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.
Tesla signs on to utility’s peak shaving program, American Public Power Association
National Grid recently signed Tesla on to programs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that use batteries to reduce the utility’s peak loads. Falling battery costs and declining net metering incentives have resulted in a rise in pairing the two technologies. In addition, there are several financial incentives available for pairing batteries with solar systems, including the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit and the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program. A February report from consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables projected that 50% of annual storage deployments in the United States will be paired with solar power by 2023.