Category Archives: Nebraska / Midwest News

Mayors join call for more solar power

Special to the Norfolk Daily News

 

 

 

 

More than 200 mayors representing cities in every U.S. state have signed on to Environment America Research & Policy Center’s “Mayors for Solar Energy” letter, embracing a collective vision for solar-powered communities. Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning is one of two representing Nebraska, along with Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler . . . The number of signatures on the Mayors for Solar Energy letter has more than tripled since December 2017, and Environment America Research and Policy Center expects that number will continue to grow. Learn more here.

Environment America News Release: From sea to shining sea, mayors call for solar
Mayors For Solar Energy

Environment America Resources

Additional Opportunity Recommended by Environment America
Apply for SolSmart designation and get technical assistance in improving your solar permitting process.

City seeking proposals for solar project

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

The city of Hastings is seeking proposals for a 1.5 megawatt solar farm project. Derek Zeisler, Hastings Utilities director of marketing and energy supply, told members of the Hastings Utility board during their regular meeting Thursday HU will disseminate an RFP on Friday for a solar farm project and is asking for those proposals by Nov. 28. “It seems to be a good size for a good price point,” he said of the 1.5 megawatt size of the solar project, which is similar to the power generated by the Central Community College-Hastings wind turbine. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities. First Fremont Solar Farm, 1.55-megawatts. The city completed a second solar farm of the same size in September 2018 to accommodate strong customer demand.

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE


Stowe, Okemo resorts to be powered by virtual wind energy, Vermont Biz

Lincoln Clean Energy Photo: Nebraska’s Plum Creek Wind
Farm development, expected to be completed in 2020.

Solar industry job fair: Illinois companies seek to fill openings in fast-growing field

Illinois Solar Energy Association News Release

CHICAGO, Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The solar industry in Illinois is encouraging job seekers to attend the Solar Job Fair, set for Thursday, Nov. 15, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Organized by the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) and featuring more than 15 solar companies, the event will connect applicants with job opportunities and present information on careers in the solar industry. Illinois solar businesses have immediate openings for sales, installation and other positions. The industry plans to hire hundreds of new workers in the next few months.

Solar already employs thousands across the state and the industry is quickly expanding. Illinois is on track to install thousands of new solar systems by 2021. That opportunity has attracted dozens of new companies to Illinois, creating well-paying jobs and economic activity in communities stretching from Chicago to Carbondale.

Local and national solar energy firms, along with experienced solar industry professionals, will be on-hand at the Solar Job Fair to answer questions and educate job seekers on the various career paths available in the industry.

“Solar companies are hiring here in Illinois and this job fair is part of our work to connect applicants with the companies who need to staff up,” said Lesley McCain, ISEA’s executive director. “Jobs in solar are well-paying and rewarding, and the growth in our industry means workers with the right skills will be in demand for a long time.”

For more information on the event and online registration, visit bit.ly/SolarJobFair
Lincoln, Nebraska-based GRNE, listed in Nebraskans for Solar’s online directory, is among the participating companies.

Solar Job Fair
When: 1-4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15
Where: McCormick Place, West Building, Room 192AB
2301 S King Drive, Chicago, IL 60616

The news release is available here.
See Also: Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Presentations Now Available

Recordings from the 11th Annual Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference are now available on the conference website. Click Here to View Presentations.

Mark Your Calendars
12th Annual Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference
October 29-30, 2019
Marriott Cornhusker Hotel | Lincoln, Nebraska

Thank you to all of the Sponsors, Exhibitors, Presenters & Attendees of the 11th Annual Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference for your dedication to and passion for advancing Nebraska’s wind and solar industry. – Conference Organizing Committee

Nebraska clean energy advocates gain at least two allies on Omaha power board

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Nebraska clean energy supporters have two new allies on Omaha’s public power utility board, and a third race still too close to call could give renewable and efficiency champions a clear majority on the eight-member board. Eric Williams and Janece Mollhoff were elected to six-year terms on the Omaha Public Power District board after campaigning in support of clean energy policies. A third clean energy supporter, Amanda Bogner, held a 225 vote lead as of Friday with a recount expected due to the close margin. “We’re embarking on a new age for this power district,” said Michael Shonka, an Omaha solar installer who advocates for clean energy and keeps close watch on the nonprofit utility, which is run by a publicly elected board.
Continue reading here.

Note: Eric Williams is a past president of Nebraskans for Solar and a current board member. He and his twin brother, Scott Williams, co-founded the nonprofit Omaha Biofuels Cooperative in 2008.  Both have been active in environmental and renewable energy advocacy organizations for many years.

In Blow to Pipeline Project, Court Invalidates Trump Administration’s Keystone XL Environmental Review, Blocks Construction

Written by Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska

GREAT FALLS, Mont.– A federal judge ruled today that the Trump administration violated bedrock U.S. environmental laws when approving a federal permit for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project. The judge blocked any construction on the pipeline and ordered the government to revise its environmental review.

The decision is a significant setback for a pipeline that investors are already seriously questioning. TransCanada has not yet announced a Final Investment Decision on whether to move forward and build Keystone XL should it receive all the necessary permits.

Continue reading here.

Bold Nebraska Image: Solar XL #2

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

One up, many more to come

By Laura King-Homan, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Wind turbines will soon dot the fields northwest of Wayne, Neb. The turbines, totaling 71 in all, will make up the Sholes Wind Energy Center. The facility will generate 160 MW of renewable electricity for OPPD customers beginning in 2019. OPPD has entered a 20-year partnership with NextEra Energy Resources, who will own and manage the site. On Nov. 1, representatives from the utility got a peek at the progress made since the groundbreaking ceremony in July. Read more here.

NextEra Photo of Butler Ridge Wind Energy Center wind turbines on a farm in Dodge County, Wisconsin.

City moves toward solar energy

By Jerry Purvis, Scottsbluff Star-Herald

SCOTTSBLUFF — Scottsbluff could realize some of the lowest electric rates in the nation under an agreement that will bring solar power to all city operations. During its Monday meeting, council members approved a lease agreement with Sol Systems, LLC as part of the city’s five-megawatt solar power project. Sol Systems would then enter into an energy purchase agreement with Nebraska Public Power District for distribution of the solar electricity.
Continue reading here.

NPPD Photo: Scottsbluff Community Solar Project. Through NPPD’s SunWise Program, a total of 135 solar shares were available. Each solar share = 150 kilowatt-hours per month, the minimum participation level. The maximum participation level was the number of solar shares equal to 80% of a customer’s total annual energy consumption. For example, if a customer used an average of 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, 80% = 750 kilowatt-hours or up to five solar shares. All 135 solar shares were spoken for, and customers are now placed on a wait-list. See Solar Examples for additional details.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Recently Reposted by the Clean Energy Finance Forum: Small Decisions Move Clean Energy Forward in Nebraska

South Sioux City Solar Farm: 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary.
Archived News StorySolar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal
Photo Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ELECTRIC BUSES – NEWS & A REPORT

Highlights from a third quarter wind boom

By Celeste Wanner, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Notably, seven states now have enough wind projects under construction or in advanced development to more than double their capacity to generate electricity from wind once completed. This includes heartland states with land-based wind under development—Arkansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming—as well as coastal states Maryland and Massachusetts, where offshore wind is poised to scale up. Read more here.

Nebraska Fact Sheet – AWEA

Nebraska is a national leader in wind resource potential. Nebraska is one of the top states in the country for potential wind energy generation, with a technical potential of approximately 465,000 megawatts (MW) according to NREL. Nebraska now has 1,445 MW of installed wind power, and was the 18th state to join the “Gigawatt Club.” Nebraska’s wind potential, combined with manufacturing expertise, could make the state a powerhouse for the wind industry while providing savings for electricity customers. The state lies in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), where wind power saved electricity customers $1.2 billion in 2013.

Nebraska Wind Projects as of 3Q 2018 

  • Installed wind capacity: 1,452 MW » State rank for installed wind capacity: 17th
  • Number of wind turbines: 792 » State rank for number of wind turbines: 17th
  • Wind projects online: 23 (Projects above 10 MW: 16)
  • Wind capacity under construction: 855 MW
  • Wind capacity in advanced development: 796 MW
    Wind Energy In Nebraska (PDF)

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Record Wind Project Construction Underway at Tri Global Energy, News Release

 According to the Q3 2018 Market Report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the trade group for the U.S. wind energy industry, Tri Global Energy’s Texas wind projects represent 3,528 MW, over 57 percent of the total megawatts currently being developed in the state. With the 100 MW from its Sugar Loaf wind project in Nebraska, the total of 3,628 MW in development represents a new company record for TGE, which was launched in 2009. 

SUGAR LOAF WIND FARM
The 100-MW Sugar Loaf Wind Energy Project in Garden County, Nebraska was the first wind energy project for Tri Global Energy beyond Texas borders, announced in an August, 2017 news release.

See Also: Wind Generation in Nebraska,
Nebraska Energy Office

Clean Energy Deal Tracker: Novartis and J.M. Smucker join the buyers’ club

By Heather Clancy, GreenBizClick infographic to enlarge it.

[Corporate] buyers already have procured more clean energy in 2018 than for both 2016 and 2017 combined. And the year is far from over. [J.M. Smucker deal in Nebraska]: After roughly a year of evaluation and negotiations, the 120-year-old company behind brands such as Smucker’s jam, Crisco vegetable shortening and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in August announced it had signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 60 MWs of the 230-MW Plum Creek Wind Project in Wayne County, Nebraska. When the project starts generating power in 2020, it will offset about 50 percent of Smucker’s electricity usage. The developer behind the deal is Lincoln Clean Energy (now part of Orsted), which developed about 2 GW of wind power during 2017.
Read more here.

Previously Posted News Release: The J. M. Smucker Company Announces Renewable Energy Agreement

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

Walmart Rooftop Solar Project

CORPORATE BUYER’S GUIDES


Corporate Buyer’s Guide to Wind Energy

U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide for Corporate Buyers

 

MORE TRANSITION NEWS

  • NIPSCO submits blueprint for shift from coal to renewables, Kokomo Perspective
    NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris said the decision to retire the four coal-fired generators at Schahfer by 2023 and one at Michigan City by 2028 was a result of the utility’s investigation of the most cost-effective, reliable and environmentally sustainable means to deliver power to its customers.
  • North Carolina’s climate plan could bring 25 gigawatts of solar (or more), PV Magazine
    Executive Order No. 80, which barely makes it to four pages, calls for the creation of a “Clean Energy Plan” . . . [Solar] is poised to play the biggest role in meeting the state’s aggressive new goal, for a number of reasons.
  • New England moves to open the market for battery storage, PV Magazine
    As utilities discover more and more how energy storage can solve many of the problems that they have been facing, there is more and more pressure to change market rules to allow for greater use of batteries and other new technologies. The biggest move in this regard has been the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) landmark Order 841, which required that grid operators open wholesale markets to the participation of energy storage.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO SOLAR SYSTEM OWNERS


7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Solar Energy System
Mother Earth News Contributor

Photo: Dageforde Net-Positive Energy Home (See Solar Examples)

 

FEATURED RENEWABLE ENERGY PILOT PROGRAM

Archdiocese of New York launches renewable energy pilot program, News Release Posted by PV Magazine. Today, the Energy Department of the Archdiocese of New York along with five parishes joined Con Edison Solutions, one of America’s leading energy services companies, and students from Blessed Sacrament School to launch a renewable energy pilot program. As part of the initiative, five parishes, including Blessed Sacrament, St. Clare, and St. Patrick on Staten Island and St. Ann and St. Anthony in Yonkers have installed rooftop solar arrays which will collectively generate approximately 700,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity through 1,717 solar panels. Photos from today’s event can be found here.

GREEN TRANSPORTATION

B-cycle bike-share program nearly doubles number of Omaha locations, Omaha World-Herald. Heartland B-cycle on Wednesday announced the locations and installation dates of 34 new bike-share stations around the Omaha metro area. Heartland B-cycle is Omaha’s first large-scale municipal bike-sharing system. Since 2015, it has been working to expand its current network of 35 B-stations to at least six more neighborhoods, granting more people easy access to the blue bikes.

5 Ways To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Travel, Earth 911
Whether traveling by train, plane, ship, or automobile, getting from one place to another produces carbon emissions. In fact, the transportation sector accounted for the largest portion — 28 percent — of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Here are some strategies to help you lower your emissions while getting from point A to point B.