America's Renewable Energy Future Isn't Evenly Distributed

FOOL | June 02, 2019

The United States generated close to 10% of its total electricity from wind and solar in 2018. The share of modern renewables in the nation's power mix is expected to grow to 13% by 2020 and could reach 30% by 2030. The impressive growth can be attributed to a combination of technological improvements, cost declines, and state policies. But the growth hasn't been evenly distributed. Thirty-eight percent of America's solar power capacity is installed in California. One-quarter of the country's wind power capacity is spinning in Texas, while 66% is contained within the 11 states in the American Wind Corridor, which runs roughly down the center of the Lower 48. There's a 360,000-square-mile swath of the Southeast, spanning seven whole states, that isn't home to a single wind turbine. And the Eastern Seaboard is furiously building natural-gas pipelines and power plants -- even converting coal-fired power plants to run on gas.

Spotlight

UK homes waste £500 million per year pumping heat into their homes that escaped through poorly insulated roofs and walls. So, lay down some decent loft insulation and you'll soon see a difference, Did you know inefficient boilers could be adding more than £200 to your energy bills? That means that upgrading yours could be a great way to cut what you pay in the long term.

Spotlight

UK homes waste £500 million per year pumping heat into their homes that escaped through poorly insulated roofs and walls. So, lay down some decent loft insulation and you'll soon see a difference, Did you know inefficient boilers could be adding more than £200 to your energy bills? That means that upgrading yours could be a great way to cut what you pay in the long term.

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ENERGY

Monolith Receives Conditional Approval for a One Billion-Dollar U.S. Department of Energy Loan

Monolith | December 28, 2021

Monolith, a leader in clean materials production, announced it has received conditional approval for a $1.04 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.). Established via the Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program, the loan will allow Monolith to expand its clean hydrogen and carbon black production facilities in Hallam, Nebraska, U.S.A. Reaching the ambitious goal of global decarbonization by 2050 will require the innovation of American companies like Monolith and the resources of like-minded organizations like the Department of Energy. Monolith was founded with the belief that private sector companies could develop the innovation needed to help lead the clean energy transition, while also creating high-paying green jobs and strengthening our nation's supply chain." Rob Hanson, Co-founder and C.E.O., Monolith "The Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program's purpose is to recognize and support technology that reduces emissions and supports a clean energy future," said Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. "Advanced, clean production technology like Monolith's are the types of impactful projects that support not just sustainability, but economic growth and clean energy jobs for the American people." Monolith cleanly produces essential materials utilized by a wide variety of industries including hydrogen, ammonia and carbon black. Carbon black is a material found in many everyday products but is perhaps most commonly known for its use in tires. Leading tire manufacturers including Goodyear and Michelin expressed their support for the D.O.E.'s conditional approval and Monolith's technology. "As the only U.S.-headquartered tire manufacturer, it's especially rewarding to be at the connection point of significant U.S. innovation with Monolith and the commitment of the Department of Energy to sustainable outcomes," said Richard J. Kramer, chairman, chief executive officer and president, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. "We are excited to work with Monolith to reduce our carbon footprint and further our use of alternative materials as we continue to deliver industry-leading products." According to Alexis Garcin, chairman and president of Michelin North America, Inc., "Promoting the mobility of people and goods while protecting our planet requires investments in innovative and sustainable solutions. Partnering with organizations like Monolith, with the support of the Department of Energy, is the latest example of how we at Michelin intend to further accelerate toward our goal of a 100% sustainable tire by 2050 for a better life in motion." In addition to carbon black, Monolith's innovative methane pyrolysis process creates cost-effective clean hydrogen. As the world builds a roadmap to decarbonization, the energy density of clean hydrogen fuel has been recognized as one of the critical paths to creating a green world. Shipping, aviation, long-haul trucking, energy storage and clean steel production are areas with the potential to rely on clean hydrogen fuel. Monolith also expects to use much of the clean hydrogen produced from its Olive Creek expansion for the production of cleanly made ammonia that will be distributed in the U.S. Corn belt to help feed a growing national and world population. "As the leader in wind and solar energy, and as an investor in Monolith, NextEra Energy Resources is encouraged by the U.S. Department of Energy's conditional approval of Monolith's loan application," said John Ketchum, president and chief executive officer, NextEra Energy Resources. "Monolith's clean hydrogen production process is powered by locally-produced renewable electricity and represents a significant advancement to support cost-effective decarbonization of multiple sectors of the U.S. economy." Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 16511, et. seq.) provides authority for the D.O.E. to guarantee loans for projects that "avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases; and employ new or significantly improved technologies as compared to commercial technologies in service in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued." Current conventional processes to create carbon black release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Through Monolith's methane pyrolysis technology, the company is able to prevent an estimated 2.3 tons of CO2 from being released for every ton of carbon black produced. With its production of cleanly made hydrogen, carbon black and ammonia, Monolith expects that its Olive Creek expansion will prevent one million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year compared to traditional manufacturing processes. While this conditional commitment demonstrates DOE's intent to finance the project, several steps remain, and certain conditions must be satisfied before a final loan guarantee is issued. Monolith's expansion is expected to generate significant economic development, starting with approximately 1,000 jobs to support facility expansion. Once completed, the facility will generate around 260 direct and 600 indirect, high-paying, highly skilled, green energy jobs to support its operations. Upon issuance, the amount provided by the D.O.E. would be a 20-year loan, which Monolith is expected to repay with interest at a rate reflective of the current market. Monolith expects to utilize the loan to help fund the company's Olive Creek plant expansion. Once completed, Monolith's expanded Olive Creek plant is expected to be the largest carbon black production facility in the United States, producing an estimated 194,000 metric tons per year. The construction of this innovative facility is expected to be performed by Kiewit, one of North America's largest and most respected engineering and construction organizations. "We're excited to bring our engineering, procurement and construction experience and skilled people to the Olive Creek plant expansion project, which will help Monolith commercialize a new, innovative technology to produce cost-effective, clean hydrogen and materials," said Rick Lanoha, president and CEO of Kiewit Corporation. "Kiewit is a Nebraska company, so providing EPC services and jobs to a significant project in this state is important to us. We're fully committed to safely delivering this important, sustainable project to help Monolith meet global demand." Hanson added, "This loan, which comes after several years of due diligence, further supports what our customers, employees, investors and strategic partners already know: Monolith's pyrolysis technology will play a vital role in the energy transition. We are honored to have reached this significant milestone on our path toward helping the world to decarbonize, and we are appreciative of the confidence shown by the Department of Energy and Secretary Granholm." Monolith, which was founded in 2012, developed a process technology that uses 100% renewable energy to convert natural gas into clean hydrogen and carbon black. The company is currently operating its first commercial-scale production facility in Hallam, Nebraska, and has offices and R&D facilities in Lincoln, NE; San Carlos, CA; Denver, CO and Kansas City, MO. About Monolith Monolith is a next–generation hydrogen and clean materials company that uses 100% renewable and carbon-free energy as part of a proprietary process to convert conventional and renewable natural gas to carbon black and hydrogen in an environmentally advantaged manner. Monolith is backed by Azimuth Capital Management, Cornell Capital L.L.C., Imperative Ventures, Warburg Pincus, Perry Creek Capital, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, SK Inc. and NextEra Energy Resources Inc.

