Monthly Archives: May 2018

Name brands ask FERC to improve transmission planning to boost grid resilience

By Kevin O’Rourke, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

One of the signatories, Procter & Gamble, is among the 63% of Fortune 100 companies that have set one or more renewable energy targets. More broadly, a group of 100 large energy buyers have set a goal of procuring 60 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power by 2025 – equivalent to the output of over 100 average-sized coal plants

Corporate purchasers have already procured over 11 GW of renewable power since 2013, leaving about 50 GW remaining to reach that goal. And with new wind and solar energy projects frequently the lowest-cost source of power, major American companies are increasingly buying both technologies to save money, control their energy costs, and decrease their environmental impacts. However, transmission planners are not adequately accounting for this shifting and new demand. Read more here.

Photo Credit: NPPD


Community members explore solar energy during NCEF presentation

By Nataysa Ong, The Columbus Telegram

Solar energy’s future in Columbus was up for discussion during a May 30 presentation to the community by the Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund. The session was led by NCEF’s northeast director, Jamison Willis, and its conservation director, Nic Nealy, in hopes to promote solar energy in the community. This is the first time the presentation was held in Columbus. Click here to continue.

Photo: Telesis Inc’s 300-kilowatt installation on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket. With 940 solar panels, installed by J-Tech Solar, the array is one of the largest privately-owned solar projects in Nebraska.

Wind XII project positions MidAmerican Energy to hit 100 percent renewable goal

MidAmerican Energy News Release

DES MOINES, Iowa – (May 30, 2018) – MidAmerican Energy Company will be the first investor-owned electric utility in the country to generate renewable energy equal to 100 percent of its customers’ usage on an annual basis, upon completing its newest proposed wind energy project.

MidAmerican Energy proposed an additional investment of $922 million with the announcement of its Wind XII project that will be formally filed with the Iowa Utilities Board later today. The project, if approved, is expected to be completed in late 2020. Over the past three years, MidAmerican Energy has moved forward with its previously announced Wind XI and repowering projects, that when combined with Wind XII, will provide customers with 100 percent renewable energy on an annual basis. And, like MidAmerican’s previous wind projects, Wind XII will be accomplished without the need to ask for an increase in customers’ rates. Read more here.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, serves 770,000 electric customers and 751,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Siemens Gamesa Makes Headway On Hybridization Of Renewable Energy

Posted by Betsy Lillian, North American Windpower

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has commissioned a redox flow energy storage system at its hybrid wind and solar La Plana project near Zaragoza, Spain. According to SGRE, hybrid projects of wind energy, solar PV and other energy sources are becoming a more and more attractive option to drive the energy transition to higher shares of renewable energy. Read more here.

Image: Siemens Gamesa’s La Plana hybrid wind and solar test project near Zaragoza, Spain


GAO study highlights usefulness, gains of U.S. energy storage efforts


LES installs solar-charging bench and stations for public use

By Lauren Wagner, Lincoln Journal Star

The Lincoln Electric System introduced its first solar-powered charging bench in Holmes Park on Tuesday afternoon. The utility purchased the bench, along with four solar-powered mobile charging stations, using the savings realized by customers switching to paperless billing, said LES spokeswoman Kelley Porter. Click here to read more.

More About LES’ Paperless Billing
YouTube Video: Enroll in LES Paperless Billing

City plans to pay $12M to convert to LED street lights using loan to itself, by Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star

Photo by Lauren Wagner, reprinted with permission.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Award-Winning SUNDA Project

NRECA’s innovative SUNDA Project helps rural electric cooperatives nationwide to accelerate utility solar. SUNDA stands for “Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration.”

The SUNDA team, with the help of the pilot project’s participating 17 rural electric cooperatives, utilized lessons learned from their deployment of 30 megawatts of photovoltaic (PV) solar to develop tools and resources that help other cooperatives to deploy solar in their own communities.

The tools are organized based on the solar project phase, from initial conceptualization to design, implementation, service offering and member engagement:

  1. Just Beginning
  2. Project Scoping
  3. Learning More
  4. Detailed Planning
  5. Building Consensus

SUNDA Project

NRECA Receives Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Award
SEPA recently announced their 2018 Power Players Awards. The awards “honor utilities, their partners, and individual thought leaders providing the vision, models and momentum for the electric power industry’s smart transition to a clean, modern energy future.”

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) was one of three recipients of the Innovative Partner of the Year Award in recognition of the SUNDA Project.

This category recognizes a non-utility partner for a unique method, project, leadership, or innovation that has aided in the expansion of or access to distributed energy resources while working with one or more utilities.

NRECA and Industry Groups: EVs Are Viable Tool to Meet Fuel Standards, by Cathy Cash
At least 150 NRECA member co-ops provide off-peak charging rates for EV users. Dozens of electric co-ops across the country have programs that implement charging infrastructure in their service territory.

Thinkstock Photo

New Wind Farm Activity In Missouri Shows How States Can Leapfrog Over Natural Gas

By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Natural gas has been the fuel of choice to replace the aging fleet of coal power plants in the US, but lately renewables have been flexing their muscles, too. In the latest development, the energy company Ameren is counting on the acquisition of a new 400-megawatt wind farm in Missouri to help fill the void left by a slew of upcoming coal power plant retirements.
Click here to read more.


Microgrids for Social Justice, Cities, Schools and Even Furniture

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

Electricity prices plunge with more renewables, study says

By David Ferris, E&E News, Wyoming Business Report

The study released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory modeled how high penetration of solar and wind power — from 40 to 50 percent — would affect system operators in New York, the Great Plains, California and Texas . . . The study looked at four system operators: the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the California Independent System Operator and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), all of which neatly cover their home states. It also modeled the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which encompasses part or all of five wind-rich states: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Click here to read more.






OPPD EV pilot focuses on system impact, customer education

By Bob Matyi, American Public Power Association

Omaha Public Power District is launching a pilot program in June to educate its 374,000 customers about the benefits of electric vehicles, while providing incentives for their potential use. Throughout the pilot and beyond, OPPD will be tracking and monitoring impacts to its distribution system for use in grid planning and will also develop a plan for managing those impacts. Read more here.