Category Archives: Community Solar

Council approves solar energy system for Capitol Beach site

By Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star

The group of homeowners interested in developing the 100-kilowatt solar energy system on land owned by the Capitol Beach Neighborhood Association had a letter from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recommending it put the solar panels farther to the north to avoid affecting saltwort growing in the wetland area. The group has agreed to do that, said Terry Wittler, a Lincoln attorney and one of three Capitol Beach homeowners, who created Beach Solar LLC, which is developing the solar energy system. Read the entire story here.

Photo Credit: Lincoln Journal Star

RELATED READING
Capitol Beach would have first community solar energy project
The group, which has incorporated as Beach Solar LLC, hopes to have up to 20 Capitol Beach homeowners invest in the solar system, according to Terry Wittler, one of the homeowners involved in the development.

Update: Fremont Council talks Municipal Code, Costco and Community Solar Farm

By Sam Pimper, Fremont Tribune

First National Bank Fremont is providing financing for the Community Solar Farm, and all shares of the farm have officially been sold, City Administrator Brian Newton said during Tuesday’s meeting. Newton said that he is working on acquiring an additional 1,500 panels because the demand has been so great from [the Fremont Department of Utilities] customers. Ten to 15 people are signing up for slots in the farm daily, he added. “The plan is to take it from around 1 megawatt, which is 3,382 panels, to near 5,000 panels, which is about 1 1/2 megawatts,” he said. “So that is really good news.” Read the entire news story here.

Photo: 300-kilowatt photovoltaic system installed by J-Tech Solar 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. Credit: Nicholas Bergin / Lincoln Journal Star

Fremont’s Solar Farm – A Model for Other Nebraska Towns and Cities Considering a Community Solar Program

The Fremont Solar Farm, now under construction on a 10-acre tract of land south of Jack Sutton Drive, will consist of 3,900 solar panels when completed. The solar farm will be operational by the end of 2017. Fremont Department of Utilities customers have the opportunity to purchase solar shares up to 80% of their kilowatt hours of usage. In a recent Fremont Tribune interview, City Administrator Brian Newton said 40% of the shares have already been sold. GenPro Energy Solutions, based out of Piedmont, South Dakota, with a business location in Lexington, Nebraska, is installing the solar farm.

To learn more, click the following links:

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Fremont’s Community Solar Farm in final approval stage

By Sam Pimper, Fremont Tribune

The farm itself will encompass approximately 5 of the 10-acre plot being developed. The Community Solar farm would consist of approximately 3,900 panels, and anybody who is a customer of the Fremont Department of Utilities would have the opportunity to purchase solar shares that would cover up to 80 percent of their used Kilowatt-hours. Currently, more than 40-percent of the farm has been sold, with nearly 50 percent of signups happening within two weeks. Read more here.

Photo: Dodge County Courthouse. Credit: Chris Bristol

ALSO IN TODAY’S NEWS

Solar array is on its way: Work begins on $11M Kearney project

By Mike Konz, Managing Editor, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Sometime in January, SoCore Energy will throw the switch and electrical power from 22,464 solar panels will begin flowing into Kearney. But before that happens, there is work to do. Following a groundbreaking Tuesday, construction of Nebraska’s largest solar energy array now is under way in northeast Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing technology park. Continue reading

Photo: Some of the 4,500 metal piles that will hold the solar panels are laid out and ready to pile-drive into position after Tuesday’s groundbreaking for the $11 million solar array in northeast Kearney. When it’s finished it will be Nebraska’s largest array.
Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

Going green: Partners in $11M solar project break ground today

By Mike Konz, Managing Editor, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Construction of Nebraska’s largest solar energy array got under way today — ceremonially and physically — with groundbreaking for the $11 million project in northeast Kearney’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing. Officials with the Chicago company that is building the solar array and officials from Nebraska Public Power, the city, and state and local economic development organizations were a part of the groundbreaking. When it’s complete, the solar array in northeast Kearney will generate 5.8 megawatts of electricity — about 5 percent of Kearney’s peak demand. Click here to continue reading.

Photo: General contractor Wayne Williams of Interconnections Inc. of Central City said the solar array construction firm will complete its work on Kearney’s 53-acre facility by November 15. SoCore hopes the 22,464 solar panels are online by January. Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

What makes a successful utility-led community solar program?

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

To find out what works in utility-led community solar programs, Utility Dive talked to the people who helped build them. The key to success, they said, is not any particular program structure or customer incentive, but rather the underlying demand from ratepayers for clean energy. And, of course, it helps if customers can see a return on their investment over the life of a community solar contract.

Read the entire article here.

Photo: Scottsbluff Community Solar Project. Credit: NPPD

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Community Solar Farm moving forward

By Sam Pimper, Fremont Tribune 

With the Fremont City Council unanimously approving a resolution during its Tuesday evening meeting authorizing $1.5 million in financing and allowing the Department of Utilities the authority to obtain participation commitments, it appears that the City of Fremont is moving ever closer to building its Community Solar Farm. Read more here.

Photo: Central City’s solar project: What a community solar farm might look like in Fremont.

Capitol Beach would have first community solar energy project

By Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star

Three Capitol Beach homeowners who want to build a neighborhood solar energy system on the west side of the lake received the first blessing they needed this month . . . City zoning code amendments approved by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission recently would allow these mid-sized systems, if they are owned by people who live in that neighborhood, and are located on land not suited for any residential use, [Andrew Thierof, a city planner] said. The Capitol Beach system, which could have more than 300 panels, would be on an unbuildable lot owned by the neighborhood association. Read more here.

Photo: Randy Hampton / Lincoln Journal Star

Community solar now available in Scottsbluff

By Spike Jordan, Scottsbluff Star Herald 

Along with GenPro, Central City-based developer Mesner Development Company worked with NPPD and the City of Scottsbluff to make the project a reality. “When we did this project, we ran the numbers past somebody in California,” Cliff Mesner of Mesner Development said. “He said we were showing as much solar gain in Scottsbluff as we get in the Mojave desert.”
Read the entire news story here.

Photo: Scottsbluff Mayor Randy Meininger cuts the ribbon for Nebraska Public Power District’s new community solar project outside NPPD’s Scottsbluff office Tuesday. Meininger is flanked by representatives from the Scottsbluff / Gering United Chamber of Commerce, NPPD employees and the project’s representatives and shareholders. Credit: Spike Jordan / Scottsbluff Star Herald

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING