Category: News

Facebook, Microsoft Help Form Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance

There is no shortage of non-governmental organizations dedicated to the cause of increasing the use of renewable energy among businesses.

Four of the most notable ones — Business for Social Responsibility, Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute, and World Wildlife Fund — have collaborated informally for months. Now, they’re formalizing their cooperation through a “coalition” called the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, an organization that aims to inspire the addition of another 60 gigawatts of clean energy available to corporate buyers in the United States by 2025.

That’s double the amount of solar and wind power available on the grid at the end of 2014, said Letha Tawney, director of utility innovation at WRI, during a press briefing to announce the initiative.

Read the full story. (

New DOE accelerators target combined heat and power, low-income clean energy

Continuing its focus on building efficiency, the U.S. Department of Energy is launching three new accelerator programs focused on boosting energy resiliency in communities, including one that will focus on sustainable combined heat and power projects.
In another accelerator focused on low-income communities, local and national partners will work to expand installation of energy efficiency and distributed renewables, ultimately looking to lower utility bills.
The new accelerator programs are a part of DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, which since 2011 has resulted in more than $1.3 billion in energy cost savings.

Read the full story. (Utility Dive)

Clean Power Plan To Get Unanticipated En Banc Review

Monday, acting on its own initiative, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced that it would hear challenges to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan sitting en banc. As per the court’s order, the challenges will be heard by the full court in September. A three-judge panel had been scheduled to hear arguments June 2.

The court’s decision appears to be sua sponte (on the court’s own initiative), as there is no record of any party to the case asking the court to hear the case en banc in the first instance. This has been done before, as with U.S. v. Microsoft in 2001. In that case, the court’s decision to go en banc could be explained by the fact that only seven judges could participate in the case, which could have made it difficult for the court to rehear the case en banc after a three-judge opinion. It’s possible that similar considerations were at play here, but the numbers don’t quite add up. Two D.C. Circuit judges (Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and Cornelia Pillard) did not participate in the decision to go en banc, but that still leaves nine judges — with plenty to vote for an en banc review of a wayward three-judge panel ruling.

Read the full story. (Washington Post)

Richmond DMV Cuts Energy Bills By A Third

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has saved more than $300,000 a year on its energy bills since it upgraded its Broad Street headquarters through a contract that leaders there initially thought was too good to be true.

“It sounded to me like a lottery scam email,” DMV Deputy Commissioner David Mitchell said Wednesday of the contract that essentially uses the energy savings to pay for the upgrades. “It was, in fact, a way for us to do things we’d never been able to afford to do.”

Mitchell was among a group that led dignitaries and elected officials on a tour of the building’s upgraded skeleton, from the heating and air system to the windows and elevators. Trane, the contractor that performed the work, guaranteed the DMV would see at least $284,000 in annual savings. And if the agency didn’t, Trane would owe the DMV the difference.

Read the full story. (Richmond Times Dispatch)

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