New MIT Database Aims to Impact City of Boston’s Energy Policy

by Kevin Tidmarsh

A new project created by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology might just put Boston on the way to becoming a more energy-efficient city. The tool, which can estimate the gas and electricity demand of each of the roughly 100,000 buildings in the city for every hour of every day of the year, was developed by researchers at MIT’s Sustainable Design Lab and Lincoln Laboratory, along with members of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and aims to provide a comprehensive database of the city’s buildings and their energy and heat usage that can be provided to energy policy makers. Continue reading

Government Announces Grant for Alaskan Native Tribal Energy Assistance

by Kevin Tidmarsh

A new initiative from the US Department of Energy aims to “develop regional energy experts to provide technical energy assistance and informational resources,” according to a DOE press release. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this move has already drawn criticism from conservative pundits, who are calling the move a waste of money on the government’s part.

Just a day after the Andrew Follett at the Daily Caller has already released a piece [http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/16/energy-dept-spends-7-million-on-north-alaska-solar-power-except-its-dark-247/] decrying the program as a waste of government money. The headline, which declares that the energy department has spent “$7 Million On North Alaska Solar Power, Except It’s Dark 24/7,” is both misleading and factually incorrect. While that may be true at some points in the winter for locales above the Arctic Circle, the grant isn’t limited to these locations, and a report from the Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy notes that in the southern parts of the state, power production from solar panels doesn’t actually have to stop during the winter Continue reading

Facing Troubles in Nevada, Solar Company Sunrun Nevertheless Shines Bright

by Kevin Tidmarsh

The US-based solar energy company Sunrun, which claims to have “the second largest fleet of residential solar energy systems” in the country [http://fortune.com/2015/06/26/sunrun-ipo-solar-silicon-valley/], has announced that it has secured funding that points to a bright future for the company. While the market for solar energy is still nascent, Sunrun has done rather well for itself – especially given tighter state regulations and the financial difficulties of the renewable energy industry. But in spite of new regulations in the famously sunny state of Nevada that forced the company to withdraw operations from the state, the company is feeling good about its prospects and future – in no small part due to the company’s recent announcement that they have closed $250 million of senior secured credit facilities for its future growth [http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdetwiler/2016/02/03/sunruns-250-million-in-financing-a-positive-sign-for-distributed-solar/#11aad2306cbc]. Continue reading

Indiana Coal Power Company Makes Deal With Environmental Groups

by Kevin Tidmarsh

A long and protracted battle between environmentalists and the owners of a coal plant in southern Indiana may finally be coming to a close. The settlement, which was reached among Duke Energy Indiana, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, and various environmental groups in the state, will offer ratepayers refunds totaling $87.5 million for charges incurred during the startup and testing phases of the power plant of the coal plant located in Edwardsport, Indiana, as well as include $1 million for low-income assistance and community solar power grants. Continue reading

New Indiana Energy Bill Aims to Audit State Property

by Kevin Tidmarsh

A new bill in the Indiana legislature could walk back some of the state’s recent cutbacks on energy efficiency programs. House Resolution 1107, which was introduced in this session of the Indiana legislature, aims to remedy some of the cutbacks on the defunct state initiative called Energizing Indiana by allowing for the Indiana Department of Administration to conduct energy efficiency audits on the state properties deemed to be the “least efficient.” Continue reading