Category Archives: Nebraska / Midwest News

It’s Electrifying

By Scott Koperski, Beatrice Daily Sun

Beatrice currently purchases power from Nebraska Public Power District, though the power that arrives can come from other areas, as well. This arrangement will change after next year, however, when Beatrice begins the process of transitioning to its new provider, AEP Energy Partners Inc., based out of Columbus, Ohio. A new provider isn’t the only change in store for the department. Renewable energy will likely come to Beatrice at some point, in the form of wind or solar generation.

Click here to read the complete news story.

Photo Credit: Scott Koperski / Beatrice Daily Sun. Beatrice’s electric department operates out of the BPW service center in North Beatrice. The department includes 16 workers who maintain and repair Beatrice’s systems.

Keystone Pipeline Oil Spill Reported In South Dakota

By Richard Gonzales, NPR

The conduit is not the controversial and long-delayed Keystone XL Pipeline that TransCanada is still shepherding through the approval process. But as NPR’s Jeff Brady reports, the spill comes at a sensitive time for TransCanada.

“Regulators in the neighboring state of Nebraska are expected to announce a decision on the company’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline next week. The project and its route through Nebraska have been controversial. Some landowners are concerned about how an oil spill might harm their property and water supplies.” Click here to read more.

Photo: A protest sign sits in the proposed path of the Keystone XL Pipeline in Silver Creek, Nebraska. Credit: Nati Harnik / Associated Press

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Washington Post: Keystone pipeline spills 210,000 gallons of oil on eve of permitting decision for TransCanada

The spill comes just days before a crucial decision next Monday by the Public Service Commission in Nebraska over whether to grant a permit for a new, long-delayed sister pipeline called Keystone XL, which has been mired in controversy for several years. Both are owned by Calgary-based TransCanada. The spill on the first Keystone pipeline is the latest in a series of leaks that critics of the new pipeline say shows that TransCanada should not receive another permit.

New Facebook wind farm to cost $430M

 By Ty Rushing, Sioux City Journal

WAKEFIELD, Neb. — A new Facebook supported wind farm being built in Dixon County should give local residents a few million reasons to like it. The upcoming Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project will distribute $80 million in property tax and landowners payments over the first 20 years of its existence, according to officials at Enel Green Power North America Inc.

Read more here. 

Image: A rending of the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. The $430 million wind farm is being built in rural Dixon County, Nebraska. Upon completion, it will be the second largest wind farm in Nebraska. The 400MW Grande Prairie Wind Farm near O’Neill in Holt County is currently the largest wind energy development in the state.

 ALSO IN THE NEWS

UTILITY DIVE FEATURE
Does Customer Choice Aggregation spell the end of the regulated electric utility in California?
One of the biggest ideas challenging today’s utility business model is the customer choice aggregation (CCA) movement in California. By the end of 2017, a third or more of California’s investor-owned utility (IOU) customers will get electricity from alternative sources and/or providers and there will be 915,000 CCA customers. But that is just the beginning, according to a recent white paper from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The counties of San Diego (3.3 million) and Los Angles (10.2 million) are about to launch CCAs.

Rocky Mountain Institute Releases Carbon-Free City Handbook

RMI Press Release

The Carbon-Free City Handbook is a resource for city leaders around the world to take real and meaningful action toward their commitments with 22 ready-to-implement, no-regrets solutions that have proven success. Each recommendation draws off the work of more than 50 city leaders and sustainability directors and is a meaningful action that almost any city can pursue and apply locally, seeing results within a year. Ideas are nearly universally applicable for cities with a population of 100,000+ with compelling economics.

Actions are organized into five chapters, covering key areas for impact:

  1. Buildings, which contribute an average of 48 percent to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in large cities
  2. Transportation and mobility, which account for an average of 36 percent of GHG emissions in large cities
  3. Electricity, which accounts for 25 percent of urban GHG emissions from all sectors
  4. Industry, which accounts for an average of 7 percent of GHG emissions in large cities, and often much more
  5. Biological resources, which can contribute to reduction in waste and account for 7 percent of GHG emissions on average in large cities while providing new carbon sink opportunities

Read the entire press release here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
PV Magazine:
Rocky Mountain Institute issues guide for greener cities
The “Carbon-Free Handbook” can serve as a useful template for localities planning or actively engaged in large-scale solar and related initiatives like the Sierra Club’s “Ready For 100 and the U.S. Department of Energy’s “SolSmart programs.

More states use solar plants to protect bumble bee populations

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

Following dire reports of bee-colony collapses in recent years, at least three new solar sites in Florida and Maryland are trying to provide safe havens for these critical links in the food chain.
Learn more here.

Photo by Wikipedia Commons: Maryland has a law that gives preference to solar farms that protect bees, and Florida Power & Light is partnering with Audubon Florida to create “Solar Sanctuary” sites.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Legislation

Articles

Webinars

PowerPoint

Photo Credit: Fresh Energy and Monarch Joint Venture

OPPD adding to greener pastures with renewables

By Jason Kuiper, OPPD Blog, The Wire

OPPD is developing a community solar project and continues to do deep research to determine how and when to proceed on solar. [CEO Tim] Burke compared the development of solar to OPPD’s investment in wind energy. Wind prices are much lower now than they were 2009, when OPPD really started looking at adding wind to the generation mix. Burke said changes are certainly coming to the industry along with new technologies, and he expects solar prices to start coming down, just as wind prices have. Read the complete blog post here.

Photo: OPPD CEO Tim Burke who spoke at the 2017 Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Lincoln.

 

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. 

 

Construction starts on Nebraska wind farm that will sell electricity to Facebook for Omaha-area data center

By Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald

Construction began Tuesday on the Dixon County, Nebraska, wind farm from which Facebook will buy electricity to power its massive Omaha-area data center. Survey work and site preparation will begin immediately, officials from Boston-area Enel Green Power North America said, and turbine deliveries are expected in June. “We’ll start road work before winter sets in, and major construction work will begin after the winter,” said Mark McGrail, associate vice president for energy management for Enel Green Power North America.

Continue reading here.

Image: Rendition of Papillion Facebook Data Center by Facebook.

Omaha World-Herald Editorial: OPPD’s clean energy goals worthy

Consumer demand for cleaner sources of electricity and improved economics for wind and solar power are leading the Omaha Public Power District to boost its generation from renewable sources. By 2020, the utility says, renewables should provide half of the electricity it sells to retail customers. Click here to read the entire editorial. 

Photo: The Grande Prairie wind farm, the largest wind project in Nebraska history, will eventually generate more than 818 megawatts, almost twice the output of the closed Fort Calhoun nuclear plant. OPPD is taking energy from Grande Prairie. Credit: Megan Farmer / The World-Herald

Discovery Channel documentary ‘Hot Grease’ spotlights biodiesel

The Discovery Impact documentary Hot Grease debuts Thursday, November 16 at 8pm and 10pm Central Time on the Discovery Channel. On November 17 the film will be available on Discovery Go and Discovery On Demand.

By The National Biodiesel Board, Biodiesel Magazine

Hot Grease tells the surprising story of how the biodiesel industry is turning an ostensibly worthless raw material—spent kitchen grease—into a renewable energy source capable of fueling cars, buses and fleets of trucks throughout the country. But, powerful forces are working to stop that from happening. Featuring innovators, entrepreneurs, grease collectors and supporters like Sens. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Hot Grease follows the battle for biodiesel’s future and its very survival.”

“Biodiesel is a driving economic force for many rural communities and supports more than 64,000 good-paying, clean energy jobs across the country,”

Read more here.

The National Biodiesel Board is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.

OMAHA BIOFUELS COOP
Founded in 2008, the Omaha Biofuels Coop works to produce, use, and promote biofuels to reduce consumption of fossil fuels. Coop members collect and process waste vegetable oil into biofuels, and provide research, education, and community outreach for developing advanced sustainable biofuels in the future.

Solar energy powers job market

By Tim Dwight, President of the Iowa Solar
Energy Trade Association, The Gazette

The growing solar energy industry in Iowa is harnessing the state’s sun potential at an ever-increasing pace. A new study, “Clean Jobs Midwest,” from the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs, found that 30,418 Iowans work in the state’s clean energy sector, including more than 700 in the solar industry. Continue reading.

NEBRASKA’S CLEAN ENERGY JOBS STORY
The number of people now working in clean energy industries throughout Nebraksa is 17,482, a more than 6 percent increase since 2015, according to an analysis released by Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). Job growth across sectors including renewable energy generation, advanced grid, energy efficiency, clean fuels, and advanced transportation is occurring almost seven times faster than overall job growth in the state.

The analysis, available at www.CleanJobsMidwest.com, is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a comprehensive survey of thousands of businesses across the region conducted by BW Research Partners.

ALSO IN THE NEWS