EGEB: 3 ways clean energy is making US grids more resilient right now

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In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Here are 3 ways clean energy is boosting grid resilience right now in the face of extreme weather.
  • Massachusetts announces $1.6 million in grants to support offshore wind workforce training.
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Clean energy and grid resilience

Despite attempts by fossil fuel supporters to wrongfully shift blame to clean energy, integrating more clean energy can boost US grid resilience and reliability. Here are three ways that’s happening right now [via Climate Nexus]:

  • The California grid is already benefiting from the growing contribution of new solar, battery storage, and successful demand response resources. Following the 2020 blackouts, California’s energy agencies reaffirmed their commitment to meeting the state’s clean energy goals, and in June 2021, the state’s energy regulators voted to add another 11.5 gigawatts of clean energy and battery storage to the system to help respond to extreme weather.
  • During the Texas blackouts in February 2021, solar was the only generation source to overperform its expected output. In the wake of the blackouts, investors poured more money into clean energy projects. In total, wind, solar, and battery storage projects in Texas are worth up to $25 billion.
  • Worsening wildfires and heat waves in California have led to a boom in solar and storage among individual residencescommunities, and larger projects. Across the US, the number of households with solar panels and battery storage is expected to double by the end of 2021, as homeowners seek to take control of their own power in the face of increasing threats of blackouts.

Read more: Governor of Texas, No. 1 in US wind power + Tesla Giga, showboats over fossil fuels

Massachusetts offshore wind workforce training

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R-MA) has announced $1.6 million in grants to support offshore wind workforce training.

Massachusetts has two large offshore wind farms in the pipeline: the 800 MW Vineyard Wind 1 and the 804 MW Mayflower Wind.

The funding will be awarded through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Expanding Access to Opportunity in the Offshore Wind Workforce Program.

The money will go to eight Massachusetts organizations: Asian American Civic Association, Adult Continuing Education, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and UMass Lowell, Bristol Community College and Old Bedford Village, Building Pathways, Self-Reliance, UMass Amherst Clean Energy Extension, and Xodus Group and Browning the Green Space.

What each individual organization will be doing on the training front can be read here.

MassCEC writes:

In 2018 MassCEC released a report on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry, finding that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to support between 2,300 and 3,100 direct job years over the next 10 years and generate a total economic impact in Massachusetts of between $678 to $805 million.

Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind have pledged to provide funding for a portion of these prior grants once their projects achieve critical development milestones.

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