In a 6/6/23 press release, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, which regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington, announced today that it approved with conditions Puget Sound Energy (PSE)’s first Clean Energy Implementation Plan (CEIP) required under the Clean Energy Transformation Act. The approved plan proposes that PSE will serve 63% of its sales of electricity with clean energy by 2025. In its decision, the commission ordered PSE to update its specific target for demand response technology, increase its support for community solar instead of leasing solar resources to customers, and update its evaluation of utility scale batteries as a resource to meet demand.Read more
According to a press release from Puget Sound Energy, $753,620 was awarded through its Green Power and Solar Choice programs in grant funding to 10 organizations and tribes across its electric service area to install new solar projects.
Recipients range from local non-profits and tribal entities serving low-income and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community members. In addition to saving recipients money on their utilities, the projects will serve to further clean energy in the region.Read more
A fractured grid that was built for coal- and fuel-based energy generation does not meet the decentralized needs of a clean energy economy. Extreme weather conditions that are likely to become more common in the future have caused the electrical grids to fail when most needed to sustain life. Attacks on power substations in Washington, Oregon and North Carolina late last year showed just how vulnerable our electrical grid is. Improving the infrastructure and resolving risks is critical for the future of solar energy in America.Read more
According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data recently released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided almost 23% of the nation's electrical generation during the first ten months of 2022.
Output by solar alone increased by 26.23% and its share of total U.S. electrical generation year-to-date (YTD) surpassed 5.0%, providing 5.05% through the end of October. For perspective, solar's YTD share first reached 1.0% in March 2016. Since then, solar's monthly generation has increased almost six-fold. The trend seems likely to continue - in October alone, solar's output was 31.68% greater than a year earlier, a rate of growth that strongly eclipsed that of every other energy source.Read more
A 2016 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency found that, given an average solar panel life span of 30 years, it is likely that millions of metric tons of solar panels will be decommissioned by the early to mid-2030s and may end up in landfill. That forecast and the pressure to use more responsibly-produced materials for solar panels should incentivize everyone from materials suppliers and manufacturers to installers and utilities to source panels responsibly and seek means to recycle or reuse them. Unfortunately, the tools are not easily available.
Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Executive Director Aimee Boulanger, FabTech Solar Solutions Director of Business Development Janette Freeman and Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) Supervisor Al Salvi were panelists at the Washington State Solar Summit in October, organized by Solar Washington, and discussed these trends as well as other developments in the solar industry.Read more
Where can utility-scale solar be developed in the Columbia Plateau region while also ensuring that important natural habitat, productive farmlands and ranchlands, and tribal rights and cultural resources are protected? The Washington State University Energy Program is leading a voluntary, collaborative, non-regulatory effort that engages relevant stakeholders, tribes, and key agencies in a conversation and process to identify least-conflict areas for utility-scale solar development.