Monthly Archives: May 2017

More than 30 states embrace grid modernization, new policy tracker finds

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive 

A new quarterly report from the folks who brought you ’50 States of Solar’ aims to chronicle grid modernization initiatives across the US. Continue reading.

Published by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (CETC) at North Carolina State University
50 States of Grid Modernization
50 States of Solar


Corps offers updates at Nebraska Ordnance Plant cleanup site

By Lisa Brichacek, The Ashland Gazette

MEAD – A new extraction well, pump house and solar [system] have all gone into operation at the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant site south of Mead. All are functioning as efficiently as hoped, according to officials offering information at a May 24 open house and site tour . . . The 17,000-acre site was used between 1942 and the mid-1960s for munitions production and storage. Removing groundwater contamination created by those operations continues to be an ongoing project for the Corps. Continue reading.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ photo showing the new 25-kilowatt solar array at the Main Treatment Plant, similar in design to the two other solar systems already being used on site.

Reenergizing state’s oldest campus

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD News

“We wanted to highlight our partnership with OPPD and show how we can work together.” – Kathy Carroll, vice president of Administration and Finance

The college has updated its electrical system over the last three years . . . Buildings on campus are making the switch to LED lighting, and geothermal cooling and heating was installed in the Jindra Fine Arts building in 2003 and the T.J. Majors building in 2016. Delzell Hall and the Theatre are under renovation and geothermal installations are part of that process. The college recently installed energy metering on their electricity, gas, steam and chilled water services to benchmark usage and determine how to maximize efficiency. So far, these efficiency efforts have resulted in more than $25,000 in rebates from OPPD. Read more here.

Look to the sun: A conservative’s case for solar energy

By Gresham Barrett, Opinion Contributor, The Hill 

As a former congressman from South Carolina, I was able to learn first-hand about the critical energy issues that face our nation. We are now at a crossroads. Either we continue romanticizing about the bygone days, or we embrace innovation and lead our country down a path of resource security and economic prosperity with solar energy. I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel all over the world on mission trips and with congressional delegations. From the Middle East to Africa, global populations are, by necessity, latching on to the opportunity to use distributed solar energy for reliable, safe and less expensive power.
Click here to read more.

Gresham Barrett is founder of the Palmetto Conservative Solar Coalition and a former U.S. Representative for South Carolina.

Capitol Beach would have first community solar energy project

By Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star

Three Capitol Beach homeowners who want to build a neighborhood solar energy system on the west side of the lake received the first blessing they needed this month . . . City zoning code amendments approved by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission recently would allow these mid-sized systems, if they are owned by people who live in that neighborhood, and are located on land not suited for any residential use, [Andrew Thierof, a city planner] said. The Capitol Beach system, which could have more than 300 panels, would be on an unbuildable lot owned by the neighborhood association. Read more here.

Photo: Randy Hampton / Lincoln Journal Star

Advanced wind turbines, dubbed the Wind Sphere, now made in Northeast Ohio by ParkOhio

By John Funk, The Plain Dealer,

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The region is finally on its way to becoming a wind turbine manufacturing center. A ParkOhio company has begun manufacturing a small, aerodynamically advanced wind turbine designed for in-town use. It’s the first of several designs that the company hopes will ultimately include a small-but-powerful wind turbine for consumers. Dubbed the Wind Sphere, it is capable of generating about 30 percent more power than other turbines of the same size.

Continue reading.


Graph of the Day: German solar PV production peaks at 42% of demand

By Sophie Vorrath, Renew Economy

Having kicked off the month of May with a day of record renewable energy generation, Germany looks to be winding it up with a new first, with the nation’s solar PV production averaging at greater than 30GW for an hour on Sunday May 28, amounting to 42 per cent of total production (71.41GW) at that time. Continue reading.


UK sets new solar power record of 24.3% of demand on May 26
By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, Republished by Renew Economy

Duncan Burt, who manages day-to-day operation of the grid, said: “We have planned for these changes to the energy landscape and have the tools available to ensure we can balance supply and demand,” as reported by The Guardian. He said sunny weather over the British Isles this time of year is “really predictable, so easy to plan for,” and that the grid could handle a far greater proportion of solar power because it would allow natural gas generating facilities to be ramped down. Click here to read more.

Proposals could make it easier for farmers to profit from manure bioenergy

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

A pair of federal efforts could make it more profitable to turn organic waste from agriculture and other sources into energy by taking advantage of the Renewable Fuel Standard. One is a bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would create a 30 percent investment tax credit for qualifying biogas and nutrient-recovery systems. That would put renewable compressed natural gas on a similar footing with solar and wind energy. A separate approach, currently before the Environmental Protection Agency, aims to create a pathway that would pay biogas producers for providing power for electric vehicles. Read more.

Photo by USDA


Kim Reynolds becomes Iowa’s first female governor

KCCI Des Moines

Governor Terry Branstad has stepped down [to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China] and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds has become the 43rd governor of Iowa. . . She told an audience Wednesday at the Iowa Capitol she wants to reform the state tax code and encourage innovation in energy production, especially wind power and renewable fuels. She wants to stress science, technology, engineering and math education in K-12 schools and expand workforce training for adults. Read more here.

South Sioux City to receive wind energy from statewide grid

By Michelle Kuester, Dakota County Star

In an effort to lower utility costs and further the city’s sustainability initiative, South Sioux City will take part in a statewide wind energy project headed up by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The project is the Cottonwood Wind Energy Center, which is a series of wind turbines located in Webster County, Neb., connected to an electrical grid that flows throughout the entire state. Construction on the project will start up within the next week and will complete in November, said Phil Clement, project developer with NextEra Energy Resources LLC.
Click here to continue reading.

Photo by NextEra Energy Resources:  Wind turbines that are part of the Steele Flats Wind Energy Center in Jefferson and Gage Counties in Nebraska.



South Sioux City’s Solar Park: 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary.