Monthly Archives: January 2016

NFS Public Forum: “Battery Storage Technology And Its Possible Impact On the Grid, Renewables, And You”

When: February 9, 2016 – 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. 

(Originally February 2nd–Rescheduled
due to weather conditions).
Where: UNO’s Community Engagement Center, 6401 Dodge Street, Room 230

Our speaker will be Louis Lester, a professional electrical engineer at OPPD with almost 30 years of experience in the utility field, including in nuclear, distribution and transmission, design, construction, maintenance and planning. He has also been evaluating new technologies such as batteries and renewables for several years. He will discuss battery storage technology and how it can impact the energy usage of individuals, companies and utilities in the future. A Q&A session will follow. Click here for additional details, including the specific topics his presentation will cover.

PV For DummiesFREE DRAWING: Attendees will have the opportunity to enter a free drawing for 1 of 5 copies of Ryan Mayfield’s book, Photovoltaic Design & Installation For Dummies, the second-bestselling book on solar energy for do-it-yourselfers on Amazon. The #1 bestseller is the Solar Electricity Handbook, by Michael Boxwell, copies of which we’ve previously given away, including two to the W. Dale Clark Library, Omaha’s Main Library.  (Nebraskans for Solar board members are not eligible for the drawing).

Reserved parking is available for our events in the lot just to the north of the Community Engagement Center, near the Durham Bell Tower.  Refreshments will be served. Please join us and bring a friend!

Financing Solar+Storage with Federal Tax Credits, February 3, 2016
, 12 to 1 p.m. Click here for details.
SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power: An Overview on PV Systems, Options for Going Solar, February 9, 2016, 12 to 1 p.m. Click here for more information.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Commits to President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge

White House logo
Excerpted from the White House Fact Sheet

As a cornerstone of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Initiative is aimed at achieving the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public-sector leaders across the country to save energy through voluntary commitments. This means saving hundreds of billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing GHG emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency.

Yesterday the White House announced that 24 more cities, states, and businesses have committed to join the President’s Better Buildings Challenge  to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings 20 Percent by 2020. These 24 new partners represent 38 million square feet of building space, and 11 plants and facilities.

Since its launch in 2011 more than 285 organizations have made the commitment to partner with the Energy Department to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings across a total of 4 billion square feet of building space, and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade.

The new partners and their commitments include the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) – 6.5 million square feet.

FACT SHEET: Cities, Utilities, and Businesses Commit to Unlocking Access to Energy Data for Building Owners and Improving Energy Efficiency

Model for Nebraska cities? “Madison looks to hire two people for pilot solar training program”

Madison officials are looking to hire two trainees to learn about and help with installing and working on solar equipment for the city. Photo: M.P. King, State Journal

Madison officials are looking to hire two trainees to learn about and help with installing and working on solar equipment for the city. Photo: M.P. King, State Journal

By Logan Wroge, Madison.Com

“Program participants will gain exposure and experience in a new career field while helping to increase the city’s generation of renewable energy and decrease the city’s carbon footprint,” Robert Philips, City Engineer, said in a statement.

Read more here.

Wind energy bill compromise reached

A wind turbine on a farm outside of Odell. Photo: Jenna Vonhofe, Lincoln Journal Star

A wind turbine on a farm outside of Odell. Photo: Jenna Vonhofe, Lincoln Journal Star

By Don Walton, Lincoln Journal Star

A negotiated proposal to spur private development of wind energy in Nebraska was presented to the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday with the Nebraska Public Power District on board.

The measure will be amended by Sen. John McCollister of Omaha to meet concerns expressed by NPPD that protect its power transmission authority and interests.

Read the complete story here.

LB824 Exempt privately developed renewable energy generation facilities from regulation as prescribed

Iowa moves up to second in electricity created by wind power, by Dar Danielson, Radio Iowa.  Click image to link to the article.

Food Producers Exploring Creative Methods for Greater Energy Efficiency

Grant Gerlock

By Grant Gerlock, Harvest Public Media’s reporter at NET News, where he started as Morning Edition Host in 2008. He grew up on a farm in southwestern Iowa where he listened to public radio in the tractor, but has taken up city life in Lincoln, Nebraska. Posted on Rocky Mountain PBS News

By some estimates, producing our food consumes about a fifth of the nation’s energy supply. It takes a lot of diesel to move tractors and semis around the farm, and electricity to pump water and dry grain. But some farmers are trying to cut back on the coal and gas they use and make our food system more energy efficient.

Greg Brummond of Craig, Nebraska, now powers half his corn and soybean farm with solar energy. (Photo by Brian Seifferlein, Harvest Public Media)

Greg Brummond of Craig, Nebraska, now powers half his corn and soybean farm with solar energy. (Photo by Brian Seifferlein, Harvest Public Media)

When winter comes to Greg Brummond’s farm in northeast Nebraska, he spends his days in the machine shed fixing all the things that broke through the year.

The shed is huge. There’s room for a semi, sprayer, combine, saws, grinders, drills and even a kitchen. It uses the most power on the farm. And on Brummond’s farm that includes solar power.

Read the entire story here

Global Revenue From Solar PV Installations Expected To Reach More Than $1.2 Trillion from 2015 to 2024

A recent report from Navigant Research examines the market for solar photovoltaic (PV), including forecasts for capacity and revenue, segmented by region and country, through 2024.


The global electric power industry is evolving into a model that offers more diversity, both in terms of generation and in the ownership of generation assets, and solar PV is one technology at the head of this change. Following years of unsustainable pricing and oversupply, demand for solar PV systems has finally caught up, with 2015 expected to be the year when the global solar PV market shifts and starts to compete with other technologies. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, global revenue from solar PV installations is expected to total more than $1.2 trillion from 2015 to 2024.

Read the entire News Release here

San Diego Mulls Whether to Let City, Not Utility , Buy Alternative Energy

By Claire Trageser, NET Nebraska / Copyright KPBS-FM

NPRSan Diego is the largest city in the country to commit to using only renewable energy, a goal that political parties, environmentalists and business groups hope to meet over the next 20 years . . . Everybody’s on board now, but there could be trouble brewing on the horizon. The problem is whether to set up an alternative energy program that would put the city in charge of buying electricity instead of the power company. It’s called community choice aggregation. “Imagine if you only had a single option for wireless service,” says Ty Tosdal, an energy regulation lawyer. “It wouldn’t present any kind of competitive pressure on companies to bring their prices down.” Continue reading. 


Study: Grid For Renewables Key to Cutting Emissions, by Bobby Magill, Climate Central
Climate CentralCarbon dioxide emissions from generating electricity could be cut by 78 percent within the next 15 years if the country makes the same Herculean effort to expand solar and wind technology that it did to build the Interstate Highway System. That’s the conclusion of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study published Monday in Nature Climate Change, which shows that a new system of transcontinental transmission lines connected to wind and solar farms nationwide is the key to dramatically reducing emissions from the nation’s power plants. Photo Credit: Lollie-pop/Flickr

Minnesota mayor aims for net zero by 2031

Local officials have plans to make the $6 billion Destination Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota net zero.

Written by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

A brief meeting with actor Robert Redford in Utah a few years ago influenced Rochester, Minnesota’s mayor to move the city of nearly 100,000 residents to become energy net zero by 2031.

“It will be a challenge,” said Mayor Ardell F. Brede, but he believes a target is necessary as the city moves toward greener sources of energy generation. The Destination Medical Center is the first focused effort by the city and if that goes well, the concept of sustainability can move beyond the downtown core and into the neighborhoods.

Continue reading here.

SAVE THE DATE! On March 1st Nebraskans for Solar will host a panel presentation, “The Zero Energy House – Key Features, Benefits & Value.” Click here for details.

Senator works to protect the earth

By Don Walton, Lincoln Journal Star

Senator Ken Haar
With time running out on his days as a state senator, Ken Haar of Malcolm has presented the 2016 Legislature with a clean energy agenda and is preparing to rally young Nebraskans to protect their future.

“There is an urgency” now as the world accepts the reality of climate change, Haar said during an interview in his Capitol office. “There is so much to do.”

Continue reading.

The public is invited: Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus will deliver the Keynote Address for the Nebraska Youth Summit on Climate this Wednesday, January 27th at 7 p.m. in UNL’s Nebraska Union, 14th & R. Click here for more information.

Senator Ken Haar Introduces LB1071 – The Solar Energy Economic Development Act & Additional Energy-Related Bills

Solar Panels Provide Solution to Low State Education Funding Issues

Bennett, Iowa School District's Solar Array (First Phase)

Bennett, Iowa School District’s Solar Array (First Phase)

By Jill Kasparie, KCRG-TV 9 

BENNETT, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – A school district is taking Iowa’s problem of low educational funding or Supplemental State Aid into its own hands. The small Pre-K through sixth grade district is found all in one building in Cedar County . . . The school district is already gearing up for a second phase of the solar panel project. The plan is to put more solar panels on ground near the playground in the spring. “We are going to keep going until we are 100 percent reliant on our solar production,” said Bennett Community School Superintendent Dave Larson.

[Funding for the solar projects is coming from the school district’s building and capital project funds and a general fund’s unspent balance, as the district doesn’t “build a lot here,” according to Superintendent Larson].

Click here to read or listen to the entire story.