Tag Archives: renewable energy development in Nebraska

City of Hastings looking to become more sustainable

By Valerie Juarez, NTV

Hastings, NEB. — One of the tri-cities is looking to become more sustainable. This as it’s hoping to lower their amount of fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy. The city of Hastings says they’re ready for the next step, and this would be a way to protect the community and make it more resilient for the future. Continue reading here.

Related: City seeking proposals for solar project,  by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

US Utility Invests in Kilowatt Labs to Boost Service with Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Until December 2017, Kilowatt Labs was still a startup company, developing supercapacitor-based energy storage and an energy server that’s designed to manage distributed energy. But after the company delivered its first product in January, Kilowatt Labs attracted more business than expected. Most recently, it garnered a $2.5 million investment from utility NorthWestern Energy, which serves 718,300 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. Photo: Omer Ghani, co-founder and managing director of Kilowatt Labs.

About NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy has served customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska for more than 100 years. The company, which got its start in small communities, today provides more than 718,300 residential and business customers with electricity and natural gas. NorthWestern Energy is a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

OPPD provides third straight year with no rate increases

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The budget includes three major transmission projects and helps bring more renewable energy online. The $200 million Sholes wind farm in Wayne and Stanton Counties is expected to come online next year, bringing with it 160 megawatts of electricity. Additionally, a community solar project east of Fort Calhoun will generate five megawatts when it comes online next summer.
Read more here.

Lincoln Electric System Photo: The utility’s 5-megawatt solar farm.

SPRING EVENT

 

Save the Date! Nebraskans for Solar Public Forum:
OPPD’s Community Solar Program, March 13, 2019 at UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 230/231.
Co-sponsored by Allied Organizations.


NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Clean Energy Deal Tracker: Novartis and J.M. Smucker join the buyers’ club

By Heather Clancy, GreenBizClick infographic to enlarge it.

[Corporate] buyers already have procured more clean energy in 2018 than for both 2016 and 2017 combined. And the year is far from over. [J.M. Smucker deal in Nebraska]: After roughly a year of evaluation and negotiations, the 120-year-old company behind brands such as Smucker’s jam, Crisco vegetable shortening and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in August announced it had signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 60 MWs of the 230-MW Plum Creek Wind Project in Wayne County, Nebraska. When the project starts generating power in 2020, it will offset about 50 percent of Smucker’s electricity usage. The developer behind the deal is Lincoln Clean Energy (now part of Orsted), which developed about 2 GW of wind power during 2017.
Read more here.

Previously Posted News Release: The J. M. Smucker Company Announces Renewable Energy Agreement

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

Walmart Rooftop Solar Project

CORPORATE BUYER’S GUIDES


Corporate Buyer’s Guide to Wind Energy

U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide for Corporate Buyers

 

MORE TRANSITION NEWS

  • NIPSCO submits blueprint for shift from coal to renewables, Kokomo Perspective
    NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris said the decision to retire the four coal-fired generators at Schahfer by 2023 and one at Michigan City by 2028 was a result of the utility’s investigation of the most cost-effective, reliable and environmentally sustainable means to deliver power to its customers.
  • North Carolina’s climate plan could bring 25 gigawatts of solar (or more), PV Magazine
    Executive Order No. 80, which barely makes it to four pages, calls for the creation of a “Clean Energy Plan” . . . [Solar] is poised to play the biggest role in meeting the state’s aggressive new goal, for a number of reasons.
  • New England moves to open the market for battery storage, PV Magazine
    As utilities discover more and more how energy storage can solve many of the problems that they have been facing, there is more and more pressure to change market rules to allow for greater use of batteries and other new technologies. The biggest move in this regard has been the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) landmark Order 841, which required that grid operators open wholesale markets to the participation of energy storage.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO SOLAR SYSTEM OWNERS


7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Solar Energy System
Mother Earth News Contributor

Photo: Dageforde Net-Positive Energy Home (See Solar Examples)

 

FEATURED RENEWABLE ENERGY PILOT PROGRAM

Archdiocese of New York launches renewable energy pilot program, News Release Posted by PV Magazine. Today, the Energy Department of the Archdiocese of New York along with five parishes joined Con Edison Solutions, one of America’s leading energy services companies, and students from Blessed Sacrament School to launch a renewable energy pilot program. As part of the initiative, five parishes, including Blessed Sacrament, St. Clare, and St. Patrick on Staten Island and St. Ann and St. Anthony in Yonkers have installed rooftop solar arrays which will collectively generate approximately 700,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity through 1,717 solar panels. Photos from today’s event can be found here.

GREEN TRANSPORTATION

B-cycle bike-share program nearly doubles number of Omaha locations, Omaha World-Herald. Heartland B-cycle on Wednesday announced the locations and installation dates of 34 new bike-share stations around the Omaha metro area. Heartland B-cycle is Omaha’s first large-scale municipal bike-sharing system. Since 2015, it has been working to expand its current network of 35 B-stations to at least six more neighborhoods, granting more people easy access to the blue bikes.

5 Ways To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Travel, Earth 911
Whether traveling by train, plane, ship, or automobile, getting from one place to another produces carbon emissions. In fact, the transportation sector accounted for the largest portion — 28 percent — of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Here are some strategies to help you lower your emissions while getting from point A to point B.

NextEra Energy Partners, LP announces agreement to acquire approximately 1,388 megawatts of contracted renewables projects and enters into a $750 million convertible equity portfolio financing

NextEra News Release

JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE : NEP ) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to acquire a geographically diverse portfolio of 11 wind and solar projects, collectively consisting of approximately 1,388 megawatts (MW) . . . The assets include the Cottonwood Wind Energy Center, a 90-MW wind generation plant in Webster County, Nebraska. Read the entire release here.

Pixabay Photo

Additional Recommended Reading

  • NextEra’s Sholes Wind Energy Center project in northern Wayne County near the village of Sholes, 160 megawatts, will be completed in 2018. Omaha World-Herald news story:
    OPPD partner’s wind power project will continue utility’s renewable energy growth
    Once opened, it would boost OPPD’s amount of wind-generated electricity to 971 megawatts, OPPD says. That’s enough to power about 125,000 homes.
    The NextEra project is OPPD’s third-largest contract for wind power, behind the 400 megawatts the utility buys from Grande Prairie wind farm in Holt County and the 200 megawatts from the Prairie Breeze project in Antelope County. OPPD is also working with NextEra on building its first community solar power array, a 5-megawatt facility being built near Fort Calhoun.
  • NPPD Wind Generation: NextEra’s first Nebraska wind project was the Steele Flats Wind Farm near the Kansas Border in Jefferson and Gage Counties, 75 megawatts, which began commercial operation in 2013.
  • Utility Dive: NextEra’s renewables backlog grows to 7.4 GW as customers anticipate lower costs
    The influx of new signed contracts show confidence in lower prices of renewables products. ​NextEra, whose batteries have added $0.015/kWh to the cost of wind and solar projects built in the last six to 12 months, anticipates storage costs to fall to $0.005/kWh for projects paired with renewable energy in 2025.
  • PV Magazine USA: 

NextEra expects storage to add half a cent to solar in mid-2020’s

Facebook’s Nebraska reach expands

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Facebook announced today their Nebraska data center will be three times the size of its original announcement. The Papillion data center will be six buildings instead of two with groundbreaking set to begin in May on the additional buildings. Facebook announced last April their plan to build its next data center here and credited the development of OPPD’s Rate 261M as one of the biggest draws. Read the entire blog post.

Facebook’s Press Release: Papillion Data Center Expanding to Six Buildings
Author: Jim Piazza, Director of Data Center Operations, East. Last year, we worked with Omaha Public Power District to create a new renewable energy tariff that ensures we can power our data center with clean and renewable energy. With the tariff in place, we could seek new, in-state wind projects, which we found in Enel Green Power‘s Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. We will now increase our purchase from 200 MW to 320 MW to support our growth, and we are excited to share that we have partnered with Adobe to help them enter the U.S. renewable energy market with Enel; 10 MW of Rattlesnake Creek will be allocated to Adobe.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Enel sells energy from new US wind farm to Facebook and Adobe, Enel Press Release
The new deal between Enel and Facebook widens the scope of the bundled, long-term power purchase agreement for 200 MW signed in November 2017 to gradually include the plant’s overall output by 2029, following Facebook’s decision to significantly expand its data centre in Papillion, around 120 miles from Rattlesnake Creek. The energy produced by the entire wind farm will enable the expanded data centre to be 100% renewable-powered.

“Powering our data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy is not just a goal for Facebook, it is a requirement of our business,” said Bobby Hollis, Director of Global Energy at Facebook. “The Rattlesnake Creek wind farm will enable us to power our future Papillion Data Center, and fulfills our passion to expand the energy market for other corporate buyers, like Adobe.”

The expansion increases Facebook’s total investment in the Papillion Data Center to
$1 billion.

Nebraska Supreme Court orders NPPD to open its books, disclose costs

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that the Nebraska Public Power District must open its books and disclose specific cost information, including the expense of generating electricity from its individual power plants . . . A private company that seeks to compete with NPPD, Lincoln-based energy firm Aksamit Resource Management, had filed a lawsuit seeking the information from the public power firm. Aksamit argued that the information was public and that it would help the firm and Nebraska ratepayers better understand why NPPD’s costs were rising. Without the detailed information, the firm argued, the public could not determine why NPPD’s costs had risen. Read more here.

Public Domain Photo of a Hybrid Project

RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND READING

Renewable energy made up 30 percent of OPPD’s retail sales in 2017

By Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald

Renewable energy primarily derived from wind whistling across the Nebraska plains accounted for 30 percent of the Omaha Public Power District’s retail energy sales in 2017. That marks a significant milestone for the traditionally coal-heavy utility, especially considering that renewables accounted for just 13 percent of OPPD’s retail sales in 2016 . . . The utility has a goal of hiking that portion to 50 percent by 2020. Click here to read the complete news story.

Photo: The Grande Prairie wind farm, the largest wind project in Nebraska history.
Credit: Megan Farmer/The World-Herald

ALSO WRITTEN BY COLE EPLEY

WORLD-HERALD EDITORIAL
OPPD’s clean energy goals worthy

VIDEO
Grande Prairie Wind Project

Half of OPPD’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2020, CEO says

Written by Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — Omaha Public Power District President and Chief Executive Tim Burke said half the energy the utility sells to retail customers will come from renewable sources by the end of 2020. Burke said in remarks over lunch at the 10th annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference on Monday that the utility is working on a request for proposals for up to 300 megawatts more of wind energy. Click here to continue reading.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Enel’s New 320 MW U.S. Wind Project Will Power Facebook Data Centre in Nebraska, GlobeNewswire Press Release. Once fully operational, Rattlesnake Creek will be able to generate around 1.3 TWh annually, enough energy to meet the equivalent annual consumption needs of more than 105,000 U.S. households, while avoiding the emission of around 940,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Smart Energy event will focus on ‘changing times,’ electric vehicles and renewable energy

 By Elizabeth Rembert, Omaha World-Herald

The event comes as the area faces an imminent transition. We want to give people the security in knowing that Nebraska is a leader in modern energy. And that by seeing that leadership, people can feel supported in their own renewable energy decisions. We’re all moving in the right direction.  

– Anne McCollister, Executive Director of the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance

Read the entire article here to learn more about Smart Energy Talks. A Virtual Solar Tour of local installations in the greater Omaha area also will be a part of the event.

Photo: Electric vehicle event in Central City, Nebraska. Anne McCollister, far right.

Facebook to tap the wind for power to Papillion plant

WOWT News

Facebook says the company worked with OPPD and Tradewind Energy to partner on a large new wind farm, known as the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. The project is located in Dixon County, Nebraska, about 100 miles from the data center. It’s expected to create up to 300 additional construction jobs. Read more here.

Tradewind Energy Photo: The Facebook Data Center in Papillion will be powered 100% by renewable energy, with 200MW sourced from the 320MW Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project.

Tradewind Energy Information on the Rattlesnake Creek Project

  • More than 100 landowners and over 32,000 acres will be involved in the project. The project will take a minimal amount of acreage (1% to 2%) out of service, including land for roads, turbine foundations, and maintenance buildings.
  • The project’s construction and operation will utilize a considerable amount of local materials and labor providing both short term and long term economic benefits.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING