Biden’s $1.9T Coronavirus Relief Plan Includes $1,400 Stimulus Checks

Author: WI Informer Staff          Published: 1/15/2021          Washington Informer Newspaper 

President-elect Joe Biden lays out his proposal for a new coronavirus relief package at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Jan. 14.

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday said his proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package will include more of stimulus checks, with the latest amount of $1,400 intended to offset the relatively small $600 payments that began going out this month.

The direct payments are part of Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which aims to assist those struggling to make ends meet since the global pandemic began nearly a year ago.

The plan, which has to meet congressional approval, is packed with proposals regarding health care, education, labor and cybersecurity.

In addition to an extra $400 per week for unemployed and affected workers, $416 billion has been earmarked for a national vaccination program covering 50 million people and reopening schools in Biden’s first 100 days in office, NBC News reported.

Outgoing chairman and fellow CBC member transition to Biden Administration

Author: media@cbcfinc.org                                Published: 1/15/2021              CBCF

CBCF Board Chairman Joins Biden Administration

CBCF ANNOUNCES BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIR TRANSITION
Outgoing chairman and fellow CBC member transition to
Biden Administration
WASHINGTON – January 15, 2021 – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) today announced that Rep. Cedric Richmond will resign his role as board of directors chairman. He will transition from the CBCF board on January 19 in preparation to serve as senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement for President-Elect Joe Biden. Under Richmond’s leadership since 2019, the CBCF advanced its mission to develop leaders, inform public policy and educate the public by expanding its social justice, research and policy analysis initiatives, and the programming of the Leadership Institute. The CBCF also recognizes the appointment of Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Marcia Fudge to serve as secretary of housing and urban development as part of the forthcoming Biden Administration.
“It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve as CBCF board chairman over the past year and a half,” said Rep. Richmond. “Whether it was our fellowships, scholarships, internships, or our recently improved endowment, we have put a significant down payment on the development of tomorrow’s Black leaders. I am eternally grateful for the confidence bestowed on me as the board set out to navigate difficult challenges and fortify the Foundation’s long-term vision and infrastructure. Together, we have set the CBCF on a path of growth and prosperity that will only see its reach expand over the coming years.”
Lori George Billingsley, vice chairwoman of the CBCF board of directors, will assume the role of chairwoman, effective January 19. Billingsley is global chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for The Coca-Cola Company.
“The Coca-Cola Company is a long-time supporter of the CBCF, including the Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Prayer Breakfast and Day of Healing,” said Lori George Billingsley. “I am proud to lead this dedicated and accomplished board of directors at this pivotal time in our collective history.”
“The CBCF will continue to develop opportunities to advance the global Black community,” said president and CEO Tonya Veasey. “We congratulate Rep. Fudge and thank Rep. Richmond for his dedicated service to the CBCF and we are grateful for his leadership as board chairman. Moreover, it is a pleasure to continue our tradition of impactful work with Lori George Billingsley.”
To receive updates on CBCF news, research, programs and events, subscribe to receive the e-newsletter and follow @CBCFinc on Twitter and Instagram.
About the CBCF
Established in 1976, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is a non-partisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and educational institute committed to advancing the global Black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public. For more information, visit cbcfinc.org.

 

Digital transformation for Black and Latino publishers

Author: Google News Initiative          Published: Nov 19, 2020            The Keyword

Article's hero media

Even before we were all hit with the devastation of COVID-19, the newspaper industry saw the writing on the wall: It’s crucial to embrace a “digital first” business priority to remain financially sustainable. The persistent global pandemic coupled with the preexisting conditions of poverty, social inequalities and racial injustice in America’s minority communities have now accelerated the digital business challenges that many Black- and Latino-owned newspapers across the U.S. and Canada already faced.

The widening digital divide and technology gap overwhelmingly affect our more than 200 Black-owned member publications in the U.S., many of which are multi-generational and family-owned. Advertising continues to be a lifeblood of both local and national newspapers. And digital advertising is irreversibly changing how news companies become profitable and sustainable, and publishers need the trained staffing and requisite technology infrastructure to compete.

It’s in this timely context that the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) have joined together with the Google News Initiative to launch the GNI Ad Transformation Lab. This much-needed program will directly support Black- and Latino-owned news organizations and publishers focused on serving underrepresented communities in the U.S. and Canada. Over the course of six months, we aim to help the participating publishers advance their digital maturity and build the digital advertising capabilities required to achieve business growth today.

Through extensive analytical and technical support, the lab will provide personalized coaching to address each organization’s digital business transformation. Participating publishers will develop and clarify their digital content and distribution strategy, optimize their websites, improve their digital advertising and programmatic capabilities, and act on these improvements to attract more advertisers and generate incremental revenue over time.

I am personally and professionally enthusiastic about the GNI Ad Transformation Lab because I have witnessed too many times how Black- and Latino-owned news publishers in particular are overlooked and undervalued by major advertisers. One of the reasons is because these publications often struggle to keep up with the technical demands and constantly evolving pace of digital advertising.

In partnering with the NAHP, whose members span the country, with a concentration in areas of large Latino populations, we’ve seen a need to bring this type of support to our communities. And they say it’s crucial to provide professional development that focuses on adopting new advertising technology. “Increased digital revenue will help expand audiences, build capacity and further the recognition and usage of Latino publications,” says Fanny Miller, NAHP’s president.

It is not a question of competence. It is an issue of the pace and process of migration and transformation from solely print advertising to “digital first” businesses that produce viable profits. That’s why this program is committed to helping publishers create sustainable digital advertising revenue streams and business practices.

Applications for the GNI Ad Transformation Lab open today and will close on December 7th at 11:59 PM EST. We encourage Black- and Latino-owned news organizations and publishers focused on serving underrepresented communities in North America to apply.

As the program progresses, we will share lessons learned with the broader minority community of publishers. The GNI will also compile the best practices into playbooks, interactive exercises and virtual workshops and incorporate the resources into the company’s ongoing Digital Growth Program, available to all publishers for free online.

We look forward to supporting Black- and Latino-owned news publishers to navigate the challenges of digital transformation, and evolve their advertising offerings for national brands and agencies. These publishers can then strategically reinvest these additional revenue streams to keep them at the cutting edge of industry innovations and market advances in the growing digital advertising space.

It’s imperative that we sustain the trusted newspapers embedded and connected in Black and Latino communities. If we don’t tell our story, who will?

 

Top News: Apply for Small-Business Funding; Grid-Forming Technologies and Solar Product Projects Wanted; Solar Prize Announcements

Author: Solar Energy Technologies Office   Published: 1/14/2021        SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Learn how the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is advancing next-generation grid-forming inverters; which projects were selected to help first responders and safety officials work with new energy technologies; and how to apply for small-business funding or our $45 million solar hardware and systems integration funding opportunity. Also, be sure to check out this fellowship and this program manager job for a chance to work at SETO.

Read these stories and more in this edition of the SETO newsletter.


Grid-Forming Inverters to the Rescue 

What happens after a blackout? Grid operators use a conventional energy source like coal or natural gas to restart the grid. But with the rapid and increasing addition of renewable energy sources like solar, it’s critical that new technologies help maintain the grid’s stability and resilience. In a new blog post, we explain how next-generation inverters can restart the grid on their own and how a new roadmap about the technology can help operators now and into the future.

Apply to Work at SETO 

We have two opportunities to join the solar office. January 15 is the last day to submit applications for the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Science and Technology Policy opportunity at SETO. This fellowship is open to recent graduates with a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degree in a quantitative field and other applicants with relevant post-degree experience. Selected participants will support the solar office’s mission to advance cutting-edge solar energy technologies, improve grid reliability, support solar adoption, and reduce the cost of solar nationwide. Learn more and apply.

SETO is also seeking a program manager for our manufacturing and competitiveness team, which supports groundbreaking, early-stage solar technology concepts to move them toward greater private-sector investment and commercialization. The program manager will be responsible for planning, budgeting, implementing, managing, and evaluating initiatives, and communicating their objectives to industry stakeholders. Learn more and apply.

FY21 FOA

Two Funding Opportunities—Deadlines and Assistance

If you submitted a letter of intent (LOI) for SETO’s $45 million 2021 Systems Integration and Hardware Incubator funding opportunity, send us your concept paper by January 25, 5 p.m. ET. If you submitted an LOI for DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) funding opportunity, full applications are due February 22 by 11:59 p.m. ET. Applicants who are proposing Hardware Incubator or SBIR/STTR projects can get help with their application materials from Power Connectors in the American-Made Network. Visit this webpage for more information.

New Education Projects Announced to Help Professionals Working with Solar

On December 22, DOE announced it will award nearly $6 million to five project teams to develop training resources and programs for emergency responders, safety officials, building owners and operators, and others who interact with distributed energy resources like solar and storage systems. Learn more about how these awardees plan to protect and serve these professionals with support from the Education Materials for Professional Organizations Working on Efficiency and Renewable Energy Developments (EMPOWERED) funding program.

