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Public Power Executives to be Featured Lunch Speakers

Top executives of Nebraska’s three largest public power utilities will be the luncheon speakers on Monday, November 13, at the Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference.

Tim Burke, CEO of Omaha Public Power District, Pat Pope, CEO of Nebraska Public Power District, and Jason Fortik, Vice President of Power Supply at Lincoln Electric System will provide insight into the state of public power in Nebraska.

“The presentation by public power executives is always one of the most well-attended sessions. The panel provides a wealth of information on the current state of renewables in the public sector and the role they will play in the future growth of Nebraska’s public energy.” – John Hansen, Conference Co-Chair

The conference is a two-day event that brings together people from across the country united by their passion for advancing wind and solar energy.

Registration is $125 until October 15. Student registration is $65.
Hotel Room Block closes October 16.

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Website: www.nebraskawsc.com

To solve ‘duck curve,’ Missouri utility to pay bonus for west-facing solar panels

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

In an effort to better align solar-energy production with peak demand, the electric utility in Columbia, Missouri has begun to pay higher rebates for new west-facing arrays than it will for those facing south.

The city-owned utility adjusted its rebates as of Aug. 1 in order to encourage more solar production in late afternoon, when electricity use tends to peak, especially during the high-demand summer months. Continue reading.

Photo by John S. Quarterman / Creative Commons

Lincoln Electric System provides customers incentives that are based on the solar system’s orientation and its energy-generating capacity, as described in the PDF, Customer-owned Renewable Generation. These LES customer rebates are called “capacity payments” and are determined as follows::

South-facing, fixed-PV systems: $375 for each kilowatt of the system’s nameplate DC capacity. The savings in the following examples would be:
3-kilowatt PV system: $1,125
4-kilowatt PV system: $1,500
5-kilowatt PV system: $1,875

West-facing or single or dual-axis tracking PV system: $475 for each kilowatt of the system’s nameplate DC capacity.
3-kilowatt PV system: $1,425
4-kilowatt PV system: $1,900
5-kilowatt PV system: $2,375

For more information, visit LES.com, and select Savings & Energy > Solar & customer-owned generation or call LES Energy Services Specialist Jay Stoa at 402-475-4211.
Email: jstoa@les.com

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
How much does a solar electric system cost in Nebraska?

The ConnectDER – Solar innovation that saves time & money

Click image to watch a brief video about the ConnectDER.

The ConnectDER enables rapid connection of grid-ready distributed energy resources (DERs), especially solar photovoltaic systems, by creating a connection point to a collar that installs between a residential electric meter and a meter socket.  It drives a number of benefits for the installation process:

  • Reduces costs by removing some balance of system components and premises wiring upgrades
  • Minimizes logistics headaches & site inspection time
  • Eliminates one of the primary areas of inspection failures, the load-side wiring

It comes in two versions: the Simple ConnectDER, which provides the basic connection, and the Smart ConnectDER, which adds metering and management functions for the local utility.

Department of Energy Information About The ConnectDER
Typically, after sunlight gathered by solar panels is turned into electricity by an inverter, it must be connected to a home’s electrical service panel. This can be difficult because panels are often located in hard-to-reach areas of a home, like basements or attics. For those who live in older homes, electrical service panels may not be built to handle the amount of energy being produced by solar panels and upgrading may be expensive.

The ConnectDER device makes it faster and easier to install a solar array by removing the need to upgrade electrical service panels or run wiring through a home’s interior, meaning solar technicians don’t need to enter your home. The ConnectDER is mounted between a home’s electric meter and meter socket, which is located outside. Cables from the inverter are connected directly to the device instead of being routed through a home. The meter can also handle more voltage than an electrical service panel, easily bearing the burden of routing power into the home.

By removing the need to replace the electrical service panel and run wiring through a house, the ConnectDER device saves consumers in installation costs. It also saves time, shortening what can be a lengthy process.

Watch a brief video about the ConnectDER.

