Almost a year after Illinois enacted a sweeping energy bill, Chicago-area developers, advocates, and government agencies are hustling to prepare local communities to take full advantage of state incentives coming in the next few years.
An Iowa utility that failed earlier this year to impose new constraints on solar customers is making another attempt in its currently pending rate case. Interstate Power & Light has asked the Iowa Utilities Board to allow it to create two new rate classes for “partial requirements” customers — those who generate some of their own energy. The utility has not requested a new rate for solar customers, but clean energy proponents suspect it will be coming if the Iowa Utilities Board approves the proposed new rate classes. In another move that would tend to impinge on efforts to reduce energy use, the utility has asked for a $3 increase in the fixed monthly fee for residential customers. The utility wants to raise the fixed fee by $6.20 for small business customers.
Illinois utilities and regulators are putting into motion plans for community solar programs under the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act that passed last year.
Ameren, in partnership with S&C Electric, a Chicago-based smart-grid engineering firm, successfully completed a 24-hour “islanding” test earlier this month at the utility’s newly built microgrid in Champaign, Illinois, using wind, solar and battery storage.
An environmental camp on Minnesota’s North Shore has spent more than a year constructing two high-performance, energy-efficient buildings in one of the coldest climates in the country.
Students at Northwestern University in Illinois prepare a fully solar-powered home they built as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.
An Iowa electric utility has proposed a green pricing option that ultimately could cost a customer more than investing in a rooftop solar system, according to the analysis of some clean-energy supporters in the state.
A new program seeks to spur solar energy development in southeastern Ohio by cutting costs and reducing barriers at the local level.
For West Michigan developer Jeffrey Dombrowski, tying together clean energy and affordable housing is a chance to give back to residents after 20 years in the real estate business.
In an effort to better align solar-energy production with peak demand, the electric utility in Columbia, Missouri has begun to pay higher rebates for new west-facing arrays than it will for those facing south.