Improve Energy Resilience in Vulnerable Communities 

The Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project—a network of DOE offices, National Labs, and local organizations—will provide technical assistance to 8-12 remote and islanded communities that need to better withstand power disruptions and quickly recover after they occur. The program is seeking community partners to provide on-the-ground support and resources to address energy and infrastructure challenges. Register for the webinar on January 26, and apply by February 15.

Wanted: National Lab Solar Project Proposals

In December, SETO issued a $90 million FY2022–2024 Lab Call (open this link in Google Chrome) soliciting projects from National Laboratory researchers that will help increase solar integration on the grid and boost U.S. manufacturing. This program will also support a five-year consortium focused on concentrating solar-thermal power heliostat research. Concept papers are due January 26 by 5 p.m. ET.

Let’s Build: Connected Communities Deadline

Through DOE’s $65 million funding opportunity to expand its network of energy-efficient “smart” buildings, SETO has joined forces with the buildings, vehicles, and electricity offices to transform U.S. communities. SETO will award up to $7 million to projects that interact with solar and other distributed energy resources. Submit your concept papers by February 17 at 5 p.m. ET.

The Award for Best Paper Goes to…

SETO-funded project on low-cost inverter designs for transformerless solar energy systems! The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Energy Conversion journal recently named the University of Washington’s “A Multilevel DC to Three-Phase AC Architecture for Photovoltaic Power Plants” one of the best three papers published in the 2019–2020 period. The project is part of SETO’s $20 million Advanced Power Electronics Design for Solar Applications funding program, announced in 2018.

Get Your Stats Fix Here: Quarterly Solar Industry Report 

Did you know that in the first nine months of 2020, the United States installed 9 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaics (PV)—its largest first-nine-month total ever? That’s just one of the highlights from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) latest quarterly solar industry report. In it, you’ll learn that the United States installed about 497 megawatt-hours of energy storage onto the electric grid in the first half of 2020, a year-over-year increase of 3%. And, 80% of the 49 GW of new U.S. electric generating capacity expected to come online in 2020 comes from solar and wind. Read more.

Shedding Light: High-Flux Solar Furnace

In honor of NREL’s 10-kilowatt High-Flux Solar Furnace’s 30th anniversary, the lab has shared a look back at how it has grown and advanced research across multiple industries. The furnace harnesses solar energy and amplifies it to the power of 2,500 suns. It’s used to test materials and components that use a lot of heat and light, such as glazings for solar collectors, as well as to study thermochemical energy storage, and much more. The furnace is open to all, including universities and businesses. Learn more about how the furnace works by watching this short video.

Events

Solar and Energy Storage Webinar Series
February 25–26 | 12–2 p.m. ET
Join SETO for a webinar series to learn about our work to develop and demonstrate technologies that enable solar plus energy storage.

SETO in the News

Solar Photo of the Week

Solar Photo of the Week

Approximately 20 kilowatts of PV systems for a ranger station and biological research station in the Mona Passage, midway between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Photo by Dennis Schroeder. Click to download.

Thanks for reading the SETO newsletter! If someone forwarded this to you, you can subscribe here.

SETO is part of the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Guide to California Lighting Regulations: Title 20 & Title 24

Author: Madison Dipbove         Published:  Nov 30, 2020      Guides

energy efficient lighting

First established in 1974, by the Warren-Alquist Act, the California Energy Commission (CEC) was formed as the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, committed to reducing energy costs and the environmental impacts of energy use. And, they continue this mission today. Through legislation like Title 20 and Title 24, the CEC mandates that businesses maintain specific efficiency standards. And, this isn’t just good for the environment. Using energy-efficient appliances and lighting helps you save money on electrical costs as well.

If you’re a facility manager or electrician working in California, it’s essential that you’re familiar with both Title 20 and Title 24 regulations. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on both pieces of legislation so that you can ensure that you’re lighting is up to code and save some money while you’re at it.

What is Title 20?

California introduced Title 20 requirements in two phases.

  1. Tier I went into effect January 1, 2018.
  2. Tier II went into effect July 1, 2019.

Tier II performance is significantly higher because it requires a higher efficacy (more light with less energy use) and CRI.

The commission has also made additional changes to Title 20 regulations, effective January 1, 2020. The CEC added a regulation that requires general service lamps (GSLs) to have a minimum efficacy of 45 lumens per watt.

Title 20 applies more than just lighting, but since lighting is our area of expertise, that’s what we’ll be looking at.

The Appliance Efficiency Program, or Title 20, includes standards for lighting appliances. the Voluntary California Quality LED Lamp Specification is aligned with the standards of Title 20. The objective of this specification is to promote lighting products that perform better than current mandatory requirements and to prepare the market for upcoming mandatory efficiency regulations. It states the minimum level of quality and performance from LED lamps needed to avoid consumer dissatisfaction and facilitate the market transition to more efficient LED technology.

Title 20 is not only a requirement to sell in California, but item(s) must also be registered with the CEC prior to entering the market.

However, if a product meets Title 20 requirements, that does not mean it will also meet Title 24 (JA8) requirements.

Eligible Lamps

In order to be Title 20 eligible, lamps must have an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard E12, E17, E26 or GU24 base, including LED lamps designed for retrofit within existing recessed can housing that contains one of the preceding bases. Also, the lamp must be capable of producing a quantity of light suitable for general illumination, meaning a brightness less than or equal to 2,600 lumens and greater than or equal to 150 lumens (for candelabra bases) or 200 lumens (for other bases).

The lamp must also be capable of producing white light, meaning light with a correlated color temperature (CCT) between 2200K and 7000K. Lamps of any shape are eligible that meet these criteria, including LED downlight retrofit kits and candelabra LEDs with one of the specified bases.

CA lighting regulations

Title 20 Compliance

In order to be in compliance with Title 20, lighting products must meet the energy-efficency standards as set by the California Energy Commission.

This impacts three main categories of lighting: state-regulated LED lamps, state-regulated small diameter directional lamps, and state-regulated general service lamps. To be legally sold in the state, these products must be listed in California’s MAEDBS (Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System).

There are also certain testing and marking requirements for every product. But no matter what kind of testing a light bulb passes, if it’s not listed in the MAEDBS, it’s illegal to sell in California. Who’s responsible for making sure light bulbs are legally sold in California? Everyone in the supply chain. The California Energy Commission says lighting manufacturers, distributors, retailers, contractors, importers, and installers should all check products.

Title 20 Requirements

State-regulated LED lamps (SLED)

  • Defined as lamp with a base that is E12, E17, E26, or GU-24
  • Includes retrofit kits
Minimum efficacy 80 lpw (lumens per watt)
Minimum compliance score 297
Minimum rated life 10,000 hours
Standby power 0.2 watts

State-regulated small diameter directional lamps (SDDL)

  • Typically found in retail, hospitality, and museum track lighCan include incandescenthalogen, or LEDs
  • Defined as non-tubular directional lamp with a 2.25 inch or less diameter; can operate at 12 volts, 24 volts, or 120 volts
  • Minimum efficacy 80 lpw (lumens per watt)
    or a minimum efficacy of 70 lpw and a minimum compliance score of 165
    Minimum rated life 25,000 hours

    State-regulated general service lamps (GSL)

  • Can be incandescent, halogen, CFL, or LED
  • Defined as omni-directional lamp with an E26 base

What Is Title 24?

Title 24 (JA8),  California Building Standards Code is a broad set of requirements for “energy conservation, green design, construction and maintenance, fire and life safety, and accessibility” that apply to the “structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems” in a building. Title 24 was published by the California Building Standards Commission and applies to all buildings in California, not just state-owned buildings.

And although this piece of legislation is not lighting specific, it does have an effect on lighting decisions. As one of the largest power draws in the majority of commercial and industrial facilities, lighting is certainly responsible for large energy inefficiencies, if not carefully monitored.  Here, the CEC outlines required lighting controls and the style of lighting required in all buildings, both commercial and residential.

 

Below, you’ll find some Title 24, lighting specific regulations that CA requires of every business, regardless of industry. Many of these regulations expand on practices that are already in place, so don’t assume that because you updated your lighting a few years ago, that it will still be Title 24 compliant.

 

  • Photo controls are required in parking garages with at least 36 sq ft of opening and at least 60W of installed lighting power in daylight areas
  • Lights must be turned OFF during daylight hours via a photocontrol and an automatic time switch OR astronomical time switch control
  • If luminaires mounted <24 ft above ground, motion sensors or other occupancy-based controls must be used; not required >24 ft above ground
  •  Maximum dimming permitted as part of a motion-controlled lighting system increased to 90%
  • Outdoor lighting no longer must be separately circuited from other lighting, but it must remain independently controlled via automatic scheduling
  • If lighting is dimmable, controls must be on a dimmer with dimming and manual-ON/OFF capabilities
  • The following areas may 000000000use manual-ON/ OFF control not accessible to unauthorized personnel:
    • Public restrooms with 2 or more stalls
    • Parking areas
    • Stairwells
    • Corridors
      • Display/accent/case lighting

    What’s the difference between Title 20 and Title 24?

