Monthly Archives: October 2021

Wayne State Green Team writes letters in support of carbon neutrality

By Collin Hain, Wayne Stater

On Nov. 10 Nebraska politicians will vote on moving towards carbon neutrality and why clean energy is important for Nebraska, which the Wayne State Green Team encouraged by writing letters in support. Laura Dendinger, the faculty sponsor, said it is an all-campus group that is available for anyone to join.

“We are committed to environmental issues and sustainability, we have some social activities as well as plant related activities,” Dendinger said. “We also cover and address different issues in the news.” The actual event that took place last Thursday was put on by Lauren White, a junior, that has been the event planner for the Green Team for the past three years. Continue reading here.

NEBRASKA CONSERVATION VOTERS PETITION

 NPPD Board Meeting: November 10, 2021 at 8 a.m.

The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is considering setting a net zero carbon goal, but they won’t do it unless they hear from you! If you haven’t already, sign the petition today to ask Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) to commit to a clean energy future. 

We are the only 100% public power state in the country, so your voice makes a big difference. If you have already signed the petition and would like to know how else you can help, please fill out our volunteer form. – Chelsea Johnson, Deputy Director, Nebraska Conservation Voters

SUSTAIN UNL EVENT

Nebraska Climate Strike, November 19, 2021
Beginning at 3pm, Nebraska Union, 1400 R Street

About Sustain UNL
We are an aggregate of students from diverse backgrounds who have come together to create a sustainable world through activism, education, and service-engagement. Our core values of Integrity, Community, Growth, Diligence, and Empathy guide us in our Sustain initiatives and in our daily lives. We work to promote social, economic, and environmental sustainability on campus and in the Lincoln community through hosting events, running campaigns, and collaborations. Most importantly, we stand with open arms to anyone who is looking for a place on campus where they can be surrounded by wonderful, passionate people that have a dream to ensure a livable future for everyone on Earth. Contact: sustainunl@gmail.com

LOCAL MODEL OF COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING 

LB357 funds continue to enhance school, city infrastructure and recreation, York News-Times
In November of 2014, residents of York approved a ½ cent sales tax for community infrastructure and recreation. Prior to the election, the City of York and the York Public School District entered an interlocal agreement to form the York Community Infrastructure and Recreation Committee, commonly referred to as the LB 357 committee.

LB357: Passed over Governor Dave Heineman’s veto on April 18, 2012.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

TRI GLOBAL NEWS

Tri Global Energy CEO Named Renewable Energy Executive Of The Year, Tri Global News Release, PR Newswire

John B. Billingsley, Chairman and CEO of Dallas-based Tri Global Energy, has been named Renewable Energy Executive of the Year by D CEO magazine as part of their annual Energy Awards. The awards honor excellence and innovation in oil and gas from North Texas to the Permian Basin, and for the first time, the 2021 awards included the category of renewable energy. 

About Tri Global Energy
We are developers of sustainable energy. Tri Global Energy’s mission is to improve communities through local economic development generated by originating and commercializing renewable energy and storage projects. The company currently originates and develops utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Tri Global Energy’s headquarters is in Dallas with regional development offices in Lubbock, Texas; El Paso and Forreston, Illinois; and Reynolds and Hartford City, Indiana.  For more information, visit www.triglobalenergy.com

Under Development in Nebraska: 100 MW Sugarloaf Wind Project in Garden County

SALT CREEK SOLAR

Big Solar Farm Proposal Near Lincoln Advancing, Nebraska Public Media
This week, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission held an eight-hour hearing on whether to approve permits for the proposal. The Planning Commission is expected to revote on the county portion of the permit Nov. 17. Its decisions can be appealed to the county board and city council.

Previously Posted: Nebraska’s largest solar farm planned east of Lincoln is looking to clear final zoning hurdles, Lincoln Journal Star

Build Back Better Framework

The White House Briefing Room, October 28, 2021

The Build Back Better Act will create millions of good-paying jobs, enable more Americans to join and remain in the labor force, spur long-term growth, reduce price pressures and set the United States on course to meet its clean energy ambitions.

Investments in Clean Energy and Combatting Climate Change

  • Clean Energy Tax Credits ($320 billion): Ten-year expanded tax credits for utility-scale and residential clean energy, transmission and storage, clean passenger and commercial vehicles, and clean energy manufacturing.
  • Resilience Investments ($105 billion): Investments and incentives to address extreme weather (wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes, including in forestry, wetlands, and agriculture), legacy pollution in communities, and a Civilian Climate Corps.
  • Investments and Incentives for Clean Energy Technology, Manufacturing, and Supply Chains ($110 billion): Targeted incentives to spur new domestic supply chains and technologies, like solar, batteries, and advanced materials, while boosting the competitiveness of existing industries, like steel, cement, and aluminum.
  • Clean Energy procurement ($20 billion): Provide incentives for government to be purchaser of next gen technologies, including long-duration storage, small modular reactors, and clean construction materials.

Click here to read about all proposed investments in the Build Back Better Framework.

Also From The White House

Additional Recommended Reading

#AmericanCleanPowerWeek: Solar power is a key climate solution that creates jobs, drives innovation, and strengthens our economy

By Jen Scungio, American Clean Power Association,
October 26, 2021

Solar costs have fallen over 90% over the last decade, making solar power one of the most affordable sources of new electricity across the nation. Solar power was the #2 energy type among new power additions in 2020, and reduced costs for consumers and buyers has enabled solar power generation to scale up like never before.

That growth translates into American jobs. There are nearly 232,000 American solar workers across the country, with more on the way. Solar installer is the nation’s third fastest-growing profession, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Nebraska’s largest solar farm planned east of Lincoln is looking to clear final zoning hurdles

By Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

[Sean Harris, vice president of development], said Ranger Power chose the spot outside of Lincoln for several reasons. Among them are that it’s close to an existing substation, which means any power generated can easily be transported to the electrical grid, and that it’s also close to the large population centers of Lincoln and Omaha. Read more here.

Image: Virginia pollinator-friendly solar farm with tree screening surrounding it.

  • Read more about the project hereSalt Creek Solar, Ranger Power
  • Public Meeting Scheduled Today
    Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission Meeting, October 27, 2021, 1 to 4 pm, County/City Building, 555 S. 10th Street, City Council Chambers

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

70 Public Power Utilities Earn Smart Energy Provider Designation, by Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

Designees include Lincoln Electric System (2021), Nebraska Public
Power District (2021). Omaha Public Power District (2020).

Seventy public power utilities have earned a Smart Energy Provider (SEP) designation from the American Public Power Association. The designations were presented on October 26 during APPA’s Customer Connections Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Smart Energy Provider Program Designees

American Clean Power 3Q market report shows record clean energy capacity growth in 2021

American Clean Power Association News Release

WASHINGTON DC, October 25, 2021 – The Clean Power Quarterly 2021 Q3 Market Report, released today by the American Clean Power Association (ACP), shows the U.S. clean energy industry installed 3,336 MW of new capacity during the third quarter, with additions totaling 15,317 MW in the first three quarters, a 23 percent increase compared to 2020.

Demand for clean power continues to rise with power purchasers and project developers announcing 9,054 MW of new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in the third quarter. Overall, a total of 17,442 MW of PPAs have been announced in 2021, a 16 percent increase compared to the same period in 2020. Continue reading here.

INTERCONNECTIONS SEAM STUDY

DOE study details ‘supergrid’ for high levels of renewables, E&E News, Energywire
DOE released a statement last week highlighting a September paper from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on the NREL study’s major conclusions — the first time the lab’s findings were formally published. IEEE’s report titled The Interconnections Seam Study showed how Sun Belt solar power could be delivered to the Midwest at dusk. Later, the study shows, electricity flows could be reversed to move Great Plains wind power westward.

NEBRASKA CONSERVATION VOTERS PETITION

 NPPD Board Meeting: November 10, 2021 at 8 a.m.

The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is considering setting a net zero carbon goal, but they won’t do it unless they hear from you! If you haven’t already, sign the petition today to ask Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) to commit to a clean energy future. 

We are the only 100% public power state in the country, so your voice makes a big difference. If you have already signed the petition and would like to know how else you can help, please fill out our volunteer form. – Chelsea Johnson, Deputy Director, Nebraska Conservation Voters

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION LINKS

Monolith Materials: Previously Posted Articles & News Releases

Previously Posted Energy News Network Articles by Karen Uhlenhuth 

ALSO IN THE NEWS

NextEra Energy Partners, LP announces agreement to acquire a 50% interest in an approximately 2,520-megawatt portfolio of long-term contracted renewables projects and enters into new convertible equity portfolio financing

NextEra Energy Partners LP News Release, PR Newswire

NextEra Energy Partners, LP today announced that it has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to acquire a 50% interest in an approximately 2,520-megawatt (MW) renewables portfolio. In conjunction with the acquisition, NextEra Energy Partners has also entered into an approximately $824 million convertible equity portfolio financing with Apollo Global Management (Apollo).

“The transactions announced today support NextEra Energy Partners’ continued ability to execute on its long-term growth plan and access attractive low-cost sources of capital,” said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer. Continue reading here.

Photo: NextEra Energy’s Sholes Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska

Nebraska’s Little Blue Wind project is included in today’s announced agreement:

  • The project is currently under construction and is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2021.

NextEra Job Notice, October 13, 2021
Wind Site Manager – Little Blue Wind – Campbell, NE

Nebraska Wind Energy Projects Also Include: Gage Wind

  • Up to 50 GE wind turbines capable of generating up to 124 megawatts (MW).
  • Subject to local and state approvals, the project is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2022.

Previously Posted News Stories

Additional Recommended Reading

The states that produce the most renewable energy

By Commodity.com, LatticePublishing.com, La Crosse Tribune

To determine the states producing the most renewable energy, researchers at Commodity.com used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to calculate the percentage of total electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable energy sources include: wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater five-year growth in renewable electricity production, between 2015 and 2020, was ranked higher. Here are the states that produce the most renewable energy.

Nebraska’s Rank: 15

  • Percentage of electricity generated from renewables: 28.9%
  • 5-year change in renewable electricity production: +115.7%
  • Total electricity generated from renewables (MWh): 10,648,740
  • Largest renewable energy source: Wind

Read more here.

See utility-scale wind and solar projects under development in our state at these Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy resources:

Additional Recommended Reading: FACT SHEET: President Biden Sets 2030 Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Target Aimed at Creating Good-Paying Union Jobs and Securing U.S. Leadership on Clean Energy Technologies, The White House Briefing Room

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS

UPCOMING OPPD WORKSHOPS

Pathways to Decarbonization WebEx Workshops 5 & 6
Pre-registration is encouraged to receive email reminders and Outlook calendar invites. The workshops are technical in nature and are designed to build from one another. It is highly recommended to watch previously recorded workshops before attending the upcoming ones. A summary video of past workshops is also available. 

  • Workshop 5: Initial Results
    Wednesday, October 27, 4-6 p.m.
  • Workshop 6: Final Results
    Thursday, December 9, 4-6 p.m.

Click here to learn more and pre-register for both.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FERC nominee Phillips uses 3-legged stool analogy in outlining regulatory approach to senators, Utility Dive

Having [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee Willie Phillips Jr.], a Democrat, at FERC could help the agency avoid deadlocks on pending issues such as transmission reformsnatural gas infrastructure reviews and the role aggregated demand response can play in wholesale markets. “FERC is at its best with a full complement of commissioners,” FERC Chairman Richard Glick said Tuesday on Twitter.

Previously Posted: Biden’s FERC nominee could pave the way for the administration’s massive clean energy agenda, Canary Media 

CLIMATE POSITIVE BUSINESSES

Panera bakes plan to go climate positive, GreenBiz Group


On Wednesday, fast-casual food chain Panera Bread announced that it plans to work towards a climate-positive business model by 2050. This means Panera will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits each year. Climate positive suggests that it will go a step beyond the popular net-zero carbon emissions movement that has taken the business world by storm over the past two years with commitments from UnileverNestleVerizon and many others.

DOE Awards Nearly $40 Million for Grid Decarbonizing Solar Technologies

Department of Energy News Release
October 19, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded nearly $40 million to 40 projects that are advancing the next generation of solar, storage, and industrial technologies necessary for achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s climate goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. Specifically, the projects will reduce the cost of solar technologies by increasing the lifespan of photovoltaic (PV) systems from 30 to 50 years, developing technologies that will enable solar to be used in fuel and chemicals production, and advancing novel storage technologies.

“We are laser focused on deploying more solar power and developing more cost-effective technologies to decarbonize our electricity system,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Research to develop stronger and longer-lasting solar panels is critical to addressing the climate crisis. The 40 projects announced today – led by universities and private industry across the country – is an investment in the next generation of innovations that will strengthen the nation’s solar capacity and enhance our grid resilience. Continue reading here.

PV PROJECTS

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Is among the 2021 Photovoltaics Funding Program selectees.

This program will help achieve the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) goal of lowering solar energy costs 50% by 2030. Some of the projects will help extend PV system life. The rest will lay the foundation for continued research that leads to new PV technologies to help achieve a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions energy sector by 2050.

UNL’s Project Name: A Hot-Swappable, Fault-Tolerant, Modular Power Converter System for Solar Photovoltaic Plants
DOE Award Amount: $300,000
Cost Share: $75,000
Project Summary: This project will work to prove the concept of a fault-tolerant, modular power converter system for PV plants that does not require disconnection from the solar array to replace components. The system will contain innovations that enable 50% system cost reduction, 90% operation and maintenance (O&M) cost reduction, uninterrupted operation with 50 years of service life, improved manufacturability, and higher power density over the state of the art. The team will design, fabricate and test a 50 kilowatt (kW) prototype with over 99.5% inverter peak efficiency, less than $0.03 per watt system cost, and less than $0.5 kW-year O&M cost.

Read about the individual PV projects and the individual CSP projects.

Learn more about DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office and its research priorities in PV and CSP

Nebraska Farmers Union President will be in Syracuse

News Submitted to Journal-Democrat by the Otoe County Democrats

John Hansen, Nebraska Farmers Union President, will be in Syracuse on Nov. 3 at the Syracuse Public Library. Hansen will speak about agricultural and energy issues. The Nebraska Farmers Union has been promoting wind and solar energy in Nebraska for the past few years.

The Otoe County Democrats invited Hansen to Syracuse, however the general public is invited to attend. The doors open at 6 p.m. and pulled pork sandwiches, chips, and drink will be provided for attendees. Hansen will begin speaking at 6:30 p.m. and will field questions after his talk.

Hansen operated a diversified farm in Madison County Nebraska before becoming Farmers Union President in 1989. Since then he has advocated for farmers at the state and national level. He has also been a promoter of soil conservation and alternative energy sources. 

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING EVENT 

John Hansen is the Planning Committee Chair of the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference and Exhibition

November 8-9, 2021, Marriott Cornhusker Hotel
333 S. 13th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Registration is $175 through October 31. As of November 1, it will be $225 through the conference dates.

This year’s programming features:

  • A session on the growing role of utility battery storage
  • A policy and legislative update from Nebraska State Senators
  • Sessions on the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri
  • A panel on Hydrogen Generation
  • And much, MUCH more!

See the complete schedule here.

Register Here.

West Virginia’s reliance on coal is getting more expensive, and Joe Manchin’s constituents are footing the bill

By Ella Nilsen, CNN

[A report] from West Virginia University’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development [shows] that investing in renewables would cost the state $855 million less through 2040 than continuing to invest in coal.

During the winter months in West Virginia, Felisha Chase pays more for her electricity than she does for her home. “It does feel wrong when your electric bill is more than your mortgage,” Chase told CNN. “Around here the old adage is ‘coal keeps the lights on.’ Anyone struggling to keep their electric on knows it’s more than the lights

Her electricity bill spikes every January, when Chase estimates her electricity usage increases five- or six-fold. In September, she was still paying down a remaining balance of $600 from the winter before — twice the cost of her monthly mortgage payment. Her cumulative bill has gone as high as $1,400. Continue reading here.

Image Credit: Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting