Dolf Ivener, founder of Sioux City, Iowa-based Hog Power Energy, is now plenty busy marketing his company’s Self-Contained Solar Generator (SCSG) to hog farmers . . . According to Ivener, the industry is sizable: 70,000 hog confinements exist nationwide, each one consuming 24,000 kw of electricity annually at a $184,000,000 price tag, averaging more than $2,600 annually. Add to this calculation, the cost of a generator averages $10,000, a machine which needs to be replaced within 10-15 years, plus maintenance. The hog industry has spent over $1,200,000,000 for new and replacement generators, which provide no energy savings. This is where Ivener has created a viable niche in the agricultural marketplace selling photovoltaic electricity. Read more.
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive An annual report from the U.S. Department of Energy highlights not just the rapidly declining cost of clean energy technology, but also the speed at which deployment is accelerating. Since 2008, the cost of land-based wind power has fallen 41% according to the “Revolution Now“ report, while distributed and utility-scale solar resource costs have declined 54% and 64%, respectively. Continue reading.
COLUMBUS — Cornhusker Public Power District is looking into potential renewable energy sources to provide a portion of its electricity. The district’s board of directors recently authorized a study with Omaha-based Bluestem Energy Solutions that will determine the feasibility of both wind and solar projects within Cornhusker’s service area . . . Under its wholesale power agreement with Nebraska Public Power District, Cornhusker could purchase up to 10 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. Click to read more.
Telegram file photo: Wind turbines rise from the countryside about 4 miles southwest of Creston, where Creston Ridge Wind Farm was built last year.
Sens. Ken Haar of Malcolm and Tyson Larson of O’Neill heard testimony Wednesday from leaders from around the state calling for a response to the growing threat of climate change and an increase in energy from renewable resources . . . A group of students and faculty from Omaha North High School were at the hearing and a student, Gabriel Runyon, testified. Runyon said committing to renewable resources and stopping the effects of climate change were important to his generation. Haar thanked him for testifying, and said that more young people should speak out, because elected officials would listen. Read more.
Solar projects are continuing to sprout up across the US, as WGL Energy and NRG Energy have paved the way for a slew of new installations in both Minnesota and Massachusetts. NRG announced Tuesday that it has broken ground on five community solar projects in Minnesota, while WGL noted that it has completed a 3.2MW PV plant in Devens, Massachusetts. NRG noted that all five Minnesota projects are expected to be completed by early 2017. The installations will be developed in Washington County, Dakota County, Goodhue County, Olmstead County and Dodge County — and will have a combined generation capacity of 29.1MW. Read more.
Photo: The five Minnesota projects are expected to have a combined generation capacity of 29.1MW. Image Credit: NRG Energy
ADDITIONAL NEWS Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40 Award Recipients, Day One Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40 award program highlights emerging leaders throughout the region and their work in America’s transition to a clean energy economy. The cohort of 2016 recipients are being announced on Sept. 28, Sept. 29, and Sept. 30.
BROKEN BOW — Nebraskans may disagree over whether humans are causing climate change, say three state lawmakers, but they’re already seeing changes from all the talk in how they use, get and generate their electricity.
If Nebraskans are wise, the lawmakers declared here Tuesday, they can generate another priceless commodity — rural jobs and economic activity — by tapping the state’s renewable-energy potential and upgrading buildings’ energy efficiency with help from a newly approved financing tool. Click to read more.
Photo: Several solar energy projects have come online in Custer County over the past year, including this 650-kilowatt array on the Blakeman Ranch. Courtesy of Innovative Solar LLC.
Written by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Fremont Tribune
Far from a lab experiment, a symbolic gesture, or a nice idea, the LES solar project is a concrete, innovative, and economically viable pathway for greater energy diversity. Renewable energy sources now constitute about 48 percent of the power purchased by LES customers. LES, the Omaha Public Power District, and the Nebraska Public Power District have all taken steps, particularly through wind, to take advantage of price competitive renewable sources made possible by technology advancements and certain public policies.
Opinion written by the Sioux City Journal Editorial Board
Earlier this month, the South Sioux City Council unanimously agreed to, along with Green Star Energy Group LLC, apply for a $200,000 Nebraska Environmental Trust grant for a proposed $290,000 turbine . . . Other actions planned or taken by the city include the purchase of electric cars for use by city employees, the purchase of solar and wind power and construction of a private solar farm. In a unique, additional step, the city will produce electricity for its Scenic Park campground by burning fallen tree branches, limbs and brush it collects along the riverfront and across the community. Read about additional initiatives here.
Photo by Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal. South Sioux City senior code official Kent Zimmerman demonstrates the electric-car charging station in front of City Hall in South Sioux City in September 2015. Electric cars for city employees is one component of the city’s commendable renewable energy strategy.
Six Midwestern cities are among 22 communities nationwide that were commended on Monday for taking innovative approaches to streamlining solar development. Their actions were aimed at reducing the “soft costs” of solar installation – the costs outside the actual hardware – and are estimated by the federal Department of Energy to comprise about two-thirds of the price of a solar installation . . . Although federal and state governments generally take the spotlight for offering tax breaks and other incentives aimed at fostering solar, “cities can do a lot about soft costs,” said Gayle Prest, Minneapolis’ sustainability director. Click to read more.
Photo: Sundial Solar / Minnesota Solar Challenge via Creative Commons