Monthly Archives: September 2018

City plans dedication for Oct. 1

The Fremont Tribune

The City of Fremont will be hosting a dedication for Solar Farm No. 2, the electric vehicle charging stations and the plug-in hybrid vehicles at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at Solar Farm No. 2, located at 3851 East Hills Farm Road (near the intersection of Old Highway 275 and Hills Farm Road).

The city received grant funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the solar farm, vehicles and charging stations through Nebraska Community Energy Alliance. Members from both entities will be in attendance for the dedication. The public is invited to attend. The announcement is posted here.

Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant Fremont City Administrator of Utilities: Fremont’s First Solar Farm

375 leaders get commitments from Congress & OPPD Candidates on September 17

Omaha Together One Community News 

The Omaha World Herald reporter opened his story about the evening by observing:

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Democrat Kara Eastman faced questions Monday on immigration, health care and a changing climate in front of a standing room-only crowd of more than 350 people.

In fact, nearly 400 people signed into the 2018  OTOC Accountability Session with candidates for US Congress and OPPD at St. Leo Catholic Church.

The packed crowd of OTOC and community leaders sought commitments from OPPD Board members on four topics:

  1. Taking leadership in the community to increase charging stations for electric vehicles by 100 over next 3 years
  2. Directing Staff to be work with community groups and investors who want to establish “community solar projects”
  3. Reducing or reversing the 2015 increase of the basic service charge from $10.25 per month to $30 per month
  4. Supporting the newly proposed SD 7 setting a goal to reduce carbon emissions to a level 20% below 2010 levels by 2030.

Click here to see OPPD candidate responses: Completed OPPD Score Card

The Accountability Session with Candidates for US Congress followed and OTOC leaders asked for commitments on the following topics from Rep. Don Bacon and Candidate Kara Eastman:

Click here to read OTOC’s complete news story and local media coverage and to view more photographs.

ReThink Energy NJ poll shows 2 of 3 New Jersey voters say natural gas is not clean energy; Overwhelming support for 100 percent renewables by 2050

PR Newswire

Sending a strong message to state policymakers, a new survey of the state’s registered voters conducted by The Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll for ReThink Energy NJ found that 66 percent do not consider natural gas to be clean energy, an astounding 23-point increase since 2016, and that three of every four want New Jersey to achieve a goal of 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2050.

“As the Murphy Administration develops a new Energy Master Plan to achieve 100 percent clean energy, it is clear that most New Jersey voters do not think natural gas is clean and want the state to move to renewable energy like wind and solar,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

Read the entire news release here.

Photo: Tom Gilbert

ALSO IN THE NEWS: CITIES ANNOUNCING 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS


Clean energy in St. Louis, Fox2 Now

While a 100% clean energy goal is ambitious for any city, it is perhaps even more so in a longtime coal industry capital like St. Louis—home to two of the country’s largest coal companies.

RESOURCE

100% Commitments in Cities, Counties, & States, Sierra Club

BUSINESSES COMMITTED TO 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

First 100% Solar-Powered Marriott-Branded Property in U.S. in Service

FAITH GROUP MAKING THE COMMITMENT

Adrian Dominican Sisters Commit To Michigan Renewable Energy, North American Windpower
A Michigan-based religious order that represents 600 Dominican sisters has committed to matching its electricity use with 100% renewable sources. Specifically, the Adrian Dominican Sisters are taking part in Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program, which matches electricity use with clean energy that is generated in Michigan. Nearly 20,000 homes and businesses participate in Green Generation, supporting renewable energy in Michigan.

USDA Partners to Improve Electric Infrastructure for More Than 347,000 Rural Americans Across 13 States

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $398.5 million to improve rural electric service in 13 states. “Reliable and affordable electricity is undeniably a necessity in today’s world,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in keeping our rural communities connected to this essential infrastructure.” USDA is making the investments through the Electric Infrastructure Loan Program. Read the entire news release here.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING NEWS

DOE provides $148M in funding for separate energy storage research efforts, Utility Dive
Department of Energy News Releases
Department of Energy Announces New Projects to Extend Grid Energy Storage
Department of Energy Announces $120 Million for Battery Innovation Hub

AGGREGATED RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING NEWS

MORE NEWS & AN EDITORIAL


6 Charts Showing the Renewables Threat to Natural Gas, Greentech Media


Photo Credit: NextEra Energy

 

FEATURED WEBSITE

PBS provides FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more for teachers, parents and students. Entering the term “solar energy” into the search box provided on the website currently results in 2392 resources.

Video – OPPD Bracing For Future With Electric Cars: Power Provider Needs Data From EV Owners To Plan Ahead

By David Earl, KETV Omaha

Thousands of dollars in savings are on the table until the end of the month for Omaha Public Power District customers in Douglas County. The public power provider is trying to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles and the charging station you’d need in your home to power the car.

Funding for the OPPD incentives is made possible through the Nebraska Environmental Trust. The power provider had enough money for 50 $4,500 rebates that apply to the purchase of an electric vehicle and the specific charging station. As of Wednesday, they had just 11 rebates left to claim. Watch the video or read the transcript here.

KETV Photo

TWO MORE KETV VIDEOS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

MORE EV NEWS
Report: EV adoption could eventually save Minnesotans billions, Energy News Network
A recent report says increasing the use of plug-in electric vehicles in Minnesota will reduce utility bills, improve air quality and create an infrastructure allowing utilities to manage increasing demand. The cost-benefit analysis shows net benefits statewide could range from $4.6 billion to more than $30 billion depending on the level of plug-in electric vehicle adoption.

