10th Annual HBCU Foreign Policy Conference

Author:U.S._Department_of_Education” <ed.gov@public.govdelivery.com : Published Fri, Dec 07, 2018

10th Annual HBCU Foreign Policy Conference

The Bureau of Public Affairs is excited to welcome students and faculty of Historically and Predominately Black Colleges and Universities to the U.S Department of State for the 10th Annual HBCU Foreign Policy Conference. The agenda will feature senior State Department officials, diplomatic simulation sessions, and career and scholarship info.

Friday, February 15, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EST
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U.S Department of State
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U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs

10th Annual HBCU Foreign Policy Conference

The Bureau of Public Affairs is excited to welcome students and faculty of Historically and Predominately Black Colleges and Universities to the U.S Department of State for the 10th Annual HBCU Foreign Policy Conference. The agenda will feature senior State Department officials, diplomatic simulation sessions, and career and scholarship info.

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What will DC’s new clean energy bill actually do?

 Author: Andrew Zimdahl | Managing Partner :  honeydewadvisors.comEnergy EfficiencySolar Published: Dec. 3, 2018

What will DC’s new clean energy bill actually do?

 t. 518.209.4194 | Honeydew Energy Advisors LLC

On Tuesday, November 27th 2018, DC City Council voted unanimously to move forward the most ambitious bill to combat climate change in the nation. A second vote to bring the The Clean Energy Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 into law will occur later in December, per the Council’s standard legislative process. The overall goal of the bill is to cut the District’s carbon emissions by half by 2032 and completely eliminate emissions by the midpoint of the century. Here’s a quick overview of the major provisions of the bill.

Increase funding to the Green Finance Authority, or Green Bank, through increased utility fees. This is estimated to cost households around $3.10 per month total. An average commercial ratepayer who uses 500,000 kWh of electricity and 50,000 therms of gas annually can expect to pay an additional $283 monthly, with fees on electricity declining slightly until they plateau after 2032.

Increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Last augmented in 2016, the RPS represents a goal for the percentage of electricity a jurisdiction consumes from renewable energy sources. If the District fails to hit this goal, energy suppliers will be penalized through the Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) system. There is a specific quota for DC based solar energy within this goal, often referred to as the “solar carve-out”. The RPS is one of the fundamental drivers of demand for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which is the most important revenue stream for solar investments in DC. The chart directly below contrasts current and proposed RPS; below the same for solar carve outs:

Establish a building energy performance standard program. Building on the benchmarking requirements of the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008, this program mandates building energy performance assessments, which will cycle every 5 years. These cycles will begin for all buildings over 50,000 square feet of floor space in 2021; 25,000 sqft in 2023; and 10,000 sqft in 2026. These assessments will show buildings how to reduce their energy consumption by 20% over 5 years. DOEE will establish exemption criteria for building owners that demonstrate financial distress, renovation, demolition, or sale. DOEE will also establish an ACP for buildings who fail to comply and avail $3mm to assist low income properties’ compliance.

This legislation also mandates that the Mayor establish a Transportation Electrification Program that will require all high occupancy and commercial fleet vehicles to be low or zero emission. Like other aspects of this bill, it will be implemented in phases. The goal is to have 50% of all such vehicles be “zero or low emission” by 2030; 75% by 2035, and 100% by 2045. The main tool for enforcing this program will come in the form of excise taxes on vehicle registrations through the DC Department of Motor Vehicles.

Finally, bowing to lobbying from Exelon, this bill permits PEPCO to recover costs and lost revenue from energy efficiency and demand response programs. FYI, a demand response program incentivizes high volume electric users to avoid using energy during peak usage times (like hot summer days). In other words, ratepayers will be using fewer kWhs and paying more for each kWh. Any fee will be subject to approval of the District Public Service Commission (PSC).

It’s important to underscore that most provisions of The Clean Energy Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 will be rolled out as an iterative process between the Mayor’s office, Department of Energy and Environment, and other stakeholders. Specific benchmarks, penalties, fees, and such are yet to be explicated. This bill includes money to fund a study to determine more precise compliance and administrative costs to implement the legislative goals.

Feel free to reach out to Honeydew Energy Advisors if you have any questions about this bill.

DCSEU Seeking Solar Contractors and Developers for Solar for All

Author :DCSEU: Published Dec. 5, 2018

solar panels

The District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)’s “Solar for All” program, which kicked off in 2016, is designed to decrease energy costs for thousands of low-income DC families. The DCSEU is implementing a new round of “Solar for All” initiatives in FY 2019 that will complement and build upon earlier “Solar for All” work in the District.

In support of this program, the DCSEU has released two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) seeking the following:

  • Developers to build community renewable energy facilities (CREFs).
  • Contractors to install solar systems on roughly 100 income-qualified DC single family households.

In total, the DCSEU’s “Solar for All” work is expected to benefit up to 6,800 income-qualified DC households over the next three years.


  • December 13, 2018: Informational webinar at 1:00 p.m. EST (details to follow)
  • December 17, 2018: All questions must be submitted via email to proposals@dcseu.com by 5:00 p.m. EST
  • December 21, 2018: Written responses to questions posted by 5:00 p.m. EST
  • January 9, 2019: All proposal responses must be submitted electronically to proposals@dcseu.com by 5:00 p.m. EST.

Solar for All

Solar for All aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low- and moderate-income households in the District of Columbia. DC’s Department of Energy and Environment implementing the program through several grantee organizations across the District, who are installing solar on single-family homes and developing community solar projects to benefit renters and residents in multifamily buildings. All Solar for All participants should expect to see a 50% savings on their electric bill over 15 years. To qualify, residents must meet the income guidelines below.

Eligibility: Household income is 80% of the area median income (AMI) or lower.

Persons in household









Income threshold $65,650 $75,000 $84,400 $93,750 $101,250 $108,750 $116,250 $123,750

Options for Single Family Homeowners

Two Solar for All grantees are currently installing Solar for All projects for single family homeowners. Solar United Neighbors of DC and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.
Solar United Neighbors of DC’s 51st State Solar Co-op brings DC residents together to make solar more affordable through bulk purchasing. Homeowners own the solar panels, receive credit for all electricity produced, and will receive additional income from revenue generated by their Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) starting five years after the installation. For income-qualified residents, Solar United Neighbors will pay for the full installation of panels. Learn more about the 51st State Solar Co-op.

How to apply: Contact Yesenia Rivera, DC Program Director at yesenia@solarunitedneighbors.org or by phone at (240) 523-3948.
Grid Alternatives Mid-Atlantic provides solar installations to income-qualified single-family homeowners through Solar Works DC, the District’s solar installation and job training program. In addition to preparing residents to enter careers in solar and related industries, Solar Works DC reduces energy costs for low- and moderate-income homeowners by installing solar systems on their homes. Homeowners will lease their solar systems at no cost to them and will receive at least 50% credit for all electricity produced by the panels. Learn more at Grid Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.

How to apply: Contact Jacqueline Treiger, Senior Outreach Coordinator by phone at (202) 517-8858 or by email atdcoutreach@gridalternatives.org.

Community Solar
Community solar provides the benefits of solar to residents who can’t install systems on their home, including renters and homeowners whose rooftops are shaded or need repairs. A community solar project is not located on the home, but offsite, and the benefiting household (called a subscriber) receives a credit on their electric bill each month.

How can I participate in Solar for All’s community solar projects?

Several organizations are a part of DOEE’s Solar for All community solar initiative. Two programs are currently accepting applications. District residents interested in participating should reach out to those organizations directly using the contact information provided below.

Additionally, in late 2019, DOEE plans to open enrollment for a variety of new community solar projects currently in the pipeline.

Currently open for subscribers:

Groundswell is installing solar on houses of worship including at the DuPont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ward 7. Up to 350 income-eligible households will receive energy credit subscriptions at no cost. Visit groundswell.org/solar-for-all/ or contact customerservice@groundswell.org for more information.

Neighborhood Solar Equity is installing solar on a local university and plans to provide benefits to income-eligible households in the District. For more information, visit Neighborhood Solar Equity or contact rootandbranchinc@gmail.com.

To verify whether a solar developer/contractor is operating as part of DOEE’s official Solar for All program, please email solarforall@dc.gov or call 311.

For more information about Solar for All, contact Mike Matthews at (202) 536-7666 or michael.matthews@dc.gov.

Contact TTY:

Author: Power Africa : Published December 3, 2018

“Five years ago, a prominent African working to bring electricity to the world criticized those who said solar lanterns provide electricity access. He said that
solar lanterns just “shine a light on poverty.” At that time, I tended to agree.
But after learning about and seeing the impact that solar lanterns have on people, and understanding how solar lanterns are displacing expensive, dirty, and dangerous kerosene, I changed my mind.”
— Andrew M. Herscowitz, Coordinator for Power Africa

EERE Success Story—X Marks the Spot: Solar Site Design Goes High Tech

Author: Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: Published October 29, 2018

Success Story: Location, Location, Location

Smart Power Maps, a software tool developed by GeoCF with funding from SETO, helps solar developers determine the best place to install large-scale systems quickly and efficiently. The company invented a mapping platform that pairs a site’s characteristics with financial modeling tools that can help developers predict how much solar energy a system can generate at a particular site and how long it would take to pay back that system. Smart Power Maps has already been used to evaluate more than 250 gigawatts of solar projects, and GeoCF recently entered into an exclusive license agreement with Texas-based project developer 7X Energy. Read more.

the 2 megawatts CoServ Solar Station

A worker watches the sunrise at the 2 megawatts CoServ Solar Station in Krugerville, Texas. Photo by Ken Oltmann/CoSer

Utility-scale solar plants—ones that exceed 2 megawatts (MW)—can power thousands of homes and are being built faster than any other type of solar system in the country. However, finding an ideal location for these plants, which can occupy hundreds of acres of land, isn’t easy.

Just like a homebuilder may prioritize locations in a certain school district or so many feet away from a known flood zone, a utility-scale solar developer needs to find a site that can meet a complex set of energy production and grid-related demands. These factors can quickly complicate a project before construction even begins, causing developers to spend time and money on expensive studies.

Solar software company GeoCF is tackling these questions with technology that can reduce the complexity of finding a site, helping users save thousands of dollars.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in 2015, GeoCF created a first-of-its-kind mapping and economic projection software tool that can simplify site selection. Called Smart Power MapsTM, the platform combines geospatial data, county-level data, and area-specific characteristics to evaluate site suitability and acquire necessary permissions for development.

The resulting platform is a map that includes thousands of data points ranging from a site’s topography to its property taxes and proximity to transmission lines. This data is used to model how much electricity a solar system could produce and assess local financial impact, improving the ability to find a site that yields the best return on investment. Smart Power MapsTM also reveals potential challenges in permitting, array design, and construction, thereby reducing the time it takes to connect to the grid and begin producing power. These features can make a solar project more attractive to investors, helping to lower interest rates and lead to even more savings over the lifetime of the solar system.

SETO helped GeoCF take its platform from an early-stage version, which offered a limited range of regions and features, to a comprehensive tool that includes the entire country. It added new map layers that contain information related to soil types, comprehensive floodplains, wells, pipelines, and provides developers access to additional detailed information. In addition, GeoCF worked with SETO to automate the calculation of grid-related constraints, greatly reducing site evaluation times.

Smart Power Maps has been used to evaluate more than 250 gigawatts of potential solar projects and its technology was so impactful, Austin, Texas-based utility-scale solar developer 7X Energy, Inc. secured an exclusive license with GeoCF to use its Smart Power Maps technology in June 2017. 7X Energy used Smart Power Maps to jointly develop one of the largest solar PV projects in Texas—the 315 MW Phoebe Solar Project. They use Smart Power Maps to support optimal project design, minimizing risks and leadings to a lower cost of solar electricity for its clients.

Learn more about the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s technology to market research.

Energy storage industry pushes for clarity on tax credit eligibility

Dive Brief:

  • A coalition of groups led by the Energy Storage Association (ESA) is calling on lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate to clarify that energy storage systems qualify for the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), an incentive they say could help clean energy companies obtain financing, compete internationally and grow.
  • Bipartisan legislation in both houses of Congress would “ensure a level playing field” for storage resources, according to ESA. The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (H.R. 4649 / S. 1868) would apply to utility-scale battery projects as well as smaller residential systems.
  • Already this year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a letterdetermining that new storage projects can access the credit when installed with new ITC-eligible technologies. In September, a pair of lawmakers asked for clarification on whether retrofitted storage systems can access the credit as well.
Dive Insight:

Clean energy technologies are looking to the lame duck Congressional session for support, with battery storage joining electric vehicles in lobbying lawmakers on the way out.

Clarifying that energy storage projects may utilize the ITC “would provide greater certainty to investors and businesses,” ESA and other groups said in a Nov. 26 letter to Congressional leaders. The two bills in Congress, they argue, “would allow a diversity of U.S. companies to better obtain financing, scale, create jobs, and become more competitive internationally in the fast-growing global storage market.”

ESA’s lobbying attempts are being joined by seven other groups, including the American Wind Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association and Advanced Energy Economy.

Earlier this month, Tesla, GM, ChargePoint and other electric vehicle advocacy groups called for Congress to continue federal tax credits supporting emissions-free car sales. Proponents say there is support on both sides of the aisle, but they must also beat back legislation proposed by Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., that calls for eliminating the credit altogether.

For energy storage, ESA and other groups say a growing number of technologies want access to the ITC and therefore batteries need the assistance to ensure a level playing field. All storage technologies, including batteries, pumped hydro, compressed air and others, would be eligible for the ITC, “ensuring technology neutrality so companies can choose the optimal solution to meet their needs,” they said.

Nov. 25, 2018 The Black Blogger Remembers Lawrence Guyot (1939-2012)

Joe Smoke Provoked Perspectives: The Black Blogger Nov. 25, 2018
If a man’s worth is predicated not the value in a bank account but in the value placed in how that man’s life work was dedicated to uplift others, then Lawrence Guyot lived a life that amassed riches beyond measure. Today, The Black Blogger looks back 6 years to remember a black man who gave his all and then some more to see that our community gained full citizenship and human rights. Thanks, Ancestor Lawrence Guyot for your contributions. May you rest forever in eternal peace.
 WASHINGTON — Lawrence Guyot, a civil rights leader who survived jailhouse beatings in the Deep South in the 1960s and went on to encourage generations to get involved, has died. He was 73.
Guyot had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes, and died at home in Mount Rainier, Md., his daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone said late Saturday. She said he died sometime Thursday night; other media reported he passed away Friday.
A Mississippi native, Guyot (pronounced GHEE-ott) worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and served as director of the 1964 Freedom Summer Project, which brought thousands of young people to the state to register blacks to vote despite a history of violence and intimidation by authorities. He also chaired the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which sought to have blacks included among the state’s delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. The bid was rejected, but another civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, addressed the convention during a nationally televised appearance.
Guyot was severely beaten several times, including at the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary known as Parchman Farm. He continued to speak on voting rights until his death, including encouraging people to cast ballots for President Barack Obama.
“He was a civil rights field worker right up to the end,” Guyot-Diangone said.
Guyot participated in the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Summer Project to make sure a new generation could learn about the civil rights movement.
“There is nothing like having risked your life with people over something immensely important to you,” he told The Clarion-Ledger in 2004. “As Churchill said, there’s nothing more exhilarating than to have been shot at — and missed.”
His daughter said she recently saw him on a bus encouraging people to register to vote and asking about their political views. She said he was an early backer of gay marriage, noting that when he married a white woman, interracial marriage was illegal in some states. He met his wife Monica while they both worked for racial equality.
“He followed justice,” his daughter said. “He followed what was consistent with his values, not what was fashionable. He just pushed people along with him.”
Susan Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, called Guyot “a towering figure, a real warrior for freedom and justice.”
“He loved to mentor young people. That’s how I met him,” she said.
When she attended Ole Miss, students reached out to civil rights activists and Guyot responded.
“He was very opinionated,” she said. “But always — he always backed up his opinions with detailed facts. He always pushed you to think more deeply and to be more strategic. It could be long days of debate about the way forward. But once the path was set, there was nobody more committed to the path.”
Glisson said Guyot’s efforts helped lay the groundwork for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Mississippi has more black elected officials than any other state in the country, and that’s a direct tribute to his work,” she said.
Guyot was born in Pass Christian, Miss., on July 17, 1939. He became active in civil rights while attending Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and graduated in 1963. Guyot received a law degree in 1971 from Rutgers University, and then moved to Washington, where he worked to elect fellow Mississippian and civil rights activist Marion Barry as mayor in 1978.
“When he came to Washington, he continued his revolutionary zeal,” Barry told The Washington Post on Friday. “He was always busy working for the people.”
Guyot worked for the District of Columbia government in various capacities and as a neighborhood advisory commissioner.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton told The Post in 2007 that she first met Guyot within days of his beating at a jail in Winona, Miss. “Because of Larry Guyot, I understood what it meant to live with terror and to walk straight into it,” she told the newspaper. On Friday, she called Guyot “an unsung hero” of the civil rights movement.
“Very few Mississippians were willing to risk their lives at that time,” she said. “But Guyot did.”
In recent months, his daughter said he was concerned about what he said were Republican efforts to limit access to the polls. As his health was failing, he voted early because he wanted to make sure his vote was counted, he told the AFRO newspaper.

D.C.’s largest solar array proposed for Northeast site owned by Catholic Charities

By   – Digital Producer, Washington Business Journal  Updated 
By   – Digital Producer, Washington Business Journal

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington has submitted plans for what will be one of, if not the, largest solar arrays in D.C., in an effort to cut its energy costs and fund improvements to its facilities.

The project, to be located on 14 acres surrounding the Gift of Peace House and convent at 2800 Otis St. NE in Woodridge, will involve the installation of 4,778 solar panels, with a total mounted height of 7 feet, according to filings with the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment. The array is expected to generate 1.72 megawatts of energy.

For comparison, H.D. Woodson High School at 540 55th St. NE, which tops the District’s list of highest solar energy generators, produces 611 kilowatts of energy from its array. Solar arrays currently located atop about 50 D.C. government sites, from schools to recreation centers to warehouses, generate more than 11 megawatts.

Catholic Charities owns the Woodridge land and will lease it to a developer to build the array — and receive credit on its Pepco account for the energy generated. Design plans for the array were produced by Millersville, Maryland-based Solar Energy Services Inc.

A Catholic Charities spokeswoman declined to name the solar developer, how much the land will be leased for or how much the panels will cost. She did say the effort would save the charity an estimated $200,000 a year. Catholic Charities intends to use those funds toward maintenance and repairs to the Gift of Peace House, run by the Missionaries of Charity, which shelters 38 terminally ill men, women and children.

Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, founded the Missionaries of Charity and opened the D.C. Gift of Peace House in 1986 largely to serve those dying from AIDS.

The array, which Catholic Charities hopes to launch next year, will be closed off by a 6-foot-tall fence.