Monthly Archives: July 2018

‘Electrification of Everything’ Would Spike US Electricity Use, but Lower Final Energy Consumption

By Justin Gerdes, Greentech Media

Widespread deployment of EVs, heat pumps, and other electric technologies could increase U.S. electricity consumption by nearly 40 percent by mid-century, according to a new government report. The report, the second in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Electrification Futures Study series, analyzes the demand-side impacts of a transition to electricity in transportation, residential and commercial buildings, and industry through 2050.
Read more here.


Shovels turn to start construction of Sholes facility

Indiana cost consumers $140M by nixing efficiency program, AEC says, Utility Dive
A new report from the Applied Economics Clinic (AEC) estimates Indiana’s 2014 decision to do away with its energy efficiency requirements cost consumers more than $140 million, slashed electricity savings and reduced job growth in the state.


New Example: Solar Pergola

Project: This residential project involved building a solar pergola consisting of fifteen LG solar panels with integrated Enphase IQ6+ microinverters (LG-330E1C-A5). The 4.35-kilowatt system is grid tied and serves to both generate electricity for the residence and provide shade for the south-facing deck.
Installers: Homeowner Scott Schaub and Nebraska Wind and Solar LLC Owner Larry Cooper

Billion Dollar Green Challenge

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge initiative advocates for the efficacy of green revolving funds (GRFs), and works to increase the number and size of self-managed green revolving funds at nonprofit institutions across the United States.

The Challenge provides support for new and established  green revolving funds at colleges and universities. A GRF is a financing mechanism targeted to campus climate action projects that lower emissions, increase capacity for future projects, and reduce operating costs.

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge was founded by the Sustainable Endowments Institute in 2011. Second Nature oversees and manages US colleges and universities within the initiative. Learn more.


Case Studies


US Higher Education institutions can get more information or choose to participate in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge by emailing

Union of Concerned Scientists Report – Electric vs. Diesel vs. Natural Gas: Which Bus is Best for the Climate?

By Jimmy O’Dea, Vehicles Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

Battery electric buses range from 1.4 to 7.7 times better than a diesel bus, as shown in miles per gallon emissions-equivalency. Another way of saying this is that a diesel bus has nearly 1½ to 8 times the global warming emissions as an electric bus, depending on the region.

And the grid is getting cleaner every year. Emission rates from electricity have steadily declined the last sixteen years. Transit agencies can also choose cleaner power than what’s provided on their grids by installing solar panels and batteries on site or through renewable electricity contracts. Read more here.

Care about climate change? Demand cheaper solar panels, The Boston Globe

Record wind farm construction underway at close of second quarter

American Wind Energy Association News Release

U.S. wind farms surpass 90 GW with strong demand from Fortune 500 brands and utilities.

WASHINGTON — A record amount of wind energy capacity is now under construction at wind farms across America, according to second quarter results released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Strong demand for low-cost wind power from utilities and other buyers, including major corporations like AT&T and Walmart this quarter, continues to drive the industry’s growth.

“Wind power’s job creating engine just kicked into a higher gear,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “And all Americans will benefit as the record number of wind farms under construction begin delivering new revenue to rural communities and affordable homegrown energy to consumers.” Read the entire news release here.

Download AWEA’s U.S. Wind Industry Second Quarter 2018 Market Report


NEWS RELEASE: AWEA hires Jennifer Jenkins to launch national distributed wind program



OPPD partner’s wind power project will continue utility’s renewable energy growth

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

NextEra Energy Resources breaks ground Friday on the Sholes Wind Energy Center north of Norfolk and just west of Wayne. The company signed a 20-year contract to sell OPPD all 160 megawatts of electricity it produces annually. 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. Read more here. 

Generating an equivalent amount of clean, renewable energy sufficient to power 125,000 homes is a significant development for our state. According to the latest 2017 U.S. Census, there are 837,568 housing units in Nebraska. – U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Nebraska 

Photo by NextEra Energy Resources of a Wisconsin Wind Farm completed by the company in 2012.


New Sarpy substation worthy of big “like”

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

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine USA

1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s how much NextEra Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jim Ketchum estimates that batteries have added to the cost of solar and wind projects that the company has built over the last six to 12 months, as revealed in the company’s second quarter results call yesterday. But that’s not all. Ketchum further added that he expects this cost to fall to around half a cent per kilowatt-hour in the middle of the next decade. Read more here.

Photo Credit: NextEra Energy Resources


NextEra is developing OPPD’s 5-megawatt solar project in the Fort Calhoun area. Would adding storage be an economical option in the near-term? Omaha World-Herald news stories about the solar project:

Grand Island Pilot Project: City tests the power of solar energy

Video and Announcement Posted by Carissa Soukup
The Grand Island Independent Online

The City of Grand Island is installing solar panels in a 10-acre plot of land on the edge of town. This is a pilot project as solar energy is becoming a popular source of renewable energy. Utilities director, Tim Luchsinger gives some insight on the project. Click image to view the video.


G.I. Utilities department powering up with solar energy, by Julie Blum

How to Build Community Solar Projects for the Masses

By Emily Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

new report from GTM Research, Wood Mackenzie and Vote Solar, a solar accessibility advocate, notes that 50 to 75 percent of U.S. consumers don’t have access to conventional rooftop installations. But if it is executed properly, community solar can change that, the authors say.

Assessing the possibilities of policies and business models, the report, which also received support from the Coalition for Community Solar Access and Grid Alternatives, notes that community solar installations could reach a total of 84 gigawatts of operating capacity, serve 8.8 million customers and account for as much as 2.6 percent of U.S. electricity consumption by 2030. “Solar should be able to benefit everyone,” said MJ Shiao, head of Americas research at GTM Research. “But it’s difficult to apply onsite solar to folks who rent, or to low-income communities.” Read more here.

Photo courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant Fremont City Administrator of Utilities:
Fremont’s first 1.55-megawatt solar farm located off Jack Sutton drive near the city’s power plant. The farm’s two hundred subscribers had the option of either purchasing solar panels or a share of the farm’s energy generation. To accommodate strong customer demand, Fremont is working with GenPro Energy Solutions on a second solar farm, which is expected to be completed in October.

FREE Smart Electric Power Alliance Resources

EV Charging Stations Survey

Are you an EV driver? Please take the survey!

For environmentalists and EV promoters, there is a new challenge. There is currently $1.28 million for EV charging stations in Nebraska, which represents 10% of the Nebraska VW Settlement. With public pressure, that amount could even be increased to 15%, or $1.92 million.

For more information on this VW Settlement, click here.

But which of these charging stations will be Level 3 High Speed DC and which will be Level 2 240V? How many of each will we install? Where will we install them? In other words, what will the public EV charging stations network across Nebraska be?

If you are an EV driver, your input is needed! Please take the survey!

Thank you.
Nebraska Sierra Club EV Team