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.
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.
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
- Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference reports another successful year, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal
- Amid talk of solar boom in Illinois, geothermal looks for its place in the sun, Midwest Energy News
- Now online: Giant Missouri wind farm that can power 100,000 homes, supplies KC, Kansas City Business Journal
- ND regulators advance wind projects, Bismarck Tribune
- Facebook Triples Planned New Mexico Data Center Size, Energy Manager Today
- That’s SMART: Massachusetts solicits 100 MW of solar under new program, Pv Magazine
After more than a year of negotiations, input and intense lobbying from solar advocates, the Bay State is requesting bids to build the first 100 MW of new solar projects under the state’s new SMART program.
- Solar remains largely unscathed as House tax bill passes, PV Magazine. Though there are modifications to the hard-won investment tax credit step-down provisions, it appears the bill leaves the solar industry largely alone.
- 200+ wind businesses to Congress: U.S. Senate protects jobs during tax reform, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog
Read the full letter here.
- University of Wisconsin study finds carbon emissions increase when land is converted into crops for ethanol, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Renovate America launches online solar, home improvement marketplace, PV Magazine
The financing provider is joining at least two other online solar marketplaces, in a new way to sell residential solar.
- Cop 23: three ways cities are leading the fight against climate change, The Conversation
- 10 Cities Committed to 100 Percent Renewable Energy, U.S. News & World Report. Nearly 50 U.S. cities have pledged to go 100 percent renewable. These are 10 of the most recent.
- 74% Think Shifting to Clean Energy Will Boost Economy, Sustainable Brands
- “Self-Forming” Renewable Energy Microgrids For U.S. Army — Puerto Rico Next?
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.
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:
- Buildings, which contribute an average of 48 percent to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in large cities
- Transportation and mobility, which account for an average of 36 percent of GHG emissions in large cities
- Electricity, which accounts for 25 percent of urban GHG emissions from all sectors
- Industry, which accounts for an average of 7 percent of GHG emissions in large cities, and often much more
- 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.
By Umair Irfan, Vox
The semi is a fully electric Class 8 truck, a category of freight vehicles that weigh more than 33,000 pounds, including tractor-trailer rigs that form the backbone of commercial road freight. This one, Musk said, can haul 80,000 pounds.Tesla’s offering has a range of 500 miles at maximum weight at highways speeds, much higher than early spec reports of a range of 300 miles. Read more here.
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.
Photo Credit: Fresh Energy and Monarch Joint Venture
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.
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.
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
The Sixth Annual U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Women in Clean Energy Symposium will be held today starting at 12pm and tomorrow starting at 7:30am Central Time. Join the symposium here: live (free!) webcast.
The theme of this year’s C3E Symposium is Transforming Our Energy Infrastructure to Enable the Clean Energy Transition. The Symposium will feature key leaders impacting clean energy nationally and internationally. Click here to learn more and view the agenda.
The 2017 C3E Award winners will be announced throughout the event. The C3E Awards recognize the outstanding leadership and extraordinary achievements of women working to advance clean energy. This year there are eight mid-career winners and two distinguished women being recognized for lifetime achievement.