Puerto Ricans are powering their own rooftop solar boom

Read the full story at Canary Media.

Residents and shop owners are installing solar-plus-battery systems in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Will the government get on board?

Renewable energy projects power up in tribal nations

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

From Florida to Alaska, dozens of tribes are working to harness energy from wind, sun and water to generate millions of dollars in revenue, create short- and long-term jobs and reduce utility costs for citizens, while also helping combat climate change and boost energy independence.

Solar energy is leading the way in Indian Country, with projects underway by the Navajo Nation, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in eastern Montana, the Spokane Tribe in Washington, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and others.

Former Illinois Superfund site to be reused for solar energy

Read the full story at Waste Today.

A former hazardous waste landfill in Waukegan, Illinois, is getting a second life as a renewable energy facility after decades of mitigation efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Located 42 miles north of Chicago, the Yeoman Creek Landfill has been on the federal Superfund list since its closure in the late 1960s. Cleanup to address high levels of methane and other toxic gasses is largely complete, though EPA is still monitoring the site.

While a site of this nature can come with several restrictions and regulations, BQ Energy CEO Paul Curran views it as a business opportunity. As reported by WBEZ, the New York-based company will be installing 20,000 solar panels on the Yeoman Creek site—a project that will cost roughly $10 million.

Local Clean Energy Self-Scoring Tool, Version 6.0

This updated version of ACEEE’s Local Clean Energy Self-Scoring Tool lets you score your community’s efforts to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions using the metrics from ACEEE’s 2021 City Clean Energy Scorecard.

The User Guide explains how to use the tool to evaluate community-wide initiatives, buildings policies, transportation policies, energy and water utilities, and local government operations.

Through the scoring process, you can compare your community’s clean energy efforts with median scores from the 2021 City Clean Energy Scorecard. By identifying both strengths and areas for improvement, the Self-Scoring Tool can help you create a clean energy roadmap that is designed to serve all members of your community.

Recycling renewables: A special series

As the world rolls out more solar panels, wind turbines and batteries, we’re cleaning up electricity — and generating a lot of equipment that will ultimately need to be recycled. The clean energy sector has drastically lower impacts on the environment than fossil fuels, but still needs to do its part to conserve resources and curb waste. In this week of special coverage, Canary Media reports on the technologies, policies and companies that can make clean energy even cleaner.

Articles in the series include:

Methods to evaluate the aging of photovoltaics

Read the full story at AZO Materials.

A paper recently published a paper in the journal Energies demonstrated a novel method to accurately evaluate photovoltaic (PV) module degradation rates for aging diagnosis through the on-site measurement of PV power output. 

How to recycle a 150-foot wind turbine blade? Haul it to Louisiana, MO

Read the full story from St. Louis Public Radio.

In the small community of Louisiana, Missouri, it’s not uncommon to see what looks like massive white wings traveling down the road, strapped to flatbed tractor-trailers.

Once a bustling commercial port, the historic Mississippi River town 90 miles north of St. Louis has become a hub for an unusual commodity: used wind turbine blades. Shipments from nearly every corner of the U.S. arrive daily at the Veolia North America recycling plant, the last stop for turbine blades at the end of their lifespan.

Food waste to feed and biogas at dairy farm

Read the full story in Biocycle.

Ar-Joy Farms in southeastern Pennsylvania receives produce for animal feed and source separated organics and high strength liquids for anaerobic digestion.

Illinois pork producer turns to solar as ‘most economically beneficial option’

Read the full story at Solar Builder.

Citing a need to diffuse accelerating energy costs and a desire to further sustainable farming practices, The Maschhoffs have broken ground on a new 3-MW solar array at its Griggsville Feed Mill.

Solential Energy began construction of the Griggsville Feed Mill array in mid-May. The project, encompassing 6,800 ground-mounted, fixed-tilt solar panels, will be fully installed and generating power by October 2022. The Maschhoffs anticipate first-year energy savings of $320,000 and 25-year accumulated savings of more than $11.3 million.

EERE Success Story—FORGE-ing Ahead with U.S. Geothermal

Geothermal energy, the “heat beneath our feet,” has the potential to provide enough power to supply more than 100 million U.S. homes around the clock. Most of that energy has been largely inaccessible, but that’s about to change.

American innovators and researchers are making progress exploring human-made geothermal reservoirs, which, along with technologies to capture and sustain this clean energy, are known as enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Once mature, EGS technology will help the United States use a near-limitless resource across the country.

Conventional geothermal energy is typically harnessed where fluids, heat, and permeability—the ability for water to move through rock—coexist naturally in underground reservoirs. This combination is somewhat rare and restricted to certain geographic areas, but EGS technologies can produce energy nearly anywhere: Scientists could create a geothermal system wherever there is hot rock.

While EGS holds a lot of promise, it also faces technical challenges. That’s why the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) established the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), a field laboratory in Milford, Utah, in 2018. At FORGE, researchers are  developing, testing, and improving technologies and techniques to create reliable EGS reservoirs.

In April, the Utah FORGE team conducted their first hydraulic stimulation. This process, which involves injecting fluid into rocks at high pressures to create new fractures, makes the rocks permeable and able to harness geothermal energy. Hydraulic stimulations are common in the oil and gas industry but have never been performed on a highly deviated well—a well at an angle exceeding 60 degrees for most of its depth—in the geothermal industry. Highly deviated wells enable better access to energy resources underground.

Though data is still being analyzed, initial results suggest the stimulation successfully created a geothermal reservoir. This is a key milestone in learning how to create a fully human-made geothermal reservoir that can be tapped to capture always-available electricity anywhere.

Once the precise boundaries of the new reservoir are located through data analysis, the FORGE team will drill a second full-size well in early 2023 into the new reservoir. The resulting well pairing is called a doublet; operators pump cold water down one well and hot water out of the other. The hot water pumped out of the reservoir carries the energy for electricity production. 

This doublet serves as the basis for the FORGE laboratory, where scientists can test their innovative EGS technologies and tools. In February 2021, DOE awarded $49 million to 17 research and development (R&D) projects to do just that, and projects are underway, as shown in the map below.

New R&D awards through FORGE fall into 5 categories: Devices suitable for use in high temperature wells Estimation of stress parameters Characterization of reservoir stimulation over time Specific stimulation and configuration at the FORGE site Integrating lab and modeling studies of the interactions among thermal, hydrological, mechanical and chemical processes.
FORGE R&D projects across the country

The FORGE initiative, including research, planning, drilling, and other site-specific development, is enabled by more than $200 million in federal investment, decades of public and private research, and the brilliant people working in geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is poised to make significant leaps with initiatives like FORGE and play a vital role in secure, domestic energy production. 

Learn more about the FORGE initiative and Utah FORGE site. For project updates and future FORGE research and development opportunities, sign up for The Drill Down, GTO’s monthly newsletter.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory