Monthly Archives: August 2021

DOE Releases New Reports Highlighting Record Growth, Declining Costs of Wind Power

Department of Energy News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released three reports showing record growth in land-based wind energy, significant expansion of the pipeline for offshore wind projects, and continued decline in the cost of wind energy generation – laying the groundwork for significant future gains as the Biden Administration pursues rapid acceleration of renewable energy deployment to reach its goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.

“These reports contain such terrific news: the U.S. installed a record-breaking amount of land-based wind energy last year. They underscore both the progress made and the capacity for much more affordable wind power to come – all necessary to reach President Biden’s goal of a decarbonized electricity sector by 2035,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “At DOE, we will double down on efforts to deploy more wind energy around the country as we also pursue technologies to make turbines even cheaper and more efficient.”  Continue reading here.

The three market reports are available at energy.gov/windreport.  To learn more about DOE’s wind energy research, visit the Wind Energy Technologies Office homepage.

The following series is by Liz Hartman, Communications Lead for DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office. Just for fun, test your knowledge of each of the “Top 10 Things”.

Additional Recommended Reading
EPA urges FERC to use social cost of carbon in gas project reviews, Utility Dive

Solar project to fund future for farmer’s daughter

By Will Vraspir, Hastings Tribune

SARONVILLE —What started as a search for a plan to allow local farmer Tom Alberts to provide for his daughter has turned into a project that will benefit the entire community. Looking into an opportunity to provide future financial care for his special-needs daughter, Alika, Alberts contacted Interconnection Systems Inc., in Central City. They are an engineering, procurement and construction company for renewable solar energy and battery energy storage systems. The final agreement created a 1-megawatt solar project on nine acres of Alberts’ land near the corner of U.S. Highway 6 and Spur 18-G. Continue reading here.

An Additional 1 MW Interconnection Systems Inc Project 

Valmont Commemorates Installation of One-Megawatt Solar Field at Valley, Nebraska Facility, Valmont News Release

“Valmont continues to grow the Good Life by investing in Nebraska,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “The newly built solar field in Valley showcases Valmont’s innovation and contributes to the diverse energy resources we have in our state.”

Iowa City awards $60K in climate action grants

By Erin Jordan, The Gazette

IOWA CITY — So many worthy causes, not enough money. That’s how Briana Hoffman, of West Branch, felt when she thought about supporting both local social service agencies and groups that fight climate change.

“I’ve always been passionate about our community, but at the same time I want to help the climate because I think our planet is in trouble,” Hoffman said. “I realized you can do both. By helping nonprofits be more energy efficient, you can actually help the planet and the nonprofit. The money they don’t spend on electricity is going back into their purpose.” Continue reading here.

MORE CLIMATE NEWS, ACTIONS & RESOURCES

Board approves net metering change

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire

OPPD customers who want to generate their own energy have increased options for doing so starting Sept. 1. OPPD’s Board of Directors approved an increase to “the aggregate system size limit for net metering services” at its August board meeting. The limit increases from 25 kilowatts (kW) to 100kW. The change accommodates customers who are seeking options in generating their own energy. The board passed the resolution unanimously. Continue reading here.

For more information about how to go solar with OPPD, visit: www.OPPD.com/COG.

See additional actions and updates reported at OPPD’s August 19 Board of Directors Meeting here.

American Clean Power Association to further expand with U.S. Energy Storage Association merger

ACP News Release 

WASHINGTON DC, August 23, 2021 – The American Clean Power Association (ACP) and the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) today announced that ESA’s member companies approved the merger to join ACP effective January 1, 2022.

“We are thrilled the member companies at the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) have endorsed the planned merger with ACP. This will enhance our ability to become a more forceful advocate for wind, solar, storage and transmission,” said Heather Zichal, CEO of ACP. “The merger will help deliver more value for our members and build a best-in-class trade association that is nimble, effective and able to represent all clean energy industries with a unified voice on some of our top priorities including the investment tax credit for storage projects.”  Read more here.

Watch ACP’s Powering American Jobs national TV ad: https://bit.ly/3y9MNJc

Additional Recommended Reading

New Solar Company – EightTwenty

Solar energy company EightTwenty seeks to shine light on industry potential in Oklahoma, The Oklahoman. EightTwenty also is establishing operations in Arkansas and Kansas with future aspirations to expand into Texas, Nebraska, Indiana and Kentucky. 

New CESA Guide

 

 

Guide to 100% Clean Energy States
This guide provides state officials and other stakeholders with information about the 18 states (plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) that have adopted 100% clean energy goals. It includes information about the plans and other implementation reports that some of those states have produced.

NPPD, OPPD, LES & MEAN Decarbonization Initiatives: A Brief Summary & Resources

NPPD’s Board of Directors is in the process of establishing Strategic Directive 5 (SD-05) regarding future decarbonization. The utility recently completed a series of forums to discuss decarbonization initiatives and gather public input.

OPPD has committed to achieving net-zero carbon power by 2050 and has initiated a “Pathways to Decarbonization” study to identify and prioritize strategies and actions to reach that goal. The utility has sponsored an ongoing series of public forums over the past several months, beginning in April. Click here to view recordings of all past workshops. A summary video of the workshops is also available here.

LES has the goal of achieving net-zero carbon production by 2040. “From 2010 – 2020 the utility reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 53% and the carbon intensity of the energy produced by 45%”. Click here to learn more.

Additional Recommended Reading

MEAN’s Board of Directors approved a resolution in January 2020 to become a carbon-neutral power resource by 2050. Read the news release here and the resolution here.

About MEAN
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska is the not-for-profit wholesale electricity supply organization of NMPP Energy. Created in 1981, MEAN provides cost-based power supply, transmission and related services to 69 participating communities in four states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. MEAN Members/Participants

Nebraska
Alliance, Ansley, Arnold, Bayard, Beaver City, Benkelman, Blue Hill, Bridgeport, Broken Bow, Burwell, Callaway, Chappell, Crete, Curtis, Fairbury, Falls City, Gering, Grand Island, Grant, Hastings, Imperial, Kimball, Lyman, Mitchell, Morrill, Nebraska City, Neligh, Oxford, Paxton, Pender, Pierce, Plainview, Red Cloud, Scribner, Shickley, Sidney, Snyder, Spencer, Stuart, Trenton, West Point, Wisner

How the infrastructure bill will enable more sustainable farming

By Theresa Lieb, Food System Analyst, GreenBiz Group

Earlier this year, my colleague Jim Giles wrote about the importance of viewing soil as infrastructure. So when the Senate passed its $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last week, I was curious to see if this monumental bill shared Jim’s view. Unfortunately not is the short answer. The bill is using an old-school definition of infrastructure that doesn’t include agriculture. Nonetheless, a few components of the bipartisan bill, by far the largest infrastructure package in decades, support sustainable agriculture. Continue reading here.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Fact Sheets

What to know about conservation compliance

By Erin Herbold-Swalwell, Farm Progress

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in his address at the 2021 Commodity Classic, said that work on “climate-smart ag” should begin before the next farm bill. Proposed increases in funding of the Conservation Reserve Program and an increased emphasis on carbon credits and carbon banks, renewable energy, and other environmental matters bring different opportunities for farm families, but also remind us that we need to understand the rules of enrollment in USDA programs. Read more here.

USDA Conservation Programs

The USDA offers voluntary, incentive-based conservation opportunities to landowners through local field offices in nearly every county of the nation. USDA helped landowners develop conservation plans and enrolled a record number of acres of private working lands in conservation programs, working with more than 500,000 farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that clean the air we breathe, conserve and clean the water we drink, prevent soil erosion and create and protect wildlife habitat. USDA support – leveraged with historic outside investments – helped support producer incomes and reward them for their good work.

USDA Resources

Nebraska News

Farmers express interest in possible carbon reduction methods, by Jerry Guenther, Norfolk Daily News

More USDA Resources

Center for Agricultural Profitability

The interdisciplinary Center for Agricultural Profitabilitywhich was approved March 11, 2021, facilitates faculty research, conducts outreach related to agricultural profitability and trains undergraduate and graduate students — all to support informed decision-making in agriculture through applied research and education.

Center for Agricultural Profitability Webinars – Archived & Upcoming

Banding Together: How Aggregation Helps Cities Buy Renewables At Scale

By Yuning Liu and Mia Reback, Rocky Mountain Institute

Aggregation can be a powerful way for cities to rapidly increase their renewable energy and help decarbonize local economies at the necessary speed and scale. Yet most cities have not pursued aggregation due to an inadequate understanding of its novel deal structure and a lack of tools and resources to help streamline the process. Read more here.

Access the Report: Procuring Large-Scale Renewables through Aggregation: A Guide for Local Governments

Example of aggregating small-scale solar projects into one Request for Proposals to save costs:


MEAN issues RFP For Participant Community Solar PV Installation Project

MEAN’s Renewable Energy Portfolio

STATE RPS UPDATES

State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals, National Conference of State Legislatures

Renewable energy policies help drive the nation’s $64 billion market for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. These policies can play an integral role in state efforts to diversify their energy mix, promote economic development and reduce emissions. Roughly half of the growth in U.S. renewable energy generation since the beginning of the 2000s can be attributed to state renewable energy requirements.  

Previously Posted: Why the United States Needs A Clean Electricity Standard, Center for Climate And Energy Solutions

OPPD NEWS

Popular EV rebates back for another round, The Wire

If you’re in the market for an electric vehicle, here’s some good news: OPPD’s popular EV rebates program is back. Rebates are available toward the purchase of both a residential EV and charger, as well as for fleet vehicle replacement. The rebate program has proven popular and has sold out each year. Rebate funding was made available to OPPD as of July 1, 2021, and customers who purchase a new EV and charger after July 1 may be eligible.

OPPD’s New Guide to Electric Vehicles (EVs)

FACT SHEET: Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and Build Back Better Agenda Present Bright Future for Solar Power, Good Jobs, and More Affordable Energy

The White House Briefing Room, August 17, 2021

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a new issue brief that details a bright future for solar power, good jobs, and affordable energy in the United States. President Biden’s proposed investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and Build Back Better Agenda will invest in the infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, and incentives for solar energy that we need to grow good-paying, union jobs at home, make solar energy affordable for all American families, and accelerate the deployment of net-zero energy across the country. These critical investments will unlock the full potential of solar and help fight the climate crisis. Continue reading here.

Read the full brief: Investing in the Clean Energy Future: Solar Energy Research, Deployment, and Workforce Priorities

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING