Monthly Archives: September 2020

OPPD announces sites for two backup natural gas plants

By Jessica Wade, Omaha World-Herald

The Omaha Public Power District on Thursday announced the locations of two natural gas peaking plants that will be built in the Omaha area. No location has been announced for a solar farm planned as part of the Power with Purpose project. OPPD will hold two online meetings for the public to learn more about the natural gas units: the Papillion facility will be discussed Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.; the Omaha unit will be discussed on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. For information on the meetings, visiOPPDCommunityConnect.com. Read more here.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED 

The Climate Crisis Requires That We Move Away from Gas, by Sheryl Carter and Bobby McEnaney, Natural Resources Defense Council

We need to create a zero- or net-zero carbon future to deal with the worsening climate crisis—and that requires transitioning away from fossil gas. Getting there will require us to significantly reduce our reliance on gas and, for any gas we still use, address both the methane leaked throughout the supply chain and carbon emitted during combustion. Moving away from gas—in our buildings, in the power sector, and across our economy—could take a long time, and that is why we must start now. Here are some things we can do today to get there smartly and affordably:

WIND & SOLAR DECARBONIZING OUR ECONOMIES LOCALLY & NATIONALLY

Wind’s Environmental Record, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
Wind power is a low-carbon energy source—when a wind turbine generates electricity it produces zero carbon emissions. The development of clean wind energy avoids significant carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution.

  • In 2019, the electricity generated from wind turbines avoided an estimated 42 million cars’ worth of CO2 emissions.
  • A typical wind project repays its carbon footprint in six months or less, providing decades of zero-emission energy.

Climate Change: A Solar Energy Industries Association Initiative

  • Both concentrating solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies produce clean, emissions-free electricity that can help reduce U.S. GHG emissions
  • Solar heating and cooling systems can provide about 80% of the energy used for space heating and water heating needs.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

EPA Infographic: Sources of GHG Emissions in the United States by Sector. While methane, the primary component of natural gas, makes up 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, it is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide during the first two decades of its release.

Carbon dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees and other biological materials, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere (or “sequestered”) when it is absorbed by plants as part of the biological carbon cycle.

Methane (CH4): Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.

Nitrous oxide (N2O): Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste, as well as during treatment of wastewater.

Fluorinated gases: Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes. Fluorinated gases are sometimes used as substitutes for stratospheric ozone-depleting substances (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and halons). These gases are typically emitted in smaller quantities, but because they are potent greenhouse gases, they are sometimes referred to as High Global Warming Potential gases (“High GWP gases”).

5 Major US Utilities That Haven’t Promised to Fully Decarbonize: Some of the holdouts will surprise you.

By Julian Specter, Greentech Media

Electric utilities all over the place are promising to eliminate or net out their carbon emissions — here’s GTM’s look at the top five. Such promises were unthinkable for utilities just a few years ago. But the trend took off when Xcel Energy figured out it could retire coal plants, build clean power plants, and make more profits while keeping electricity costs down. The combination of positive public perception, a bigger rate-base and greater appeal to sustainability-minded investors turned the carbon-free commitments into the rule, not the exception, for the utility sector.

“They’re really trying to appease a nascent but quite powerful movement of [environmental, social and governance focused] shareholders and institutional investors,” said David Pomerantz, executive director of utility watchdog group Energy and Policy Institute, which tracks carbon targets. “Once it started taking off…it became awkward if a company didn’t have a goal.” A few exceptions do remain, though — holdouts that have not promised to eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading here.

Photo: NextEra Energy constructed Nebraska’s 35-acre, 5-megawatt solar array east of Fort Calhoun, which became operational in late December of 2019. NextEra contracted with OPPD to sell the power it produces to the utility for at least 20 years.

Previously Posted

  • NextEra is also pursuing a 423-megawatt solar project in Nebraska. It has acquired land rights and now is waiting to find a buyer and to hear what the Southwest Power Pool would charge for a connection to the grid. That figure is critical in developing renewable projects. [Phil Clement, who directs projects in Nebraska for NextEra] said that although it’s not now in the plan, storage could become a part of a Nebraska solar array as well. NextEra always builds solar projects “with storage in mind,” he said. Source: Solar-storage project would be ‘game-changer’ for Kansas City region, by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network
  • NextEra, Nebraska farmers aim to build largest solar farm in the Midwest, by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

NEBRASKA-BASED VALMONT INDUSTRIES IN THE NEWS

Convert launches new PV tracker control system, contributed by Convert, PV Magazine

Solar PV tracking manufacturer, Convert, is launching its TRJ-AI Tracker Control System. The company says its new TRJ-AI innovation provides the industry the opportunity to easily control, manage, and monitor tracking systems from digital devices reliably and remotely to optimize the energy production of solar plants.

“Technology is ever-evolving and our commitment is to guarantee a better solution and a higher performance than the current standards, every time. Today with the innovative TRJ-AI Tracker Control System, the customers are able to take control when and where they want,” says Yury Reznikov, vice president and general manager of global solar for Valmont Industries, Inc, the Nebraska-based company that acquired Convert in 2018. “This means having complete control of your solar photovoltaic plant while increasing yield, minimizing risks, and optimizing O&M costs at the same time.”

Valmont Industries Website
Valmont Careers

MORE ON NEW SOLAR SCHOOLS STUDY & SOLAR POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

Virginia jumps to head of the class on school solar installations, report shows, by Elizabeth McGowan, Energy News Network

California is still the runaway valedictorian of solar-powered K-12 schools nationwide, but a recent renewable energy policy evolution in Virginia has propelled the state to head-of-the-class status. Since 2017, Virginia schools leapfrogged an impressive 12 spots — from 20th place to eighth place — in solar capacity installed, according to a report released Tuesday by a Charlottesville nonprofit.

Generation 180 collaborated with the Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association to compile Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools. The organization was founded in 2016 to equip individuals and communities across the country to play a role in the transition to 100% clean energy. Report co-author Tish Tablan is the program director for Solar for All Schools, a Generation 180 initiative.

 About Power Purchase Agreements

Solar Power Purchase Agreements, Solar Energy Industries Association 
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost. Schools all across the country are using Solar Power Purchase Agreements to solar power their buildings for free or at minimal cost.

Opinion: Clean energy development can help our economy back onto its feet

By John Karakoulakis, The Colorado Sun

COVID-19 has knocked Colorado’s thriving economy off track. The path to getting our economy back on a strong footing won’t be easy, but clean energy development has been a boon for our state, and the industry will be vital in spurring economic growth. In the near-term, Congress will undoubtedly return focus to economic stimulus legislation. Any viable stimulus plan must include energy investment. Thankfully, two bills aimed at this goal already existAmerica’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) and the American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA) are two commonsense solutions to aid our damaged economy.
Continue reading here.

John Karakoulakis is Director of The Western Way, a nonprofit organization focused on conservative solutions to western U.S. conservation issues. Referenced in his article:
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Poll: GOP Voters Overwhelmingly Support Clean Energy to Jumpstart Economy, Create Global Competitive Advantage

NEW TRANSMISSION STUDY

Previously Posted

UTILITIES’ ZERO-CARBON EMISSIONS COMMITMENTS

The 5 Biggest US Utilities Committing to Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, Greentech Media
Utility net-zero carbon pledges are piling up, even if the companies are a long way from kicking their fossil fuel habits.

Check out more utilities’ carbon reduction commitments using this interactive map:
SEPA’S Utility Carbon Reduction Tracker
Omaha Public Power District’s Emission Reduction Goal: Net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

OPPD’S Decarbonization Study: Pathways to Decarbonization, OPPD Community Connect
What is decarbonization? Simply, it’s the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, commonly referred to as our carbon footprint. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere, human activities over the last century have significantly increased levels of greenhouse gases. These include burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, and removing trees (deforestation) to enable other land uses, such as clearing rainforests for agricultural purposes.

SMUD’S NEW COMMITMENT

SMUD aims for carbon neutrality by 2030 in new climate emergency declaration, Utility Dive
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Board President Rob Kerth said in a statement the move reflects a broader cultural transition among the country’s utilities.

YALE CLIMATE OPINION MAPS 2020

Estimated % of adults who think global warming is happening (72%), 2020, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. These maps show how Americans’ climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and policy support vary at the state, congressional district, metro area, and county levels.

MORE ABOUT WALMART’S NEW PROJECT GIGATON INITIATIVE

Walmart, Schneider Electric team up to help suppliers transition to renewable energy, Supply Chain Dive. Walmart is partnering with Schneider Electric to make renewable energy more accessible to suppliers. The initiative with Schneider Electric’s Energy & Sustainability Services, titled Gigaton PPA (power purchase agreements), seeks to educate suppliers on their renewable energy options and help them through conversion — a process Walmart’s Senior Director of Sustainability Zach Freeze said can be daunting for any supplier — especially small ones. Gigaton PPA aims to bridge the knowledge gap and pool like-minded, co-located suppliers to combine purchasing power.

GREEN CAMPUSES

Duke University buys 101 MW of solar from Duke Energy, PV Magazine
Three projects across North Carolina are being developed to fulfill a new agreement between Duke Energy and Duke University, under the utility’s Green Source Advantage program. The university is the first academic institution to come to terms on a renewable power contract under the program.

TESLA BATTERY DAY

Tesla battery day bingo, PV Magazine
Tesla battery day is next week. Earlier this year, Musk told analysts that what he had to say “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” Here’s a list of battery hyperbole and terms you’re bound to hear at the event.

ENERGY STORAGE INCENTIVES

Battery energy storage systems integrated in solar facilities to receive tax incentives, PV Magazine
Tax incentives spurring deployment of energy storage are limited in their application, as they require the system to be paired with solar. On top of this, the requirements to receive the tax incentives do not always align with advancements in battery technology and/or system design. The writer, Lysondra Ludwigis a tax law associate in Farella Braun + Martel’s San Francisco office.

LITHIUM BATTERY SUPPLY CHAIN

BNEF: Lithium battery supply chain is unsurprisingly led by China, Energy Storage News
BloombergNEF (BNEF) has ranked China #1 among the countries of the world most involved in the lithium-ion battery supply chain in 2020, with Japan and South Korea in second and third place respectively. While the top three results for 2020 are unlikely to surprise many, BNEF predicts that South Korea will fall out of the top three by 2025 to be replaced by the US, although Japan will remain in second place.

LITHIUM BATTERY RECYCLING

Lithium battery recycling facility welcomed by New York Governor Cuomo, Energy Storage News
Along with a worldwide growth in interest in recycling and sustainability topics around lithium batteries and other clean energy technologies, there is growing interest in the US and elsewhere for establishing secure supply chains for lithium and other materials such as nickel and cobalt. A few days ago four US Federal agencies including the Department of Energy announced the formation of the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) to support domestic industry.

Solar Projects In Southern Indiana To Boost Economies, Double Solar Capacity

By Rebecca Thiele, WFYI Indianapolis, NPR 

Three large solar farms proposed for southern Indiana are expected to double the state’s solar capacity. Capital Dynamics and Tenaska hope to build projects in Pike, Gibson, and Knox counties adding 500 megawatts of solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Indiana has installed just more than 450 megawatts of solar to date. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Thomas Machnitzki / Wikimedia Commons

Indiana Wind Energy News 

Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. Awarded 302 MW EPC Wind Contract in Indiana, IEA News Release, GlobeNewswire. “There continues to be a strong demand for wind construction, and we are very pleased to be able to support the efforts to bring increased renewable energy sources to our home state of Indiana,” said JP Roehm, IEA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Wind installations in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2020 were the highest second quarter of installations on record.” 

IN NEBRASKA

Previously Posted: Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. Announces $98 Million Wind Construction Project in Nebraska, Globe Newswire

About Milligan One Wind Farm 
Ninety–nine (99) turbines are under construction for the Milligan One Wind Farm Project owned by EDF Renewables located south and east of Milligan in Saline County. Maximum capacity would be 300,000 kilowatts (or 300 megawatts). The average annual output could power about 10,000 homes. This facility is planned to be operational by the end of 2020. Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)

Milligan One Wind Project Website

FACEBOOK’S NET-ZERO EMISSIONS COMMITMENTS

Facebook Targets Net-Zero Across Its Global Supply Chain by 2030, Greentech Media
With wildfires burning north, south and east of its Menlo Park, California headquarters, Facebook on Monday announced it will expand its emissions-reductions goals, encompassing not only emissions from its own operations but also those produced by its suppliers. The social networking corporation expects to eliminate or offset all of its own emissions this year, while completely decarbonizing its supply chain by 2030.

