solar

TOPEKA, Kansas — Curtis Sneden remembers what impatient investors did to Topeka-based Payless Shoes. Pressure for profits now and the bankruptcy that followed.

Now the president of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce looks at regional utility giant Evergy and worries what might come of pressure from activist investment firm Elliott Management Corp.’s demands for a higher stock price.

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative has entered into an agreement with NextEra Energy Resources to build the largest combined wind, solar and energy storage project in the country. Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses how this project could impact Oklahoma and potential challenges these companies could face.

Satellites built in San Antonio will revolutionize our understanding of solar wind and space weather — the energy discharge that blanked out communications satellites, damaged power grids and affected flights.

Oklahoma’s Unrealized Solar Potential

Apr 9, 2019

A recent market report ranked Oklahoma as having the sixth-highest potential for developing solar power, but among the nation’s worst in adding new solar capacity. Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses why solar energy in Oklahoma currently falls short of neighboring states and how the cost and benefits of the technology are starting to align.

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Xcel Energy’s plan to boost renewables was approved by Colorado regulators Monday.

As The Denver Post reports, Xcel Energy Colorado plans to boost the share of power it gets from wind and solar and retire a third of its coal generation.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission voted 2 to 1 in support of Xcel’s Colorado Energy Plan, which the company says will increase its renewable energy sources to 55 percent within the next eight years.

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Colorado’s main utility company is featured in a New York Times article for its embrace of solar and wind energy.

A Feb. 6 article outlines Colorado’s largest power company, Xcel Energy’s plans to replace two large coal-burning units with renewable energy and possibly some natural gas.

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While the solar industry, as a whole, lost jobs between 2016 and 2017, Colorado saw growth in solar energy jobs. 

According to Greentech Media, the solar industry lost 9,800 jobs between 2016 and 2017 – the first drop recorded since the National Jobs Census began collecting data in 2010.

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A large solar project in Texas has been put on hold and will likely be canceled if the Trump administration goes ahead with imposing tariffs on cheaper panels made in China.

As KUT reports, a 100-megawatt solar farm was being planned outside of Fort Stockton, Texas that would have brought 300 to 400 people at its peak but a threat of tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports would likely make the project too costly to pursue because solar panels account for about 40 percent of the cost of a solar plant.

Wallethub

The average American family spends $2,000 per year on energy. But some states are far more energy efficient than others. The personal finance website Wallethub set out to discover which states are doing more with less energy.

Nebraska's Solar Power Generation On the Rise

Jul 10, 2017
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Nebraska’s solar power generation has increased from around one megawatt at the start of 2016 to over 13 megawatts by mid-2017.

That is what David Bracht of the Nebraska Energy Office recently told NET Nebraska.

ewea.org

While winds were blamed for spreading wildfires that raged across parts of the High Plains in early March, they are also being credited with boosting wind power’s share in High Plains states, including Colorado.

As The Denver Post reports, solar and wind power for the first time accounted for 10 percent of a month’s electricity generated in the U.S.

Andy Cross / The Denver Post

The solar capacity of the state of Colorado increased by 70 percent last year, reports The Denver Post.

That may seem like an impressive leap forward—and it is—but Colorado’s solar ranking among states actually fell last year. That’s because other states increased their capacity even more than the Centennial State.

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Colorado and Texas each rank in the top 10 un the nation as hubs of solar energy employment.

As The Denver Post reports, Colorado’s solar companies added more than 1,000 workers last year, according to the National Solar Jobs Census, allowing the state to maintain its top-10 ranking as a hub of solar energy employment.

NASA

NASA announced last week that it is one step closer to its mission to “touch the sun.”

Texas Observer

Renewable energy has seen a boom recently. That means many landowners have been tempted to lease their acreage to solar companies. In many cases, farmers and ranchers have received fliers and letters from solar operations.

Chris Carlson / AP photo

Last year Lincoln Clean Energy proposed a plan to cover 2,400 acres of the Texas Panhandle with a solar farm. The initiative would have cost $320 million, and been capable of powering 40,000 homes, reports Fuel Fix.

But now, months later, the project is stalled due to one problem: No one wants to buy the electricity.