Monthly Archives: April 2019

This Nebraska Republican says it’s time to think big on rural investment

By Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor

NORFOLK, NEB.

Nebraska’s March flooding offers a significant test case. With an estimated $1.4 billion in damage and 81 of its 93 counties eligible for disaster aid, the state is moving to repair its infrastructure. It’s an opportunity Mayor Moenning here in Norfolk doesn’t want to pass up. “When we fix mangled highways, why not put in place the fiber optics and telecommunications infrastructure that addresses that rural broadband gap that politicians have talked about for so long?” he asks. Instead of fixing the region’s two-lane highways, why not the four-lane corridors that rural Nebraskans were promised decades ago? Let’s “rebuild electricity transmission infrastructure that helps meet growing market demands for clean energy and accommodates the renewable energy generation potential that the state has in abundance,” he adds. Read more here.

Referenced in the article:

How to Combine Solar and Geothermal Energy Sources

By Holly Welles, Blue and Green Tomorrow

In terms of energy expenses, you can expect to save as much as 80% each year on hot water, heating and cooling when you switch from an HVAC system to a geothermal heat pump. Recent trends in these heat pumps — like smaller, modular “mini-split systems” — have made them an even more appealing option. As context, mini-split systems are a newer generation of geothermal heat pump which enables a homeowner to heat and cool a few rooms at a time, selectively. A zoned approach to heating and cooling and a solar energy system is often less expensive than central air conditioning and natural gas heat. Read more here.

Photo: Don Preister’s home in Bellevue powered with solar + geothermal
Project: 8.4-kilowatt, grid-tied, OPPD net-metered system, ground mounted on south-facing slope with no battery storage (yet) and 28 optimizers. Installation was completed in December 2016, with enough capacity for all electrical needs in an all-electric residence of 2000 sq. ft. with a geothermal heat pump. There is extra capacity to charge his electric vehicle.
Photo Credit: Eugene Curtin / Bellevue Leader
Installer: Solar Heat & Electric with help from Preister brothers

See Also Under Solar Examples: Dageforde Net-Positive Energy Home

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

  • Environmental Groups Add To Pressure For Energy Storage Tax Boost, Forbes. A group of nine influential environmental groups has joined calls for energy storage to get access to the same tax credits as solar and wind. Legislation has been introduced in both houses for an investment tax credit (ITC) for energy storage. As it stands energy storage systems have to be paired with an ITC recipient such as a solar farm in order to be eligible.
  • New York Governor Cuomo Allocates $280 Million For Energy Storage, CleanTechnica
  • New York’s Energy Storage Incentive Could Spur Deployment of 1.8GWh, Greentech Media
    The Empire State has charted a path that would transform it into a top-tier global storage market by 2025.
  • New Federal Rules are Helping Energy Storage Grow in the Midwest, The National Law Review
    Last year, FERC issued Order 841, which requires wholesale grid operators to develop tariffs for market rules for energy storage that recognize the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources, to facilitate their participation in wholesale electricity markets.
    Industry analysts expect FERC Order 841 to lead to more growth in energy storage development, once grid operators like the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) implement the new rules. FERC Order 845, which modernized FERC’s large generator interconnection agreement, also contained provisions which may boost storage development by making it easier for storage developers to secure interconnection agreements with grid operators.

Renewable energy will surpass coal in April & May

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

According to an analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), renewable energy sources including hydroelectricity are set to generate more electricity than coal, for the first time ever. The analysis shows that renewables generate 2.32 and 2.27 terawatt-hours (TWh) in April and May, ahead of the 2.00 and 2.24 TWh anticipated to be generated by coal . . .  Not only does EIA predict that 7 gigawatts of coal additional coal plants will go offline by the end of 2020, but an analysis by Energy Innovation has shown that in 74% of cases it is cheaper to build new wind and solar than to keep running existing coal plants, and that this number will increase to 86% by 2025. Read more here.

Also Published by PV Magazine

The Solar Decathlon winner designs solar+lifestyle living space, by John Weaver

Virginia students have won the 2019 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge with their treeHAUS highly sustainable solar+storage+trees+food waste+sound and so much more design focused on expanding their local campus’ student housing resources.

Photo: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Solar Decathlon design

PROGRESS: 320 MW wind project takes shape near Wakefield

By Mason Dockter, Sioux City Journal

WAKEFIELD, Neb. — More than a hundred wind turbines loom large over the small town of Wakefield. In Dixon County, just northeast of Wakefield, Enel Green Power North America Inc. built the $430 million Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. All of the project’s 101 Acciona AW125-3.15 MW wind turbines, spread out over 32,000 acres, are operational, an Enel spokesman said.
Read more here.

Image Credit: Omaha Public Power District

Previously Posted Enel News Releases

Reports examine the impacts of Tri-State’s high wholesale power costs

By Joe Smyth, Clean Cooperative

Two reports this month provide new details about the impacts of the high wholesale power costs that Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association charges electric cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska. One of the reports, “How Kit Carson Electric Engineered a Cost-Effective Coal Exit,” was published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA . . . Another report, “Rural Energy at a Crossroads: Electric Cooperatives Trapped in System Causing High Energy Costs,” was published earlier this month by The Western Way, a nonprofit “urging Western conservative leaders to deliver efficient, pro-market solutions to environmental and conservation challenges.”
Read more here.

Image Credit: Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association

Clean Cooperative’s Recommended Reading

Related

Mountain Town News: Utility directors in Colorado calculate changes as prices drop, energy concerns rise, by Allen Best, Summit Daily News

Additional Recommended Reading

Infrastructure fund snatches up Clean Energy Collective

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine


For the past few years we at pv magazine have been reporting on the trend of asset managers, infrastructure funds, and even insurance companies and pension funds moving in to buy up portfolios of solar projects, starting with yieldcos and large-scale projects, and later moving into distributed solar portfolios. The acquisitions have become particularly intense in the past few months, and we’ve written about the “wall of money” looking for projects to buy. Now these funds may be making the next step, which is going from buying projects to investing in the developers and other companies that make these projects happen. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Clean Energy Collective

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEBRASKA ENERGY OFFICE LOANS

Nebraska Dollar and Energy Saving Loans are offered statewide by the Nebraska Energy Office and the state’s lending institutions. The simple interest rates are as low as 1%*.
*final annual percentage rate (APR) may vary by lender and loan fees charged.

Many common home, building or system energy improvements qualify for financing.

The Living Land: Moonshot, version 2.0

By Chris Lee, Nebraska City News-Press 

Name one technology that has more or less remained the same for over 100 years. I’ll give you two: electricity and automotive transportation. I feel it’s time we as a nation take the lead on re-imagining both. The traditional way of producing electricity is to dig or drill some finite resource out of the earth, process it, transport it across the continent, then burn it. To keep the turbines spinning, we have to keep burning fuel, generally coal or natural gas. Without taking into account the carbon emissions or pollution issues associated with this method of electricity generation, the process requires a constant input of consumables. All of which cost money. What if we instead . . . Continue reading here.

Chris Lee is executive director of Des Moines County Conservation. Follow his blog at OutdoorExecutiveDad.blogspot.com.

Colorado is overhauling climate goals with an eye on scrubbing carbon from its electricity

By Mark Jaffe, The Colorado Sun

One of the big pushes in Colorado legislation, spurred by the labor unions, is to ensure coal plant jobs losses are addressed, most particularly in House Bill 1314, which creates a transition office in the division of employment and training that would offer benefits and help retrain displaced coal plant workers.

At a jobs and climate caucus last year, the unions came to the position that “climate change is real and needs to be addressed and we have to make sure fossil-fuel dependent workers are fairly treated in this transition,” said Dennis Dougherty, executive director of the Colorado AFL-CIO. Read more here.

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY / CARBON NEUTRALITY NEWS

VOICES FOR 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY – ENVIRONMENT AMERICA

 Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, State of Wisconsin

“Governor Tony Evers and I have a goal of moving Wisconsin to 100% clean energy by 2050. As Lieutenant Governor, my work will focus on the core principles of equity and sustainability.

One of our first priorities is implementing the Paris Agreement on a state level to combat climate change. We want to adopt policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impact fossil fuels have on our beautiful state.

We plan to invest in renewable energy and research how climate change is disproportionately affecting our farmers, rural areas, impoverished communities and people of color—while making solutions beneficial and accessible to everyone.

Our policies will encourage businesses and communities to make smart energy choices. Wisconsin will lead the way when it comes to sustaining our Earth for future generations.”

Voices for 100% Renewable Energy

A Market-Driven Green New Deal? We’d Be Unstoppable

In this New York Times op-ed, RMI’s Amory Lovins and Rushad Nanavatty explain why any serious energy transformation will need to harness America’s powerful and creative economic engine. Read the op-ed here.

ALSO INCLUDED IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE’S LATEST E-NEWSLETTER

  • How Community-Scale Solar Can Change Our Energy System
    While both residential solar and utility-scale solar play a large role in a renewable future, there’s also a sweet spot in between those two. Community-scale solar—midsize solar arrays connected to the distribution grid—has huge potential to reach millions of US customers.
  • How Global Cities Are Going Green
    More US cities are looking for ways to cut emissions and develop resiliency plans. Curbed spoke with RMI and other energy and environmental leaders to get their take on global city climate policies that are progressive, practical, and—most importantly—working. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

OPPD’s community solar program to allow customers renewable energy options

By Sydney Gray, KMTV 

In order to sign up for the community solar program, you will pay a one-time $100 fee, which is refundable. You can then subscribe to one or more shares of the energy produced.

OPPD says they expect to complete the project by June 30. You can find more information by visiting OPPDs website at: https://www.oppd.com/residential/products-services/community-solar-program/

Watch the video here.

Lincoln Electric System Photo: Lincoln’s Community Solar Array