    To put it simply, Title 20 is product- specific and Title 24 outlines the way a new building should be designed and maintained.  In fact, just because a product meets Title 20 standards does not necessarily mean it will help in meeting Title 24 regulations.  Think about it this way: a product does not have to be Title 24 certified to be sold in California. New construction projects or major retrofits, however, do have to be inspected and approved as meeting Title 24 standards.

    Title 20 Lighting

Pepco Offers Programs, Assistance to Customers Behind on Bills

Author: WI Staff Writer        Published:  1/13/2021      Washington Informer News

Courtesy of pepcoholdings.com

Pepco customers struggling to pay their bills due to the coronavirus pandemic are reminded of programs and assistance the company has made available to them.

The utility company said it recognizes the ongoing financial burden for many and is committed to working with customers individually via payment arrangements and enrollment in energy-saving programs to help get accounts back on track.

The most important step for customers who are behind on their bill is to call 202-833-7500 or go to pepco.com/help as soon as possible, Pepco said.

Meanwhile, millions of dollars in energy assistance remains available for customers, such as grants in varying amounts — based on a household’s income size, type of fuel and type of dwelling — that are not required to be paid back.

Maryland residents can call the state Department of Human Services’ Office of Home Energy Programs at 1-800-332-6347, while those in D.C. can apply for assistance through the Department of Energy and the Environment website or by calling 311.

Solar investment tax credit extended; What this means for you

Author: Ben Delman         Published:  January 5, 2021   Solar United Neighbors

Last year ended with great news for solar!

The federal government provides a tax credit to homeowners who buy solar systems. Homeowners who installed solar in 2020 were eligible for a 26% tax credit. If you installed a solar system that cost $10,000, you would receive a $2,600 credit against your tax liability.

This credit was set to lower to 22% for systems installed in 2021. It was set to expire in 2022.

But Congress stepped in and included an extension of this tax credit as part of the federal budget bill.

What this means for prospective solar owners

If you buy a solar system in 2021 or 2022, you will still be able to take the tax credit at 26%. If you go solar in 2023, you will be eligible for a 22% tax credit. The credit expires after 2023.

This extension means you could earn several hundred dollars more in tax credits.

What solar supporters can do next

Tax credits are only one way to help more Americans go solar. Congress needs to do more.

Congress should set a goal of creating 30 million new solar homes (one in four U.S. households). This will help American families save money, create jobs, fight climate change, and address energy injustice.

PROJECTS & MONEY

Author: Peggy Franzino          Published: 1/12/2021       Infocast Events

For over 30 years, Infocast has produced deal-making events that enable organizations to innovate, design and build a better future. Infocast events ignite business transformation in each of the industries they serve, through extensive market research for the most relevant content and in-demand speakers, attracting highly-targeted audiences there to network with and learn from key industry leaders.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

Now in its 13th year, Projects & Money is going virtual! After an eventful 2020, it’s more critical than ever to bring together the country’s leading energy project developers and the financial community for the perennial “one-stop meeting central” for project professionals.

For over a decade, Projects & Money has established itself as the most powerful venue for the project finance community to network, share information about upcoming opportunities, get the latest market intelligence and outlook on trends, and hear the most valuable perspectives on financing and deal-making in the gas, power, and renewables markets.

However, during this time of COVID-19, Infocast believes it is more important than ever to provide a safe, alternative platform for professionals to connect with the leaders and movers in project finance — without the expense and risk of traveling.

Re-engineered for 2021, Projects & Money will take place live on Infocast’s cutting-edge virtual platform, designed to provide attendees with an engaging and interactive conference experience. Attendees will also receive 30 days of unlimited post-event access to continue their conversations, review valuable industry insights on-demand, and get deals done.

Projects & Money is the best opportunity for professionals to connect with key players to share their plans for the upcoming year and discuss available opportunities in today’s business environment that will lead to successful deals.

Sign up today for the can’t-miss event to launch your 2021 calendar year!

Last Minute Pricing
available through 1/13


40+ Expert Speakers
10 Content-Packed Sessions

Get 30 days of access to all networking, insights and presentations


Interested in Sponsoring?

Contact Peggy Franzino
peggyf@infocastevents.com

Networking
Connect with top industry professionals from around the country
Lead Generation
Establish connections with senior-level developers, investors & financiers
Dealmaking
Get deals done for 2021 and beyond in the coronavirus-impacted business environment
Industry Insights
Gain valuable insights into the
latest project developments and opportunities
Market Outlook
Hear from experts with
cutting-edge intelligence on the outlook of tomorrow’s markets
Business Opportunities
Learn about upcoming projects and strategic opportunities
WHY ATTEND?

Start 2021 Armed with the Best Market Intelligence to Set Your Dealmaking Agenda for the Year!

  • Get the latest information about available project opportunities in 2021

  • Discover the best available outlook on the financing landscape

  • Receive a comprehensive report on the latest trends in the gas, power and renewables markets

  • Examine the status of the tax equity market and evaluate what will be its role in the future

  • Survey the year’s first analysis on the outcome of the election and its impact on the markets

  • Network online in our exclusive virtual platform – engage live with participants, make deals in real-time,
    and continue conversations for a full 30 days of access to all content and networking
FEATURED SPEAKERS

Melina Bartels
North America Power Associate
BLOOMBERG

Evan Bierman, Ph.D.
Director, Renewables & Storage Integration
EDF RENEWABLES

Jonathan Bram
Partner
GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERS

Ted Brandt
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
MARATHON CAPITAL

Tom Buttgenbach, PhD
President & CEO
8MINUTE SOLAR ENERGY

Ralph Cho
Co-Head of Power & Infrastructure Finance, North America
INVESTEC GROUP

Jeff Cook, Ph.D.
Renewable Energy Policy & Market Analyst
NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY (NREL)

Matthew Prescottano
Vice President
BLACKROCK

Himanshu Saxena
CEO
STARWOOD ENERGY GROUP

Douglas Schultz
Director, Loan Origination Division
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, LOAN PROGRAMS OFFICE

Meghan Schultz
Senior Vice President, Finance & Capital Markets
INVENERGY

Harry Singh
Vice President
GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO. LLC

Susan Slusser
CEO
CYPRESS CREEK RENEWABLES

Joel Spenadel
Executive Director, Energy Investments
J.P. MORGAN

Rob Threlkeld
Global Manager – Sustainable Energy/Supply Reliability
GENERAL MOTORS

Britta von Oesen
Managing Director
COHNREZNICK CAPITAL

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  • Schedule 1-on-1 meetings or group calls using built-in video chat features on our virtual platform
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  • Engage in group discussions or announce your availability on the social wall
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  • Leverage 30 days of uninterrupted access to continue your conversations and dealmaking
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    • CYPRESS CREEK RENEWABLES
    • DEUTSCHE BANK
    • E3 CONSULTING
    • EDF RENEWABLES
    • EDP RENEWABLES NORTH AMERICA
    • ENERGY CAPITAL PARTNERS
    • ENGIE NORTH AMERICA INC.
    • EOS CAPITAL ADVISORS LLC
    • FOLEY & LARDNER LLP
    • GENERAL MOTORS
    • GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERS
    • GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO. LLC
    • HANNON ARMSTRONG
    • ICF
    • INVENERGY
    • INVESTEC GROUP
    • J.P. MORGAN
    • LIVE OAK BANK
    • MACQUARIE
    • MARATHON CAPITAL
    • MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY LLP
    • MICROSOFT
    • NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY (NREL)
    • NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT US LLP
    • SOLTAGE, LLC
    • STARWOOD ENERGY GROUP
    • U.S. BANK
    • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, LOAN PROGRAMS OFFICE

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  • Consultants

SPONSORS

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10 Content-Packed Sessions

Get 30 days of access to all networking, insights and presentations


Interested in Sponsoring?

Contact Peggy Franzino
peggyf@infocastevents.com

Networking
Connect with top industry professionals from around the country
Lead Generation
Establish connections with senior-level developers, investors & financiers
Dealmaking
Get deals done for 2021 and beyond in the coronavirus-impacted business environment
Industry Insights
Gain valuable insights into the
latest project developments and opportunities
Market Outlook
Hear from experts with
cutting-edge intelligence on the outlook of tomorrow’s markets
Business Opportunities
Learn about upcoming projects and strategic opportunities
WHY ATTEND?

Start 2021 Armed with the Best Market Intelligence to Set Your Dealmaking Agenda for the Year!

  • Get the latest information about available project opportunities in 2021

  • Discover the best available outlook on the financing landscape

  • Receive a comprehensive report on the latest trends in the gas, power and renewables markets

  • Examine the status of the tax equity market and evaluate what will be its role in the future

  • Survey the year’s first analysis on the outcome of the election and its impact on the markets

  • Network online in our exclusive virtual platform – engage live with participants, make deals in real-time,
    and continue conversations for a full 30 days of access to all content and networking
FEATURED SPEAKERS

Melina Bartels
North America Power Associate
BLOOMBERG

Evan Bierman, Ph.D.
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Top Energy Policy Trends from 2020–and How They Can Inform your 2021 Energy Plans

Author:  Caitlin Marquis          1/6/2021               Smart Energy Decisions

The year 2020 was certainly one for the history books, and for many of us, the cycle of bad news throwing wrenches into our lives and our livelihoods could not have ended soon enough. In terms of energy policy, however, the year brought some good along with the bad. As companies lay out their energy plans for 2021, it’s worth reflecting on the trends that dominated energy policy in 2020 and will be shaping the debate for the year ahead.

1. COVID diverted attention from energy legislation—but advanced energy stands ready to contribute to a rapid recovery.  As many state legislatures transitioned to remote work and focused intensely on COVID relief and closing budget gaps, clean energy legislation took a backseat in places like Illinois, where momentum for comprehensive energy legislation had been building prior to the onset of the pandemic. As the country looks toward recovery, however, the hard-hit advanced energy industry is an obvious choice for policymakers considering how to spend stimulus dollars: In eight states analyzed by Analysis Group on behalf of Advanced Energy Economy and the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, investments in advanced energy were shown to deliver a strong return on investment for the overall economy of each state (measured by Gross State Product, or GSP), ranging from a four-fold impact to as high as 14 times the public investment. The analysis projects that public investment in advanced energy would draw roughly two-and-a-half times as much in private capital, with both then rippling through the economy and producing millions of jobs. Companies interested in both a speedy economic recovery and a speedy transition to a cleaner energy system can advance both goals at once by calling for strong consideration of advanced energy in state and federal recovery efforts.

2. States continued to lead on clean energy, and are likely to remain central. This theme could be copied and pasted from annual clean energy policy trend reports over the last several years, but if it’s a broken record, it’s a welcome one. Virginia came out of the gates with a bang in 2020, passing the Virginia Clean Economy Act and setting the state on a path to 100% clean energy by 2050. The new law includes an “Accelerated Renewable Energy Buyers” provision allowing companies with corporate sustainability targets that have already made investments in Virginia or PJM to meet the renewable energy targets through their own purchases. More recently, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved rules requiring regulated utilities in the Grand Canyon state to transition to 100% clean energy by 2050. Across the country, more than one quarter of states now have a 100% clean energy policy or goal in place. Companies with an interest in clean energy should focus their attention on states like Illinois and Minnesota, where there are likely to be opportunities for progress, as well as in states where momentum will be building over the next year to enable action in 2022 and beyond.

3. Green tariffs continue to be a vital tool for companies to meet renewable energy targets in vertically integrated markets. Utility renewable energy programs, or green tariffs, have come a long way since the first handful of programs were approved in 2013, but they are utility-specific and subject to lengthy regulatory review, so these programs grow slowly despite their popularity. In 2020, new or expanded programs were approved in several states, including Florida (Florida Power & Light), Michigan (Consumers Energy), Kentucky (East Kentucky Power Cooperative), and Georgia (Georgia Power). Programs awaiting regulatory approval include Duke Energy Florida’s Clean Energy Connection and Detroit Edison’s Rider 19 in Michigan. With corporate engagement and support, additional utilities could move forward with proposals in 2021.

4. Some states started questioning their participation in competitive wholesale markets. Following FERC’s decision late last year to direct PJM Interconnection (PJM), the nation’s largest regional grid operator, to expand the minimum offer price rule (MOPR), which has been seen as undermining state clean energy policies, states in PJM and elsewhere have begun to consider taking back certain responsibilities currently served by competitive wholesale markets (for more on MOPR, see an earlier AEE post in Smart Energy Decisions). Large energy buyers have been vocal proponents of competitive, organized wholesale markets due to cost and reliability benefits, as well as the flexibility these markets afford for companies to procure advanced energy directly. Devolving certain aspects of these markets back to individual states threatens to diminish these benefits. The tension between state policies and federal regulations is certain to continue into 2021, and companies can engage in reform efforts at the Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (RTOs/ISOs) as well as discussions in states like New Jersey, Maryland, and New York, where regulators are considering taking matters into their own hands.

5. Wholesale market expansion efforts moved forward in two new regions, but not quickly or smoothly. In the West, discussions about potential RTO expansion or creation advanced slowly. One step forward came in Nevada, where legislative leaders called on the Governor, the state’s utility regulators, and its largest utility to pursue an integrated regional power market. In the Southeast, a joint utility proposal for a “Southeast Energy Exchange Market” (SEEM) was met with skepticism and criticism when it leaked earlier this year. The proposal falls far short of creating a fully competitive RTO/ISO in the region, which a study released earlier this year found would produce $384 billion in savings by 2040. Regardless of whether FERC approves SEEM, much work remains to achieve the potential cost and clean energy benefits of an RTO/ISO in both the West and Southeast.

6. Meanwhile, FERC moved forward two key policies that should benefit advanced energy resources. In September, FERC issued Order No. 2222, a long-awaited final rule directing RTOs/ISOs to enable aggregated distributed energy resources (DERs) to participate in wholesale markets. Such participation could provide new revenue streams for owners of onsite solar and other DERs. Development of these market rules will be a key focus for RTO/ISO stakeholders in 2021, and interested companies can engage in that process. FERC also issued a draft policy statement that, if finalized, would confirm its authority to review and approve RTO/ISO tariffs that reflect a state-set carbon price, and encouraging RTOs/ISOs to work with states to adopt such rules. While still a draft and currently limited to carbon pricing, this policy opens the door for the broader RTO/ISO reform discussions mentioned above, efforts that companies can engage in and support.

7. Electric vehicles continued to gain traction with policymakers, large companies, and consumers. As Smart Energy Decision has reported, companies like AmazonUber, and IKEA North America have all ramped up plans to electrify their fleets. State policymakers have also made significant commitments to electrification, with California  taking multiple notable actions this year. In June, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the world’s first zero-emission commercial truck requirement, the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, which requires manufacturers of trucks to sell an increasing percentage of zero-emission trucks in the state. Then, in July, the state signed onto an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), along with 15 other states and the District of Columbia, which calls for 100% of new truck and bus sales in the state to be zero-emission by 2050. Finally in September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order requiring that 100% of light-duty vehicles sold in the state be zero emission by 2035 as well as 100% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045. New York approved over $700 million in EV infrastructure spending, and regulators and legislators in Florida, New Jersey, and North Carolina all moved forward with EV policies this year. With consumers also choosing EVs at a growing rate, the focus on electrification will continue to spread, creating opportunities for companies looking to electrify their fleets in states across the country in 2021 and beyond.

8. Policymakers and companies worked to better integrate environmental justice and equity into their clean energy policy priorities. As the nation’s attention turned to issues of racial justice, and as the pandemic shone a spotlight on social and economic inequities, efforts to incorporate justice, equity, and inclusion in their sustainability policies ramped up. Announcements about procurements that prioritize community benefits, investments in environmental and social justice efforts, and new ways of evaluating and amplifying the equity and environmental justice impact of clean energy efforts by companies like Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce were mirrored by policy efforts in states like Illinois and New Jersey. This trend is one that will only become more prominent moving forward, and companies would be well served by taking a close look at how their policy engagement and clean energy procurement efforts align with the goals of equity and environmental justice advocates.

This is hardly an exhaustive list from an exhausting year, but as we look forward to 2021, these trends from 2020 should inform how and where companies choose to spend their time and resources in pursuit of the clean energy they want to power their operations.

Caitlin Marquis serves as a technical and strategic expert across multiple initiatives at AEE. She leads the regulatory and legislative engagement of the Advanced Energy Buyers Group, a coalition of leading companies that are working to expand their use of advanced energy. Caitlin also supports AEE’s engagement on wholesale markets, with a particular focus on ISO-New England, as well as AEE’s efforts on federal carbon regulation and policy. Before joining AEE, Caitlin worked at Altenex, LLC (now Edison Energy), helping companies with renewable energy procurement.

In Texas, Tesla Could Be Just the Start of Something Big

Author: Claire Alford      1/6/2021        Advance Energy Perspectives 

TX EV Supply Chain blog post image-745

Over the summer, headlines proclaimed the news that Tesla, the global leader in electric vehicles (EVs), had decided to locate its next U.S. factory in Austin. Recently, Tesla’s famed founder, Elon Musk, even announced that he would be moving to Texas himself. None of this should come as a surprise. Texas has long been a leader in energy of all sorts, including advanced energy technologies like wind and solar power, so it’s only natural to add EVs to the mix. “Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes Tesla,” said Gov. Greg Abbott in a video interview posted to Twitter. “Tesla is moving here because of the free market principles that allow it to come here and be an innovator without government dictates… Texas will be number one in energy, including clean energy.” By welcoming Tesla, Texas has earned a place at the forefront of the forthcoming electric transportation revolution – and a new analysis shows Tesla could be just the start.

