Monthly Archives: June 2017

Energy storage already cost-competitive in commercial sector, finds study

By Ian Clover, PV Magazine

Cheaper battery prices sees storage playing a broader role in energy markets, particularly for commercial customers seeking to reduce peak consumption, research from McKinsey shows. Continue reading.

Battery storage costs are falling, prompting an uptake among prosumers and leading to new challenges for utilities, finds the report. Image: Anesco

Fremont’s Community Solar Farm in final approval stage

By Sam Pimper, Fremont Tribune

The farm itself will encompass approximately 5 of the 10-acre plot being developed. The Community Solar farm would consist of approximately 3,900 panels, and anybody who is a customer of the Fremont Department of Utilities would have the opportunity to purchase solar shares that would cover up to 80 percent of their used Kilowatt-hours. Currently, more than 40-percent of the farm has been sold, with nearly 50 percent of signups happening within two weeks. Read more here.

Photo: Dodge County Courthouse. Credit: Chris Bristol


Solar array is on its way: Work begins on $11M Kearney project

By Mike Konz, Managing Editor, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Sometime in January, SoCore Energy will throw the switch and electrical power from 22,464 solar panels will begin flowing into Kearney. But before that happens, there is work to do. Following a groundbreaking Tuesday, construction of Nebraska’s largest solar energy array now is under way in northeast Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing technology park. Continue reading

Photo: Some of the 4,500 metal piles that will hold the solar panels are laid out and ready to pile-drive into position after Tuesday’s groundbreaking for the $11 million solar array in northeast Kearney. When it’s finished it will be Nebraska’s largest array.
Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

Going green: Partners in $11M solar project break ground today

By Mike Konz, Managing Editor, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Construction of Nebraska’s largest solar energy array got under way today — ceremonially and physically — with groundbreaking for the $11 million project in northeast Kearney’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing. Officials with the Chicago company that is building the solar array and officials from Nebraska Public Power, the city, and state and local economic development organizations were a part of the groundbreaking. When it’s complete, the solar array in northeast Kearney will generate 5.8 megawatts of electricity — about 5 percent of Kearney’s peak demand. Click here to continue reading.

Photo: General contractor Wayne Williams of Interconnections Inc. of Central City said the solar array construction firm will complete its work on Kearney’s 53-acre facility by November 15. SoCore hopes the 22,464 solar panels are online by January. Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

US mayors pass resolution to target 100% renewable energy by 2035

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) on Monday approved a resolution supporting a 100% renewable energy goal by 2035, and launched the Ready for 100 campaign to support the utilization of more clean power.The group of more than 250 U.S. mayors also passed resolutions to support vehicle electrification, energy efficiency grants and city-driven plans to reverse climate change. Read more here.

Image credit: Depositphoto

Farms, Ranches incorporate Small-Scale Solar Projects

By Ariana Brocious, NET News

In these hot days of summer, it’s easy to appreciate just how much sunlight we get in Nebraska. A growing number of people and communities across the state are starting to take advantage of this resource. “2016 was, in total, a very significant year,” said David Bracht of the Nebraska Energy Office. In the last 18 months, Nebraska’s total solar power generation has grown from around one megawatt to around 13 megawatts. While that’s a big increase, we’re still talking fairly small potatoes when it comes to energy. Continue reading.

Solar installation at Jim Jenkins’ ranch near Callaway, Nebraska. Photo courtesy of Jim Jenkins and Nebraska Energy Office


Ben Gotschall of Davey Road Ranch will be installing an 8.8-kilowatt solar project in a few weeks.

Photo by Ariana Brocious, NET News


Check out other Nebraskans who are benefiting from using solar energy in their farm operations by clicking on Solar Examples on the menu bar at the top of this page.

Opportunity to meet Nebraska solar installers:
Solar Energy Workshop Hosted by Community Crops August 5th at the Eiseley Branch Library in Lincoln

Related news stories:

Solar Now Third Largest Renewable Source of Electricity in US

By Kenneth Bossing, Renewable Energy World

In April, solar reached a new milestone, providing more than 2.3 percent of U.S. electrical supply, according to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information’s (EIA) Electric Power Monthly, with data through April 30, 2017. Consequently, solar has now moved into third place among renewable sources — behind hydropower and wind but ahead of biomass and geothermal . . . And not coincidentally, as renewables’ share of electrical generation has grown, that of fossil fuels has declined. Electrical generation by fossil fuels (i.e., coal, natural gas, petroleum liquids + petroleum coke) dropped by 5.2 percent during the first third of 2017 compared to 2016. In light of their growth rates in recent years, it was inevitable that renewable sources would eventually overtake nuclear power. The only real surprise is how soon that has happened — years before most analysts ever expected. Read more here.

Photo: Lincoln Electric System’s solar farm, currently Nebraska’s largest utility-scale project.



  • The National Geographic Documentary “From the Ashes” can be viewed free on a variety of platforms from June 26-July 3. The film will be available commercial-free via YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, Amazon, Google Play and VOD and on and Nat Geo TV Apps (iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Roku and Samsung Connected TVs).
  • Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz Launches Nonprofit Energy Futures Initiative (EFI). “The Energy Futures Initiative team will share the innovations that we know work best with businesses, NGOs and governments around the world.”
    Watch a brief YouTube video about EFI here.
    EFI Website

Beekeepers Sweeten Solar Sites With the ‘Tesla of Honey’

By pairing pollinators with solar farms, Travis and Chiara Bolton are reimagining commercial beekeeping.

By Christina Nunez, National Geographic

After installing their first solar hives in April, the Boltons took the concept and ran with it. They plan to extract 4,000 pounds of solar honey this year; some will be sold in grocery stores, while some will go to solar customers. They have also trademarked a Solar Honey standard and label that they hope other beekeepers will adopt, promoting the idea of smarter land use and local beekeeping. Continue reading.

Photo Credit: Fresh Energy

If you missed Fresh Energy’s Solar and Pollinator webinar on June 22, 2017, check back soon HERE for a recording of it.


New best friends: GOP governors and renewables

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter, Climatewire

A number of Republican governors, like Iowa’s Kim Reynolds support clean energy programs. Unlike their Democratic counterparts, who are apt to cite climate benefits of clean energy initiatives, Republicans are content to focus on economic benefits.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is fresh off a legislative session in which he signed nine bills aimed at supporting the clean energy sector. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a tax exemption that solar installers say is essential to jump-starting the residential and commercial market in the Sunshine State. And in Iowa, where wind now accounts for 36 percent of the state’s electricity generation, newly installed Gov. Kim Reynolds recently finished an energy plan that calls for growing the wind, biofuels and solar industries. “For years, our fields have fed the world. Now, they energize it”

Click here to read the entire story.

Photo credit: Amy Mayer/Iowa Public Radio Images/Flickr

Report: Vast majority of Americans want more solar and wind energy

Key Findings from the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) latest report include the following:

  1. A majority (66%) of Americans believe that it is their state’s responsibility to address the issue of global warming in the absence of federal action.
  2. There is very high support for renewable energy (79%) and efficiency (81%) mandates, two established state-level policy options to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity sector.
  3. There is even greater support for increasing the use of solar energy (89%) and wind energy (83%) at the state level outside of the context of a mandate. This increase in support is largely attributable to Republicans who, while slightly more inclined to oppose a renewable energy mandate in their state, show very strong support for increasing wind and solar use.

Click here to read the entire report.

The Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, housed at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, conducts and supports applied policy research designed to inform state, local, and urban policy issues. Through integrated research, teaching, and outreach involving academic researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners, the center seeks to foster understanding of today’s state and local policy problems, and to find effective solutions.