Monthly Archives: June 2019

South Sioux City to add 1.5MW battery to store solar power

By Mason Dockter, Sioux City Journal

SOUTH SIOUX CITY — The city of South Sioux City will become a “demonstration site” for the storage of electric power generated by the city’s 1,200-panel solar installation. A large-scale battery with the capacity to store 1.5 megawatts of power will be installed by Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. this winter, City Administrator Lance Hedquist said.

The unit carries a price tag of about $1.8 million, but Hedquist said the cost will be whittled down by state funds and tax credits. He said the battery will probably have the appearance “of a semi trailer without wheels,” and will be located by the city’s 21-acre, 2.3 megawatt solar panel site . . . Hedquist has said the city plans to fully phase out of its wholesale power contract with NPPD by 2020. Read more here.

Photo: South Sioux City’s solar array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City. Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal
News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal

Free Greentech Media & Microgrid Knowledge Resources for Businesses, Nonprofits and Utilities

Checklist for Engaging Your Utility on Renewable Power: An energy buyer’s guide to finding the right partners to achieve your clean energy goals.

While large corporations were responsible for nearly 6 gigawatts’ worth of wind and solar power-purchase agreements last year, the options for affordable, clean, low-carbon energy are increasingly available to companies of all sizes. And when it comes to choosing an energy partner, the distribution utility that already serves your organization may be the best place to start. In this paper, Greentech Media discusses a framework for engaging your utility to move toward achieving your clean energy goals, whether the driver is sustainability, reliability, cost savings or a combination thereof.
Download the white paper here.

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The Evolution of Distributed Energy Resources

In the words of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, we will enter a time soon when we no longer make our morning toast with energy sent from a power plant hundreds of miles away. Peduto is describing an evolution toward a more decentralized power grid, a shifting away from electricity delivered via large central power plants and long transmission lines.

While energy industry insiders are well aware of these changes, many energy consumers are not. For those managing large energy budgets, such as commercial operations, industrial facilities, hospitals and universities, this can mean money left on the table. Microgrid Knowledge produced this report, sponsored by NRG Energy, Inc., to help these sectors understand the suite of new energy options. Download the white paper here.

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How Corporations Can Embrace Distributed Energy Like Never Before

Distributed energy is an increasingly valuable player for any sustainable company that has a focus on integrating environmental and economic considerations into every aspect of the business, from supply chain management to workforce development to energy, to redefine business as usual. Whether companies want to hit sustainability goals, manage risk or optimize assets for financial gain, the expanding use of DERs is creating significant opportunities to power business in new ways.

In this white paper, Centrica Business Solutions outlines how a mix of sophisticated partnerships across the energy landscape, along with innovative financing and technology collaboration, can unlock flexible energy solutions for businesses of all sizes to embrace energy management like never before.  Download the paper here.

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2019 Trends in Utility Renewable Energy Financing

U.S. utilities of all sizes are now actively investing in lowest-cost energy options while also seeking low-carbon alternatives as states step up their clean energy mandates, with various states looking at 50 to 100 percent clean energy standards between now and 2050. Although the path for utilities to achieve scale in renewable investment varies, there are some interesting near-term issues that are relevant to a large swath of utilities.

In this white paper, CohnReznick and CohnReznick Capital experts dissect those issues, including the impact of build-transfer agreements, the challenges of third-party tax equity and the opportunity to better serve commercial & industrial clients in this shifting landscape. Download the paper here.

Dawson Public Power proud to be publicly owned

By Brian Neben, Lexington Clipper-Herald

LEXINGTON — Nebraska is the only state to be served entirely by public power and the Dawson Public Power District is proud of this fact and to serve their region of Central Nebraska. Dawson Public Power District, DPPD, held their annual customer tour of their facility south of Lexington on Tuesday, June 25. During the tour DPPD electrical services and policies were explained, safety demonstrations held and people could ask questions about public power. “An informed customer is our greatest asset,” said DPPD general manager Gwen Kautz. DPPD was organized in February 1937 as a part of the Rural Electrification Act passed by President Franklin Roosevelt as part of an effort to electrify rural farmsteads.

Looking to the future Kautz said “renewable energy is late coming to Nebraska, but it is coming and it will grow.” Changes will have to be made to the grid as wind, solar, batteries and stored hydro become more prevalent and traditional sources like coal, nuclear and natural gas are slowly phased out. “I predict the marriage of solar power to storable batteries will take over for the traditional energy sources,” said Kautz. She said 10 years ago she doubted the impact of renewable energy, today she has rethought that position. Read more here.

Sol Systems Photo: In 2017, Sol Systems and GenPro Energy Solutions partnered with the City of Lexington to develop, finance, and construct a 3.9 MW solar farm. The array produces enough energy to power 700 homes each year. By locking into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the City of Lexington will have 25 years of price certainty against volatile wholesale electricity rates.

Additional Recommended Reading
Charged Up About Electric Vehicles, by Gwen Kautz, General Manager, Dawson Public Power
EV Charging Station Rebate Brochure

Mondelez International Signs VPPA for 65 MW from Texas Solar Farm

By Alyssa Danigelis, Energy Manager Today

Mondelez International signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Enel Green Power North America for a 65-MW portion of the renewable company’s Roadrunner solar farm in Texas. EGPNA has been on a roll. Last year saw Starbucks and Kohler signing agreements as well as Facebook and Adobe snapping up energy from the 320-MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm. Late last year, Enel’s Hill Topper wind farm in Illinois began operations. Then the Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska started operations in January. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Enel Green Power

Previously Posted Virtual Power Purchase Agreements

Resources

Renewable Energy Aggregation & Purchase Agreements

Educational Opportunities

The Green New Deal is a chance to make clean energy accessible to all

By Eilie Anzilotti, Fast Company

The changes that the energy sector needs to undergo are one of the most critical components of the Green New Deal. But embedded in the immense challenge of meeting these goals is an opportunity to create a much more sustainable and equitable energy system. It also should spur more research and funding for new energy innovations beyond now-mainstream wind and solar. Transitioning away from fossil fuels, in the context of the Green New Deal, presents an opportunity to increase access to affordable clean energy for all, and create well-paying jobs in renewable energy industries in the process. Read more here.

Flickr Photo

MORE ON DECARBONIZING THE ECONOMY

IN NEBRASKA & THE MIDWEST

  • OPPD Laying The Groundwork For A Bright Energy Future, OPPD News Release
    Initiatives will include a long-term study to address the long-term balance of load generation, along with decarbonization options for the district’s generation mix. Vice President Mary Fisher spoke to the topic, noting that the energy generation landscape is changing rapidly. Fisher said the drivers are primarily improving renewable technology, and environmental considerations around carbon emissions and climate change, “something our customers clearly care about.”
  • A Vision for Midwest Zero-Carbon Power Starts to Take Shape, Natural Resources Defense Council

REGENERATIVE FARMING RESOURCES

Senate Bill Would Set Nation on Course for 50 Percent Renewable Energy or More by 2035

Environmental Working Group News Release

Currently, 30 states have renewables standards that require utilities to generate a set percentage of electricity that ramps up from year to year. The Renewable Electricity Standard Act, by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M), would require the remaining 20 states without renewables standards to get on board. A number of states with enormous solar and wind generation potential, like Florida, Georgia, Nebraska and Wyoming, have so far not adopted renewables policies. The proposal would more than double the pace of solar and wind development seen over the past decade, according to an analysis of Udall’s legislation by researchers with the Union of Concerned Scientists, or UCS. Read more here.

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

LES Solar Farm in Lincoln

By Taylor Ttrujillo, KLKN-TV

Excerpted program features: This farm has 15,000 panels. So far, 400 customers have purchased about 500 panels. Customers have the option to purchase 1 panel for $640 in 2019, or half panels for $320. On average it saves customers $32 a year on LES bills. The solar farm is under lease on the current property for 17 more years. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Lincoln Electric System

This news story update raises several questions:

Quick Facts

  • In 2018, Nebraska obtained 63% of its net electricity generation from coal, 15% from nuclear power, and 14% from wind.  Almost all of the rest was generated  from hydropower (4%) and natural gas (3%).
  • Nebraska is among the top 10 states in per capita total energy consumption in part because of its energy-intensive industrial sector, led by agriculture and food processing, and because of the state’s hot summers and harsh winters.
  • Nebraska has the third-highest number of industrial electricity customers of any state, and a significant share of Nebraska’s industrial consumption is seasonal demand from farms where electricity is used to run irrigation systems.
    Last Updated: March 21, 2019

Video: How you can earn money with OPPD’s Cool Smart program

By Laura King-Homan, The Wire, OPPD Blog


Cool Smart
, an OPPD Power Forward program, is a demand-side management program that helps OPPD work toward its goal of shedding 300 megawatts (MW) of peak demand by 2023. To date, approximately 43,000 customers are enrolled in the program, and they’re getting paid to do so – $50 during the first year. Their participation is reducing OPPD’s peak energy usage by 62 MW. Learn more here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Is Your Company Ready for a Zero-Carbon Future?

By Nigel Topping, Contributor, Harvard Business Review

More than 900 global companies representing over $17.6 trillion in market cap are already ensuring that their business strategies are built for growth and emissions reductions through the We Mean Business Take Action campaign. (We Mean Business is a nonprofit coalition of which I am CEO.) This includes over 560 companies that have committed to set ambitious science-based emission reduction targets, and over 175 that have committed to switching to 100% renewable electricity. Beyond that, companies are beginning to use their influence to speed an economy-wide transition by supporting climate policies targeting net-zero emissions by 2050. Others are demanding climate action throughout their supply chains. Read more about the We Mean Business campaign and other initiatives here.

Nigel Topping serves as CEO of We Mean Business coalition, which harnesses business leadership to drive the innovations and policies that accelerate action on climate change. Previously, Nigel was executive director of CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and he has 18 years of experience in the manufacturing sector.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

FEATURED RESOURCES

GLOBAL NEWS

Resource for Farmland Owners: Understanding Important Solar Lease Terms

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program, Ohio Country Journal

We wanted to highlight some of the important provisions of a solar lease that you as a farmland owner should look for in your solar lease, and understand what they mean. A good solar lease will be very thorough, and include a lot of legalese. It would be a wise decision to consult with an attorney to ensure that your understanding of your solar lease reflects what the documents say. For now, here are a few provisions to be on the lookout for in your solar lease. Read more here.

 Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Solar Energy: National Agricultural Library, USDA
Wind Energy: National Agricultural Library, USDA

IN NEBRASKA

NextEra looking into potential solar farm in northeast Nebraska, Lincoln Journal Star
NextEra has signed a lease for 2,500 acres in Pierce County with brothers Ryan and Aaron Zimmerman, who have a 345-kilovolt Nebraska Public Power District power line running through their land. The brothers told the Energy News Network website that they previously had an agreement with a smaller solar company a couple of years ago.

LEARN HOW TO INSTALL YOUR OWN SOLAR SYSTEM & SAVE MONEY 

Solar Design and Installation Hands-On Workshop: Nebraska Extension & Dixon Power Systems
July 17th – 19th

Registration due by July 8th.
Cost: $300