Department of Energy Selects Five Organizations in American-Made Solar Prize Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected five organizations to facilitate and grow the American-Made Solar Prize, a $3 million competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. These organizations, known as Power Connectors, can receive $100,000 each for supporting the American-Made Solar Prize by recruiting competitors and partners, hosting demonstration days, and developing plans and programs to ensure the longevity of the program.

The organizations span the country and have a strong track record of helping innovators succeed:

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has partnered with NREL to administer the American-Made Solar Prize.

ADDITIONAL LINKS TO INFORMATION

Seven communities set for meter replacement by NPPD

NPPD News Release

Columbus, Neb. – Upgrading of electric meters in seven southeast Nebraska communities by Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is scheduled to take place this month. The meter replacements are part of a program in 2018 to replace 43,000 existing electric meters in 33 communities served at retail by NPPD.

The new meters are equipped with two-way communication known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a digital metering technology used around the world for more than a decade. The current meters in communities slated for replacement are electro-mechanical devices. The new meters display the reading, but in digital LED format. The meters will have an electronic circuit board module installed that will receive and securely transmit the data back to NPPD on the total amount of kilowatt hours used by a residence, business or industry.
Read more here.

See Also: Advanced Meter Infrastructure

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Cape Cod Military Base Runs on 100% Renewable Energy

NEW INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS / TECHNOLOGY

SEIA, HBCU Coalition Join in National Effort to Increase Diversity of Solar Industry’s Workforce, SEIA News Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a goal of making the solar workforce and solar communities more diverse, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Development Action Coalition (HBCU-CDAC) have begun a new effort to increase recruitment of African-American students into the industry.

EV NEWS

In Colorado, two rural co-ops are leading the charge on electric vehicles

RECYCLING NEWS

Sunsetting solar panels: U.S. photovoltaic cell recycling incentives are beginning, GreenBiz

According to a publication by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), more than 90 percent of the materials in typical photovoltaic solar panels — silicon, aluminum and glass — can be recycled and used again in the production of new solar panels. 

LEADERSHIP AWARDS

CCC center in Kearney showcases technology

Kearney Hub 

One year ago we raved when Central Community College opened its 63,000-square-foot center in southwest Kearney. The structure at 11th Street and 30th Avenue employs numerous strategies for energy efficiency. Among the strategies are innovative skylights, solar-powered lights in the parking lot, walls that seal out heat and cold, and windows that can darken like sunglasses to reduce the greenhouse effect to rein in air conditioning costs.

The CCC Kearney Center also is purchasing power from the SoCore solar array at TechoNE Crossing, Nebraska’s largest solar array. Combined with the many efficiencies, adding the solar power boosts the center’s green rating and makes it a model of modern eco-friendly engineering, construction and facility operations. Continue reading here.

Top Photo Credit: Morrissey Engineering

KEARNEY’S COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM

Project: Kearney’s solar farm consists of approximately 23,000 panels on 53 acres located in the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, The panels are mounted on a tracker-designed racking system. To date, the array is Nebraska’s largest solar project, generating 5.8 megawatts of electricity, or about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand.
Developer: SoCore Energy
Installer: Interconnection Systems based in Central City, Nebraska
NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program
Kearney Community Solar Q&A
Kearney NPPD customers can purchase shares here.

Photo Credit: SoCore Energy, LLC

UNMC to get 1,500 solar panels, enough to equal electricity use of 60 homes

By Julie Anderson, Omaha World-Herald

There is no shortage of rooftops on the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s growing campus. Now the university is working to put some of that space to another use, partnering with the Omaha Public Power District to install nearly 1,500 solar panels on top of three campus buildings.

The installation, which will total 500 kilowatts of solar capacity, is expected to become the largest rooftop solar array in the state. At that size, the array’s energy production will equal the average annual electricity use of 60 homes in OPPD’s service territory, said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Morrissey Engineering

Telesis Inc’s net-zero energy business complex in Lincoln’s Haymarket is the next largest rooftop solar array in Nebraska.

Project: J-Tech Solar collaborated with SWT Energy on this nearly 300-kilowatt photovoltaic system on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket. The business complex is now owned by Telesis, Inc. With 940 solar panels, the array is one of the largest privately-owned solar projects in Nebraska.

J-Tech’s thirteen-member installation crew worked closely with restoration contractors to integrate the system into existing and historical structures. Federal tax incentives, rebates from Lincoln Electric System and the steady rise in the cost of electricity were driving factors in the owner’s decision to complete such a large project. Also, the price of solar systems has decreased more than 70% since 2009.
News Story: Telesis going for net-zero energy use in Dairy House complex, by Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star

Considering a career in renewable energy? Check out these maps.

Solar Career Map

The Solar Career Map was developed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). As National Administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network, IREC worked with solar and workforce experts around the country — leaders from education, government, business, labor, and community — to produce this highly-acclaimed interactive tool.

About The Interstate Renewable Energy Council
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), an independent not-for-profit organization since 1982, makes clean, efficient, sustainable energy possible for more Americans through forward-thinking regulatory reform, quality workforce development and consumer education.

Wind Career Map

The Wind Career Map was developed by the Wind Energy Technologies Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). The map explores an expanding universe of wind energy occupations, describing diverse jobs across the industry, charting possible progression between them, and identifying the high-quality training necessary to do them well.

See Also: Workforce Training and Education

About The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The mission of EERE is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy.

Infographic: To date, third-party evaluations have assessed one-third of EERE’s research and development portfolio and found that an EERE taxpayer investment of $12 billion has already yielded an estimated net economic benefit to the United States of more than $230 billion, with an overall annual return on investment of more than 20%. 

See EERE’s list of strategic goals and links to more information here.