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SOLAR+STORAGE

Clearway Enterprise Announces Agreements for 1.6 GW Portfolio of Renewable Energy Assets

Clearway Energy, Inc. | December 23, 2020

Clearway Energy, Inc. what's more, its inexhaustible improvement accomplice and parent organization, Clearway Energy Group LLC ("CEG"), today declared arrangements accommodating CWEN's co-interest in a 1,204 MW arrangement of environmentally friendly power ventures created by CEG comprising of I) 1,012 MW from five geologically enhanced breeze, sunlight based, and sun based in addition to capacity resources being worked on and ii) the 192 MW Rosamond Central sun based task which is required to begin activities before the year's over. Also, the gatherings corrected the current association understanding for the 419 MW Mesquite Star wind venture giving CWEN an extra 27.51% of the undertaking's incomes after the principal half of 2031. Roughly 90% of the age from the undertakings are contracted with a different gathering of fundamentally speculation grade counterparties, including utilities and burden serving substances, Fortune 500 partnerships, business and mechanical clients, and monetary organizations, and the portfolio has a more noteworthy than 14-year mixed normal agreement length. Subject to shutting changes and the ventures accomplishing certain achievements, CWEN hopes to put roughly $214 million in corporate capital before the finish of 2022. In view of the current expected planning of the activities accomplishing COD, CWEN expects, before corporate financing costs, the resource CAFD commitment from the ventures to be unimportant in 2021, roughly $9 million of every 2022, and $20 million on a 5-year normal premise starting on January 1, 2023. "Our obligation to put resources into this arrangement of environmentally friendly power and battery stockpiling undertakings will add geographic and innovative expansion at CWEN," said Christopher Sotos, Clearway Energy, Inc's. President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are satisfied to accomplish this significant achievement as a team with our improvement accomplice and anticipate cooperating on future accretive portfolio ventures." "We are excited to effectively finish our biggest portfolio exchange to date with Clearway Energy, Inc.," said Craig Cornelius, Chief Executive Officer at Clearway Energy Group LLC. "This geologically assorted 1.6 GW arrangement of wind, sun oriented, and energy stockpiling ventures speaks to the monetary chance of environmentally friendly power in each side of this nation. Taken together, in excess of 2,500 American positions will be made to construct and work these perfect energy resources, which will proceed to supply spotless and ease capacity to countless families and organizations across the United States. The present concurrence with our speculation accomplices will be significant in our proceeded with capacity to give clean energy at the size of our nation's interest while assisting with conveying on speculators' developing interest in environmental change arrangements."