Website: www.connectder.com
Questions? The website provides a contact form, or send an email to: info@connectder.com 

EDITORIAL: Keystone XL pipeline runs afoul of the law of supply and demand

St. Louis Post-Dispatch / Columbia Missourian

TransCanada has said it wants commitments for 90 percent of the pipeline’s capacity before it continues building. In February, the falling demand for Canadian oil led ExxonMobil to write off its entire 3.5 billion barrels of estimated reserves in Alberta oil. American shale oil, plus falling prices for solar and wind energy, have caused analysts to predict that oil prices won’t recover anytime soon . . . The pipeline investment must be amortized over 50 years, by which time global warming will be impossible to ignore. Just like the law of supply and demand.

Read the entire editorial here.

Photo: Tar sands oil mining operation in Alberta. Credit: The Atlantic

Fourth Public Meeting on the Keystone XL Application: July 26th

Going green: Partners in $11M solar project break ground today

By Mike Konz, Managing Editor, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Construction of Nebraska’s largest solar energy array got under way today — ceremonially and physically — with groundbreaking for the $11 million project in northeast Kearney’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing. Officials with the Chicago company that is building the solar array and officials from Nebraska Public Power, the city, and state and local economic development organizations were a part of the groundbreaking. When it’s complete, the solar array in northeast Kearney will generate 5.8 megawatts of electricity — about 5 percent of Kearney’s peak demand. Click here to continue reading.

Photo: General contractor Wayne Williams of Interconnections Inc. of Central City said the solar array construction firm will complete its work on Kearney’s 53-acre facility by November 15. SoCore hopes the 22,464 solar panels are online by January. Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

U.S. Power Plant Emissions Fall to Near 1990 Levels, Decoupling from GDP Growth

By Georgina Gustin, Inside Climate News

The economy is growing as carbon dioxide emissions fall and renewable energy rises. A new report examines the carbon footprint of the top electricity generators.
Continue reading.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Students to decide themselves on climate change

By Stephen J. Berry, The Gazette

People who reject predominant scientific findings that humans are the main cause of climate change may be glad at first that new public-school science standards don’t require teachers to teach that in class. But if inquiry-based teaching guides under development in the Iowa K-12 Climate Science Education Initiative are used, students may reach that conclusion by themselves. The Climate Science Education Initiative, a project of the University of Iowa’s Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and College of Education, will help teachers apply Next Generation Science Standards that do not take the step of telling students what to think about climate change.

Read more here.

Photo: On April 22, timed to coincide with Earth Day, people in 600 cities including Iowa City, above, marched to help show the value of science. Although a predominant scientific finding is that humans have been the primary cause of climate change in the last century, new teaching guides being developed at the University of Iowa will not say so outright. It’ll be up to students to use scientific data to reach their own conclusions. Credit: Stephen Mally/The Gazette

Vestas scores massive order for Warren Buffett-backed wind farm

Vestas Wind TurbinesThe buyer is MidAmerican Energy, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy based in Des Moines and serving over 750,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota and Nebraska.

By Cathy Proctor, Denver Business Journal

Vestas Wind Systems, with four manufacturing plants in Colorado, has reached a conditional agreement to supply up to 1,000 wind turbines to a massive wind farm in Iowa.

It’s the largest order ever for a U.S. wind farm and believed to be one of the largest orders in the world, according to industry experts. Continue reading.

University of Dayton putting $1M to green venture

By Tristan Navera, Dayton Business Journal.

The University of Dayton is putting $1 million to a new revolving fund that will help the school invest in more green energy upgrades. The school is creating its Green Revolving Fund, designed to help it invest in green energy ideas, and then use the money saved from those to promote education around sustainability and green energy practices, said Beth Keyes, vice president for facilities and campus operations. Read more here

Report: Installed solar costs dropped 5% as consumers search for best value

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Utility Dive logo

EnergySage’s second Solar Marketplace Intel Report showed a drop in average solar prices across the United States, showing a nearly 5% drop in the second half of 2015 from $3.86/watt during the same period in 2014 to $3.69/watt, PV Magazine reports. Read more here.

The average price of installing a PV system in Nebraska is slightly less than the 2015 national average.