This electric transportation (ET) revolution is coming due to the intrinsic benefits that EVs provide to consumers, including proven cost savings over the vehicle’s lifetime and better performance, making these vehicles an attractive option for more drivers. Traditionally many consumers have faced either sticker shock or frustration with a lack of available models. But as EVs become more affordable due to lower battery prices (battery costs have dropped nearly 90% in the last decade, from $1,100 per kilowatt-hour in 2010 to $137 in 2020), and more models arrive in showrooms, with announcements ranging from the Jaguar XJ Electric to the Ford F-150 Electric, consumers are starting to make the switch. Just in Texas, passenger EV sales – including Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles (PHEVs) – more than doubled from 2017 to 2018, when EV sales surpassed 11,700 units.

As not only consumers but municipalities, public school districts, and private-sector companies turn to EVs as fleet vehicles, there will be opportunities for new companies and new workers to join the automaking industry. A new study released by Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA) assesses the business and employment potential from the supply chain for electric transportation in Texas. This study, prepared by BW Research Partnership, found that Texas is well-positioned to benefit from the growth of ET, which could give the state’s economy a serious boost. Already in 2019, the ET sector contributed nearly $690 million to Texas Gross State Product (GSP), more than twice the economic contribution of the state’s established Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing sector.

The analysis found that over 1,200 companies currently employ more than 7,100 workers in ET-related businesses spread across 203 Texas counties. ET jobs are expected to nearly double to upwards of 13,000 workers by 2024, including those in the Tesla factory currently under construction outside of Austin. Other companies involved in ET have already taken root in the state. Peterbilt, an American truck manufacturer, began the development of zero-emission electric trucks in 2016, and now manufactures three trucks for a variety of uses. In its Denton manufacturing facility, the company has over 1,000 assembly specialists and a team of engineers building Peterbilt trucks. Just south of Dallas, Orange EV, a Missouri-based electric truck company, has plans to expand both its footprint in Texas. The company hopes to have 25 to 35 electric trucks at shipping yards and terminals in the state by the end of 2021, expanding its employee base in the state as well.

Outside of the expected boost in employment from the Tesla factory and other workers already involved in this space, the Lone Star State has a strong industrial and workforce base in segments poised to grow with ET — more than 5,000 companies and over 400,000 Texans total are currently part of industries that could readily jump into the growing ET supply chain.

To capitalize on ET and start putting Texans to work, Texas needs to be a place where consumers feel comfortable buying an EV and companies – out-of-towners like Tesla, but also homegrown Texas companies that might join this growing industry – feel confident in investing.

What would that mean? Here’s one thing not to do: HB427, filed by State Representative Ken King in November, would slap an extra registration fee of $200 and an additional renewal fee annually on Texas EV owners. This would be far more costly to an EV owner than the gas tax they would avoid, which the fees are ostensibly intended to compensate for, and it would hobble a market just starting to grow. A recent survey of current EV owners concluded that just a $100 annual registration fee on EVs would reduce sales by over 10%. A better approach would be a fee formula that takes into account the greater efficiency of EVs and is more comparable to what drivers of these vehicles would be charged if they paid the state’s gas tax.

Other legislative and regulatory actions would signal to the rest of the United States that the Lone Star State is open for EV business. Examples would be ensuring continued funding for programs, such as the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Program, which provides financial incentives for the purchase of EVs, and extending Chapter 313 tax incentives that help bring manufacturing and other economic development projects to Texas.

And on the regulatory front, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has included in its biennial report to the Legislature a recommendation that the Legislature clarify that an EV charging station is not an electric utility or retail electricity provider. Such a clarification would reduce the risk of inappropriate and unnecessary regulations impeding the growth of EV charging companies.

By pursuing these and other pro-growth EV policies, the Lone Star State can tap the growing demand for ET for a Texas-sized boost to its economy.

For a copy of TAEBA’s “Electric Transportation Supply Chain in Texas” report, click on the button below.

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TOPICS: ADVANCED TRANSPORTATIONTEXAS ADVANCED ENERGY BUSINESS ALLIANCE

Lion Electric’s journey to the NYSE, explained

Author: Jim Stinson   Published: 1/6/2021        Utility Dive

Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, are trendy, and they have been helping green truck companies go public.

Courtesy of Lion Electric

First published on

Lion Electric is one of the latest companies in the trucking space to hook up with a specialized purpose acquisition company, known on Wall Street as a SPAC, to assist with its public financing.

On Nov. 30, Northern Genesis Acquisition said it would acquire Lion Electric in a reverse merger, which means Lion Electric will be able to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “LEV.” The deal is expected to close later this quarter.

Northern Genesis “shares our vision to build the best all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles in the market,” said Brian Alexander, Lion Electric director of public relations, in an email. “Their management team has extensive expertise in M&A, renewable energy, and sustainable utility that will benefit Lion beyond the initial business combination by further accelerating the electrification of commercial vehicles globally.”

The young Canadian OEM has received orders for 300 electric commercial vehicles, including a recent order from CN for 50 Class 8 trucks, and 10 Class 6 trucks for Amazon. Lion has more than 300 buses on the road in the United States and Canada, with more than 6 million miles driven, Alexander said.

With the reverse merger, Lion Electric now plans to offer three more Class 8 models in 2021. It has seven electric bus and truck models.

Lion Electric’s move is the latest SPAC activity on the front of green trucking. The combination of SPACs with a green trucking OEM appears to be an attractive one for many investors, even after the troubles run into by Nikola, which merged with a SPAC last winter.

What is a SPAC?

SPACs help companies such as Lion Electric get listed on stock exchanges faster than an initial public offering. SPACs are usually set up for a stock exchange listing for the sole purpose of acquiring up-and-coming companies that want to offer stock. Companies such as Lion Electric and Nikola keep their names, and little changes in terms of the business.

The use of a SPAC is sometimes called a reverse merger, because an existing publicly traded company acquires a private company for the purposes of taking the private company to a stock exchange. With SPACs, often the targets, such as Lion Electric or Nikola, are eyed from the get-go. The shell company is thus designed with the target in mind.

The incoming investment is attractive. Just by joining with Northern Genesis, Lion Electric hopes to raise more than $500 million in cash.

A rendering of a Lion Electric truck for Amazon. The Canadian OEM recently received an order from Amazon for 10 Class 6 trucks.
Courtesy of Lion Electric

SPACs and green trucking OEMs

Before Lion Electric, the best example in trucking of a SPAC in transport was Nikola, which faced dual problems of investor disinterest and a pandemic. The pandemic put off plans for an IPO, known as Plan B to Nikola officials, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Nikola decided on a SPAC and found a willing suitor in VectoIQ. On March 3, Nikola agreed to merge with VectoIQ. The new company remained NASDAQ-listed under a new ticker symbol “NKLA” and began trading as on June 4.

Nikola’s subsequent problems raised questions about SPACs, and how maybe many of the green-tech companies have not been vetted by the SPACs in the vigorous manner customary of IPOs. But SPACs continue to influence the transport industry.

In June, Hyliion, an electrified powertrain company that specializes in upgrading Class 8 trucks, became a publicly traded company by merging with Tortoise Acquisition. Hyliion also makes diesel hybrid configurations.

In August, electric truck OEM Lordstown Motors announced it would merge with DiamondPeak Holdings, a SPAC. Also that month, Canoo, a maker of electric work trucks and vans, merged with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp IV, getting the company on NASDAQ.

SPAC financing appears to be a trend throughout all industries. According to Transport Dive sister publication CFO Dive, using numbers from SPACInsider.com, 172 SPAC transactions raised about $63 billion in capital as of Nov. 10, 2020, with an average deal size of $367 million. That’s up from 20 deals raising $3.9 billion in 2015, averaging $195 million.

Who is Lion?

In 2008, founder Marc Bédard started Autobus Lion, an electric bus maker. In 2011, the Canadian government helped fund Lion with a 915,000 Canadian dollar loan. In 2017, Lion Electric rebranded and announced new product lines, including electric Class 8 trucks.

Lion Electric has more than 450 employees in the United States and Canada and plans to build additional plants in the United States, Alexander said.

Its current production facility is in Saint-Jérôme, Québec, with capacity to produce up to 2,500 vehicles per year. Lion Electric has a network of service centers where its vehicles are serviced and distributed. Locations are in California, New York, Washington, Florida and Arizona, with more in development, Alexander said.

The electric vehicles are capable of reaching up to 250 miles on a single charge, Alexander said, making them ideal for last-mile and short hauls.

“We trace our success to our single-minded focus on being a leader in designing, developing and building purpose built urban electric vehicles, vehicles which are specifically designed as delivery trucks, refuse trucks, bucket trucks, moving trucks, school buses and shuttle buses,” Alexander said.

Lion has more than 300 buses on the road in the United States and Canada, with more than 6 million miles driven.
Courtesy of Nuvve Corporation

The EV market heats up

The market is suddenly hot for such possibilities. New York City and other municipalities have been buying electric garbage trucks, and a new presidential administration led by President-elect Joe Biden (with his pick for Transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, if confirmed by the Senate) is likely to push OEMs toward battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles.

Five years ago, selling battery-electric trucks would have been tough to do, according to Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency. Trucks are heavy, and batteries would require too much weight, Roeth said.

“The future is bright for electrics.”

Mike Roeth

Executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency

Now, Roeth is a believer, as he watches the industry improve BEV technology. Still, makers of BEVs and FCEVs will continue to have competition from diesel OEMs as well as innovators. Roeth said companies such as Hyliion are trying to improve efficiency for trucks by making hybrid diesel-electric models.

Hyliion also makes a model that uses natural gas to generate electricity as a fuel source for the truck. Nevertheless, Roeth said he believes electric models will be competitive in the industry.

“Diesel truck [OEMs] are not standing still,” said Roeth. “But the future is bright for electrics.”

USDA has announced their next deadline for rural commercial REAP grant applications: March 31, 2021.

Author: USDA          1/4/2021           USDA

Ballast system at Mama’s Cookies, a small factory in Pennsylvania.
$15,000 grant ($60,000 project) secured through Lightshed’s Grant Writing Service.
USDA has announced their next deadline for rural commercial REAP grant applications: March 31, 2021.

Some key changes have been made to how the program will run and how projects will be scored this year. You’re invited to a short Zoom webinar that will discuss these changes.

The webinar will also cover the basics of what the USDA-REAP grant is and how it can help fund renewable energy projects for any eligible rural small business (not just farms). We’ll discuss eligibility, how the application process fits into your project schedule, and how Lightshed Consulting helps their applicants achieve the maximum score on an application. You’ll come away with a clear, simplified understanding of how to make use of the program.

REAP Grants Quick Webinar
Thursday, January 7th, 2021

2:00pm EST
20-30 minutes, with Q&A to follow
Register Here

A recording will be made available afterward for those registered who are unable to attend.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday time,

Alex Arnold
Energy Grant Writer
Lightshed Consulting // Marshall, NC
Tel: (828) 649-5101

Black Billionaire, Robert F. Smith, Launches School Based on HBCU Principles

Author:  Will Moss           1/4/2021            HBCU Connect

 

Black Billionaire, Robert F. Smith, Launches School Based on HBCU Principles

A new high school in the Montbello neighborhood in Denver, Colorado is the creation of Denver-native and East High School graduate, Robert F. Smith. The Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy will embrace science, technology, engineering, arts and math. It’s founded on the principles of historically Black colleges and universities.

“When I think about what it took to create the STEAM academy, it occurs to me it wasn’t actually about starting a school. It was about building a village,” said Smith.

The school’s principal and HBCU graduate, Shakira Abney-Wisdom, hopes students will experience the same sense of community that she felt at Florida A&M University.

“From the time I was in pre-K through graduate school I went to predominantly white institutions. Just stepping on the campus at A&M, it felt like I belonged, just seeing students who looked like me, professors who looked like me. It’s something that’s difficult to articulate if you haven’t experienced it, but it’s just that sense of community and family,” said Abney-Wisdom.

According to Denver Public School, the STEAM Academy is grounded in three central components; Blackness, inclusion and interdisciplinary focus.

This high school experience will honor students’ history, individuality and cultural experiences.

“We get excited about the places where we belong. When we feel that me matter in space and what we bring is valuable, we show up as our full selves. That’s the piece for me that’s so important. It shows up in engagement and course performance,” said Abney-Wisdom.

She says that sense of community and belonging can make all the difference in a student’s school experience. HBCUs offer all
students, regardless of race, a chance to develop their skills. According to DPS, students of color feel more at home and perform better in schools where they feel supported and safe. Black representation is missing from many classrooms and many workplaces.

“The demographics of people who make up the majority of the STEM professions are not people of color. HBCUs are the number one producers of black professionals in STEM fields. The hope is that the access piece would give students the opportunity to test out and see if they want to be an engineer, or researcher or scientist,” said Abney-Wisdom.

The Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy will begin enrolling its founding class during the 2020-21 school year. Rising 9th graders can enroll during SchoolChoice Round 1, which will begin in January 2021.

The founding class will start in August 2021 for the 2021-22 school year.
If you enjoyed this article, Join HBCU CONNECT today for similar content and opportunities via email!

2nd Round of Stimulus Payments Has Begun

Author: WI Web Staff                   12/3o/2020            Washington Informer

Courtesy of fbi.gov

The second round of coronavirus economic relief payments has begun, with paper checks being mailed out starting Wednesday, the Treasury Department said.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tweeted late Tuesday that the department “has delivered a payment file to the Federal Reserve for Americans’ Economic Impact Payments.”

“These payments may begin to arrive in some accounts by direct deposit as early as tonight and will continue into next week,” Mnuchin said.

A $600 direct payment has been slated for individuals who earned up to $75,000 last year, while couples that earned up to $150,000 and filed jointly would receive $1,200. Those with children will also receive an additional $600 for each qualifying child younger than 17.

To check payment status in the coming days, go to http://IRS.gov/GetMyPayment.

Maryland Lawmakers to Reintroduce $577 Million Bill to Settle Federal HBCU Discrimination Lawsuit

Author: Jarrett Carter Sr.            12/11/2020           HBCU Digest

 

 

CEO, Dr. Lilia Abron, P.E., BCEE receives the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer, as an inductee of the National Academy of Engineers Class of 2020

PEER-NAE-Induction-Invite (1

2020 NAE Annual Meeting

ribbon-cutting_1.jpgPEER Celebrates Earth Day with Mayor Bowser, DC DGS, and the On-Site Solar Project Team Recognizing One of the Most Powerful Solar Systems in City & Nation

On Tuesday, April 17, Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off “Earth Week DC” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at HD Woodson High School in DC to celebrate the launch of one of the largest on-site solar projects in the country.

PEER Consultants, P.C. (PEER) is the managing partner of the DC Solar Joint Venture selected by the District of Columbia Department of General Services (DGS) to develop, install, own and operate solar facilities on various municipal sites. The project now consists of 20 facilities and 2 MW of capacity.  The fourteen (14) government-owned sites that were initially designated for this project are reaching completion.

PEER led the overall development effort – including securing financing through the sale of the systems upon completion – to Standard Solar Inc. and assigning the Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA). PEER also managed the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract with our joint venture partner, Solar Park USA. PEER provided engineering design services for all the sites and secured all required municipal and utility permits. PEER provided engineering services during construction and developed O&M manuals and provided training to facility managers at each site as well as Standard Solar staff.

This project is part of the school modernization program where solar panels are installed and connected behind the electricity meter. This results in a reduction on the electricity bills for the schools, saving the schools money, and making room in the budget to add solar PV and renewable energy generation educational workshops/courses to the curriculum.

Through this project, PEER and the members of the DC Solar JV team are directly supporting
Clean Energy DC and the District’s goal of becoming the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the nation. Clean Energy DC is the District’s plan to shift towards clean energy (like wind and solar power) to cut pollution, save money, and create jobs. Similar to what the plan proposes, the intent and results of the On-Site Solar Power Purchasing Agreement that PEER and the DC Solar JV have been working on, is helping to achieve the goal of installing significantly more local solar power, along with systems to share energy in the respective neighborhoods.

When asked about her efforts in this project, Dr. Lilia Abron, P.E., managing partner of DC Solar (a JV) said she “commends this project and the District for demonstrating a true commitment to the vision and implementation of modernized and sustainable energy delivery systems for present and future generations to enjoy.” She goes on further to say that “we (PEER) are proud to be a leading member of the project team for this contract and we look forward to continuing to work directly with District agencies in the future to support the clean energy goals, initiatives, and efforts.”

One of the most valuable elements of this project is that the services are being provided mainly using the skills of local staff. In addition, it has expanded upon the capabilities of the diverse workforce within the emerging renewable energy marketplace. It has provided the opportunity for newly trained staff to work on their first solar project. Over two-thirds of this project as a whole is performed by local District-based Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs), some with little or no prior solar experience. More specifically, the installation subcontractors are all local CBE-certified.

The National Association of Blacks in Solar (NABS) Membership Opportunity

Authors: Ronald Bethea and Will Shirley       1/10/2021         NABS

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKS IN SOLAR

T/A Blacks in Solar

1105 W Street SE Washington, D.C. 20020   Phone 202.506.7586

PRESS RELEASE

The Platform presented herein is in response to 5 years of solar industry research and data analysis Compiled by the POSITIVE CHANGE PURCHASING COOPERATIVE LLC of Takoma Park Maryland 20912

Founding/Charter Members

PEER Consultants, P.C.

 

 

 

 

From: Ronald K. Bethea: President of PCPC LLC and NABS Contact: 202-246-4924: www.positivechangepc.com

TO: Media RE: The National Association of Blacks In Solar 2020 – 2021 National Platform Calling For A Green Economic Development Plan for Black America

Washington DC — The National Association of Blacks in Solar (NASB) is soliciting your company’s input regarding market conditions in your market segment and is also requesting that members of the Congressional Black Caucus host an Executive Congressional Hearing on a Green Economic Development Plan for Black America developed by NABS. The hearing will include members of the CBC who serve on oversight committees that play key roles in climate change and renewable energy. In the first quarter of the new year, 2021, NABS will be developing a national solar-based economic development plan to combat climate change for African American communities nationally. The purpose of calling for A Green Economic Development Plan for Black America is as follows:

· Establishment of a process for evaluating social, political, economic environments priorities in the development of an individualized long-term solar strategy for HBCUs, Black banks, Black churches, Black municipalities, Black county governments, Black businesses, Black non-profits. and demanding that the Biden Administration invest 35% of the $1.7 trillion that his administration plans to invest in clean energy over his first four years to combat climate change.

