Beating China at the lithium game — can the US secure supplies to meet its renewables targets?

Author: Teague Egan    Published: 2/18/2020       Utility Dive

Credit: Green Charge Networks

The following is a contributed article by Teague Egan, founder, CEO and product architect of EnergyX.

We have all been witness to the meteoric rise of Tesla’s stock price since the beginning of the year. With a market capitalization now worth significantly more than Ford and GM combined, the electric vehicle producer and battery maker is showing us the way to a sustainable energy future.

Others are following in Tesla’s footsteps. GM has recently announced a $2.3 billion joint venture battery factory, in partnership with LG Chem, to produce cells for 20 new electric vehicles the company plans to introduce globally by 2023. Ford has announced plans for several all-electric vehicles including its widely popular F-150. The future is upon us, but a few obstacles remain in our path.

A major component for both electric vehicles (EVs) and large-scale battery storage for renewable energy production, lithium is set to play a key role in the renewable energy revolution. Both EVs and such energy storage rely on lithium as an absolutely essential, non-replaceable component of the battery, making the metal one of the most sought after resources on the energy market. People are already calling lithium “white petroleum“, and I am convinced over the coming decades it will replace oil and gas as the most important natural resource in the world; the backbone to our energy infrastructure.

Demand for battery energy storage is expected to grow exponentially over the next 10-20 years and beyond, underpinned by increasing awareness of the need to limit fossil fuel usage. As a result, lithium demand in 2018 of 270,000 metric tons of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) is expected to reach more than 1,000,000 metric tons of LCE by 2025, with some estimates as high as 1.5 million.

As the importance of lithium-ion batteries grows for residential, commercial and military use, the criticality of establishing and expanding domestic sources of lithium is an important national security issue. However today, the U.S. contributes less than 2% of world supply of lithium even though it holds 17% of global lithium reserves. U.S. lithium production has historically been hampered by the relatively low concentration of lithium in U.S. brines, and lack of new technology available to economically extract it.

Resource market

The lack of U.S. domestic lithium production is a critical issue. With production roughly split between hard rock mining and extraction from lithium concentrated brines sources, the vast amount of brines come from sources in Chile and Argentina. However, the world’s largest reserve lies in the high mountain deserts of Bolivia. I remember the first time I stepped foot onto Salar de Uyuni, a jaw dropping, 4,000 square mile, national treasure as white as a polar bear. An ocean of lithium lay below the salt crust, just waiting to be utilized in the electric vehicles around the world.

While over 50% of the entire world’s reserves can be found in the Lithium Triangle (the brines located in Chile, Bolivia and Argentina), securing access to these reserves and production is highly dependent on the constantly changing geopolitical landscape in the region. Bolivia recently overthrew its government in a coup, ousting President Evo Morales in a bid to accelerate commercial lithium production. The country has been battling internally for 12 year trying to unlock its white petroleum. In December 2019, Chile was forced to cancel COP25, the United Nations climate conference, due to nationwide labor protests, and riots in the capital city of Santiago. Meanwhile, Argentina has been suffering from extreme levels of inflation and other political and economic struggles for years.

China is a critical player, too.

In its Energy Resource Governance Initiative, the U.S. State Department notes that: “over 80% of the global supply chain of rare earth elements, important minerals for electric vehicles and wind turbine components, is controlled by one country.” China has been supporting lithium and copper mining operations globally, and has had a hand in funding new nickel mines, as it seeks to satisfy its demand for EVs.

In December 2018, Tianqi, a Chinese manufacturing company, bought a 23.8% share in Chilean-based SQM, the world’s second largest lithium producer, from Canadian fertilizer company Nutrien for $4.1 billion, the largest deal in history for a lithium asset. Moves like this are further solidifying China’s dominance on the sector. Already, the global leader in sales and production of electric vehicles, Beijing’s mining and manufacturing prowess has left Washington behind.

China controls 51% of the global total of chemical lithium, 62% of chemical cobalt and 100% of spherical graphite — the major components of lithium-ion batteries. The United States is at risk of missing out on its renewable targets and needs to secure lithium deposits to help drive its renewable and sustainable development industries.

The Trump administration has vastly increased traditional fossil fuel production as it also has championed so-called ‘clean-coal’ and natural gas, while Beijing’s dominance in the renewable energy and electric vehicle markets has led to a quiet transition in industry priorities. Far from reducing fossil fuel subsidies or moving away from coal-powered energy generation, the State Department is looking for a way to limit China’s dominance on renewable energy. The U.S. is missing the boat.

This means that the Trump administration will have to invest in a market it has repeatedly spurned. Following in the steps of China and the European Union, in 2017, the United States cited the economy and national security as it directed scientists to find a new source of lithium within the nation’s borders. “Global investment in mineral-intensive renewable power generation and battery storage technologies continues to outpace investment in fossil fuel power generation by over 100 percent annually,” the State Department posited last June as it explained that it is seeking to “promote integrated and resilient supply chains.”


In a move that echoes the State Department’s initiative, Tesla’s Elon Musk recently announced that the company will foray into lithium mining to secure its own resource. The leading American company driving U.S. interests in the lithium-ion battery supply chain, Tesla has massive factories in both California and Nevada. These are strategically located in close proximity to lithium reserves in the Salton Sea, CA and Silver Peak, Nevada, where Albemarle (the top lithium producer) has operations, and only 400 miles from the Great Salt Lake, Utah, where Cargill operates high lithium concentrated salt production.

Tesla is not just the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer but also a leading innovator in battery technology and the supply chain associated therewith. The company has long promoted electric vehicles and sustainable engineering, with its large-scale battery in South Australia also changing how nations view renewable energy storage.

While Tesla has been leading the private sector, federal departments have also been working towards improving the United States’ position as a major force in the global lithium market. In January, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced several new initiatives: “The Department of Energy (DOE) will leverage the power of competition and the resources of the private sector, universities, and the National Laboratories to develop innovative recycling technologies, which will bolster economic growth, strengthen our energy security, and improve the environment.”

Race for lithium

America can do better! We are not followers; we do not wait for others to take the lead, and we are not going to wait on the sidelines of the most important global transition of the century. From the Industrial Revolution to the Space Race, competition between the United States and other major powers has always driven innovation.

A quiet transition away from the Trump Administration’s stance on energy will help the U.S. build a strong foundation to compete internationally. China’s lead in the electric vehicle and renewable energy markets, as well as its dominance throughout the production chain, have created a sense of urgency in the U.S.

To meet its renewables targets, the U.S. needs to secure its lithium supplies or find a different way to compete with Beijing’s mining and manufacturing prowess. The State Department’s initiative and actions from Tesla and the Department of Energy show that Washington is serious about competing in global markets.

With the new energy race heating up, several companies are looking to develop what’s being dubbed “direct lithium extraction” technologies that can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of lithium production.

Production from brine takes an average of 18 months with recovery rates as low as 30%. Furthermore, many lithium deposits are located in hard to reach areas, and conventional methods are impractical due to geographical terrain, lower than optimal concentrations, or external elements such as weather. Direct lithium extraction is the answer the U.S. is looking for to catch the Chinese in this ever important rivalry, and in the near future, we will become self-reliable on white petroleum.


Jeff Bezos commits $10B to climate. How should he spend it?

Author: Catherine Morehouse    Published: 2/19/202 0        Utility Dive

Credit: Getty Images

Billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder, president and CEO of e-commerce company Amazon, on Monday announced his commitment to providing $10 billion toward fighting climate change.

Specifics of the plan were sparse — in his Instagram post announcing the funding, he said the Bezos Earth Fund will provide funding for “scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.” He’ll begin issuing grants this summer and said the $10 billion is “to start,” but doesn’t specify how much more he plans to spend or over what time period.

Some speculate the billionaire’s move was timed to deflect attention from FRONTLINE’s release of a documentary that includes criticisms of his technology empire’s carbon footprint and rising pressure from the company’s employees about not doing enough on climate change.

“Clearly this was done quickly … he’s not fleshed out how exactly he wants to spend the money at the moment, it seems it’s going to anybody and everybody,” Aseem Prakash, political science professor at the University of Washington and founding director of the school’s Center for Environmental Politics told Utility Dive.

Despite the uncertainties, it’s clear to most observers that the funding could have huge impacts for fighting climate change.

“It dwarfs other philanthropy in this realm,” Robert Stavins, professor of energy and economic development at Harvard and director of the university’s environmental economics program told Utility Dive. “It sort of rises to the level of government actions in the climate policy or climate realm. So it’s potentially very significant.”

Michael Bloomberg launched a $500 million Beyond Carbon campaign, the largest coordinated climate change plan in the U.S. at the time, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies. The former New York mayor also launched Beyond Coal in 2011, and has invested $100 million since then on the campaign, which credits itself for the early retirement of over half the country’s coal fleet. Bezos and Bill Gates in 2016 also set up a $1 billion venture capital fund to invest in energy startups committed to reducing carbon emissions.

In sum, $10 billion could go a long way.

“It’s an insane scale-up of all the [climate] funding and I think it [is] a genuine question about how is this going to get spent?” Leah Stokes, assistant professor of energy and environmental politics and the University of California, Santa Barbara, told Utility Dive.

How should he spend it?

Some say the funding would be best spent on emerging technologies and scientific research, while others argue targeting policy and advocacy campaigns are the best use of $10 billion. Others say a healthy hybrid is best.

An unwise way to spend the money would be to make repeat investments in climate action that already has funding, thereby freeing up those investments to be spent somewhere else, said Stavins.

ChargePoint commits $1B to expand EV charging as Ocasio-Cortez, others unveil bills for a national network

Author: Robert Walton            Published: 2/10/2020           Utility Dive

Credit: CARB Mid Term Report

Dive Brief:

What is ISO 14001?

Author: International Organization for Standardization  Published: 2/18/2020

The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and decided to create a new international organization ‘to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards’. On 23 February 1947 the new organization, ISO, officially began operations.

Since then, we have published over 23019 International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and manufacturing.

Today we have members from 164 countries and 781 technical committees and subcommittees to take care of standards development. More than 160 people work for ISO’s Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.

To find out more about the history of ISO, see our timeline.


ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 164 national standards bodies.

Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

You’ll find our Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. Learn more about our structure and how we are governed.


International Organization for Standardization
ISO Central Secretariat
Chemin de Blandonnet 8
CP 401 – 1214 Vernier, Geneva, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 22 749 01 11
Fax: +41 22 733 34 30

International Standards make things work. They give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. They are instrumental in facilitating international trade.

ISO has published 23019 International Standards and related documents, covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare. ISO International Standards impact everyone, everywhere.

Learn more about standards and what they can do for you

What ISO Standards can do for you

spread sheet data show on tablet illuminated with light
Our key achievements in figures at a single glance

ISO doesn’t provide certification or conformity assessment. You’ll need to contact an external certification body for that. Read more about certification and how to find a certification body.


Ameren’s hourly pricing program could reduce EV charging costs almost 90%, study finds

Author: Robert Walton       Published: 2/11/2020    Utility Dive

redit: Flickr; National Renewable Energy Lab

Dive Brief:

  • A new analysis from Illinois consumer advocate group Citizens Utility Board (CUB) concludes Ameren customers with an electric vehicle (EV) could reduce annual charging costs by almost 90% through the utility’s Power Smart Pricing rate.
  • The dynamic rate offering is based on day-ahead prices in the Midcontinent ISO, and is open to all of Ameren’s residential customers. CUB’s analysis shows potential savings may be most significant for EV owners.
  • The report examined 2018 rates and concluded potential savings for EV owners ranged from $54 to $379 in that year, compared with paying the utility’s traditional electric prices. According to the utility, more than 13,000 customers have signed up for the Power Smart Pricing (PSP) program and so far they have saved more than $12 million.