CRAYOLA’S SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS 

Crayola products now being made by 100% renewable energy, company says, Lehigh Valley Live
“Crayola is committed to responsibly making its products and working to get better every day to ensure that children have a healthy environment for their creative tomorrows,” said Rich Wuerthele, Crayola’s president and CEO.

BP’S ROI GOALS FROM CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS

How BP Plans to Make Oil-Like Returns From Renewables, Greentech Media
The oil major wants to make returns of 8 to 10 percent from renewables projects as it chases a 50-gigawatt target for 2030.

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?, U.S. Department of Energy

HYDROGEN & FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGIES

How to build the foundation for a hydrogen economy in the US, GreenBiz
The US Department of Energy’s H2@Scale program, described as a “multi-year initiative to fully realize hydrogen’s benefits across the economy,” is a 4-year old initiative that is beginning to show results. It sees hydrogen as an integration technology that enhances the performance of diverse energy sources and plays a key role in facilitating a low carbon energy system.

During the past year, DOE channeled more than $100 million in grants to some 50 projects to further the H2@Scale initiative. They are funded through US Department of Energy’s H2@Scale program through its Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) in cooperation with other EERE offices. Just last month, EERE announced about $64 million for 18 projects in fiscal year 2020.

NATIONAL SOLAR TOUR

Deadline Extended: Sign Up for the National Solar Tour, American Solar Energy Society News Release, PR Newswire

The Deadline to submit your Local Solar Tour has been Extended to September 23, 2020. The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and Solar United Neighbors (SUN) have converted the 2020 edition of the National Solar Tour to be fully virtual. From September 28 – October 4, the largest annual grassroots solar event will take place online at nationalsolartour.org. The National Solar Tour will help empower tour-goers to learn about solar technology, sustainability, and the process of going solar from tour hosts nationwide; all from the safety of their home.

New Report Shows Steep Increase in School Solar Power Drives Savings on Energy Bills, Frees Up Resources during Pandemic

Generation180 News Release, PR Newswire

As school districts struggle to adapt to a nationwide budget crisis brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, many K-12 schools are shoring up budgets with a switch to solar power, often with minimal to no upfront capital costs. Since 2014, K-12 schools saw a 139 percent increase in the amount of solar installed, according to a new report from clean energy nonprofit Generation180, in partnership with The Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The report finds that 7,332 schools nationwide utilize solar power, making up 5.5 percent of all K-12 public and private schools in the United States. Over the last 5 years, the number of schools with solar increased by 81 percent, and now 5.3 million students attend a school with solar.  The top five states for solar on schools—California, New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Indiana—helped drive this growth. Continue reading here.

Download the report: Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools, 3rd Edition

Generation 180 Resources

  • The How-To Guide for Schools Going Solar offers step-by-step advice for going solar and includes an introduction to solar finance.
  • The Solar Schools Campaign Toolkit is an organizing guide for students, parents, teachers and community members who want to catalyze solar energy at their schools.
  • The Virtual Help Desk provides a library of resources, answers frequently asked questions and offers personalized support.

Learn More Here
Generation180.org
SolarforAllSchools.org

The Solar Foundation Initiatives 

Solar Energy Industries Association Website 

Google Pledges 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy by 2030

By Jeff St. John, Senior Editor, Greentech Media

Google on Monday pledged that by 2030 it will run its entire business on carbon-free energy — every hour of every day of the year. The promise commits the tech giant to an even more aggressive program of sourcing clean energy and enabling the infrastructure to make it available even when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

Monday’s commitment from Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, comes amid record-setting wildfires across the U.S. West driven by increased heat and dry conditions linked to global warming from human-produced carbon emissions. “The science is clear: The world must act now if we’re going to avert the worst consequences of climate change,” Pichai wrote in the blog post. Continue reading here.

Recommended Reading & Viewing

Commentary: Residential solar as an equity building asset

By John Blattner, solar sales executive at Pearl Certification, a national firm
that certifies high performing homes, Energy News Network

Recent surveys have shown that 69% of prospective buyers want — and are willing to pay for — energy-efficient and high-performing homes. Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z are especially interested in investing in renewable energy and homes that allow them to live out their environmentally conscious values. Yet relying on values-driven purchases alone is not enough in this economy, and few homebuyers are aware of the true long-term value that solar adds to the home. Read more here.

HOME ENERGY STORAGE

Read All About It: What’s New In Home Energy Storage Research, CleanTechnica
Household renewable energy generation through the use of solar panels is becoming more commonplace as installation costs are lessening and electricity prices are rising. Solar energy is an intermittent source, only generated during the day and subject to interference from weather and seasonal variation. The feasibility and limitations of various renewable energyenergy storage, grid-tied and off-the-grid systems are ripe research topics in academia and tech.

ELECTRIFICATION OF BUILDINGS

How to Accelerate the Electrification of Buildings in the Midwest, Greentech Media
Even in states with harsh winters, the economics and outlook for building electrification are changing quickly, the author writes.

US SOLAR MARKET

US Solar Market Performed Better Than Expected During Pandemic’s Worst Months, Greentech Media
Even with an uncertain road ahead, the solar market is still expected to grow in 2020, with capacity additions expected to rise 37 percent year-over-year. That’s because while the coronavirus chilled residential installations, the large-scale market continued its upward trajectory in the second quarter. “The volume of projects that we’ve seen announced in Q1 and Q2 has been pretty high,” said Colin Smith, a WoodMac senior solar analyst. “The development pipeline is the biggest we’ve ever seen.”

FIRST SOLAR ENTERS DG MARKET

First Solar changes course: now selling its thin-film solar panels into the distributed generation market, PV Magazine. The utility-scale solar pioneer and specialist is going small. After decades of avoiding distributed generation, its distributors will now offer First Solar’s series 6 modules to “projects and customers of all shapes and sizes.”

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

Walmart provides U.S. suppliers increased renewable energy access, Chain Store Age
Walmart is entering a partnership to help remove carbon dioxide from its supply chain. The discount giant is collaborating with energy management and automation provider Schneider Electric in a new program designed to educate Walmart suppliers about renewable energy purchases and accelerate renewable energy adoption through aggregate power purchase agreements (PPA). Known as the Gigaton PPA Program (GPPA), the initiative directly supports Walmart’s Project Gigaton, which aims to avoid one gigaton (one billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the retailer’s global value chain by 2030. 

Boeing signs solar power deal for Mesa site in Arizona, Renewables Now
Boeing wants to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025 and ultimately power its operations with 100% renewable energy. Two of the company’s sites already run on 100% renewables, namely Renton, Washington and Charleston, South Carolina.

SOLAR TRACKER POWERED BY AIR

Sunfolding looks to disrupt the tracker industry with air pneumatics, PV Magazine
With $32 million in series B funding and an ever-growing project pipeline, air-based tracker startup, Sunfolding, is hoping to increase its hold in the tracker market with tech that’s simple, light and can be installed on terrain previously thought untouchable.

Sunfolding White Paper – The Power of Air: How pneumatics, a 360-year-old technology, is accelerating growth in large-scale solar

GM

With New Wireless EV Battery System, GM Is Determined To Kill Off Gasmobiles (Eventually), CleanTechnica. If you’re thinking this new wireless system has something to do with wireless EV charging, not exactly. The focus is on introducing new EV models and new battery technology more efficiently, at less cost. GM claims that the new system, developed with the firm Analog Systems, is the first of its kind for any auto manufacturer.

ØRSTED’S TRANSITION STORY

How one fossil fuel company became a green giant, E&E News
In the United States, 27 utilities have pledged to reach carbon free or net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance. That list includes major power companies like American Electric Power, Duke Energy Corp. and Xcel Energy Inc.

Ørsted offers a potentially tantalizing example. Its finances have benefited greatly from the shift, a stark rejoinder to long-standing arguments that swapping fossil fuels for renewables is a money-losing proposition. Last year, a panel of judges at the Harvard Business Review ranked Ørsted as one of the top corporate makeovers of the last decade behind the likes of Netflix, Amazon.com and Microsoft. It was the only energy company on the list.

Previously Posted: Ørsted completes the onshore Plum Creek Wind project, Ørsted News Release

Solar-storage project would be ‘game-changer’ for Kansas City region

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

The world’s largest renewable energy developer is acquiring property in Kansas for a mega-project that would combine hundreds of megawatts of solar and storage capacity. A spokesperson for NextEra Energy confirmed the company is seeking land near Kansas City for a project that could include up to 500 MW each of solar and storage capacity, making it among the largest such projects in the country . . . NextEra is also pursuing a 423-megawatt solar project in Nebraska. It has acquired land rights and now is waiting to find a buyer and to hear what the Southwest Power Pool would charge for a connection to the grid. That figure is critical in developing renewable projects. Read more here.

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

Photo by Stuart Seeger / Flickr / Creative Commons

GAGE COUNTY WIND ENERGY RULE

County board approves wind turbine setback, by Monica Brich, Beatrice Daily Sun
The amendment increases setback requirements from nonparticipating residences from 3/8 to one mile. Nonparticipating residents are those who do not have contracts in place with a wind company. The Gage County Planning and Zoning committee previously approved the resolution in a 6-1 vote in August, after a six hour meeting.

U.S. RENEWABLE ENERGY MANUFACTURING

100 Gigawatts of Domestic Manufacturing Capacity by 2030, Solar Energy Industries Association
Today, SEIA is setting a target of 100 GW of domestic renewable energy manufacturing capacity by 2030, with a particular focus on solar, wind, and energy storage technologies. Right now, we are about a quarter of the way there. This goal is consistent with our aspirations of having solar energy account for 20% of all electricity generation by 2030. And it fits with a collective goal by the renewable energy industries—wind, solar and hydropower with storage, to hit 50% of all electricity by the end of the decade. The 100 GW target is designed to increase the United States’ ability to supply not only domestic renewable energy projects but also export markets. 

Download SEIA White Paper: The Solar+ Decade & American Renewable Energy Manufacturing

ENERGY EFFICIENCY 

Efficiency is smart for public power, American Public Power Association
To explore how central efficiency is for public power, we spoke with a few of the utilities that received the American Public Power Association’s Smart Energy Provider designation in 2019, the first year it was awarded, about what energy efficiency means to them. Utilities with this designation show a dedication to best practices and programs in energy efficiency, among other areas.

DECARBONIZING INDUSTRY

There Is No Business as Usual: Decarbonizing Industry Must Start Now, Rocky Mountain Institute
We know that a higher-than-1.5°C pathway will result in severe natural disasters, including flooding, rising sea levels, hurricanes, drought, and lethal temperature exposures. The increasing regularity of these extreme climate events will create drastic stresses on food and water supply, with ripple effects including hunger, market disruption, increased migration, and social unrest. In addition to threatening our environment and physical well-being, these events threaten our economy. In the United States alone the estimated total cost of weather and climate-based disasters between 1980 and 2019 is estimated at $1.75 trillion.

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Postponed

After careful consideration, the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Planning Committee has made the decision to postpone the 2020 conference. Updates on the 2021 conference dates will be provided at: www.nebraskawsc.com

OPPD’S DECARBONIZATION STUDY

Pathways to Decarbonization, OPPD Community Connect
What is decarbonization? Simply, it’s the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, commonly referred to as our carbon footprint. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere, human activities over the last century have significantly increased levels of greenhouse gases. These include burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, and removing trees (deforestation) to enable other land uses, such as clearing rainforests for agricultural purposes.

OPPD is working across four areas of focus to develop a roadmap for making progress towards the utility’s net-zero carbon production goal. Learn more and share your ideas about OPPD’s work related to Energy Portfolio, Internal OperationsCustomer and Community.

NREL’S PV COST PROJECTIONS

NREL’s solar cost projections plummet in new forecast, PV Magazine 
The lower projected costs for PV could help guide some utilities to plan for more PV capacity, as the utilities develop their long-term resource plans.

CLIMATE ACTION

States Are Doing What Big Government Won’t to Stop Climate Change, and Want Stimulus Funds to Help, InsideClimate News

This story is part of a collaboration between InsideClimate News and The Nation as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. This article focuses on rural areas; to read how green recovery spending can impact cities, click here.

SOLAR POLICY

September solar policy snapshots, Solar Power World
A guide to recent legislation and research throughout the country.

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

FERC details carbon pricing conference as groups blast renewables, consumer and women exclusions, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Federal regulators on Friday announced details of a much-anticipated technical conference on carbon pricing, following a request from a broad group of renewable energy, gas and power groups for the commission to look at the issue more closely, but some stakeholders expressed disappointment with the lineup, decrying a lack of representation from renewable energy and consumer advocates, as well as lack of gender diversity.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Trickle Of Green Hydrogen Turns Into Flood Of Good News For Renewables, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Wind and solar developers are eyeballing green hydrogen as a pathway for future growth, and it looks like they won’t have to depend on the transportation sector for sole support. That’s because hydrogen has many other uses, aside from being used to power fuel cell electric vehicles. Take the vehicles out of the equation and you still have the potential for rapid growth in demand for green hydrogen — and therefore in the demand for wind and solar farms, too.

ZERO-EMISSION EV DRIVING

Enel X Partners with Uber to Support Zero-Emission EV Driving in the U.S. through New JuiceEco Product, Enel X News Release. Today Enel X, the leading provider of innovative energy and electric mobility solutions, introduced JuiceEco, a new option for electric vehicle (EV) drivers to power their rides with 100% renewable energy in the U.S. Available exclusively through Enel X, JuiceEco provides Green-e® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to match the consumption of any EV anywhere in the US with carbon-free electricity.

Uber pledges zero emissions platform by 2040, by Senior Editor Kristin Musulin, Smart Cities Dive Uber announced Tuesday a commitment to becoming a zero emissions mobility platform across its 10,000 cities and six continents by 2040. The company is striving for 100% of its rides to take place in zero-emission vehicles, public transit and micromobility.

TESLA ENERGY

Tesla Energy ramps hiring at Giga New York for accelerated solar production, Teslarati
Tesla is hiring for over 30 different positions at Giga New York, the facility where the company manufactures its solar products. Recent job listings on LinkedIn for the company’s facility in Buffalo indicate a wide variety of skills are being sought, including but not limited to engineering, equipment maintenance, production operations, and roof installers.


Certified Tesla Solar Roof Installer in
Nebraska: Weddle & Sons Roofing
Office locations in Lincoln and Omaha

Installing A Tesla Solar Roof, by Weddle & Sons Roofing


“EARTH FOCUS” SEASON 3 

An Episode Guide to ‘Earth Focus’ Season 3, KCET Original Series

“Earth Focus” features investigative reports and in-depth stories about our changing environment and how it affects people around the world. In this new season, “Earth Focus” examines the politics of the environment, including global youth climate activists, the transition away from coal in South Africa, curbing illegal gold mining in Peru, and the environmental politics of the New West.

 Episode 1: The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

No More Empty Pots Solar Project Update

No More Empty Pots and Nebraskans for Solar sent a Request for Proposals to Nebraska solar installers on Friday, September 4th. We are soliciting proposals that include a set of bids to build and install an 8kW to 12kW photovoltaic project at No More Empty Pots Food Hub, 8501 North 30th Street in Omaha. The proposed sites and projects are the Food Hub’s rooftop patio, for one or more solar canopies, and the building’s south side, for a solar awning. 

This is the first phase of solar installation at this location with future additions planned. Consideration of construction with the ability to add more capacity will be expected. The preferred project completion date is December 31, 2020. 

Nebraskans for Solar and No More Empty Pots wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to this project through our separate Omaha Gives campaigns in May. This exciting new project would not be possible without your generous contributions! 

To learn more about our partnership, click “Green Watts for Good” on the top menu bar.

See previous NFS newsletter for a Nebraska Solar Schools updateFree Solar & Wind Energy Kits, REAP Announcement, Featured Solar Project – Plus More!