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Booting Up: Solar’s day in sun nearing end

We’re staring down the barrel of a solar boom-and-bust … that almost nobody is talking about. Generous federal credits for residential solar panels are about to expire at the end of next year, guaranteeing that 2016 will be a year of false hope, with people rushing to jam south-facing photovoltaics on roofs nationwide. And then on Dec. 31, 2016, the ...

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‘Oil above the ground’: Algonquin Power Company, Geronimo Energy break ground on wind farm

WINDOM — With a slight breeze creating a rustling of the leaves in a nearby soybean field, leaders from Algonquin Power Co. and Geronimo Energy, along with investors and local officials, broke ground Wednesday afternoon on a developing 200-megawatt wind farm in southwest Minnesota. The Odell Wind Farm will consist of 100 turbines of 2 megawatts each, spread across wind-blown ...

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Healdsburg man uses heat to make clean water

Healdsburg’s Aaron Mandell wants to build a $30 million desalination plant in the San Joaquin Valley that would use the warmth of the sun to distill former irrigation water and reuse it on thirsty farms. Mandell, an engineer and former Boston resident who has helped start a half-dozen companies, is the second Sonoma County entrepreneur with a business that takes ...

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Minnesota utility co-op devises new business model for solar energy projects

A Minnesota electric cooperative has devised a unique business model for solar power: install the panels on city-owned properties and, in return, the city government gets discount-priced electricity. In the first deal of its kind, the Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative Association has agreed to give the city of Rockford a 7 percent discount on its electricity for 25 years. The city ...

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Study: Clean energy rules hurt economy

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s mandate that utilities find more of their power from renewable sources is hampering the state’s economic comeback, a study presented Monday to a state panel considering the future of those standards suggested. The study, conducted by Utah State University, suggested that states such as Ohio with renewable electricity standards have not fared as well as states without ...

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Renewable energy advocates say utility’s fee is unfair

BILLINGS, Mont. — A proposed fee for some Montana-Dakota Utilities customers who use their own wind or solar power has drawn opposition from renewable energy backers who say the company is trying to stifle small-scale electricity generation. The fee is built into a 21-percent rate increase that’s proposed for about 26,000 eastern Montana customers. The Bismarck, North Dakota-based utility says ...

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