PACE is Live in Houston

7.15.16

It's Official: The Houston PACE Program is operational under an agreement executed on July 12 between The City of Houston and the Texas PACE Authority
 
Commercial, industrial and large multifamily properties in the City of Houston and its territorial jurisdiction are eligible for PACE financing.  Start your PACE project today.  To see if your property is in the Houston PACE region go to: http://mycity.houstontx.gov/public.  To learn more and to file an application, go to the Texas PACE Authority at www.TexasPACEAuthority.org.
 
Save the Date:
The City of Houston official announcement and celebration with Mayor Turner will occur on August 3rd.  Stay tuned for more details about the City of Houston event on August 3rd. 
 
Applause:
Many organizations and individuals worked diligently over the last year to support the establishment of the Houston PACE program.  We are grateful for your expertise, commitment of time and talents, and your enthusiasm.  

TREIA July Newsletter

7.8.16

The registration for GridNEXT 2016 is in full swing with this year’s theme: “Renewable Energy Integration Through Grid Modernization”. Today's modern grid has been redefined through the advent and proliferation of renewable energy. The challenge at hand for renewables is how it can integrate efficiently and continue to grow in market share while coexisting with other forms of generation while maintaining grid stability. TREIA’s GridNEXT will offer opportunities to explore the latest in renewable energy integration and grid modernization across all renewable energy sectors. We are pleased to announce Brad Jones, President & CEO of NYISO, formerly Senior VP & COO of ERCOT, as this year’s GridNEXT Keynote Speaker. Highlights of the Conference are listed below and Early-Bird registration will available through August 31. 
 
As we advance towards the the GridNEXT conference, we encourage you to take advantage of the Webinars leading up to the event. All registrants of the webinars will be entered to win a free GridNEXT 2016 conference pass, so don’t miss the opportunity to get involved early! Don’t forget to visit TREIA’s Member Toolbox for up to date reports from ERCOT, NREL and others as well as to view past webinars. 

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All Green in 2017

7.1.16

While most cities around the country rely primarily on fossil fuels for their energy, Georgetown is leading the way by going a greener route.  The city already runs on 90 percent renewable energy and has plans to reach 100 percent in 2017, making Georgetown the third city in the country and the largest city in the United States to run 100 percent renewable energy.

Full Article

Texas on Track to Become the Fastest-Growing Utility-Scale Solar Market in the U.S.

6.28.16

WASHINGTON, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kicking off the year with record growth across all solar sectors,Texas is on track to become the fastest-growing utility-scale solar market in the U.S. within the next five years, according to the recently released U.S. Solar Market Insight, Q2 2016, compiled by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

The 566 megawatts (MW) of solar energy currently installed in Texas is enough to power 61,000 homes and earns the Lone Star State a top 10 ranking nationwide for installed solar capacity. However, in 2016, the state's total solar capacity is expected to more than double. Over the next five years, Texas is expected to install more than 4,600 MW of solar electric capacity, second only to California during that time span.

Full Article

RECAP-GridNEXT 2016 Webinar Series: DNV GL: Enabling the Internet of Energy through Network Optimized Distributed Energy Resources

6.29.16

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Michael Kleinberg from DNV GL, shared details of the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E NODES project and how TREIA members can participate. Kleinberg explains the project as, "As the test platform becomes operational in Q3 2016, new opportunities for testing the performance and integration of various DER devices will be available.   TREIA members who are involved with creating, developing, integrating, or operating DER are encouraged to consider how the platform might be used to support development efforts or obtain third-party verification of performance and capability claims.  Further, within the scope of this effort, multiple grid scenarios will be developed under which DER optimization and controls can be investigated.  These scenarios will account for market level / RTO conditions, distribution utility feeder conditions, as well as customer load, PV, and tariff data.   If TREIA members have specific data sets which they are looking to analyze for the purposes of DER integration, custom0 analyses can be performed and developed into testing scenarios. Finally, TRIEA reserves a spot on the industry advisory board for the project.  This will give TRIEA insights into project progress as well as a voice in helping shape future direction."

Slides for the talk are available here

TREIA Members: If you were unable to participate during the event, the webinar is downloadable for viewing in the Member Toolbox Reports/News. Also listed is contact information to become a part of this project.

ESA Supports the White House’s Efforts to Remove Barriers for Energy Storage, Create Innovative Market Structures

6.16.16

Washington, D.C. – June 16, 2016 – Energy Storage Association (ESA) Executive Director Matt Roberts today issued a statement ahead of the White House Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Energy Storage with Smart Markets:

“As the United States continues to modernize the electric grid, energy storage systems will play an increasingly vital role in our energy future. However, today there are significant market barriers that prevent deployment of energy storage systems and the continuous improvement of our national grid infrastructure. ESA supports the Administration’s efforts to ensure fair and competitive market access for energy storage technologies, which is critical for opening the path to a more reliable, affordable and sustainable electric system.

We must ensure that we develop regulatory frameworks that do not get out-paced by the rapid advancement of technology. Markets need to be structured to reward system performance and not favor incumbent interests over innovative solutions. We also need to expand efforts to create truly integrated resource planning that incorporates the full range of benefits that assets like energy storage provide—properly valuing energy storage systems as a power, energy and non-transmission alternative. With the right competitive markets and procurements, we can ensure affordable and reliable energy for everyone and advance the nation’s clean energy goals through more efficient system operation and enhanced renewables integration.

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Market forces leading ERCOT to cleaner electric grid

Natural gas, wind, solar can fuel all Texas’s new power for 20 years
Market forces will likely be the driving force leading Texas’s primary electric grid during the next 20 years to a cleaner power future, propelled by continued affordable and abundant natural gas, a new report released this morning shows.
“Over the next 20 years, due to the free market alone, ERCOT can expect to see a cleaner grid that relies on Texas-produced natural gas, wind and utility-scale PV solar power at little additional cost to consumers,” concludes the fourth grid-forecasting study conducted by The Brattle Group for the Texas Clean Energy Coalition.
A few caveats are in order, though. The report did not take into account reliability concerns that could arise from the timing of coal-fired power plant retirements (such as too many at the same time) as coal’s contribution shrinks from an estimated 34 percent now to only six percent in 2035. 
The report also did not analyze what impact rooftop solar installations might have, nor did it account for costs of additional high voltage transmission lines that might be needed to carry large amounts of utility-scale solar to population centers.
However “Exploring Natural Gas and Renewables in ERCOT Part IV: The Future of Clean Energy in ERCOT,” found that new power generation in Texas over the next 20 years could be completely provided by natural gas and renewable energy at little increased cost.
Among the biggest surprises: If market forces are allowed to work, CO2 emissions in Texas will drop even lower than requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency’s now-delayed Clean Power Plan, researchers found. The transition to natural gas, mainly combined cycle units, and renewables would cut carbon emissions on average 28 percent, or an average of 61 million tons less carbon in Texas air each year, the report found.
The impact of low natural gas prices – forecast in the report to rise no higher than $4 per MMBTU (on million British Thermal Unit) by 2035 – on the transition to clean power in Texas cannot be overstated. Fuels produced in Texas would rise no more than inflation, resulting in $41 per megawatt hour (MWh), similar to prices in 2014, the report noted.
Low natural gas prices, combined with the impact of the EPA’s requirements for coal plant retrofits under a rule cutting mercury and air toxins emissions, is resulting in fuel-switching from coal to natural gas, according to Ira Shavel, an energy economist and lead author of The Brattle team study.
“It was rather surprising how much we saw,” Shavel told Texas Energy Report. “It’s natural gas prices. I think that’s been a lot of the story.”
Indeed, natural gas prices are the largest driver of how electricity will be generated in ERCOT during the next two decades, while the impact of other market forces and currently proposed federal regulations are expected to be minimal.
Other key findings include:
--- 60 percent of coal-fired plants will be retired by the early 2020s.
--- 85 percent of power with low natural gas prices will come from natural gas, solar and wind, with combined cycle natural gas plants making up the lion’s share of natural gas generation.
--- Major additions of new generation will come from wind and solar – 9 GW for wind and 13 GW from solar.
--- Enhanced energy efficiency could reduce electricity demand by an extra five percent, helping to keep emissions and electric prices down.
The report notes that Texas is well positioned to lead the nation’s transition to clean energy as the first state to adopt (and far exceed) renewable portfolio standards, the deregulation of the Texas energy market and the state’s investment in CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) lines to carry wind and solar power from West Texas and the Panhandle to the more populated cities east of I-35. 
The study’s authors stressed their forecasts depend on allowing market forces to work “unimpeded” by political concerns, such as propping up existing coal-fired power plants beyond their natural ability to compete with natural gas, wind and solar power. 

Full Report Here

Texas is Top State for Wind Generation Capacity

5.16.16

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas is probably not the first place you think of when it comes to renewable energy, but the Lone Star State leads the nation in wind power. How a state built on oil and gas has moved to the top of the heap took good planning and knowing which way and where the wind blows. Cyrus Reed, conservation director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, says in the 1990s, the state's energy planners set goals for renewable power, and it took off from there. "As of the end of last year, we had over 15,000 megawatt of installed capacity," says Reed. "

Read full article at: Public Service News

TREIA Announces GridNEXT 2016

5.16.16

"Green" Georgetown, Texas to host GridNEXT 2016

Georgetown, the first Texas city aiming to meet 100% of its power needs with renewable energy by 2017, will host GridNEXT on November 9-11, 2016, announced Melissa Miller, president of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance (TREIA).  GridNEXT is TREIA’s annual conference, and focuses on grid modernization and optimization facilitating the increased application of renewable energy technologies.

"The City of Georgetown is honored that GridNEXT 2016 has chosen our city for their great event. We look forward to sharing with the attendees those items that make Georgetown the special place we call home. Attendees can experience the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas, our incredible park system and rivers, and  a variety of unique shops and restaurants. We look forward to sharing our city with all of the attendees and we are excited  that this conference will be held in Georgetown," exclaimed Mayor Dale Ross of Georgetown, Texas.

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For More Info & Registration

IRS Issues More Construction-Start Guidance

5.5.16

The Internal Revenue Service said today that developers will have four years to complete a new wind farm or other renewable energy project and qualify for federal tax credits without having to prove that the construction work was continuous.

The four years will be measured from the end of the year in which construction starts on the project. For example, if construction of a new wind farm started in 2013, then the project must be completed by the end of 2017.

If it takes longer, then the developer will have to prove that work after 2013 was continuous. The IRS made the statement in the first of two new notices expected after Congress extended the deadlines to start construction of new renewable energy projects to qualify for tax credits.

Read Full Article Here: http://www.pfnewswire.com/2016/05/irs-issues-more-construction-start.html