· Community engagement over the last 12 years to educate the African American community about climate change and the solar industry with its many benefits has been a major problem. Because getting the solar industry, city, state and  federal government to invest advertising dollars with African American owned media to educate African American communities  has been a major issue nationally. The NABS will be solicitating funding from the public and private sectors to pay for syndication and broadcasting costs with the Urban One Radio Network of radio programs such as “Solar Now and the Future With its Economic Impact on Black America.” The program educates the black community locally and nationally about the economic impacts of climate change and provides environmental education to the black community. Through syndication, the program will be heard in 76 markets nationally, which will help drive public opinion in reaching our stated goals.

· Targeting African American-owned institutions, including HBCUs, black-owned banks, businesses, churches, farmers, and property owners, along with targeted funding for African American-owned commercial and residential units nationally through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The Biden administration is planning to implement these resources over his first term.

· Requesting full funding for a national HBCU Five-Year Green Economic Development Sustainability Plan developed by the Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative, LLC. and PEER Consultants, led by their CEO, Dr. Lilia Abron, P.E., BCEE receives the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer, as an inductee of the National Academy of Engineers Class of 2020

The plan also includes:

A. Increasing the market share for African American solar design, installation, and work force development companies. The NASB will work on public policy issues with stakeholders from the public and private sectors such as the following:

1. African American Mayors Association

2. Public service commissions and black members of those PSC Commissions, nationally

3. Black state legislative caucuses and their members, nationally

4. Black city council members, county commissioners, nationally

5. Other non-profit organizations advocating for equity for African American communities in the solar industry.

B. Using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) as a national organizing tool to cut energy costs for black-owned businesses and residential properties, nationally and to negotiate with Chain Store Franchisers on Solar for Black Franchisees.

C. Using the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to African American agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficient improvements.

D. Negotiating a position with major corporations to serve as off takers for NABS Member Projects on their books.

E. Open negotiation with the U.S. DOE Solar Training Network to establish a National Solar STEM Program, as well as establishing Solar Job Training Centers at Selected HBCUs and other locations around the country.

F. Open Negotiation with training platform owners to standardize solar job training in the black community nationwide through NABS members and partnerships..

G. Achieving a National Solar Consultancy for black Institutions, municipalities, counties, and communities

H. Creating a legal department that will work to develop public policy to work with other associations in pursuit of solar policies beneficial to African American and other communities of color nationally

I. Helping to establish offices of sustainability at all our HBCUs that need them.

J. Targeting all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to become NABCEP continuing education certificate training providers through their continuing education and workforce development programs working in conjunction with African American owned solar companies to provide online training in their local area marketplaces for interested candidates.

K. Encouraging HBCUs with workforce development programs to work in conjunction with local solar companies in their market laces to help them develop apprenticeship training programs for individuals successful in completing the NABCEP continuing education or work development training programs.

L. Encouraging HBCUs with Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to help identify students majoring in business administration at HBCUs to assist local solar companies in writing proposals targeting local and federal grants to develop training programs, reducing the time and resources needed for smaller solar companies in their marketplace to complete the application process for grants.

M. Encouraging HBCUs to enter into more public/private partnerships with solar companies and private investment companies to set up more solar farms on African American-owned farmlands and HBCU campuses nationally.

We are coming together to establish a budget for funding these initiatives from the Biden Administration to target assistance for your companies in the form of program assistance that will help bolster the solar marketplace in your solar market demographics and create greater opportunity for your company.

It is extremely important that you submit to us any inequities that exist in your marketplace that restrict your company’s growth going forward into 2021.

With your input, we can design solar program options that will help your company gain more solar contracts, increase solar job training in your communities, leverage your expertise in the deliverance of solar farm development for HBCUs in your market segments.

Based on five years of research and data collection, Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative LLC has discovered numerous discrepancies in the solar industry when it comes to black-owned solar companies achieving an equitable level of solar contracting. With your support and input, we can deliver a budget to President Biden Administration that relieves Black-owned solar companies of the unfair practices in the solar industry. The budget will also deliver to Black America the very first national plan that will accomplish the following:

A. Increase solar job training in our African American communities, nationally.

B. Help in the designing of solar programs that assist Black-owned solar companies in delivering solar power to Black municipalities, counties, towns, and businesses nationwide.

C. Create an incentive for HBCUs to enter into public -private partnerships with African American owned solar companies to build large scale solar farms to offset their energy costs after salaries, as their number two fixed cost.

D. Provide assistance to your company in securing a place in the growth metrics that other solar companies are poised to take advantage of beginning next year as the Biden Administration rolls out investment plans to combat climate change.

NABS has formed a national organization working specifically to help our African American-owned solar companies gain a market share by funding a “Green Economic Development Plan for Black America.”

Here’s how you can get on board with the process. The National Association of Blacks in Solar will offer you a complementary 1-year membership if you are able to complete the attached short survey of your company’s needs relative to expanding your participation in the solar market, especially in the Black community.

Once you complete the survey of your needs to better compete in the marketplace, we must work together to ensure your concerns are heard and acted upon in the coming years. After you complete the survey, we will email to all of you the final version of the 2021 National Policy Platform of the National Association of Blacks

in Solar. After receiving your responses, we will be setting up a national zoom call in early January 2021.

Ronald K. Bethea

Regards,

Ron Bethea, President, National Association of Blacks in Solar and President/CEO, Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative LLC: contact: Cell: (202) 246-4921: email: info@positivechangepc.com

Will R. Shirley, Vice-President, National Association of Blacks in Solar

President/CEO, Sundial Solar Power Developers, Inc. License #: 19590-SC

 

Complete the survey

 

DON’T BE LEFT OUT OF THE BIDEN GREEN ECONOMY PLAN!!

With your help The National Association of Blacks in Solar will achieve historic solar policy changes that will support African American -owned solar companies nationwide.
Please respond Yes or No in Comments Section Below.

1. Is your company facing problems gaining significant market share in your market demographics, because of the lack of public policy to address the following:

  • Renewable Portfolio Standards Legislation (RPS)
  • Net Metering & Rates
  •  Low-income Solar Access
  •  Community (Shared) Solar
  •  Incentives & Market Drivers
  •  Building a Modern Grid

2. Are you located in a regulated or deregulated market area? .

3. If your company operating in a deregulated market area, has your local PSC passed legislation that sets forth the required annual compliance reporting to the commission for electricity suppliers to demonstrate compliance with the applicable RPS, including acquisition of the number of RECs?

4. Is there a requirement that sets forth an alternative compliance fee amount that your suppliers must pay to your local DOE, if it has not complied with annual RPS and allows those fees to be passed on to their customers?

5. Has your local DOE put forth legislation to your local PSC for funding a Green Bank for financing funding solar projects in your market area?

6. Are you having problems locating off takers for large Mega Watt projects for which you are presently attempting to secure financing?

7. Has the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program been implemented commercial or residential by your local government in your market demographics?

8. Have you applied on behalf of a client and was your company approved?

9. Does your market demographics qualify for the Rural Energy for America Program Renewal Energy System & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants program?

10. Have you applied on behalf of a client and was your company approved?

12. Has your company had problems in delivering solar services to your local governments?

11. Has your company had problems serving your local school districts or HBCUs in your market demographics?

12. Who is pushing public policy in your market demographics and is your company participating in structuring local solar policy that will help your company and your community?

13. Have local solar initiatives for low-and moderate-income residents and homeowners been launched in your market demographics?

14. Are you aware of the fact in 1976 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) vs Federal Commission 425, US 662 1976 (“FPC,” FERC’s predecessor?

 

Education Materials for Professional Organizations Working on Efficiency and Renewable Energy Developments (EMPOWERED)

Author: Solar Energy Technologies Office    12/22/2020          DOE

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded approximately $6 million to five organizations that will develop training programs for emergency responders, building managers and owners, and other officials interacting with solar energy and storage systems, alternative-fuel vehicles and their chargers, and energy-efficient building technologies.

Led by or working with professional associations, work done through these projects could educate hundreds of thousands of U.S. safety and building workers. These professionals are at the front lines as more solar systems are built, more vehicles run on batteries and nontraditional fuels, and more buildings become “smarter” and more energy-efficient. A well-trained workforce familiar with clean energy will improve safety, expedite permitting, reduce liability and insurance costs, and increase consumer confidence.

“As advanced energy technologies are built across America, firefighters, building managers, mechanics, and other workers have new job responsibilities,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). “These projects will help them work with new energy technologies safely and effectively.”

The Educational Materials for Professional Organizations Working on Efficiency and Renewable Energy Developments (EMPOWERED) funding program will create training for two groups: first responders, and building managers, owners, and code officials.

There are over 300,000 firefighters in the United States; according to the U.S. Fire Administration, they respond to over 1 million fires every year, often facing complex electrical equipment and combustible materials in buildings and vehicles. These projects will develop the tools necessary to ensure they can respond to these emergencies effectively:

  • National Fire Protection Association: $1 million. With Argonne National Laboratory and other partners, the association will develop a suite of training tools, including a multiplayer serious gaming platform with several energy-related incidents at each scene.
  • International Association of Fire Fighters: $1.4 million. To obtain information to develop training programs, this project team will test installed residential energy storage systems at Underwriters Laboratory to understand what happens when batteries fail and pose risks to emergency responders.

Building managers, owners, and code officials must ensure that any new efficiency, storage, solar, or electric vehicle technology meets all relevant local codes and regulations and ensures the safety and comfort of the people who live and work there. Those without access to accurate information or who are unfamiliar with new technologies may prevent adoption or increase the costs associated with it. These projects will develop new training materials to reduce the costs associated with and the delays caused by “red tape”:

  • Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC): $2.1 million. Building upon its existing training website, IREC will introduce educational materials and resources on clean energy codes, standards, permitting, and inspection for building managers, owners, and officials interacting with solar energy and storage systems.
  • Southface Energy Institute: $750,000. In partnership with the American Institute of Architects, Energy & Environmental Building Alliance, International Code Council, and others, this project team will create educational programming and resources that can be tailored to different markets and jurisdictions.
  • New Buildings Institute: $500,000. This project team will work with the U.S. Energy Storage Association and others to develop guides and education modules to streamline the design, permitting, inspections, and maintenance of solar, storage, and electric-vehicle charging stations for single- and multifamily homes and offices.

Addressing these challenges now will enable these professionals to prepare for the future. Solar-plus-storage accounted for 4% of distributed solar energy systems in 2019 and is expected to grow to 26% by 2025. The market for smart and connected devices in buildings is growing 20% every year. Electric and hybrid electric vehicles could account for 7.5% of new light vehicle sales by 2025, according to the Energy Information Administration.

EMPOWERED is a collaborative effort across EERE’s Solar Energy Technologies OfficeBuilding Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office.

Learn more about the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

N.C. A&T receives yet another seven-figure donation

Author: John Newson       12/9/2020         News & Record\

NCAT Engineering Research and Innovation Complex

NC A&T Receives Yet Another Seven-Figure Donation

N.C. A&T on Wednesday landed its fourth seven-figure donation in the past four months. The university’s latest gift of $3 million comes from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Virginia-based electricity and natural gas provider.

A&T said it will use some of the money to provide four-year scholarships to incoming undergraduate students who want to study engineering or computer science at the university. Another portion of the donation will go toward improving student retention and graduation rates among undergraduates in A&T’s electrical and computer engineering departments and helping some students from these programs go on to graduate school.

To read more about NC A&T, click here.

Stimulus deal includes raft of provisions to fight climate change

Authors:  Sarah Kaplan and Dino Grandoni   12/21/2020   Washington Post

In one of the biggest victories for U.S. climate action in a decade, Congress has moved to phase out a class of potent planet-warming chemicals and provide billions of dollars for renewable energy and efforts to suck carbon from the atmosphere as part of the $900 billion coronavirus relief package.

The legislation, which Congress approved moments before midnight Monday, wraps together several bills with bipartisan backing and support from an unusual coalition of environmentalists and industry groups.

It will cut the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemicals used in air conditioners and refrigerators that are hundreds of times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide. It authorizes a sweeping set of new renewable energy measures, including tax credit extensions and new research and development programs for solar, wind and energy storage; funding for energy efficiency projects; upgrades to the electric grid and a new commitment to research on removing carbon from the atmosphere. And it reauthorizes an Environmental Protection Agency program to curb emissions from diesel engines.

The legislation also includes key language on the “sense of Congress” that the Energy Department must prioritize funding for research to power the United States with 100 percent “clean, renewable, or zero-emission energy sources” — a rare declaration that the nation should be striving toward net-zero carbon emissions.

“This is perhaps the most significant climate legislation Congress has ever passed,” said Grant Carlisle, a senior policy adviser at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The HFC measure, which empowers the EPA to cut the production and use of HFCs by 85 percent over the next 15 years, is expected to save as much as half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century. Scientists say the world needs to constrain the increase in the average global temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial times to avoid catastrophic, irreversible damage to the planet. Some places around the globe are already experiencing an average temperature rise beyond that threshold.

Advocates say the $35 billion of new funding for renewable technology and energy efficiency in the legislation will also help reduce pollution that is driving global warming and provide a much-needed boost to federal energy programs that haven’t been updated since 2007.

“It doesn’t have regulations or mandates in it,” Sasha Mackler, director of the energy project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said of the energy package. “But from the bottom up it’s advancing the technology that’s needed. … This is definitely a bill that creates the enabling conditions for decarbonization.”

Support among lawmakers for the package suggests that tax incentives and research funding may be a rare area of common ground between two parties that have been divided on climate change.

Despite President Trump’s numerous efforts to roll back climate regulations, leading Republicans backed the package, which has been a top priority for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) for years. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) helped craft the bipartisan agreement to scale down polluting refrigerants.
“These measures will protect our air while keeping costs down for the American people,” Barrasso, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement Monday.

Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), an ally of President-elect Joe Biden and co-sponsor of the HFC provision, called it “a watershed moment” that bodes well for lawmakers interested in working with the incoming administration on climate change.

“The debate on whether climate change is real is over. It is real. It’s not getting better,” Carper said in a recent interview. “Our Republican colleagues, they get it, for the most part.”

The agreement comes on the heels of a major United Nations climate report, which found that nations’ current plans to reduce greenhouse gasses are just one-fifth of what’s needed to avoid catastrophic warming.

If leaders invest heavily in green infrastructure and renewable energy as part of coronavirus stimulus spending, the world could trim as much as 25 percent from its expected 2030 emissions, the U.N. report said.

Democrats and environmental groups say the legislation is not quite the sweeping “green stimulus” that’s needed. Though it meets Biden’s call to extend tax incentives for solar and wind generation and provide more money for clean energy research, it falls short of his requests for aggressive subsidies for electric vehicles and new requirements that utilities eliminate their contributions to global warming by 2035.

It also excludes a provision from earlier versions of the bill that would have set voluntary standards for energy efficiency in buildings — something that could significantly curb emissions from cities.
“Let’s be clear: Are these provisions enough to meet the demands of the science? No,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y). “But are they a significant step in the right direction? Yes.”

The HFC rule lays the groundwork for the United States to sign onto the Kigali Amendment, an international agreement in which more than 100 nations committed to replacing the chemicals with refrigerants that have a smaller climate impact. Signed in the final days of the Obama administration, the treaty was never submitted by Trump for ratification by the Senate. By voting to curb the climate pollutant now, Congress has eased the path for approval once Biden takes office.

Included in the energy package are roughly $4 billion for solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal research and development; $1.7 billion to help low-income families install renewable energy sources in their homes; $2.6 billion for the Energy Department’s sustainable transportation program; and $500 million for research on reducing industrial emissions.
It also authorizes $2.9 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a program that funds high-risk, high-reward research and that Trump has sought to eliminate multiple times.

The increased funding is expected to make emerging clean-energy technology cheaper and more widespread. This is especially significant for ideas that have proved effective but are struggling to make the jump to commercial viability.

“This is an opportunity to not only make significant advances in climate action and reducing HFCs, but to help maintain leadership of U.S. technology and our competitiveness in that global market,” said Marty Durbin, an energy lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest corporate lobbying group in Washington.

In a boon for renewable energy companies, Congress extended tax credits for wind and solar and introduced a new credit for offshore wind projects, which Heather Zichal, chief executive of the American Clean Power Association, called “America’s largest untapped clean energy source.” One Department of Energy analysis suggested that developing just 4 percent of the total U.S. offshore wind capacity could power some 25 million homes and reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by almost 2 percent.

But many green groups were critical of provisions dedicating more than $6 billion to efforts to remove carbon from the air and store it, as well as funding for enhanced oil recovery projects, which reuse carbon dioxide to flush residual oil from existing wells.
“It just perpetuates the fossil fuel system,” said Jean Su, an attorney and director of the energy justice program at the Center for Biological Diversity. “If you pass something like this, you’re not doing the best we can do in terms of transforming our energy system.”

Others see carbon capture as a necessary tool for mitigating emissions from sources that aren’t easily decarbonized, such as air travel. The bill directs the energy secretary to estimate “the magnitude of excess carbon dioxide” that needs to be removed from the air to stabilize the climate.

The legislation includes more than $11 billion for nuclear energy — a zero-emission energy source that nonetheless poses other environmental risks.

“It’s not something necessarily we would have written,” said Toby Short, vice president of federal affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund. But he thinks the investments in renewables outweigh the negatives. “You can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” he added.