Omaha Public Power District News Release
February 14, 2019
Omaha Public Power District is committed to investing in the communities it serves. Furthering that effort, today, the OPPD Board of Directors approved a labor contract for streetlight
conversion work within its service territory to replace current technology with light emitting
diode (LED) technology.
This is part of the district’s five-year plan, officially beginning next month, to replace nearly 100,000 existing high-pressure sodium fixtures within its service territory. To date, OPPD has
converted approximately 400 burned out streetlights to LED. The district is utilizing a contractor alongside OPPD employees due to the volume and time frame of work taking place. Continue reading here.
PGE, NextEra team up for largest wind-solar-storage project in US, Utility Dive PGE is moving “aggressively” to integrate smart grid technology alongside renewables, President and CEO Maria Pope said in a statement. The Wheatridge project will be “a model for integrating renewable generation and storage,” she said, in order to cost-effectively reduce emissions and balance the grid.
By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association
Smart community projects are “a natural for public power,” said Sue Kelly, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association on Feb. 11 in remarks made at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ 2019 Winter Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. Among the things that public power is doing when it comes to smart city activities is converting streetlights to LEDs and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In addition, public power is working on microgrids and distributed energy installations. Read more here.
Study Shows Positive Perception Creates More Acceptance of Wind Farms, Renewable Energy Magazine. A recent study from the University of Michigan states when local residents feel the
planning process for building wind turbines is fair and open, their perceptions of the often-controversial energy source remain steady or improve with time. In fact, the openness with which the planning process is handled is more important in shaping residents’ perceptions of wind energy than receiving a payment, researchers say.
Second phase of EV charging station plan begins in July, American Public Power Association Electrify America has announced that the second, $300 million cycle of its National Zero
Emissions Vehicle investment plan is available and that the 30-month investment period begins on July 1.
FEATURED NATIONAL INITIATIVE
Tariffs Hurt The Heartland, a bipartisan coalition launched in
September 2018, represents 150 organizations, including farms, small businesses, and consumer groups.
The coalition has hosted 15 events across the country to showcase stories of individuals, businesses, nonprofits and communities that have been hurt by tariffs.
Today we got our first real estimate of solar installations in 2018, which indicates that despite four different rounds of tariffs – not to mention net metering and rate design battles and the gutting of PURPA at the state level – solar installations still grew 6% in 2018 to 11.7 GWdc.
February 26, 2019, 1:30 to 2:30 pm: Join the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Clean Energy Business Network for this webinar briefing and Q&A on the 2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.
It’s clear that states that make it easy to buy renewable energy have a competitive edge over others when attracting corporate investment. What do the community benefits of non-utility wind deals look like? Case studies of wind farms with corporate investments in Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma provide good examples. We examined the following projects: Read more here.
The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2018 is the ninth annual report on the size and scope of the American solar workforce. As of 2018, the National Solar Jobs Census found:
The United States has 242,343 solar workers, defined as those who spend 50% or more of their time on solar-related work.
Overall, the solar workforce has grown 159 percent since the first Census was released in 2010, adding nearly 150,000 jobs.
Solar jobs increased in 29 states in 2018, including many states with emerging solar markets. States with the highest employment gains include Florida, Illinois, Texas, and New York State.
While solar employment nationwide fell 3.2% for the year, with a backlog of utility-scale projects and new policy incentives in key states, survey respondents predict that solar jobs will increase 7 percent in 2019, bringing the total to 259,400 jobs.
Despite these recent challenges, though, many emerging markets saw solar job growth in 2018, and the U.S. solar industry’s long-term growth trajectories remain strong. The Solar Decade is upon us, and the dozens of gigawatts of new solar capacity the U.S. is poised to add will be accompanied with quality job opportunities for all Americans in each of the 50+ states and territories.
Corporate giants like Facebook, Walmart, Microsoft and Apple made big deals in 2018, but now smaller corporate fish have waded into the pond. “We had Etsy do a deal last year, J.M. Smucker Company that makes jellies and jams,” [Kevin Haley, a program manager at the Business Renewables Center at Rocky Mountain Institute] said. “It’s a great way for them to reduce a lot of carbon all at once.”
Colorado-based Vail Resorts has joined the ranks of small companies as well. It inked a 12-year agreement to buy new wind that will be produced from a Nebraska farm starting in 2020. When the wind farm is operational, the purchased power will offset Vail’s fossil fuel use across North America. “This is the way that a company that’s geographically diverse can make a significant impact and bring new renewable resources online,” said Kate Wilson, director of sustainability for Vail Resorts. Read more here.
