Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

City looks to roll out electric vehicle incentive program this summer

By Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune

The City of Fremont plans to unveil a new electrical vehicle incentive program which will provide ten individuals with a $4,500 rebate toward the purchase of a new electric vehicle and charger later this summer. The incentive program is part of a pilot program to study the effect electric vehicles have on Fremont’s electric system, according to City Administrator Brian Newton. Read more here.

Photo: A Tesla electric vehicle uses one of the city’s two ChargePoint charging stations in the Fremont Mall. Credit: Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune

Solar for All: Illinois incentive program aims to make solar more accessible

By Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

Solar incentives in Illinois’ 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act helped Josh Lutton grow his Chicago solar company to 30 employees in the span of just a few years. Now, Lutton is hoping for even more growth with the rollout of one of the law’s marquee programs aimed at making solar accessible to more people. Illinois Solar for All is designed to serve people traditionally left out of the solar market: low-income households, including rural homeowners and renters in urban apartment buildings; people of color; and residents of environmental justice communities most impacted by pollution from fossil fuels . . . The Clean Energy Jobs Act and another bill that would expand solar incentives in Illinois, Path to 100, are before the Illinois Legislature, which closes its session at the end of the month. Read more here.

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

VW SETTLEMENT NEWS

Report: States missing opportunities to electrify transportation with VW money, by Frank Jossi, Energy News Network. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and the Environment America Research & Policy Center created a scorecard to grade states on how they are allocating money from the settlement. Most states earned D or F grades for allowing money to be spent on diesel and other fossil fuel vehicles. The program’s second phase could offer bigger, if fewer, grants to pay for electric vehicle purchases.

First Ever Drive Electric Earth Day A Success – Plus More Green Transportation News

The first ever Drive Electric Earth Day was celebrated with 188 events in 44 US states and 5 countries! Read the press release about the week, and check out some great photos of people enjoying the events. Drive Electric Earth Day and National Drive Electric Week are presented by Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association.

National Drive Electric Week will be held September 14 – 22, 2019. Nebraska events will be posted on Nebraskans for Solar’s and allied organizations’ calendars closer to that date. Mark your calendars for this annual celebration and plan to join other local EV enthusiasts to talk about driving electric.

If you’re thinking of organizing or helping at an event, join National Drive Electric Week organizers for a webinar: Organizing A Great 2019 Event on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12 pm CDT.

MORE GREEN TRANSPORTATION NEWS PUBLISHED BY THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

Lincoln Electric System receives grant from Nebraska Environmental Trust

LES News Release

Lincoln Electric System announced that it will receive $20,200 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for their electric vehicle data collection project. LES began collecting data for its two-year study, focused on charging behaviors and the associated impact on our local grid in November 2018 and will conclude in 2020. The electric utility is working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Engineering to investigate customers’ charging and driving behaviors in the Lincoln area. FleetCarma, a leader in studying electric vehicle fleets, is helping facilitate the study by providing the data collection platform and anonymizing the data for customer privacy. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Electric Vehicle Interest Group
Own, lease or just interested in electric vehicles? LES would like to keep you informed and engaged. Enroll in our electric vehicle interest group, and we’ll notify you about educational gatherings and periodically share information about the evolving world of electric transportation.

SPP Integrated Marketplace turns five

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) recently marked the five-year anniversary of launching its wholesale electricity market, the integrated marketplace. In noting the March 1 anniversary, SPP said market participants have saved more than $2.7 billion. Participants also have previously unimaginable access to renewables across the region. OPPD is a member of SPP, joining the marketplace in 2014. Read more here.
Image Credit: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Also written by Jason Kuiper

EV program recharging for another year
“This program has been wildly successful,” said Judy Sunde, senior product specialist at OPPD. “We sold out of our rebates from the pilot year.” Sunde said the new rebates will be available in mid-May. OPPD is again working with the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) to co-fund and distribute $500 rebates to customers who purchase ChargePoint EV chargers for their home via OPPD. Additionally, a $2,500 rebate is available after the purchase of a new EV and purchase, installation and registration of a ChargePoint Home charging station. Sunde said there is also a $2,500 or $3,500 incentive towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf, and $1,000 purchase incentive at Audi Omaha for an Audi e-tron.

Supportive energy policy shines spotlight on rural Nebraska

Written by Lu Nelson, Policy Associate at the Center for Rural Affairs,
Contributing Opinion, The Grand Island Independent

Through net metering, homeowners are able to save on energy rates while utilities gain access to local, renewable energy that they can use to meet the needs of other customers. Meanwhile, the installation of generating systems like solar panels brings jobs to communities where consumers are looking to invest in projects. In Nebraska, the solar industry already supports more than 1,300 jobs, and there is plenty of room for the industry to grow as panels continue to get cheaper and more efficient.

Legislative Bill 509 in the Nebraska Legislature would raise the existing cap on the size of projects that qualify for net metering. Allowing consumers to send more of their excess renewable energy to the grid helps lower costs, creates new economic opportunities, and promotes energy independence. Read more here.

LB 509: Redefine the terms net metering and qualified facility and change powers and duties of a local distribution utility

Upcoming Legislative Hearing
Nebraska Legislative Bill 678: Create the Volkswagen Settlement Cash Fund and provide duties for the Department of Environmental Quality
Introduced by Senator Tony Vargas
LB 678 Appropriations Committee Hearing: March 20. 2019 at 1:30 pm in Room 1003
Appropriations Committee
Senator John Stinner, Chairperson jstinner@leg.ne.gov
Senator Kate Bolz kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Robert Clements rclements@leg.ne.gov
Senator Myron Dorn mdorn@leg.ne.gov
Senator Steve Erdman serdman@leg.ne.gov
Senator Robert Hilkemann rhilkemann@leg.ne.gov
Senator Mike McDonnell mmcdonnell@leg.ne.gov
Senator Tony Vargas tvargas@leg.ne.gov
Senator Anna Wishart awishart@leg.ne.gov

Testifier Guide (PDF)
Written Position Letter
If you are not testifying in person and would like to submit a written position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, the letter must be delivered to the office of the committee chair (or emailed to the committee chair) of the committee conducting the hearing on the bill by 5:00 p.m. on the last work day prior to the public hearing.

Additionally, the letter must include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.

Upcoming Event: Nebraska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is partnering with the Nebraska Power Association to host the conference on March 25, 2019 at 10 am at the Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Avenue in York. On-site registration and exhibits start at 9 am.

The free conference is intended for those interested in installing public electric vehicle chargers and also for members of the public interested in the development of public electric vehicle charging in Nebraska. If you would like to participate in lunch, snacks and refreshments throughout the day, the fee will be $20 per person.

View Agenda.
To register, visit: www.evnebraska.com.

Nebraska steers VW money to ‘clean diesel’ school bus subsidies

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Critics say Nebraska is spending too much of its Volkswagen settlement money on subsidies for diesel buses when it should be investing in electric vehicles. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has distributed about a quarter of its $12.2 million share from the automaker’s emissions cheating settlement. The money has helped cities and districts purchase 45 buses, with all but two of them running on diesel, propane or compressed natural gas. The agency also plans to put about $3 million into an existing clean diesel program, which pays toward the replacement or retrofitting of trash trucks, school buses, long-haul trucks and irrigation systems. Continue reading here.

Photo: Charging station for low-maintenance, zero-emissions electric school buses.

Nebraska Legislative Bill 678: Create the Volkswagen Settlement Cash Fund and provide duties for the Department of Environmental Quality
Introduced by Senator Tony Vargas
LB 678 Appropriations Committee Hearing: March 20. 2019 at 1:30 pm in Room 1003 

Nebraska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is partnering with the Nebraska Power Association to host the conference on March 25, 2019 at 10 am at the Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Avenue in York. On-site registration and exhibits start at 9 am.

The free conference is intended for those interested in installing public electric vehicle chargers and also for members of the public interested in the development of public electric vehicle charging in Nebraska. If you would like to participate in lunch, snacks and refreshments throughout the day, the fee will be $20 per person. To register, visit: www.evnebraska.com.

Austin, San Antonio, Orlando are Bloomberg climate challenge winners

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association 

Public power cities Austin, Texas, Orlando, Fla. and San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 11 were included among the list of final winners in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Launched in June 2018, the American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program designed to catalyze efforts in 25 cities “to tackle climate change, promote a sustainable future for residents and help deliver on the America’s Pledge initiative to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement,” according to a Bloomberg news release. The other two cities named as winners in the challenge on Jan. 11 were Albuquerque, N.M., and Denver, Colo. Read more here.

Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Plugging in for an electric road trip

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

OPPD customer Syed Ali decided to document his trip from Omaha to Princeton, N.J. The
reason was simple. His friends, especially those in the electric car community, liked the photos he took of his Chevrolet Bolt.

So Ali, a data scientist who serves as chief statistician for Analytics Led Intelligence, took photos in Des Moines, Chicago, Pittsburgh and every single charging station along the way. From car dealerships to Walmarts and hotels, Ali documented it all. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: OPPD

Note: Syed Ali is President-Elect of Nebraskans for Solar and will become President on
January 1, 2019. Our nonprofit organization has the board governance structure of President, President-Elect and Past President. Our current President is Michael Shonka, owner of Solar Heat & Electric, and Past President, Jared Friesen, Renewable Energy Specialist at Morrissey Engineering, Inc. Ali and his wife, Shama, are currently installing a 6-kilowatt PV system to charge their electric vehicles and to provide renewable energy for their home. They plan to add a Tesla Powerwall to their system.

About Jason Kuiper
Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He formerly worked as a staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald.
View all posts by Jason Kuiper.

OPPD’S ELECTRIC VEHICLE REBATE PILOT PROGRAM

OPPD is offering rebates in order to build an electric grid for the future and an infrastructure that will handle increases in EV charging. By participating, you’ll be helping OPPD gauge where people are charging their EVs and how much energy is being used to do it.

  • $500 Rebate On ChargePoint Home Charging Station
  • Dealership Discounts
    Incentive Requirements
    $3,000 incentive towards a 2018 Nissan Leaf purchased between June 4, 2018 &
    January 2, 2019
    $1,000 incentive towards a 2019 Audi e-tron
    Available to all OPPD customers
  • (Up To) $7,500 Federal Tax Incentive
    Federal tax incentives
     currently remain available. OPPD recommends that you speak to your tax advisor for specific details.

Click here for more information on how to take advantage of these incentives while they last.