Monthly Archives: January 2019

NPPD’s Scottsbluff solar project performing as expected

Nebraska Public Power District News Release

“The Scottsbluff project, and NPPD’s other Sunwise Community Solar projects, are operating well and performing as expected. The Scottsbluff project was sold out within days of our launch of the project and the community has been extremely supportive,” explained NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt.  “In fact, Scottsbluff has embarked on a second community solar project with the developer, SolSystems, for a significantly larger 4.6-megawatt operation.”  Arlt pointed out that NPPD is in various stages of progress for community solar projects in Norfolk, Chadron, O’Neill, Ainsworth, Pawnee City, and Loup City. Read the entire news release here.

NPPD Photo: Scottsbluff’s first community solar project developed by Mesner Solar and GenPro Energy Solutions, both based in Central City, and NPPD.

NPPD’s SunWise Program

Request Community Solar In Your Community: 
If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to request community solar in your community, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.


Previously Posted News Release
Contract awarded for R-Project transmission line construction by NPPD
For more information on the R-Project, go to www.rproject.nppd.com.

Nebraska Also in the News Here
Enel Green Power, Anheuser-Busch Partner to Make Super Bowl Week ‘Super Green’, Renewable Energy Magazine. An Interview with Mark McGrail, associate vice president for energy management at Enel Green Power North America. “To date we’ve been focusing our efforts on Kansas and Oklahoma, but now we are expanding into other regions, like Texas and Nebraska and Illinois.”

Previously Posted Enel News Release
Enel Green Power brings online 620 MW of new wind capacity in the United States
Enel, through its US renewable company Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA), has started operations of the 320 MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm, its first wind facility in the US state of Nebraska, and the Diamond Vista wind farm of around 300 MW in Kansas.
 OPPD image

Midlands Voices: Nebraska gains with wind power

Written by David Bracht, Omaha World-Herald

The writer served as the director of the Nebraska Energy office from 2015 to 2018.

Clean and affordable wind energy is powering homes and fueling economic growth. In 2019, no state is better positioned than Nebraska to reap the benefits associated with this important renewable energy resource . . . Bolstered by more than $2.6 billion in private investment and supportive state and local policy, close to 2,000 Nebraskans work in wind today. Those jobs, and the option for young people to return home, bring new life to communities that have been suffering population decline for decades . . . With another 1,428 megawatts of wind under construction or soon to start, Nebraska is one of only seven states on course to double wind capacity once the projects are completed. And much more is possible.

Read more here.

NextEra, Nebraska farmers aim to build largest solar farm in the Midwest

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a massive solar project in northeastern Nebraska that, if built, would be the largest in the Midwest and among the largest in the country. The 423 megawatt project is in the early stages of development and still hinges on how much it will cost to connect to the regional transmission grid. “We’re in a holding pattern until we get clarification from the Southwest Power Pool,” said Phil Clement, NextEra’s project director in Nebraska. “We need to know if it’s viable.” Sean Gallagher, vice president for state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the project could be a sign of things to come in the region, which is increasingly attractive for large solar projects.
Continue reading here.

Photo by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

Previously Posted

Checking in on the Nebraska wind boom

By Curtis Walter, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Nebraska is in the midst of a wind energy boom–it’s one of seven states on track to double
its installed wind capacity in the coming years. Like many rural communities across the U.S., this has brought wide-ranging benefits to the state.

“Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago,” the Omaha World-Herald reported. “As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has saved family farms across a wide swath of the heartland. Read more here.

New Study: We can meet the Paris Climate targets for 1/3 the cost of CURRENT fossil fuel subsidies!

By Karel Beckman, Red, Green and Blue

The Leonardo DeCaprio Foundation has a new study out that shows it would take approximately $1.7 trillion per year globally to meet the Paris Climate goals and avoid climate change disaster. [Director of Innovation at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation] Karl Burkart notes that this amount “pales in comparison to the vast subsidies governments currently provide to prop up the ailing fossil fuel industry, estimated at more than $5 trillion per year by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Taxpayers are unwittingly funding the climate crisis, and that needs to stop.” Read more here.