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SOLAR+STORAGE

Nautilus Solar Energy And ISM Solar Development Celebrate The Opening Of Community Solar Farm Sited On Remediated EPA Landfill

Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC | October 20, 2021

Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC, and ISM Solar Development, LLC, leaders in the development of solar energy projects, yesterday celebrated the opening of a 3.43MW community solar project sited on a remediated EPA superfund site. Located in Cranston, Rhode Island, the project represents the transformation a former environmental liability into an environmental asset, providing clean energy to 509 Rhode Island households that reside in National Grid's territory. "Today, we are celebrating the transformation of a brownfield into a clean, renewable energy source, while making the benefits of solar power available to more Rhode Islanders," said Governor Dan McKee at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday alongside Speaker of the House Joe Shekarchi, State Representative Brandon Potter, Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, and community partners. "The state's community solar program allows National Grid customers, who want to reduce carbon emissions but who cannot install solar panels on their own homes, to subscribe to a local solar project and receive a discount on their electric bills. This locally constructed community solar project provides environmental and economic benefits and is a win-win for the State of Rhode Island and its constituents and I congratulate ISM Solar, Watershed Geo and Nautilus Solar." The community solar project was developed by ISM Solar, and Nautilus serves as the owner-operator responsible for the project management, long-term asset management, and maintenance services for the projects. "This community solar project represents the importance of partnership between industry, the State of Rhode Island, and the local community. It's exciting to continue the great work with ISM Solar, and we are proud to be the energy partner of choice in Rhode Island,” said Eric Paul, Executive Director of Origination at Nautilus Solar. “Together with our other community solar projects in the State, we are able to provide equitable, affordable access to clean, solar electricity to over 2,500 Rhode Islanders," added Eric LaMora, Community Solar Director. Installing community solar projects on capped landfills has proven an effective way to transform typically unused space into a renewable energy source. The project is uniquely built on ClosureTurf, a patented brownfield closure system designed to withstand supporting 9,000 solar panels attached to a racking system and held down by over 60,000 ballast blocks to protect the landfill cap. Engineered by Watershed Geosynthetics, an environmental solutions company, this innovative material is specifically designed to address and solve soil erosion, slope integrity, gas emission, installation and maintenance cost control, EPA regulation compliance, and longevity of structure and appearance. "We are honored to be a part of this innovative and industry-changing project. Seeing our closure and solar integration technologies become a reality and play a role in turning a liability into a green energy asset for the community is very exciting." said Mike Ayers, CEO of Watershed Geo. "Our technologies coupled with ISM Solar's development capabilities is a great partnership and an example of execution in creating beneficial reuse of land on a typically unusable space. As more significance is placed on environmental values and goals, these types of projects will become critical to communities at large." The developers partner closely with communities to produce local tax revenue, bring new job opportunities, and deliver energy savings to Rhode Islanders. In fact, the Cranston community solar project provides a direct benefit to the local Rhode Island economy through the creation of over 7,000 hours and 124 worker-days of construction jobs, in addition to supporting 20-25 full-time positions for ongoing electrical and site vegetation management crews. Plus, community solar represents the democratization of solar energy. Nautilus's community solar projects will provide the environmental equivalent to the carbon replacement of 3,830 acres of US forests and the annual carbon produced from 680 cars. "It has been a pleasure working with the City of Cranston, National Grid, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Energy Resources, and the Capuano Family (landowner) to create this important green energy resource. In addition, this project was awarded a Rhode Island Commerce Renewable Energy Fund (REF) Brownfield Grant which helped provide necessary development capital." Greg Lucini, CEO of ISM Solar About Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC is a leading owner-operator of solar projects serving the community solar market and corporate customers throughout the United States.  A pioneer in solar energy since 2006, Nautilus is committed to creating a clean, sustainable future by offering an equitable and affordable renewable energy choice. Through its Community Solar initiative, Nautilus is making solar energy available to a broader marketplace, including low-to-moderate income (LMI) households and unrated businesses that wish to reduce their carbon footprint and utility bills. Nautilus is wholly owned by Power Sustainable, a global multi-platform alternative asset manager with a long-term investment approach focused on sustainable strategies. Nautilus owns solar projects throughout their entire lifecycle enabling Nautilus, along with entrusted local partners, to fulfill its promise of creating a better world by powering communities with clean energy for the long term. About ISM Solar ISM Solar builds solar farms that deliver clean energy savings to communities, public users, and private users throughout the country. Its mission is to repurpose underutilized and compromised space, including landfills, brownfields, and gravel pits, in pursuit of a sustainable energy economy. About Watershed Geo Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Watershed Geo develops intellectual property and provides technical solutions for ongoing problematic environmental and renewable energy infrastructure. Watershed's products solve long-plaguing issues in industries such as geotechnical engineering, waste management, erosion control, and renewable energy. Watershed's branded technologies include ClosureTurf for municipal, industrial and coal combustion residual landfill/impoundment final closures. HydroTurf advanced revetment technology for high hydraulic shear protections. VersaCap® for intermediate landfill odor prevention, emission control and leachate reduction. Watershed Solar LLC develops and owns solar technology for use on Watershed Geo engineered geosynthetic turf systems for MSW, industrial and utilities markets.

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