Tag Archives: Nebraskans for Solar’s NewsBlog

Install Inequality: Nearly half of U.S. residential rooftop solar potential is currently out of reach

By Chris Crowell, Solar Builder Magazine

One of the largest barriers to solar adoption on a wide scale is the wealth gap, and it will require more problem-solving than a mandate to overcome it. A new report released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that nearly half (42 percent) of all the United States’ residential rooftop solar technical potential (see pg. 15 for definition) is on the dwellings of low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, representing 330 GW of potential solar capacity — a number the researchers admitted was much higher than they expected at the outset.

“Understanding the potential size of the LMI market in detail offers new insights and opportunities to serve these communities,” said David Mooney, executive director, Institutional Planning, Integration and Development for NREL. “The potential electric bill savings from the adoption of rooftop solar would have a greater material impact on low-income households compared to their high-income counterparts.” Read more here.

NREL Photo: PV installed on low-income housing development in Denver, Colorado

RELATED SOLAR BUILDER MAGAZINE ARTICLE
Solar for All: How to incentivize community solar projects to benefit low-, middle-income customers

RECOMMENDED CLEANTECH TALK

Record-Low Solar Power, Electric Car Startups, & The Mercedes EQ Brand (Cleantech Talk Today #4)

ALSO IN THE NEWS

LES discussing service regulations, rate opportunities, solar options at public meeting


LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System invites customers to discuss updates to the LES service regulations, proposed new rate opportunities and new virtual net metering options at its next public meeting 6-7 p.m. May 31, 2018, at the Walter A. Canney Service Center (2620 Fairfield St.).

News Release Excerpt:

  • LES will review modifications to its service regulations, the rules for acquiring service from LES and governing customer and staff interactions.
  • Four new proposed commercial rates or rate riders are on the meeting agenda as well. Two are aimed at bringing new businesses to Lincoln or expanding existing businesses. The Market Energy Rate would attract very large customers, including big businesses in the process of choosing sites for new facilities, while the Economic Development Rider incentivizes new and existing customers adding commercial or industrial load with a discount credit on capacity charges for up to five years.
  • Finally, new options in LES’ Virtual Net Metering program — part of its community solar project — will be detailed.

Read the entire news release here.

Photo: Lincoln Electric System’s Solar Farm. Credit: Lincoln Electric System

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

Bigger than ever, wind is coming to Wyoming

By Heather Richards, Casper Star-Tribune Online

Over the next five to seven years, Jonathan Naughton, director of the Wind Energy Research Center at the University of Wyoming, expects as much as 5,000 megawatts of new wind power could take form in Wyoming. That’s three times the amount of power potential in Wyoming’s current fleet of wind projects . . . With the expiration date of the federal tax credits looming, what would have happened anyway in Wyoming is speeding up, Naughton said. “Utilities want wind these days,” he said. “Not because of environmental policy. They want it because it’s cheap.” Read more here.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Nebraska State Profile and Energy Estimates, U.S. Energy Information Administration
    Nearly all of the coal consumed in Nebraska arrives by rail from the nearby low-sulfur coal fields in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.
  • TP&L Claims Largest Wind Component Distribution Center In North America, North American Windpower. With the recent expansion of its location in Garden City, Kan., and additional distribution centers in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Nebraska, the company serves multiple industries, including wind power, with rail, port and trucking logistics support and management.

American Wind Energy Association Infographic

New project expands solar offerings for Minn. Residents

Associated Press, Post Bulletin

CleanChoice won a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to develop an easy online experience for joining community solar projects, said Kate Colarulli, a vice-president for the company. The new Minnesota solar network is one of the first projects to use this technology, she said, which has been in the works for more than a year. “We’re really proud that this is like a 10-minute signup experience as opposed to something that would require multiple sit-down meetings, loans, etc.,” Colarulli said. There’s no initial investment required to sign up, either.
Read more here.

Photo Credit: Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

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The scientist still fighting for the clean fuel the world forgot, MIT Technology Review
Jay Keasling grew up in a small Nebraska town, on a corn farm that’s been in his family for five generations.

Community solar capacity more than doubles in 2017

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine USA

Much of this has been in a few leading states. SEPA’s Community Solar Program Design Models has found that community solar installed in Xcel’s service area in Minnesota reached 246 MW by the end of the year, or 1/3 of the capacity of community solar deployed to date. Add in 159 MW in the territories of Eversource and National Grid in Massachusetts, and these two states host more than half of the U.S. community solar capacity. Read the entire article here

Photo Credit: Clean Energy Collective

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

OPPD Community Solar Primary Focus of March Board of Directors Meeting

Click image to watch YouTube Video of the meeting.

RECOMMENDED READING

OPPD to convert streetlights to LED fixtures

By Laura King-Homan, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Streetlights across the OPPD service territory will get a facelift over the next five years. And their new look will mean brighter, longer-lasting fixtures, better efficiency, and monetary savings for the communities they serve . . . OPPD owns the majority of streetlights in its service territory. The utility has 298 streetlight customers ranging from small towns to the Nebraska Department of Transportation . . . A total of 98,744 streetlights cover the roads and highways of the service territory. By converting the streetlights to LED fixtures, the municipalities that contract with OPPD would see a 25-percent reduction in their overall streetlight costs. This is why:

Click link, below, to learn more.

The future of LED streetlights looks bright

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Replacing all Lincoln street lights with LEDs could be first task if City Council OKs energy efficiency financing tool, Lincoln Journal Star

Wind energy close to powering up in Kimball

By Dakota Kuhns, Western Nebraska Observer

This week, the week of March 12, the wind farm substation will be energized, followed by the collector system (the wires that connect all the wind turbines to the substation.) During the week of March 19, [John Brown, Chief Development Officer of Kimball Wind Energy] plans to start commissioning the individual wind turbines so county residents may notice one unit running at a time . . . As of right now, Brown states that the project is still on tract to reach full commercial operation on June 30. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Wind farm in Kimball, Nebraska, is being decommissioned, but a new one will rise on the same site in 2018, by Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — For the first time in about seven years as a wind developer, Sandhills Energy President Eric Johnson finally has an answer to the question he most commonly gets asked: What happens to wind farms when they’ve reached the end of their useful lives?  At least in Kimball, Nebraska, where Johnson’s company is working with a Lincoln-based general contractor to decommission the state’s first utility-scale wind farm, the answer is to build a bigger, better wind energy project. Click here to continue reading.

Kimball Wind Farm, Nebraska’s first utility-scale wind farm, before it was decommissioned and new turbines installed. Image Credit: Nebraska Municipal Power Pool. Link to Dakota Kuhns’ article to see the new wind turbines.

Renewable Energy Has More Economic Benefits Than You Know

By Jake Richardson, Clean Technica

Renewable energy is already cheaper than other energy options in most of the world, but it comes with other economic and societal benefits as well. Because of the number of countries investing in renewable energy, the complexity of their national economies and their energy infrastructure details, it isn’t possible to cover everything in one online article. The subject would be better addressed in a book. So, this article is intended only to be a snapshot of some key high-level points. Click here to continue reading.

Photo: Telesis Inc’s solar array in Lincoln’s Haymarket

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