nearly doubling the solar capacity in Manhattan, this project adds 3.9 Megawatts of power. Installing this solar array will have the same effect as removing nearly 12,000 cars off the road, and reducing carbon emissions by 62,472 tons!
Community choice aggregators in California have now signed over 2 GW of power purchase agreements for renewable energy projects, with 1.4 GW in 43 projects coming from solar power.
This past week we remembered the incredible achievements of the Apollo 11 team that put the first man on the moon, 50 years ago. CBS, CNN, and other media organizations did a great job covering this with segments throughout the week and specials using the original footage from the historic day/week back in July of 1969.