MORE CLIMATE NEWS

SEIA NEWS RELEASE


Solar is the Future of American Energy

Declaring the 2020s the Solar Energy Decade, SEIA’s President & CEO Abby Hopper made a mark at the United States Energy Association’s 15th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum.

 

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


Corporations’ Hunger for Clean Power Has Never Been Bigger, Bloomberg. Facebook is now the largest corporate buyer of clean power. Image: Facebook Data Center under construction in Papillion

 

ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION

America’s Energy Future: What the Government Misses in Its Long-Term Outlook and Why It Matters, Inside Climate News
The U.S. government’s new long-term energy outlook paints a picture of the future that few utilities and energy analysts actually expect to see. It underplays how rapidly coal will retreat from the market and fails to grasp the scale of growth for renewable energy compared to utilities’ plans and analysts’ expectations.

From the editor: EIA versus the future, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
EIA’s short-term forecasts have been generally thoughtful and informative. But when we start to look beyond a few years, EIA’s projections start to lose their credibility, and the assumptions that they make become increasingly problematic.

GREEN NEW DEAL

Economic Reasons For The Green New Deal — The Numbers Speak For Themselves, by Carolyn Fortuna, CleanTechnica. I’ve been participating in Sunrise Movement trainings to raise awareness of the Green New Deal and to motivate Congress to take significant action
toward 100% US renewable energy within the decade. Surrounded by a mass of college kids with a spattering of we older folks, I’ve been immersed in strategizing so that we can more effectively fight at the local and national levels to make the Green New Deal a reality.

A 3-part theory of change that mobilizes millions, elects a critical mass of supportive public officials, and builds a new peoples’ alignment that advances a shared agenda for society is underway here, folks. And, should you have questions about whether a bunch of kids and an idealistic vision to restructure the way energy is done in the US is practical, just look at the numbers. More than anything, there are significant economic reasons to implement a Green New Deal.

Building the tiny house of the future

Written by Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Dr. Bing Chen, Ph.D., UNL Professor of electrical and computer engineering, is “developing the area’s first sustainable small house.”

It is a project the former chair of the computer and electronics department feels will be a disruptive technology. Chen said it will change the way he and other baby boomers find alternative housing solutions during their golden years.

Dr. Chen is partnering with OPPD and other groups on the Small Sustainable House.
Construction will begin this summer on UNO’s main campus. With so many baby boomers
ready to enter their next phase, Chen said, good affordable housing is a growing need all over the country. Read more here.

Prototype Image: Chen said the home is well-insulated and can be heated with just 16 candles. The home will have 32 PV solar collectors on the roof to generate electricity and have a whole-house battery storage system.

Schools, manufacturers working to “grow our own”

Written by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

The Hastings Economic Development Corp.’s 45th annual meeting, Thursday evening at The Lark celebrated the work that colleges and school districts in Hastings are exerting to develop young talent and the future workforce . . . CCC broke ground in September 2018 for a 32,000-square-foot renovation and expansion of the Hamilton Building after the CCC Foundation met its $5 million fundraising goal six months ahead of schedule. The Hamilton Building is home to CCC’s advanced manufacturing design technology and welding technology programs . . . CCC is also working on potential partnerships for an energy technology program with companies that are either based in Nebraska or have a presence in Nebraska to train students to work in the renewable energy field in Nebraska. Read the entire article here.

Photo: The wind turbine on the CCC campus that came online in December 2016 has generated 120 percent of the campus’ energy needs in its first two years. Bluestem Energy Solutions of Omaha built and owns the turbine; Hastings Utilities buys and sells the electricity – including to CCC. 

Previously Posted

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Applications

The spring deadline to apply for USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants is April 1, 2019. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. REAP assists agricultural producers and rural small businesses in reducing energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

Who may apply? Small businesses in eligible rural areas and agricultural producers, both rural and non-rural, who have at least 50% of their gross income coming from agricultural operations, may apply.

REAP grants provide up to 25% of the total project costs, and a grant and loan combination up to 75%. Eligible projects include renewable energy systems and the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements. Additional details are posted here.

