Category Archives: Green Building

Morrissey Engineering

Inside Business, Omaha World-Herald

Morrissey Engineering announced that its headquarters, the 4940 Building, has been awarded LEED Platinum certification under the v4.1 O+M beta rating system. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

This is the second LEED Platinum certification for the 4940 Building, which became the first Platinum certified project in the state of Nebraska in 2009 as part of original construction. The certification is also the first of its kind in the U.S. Continue reading here.

www.morrisseyengineering.com

Note: Jared Friesen, NABCEP-Certified Renewable Energy Specialist with Morrissey Engineering, is Nebraskans for Solar’s immediate Past President, having served as President in 2017. Nebraskans for Solar’s board has the governance structure of President, President-Elect and Past President.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Henry Doorly Zoo Solar Shade Canopy Utilizing Bifacial Solar Panels

  • OPPD, UNMC partner on state’s largest rooftop solar array, The Wire, OPPD Blog
    The UNMC campus will soon house 1,487 solar panels in a rooftop solar installation atop three campus buildings: the Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education, Truhlsen Eye Institute, and the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health. The panels will generate up to 500 kilowatts of solar-powered electricity to help power UNMC, beginning in 2019. Morrissey Engineering also provided design services and project management for solar installations at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium’s Skyfari station at the Africa Grasslands exhibit, Lincoln Electric System’s Service Center, the Bellevue Public Safety building, and several Baxter auto dealerships in Lincoln and Omaha.
  • Five ‘Solar-Ready’ Building Preparation Tips, written by Jared Friesen

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

New Example: Solar Pergola

Project: This residential project involved building a solar pergola consisting of fifteen LG solar panels with integrated Enphase IQ6+ microinverters (LG-330E1C-A5). The 4.35-kilowatt system is grid tied and serves to both generate electricity for the residence and provide shade for the south-facing deck.
Installers: Homeowner Scott Schaub and Nebraska Wind and Solar LLC Owner Larry Cooper

Setting the stage for solar + storage

PV Magazine

In this op-ed for pv magazine, Camron Barati explores the trend towards what increasing state-level renewable power and storage targets mean for the U.S. market. The company projects 73 GW of solar PV systems will be installed in the United States from 2018 to 2022. Read more here.

Camron Barati is a Senior Analyst with IHS Markit Technology. Camron is part of the IHS Markit Technology Solar and Energy Storage Group and responsible for researching solar PV and energy storage markets in North America, covering supply chain trends and downstream market dynamics. He is based in Austin, TX. Prior to joining IHS Markit, Camron worked as an associate with GTM Research as part of their solar analyst team. He also has experience working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Enphase Energy.

Photo Credit: Recurrent Energy

MORE NATIONAL NEWS & AN INTERVIEW 

NEBRASKA NEWS

Solar cars to travel around Fremont as part of challenge, Fremont Tribune

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

How solar energy helps Mennonites with their mission of global relief

GREEN BUILDING NEWS

Tim O’Brien Homes gears up for construction in zero-energy neighborhood, Milwaukee Business Journal

Nebraska-based GRNE Solar installs 3,510 solar panels at Delta County Airport in Michigan

By Jordan Beck, Escanaba Daily Press

ESCANABA — The installation of solar panels for a solar energy farm at the Delta County Airport was recently completed, officials involved with the project said. “All the racking and all the panels are installed,” City of Escanaba Electric Superintendent Mike Furmanski said. The facility includes a total of 3,510 solar panels . . . Furmanski said he appreciated the work GRNE Solar has done to make this project a reality. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Jordan Beck

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

In Michigan, unwanted properties could see new life with solar projects

FROM SOLAR EXAMPLES: RECENTLY-COMPLETED GRNE SOLAR PROJECT IN NEBRASKA

The Sun Haven: Solar-Powered Net-Zero Energy Home 

GRNE Solar teamed up with Wilderness Construction to build this net-zero energy home, with solar on the roof and outlets for electric vehicles in the garage. The home, called The Sun Haven, is located at 6077 Chartwell Lane in Lincoln. Through the use of solar power this home will produce as much energy as it consumes. GRNE Solar featured the home on the 2018 Home Builders Association of Lincoln’s Spring Parade of Homes.
YouTube Video: Drone View of The Sun Haven

OPPD Blog: Prime time for “peakers “

 By Jason Kuiper, The Wire  

May 2018 – one of the hottest Mays in years – kept OPPD’s generating stations running overtime to keep up with the air conditioners. OPPD’s two baseload facilities – Nebraska City and North Omaha stations – were at the forefront of that generation. But so were OPPD’s peaking stations at Cass and Sarpy counties as well as Jones Street Station, one of OPPD’s oldest stations. Continue reading here.

Photo: Telesis Inc’s Net-Zero Energy Business Complex in Lincoln’s Haymarket.
J-Tech’s thirteen-member installation crew worked closely with restoration contractors to integrate the 300-kilowatt 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 62% since 2009. News Story: Telesis going for net-zero energy use in Dairy House complex, by Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING AND VIEWING

  • Using Solar to Reduce Peak Loads: Evaluating Rhode Island’s Distributed Solar Pilot – Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) Webinar, July 12, 2018, 12 to 1 pm CDT. Register here.
  • Replacing Peaker Plants with Battery Storage: Clean Energy Group Webinar, July 19, 2018,
    1 to 2 pm CDT. Register here. 
  • How to Estimate Demand Charge Savings from PV on Commercial Buildings, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • 4 Peak Demand Reduction Strategies, by Jeff Gorrie, Energy Manager Today
    Due to the complexity of energy pricing, two identical buildings can consume the same amount of energy and have profoundly different utility bills. Demand charges are a reality for every building but with the right data it is possible to identify and solve the issues that cause high peak demand and expensive utility bills. – Jeff Gorrie is an energy efficiency professional who lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. Jeff works at a national energy efficiency consulting firm and has completed over 1,000 commercial energy assessments. Jeff is certified as an Energy Manager (CEM), Building Analyst (BPI BA), and Envelope Professional (BPI ENV).

‘Bringing back an icon’: $75 million plan to revive Blackstone Hotel, a former hangout for Gold Coast elite

By Cindy Gonzalez, Omaha World-Herald

In addition to TIF [Tax-Increment Financing], the developers seek “enhanced employment area occupation tax financing” amounting to nearly $10 million. Overall, the bulk of funding would come from a construction loan and investor equity, but also helping to fund the project would be about $6.5 million in federal and state historic tax credits and $3.5 million in Property Assessed Clean Energy financing (PACE is a new financing tool used to upgrade energy, water and utility systems in commercial properties).  Read more here.

Photo by Pat Hawks, Flickr

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

BEATRICE – The City of Omaha is the first to adopt an ordinance allowing its use in Nebraska. The City of Lincoln is considering the same.  Now, Beatrice is being asked to consider Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, or PACE, as another tool for economic development.  It’s described as a low-cost, long-term financing mechanism for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. Chris Peterson, Managing Partner for Pace Sage Capital in Nebraska, worked as a Legislative Aide to former State Senator Heath Mello when PACE was enabled through state law, making Nebraska the 34th state to enact it.

MORE ABOUT PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY (PACE) 

PACE was named one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas by Scientific American magazine.
– 
PACE Nation

Is the new California solar mandate a threat to utilities across the country?

By Innogy Consulting, Utility Dive

California, a leader in clean energy, is the first state in the country requiring new homes to include solar panels, beginning in 2020. What’s more, the Sunshine State’s mandate provides incentives for homeowners to pair energy storage with solar. What does this mean for utilities across the U.S.? Read the sponsored post here.

Photo by GRNE Solar: The Sun Haven – Solar-Powered Net-Zero Energy Home in Lincoln, Nebraska. See Solar Examples.

MORE UTILITY DIVE ARTICLES

ALSO IN THE NEWS

The Sun Haven: Solar-Powered Net-Zero Energy House Featured in Lincoln’s Spring Parade of Homes


This year Lincoln-based GRNE Solar teamed up with Wilderness Construction to build a beautiful net-zero energy home with solar on the roof and outlets for electric vehicles in the garage. The home, called the Sun Haven, is located at 6077 Chartwell Lane in Lincoln. Through the use of solar power this home will produce as much energy as it consumes.

GRNE Solar is featuring The Sun Haven on the Home Builders Association of Lincoln’s Spring Parade of Homes through this Sunday, May 20th. The company will host educational sessions on solar energy, as well as free “Solar Potential” studies for home buyers..

Admission is FREE to view the homes in the Parade.

For more information, visit the Event Website.

Drone View of The Sun Haven:

Thank you to all who attended yesterday’s tour of Karen & Darren Dageforde’s Net-Positive Energy Home!

First of all, thank you to our hosts, Karen and Darren Dageforde and their son, Pierce: Karen for providing an excellent presentation on their all-electric home’s many green building and clean energy features, and to all three of them for providing individual discussions and tours afterwards. Karen also talked about their family’s commitment to saving energy, water and other natural resources and provded steps attendees can take in their own homes.

Many thanks, too, to everyone who made the beautiful drive to attend the event, coming from Blair, Omaha, Bellevue, Lincoln, Council Bluffs and as far away as Seward!

Built in 2010, the home’s features include a passive solar design; huge windows for natural lighting; insulated concrete-form floors and walls, which prevent air infiltration and loss, a major contributing factor to the typical home’s energy costs; Energy Star windows and Energy Star appliances; R-50 attic insulation; 5 closed-loop geothermal wells for heating, cooling and hot-water generation; a 5-ton HVAC system; radiant flooring that provides free cooling; and photovoltaic (PV) systems: 18 panels installed in July 2011 and 14 in May 2016.

  • These were both do-it-yourself projects designed and installed by Karen and Darren.
  • The total energy generated by their PV system in 2017 was 11,303 kilowatt hours (kWh), providing 100+% of their home’s energy needs!

The cost of designing and building their net-positive energy home was very comparable to the cost of a conventional build.

Karen, now retired, holds a degree in accounting, and Darren, director of utilities in UNMC Facilities, Management and Planning, has a degree in mechanical engineering. They are also volunteers at the Washington County Recycling Center, working alongside others to sort boxes of cans and bottles, paper and plastic.

They and their son Pierce “walk the walk” in this area, too, in a variety of ways and encourage others to do so, as well, as they did yesterday, including: not only recycling but also purchasing recycled products; trading with others; buying in bulk, thus reducing packaging, and taking reusable, washable containers to stores, including mesh produce bags; and repurposing materials, as Karen and Darren did when they recovered lumber that had been thrown away to build their chicken coop.

Each one of these steps conserves energy, water, and other natural resources over the manufacturing and use of new things.

Following up on the Dageforde family’s inspiring presentation, handouts, and individual tours and discussions yesterday, the links to resources, below, provide additional information on energy conservation and renewable energy incentives for homes and businesses.

 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES