Category Archives: Nebraska / Midwest News

OPPD EV pilot focuses on system impact, customer education

By Bob Matyi, American Public Power Association

Omaha Public Power District is launching a pilot program in June to educate its 374,000 customers about the benefits of electric vehicles, while providing incentives for their potential use. Throughout the pilot and beyond, OPPD will be tracking and monitoring impacts to its distribution system for use in grid planning and will also develop a plan for managing those impacts. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Many thanks to our Green Watts for Good supporters during Omaha Gives!

Forty-two contributors generously donated $3,172 to our Green Watts for Good Fundraising Campaign! At midnight that put us halfway to our goal of raising sufficient funds for a second 4-kilowatt (4000 watts) photovoltaic (PV) system!

Additional Contributions

  • A generous donation today of $1,000 from the Nebraska Solar Energy Society brings the total amount raised toward the second PV system to $4,172!
  • NFS also has received pledges from two Nebraska solar energy businesses to donate solar panels for Green Watts for Good projects!

Next Steps 

  • We will use all Green Watts for Good donations to date to leverage matching contributions from local foundations, businesses and individual philanthropists.
  • We will also work with our partnering nonprofit to finalize plans to install the first 4-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system on an Omaha home using the generous donation to our Green Watts for Good Fund made by two local philanthropists on Earth Day.
  • Organize a “barn-raising” type effort to install the PV system. NFS board members, who include three solar professionals and four with rooftop solar, and other volunteers will “raise” the solar panels, which come with a manufacturer’s warranty to last 25 years.
  • Celebrate.

Nebraskans for Solar is an all-volunteer nonprofit, and so 100% of all donations go to support our Green Watts for Good Initiative.

Our long-term goal is to create a revolving loan fund to enable homeowners to purchase PV systems and to save money over many years.

If your ecology or sustainability club, faith group, foundation, business or other organization would like to sponsor a solar system for a family in your community, please send us an email: nebraskansforsolar@gmail.com

Thank you from all of us at Nebraskans for Solar!

Photo: Washington State Habitat for Humanity volunteers celebrating a job well done.

Michigan lawmakers consider first statewide community solar program

By Kelsey Misbrener, Solar Power World

The Michigan House Energy Committee will conduct a hearing today on House Bill 5861, which will bring community solar for residents, nonprofit organizations and other constituents looking to lower utility bills and access clean energy options. The Community Renewable Energy Gardens bill is among five separate bills in the bipartisan Energy Freedom Package, which taken together would significantly advance Michigan’s clean energy economy.

Read more here.

Michigan’s Energy Freedom Package

Photo Credit: Pixabay.Com

The Peregrine Hotel – First Omaha project to use PACE financing

By Cindy Gonzalez, Omaha World-Herald

About $3.4 million in PACE funds are to fill a gap in the overall $13.6 million cost of converting the seven-story downtown structure to the hotel, said Rob Shear of PACE Sage Capital LLC, which helped arrange the private financing for ViaNova. He said the PACE loan is to close later this month. Shear calls the new financing mechanism, which is used already in some other states, a boost to economic development. He said it can breathe life into commercial projects that otherwise might never get off the ground.

First look: Peregrine boutique hotel at 18th and Douglas is partly financed by new clean-energy program

Photo: Downtown Omaha, Wikimedia Commons

MORE ABOUT PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY (PACE) 

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

Nebraska State Capitol begins a tall task — a $106 million, eight-year renovation

By Emily Nitcher, Omaha World-Herald

When the project is done, the Capitol will be cooled and partially heated using geothermal energy. A geothermal well field will be installed in the ground in a city block around the Capitol. It will consist of 225 wells planted 670 feet into the ground. It will be a closed-loop system made up of a network of deep wells and pipes. The geothermal well field will not be cheap to install, but [State Capitol Administrator Steve Ripley] said it has the potential to serve more than one generation of heating and cooling systems in the Capitol. Click here to read more.

Also Published by the Omaha World-Herald
Photos: The Nebraska State Capitol through the years

More About Geothermal Energy: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

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.

OPPD: New EV program will measure impact on system

By Jodi Baker, The Wire, OPPD Blog

OPPD and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) will co-fund and distribute $500 grants to customers who purchase Charge Point EV chargers for their home via OPPD. A website link for purchases will be available when the pilot gets underway. In addition, OPPD will work to educate customers on financial incentives available when they purchase a new EV. These are expected to include:

  • $3,000 rebate at participating Nissan dealerships towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf
  • $4,000 grant from NCEA after the purchase of a new EV (only available in Douglas County)
  • Up to $7,500 federal tax credit (depending on the manufacturer)

The initiative team is presenting its findings and plans to OPPD’s Board of Directors during their May committee meetings. Read more here.

Photo Credit: 123rf.com

NPPD’S EV Charging Station Incentive Pilot Program

  • ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
    EV Strategy: OPPD Board Committee Presentation, Aaron Smith, Director – Operations
  • News Release: EV Research Strategy Presented To OPPD Board
    During this week’s committee meetings for the OPPD Board of Directors, the Integrated Energy Marketplace team presented its latest EV research, including plans to announce a pilot next month. The pilot, as part of the district’s EV Strategy and Process Initiative, will include EV education for customers. It will also connect customers to financial incentives available for the purchase of certain EVs, as well as certain EV chargers, among other areas.

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION

  • Electric vehicles are here: are utilities ready to charge forward?
    Navigant Research said in a report, prepared for the American Public Power Association, that by 2021 it conservatively projects new EV (battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) sales of more than 700,000 units in the U.S. annually. Markets saw a 37 percent increase in sales of plug-in electric vehicles in 2016 and Navigant Research expects 50 percent growth in market sales in 2017 and 2018, largely due to Tesla’s Model 3 and other longer-range, low cost battery electric vehicles coming to the market, as well as more vehicle options becoming available for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
  • Multi-faceted EV approaches getting closer look from states: report
    Among the top electric vehicle policy trends in the first quarter of 2018 were states considering multi-faceted approaches to EVs and related infrastructure, the North Carolina Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) said in a recently released report. 

The latest trends in renewable-energy tech, markets, and policy

By Energy Dialogues, Environmental Defense Fund

Renewable energy, and its role in energy future, is an intense topic that spans across all corners of the energy spectrum. For example, our recent Mexican Energy Series featured a lively discussion of whether Mexico is on course for the 2024 target of 35% renewable energy, and what this pledge means for the country. Each year, as new corporations, municipalities, and countries make bold and vocal commitments to offsetting energy consumption, and to pursuing clean energy resources at a higher level, the conversation intensifies.

For an insider perspective about the current state of renewable energy, we called upon Lenae Shirley, Senior Director, Technology Innovation and Market Adoption for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Lenae is working at the nexus of technology, markets and policy, leading efforts with EDF’s demonstration partners to prove the impact of clean technology innovations. As a result of these initiatives, Lenae identifies trends and market opportunities to accelerate the transformation of the electricity sector, with data-driven decisions that push forward market adoption for renewable methods. Here is our conversation. Click here to continue.

Photo: Kearney, Nebraska Solar Farm

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

NEWS & OPINION FROM OTHER STATES & PUERTO RICO

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

HIGH-SCHOOL RENEWABLE ENERGY TRAINING PROGRAM

OMCO Solar Announces Commitment to Future of Northeast Renewable Energy, Solar Energy Industries Association
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Educator/Trainer Program

GREEN JOBS LISTINGS: SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS

Jobs

Generous Donation Jumpstarts Our New Green Watts for Good Initiative!

We are happy to announce that two local philanthropists, who wish to remain anonymous, have generously donated $6,500 to our Green Watts for Good Fund, fulfilling our goal to install a 4-kilowatt PV system on a demonstration home!

Our goal now is to raise another $6,500 through our Green Watts for Good Campaign during Omaha Gives’ Sixth Annual Charitable Challenge!

Nebraskans for Solar is an all-volunteer organization, and so 100% of Omaha Gives contributions will go toward our major goal to establish a revolving account in an effort to provide clean, abundant green energy. We will partner with local nonprofits, like Habitat for Humanity of Omaha and others, not only to protect our environment, but also to save families money through solar systems.

Omaha Gives’ Sixth Annual 24-Hour Charitable Challenge presented by American National Bank is set for May 23, 2018. The giving begins at midnight with a minimum $10 donation and hourly drawings and prizes that make your donations go further.

There are three ways to give:

  • Schedule donations at Omaha Gives.Org by May 22, and they will be processed on May 23.
  • Make your donation on May 23 from 12:00 am through 12:00 am May 24.
  • Or do both!

Green Watts for Good Campaign
Many thanks to local solar energy enthusiasts who wrote testimonials!

Green Watts for Good Flyer
Please share widely with family and friends and help us spread the word!

Your support makes a difference.
Thank you from all of us at Nebraskans for Solar!

Scottsbluff ready to add solar electricity

By Jerry Purvis, Scottsbluff Star Herald

SCOTTSBLUFF — The City of Scottsbluff has taken the first step toward building a 5-megawatt solar electric station to provide more low-cost energy to its residents. At their Monday meeting, council members agreed on a location just south and east of the Landers Soccer Complex north of the city. Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson said the project will save the city about $500,000 in interconnectivity costs as there is already a transmission station in that area.
Read the entire article here.

Photo: Scottsbluff’s First Community Solar Project. Credit: NPPD