Dive Insight:

The specifics of CUB’s analysis indicate that most customers would likely not realize all of their potential savings, but the group says the study makes a strong argument for opt-out rates for EV owners.

“With the aid of the sophisticated sensor and data-analysis capabilities prevalent in vehicle charging technology, utilities could isolate EV-related consumption, making a separate opt-out policy feasible,” the report concludes.

The analysis used actual 2018 MISO locational marginal prices to compare what “perfectly rational EV drivers” would pay to charge their vehicle on Ameren’s Power Smart Pricing program.

“Electricity customers are hungry for good choices in the market, and Power Smart Pricing is one of the best, whether you drive an EV or not,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said in a statement.

The advocacy group is currently lobbying Illinois lawmakers to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which includes an electrification provision to encourage off-peak EV charging. Kolata says the bill would help to “make sure the grid is prepared for the rise of EVs,” by connecting drivers to pricing programs like Ameren’s.

Ameren says it estimates about 3,400 electric vehicles are owned in its service territory.

“Most customers tell us that they are satisfied with the program,” an Ameren spokesperson said in an email. “We expect PSP enrollments to grow as customers acquire more in-home devices that enable them to manage and track their usage.”

CUB’s analysis of the program’s potential for EV drivers included three “representative” EVs: the 2018 Toyota Prius Prime, the 2018 Chevy Bolt and the Tesla 3 Long-Range. Researchers say they also used “off -the-shelf representative Level 2 and Level 3 chargers to estimate the maximum achievable charge rate.”

CUB calculated what EV drivers would pay to charge their car on Ameren’s flat-rate energy tariff to meet their daily driving needs, and compared that to the lowest-available rates on the PSP program.

Ameren’s dynamic pricing program “would have saved EV owners significantly over its flat-rate tariff in 2018,” with cost reductions from 86% to 88%, equaling as much as $379 over the study period, the CUB found.

The group says programs like Ameren’s PSP help reduce peak electricity demand, which “eases stress on the grid, helping to prevent costly power outages. It also avoids the need to fire up expensive ‘peaker’ power plants, cutting pollution and lowering electricity costs for everyone.”

There are more than 1 million EVs owned in the United States, but that figure is expected to increase sharply in coming years. According to the Edison Electric Institute, a jump in sales over the next decade could mean 19 million emissions-free vehicles on U.S. roads by 2030.

FirstEnergy CEO says he’s ready to help Ohio lawmakers deal with FERC’s PJM MOPR ruling

Author: John Funk     Published: 2/11/2020       Utility Dive


Dive Brief:

  • Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp.’s chief executive officer says his company is ready to assist state lawmakers develop a new energy policy to deal, in part, with the impact of the December Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order directing PJM Interconnection to offset state subsidies given to owners of certain generating resources, including renewables and nuclear plants.
  • CEO Charles Jones told financial analysts during the company’s fourth quarter and 2019 earnings call Friday that Ohio’s government is generally unhappy with the results of electric utility deregulation, including PJM’s market system. The PJM auction system is designed to give customers the lowest priced electricity at any given time.
  • Insisting that he has no official position, given that the company’s power plant subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) will soon emerge from bankruptcy as an independent and unregulated company, Jones repeated an argument that the market system which has emerged since Ohio began moving toward deregulation 20 years ago “does not provide the best long-term outcome for my customers.”

Dive Insight:

The unhappiness of state lawmakers that Jones alluded to had already erupted on Jan. 28 when the Ohio Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities Committee invited the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) and a pro-coal group, America’s Power, to submit testimony to help the committee start developing “a comprehensive energy policy.”

The OCC’s testimony focused on excessive charges that Ohio’s delivery utilities have added to rates since lawmakers last tweaked deregulation rules in 2008. America’s Power recapped the arguments of coal interests and owners of coal-fired power plants, that gas turbine plants and wind and solar farms make the grid less secure.

While the state’s traditional utilities long resisted deregulation with the argument that it would not encourage the development of new power plants, Ohio’s lawmakers have more recently been reacting to the December FERC order requiring PJM to offset state subsidies to certain power plants, including subsidized wind and solar farms, competing in PJM-run markets. If implemented, the order could cost Ohio electric customers more than $1 billion a year in new fees — on top of new state-ordered fees, according to one study.

The FERC order came on the heels of Ohio House Bill 6, passed last year, providing $150 million a year from 2021 through 2027 in new customer-paid subsidies for two nuclear plants owned by FES and $60 million a year from 2020 through 2030 for two old coal-fired plants owned by the Ohio Valley Electric Corp., created by a consortium of utilities in the 1950s.

Jones said state lawmakers had “already kind of talked about their disappointment with the PJM market and their intention to use the next year or so to look at energy policy for the state.”

“I think there are a lot of things they are going to look at, but beyond that, you know what our intention is. We’ll be at the table helping where they want help, providing our guidance where they want guidance, and expressing our views where we feel strongly about certain things should go a certain way,” he told analysts.

With the exception of its West Virginia operations, FirstEnergy is now a delivery-only company and the candid acknowledgment from Jones that the company stands ready to dive into state energy policy came during a discussion of how the company is now focused on steady growth through safe investments in its local distribution and long-distance transmission systems.

The company reported full-year 2019 net earnings of $908 million, or $1.68 per share on total revenue of $11 billion. That compared to 2018 earnings of $981 million, or $1.99 per share, on $11.3 billion in revenue. The company is forecasting 2020 earnings of $900 million to $1.41 billion.


DOE Announces $125.5 Million in New Funding for Solar Technologies

Author: DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office Published: 2/5/2020    DOE

OfficeSolar Energy Technologies Office
Funding Number: DE-FOA-0002243
Funding Amount: $125.5 million


On February 5, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2020 (SETO 2020) funding program, which will provide $125.5 million in funding for projects that will advance research in solar energy technologies.

These projects will help achieve the solar office’s goal of improving the affordability, reliability, and value of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more about SETO’s goals and how to apply for a funding opportunity.

SETO expects to make about 55 to 80 awards under the SETO 2020 funding opportunity announcement (FOA), each ranging from $300,000 to $39 million.

Several topic areas in this funding program encourage collaborative work to enable and accelerate outcomes. SETO seeks diverse teams comprising members of companies and community organizations, researchers, solar developers, and other stakeholders who work across various technology sectors, locations, and scientific disciplines.

To facilitate the formation of teams, SETO is providing a forum where interested parties can add themselves to a Teaming Partner List, which allows organizations that may wish to apply to the FOA but not as the prime applicant, to express interest to potential partners. The Teaming Partner List and instructions will be available on EERE Exchange under FOA DE-FOA-0002243 during the FOA application period. The list will be updated at least weekly until the close of the full-application period.


The SETO 2020 FOA webinar will be held on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The next quarterly stakeholder webinar will be on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Register today.

Topic Areas

TOPIC AREA 1: Photovoltaics Hardware Research
$15 million, ~8-12 projects

This topic area seeks projects that will improve the functions of photovoltaic (PV) hardware over the long term, maximizing energy yields, increasing efficiency, and improving PV system modeling to ensure reliable performance prediction.

TOPIC AREA 2: Integrated Thermal Energy Storage and Brayton Cycle Equipment Demonstration (Integrated TESTBED)
$39 million, ~1-2 projects

This topic area seeks to develop, build, and operate a supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycle integrated with thermal energy storage at temperatures ranging from 550°C to 630°C at a new or existing facility. The goal of this topic is to accelerate the commercialization of the sCO2 Brayton cycle and provide operational experience for utilities, operators, and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) developers.

TOPIC AREA 3: Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies 3 (SEEDS 3)
$10 million, ~6-8 projects

This topic area will fund research programs that study how knowledge spreads throughout the solar energy ecosystem and how solar adoption interacts with other emerging energy technologies, such as energy storage. In particular, this topic will focus on understanding the large-scale dynamics of the flow of solar information. The goal is to reduce the non-hardware costs of solar energy by efficiently delivering knowledge to key stakeholders so that decisions can be made quickly and effectively in a rapidly changing energy landscape.

TOPIC AREA 4: Innovations in Manufacturing: Hardware Incubator
$14 million, ~7-9 projects

This topic seeks to fund innovative product ideas that can advance solar energy technologies by lowering costs while facilitating the secure integration of solar electricity into the nation’s energy grid. SETO has a particular interest in applications that develop impactful technologies that will support a strong U.S. solar manufacturing sector and supply chain. The goal of this topic is to de-risk new technologies, bring a prototype to a pre-commercial stage, and retire any business or market risks to spur follow-on private investments, patents, scientific and technical publications, and jobs.

TOPIC AREA 5: Systems Integration
$30 million, ~7-11 projects

This topic area will enhance solar’s ability to provide greater grid resilience and improved reliability to the nation’s electricity grid, especially at the community level. This work will improve the ability of communities to maintain power during and restore power after man-made or natural disasters, improve cybersecurity for PV inverters and power systems, and develop advanced hybrid plants that operate collaboratively with other resources for improved reliability and resilience.

TOPIC AREA 6: Solar and Agriculture: System Design, Value Frameworks, and Impacts Analysis
$6.5 million, ~4-6 projects

This topic area will build upon and expand ongoing SETO projects related to the co-location of solar and agriculture by developing technology, evaluating practices to date, and conducting research and analysis that enable farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural enterprises to gain value from solar technologies while maintaining availability of land for agricultural purposes. The goal is to facilitate and expand the co-location of solar and agricultural activities where it benefits both industries and the local community. For this topic, co-location is defined as agricultural production (i.e., crop or livestock production, or pollinator habitat) underneath solar panels and/or in adjacent zones around the solar panels.

TOPIC AREA 7: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applications in Solar Energy with Emphasis on Machine Learning
$6 million, ~8-12 projects

This topic area will leverage the substantial AI-related know-how developed in the United States to develop disruptive solutions across the value chain of the solar industry. These projects will form partnerships between experts in AI and industry stakeholders such as solar power plant operators or owners, electric utilities, PV module manufacturers, and others that can supply the necessary data as well as solar-related subject matter expertise.

TOPIC AREA 8: Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS): PV and CSP
$5 million, ~15-20 projects

This topic area intends to fund innovative, novel ideas in PV and CSP that can produce significant results within the first year of performance. If successful, the outcomes will open up new avenues for continued study. These projects are riskier than research ideas based on established technologies and will typically receive smaller funding amounts than projects in other topic areas.

Prior to submitting a full application for topic areas 1-7 of this opportunity, a brief, mandatory letter of intent is due on March 9, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. ET. A mandatory letter of intent for topic 8 is due byApril 9, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. ET. See all application deadlines in the table below.

Key Dates

FOA Issue Date: February 5, 2020
Submission Deadline for Mandatory Letter of Intent (LOI) for Topics 1-7: March 9, 2020
Informational Webinar: February 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ETRegister Here
Submission Deadline for Concept Papers:

Applicants must submit a Concept Paper by 5:00 p.m. ET on the due date listed to be eligible to submit a Full Application.

Topic Area 8 SIPS applicants DO NOT submit a Concept Paper.

March 16, 2020
Submission Deadline for Mandatory LOI for Topic Area 8: Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) April 9, 2020
Submission Deadline for Full Applications:

Conversation With Will R. Shirley, Sr. President/CEO of Sun Dail Solar

Author: Will R. Shirley           Published: 02/11/2020

Will R. Shirley, Sr.

Will brings 23 years of systems technology experience to the Company. Will worked as VP of Operations for the Company before purchasing it outright


Caleb Dana

Mr. Dana is a Senior Principal Engineer with Sundial Solar with over 30 years of environmental consulting and engineering experience. Mr. Dana manages or provides principal oversight for  solar project site analysis and design.

Patty Patterson

As DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY SOLAR, Ms. Patterson brings a Business Management degree and extensive management operations experience. She will lead the effort to bring Community Solar to neighborhoods throughout the State.

Zac Dana

Zac is the Company’s lead installer.  Zac is on management and operations hiatis gaining training that this company desires.  Upon his return Zac will perform as one of the corporate managers for installations & operations

Girard Gray, Sr.

Mr. Gray is a graduate of Ontility’s “Entry Level Solar Installation Course” a NABCEP licensed course of study and is a former lead solar instructor for The Hope Center in Gretna, Mr. Gray became associated with Sundial Solar in 2012.

Tawnya Ferguson

Tawnya is a former Manager for a large commercial concern with responsibilities in employee management, accounting, word processing, inventory control, corporate sales management and data customization.  Tawnya joined Sundial Solar 2015.


Based in the Capitol City of Mississippi, We Deliver Comprehensive Solar Services for Your Home, Business and Local Government – Trusted Services You can depend on.

Our Solar Team has a well-deserved reputation of excellence in providing smart, sensible, and cost-effective solar services to our clients.


The Company was organized in 2009 and is one of the longest serving active solar providers in the State of Mississippi.  Since 2009, the Company has gained relevant partnerships with major US-based solar financiers, solar manufacturers,  solar distributors and out-of-state solar installation companies. Our expertese, coupled with our partners, guarantee you, our clients, the best technology at the best cost available.

The Company is a Founding/Charter Member of our local trade association, the Gulf State Renewable Energy Industries Association (GSREIA) which is based in New Orleans, LA.

The Company is also a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – Local 480.  We utilize only skilled electrical craftsmen for most of our solar construction projects.

We serve a wide range of clientele, and every client relationship is valued greatly and treated with dignity and respect. Each engagement benefits from the depth and breadth of our solar expertise.


BRIEF Can the US power sector significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2040? Not according to EIA

Author:  lulia Gheorghiu            Published: 01/30/2020         Utility Dive

Credit Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its annual outlook on Wednesday, including projections for a modest overall decline in power sector carbon emissions, with natural gas as the leading source of generation through 2040.
  • The continued low price of natural gas is expected to increase emissions, making carbon dioxide emissions in 2050 only 4% below 2019 levels, assuming constant laws and regulations. According to the outlook, carbon dioxide emissions across all sectors will flatline in 2030 until beginning to increase in 2040, based on the growing power consumption of industrial and transportation sectors.
  • Investor-owned utility trade group Edison Electric Institute (EEI) maintains that power sector and overall emissions reductions will be even greater than what EIA forecast based on clean energy commitments made by companies (including EEI members) and accelerating transportation electrification. “We expect more significant emissions reductions will occur,” Brian Reil, EEI spokesperson, told Utility Dive.

Dive Insight:

As EIA’s model uses the policies in place right now to create future projections through 2050, a “business as usual assumption drives the reference case, … [and] makes [EIA] projections of energy very conservative,” Peter Saundry, Johns Hopkins University professor and chief scientist of the nonprofit National Council for Science and the Environment, told Utility Dive.

“Their model is not set up to recognize evolving advances in policy or strong advances in technology,” he said, echoing EIA administrator Linda Capuano’s comments that the outlook is a projection, “not a prediction.”

Credit: EIA

While the announced retirements of coal-fired generation capacity create a decrease in power sector emissions, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to grow modestly in 2030s-2040s, according to the EIA, as continued natural gas additions and nuclear retirements offset increases in renewable generation.

The analysis doesn’t take into account additional expected coal plant retirements and future state initiatives to reduce emissions.

“One area where EIA is fairly pessimistic is the rollout of EVs,” Saundry said. “That has a lot to do with fairly conservative assumptions about how fast the cost of battery energy storage comes down.”

According to EIA’s transportation team leader, John Maple, not a lot of change is expected between the 2019 and 2020 sales distribution of electric vehicles. Longer range (200- and 300-mile) U.S. EV sales will grow from 280,000 in 2019 to 1.9 million in 2050, the EIA said.​

With the Trump administration working to block California from setting more ambitious fuel economy standards than the federal government, the EIA predicts motor gasoline consumption will rise.

But “regardless of that standard, I see EVs making a more aggressive inroad because I foresee a cost decline of energy storage,” Saundry said.

Others, like EEI, also dispute the EIA’s projection.

EEI has been lobbying for an increase in the tax credit for electric vehicle purchases, while supporting the development of utility-owned charging infrastructure for the vehicles.

“As of December 31, 2019, there were nearly 1.5 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads, and we project that number to increase to 18.7 million by 2030,” Reil said.

Democrats accuse Energy Department of underspending on clean energy research

Author: James Osborne    Published:02/05/2020  Houston Chronicle

The accusations of underspending follows efforts by the Trump administration to cut funding for the EERE office under former Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Photo: AFP Contributor/AFP via Getty Images

The accusations of underspending follows efforts by the Trump administration to cut funding for the EERE office under former Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy isn’t distributing funding for clean energy research fast enough, House Democrats said Wednesday.

At a hearing before the oversight panel of the House Science and Space Committee, Chairman Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., said the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy didn’t spend $823 million in funding appropriated by Congress last year, more than a third of its budget.

“We want to make sure EERE manages its R&D investments in an efficient manner and in keeping with congressional intent,” he said. “If potential grantees do not think EERE is a reliable partner, they are less likely to engage with DOE in the future. I am concerned about the effect this could have on the United States’ position as a global leader in clean energy.”

The criticism follows repeated efforts by the Trump administration to cut funding to the EERE office under former Energy Secretary Rick Perry. But Assistant Secretary for the EERE Daniel Simmons said that it was not the office’s intention to withhold spending and that carrying over funding from one year’s budget to the next was in line with the final years of the Obama administration.

“What matters at the end of the day is appropriated dollars. The president’s proposed budget is the beginning of the process,” he said. “It takes a while to get the funding announcements out the door.”

At the same time, Foster said, staffing levels at the EERE office have “severely dropped,” despite increases in salaries and benefits for DOE staff.

But Republicans on the science committee pushed back, arguing that it was the department’s job to move cautiously in the distribution of more than $1.3 billion in outside research funding last year.

“After increases by the Obama administration, EERE is by far DOE’s largest applied research program,” Beaumont Republican Rep. Randy Weber said.  “It is clear DOE has operated appropriately and within its mandate for grant funding review.”

WoodMac sees challenges for onshore wind: ‘Low hanging fruit has already been picked’

Author:      Published: 02/06/2020    Utility  Dive

Credit: Fotolia

Dive Brief:

  • Despite the enormous recent growth in wind power in the U.S., the lack of investment into new transmission lines, among other challenges, will make it more difficult for onshore wind to compete against solar power as the dominant source of clean energy, according to a new analysis from Wood Mackenzie.
  • “National and pan-regional super grid projects,” where one governing entity plans and builds new transmission capacity, may be the answer to overcome the coordination problems among grid operators, utilities and state regulators that currently block new transmission infrastructure, according to a statement from Wood Mackenzie on Wednesday that draws from the research firm’s 2020 outlook insight for global wind.
  • Another challenge for wind going forward is the fact that the “low-hanging fruit” of cost reductions, such as technological innovations that have made wind turbines more efficient, have already been picked, Wood Mackenzie Head of Global Wind Research Dan Shreve said in the statement.

Dive Insight:

Many of the cheapest, most efficient places to build new wind turbines are those isolated from population centers, necessitating large transmission investments in order to connect the wind farms to electricity demand. But what is changing, according to Shreve, is that the “top tier” wind resources yet to be developed are particularly difficult to reach with transmission infrastructure, often due to political opposition.

“A spate of high profile transmission projects,” such as the Multi-Value Projects in the region of Midwest grid operator MISO, “over the last decade helped reduce congestion within high wind penetration zones, as was evidenced by a reduction in the frequency of curtailment,” Shreve said in an email to Utility Dive.

“However, efforts to build out new long haul transmission have been stymied as of late by local opposition groups while the costs of even small scale transmission upgrades has ballooned in wind rich regions,” he said.

Just five states — Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Illinois — account for 70% of new wind installations over the last five years, according to Shreve, because that is where the best wind resources are, leading to low costs. But when those resources cannot be tapped to meet state or utility emissions reduction goals, potentially cheap wind energy is being left on the table.

“Top tier wind resources are critical to reaching the low power prices demanded by the market. These tend to be more localised than solar resources and situated in more remote locations,” Wood Mackenzie’s statement said, adding that “a lack of bulk transmission investment to support the expansion of wind power” is one of the “primary barriers” to decarbonizing the U.S. grid.

Curtailment occurs when there is more energy being produced than the market requires. Due to the transmission difficulties, many new wind farms are being built “in parts of the grid that are already saturated” but the owners of those projects simply have to accept curtailment, Grid Strategies Vice President Michael Goggin told Utility Dive.

While solar energy also faces constraints on where it can be built, siting is “a slightly larger impediment for wind than for solar,” according to Goggin, because if one location does not work out, it is relatively easy to find other locations where sun ray exposure is as strong, but locations with high wind resources are more limited. Even in regions with “strong low-cost wind resources,” there is a “low success rate” for proposed wind projects that enter the queue of projects hoping to interconnect to the grid, he said.

Over the past several years, wind energy has reduced costs significantly through technological improvements, like taller and more efficient turbine blades. But Wood Mackenzie expects future cost reductions to be “marginal.” More technological progress is expected for offshore wind compared to onshore, the statement said.

“Key evolutionary changes in turbine tower design, blade materials and controls will cause further reductions in onshore wind’s [levelized cost of electricity], however none can be considered true game change

Maryland regulators take cautious approach to multi-year rates, approve pilot for 1 utility

Author: Robert Walton       02/06/2020       Utility Dive


Author:                Published: 02/4/2020      Baltimore  Magazine


JACOB LOGAN SAW AN OPPORTUNITY. It was 1945, and Cherry Hill was finally being developed to alleviate housing shortages for the Black veterans and World War II defense workers that had flooded into Baltimore.

After years of delays because of white backlash at other proposed sites, the Cherry Hill project—the first suburban-style planned community for African Americans, and perhaps most conspicuous example of residential segregation by design ever in the United States—went up quickly once it got the go-ahead. Families rushed into the new rowhouses and apartment buildings before basic infrastructure, such as a school, shopping center, or grocery store, were even in place.

Originally from the rural South, Logan worked at the Bethlehem-Fairfield docks, having come to Baltimore during the war to build Liberty ships. Despite a fifth-grade education, he’d also managed to save and invest in a small corner grocery in a nearby Black section of South Baltimore by the time construction in Cherry Hill began. His wife, Estelle, a former downtown elevator operator, ran the store during the day while he toiled at his union job at the port. She was also from North Carolina, but they’d met in Baltimore.

In a moment of inspiration, the 25-year-old Logan purchased a used delivery truck when Cherry Hill opened its doors. Cramming the vehicle with every foodstuff, household, and drug store item he could buy or get on credit, he started making two Cherry Hill runs a day in his mini-Walmart on wheels. He drove through once in the morning, and then again after the neighborhood kids had returned from school. Later, he replaced the truck with an old, but bigger, school bus. “Oh, my God, how I remember,” recalls Linda Morris, author of Cherry Hill: Raising Successful Black Children in Jim Crow Baltimore. “We’d chase down the street after the bus: ‘Mister Logan, Mister Logan, do you have penny candy? Do you have penny candy today?’”


Born in 1920, Logan had grown up in the western corner of North Carolina, in Rutherford County, so named for a local plantation slaveholder and former U.S. Army general who had made his mark in the southern Appalachian “Indian” wars. Logan was raised on his grandparents’ farm, where he worked as a boy until he left home and school at 12 for domestic employment with a white family in nearby Forest City—coincidentally the site of one of the state’s most notorious lynchings—for room, board, and $1 a week. Three years later, with scant prospects in his state of origin, he left all he knew behind to earn $10 a week as a houseman for another white family in New York. He bolted to Baltimore after learning of higher wages building ships in the war effort.

Eventually, Logan would leave his Bethlehem-Fairfield job, too, opening a second grocery store in Turner Station, the then-fast-growing Black community in southeast Baltimore County. Building on his entrepreneurial successes, he launched a popular bread company in the 1950s, plastering his visage on loaves of “Daddy Logan” bread. When he retired at 73, he took up golf, which he’d dreamt of playing since his teenage caddying days.

“When the white businessman he worked for in New York told him he’d never be able to learn the game because he was Black—he would’ve said Negro or Colored in those days—my father never forgot that moment,” recalls Logan’s daughter, Francesca Brooks. “He played every day after he retired at Baltimore’s public courses and everywhere else. In his 80s, he’d challenge anyone to play him for money. His last golf trip, he took his son-in-law with him back to North Carolina, to play Pinehurst [the famous, long-segregated professional course]. That meant everything to him because of its history. He was 95. That was his bucket list. He died two years later in 2017. Only once did I hear him express anything like regret or bitterness. I guess he kept those thoughts and feelings from us. ‘I made it a long way in my lifetime,’ he said. ‘I just would’ve liked to have seen how far I could’ve gotten, if I hadn’t started so far behind.’”


“I was leaving the South to fling myself into the unknown . . .  I was taking a part of the South to transplant in alien soil, to see if it could grow differently, if it could drink of new and cool rains, bend in strange winds, respond to the warmth of other suns and, perhaps, to bloom.”

—Richard Wright, from Black Boy, 1945

The Great Migration, the exodus of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North—or in Baltimore’s case, almost North—Midwest, and West between 1910 and 1970, was one of the largest internal movements of people in U.S. history. It also remains, with the exception of Isabel Wilkerson’s award-winning treatise, The Warmth of Other Suns, whose title honors the Mississippi-born Wright, one of the most under-chronicled stories of the 20th century.

In each U.S. Census prior to 1910, more than 90 percent of the country’s Black population lived in the South, with the overwhelming majority of those individuals spread out in rural areas across former Confederate States. By the end of the Great Migration, nearly half of the nation’s Black population had decamped for the booming cities of Detroit, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, and Cleveland, Newark, Pittsburgh, and “Up-South” Baltimore, to name a few, in hopes of economic opportunity, education, relief from white oppression and violence, and something closer to full participation in the civic life of their own country.

Without this leaderless mass flight— “Oftentimes, just to go away is one of the most aggressive things that another person can do,” wrote John Dollard, an anthropologist studying the racial caste system of the South in the 1930s—there would be no successful World War II defense build-up at Sparrows Point, the Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyards, or the huge Glenn L. Martin aircraft plant in Baltimore. There would be no Steel Belt, no “Big Three” auto-making capital in Detroit, no “City of Big Shoulders” meatpacking houses and railroad yards. Which means there would also be no Motown, no Chicago blues, no Muddy Waters, no Aretha Franklin, and no Jackson 5. There’d be no Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston—a Florida native who attended high school in Baltimore. There’d be no modern jazz as we know it. Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane were born less than a decade apart in rural North Carolina—just like Jacob Logan.

In Baltimore, the proportion of the Black population tripled during the Great Migration, growing from less than 85,000, 15 percent of the city’s overall population, in 1910, to more than 420,000 and a near majority by 1970.  As it is impossible to imagine this country without the contributions of those who fled the Deep South for Detroit, Chicago, and New York, it’s impossible to conjure a Baltimore without the hundreds of thousands of people who came to the city as part of the Great Migration—whether under their own volition or carried to new futures by their parents.

A few notables: the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the son of former South Carolina sharecroppers; Judge Robert Bell, retired Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, who returned home to North Carolina during his boyhood summers to tie and cure tobacco; former state Sen. Clarence Blount, also the son of Carolina tobacco workers and the first African-American majority leader in the General Assembly; former state Sen. Verda Welcome, one of 16 children raised on a small North Carolina farm and the first Black woman ever elected to a U.S. state Senate; former city councilwoman and homeless advocate Bea Gaddy; acclaimed poet Lucille Clifton, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and renowned singer Ethel Ennis, Baltimore’s “first lady of jazz,” who died a year ago this month. Her parents, a Harlem Park barber and a homemaker who played piano at Ames United Methodist Church, both migrated from South Carolina and met in Baltimore.


Businessman, investor, and subsequent political power player “Little Willie” Adams left the cotton fields of Zebulon, North Carolina, in 1929 at 15. A literal rags-to-riches story, Adams worked his way up from running numbers and cutting sailcloth into rags at a Fells Point shop to running his own illegal lottery operation, among other business. Later, he emerged to use his influence, wealth, and resources to finance scores of legal Black businesses, including the Super Pride grocery chain and Parks Sausage Co., one of the first Black-owned companies to trade publicly on Wall Street.

At the same time, William March, born to a North Carolina Lutheran minister following the flock to Baltimore, clerked a post office night shift while building his eastside funeral business into one of the largest African-American-owned mortuary services in the country. March would also co-found the Harbor Bank of Maryland, the state’s first Black-owned commercial bank. And before all that, Master Sergeant March participated in the 1944 D-Day landing at Normandy.

Negro League star Leon Day was born in Virginia, moved to Baltimore with his family as a youngster, and ended up in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. A generation after Olympian Jesse Owens, heavyweight champion Joe Louis, and Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson made their marks—all children of sharecroppers who made their way North or West as part of the Great Migration—Jim Parker and Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb, born in Georgia and Alabama, respectively, came to Baltimore and helped the Colts win two NFL titles. Orioles’ great Frank Robinson, as well as standout Don Buford, both born in Texas in the 1930s, helped the O’s become the best team in baseball. Earl “the Pearl” Monroe and Wes Unseld, drafted back-to-back in 1967 and 1968, came with roots in Kentucky and North Carolina, respectively, and made the Bullets the most exciting team in professional basketball.

The parents of Kurt Schmoke, the city’s first elected Black mayor, are from North Carolina and Georgia and met here.

Quiltmaker Elizabeth Talford Scott, a middle child of 14, whose family sharecropped vegetables and cotton on the land where they once had been enslaved, made the Great Migration journey from rural South Carolina to Sandtown-Winchester in the late 1930s. She worked as a housekeeper and nanny and eventually met Charlie Scott Jr., a Bethlehem Steel crane operator and son of North Carolina tobacco sharecroppers. Their daughter is MacArthur “Genius” Grant winner and artist Joyce J. Scott.

“My parents left the South in order to get jobs that weren’t back-breaking and to join other family who had already left,” says Scott, whose mother died in 2011. “My mother came to Washington, D.C., first. She was on her way to Chicago, and Baltimore was supposed to be a way station. Then she met my father. My mother went to a one-room schoolhouse, and my father, the same thing. They left to get away from the persistent and overt racism that happened every day. They told stories of being afraid of the police, of people arrested for loitering and being put in jail without a trial or put on a chain gang for weeks, months, and years to work on some white farmer’s land. Those things [related to a penal labor practice known as “convict leasing”] are not myths. That was prevalent.

“There were so many people in West Baltimore from Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina—there were whole communities and congregations that were like ‘Little Virginia,’ ‘Little North Carolina,’ and ‘Little South Carolina,’” continues Scott, who attended since-closed, once all-white Eastern High School during the mid-1960s civil rights era. “They helped people from the country adapt to the city.”

Joyce J. Scott and Elizabeth Talford Scott’s joint exhibition last year at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Hitching Their Dreams to Untamed Stars, evoked both the Underground Railroad and “over-ground” Great Migration. “Those exoduses are cousins,” Scott says. One of her mother’s quilts in the show, “Plantation,” features a galaxy of multicolored stars in the night sky, referencing both the land where she grew up and the constellation maps enslaved people used to escape to the North.

“What seems of most interest here is that they were in the frame of mind for leaving,” the Black scholar Emmett J. Scott (no relation to Joyce J. Scott or Elizabeth Talford Scott) wrote in 1920 of the first Great Migration wave, kickstarted by labor shortages in the North as European immigration came to an abrupt halt during World War I. “They left as though they were fleeing some curse; they were willing to make almost any sacrifice to obtain a railroad ticket and they left with the intention of staying.”

This flight from the Deep South, continued Emmett J. Scott, whose papers are archived at Morgan State University, suggested nothing short of the Israelites’ decision to flee Egypt and cross the Jordan River for the Promised Land. “At times, demonstrations took on a rather spectacular aspect, as when a party of 147 from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, while crossing the Ohio River, held solemn ceremonies,” he reported. “These migrants knelt down and prayed; the men stopped their watches and, amid tears of joy, sang the familiar songs of deliverance . . . One woman of the party declared that she could detect an actual difference in the atmosphere beyond the Ohio River, explaining that it was much lighter and that she could get her breath more easily.”


At first, Great Migration arrivals into Baltimore were mostly in-state transplants, as one might expect, from Eastern Shore sharecropping farms and Southern Maryland tobacco fields. In 1910, 87 percent of the city’s Black population was native to Maryland, with migrants from Virginia making up the largest group of those born outside of the state. By 1920, however, the share of Black Baltimoreans who were Maryland natives had already declined to 76 percent. By the outset of the Great Depression, nearly half of the city’s Black population had been born outside Maryland.

The early in-state migrants were lured up and across the Chesapeake Bay by the already large and, in many cases, thriving Black neighborhoods in East and West Baltimore that had been built around Black churches, Black-owned businesses, then-Morgan College, and the city’s burgeoning mill, railroad, factory, and port industries. Since at least Frederick Douglass’ time in the city in the 1830s, African Americans from the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland had viewed Baltimore as a kind of mecca. After the Civil War and brief optimism of Reconstruction, they continued to come seeking better jobs and wages and education for their children.

Equally important: those leaving Maryland’s rural counties for Baltimore were also seeking relief from discrimination and political oppression, as well as the ever-present threat of white violence—they were, for all intents and purposes, refugees seeking asylum within the borders of their own state. Baltimore was still segregated, but it provided greater opportunity and options, and it was safer. From 1877 to 1950, more than 4,000 Black Americans, an average of more than one person a week, were lynched in the U.S. The last three of the more than 40 lynchings that took place in Maryland occurred in the early 1930s on the Eastern Shore, later than commonly assumed, and still within the lifetime of many Maryland residents today. But no lynching, as far as anyone knows, ever took place in Baltimore City, where there had always been a large, free, dynamic Black population.

Such was the terror inspired by lynchings and near-lynchings, according to Charles Chavis Jr., director of the John Mitchell Jr. Program for History, Justice, and Race at George Mason University, that there was a direct correlation between those witnessing lynchings on the Eastern Shore and those fleeing to Philadelphia and Baltimore. “In terms of the Eastern Shore and its sense of place, with its agriculture and isolation, it possessed the spirit of the antebellum Deep South,” says Chavis. “The whole concept of Maryland as ‘the Middle Ground’ with both a history of slavery and also always a large free Black population in Baltimore makes it unique in the story of the Great Migration. Baltimore wasn’t the ‘North,’ but for many, it was ‘close enough.’”


  One of those early Great Migration Baltimore families with Chesapeake roots is pictured on the cover of this issue. The proud dad and city postal worker at the far left of the photograph, Walter Dean Sr., had family in Dorchester County. His father left in search of employment shortly after the start of the Great Migration and met his future wife in Baltimore. Alongside Dean Sr. in the full photo (see table of contents) by photographer Henry Phillips—whose own family descended from Southern Maryland, Virginia, and Florida migrants—are his wife, Ruth, and seven of their nine children. The two oldest sons, including civil rights leader and state delegate Walter Dean Jr., were grown and serving in the Air Force by the time the image, which appeared in the Afro-American on March 31, 1956, was taken. It depicts the family after a shopping trip for Easter shoes.

“In that photograph are my grandfather and grandmother, my aunts, one of my uncles, and my mother—she is the second to last from the right,” says Monica Bland, who runs a local business. “In fact, everyone in that photo is alive today, other than my grandparents. My great-grandmother’s family was from the same Church Creek area as Harriet Tubman, about six miles outside Cambridge, and we grew up driving back there on Memorial Day to visit family. I was young, but I remember going to church, the country food and the cookouts, and most of all that we’d stop at Dairy Queen on the way back. My great-grandfather, who was born in 1885, died in 1963, three years before I was born. He’d come to Baltimore to work as a young man and eventually got a job at Bethlehem Steel and worked there a long time. Everyone in that picture made it to the middle class.”

In the ensuing decades, as post-war industrialization shifted into high gear, thousands of others fled from Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida to Baltimore (and the rest of the cities in the northeast corridor), typically on the most direct roads, rails, and bus lines available. In similar fashion, Alabamians, Mississippians, Tennesseans, and Arkansans generally headed due north for the Midwest, while Louisianans and Texans went west for California.

They were leaving behind childhood homes and close-knit families in an age before rural electrification was complete and every house had a telephone, which made the distance between a South Carolina farm and an East or West Baltimore rowhouse feel much greater than today. As with the German, Eastern European, and Jewish immigrants who had arrived at the piers at Locust Point a generation or three earlier, Southern migrants tended to be mostly young, healthy, resilient adults. But as anyone from Baltimore knows, those Southern bonds remain deeply embedded to this day, and city parks are filled each summer with cookouts as Southern family members come up for reunions. And each summer, of course, Baltimore families also trek back to Virginia and the Carolinas to reconnect with relatives who never left.



Those visits are enjoyable, obviously, but sometimes complicated as well. Loyola University professor Kaye Whitehead spent the past holiday season visiting her childhood home in South Carolina with her parents, husband, and college-student son. It was a trip that included stops at her grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ gravesites and a journey filled with smiles, hugs, and love, but also recollections of cruel history and tears. “My son is starting to understand that he is a descendant of men and women who chose to survive,” Whitehead wrote in a series of Facebook posts documenting the trip. “My prayer is that he never forgets.”

In doing research for his memoir, Johns Hopkins University professor Lawrence Jackson, a West Baltimore native and author of My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family after the Civil War, had trouble simply locating his grandparents’ home in Virginia, which he had visited regularly as a child in the early ’70s. “My grandparents lived in a house that didn’t have indoor plumbing, just outhouses, and I can still remember sitting in the grass near the railroad tracks as a kid, hoping a train would go by,” he recalls. “So many of the landmarks were gone, it was hard to find. Going back also made me think about the erasure of Black history that has taken place.”

For Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights spokesman John Wesley, born in 1948 in Mississippi, contradictions and complex feelings around family and birthplace are forever intertwined. Wesley grew up on a farm across the street from the white men who beat, shot, and threw the body of Emmett Till in the Tallahatchie River after the 14-year-old Chicago teenager—visiting family over the summer—was accused of offending a white woman in a grocery store. Medgar Evers, the state’s field secretary for the NAACP, killed in 1963, was a family friend. “Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there was nothing you could do about anything in Mississippi, whether it was getting a fair trial or getting fair wages,” Wesley says. “You’d get paid $2.50 for picking 100 pounds of cotton. Do you know how long it takes to pick 100 pounds of cotton? All day.”

Wesley’s godmother was the legendary civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. He arrived in Baltimore after landing a job at WJZ-TV in 1973. “Those things you grow up with, you never forget, that’s for better and worse,” Wesley says. “That includes the land, culture, taking your time with people, the food—the pigs’ feet, pigs’ tail, pigs’ ears that we grew up eating, and rabbit and rabbit gravy, too. And you remember the fig trees and pecan trees and fields where you worked, and where your parents and grandparents worked. There was a concrete bench that was in front of my godmother’s house that is still there. My favorite pecan tree is still there, too. It’s still home.”


If the labor of those migrating from the Deep South was welcome in the factories and mills of Baltimore, and in the kitchens and homes of white families here and in other cities above the Mason-Dixon line, the people themselves often were not. The flip side of the Great Migration is, of course, Jim Crow. “They are inseparable,” says David Taft Terry, former executive director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and author of The Struggle and the Urban South: Confronting Jim Crow in Baltimore before the Movement.

Jim Crow, the apartheid system legalized by the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision that made “separate but equal” the law of the land, may have driven African Americans from the Deep South, but it also still plagued migrants whatever their destination, maybe more in Baltimore than any other Great Migration harbor. The broader white population here, and elsewhere, certainly did not take up the cause of desegregation and anti-racism at any time during the Great Migration. The white business community was all too happy to exploit cheap labor while also using the threat of Black replacements to keep white blue-collar workers in line. White political leaders in Maryland and other places, pandering to whites both established and arriving from the rural South for those same manufacturing jobs, often proved all too eager to fan the flames of “fear” for votes. It is no mere coincidence that Baltimore’s extraordinary, first-of-its-kind residential segregation ordinances, later copied in other American cities, as well as apartheid South Africa, were written into law in 1910, just as the Great Migration, coined “the Negro Invasion” by the Baltimore Sun, was getting underway.

Baltimore’s mandate that Black individuals could only move into majority Black blocks, and white people could only move into majority white blocks, was ultimately shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court. But those restrictions were soon replaced with equally efficient redlining and blockbusting practices, as well as private racial housing covenants. Black individuals and families coming to Baltimore not only had to deal with second-class social status, but often substandard alley house and public housing conditions and always a “Colored” school system that received a fraction of the taxpayer support of white schools. The racist housing, workplace, public accommodation, recreation, shopping, and theater practices—not to mention planning that promoted “slum clearance” and urban highway projects that cut through Black neighborhoods—remained intact well into the 1960s. Other Jim Crow policies and practices, like the War on Drugs and disinvestment of Black neighborhoods, the acceptance of police brutality by the city police department, and chronic underfunding of the city’s majority Black public-school system and the city’s historically Black colleges, to name a few, remain in place.


Jim Crow laws, in other words, were established to do more than prevent contact between Black people and white people. The intention was to portray white people as superior, but for a larger purpose—the mendacious social construction was (and still is) easily exploited for the purpose of maintaining economic and political power. In Baltimore, Jim Crow rules were clear to those who grew up in the city, if not always clear to outsiders. “Baltimore was always different,” says University of Maryland law professor and Young Thurgood author Larry Gibson, 77. “The assumption is it’s because it is situated in a border state, but the fact is, you have these very different regions within Maryland—the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland, which are more like the Deep South, and Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Carroll County, and Western Maryland, too. They all surround Baltimore, and the influence is profound. I went to Howard University, and we used to say then that Baltimore was south of D.C. You could eat at more places in Washington. Go out and do things more freely. The strange thing was that in Baltimore, you didn’t see the ‘Colored’ or ‘White Only’ signs on everything like you did further South,” Gibson continues. “Those signs are not even in the photographs of Baltimore of the time. I don’t know why, but you just knew growing up in Baltimore where you could go and where you couldn’t—what park you could go to and what restaurant you could go to—and the ones you can’t. For some reason, no one had to tell you, that’s how ingrained it was.”

Gibson’s mother migrated to Baltimore from St. Mary’s County tobacco country, where he still has many close family members and first cousins. His father’s family is from North Carolina. Like many children of the Great Migration, he enjoyed visits with his maternal-side relatives, to fish and spend time outdoors in the countryside.  In many ways, the modern civil rights movement begins in Baltimore. That’s in large part because of the significant free Black community that long existed in the city, and a number of uncommon individuals with pre-Great Migration roots in Baltimore, including Rev. Harvey Johnson, who founded the Mutual United Brotherhood of Liberty, predecessor of the NAACP; Carl Murphy, longtime publisher of the Afro-American; Thurgood Marshall, the first head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and first Black justice to sit on the Supreme Court; Lillie Carroll Jackson, the head of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP from 1935-1970; and her daughter Juanita Jackson Mitchell and her husband Clarence Mitchell Jr.

Motivated by the lynching of George Armwood in Princess Anne County in 1933, Marshall, 19 months after passing the bar, took up the case of Amherst College graduate Donald Murray and successfully challenged the University of Maryland law school’s policy of not admitting Black applicants. In 1950, Marshall won another key victory on the road to his Brown v. the Board of Education victory four years later when he took up the case of aspiring Baltimore nurse Esther McCready, who had challenged the University of Maryland nursing school’s policy of not admitting Black students.

Meanwhile, the city’s burgeoning Black population augmented the budding mid-century civil rights protest movement in Baltimore. Morgan State’s growing student body provided strength-in-numbers support for the long picket at Ford’s Theatre in the 1940s and 1950s, and sit-ins at Read’s Drug Stores, the Northwood movie theater, White Coffee Pot restaurants, and Arundel Ice Cream shops over the next two decades. Hundreds of people were arrested at the segregation protests at the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in 1963. Having already come so far, often it was young Black migrants from the South who put their bodies on the line to challenge Jim Crow in Baltimore.

In 1960, Dunbar High junior Robert Bell, future chief judge of Maryland’s highest court, took part in a sit-in protest at Hooper’s Restaurant that led to a case that reached the Supreme Court. “In North Carolina, where I was from, there was just a small town, so everything was segregated. You sat in the balcony at the movie theater, went to the back door at the restaurant to get served,” Bell recalls during a break at a recent Maryland Lynching Memorial Project symposium at the Morgan State Center for Civil Rights in Education, which is named after him. “In East Baltimore, though, where my mother moved us before I started school, we had a Black theater in the neighborhood where you could sit anywhere you like. We had Black restaurants. You could shop on Gay Street and try on and buy all your clothes and shoes. But then, if you went downtown, the rules were totally different. Somehow that made it all the more crazy, more striking. College students from Morgan had come to Dunbar to recruit student volunteers for a sit-in, and it wasn’t hard to persuade me to go along.”


Thomas Dartmouth Rice, a white American actor, gained wide popularity performing in blackface as “Jim Crow,” a hapless, exaggerated, highly distorted black character who sang “Negro ditties.”  By the late 1830s, the term “Jim Crow” had become a racial epithet for blacks, with Rice’s traveling minstrel shows aiding the spread of Jim Crow as a slur. By the turn of the 19th century, Jim Crow was in use to describe codified laws and practices that segregated and oppressed blacks in the South and North.


1870: Maryland rejects the ratified 15th Amendment guaranteeing voting rights to African Americans.

1884: Interracial marriages banned in Maryland.

1891: The University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore bans African Americans from attending.

1904: Public transportation and other public facilities in Maryland are segregated by law.

1906-9: Edd Watson, Henry Davis, James Reed, William Burns, and William Ramsay are lynched on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

1910: Baltimore enacts the nation’s first housing ordinance segregating neighborhoods by blocks.

1911: King Johnson is lynched in Anne Arundel County.

1913: NAACP chapter established in Baltimore.

1915: Chapter 51 of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is formed in Mount Rainier.

1922: KKK rallies in Baltimore and Frederick.

1924:Maryland passes a law punishing “any white woman who shall suffer or permit herself to be got with child by a Negro or mulatto . . . to the penitentiary for not less than 18 months.”

1931:A white mob lynches Matthew Williams in Salisbury.

1933: George Armwood is lynched in Princess Anne.

1942: Baltimore police officer kills an unarmed Black soldier, Pvt. Thomas Broadus, setting off police brutality and discrimination protests in the state.

1947: Baltimore’s NAACP branch begins a five-year, ultimately successful, picket of Ford’s Theatre.

1948: 24 Black and white tennis players are arrested while playing together on Druid Hill Park’s “whites-only” courts.

1954: Baltimore public schools desegregate following landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision; Anne Arundel and Howard counties will take more than a decade to comply.

1955: Morgan State students and the Committee on Racial Equality (CORE) organize historic sit-in protests and desegregate Read’s lunch counters.

1959: 90 years after the 14th Amendment guaranteeing full civil rights to African Americans is adopted, Maryland finally ratifies the amendment.

1960: Local high school students, including future Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert Bell, then a junior at Dunbar High, demand service at Hooper’s Restaurant at Charles and Fayette Streets in a case that eventually reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.

1960: Morgan State students are arrested at Hecht-May Co. department store in the Northwood Shopping Center.

1963: Nearly 350 Morgan State students are arrested protesting segregation at the Northwood movie theater.

1963: July 4 and 7, nearly 400 demonstrators are arrested while protesting segregation at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park.

1963: Racial tensions rise in Cambridge after pro-segregation police and white citizens attack Black students attempting to get served at the Dizzyland restaurant.

1966: KKK cross-burnings in Camp Springs.

1967: Over Easter weekend, three crosses are burned in Laurel.

1972: Alabama Gov. George Wallace, a segregationist, wins state Democratic primary.

2017: Baltimore City removes four Confederate monuments.

Even before that, in the summer of 1944, a decade before Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, a young Baltimore mother with two children named Irene Morgan, who built B-26 bombers at the Glenn L. Martin plant by day, refused to give up her seat on a Greyhound bus after visiting her mother back home in Gloucester County, Virginia. Morgan’s husband worked on Baltimore’s docks, and she was returning to the city after an extended stay with her mother while recovering from a miscarriage. When the bus grew crowded and the Greyhound driver demanded she give her seat to a white couple, Morgan refused. When a sheriff’s deputy at the jail, where the driver drove when she wouldn’t budge, tried to pull her off, Morgan resisted and spent seven hours in county lock-up.

She paid the $100 fine for resisting arrest, but she refused to pay the $10 fine for violating a Virginia law requiring segregated seating in public transportation. Morgan, who died in 2007, was driven, as a family member explained, by “the pent-up bitterness of years of seeing the Colored people pushed around,” and she accepted the burden of bearing witness in court. The NAACP and Marshall took up her cause and won a landmark desegregation victory regarding interstate transportation in 1946.

A year after the decision, white and Black activists with the newly formed Congress of Racial Equality launched a two-week “Journey of Reconciliation” through the South to explain and test the Morgan decision. On buses and trains, they sang a song penned by organizers called “You Don’t Have to Ride Jim Crow!”

On June the Third the high court said, When you ride interstate, Jim Crow is dead. . . . Get on the bus, sit anyplace, ’Cause Irene Morgan won her case. You don’t have to ride Jim Crow.

In the ensuing years, Morgan would remarry and move to New York, where she ran a childcare business. At 68, she earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University. In her 70s, she received a master’s degree in urban studies.

“[The deputy sheriff] put his hand on me to arrest me, so I took my foot and kicked him,” recounted Morgan, who returned to Virginia to live out her final years, a half-century later in a PBS documentary. “He was blue and purple and turned all colors. I started to bite him, but he looked dirty, so I couldn’t bite him. So all I could do was claw and tear his clothes.

“That was a seat I had paid for,” she said. “Sometimes, you are so enraged, you don’t have time to be afraid.”




My mother was pregnant with me upon our arrival at 613 I Street in Sparrows Point in 1949. In order to live in the company houses, as we did, the head of the household had to work for the company. There was myself, my brothers Emile, Gerald, Chauncey, and, later to come, our baby sister, Leatrice, living there. Our oldest brother, Reggie, lived in Virginia with our grandparents, but stayed with us in the summer. Our older sisters, Eleanor, Jenny, and Curley, were grown by then. One early memory was when I was invited across the street to Ms. Pearl Boware’s house for a soft candy peppermint stick pushed down into a juicy lemon.

People on the “white” side lived on C through H streets, and we on the “Colored” side lived on I, J, and K streets. Although we were free to walk or ride over to “the other side” as it was called, we just took care of our business at the white-owned establishments [restaurants, grocery, department, and drug stores]. We didn’t linger when we finished—we headed right back over to “our” side. I went to an all-Black school until ninth grade. Our family used to go down to Virginia to visit my grandparents in the summertime, and I remember being shocked at the end of one summer that my cousins in Virginia weren’t going to school that year. They had closed the school rather than desegregate.

There was still farming going on down there [on my grandparents’ land], and my father always kept a big vegetable garden—tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, greens, string beans, collards—across the street from our house, too. He brought the country with us to Sparrows Point. One particular time, we found ourselves with a feathered friend . . . a brown hen that was brought back as a pet.

My dad was very proud when I had gotten a job at the main office of Bethlehem Steel—I was the second Black person to work in the purchasing department. My brothers Gerald and Chauncey worked at Bethlehem Steel, too. Daddy liked to visit “Mickey’s” after work, where he could unwind with his friends. Then, he would drive home and have a delicious meal, which my mother had prepared. He always said grace. And when Sunday came, he dressed in a suit and tie to go to church with the rest of our family. Daddy served as an usher, dutifully, for as long as I can remember. He was a sincere man with a love for Christ. As a boy in Virginia, he worked on his parent’s farm and only had a third-grade education [but] he was highly intelligent. He would memorize scripture, not wanting people to know he couldn’t read sufficiently. He found a way to keep that to himself. When he was to participate by “reading” from the Bible during a special program, he simply walked to the rostrum, opened his Bible to his favorite scripture, Psalm 133, and “read” it from his memory. —Edited from Steel-Town Girl and 2019 interview.



The South was always pretty tough, places like Mississippi were just backwards, racially speaking. And we got this real hateful climate where people in the Congress and other leaders were speaking forcefully about the fact that they were not going to integrate schools. George Lee was killed for trying to get Black folks to register to vote. He was actually one of two people who were killed in 1954 there, just before in 1955 Emmett Till was killed. You went out there to do a job. Most of us thought that it was important.

Shortly after that, we were [in Atlanta with] the Freedom Riders. Martin Luther King told our good friend Simeon Booker [the first Black journalist at The Washington Post] that the KKK and others were planning to see that the Freedom Riders never got out of Alabama alive. I was on the Greyhound, and they threw this firebomb thing in the seat just behind me, which was an empty seat.

I got a few burns on the back of the ear and that sort of thing, but nothing serious. Suddenly, it was pitch black on that bus. And I said, “Well, I’m going to be the last guy off this bus. Nobody gets trapped on here.” So, I just put a handkerchief over my mouth and nose and hung around as long as I could. I tell you, when you stepped off that bus and you looked around and saw these people crawling around, trying to get the smoke out of their chest, and people crawling and coughing and gagging, it was one of those sights that makes you wonder why Americans are doing that sort of thing to fellow Americans who were just trying to exercise their rights. Eventually, that bus burned right down, broad open daylight. —Edited from a Library of Congress oral history, 2011.



That picture was taken at my father’s gas station on the southwest corner of Lafayette Avenue and North Gilmore Street. It was probably 1958. I was 8. My dad was the proprietor of that gas station and a second one located at West North Avenue and McCulloh Street. I remember my dad telling me that he was the first Black—“Colored” in those days—Sinclair station proprietor in Baltimore. He became the proprietor in 1952. The location pictured was a full-service station, offering basic maintenance like oil changes, as well as mechanical repairs and tire service. The station on North Avenue offered gasoline and oil changes only. My dad also had a tow truck in addition to the tank truck in the picture. He used the tanker to deliver heating fuel oil during the cold months. Regarding the photograph, from left to right are me, my dad, and my mom. I do not remember the names of the remaining individuals, but they worked for my dad.

My dad closed the North Avenue location in 1960 and the main location in 1961. He later taught automotive repair in Baltimore City public schools. My dad was the youngest of six children and was born in Baltimore in 1921, but his oldest siblings were born in Virginia. He served in the Army with my mother’s brother, and that’s how [my parents] met. Her family had migrated to Philadelphia from around Griffin, Georgia, in 1919, shortly after her parents married. I was told my grandfather said, “I’m not going to raise my children in the South.”

Both my parents—they married shortly after he returned from World War II, in June 1946—have gone to be with Jesus and are laid to rest at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery at Garrison Forrest. This was my dad’s request. He passed in 1995 in Baltimore. My mother, Eunice, died at 86 in 2011. He was a member of 548th Combat Engineers Company, a segregated all-Black unit, and a motor sergeant, which was as high as you could go. He said several times that he wanted to be “with my boys” when his time came. —Edited from 2019 interview.



From 8 years old, I wanted to be a nurse, and Provident Hospital was the only school in Baltimore because everything else was segregated. All hospitals were segregated. There was nothing wrong with Provident. When I graduated from high school, one of my classmates was admitted there. But I said to another classmate, “It’s a shame we can’t go to any school we want to go to merely because of our race.” I said, “Let’s write to the white schools.” I don’t know where it came from. She said, “You know what they are going to say.” I said, “Yes, but let’s write anyway.” All of this is just coming [out of me].

We started getting replies back: “We don’t accept Negroes.” “We don’t accept Negroes at this time.” Maryland sent me the catalogue that we had requested and the application. When I took my [physical examination] form to my medical doctor, he said, “Did you contact the NAACP? You know you are not going to get in there without their help.” They sent me the application, but he said that doesn’t mean anything. I believe [my physician] contacted the NAACP, because I heard from Donald Murray [who had integrated Maryland’s law school]. They wanted me to talk to Charles Houston [the NAACP’s first litigation director], and the first thing he said was, “Who put you up to it?” I told him nobody. He said, “Okay, you’re very brave, and since you started it, we’ll let you continue, and if you get into any trouble, call on us.”

Of course, the admission date [came] and I hadn’t heard from them. It was always, “The committee on admissions is reviewing your credentials”—that was their mantra. I called them. That’s when Charles Houston and Donald Gaines Murray went into the lower court to argue. We lost there. Charles Houston had a heart attack by the time the appeal came up, so that’s how Thurgood Marshall got in. He was called down from New York to argue the appeal with Donald Murray, and in April 1950, the decision was handed down that the university had to admit me. And that was another song and dance. I remember that first day when they pretended they had no [dormitory] rooms there and I had to commute. It was so stressful. That first day a nurse had come to me and said, “If you don’t pray to God, you won’t get out of here because nobody here is for you.” And I looked at her and I said, “If God intends for me to get out of here, nobody here can stop me.” Many trials and tribulations, but I did graduate. I still go back to encourage the young people coming in. —Edited from remarks at Maryland Historical Society, 2012.

New Jersey sets the standard for EV rebates and policy

Author: Silvia Gonzalez    Published:  01/22/2020     Plug In America

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a very extensiveEV legislation package last Friday. Under the new law, New Jersey residents will be eligible for a rebate of $25 per mile of electric range on the vehicle, up to $5,000. For instance, a plug-in hybrid with a range of 30 electric miles will receive a $750 rebate, while an all-electric vehicle with a range over 200 miles will receive the full $5,000 rebate.

As before, zero-emission vehicles are also exempt from sales and use tax in New Jersey. This rebate is also in addition to the federal EV tax credit of up to $7,500. Between all three incentives, an eligible $40,000 vehicle could receive a total of $15,300 in savings! For details on New Jersey’s incentives, visit Drive Green NJ.

New Jersey is aiming to have 330,000 electric vehicles by 2025 and 2 million by 2035 on the road. They also set aggressive goals for expanding the state’s public charging network. We commend the state of New Jersey for placing a priority on electric transportation and setting a standard for other states to follow.

Several other states also have new, updated, or notable incentives, including those below. For incentives in all 50 states, visit Plug In America’s incentives map and to explore vehicles available in your area.


Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
A few changes to California’s state rebate took effect December 3, 2019. The standard rebate is now $2,000 for all-electrics and $1,000 for plug-in hybrids with an MSRP cap of $60,000. Low- and moderate-income residents are eligible for an additional $2,500 rebate. The application must now be submitted within three months of the vehicle purchase. For details, visit the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

Income-Based Clean Air Vehicle Decal Program
Starting January 1, 2020, a vehicle that was previously issued a Clean Air Vehicle Decal for HOV lane access may be re-issued a decal if all the following requirements are met. For details, visit the California DMV’s website.

  • The new, current registered owner is NOT the owner of the vehicle when the decals issued prior to January 2017 expired.
  • The new registered owner name(s) matches DMV records.
  • The applicant’s total annual household income is at or below $65,760 (this amount is subject to change).
    • Total Annual Household Income requires the disclosure of the annual income of all members of the household, age 17 and older, who reside together and share common living expensesregardless if they are related.


Qualified all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles registered in Colorado are eligible for a tax credit. Starting January 1, 2020, the tax credit decreased to $4,000 for purchase or conversion; $2,000 for lease. Eligible purchased vehicles must be new and eligible leased vehicles must have a lease with a term of not less than two years.

A purchaser may assign the tax credit generated through the purchase, lease, or conversion to the financing entity, allowing the purchaser to realize the value of the tax credit at the time of purchase, lease, or conversion. For details, visit the Colorado Department of Revenue.


Starting January 1, 2020, Massachusetts residents will be able to apply for the re-established MOR-EV incentive. For details, visit the MOR-EV website.

  • $2,500 on the purchase or lease of an all-electric vehicle
  • $1,500 on the purchase or lease of a plug-in hybrid with a range of at least 25 miles on a battery charge

New York

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provides rebates of up to $2,000 for the purchase or lease of a new, eligible all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. The total rebate ranges from $500 to $2,000 depending on the all-electric range of the vehicle. All vehicles with an MSRP of more than $60,000 are eligible for a $500 maximum rebate. For details, visit the Drive Clean Rebate for Plug-In Electric Cars website.


All-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles are eligible for a rebate of $2,500 on a first-come, first-served basis for 2,000 applicants. As of publication date, 1,794 rebates are still available. One rebate is available per eligible vehicle. For details, visit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website.

Alliance Policy Summit

Who We Are

Founded in 1977 by a pair of U.S. senators who recognized the enormous opportunity of energy efficiency, the Alliance to Save Energy is a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders advocating for enhanced energy productivity to achieve economic growth, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security, affordability and reliability.

Our Vision: A nation that uses energy more productively to achieve economic growth, a cleaner environment and greater energy security, affordability and reliability.

Our Mission: To improve energy productivity by:

  • Leading bipartisan initiatives that drive technological innovation and energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, through policy advocacy, education, communications, and research.
  • Convening and engaging in diverse public private partnerships, collaborative efforts and strategic alliances to optimize resources and expand our sphere of influence.

Tell me more.

Improving energy productivity – including through energy efficiency – means getting more economic output from every unit of energy used. It is the cheapest, fastest and simplest way to address our energy and environmental goals – and a powerful economic catalyst. Improved productivity will save consumers and businesses money, drive innovation, improve U.S competitiveness, create jobs and economic activity, and sharply reduce pollution, including carbon emissions. Already, the energy efficiency sector is among the leading job creators in the entire energy sector, with 2.2 million jobs, according to the Department of Energy.

Since 1980, we have doubled U.S. energy productivity – we now get twice as much GDP from each unit of energy consumed as we did then. We can double it again.

Our History

Founded in 1977 by Sens. Charles H. Percy (R-Ill.) and Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn.), the Alliance to Save Energy was launched following the oil embargo of the 1970’s – a pivotal time in our nation’s history that exposed fundamental weaknesses in our nation’s economic security and challenged us to develop innovate energy solutions. Decades later, it continues its mission to create a more energy-productive world.

Our Work

The Alliance to Save Energy devotes specific effort working on the following issues. Click on each to learn more about our work in these areas.

  • Federal Policy: We focus on influencing and promoting effective bipartisan legislation, regulatory actions and administrative policy.
  • Energy 2030: We bring together national and local leaders to advance implementation of a roadmap for achieving the shared goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity.
  • Global Alliance for Energy Productivity: We work with international decision makers, governments and companies to achieve the goal of doubling global energy productivity, providing a global, energy productivity-focused framework for the development of policies and programs that promote greater economic prosperity and a more secure future across all regions.
  • Clean Power Plan: We have developed a hub of tools and resources for policy makers and industry participants to explain the role of energy efficiency as the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective mechanism available for compliance with the Clean Power Plan.
  • Buildings: With buildings comprising approximately 40 percent of U.S. energy waste, we promote the adoption, implementation and advancement of building energy codes in the U.S. and abroad, aiming to make the most energy-exhaustive sector more efficient.
  • CarbonCount™: We have developed a scoring tool that evaluates bond investments in U.S.-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and now offer third-party green bond certifications in accordance with the CarbonCount methodology.
  • PowerSave Schools: We work to empower students to be leaders with measurable, best practices on energy efficiency to address the real-world challenge of increasing utility bills, and move their schools and communities toward a greener future. PowerSave Schools reduce consumption an average of 5-15% in one year through no-cost operations and behavior changes.

Our Leadership

The Alliance is led by a diverse and bipartisan board of directors comprised of members of Congress and corporate and nonprofit executives united by the desire to see American families and businesses save money and energy and to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.



At the core of the Alliance’s success is our ever-growing roster of Associates, which include diverse businesses, nonprofit organizations and government entities that share in the Alliance’s belief that energy productivity builds a healthier economy, a cleaner environment and stronger energy security.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020 : 08:30am End Wednesday, February 5, 2020 : 12:00pm
Room 562 | Dirksen Senate Office Building | Washington, DC :Washington, DC
Energy Efficiency Policy Priorities in the Returning 116th Congress
February 5, 2020 | Room 562 | Dirksen Senate Office Building | Capitol Hill | Washington, D.C.
8:30 – 9:30am     Breakfast and Registration
9:30 – 10:30am   Infrastructure Panel
The FAST Act expires September 30, 2020 and Congress is working on the next reauthorization. To date, Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) is the only committee to move forward on its piece of the reauthorization, advancing a bill – the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) – in late July 2019. Now that Congress is in a presidential election year, surface transportation reauthorization is likely the only major legislative package with a chance of being considered. This session will discuss the role of energy efficiency in surface transportation policy and take a deep dive into the FAST Act and the benefits and challenges that reauthorization presents. 
Moderator: Genevieve Cullen, President, Electric Drive Transportation Association
Speakers:  Brad Stertz, Director, Government Affairs, Audi
                  Eric McCarthy, SVP, Government Relations, Public Policy, and Legal Affairs, Proterra
10:30 – 10:45am   Keynote Remarks by Rep. Burgess M.D.
10:45 – 11:00am    Networking Break
11:00 – 12:00pm   Energy Efficiency Tax Policy
Efficiency is one of the most powerful energy assets we have. It is by far the largest employer in the clean energy sector and also the single most effective solution we have for climate change. Yet the U.S. tax code has for years been woefully lacking in incentives for energy efficiency, whether in homes and buildings, manufacturing, or the transportation sector. We’ve convened a panel of experts to talk through what’s missing in the tax code and how we can fix it.
Moderator: Ben Evans, VP, Government Affairs and Communications, The Alliance to Save Energy
Speakers: Adam Letcher, President, Fifth Fuel
                 Lauren Urbanek, Senior Energy Policy Advocate, NRDC
                 Bryan Howard, Legislative Director, USGBC
                 Jay Monger, Co-Owner, Excel Heating and Air
12:00pm                End of Session


Federal tax credit on EV charging equipment extended

Author: Noah Barnes       Published:  01/30/2020        Plug In America

While Congress failed to extend the federal EV tax credit in December, there is one piece of good news out of Washington, D.C.

A federal tax credit of 30% of the cost of installing EV charging equipment, which had expired December 31, 2016, has been retroactively extended through December 31, 2020. If you installed charging equipment after January 1, 2017 or if you install equipment before the end of this year, you are eligible to claim this credit, up to $1,000.

To claim this credit, see IRS Form 8911. (Please note that, as of this posting, the IRS is still finalizing this form.) Please contact your tax adviser with any questions.

To find charging equipment for your home,

Optimism, Changes Abound on Day 1 of Md. General Assembly

Author: William Ford      Published: 01/08/2020            Washington Informer

Del. Adrienne Jones (center) is officially sworn in as Maryland House speaker on Jan. 8. She is the first Black lawmaker and first woman to hold the position. (Brigette Squire/The Washington Informer)

Del. Adrienne Jones (center) is officially sworn in as Maryland House speaker on Jan. 8. She is the first Black lawmaker and first woman to hold the position. (Brigette Squire/The Washington Informer)

ANNAPOLIS — The first day of the Maryland General Assembly session showcased history and optimism Wednesday as the two chambers officially swore in new presiding officers to begin the 90-day session.

Del. Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) will serve as the first Black and first woman to lead the House of Delegates chamber after the death of her mentor, the late Michael Busch, who led the chamber from 2003 until his death in April.

Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) was officially nominated as the first Senate president since Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. took the reins in 1987. Miller, the longest-serving state Senate president in U.S. history, stepped down in October after announcing he has stage 4 prostate cancer.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks heard remarks from both Jones and Ferguson.

“I think [Ferguson] is absolutely right about not having a choice in the matter that this is the time to correct the inequities we talked about for years and we have the power and authority to do it together,” she said. “I’m really encouraged that this is a message that’s resonating throughout this Senate chamber and throughout the House. There is a unity of purpose across both chambers. I’m excited to just be a part of it.”

Del. Darryl Barnes, chair of the Maryland Black Caucus, speaks during a Jan. 8 press conference to outline the organization's legislative priorities for the 2020 session of the state's General Assembly. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Del. Darryl Barnes, chair of the Maryland Black Caucus, speaks during a Jan. 8 press conference to outline the organization’s legislative priorities for the 2020 session of the state’s General Assembly. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

Miller, who spoke from the Senate floor to nominate Ferguson, wasn’t shy to let his colleagues know there will be some strong discussion on one topic: public education.

More specifically, passing legislation based on recommendations to expand early childhood, raise teacher salaries and other education initiatives from the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, also known as the Kirwan Commission.

The funding formula proposal stands at $4 billion — $2.8 billion from the state and the remaining $1.2 billion from county governments and Baltimore City.

“As vice chair of Budget and Taxation [Committee] last year, he stood up and fought for that Kirwan Commission,” he said. “We’re going to fully fund Kirwan. We’re going to make it happen.”

However, the two majority Black jurisdictions could be expected to pay more: Prince George’s at nearly $360 million and Baltimore City at $330 million by 2030.

Although Prince George’s lawmakers support the education plan and how it strives to close equity and racial gaps, some say there must be more discussion to decrease the county’s share.

The county’s $4.2 billion budget allots about 60 percent toward education, but has the largest number of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch in the state.

Del. Julian Ivey (D-District 47A) of Cheverly said one item within the proposed funding formula could affect areas with underserved communities.

“There is a clause that if you don’t adequately implement these recommendations, then the state could send 25 percent less of those promised dollars back to the local jurisdiction,” he said. “We could run into an instance because a jurisdiction does not have enough revenue … they would then be punished for not having enough money. We do champion that our dollars are used the right way, but we also want to make sure we are not punishing poor people for being poor.”

Meanwhile, the Maryland Black Caucus held a press conference to announce its legislative priorities, which include addressing a $577 million settlement offer in an ongoing HBCU lawsuit, continuing education for young people in the juvenile system, and reintroducing a bill for the state to open a pre-release center for women.

Another priority will be to push for equal representation in the medical cannabis industry, as only one Black owns a dispensary in the state.

Del. Darryl Barnes (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro, who chairs the caucus, said a closed-door meeting will be scheduled Jan. 16 with an invitation for the state’s attorney general and industry officials “to come in and talk to us and give us a complete overview of where we stand to date and how do we proceed and move forward.”

FERC’s backlog of rehearing requests and the legal ‘purgatory’ of opposition to the PJM MOPR order

Author:      Published:  01/20/2020     Utility Dive

Clean energy advocates have issued numerous warnings that a controversial December decision by federal regulators to raise the floor price for state-subsidized resources bidding in the PJM Interconnection’s capacity market would harm the ability of new clean energy technologies to enter the market. But options to challenge the order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in court are extremely limited.

Stakeholders from the grid operator to confectioner Hershey have filed requests with FERC for a rehearing of the Dec. 19 order, but language in the Federal Power Act shields regulators from litigation when they delay responses to such requests.

A direct example of this comes from a recent response by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday: The court dismissed a lawsuit from the Illinois Commerce Commission of a FERC Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) order in June 2018, the predecessor of the December 2019 action.

The ICC, among other stakeholders, had formally asked FERC for a rehearing, and the regulators are required to respond to rehearing requests in 30 days. As that can involve going through hundreds of briefs with thousands of pages, regulators are able to delay their response, similar to other federal agencies.

However, it’s become a norm for FERC to delay, or toll, rehearing requests received on its orders, according to several attorneys.

“The law is pretty well settled on these tolling orders,” ICC Commissioner Brien Sheahan told Utility Dive. As FERC had not officially ruled on the rehearing request for its June 2018 order before issuing its December 2019 decision, the ICC suit was dismissed, as several legal experts anticipated.

“It’s generally been the policy of the [Illinois Commerce] Commission to pursue all avenues of relief with respect to matters before the FERC, and that’s included the federal court system,” he added.

“There’s been a lot of grumbling about FERC’s practices of sitting on these rehearing requests,” Ari Peskoe, director of Harvard University’s Electricity Law Initiative, told Utility Dive.

“The purgatory that cases go to is problematic,” Sheahan said. FERC is “trying to balance, on one hand, the need for these projects to move forward and, on the other, litigants’ right to due process,” but the interminable delays from tolling orders creates “no recourse” to disagree, he said.

Challenging the use of tolling orders

Opponents of the PJM MOPR are far from the first ones to complain about tolling. The law is nearly identical under the Federal Power Act and the National Gas Act, causing much consternation across the energy sector when it comes to regulatory rehearings or litigation, according to Avi Zevin, attorney at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

Natural gas pipeline orders can receive rehearing requests, but FERC delays can block litigation while projects are advancing.

“The way the law is written now, FERC should be … actually acting within 30 days and certainly not approving construction [of a pipeline] while it’s sitting on [rehearing] requests,” Mark Sabath, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, told Utility Dive.

The Sourthern Environmental Law Center and Earthjustice compiled the rehearing requests for every FERC order in 2018-2019, showing FERC acted in the 30-day timeframe only 4% of the time, while some stretched on for years.

Commissioner Richard Glick said he believed Congress should take a look at FERC’s use of delays in rehearing requests, at FERC’s January open hearing on Thursday.

The commissioner said the 30-day window could be too small for particular proceedings, but acknowledged that delays lasting more than a year are not part of the original intent of tolling actions.

Rehearing requests happen often in FERC, according to Southern Environmental Law Center and Earthjustice.

If Congress does not change the law, FERC’s tolling practice could be questioned in court. Currently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is hearing a case en banc regarding FERC tolling under the National Gas Act.

The case is notable because the full panel of DC Circuit judges will be participating, as with en banc procedures.

“The DC Circuit rarely hears cases en banc. It suggests to me … that there’s a lot of judges who are interested in rethinking this issue” on tolling, Peskoe said.

The en banc proceeding, Allegheny Defense Project vs. FERC, “suggests maybe the DC Court is going to reconsider their approach,” Sheahan said.

Since the tolling language in the National Gas Act is similar to the Federal Power Act, many FERC stakeholders are following the case as an opportunity to restrict delays in FERC’s responses, which essentially block litigation of regulatory orders.

FERC is expected to file a response with the DC Circuit on the Allegheny Defense Project suit by Feb. 10. The expedited proceeding will have oral arguments take place at the end of March.

“These cases, they drag on for a very long time in large part because of this tolling issue, and sometimes they just become moot … by the time the court can actually [make] a decision,” Zevin said.

In one extreme case, FERC had approved a resource carve-out option for ISO-New England, which received rehearing requests from stakeholders. FERC eventually denied the rehearing and legal deliberations continued, but by the time a court ruled that FERC was within its right to order the carve-out, the federal regulators had already issued a different policy.

PJM’s anticipated capacity market response

While litigation of the December order is uncertain, PJM received 90 days from FERC to propose an implementation of the MOPR.

A tolling of the MOPR rehearing requests means PJM capacity auctions could proceed before an opportunity is created to litigate the order. In fact, it’s already happened in FERC’s jurisdiction.

Stakeholders are still waiting for a rehearing response on FERC’s order for ISO-NE’s two-part capacity market, and the grid operator already held its first forward capacity market auction applying the contested order in 2019.

Therefore, PJM’s response to FERC’s December MOPR ruling, due March 18, is critical to states that are considering other options based on an opposition to the MOPR.

The Illinois governor and the state legislature will have to decide how to react, Sheahan said. He has not discussed this with the governor, but anticipates the issue will gain traction in the upcoming spring session.

“We have a governor who has made some very ambitious claims on climate, which he will not be able to achieve without nuclear power” as a competitive resource, Sheahan said.

States don’t know yet how much time they have to figure out a potential exit from the RTO, Peskoe said.

The grid operator will propose to FERC the timing for its next two auctions, but more time would suit stakeholders like states, who have proposed holding off until mid-2021, he added.

However, generators in the PJM region want the capacity auction to happen as soon as possible. The 2019 auction still needs to occur and the delays will affect the schedules of the next five auctions, Paul Scheidecker, lead senior engineer for PJM’s capacity market operations, said in a Jan. 8 stakeholder session on MOPR implementation.

“We obviously don’t have a schedule yet and it is still difficult to say how much that will change. Much will depend on how quickly FERC approves our compliance filing,” Jeff Shields, PJM spokesperson, said in an email.



New Jersey outlines sweeping plans to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050

Author: Matthew  Bandky   Published: 01/28/2020      Utility Dive

Credit: Mark C. Olsen

Dive Brief:

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy released on Monday a wide-ranging plan with details on how the state could achieve 100% clean energy by 2050, a goal adopted by governors of both Massachusetts and Washington in the past month.
  • The governor’s “Energy Master Plan” admits that New Jersey’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions thus far are insufficient to achieve the target of 80% reduction from 2006 levels set by the state’s Global Warming Response Act, passed last summer.
  • Major proposals in the plan include additional steps to ensure that 7.5 GW of offshore wind is part of New Jersey’s energy mix by 2035. Murphy also announced proposals to have state regulators require utilities to explore “non-wire solutions” like storage and distributed energy resources (DERs) and establishing an electric vehicle “ecosystem” to build up EV charging infrastructure.

Dive Insight:

Murphy’s plan provides more specifics on how the state could meet its goals related to clean energy adoption based around seven areas: the transportation sector, renewable energy and DERs, energy efficiency, the building sector, the use of “integrated distribution plans,” incentivizing clean energy in underserved communities and attracting supply chain businesses to create clean energy “clusters.”

The Murphy administration had announced two major initiatives related to these areas: a November 2019 executive order set the goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind by 2035, the second-largest such goal in the nation, and 2018 legislation aimed for 2,000 MW of energy storage by 2030.

On offshore wind, the plan calls for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to “develop a consistent and transparent solicitation schedule through 2035 that supports a steady, long-term Mid-Atlantic project pipeline. This procurement approach will enable long-term industry investment in core infrastructure and manufacturing facilities.”

The plan is a “promising boost” for New Jersey’s offshore wind power industry, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) said in a press release.

Beyond utility-scale projects like offshore wind, the plan also calls for a focus on distributed energy resources like rooftop solar. It calls upon state utilities to establish “integrated distribution plans” that will “allow for the anticipated growth of DER and EV charging on the electric distribution system,” including changes in rate structures to encourage DERs.

Another strategy outlined by the governor looks at the state’s building sector, which accounts for 62% of New Jersey’s total end-use energy consumption, according to the plan. The document calls for New Jersey to “electrify its state facilities, partner with private industry to establish electrified building demonstration projects [and] expand and accelerate the current statewide net zero carbon homes incentive programs for both new construction and existing homes,” among other measures.

The Consumer Energy Alliance, a group that represents business interests as well as large energy companies like ExxonMobil, criticized the plan for failing to present its costs. “While we support greater inclusion of renewable energy sources in New Jersey’s energy mix, it is highly worrisome that the state was unwilling to make the cost of this plan on ratepayers public,” Consumer Energy Alliance Mid-Atlantic Director Mike Butler said in a statement.

The master plan recommendations are based on a report developed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection along with contractors the Rocky Mountain Institute and Evolved Energy Research. The Integrated Energy Plan “identifies the optimal, least-cost approach to reach 100% clean energy by 2050 based on today’s most cost-effective technologies,” according to the master plan.