Lincoln Clean Energy photo of the partially-completed 230 MW Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska. Once operational, the project will create high-paying local jobs and will result in over $3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne County area. This includes much needed property tax revenues, with some of the largest beneficiaries being the Norfolk and Winside school districts.
The Green New Deal is not an “abstract” idea. Globally economies are trending toward cleaner energies — efforts initiated by public demands, improved technologies and forward-thinking policies: The sponsors are compelled to accelerate the pace — to not just help impoverished communities but to also prevent environmental catastrophe. Think this wild-eyed? Think again. Wind costs have fallen by 67% since 2009 while utility-scale solar has dropped by 86% since that time, according to the financial adviser, Lazard.
“People have opinions about the economics of green energy investments based on a set of facts that are five years old,” says Trip Miller, managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners, in an interview. “And if you extrapolate out, we will get to the point where these energy forms just need battery technologies before they become pervasive.” Read more here.
The 25 cities involved in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge are projected to collectively cut 40 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2025, according to a new analysis released by the foundation. That’s the equivalent of eliminating 10 coal plants. The $70 million challenge brings 25 cities into a two-year accelerator program, which will offer money and technical assistance for local efforts to fight climate change. The full cohort of cities was announced last month.
Clean energy is not a futuristic notion but rather a present reality. It already supports more than 3 million U.S. jobs for people of different skill sets and education levels. It also has become clear that clean energy can advance economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, AND energy security. Utilities’ commitments like those from Xcel Energy to eliminate carbon
emissions from its power plants and from Southern Company to be low- to no-carbon—both by 2050—are just some of the many signals that fully embracing clean energy is not only necessary and doable, but also an accelerating trend increasingly backed by businesses. Read more here.
KUA signs Kissimmee as first subscriber for community solar project, American Public Power
Association. The Kissimmee City Commission has approved a partnership with Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) to power 100 percent of its facilities with solar energy, beginning in 2020, KUA said on Feb. 7 . . . KUA joined the Florida Municipal Solar Project in 2018, a large-scale solar energy project that KUA said will allow it to provide renewable energy to its customers in the most cost-effective way. The project is a joint effort between the Florida Municipal Power Agency, 12 of its member municipal utilities and NextEra Florida Renewables, LLC. It will be one of the largest municipal solar projects in the U.S. and will include the construction of two solar farms within Osceola County.
MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS
UNI offers incentive for solar panels, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
In a push for more clean energy in Black Hawk County, experts from University of Northern Iowa are offering a smooth transition from using coal-fired power to naturally renewable solar energy . . . The “Go Solar” group-buy program gives businesses, farms and residents in Black Hawk County the opportunity to take advantage of reduced energy costs and join the increasing number of Iowans who are going solar and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s worth noting just what a high-wire act the authors of this resolution are attempting. It has to offer enough specifics to give it real shape and ambition, without overprescribing solutions or prejudging differences over secondary questions. It has to please a diverse range of interest groups, from environmental justice to labor to climate, without alienating any of them. It has to stand up to intense scrutiny (much of it sure to be bad faith), with lots of people gunning for it from both the right and center. And, of course, it eventually has to give birth to real legislation.
Given all those demands, the resolution does a remarkably good job of threading the needle. It is bold and unmistakably progressive, matched to the problem as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while avoiding a few needless fights and leaving room for plenty of debate over priorities and policy tools. Read more here.
According to one survey, the Green New Deal has strong bipartisan support, with 92% of
Democrats and 64% of Republicans in favor of such a plan.
The Pay As You Save program puts energy efficiency projects within reach
for renters and lower-income customers.
Missouri utilities are studying a potential program that would let customers pay for energy efficiency projects through their monthly bills. Pay As You Save, or PAYS, has been primarily used by rural electric cooperatives, but it has supporters in Missouri and Iowa who think it could be a valuable tool to put energy efficiency upgrades within reach for more customers. A consultant recently analyzed the program’s potential for all three of Missouri’s investor-owned utilities. Continue reading here.
Penn State University: Powered by the Sun, PR Newswire Penn State, one of country’s largest and most prestigious research universities, makes significant investment in solar energy project with global solar leader Lightsource BP.