Top Image: Twenty-five kilowatt photovoltaic system installed in 2015 powers the Hammond family farm operations west of Benedict, Nebraska. Credit: Matt Ryerson / Lincoln Journal Star
Previously Posted News Story: Farms flexing solar power, Lincoln Journal Star
Installers: MarLin Wind & Solar and North Star Solar Bears
See Solar Examples for brief descriptions and photos of more Nebraska farmers & ranchers who have installed PV systems to reduce their energy costs.

RECOMMENDED READING

 

Rick Hammond and his family are the subjects of This Blessed Earth, the One Book, One Nebraska pick for 2019. Ted Genoways’ award-winning book is also this year’s All Iowa Reads Selection.

 


FEATURED RESOURCES FOR LANDOWNERS

Guides to Solar Land Leases 

GREEN NEW DEAL 

Green New Deal Needs To Include Agriculture Technology, by Austin Frerick, Contributor, Forbes
The way we eat and produce food is a significant contributor to climate change. In fact, agriculture is estimated to contribute between 13% and 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Any “Green New Deal” needs to not only enable innovation around sustainable agriculture, but also encourage farmers to adopt new, environmentally-friendly technologies.

Nine states campaign for 100% clean energy

Rob Sargent, Environment America News Release

In the wake of Environment California’s successful campaign to commit the Golden State to 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2045, Environment America is launching a multi-year campaign to convince governors and legislators in other states to set similar goals to transition to clean energy. Environment America, a national network of state environmental groups, announced it will push bills promoting 100 percent clean energy in at least nine states: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico and Washington. Read more here.


Environment America’s 100% Renewable Energy Campaign

 

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY JOBS

Renewable Energy Jobs in Nebraska, Indeed
Renewable Energy Jobs in Iowa, Indeed
Jobs in the Community Solar Industry, Coalition for Community Solar Access
Another strategy is to search local and national solar and wind
energy companies’ websites for renewable energy jobs postings, or major nonprofit organizations like Environment America if you are interested in renewable energy advocacy jobs.

ADDITIONAL 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

The US Underwent a Quiet Clean Energy Revolution Last Year, World Resources Institute. The public perception of U.S. clean energy has undergone a major shift. In a recent survey, 70 percent of respondents said America should produce 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources; more than half thought renewables were a good idea even if they raise energy bills.

RENEWABLE ENERGY COSTS

NextEra: solar and wind plus batteries will be “massively disruptive” to conventional generation, PV Magazine. NextEra CEO Jim Robo’s exact math is that even after the federal tax credits expire, wind will be
2 – 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, large-scale solar will be 2.5 – 3 cents, and storage will add .5 – 1 cent. This would put these resources slightly below the current cost of natural gas-fired generation, without the
uncertainty around fuel prices that is inherent to gas.

Greenhouse in the Snow

From Greenhouse in the Snow Website

Based in Alliance,  Nebraska, the Greenhouse in the Snow business has been growing for over 35 years. Russ Finch is the designer, owner, and creator of the Greenhouse in the Snow. He was born in 1932 and lives at home with his wife Darlene. Russ’s greenhouse is attached to the back of his house, and it is truly magnificent.

Over a period of 35 years, Russ designed and perfected his beloved greenhouse using low grade geothermal in order to produce citrus and other fruits, vegetables, and many flowers all year round. In his greenhouse, he currently has hundreds of plants.

In April of 2010, Russ approached Allen Bright at Antioch Machine, LLC, in Alliance, Nebraska, about manufacturing parts for his greenhouses. Allen happily agreed, and the first order was placed April 30, 2010. Allen was brought in on the deal and has been aiding Russ in manufacturing, selling, and delivering greenhouses ever since. Since 2013, Russ has sold over 50 greenhouses. Visit Greenhouse in the Snow to learn more. 

Event To Be Announced: I recently talked with Russ over the telephone, and he said a greenhouse using solar energy in the cold weather months will be built in the Omaha area. When it’s completed, he will invite Nebraskans for Solar for a tour. Watch for an announcement on our website calendar and Facebook page.

Previously Posted Videos & News Stories

 


Nebraska retiree uses earth’s heat to grow oranges in snow, YouTube Video,
with nearly 1 million views.

 

 

Greenhouse in the Snow
1750 County Road 59
Alliance, Nebraska 69301
(308) 762-3042
Visiting Hours: 9am to 9pm Monday – Sunday
Book a Free Tour
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