Category Archives: Community-Scale / Utility-Scale Solar

Solar shares still available

Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Want to power your home with solar energy? There’s still plenty of it available from the 53-acre solar farm at TechoNE Crossing, Kearney’s technology park. To get the solar energy, you’ll need to purchase shares in the solar farm, which went online in 2018 and initially offered about 7,000 shares. About one-third of the shares remain unsold, according to the city of Kearney, which announced this week it is looking for buyers for the 2,032 solar shares still available. In addition to getting buyers plugged into solar energy, owning the shares will lock in solar electrical rates for 20 years. Kearney residents who are interested in locking in electrical rates or protecting the environment can sign up online to purchase solar shares at sunwise.nppd.com. They also may call NPPD at 877-275-6773. Read more here.

Community solar facility up and running for OPPD customers

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire

The 5-megawatt (MW) solar energy facility sits in a scenic area of Washington County tucked among rolling hills and trees. OPPD and NextEra Energy Resources have a 20-year power purchase agreement for the energy generated at the facility, which has more than 17,500 panels. Customers can view the facility’s activity in real time on its generation dashboard on oppd.com The solar facility is the latest generation source for OPPD as the utility moves towards 40% of retail sales supplied by renewable energy. Sholes Wind Energy Center near Wayne, Neb., came online in November 2019. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Omaha Public Power District Commits To Net Zero Carbon By 2050, NET 

Interested in solar energy? Nebraska Public Power District can help make that interest a reality

NPPD News Release

Residents of Scottsbluff who are interested in having solar energy as part of their electricity options, now have the opportunity! The City of Scottsbluff, in cooperation and partnership with Nebraska Public Power District, will again offer community solar shares to their customers in Scottsbluff. A second community solar project is under construction in Scottsbluff, located near Landers Soccer Complex. The 4.375-megawatt solar farm, scheduled to go live this spring, will begin taking registration for shares from Scottsbluff residents and businesses on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. The initial solar farm, located at NPPD’s Scottsbluff office, was well received and sold out immediately. Continue reading here.

More Nebraska News

Wayne State partners with UNL to offer dual-degree program, Kearney Hub
The goals of the partnership are to provide education platforms in resilient food, energy, water and societal systems in alignment with career opportunities, as well as prepare teachers and curriculum to respond to the increased need for agricultural science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educators.

Nebraska’s largest solar power project comes into clearer focus with OPPD bid request

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

The most solar power in state history should flow into the electrical outlets of eastern Nebraska homes and businesses by 2024. That’s when the Omaha Public Power District aims to finish Nebraska’s largest solar power project, building it in or near the 13 counties OPPD serves. The new solar farms could be located in more than one site. OPPD management is soliciting bids through mid-January to add OPPD’s first utility-scale solar power, producing 400 megawatts to 600 megawatts of electricity. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

More Nebraska News

Senior management promotions announced by NPPD, News Release

Previously Posted

Also In The News

Burping Cows Get the Green Light to Join Carbon-Offset Market

By Agnieszka de Sousa and Mathew Carr, Bloomberg
Reprinted In Today’s Omaha World-Herald

A garlic and citrus feed supplement that lowers the greenhouse gases burped out by cows is giving farmers the chance to become global carbon traders. Verra, the largest program for voluntary carbon-offset credits, has approved a method to reduce livestock emissions that was developed by Swiss agritech company Mootral. That means farmers using such feed supplements will be able to sell greenhouse-gas credits in the carbon-offset market. The global voluntary offset market was worth $296 million last year, 50% more than two years, according to researcher Ecosystem Marketplace. Continue reading here.

Mootral Website

Among NASA Resources: A Less Frequently Asked Question About Climate Change:
Which is a bigger methane source: cow belching or cow flatulence?

Additional Recommended Reading
Farmers eye opportunities for commercial solar farms, KMA Land
Economic return two or three times that of corn or beans. Guaranteed income for decades. No work required. That may sound too good to be true. But for some landowners in the Corn Belt, it’s reality. A growing number of them are converting parts of their grain farms into solar farms. 
Commercial solar fields could someday be as common a sight as grain bins. And while most incorporate only a few acres, some are massive. A site under construction in Wisconsin will cover 3,000 acres, the largest in the Midwest, according to Brian Ross, senior program director at the Minnesota-based Great Plains Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes renewable energy.

Thank you to everyone who participated in last night’s Nebraskans for Solar and OPPD event

From Left: Michal Lisowyj, David Rich, Courtney Kennedy, Mayor Josh Moenning

Many thanks to event attendees, who posed numerous insightful questions during the discussion session that followed the excellent panel presentation. Nebraskans for Solar also wish to extend our appreciation to the following event moderator and speakers:

Courtney Kennedy, OPPD Alternative Energy Program Manager, moderated the panel discussion and facilitated the Q&A.

Our guest speakers and the topics they discussed are identified below, as well as links to related articles, news releases and resources: 

Michal Lisowyj, OPPD Alternative Energy Specialist
Mr. Lisowyj provided an overview of why energy storage is becoming increasingly popular, the technologies being deployed, as well as some that may be used in the future (cryogenic, pumped, flow, etc.). He also presented an overview of OPPD’s grant application for energy storage, summarized OPPD’s 5-megawatt community solar project under construction by NextEra Energy Resources, and provided information on OPPD’s Request for Proposals for 400 to 600 megawatts of solar, detailed in the document, below.

Recommended Reading

Josh Moenning, City of Norfolk Mayor and founder of New Power Nebraska
Mayor Moenning provided an overview of the City of Norfolk’s planned 8.5-MW community solar project and accompanying battery energy storage system, made possible by a grant award from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. He also briefly discussed New Power Nebraska, an alliance open to the public that he founded to promote the development of wind energy. To learn more about New Power Nebraska and sign up for the group’s newsletter, visit:
www.newpowernebraska.org 

Recommended Reading

David Rich, NPPD Sustainable Energy Manager
Mr. Rich discussed NPPD’s application to the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a 1 MW/2 MWH battery energy storage system in partnership with the City of Norfolk, NPPD’s Request for Proposals, the evaluation of the proposals and their current status and issues raised by the developers regarding potential utilization of the U.S. Investment Tax Credits.

Additionally, Mr. Rich discussed Monolith Materials’ manufacturing facility in Hallam, Nebraska, adjacent to NPPD’s Sheldon Station. Monolith Materials uses a patented process to manufacture carbon black, a common material found in a great number of products, including tires, cellphones, paints, printing inks, plastics and batteries. Hydrogen is a byproduct of the carbon black manufacturing process. Monolith uses natural gas instead of coal-tar and oil, as in the conventional process. Norris Public Power District headquartered in Beatrice is the natural gas provider.

Recommended Reading & Viewing

Image Credit: Nebraskans for Solar Board Member David Corbin
Top Photo: “Collaboration” by Jamie Burmeister, a sculptor, musician and educator living and working in Omaha. David and his wife, Josie Metal-Corbin, are among the subjects of the miniature sculptures featured in “Collaboration.”

Renewable energy customers in Hastings are showing interest in solar panel shares

By Danielle Davis, KSNB Local 4 

The Community Solar Farm in West Hastings is seeing customers gravitate to solar panel shares. The community solar farm has 6,000 solar panels and more than a thousand have already been bought. This form of renewable energy reduces air pollution, makes us less dependent on imported fuels and can create more jobs in our hometown. “With the solar panel you are paying for that upfront and then we are paying you for the power it generates,” said Derek Zeisler, Director of Marketing and Energy Supply, Hastings Utilities. Watch the video here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Hastings Community Solar Farm, City of Hastings

OPPD Board Clears The Way For State’s Largest Solar Presence, With Natural Gas Backup

OPPD News Release

Today, the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors voted to add between 400 and 600 megawatts of utility-scale solar capacity to OPPD’s energy portfolio. It will be the largest solar presence in the state of Nebraska and one of the largest in the region. The project, proposed by senior management at last month’s board meeting, also includes natural gas backup for the solar generation, to support accreditation and resiliency requirements, as well as the modernization of some of OPPD’s other natural gas assets. As the grid continues to evolve, OPPD may also look at adding voltage-support devices, which help maintain a consistent quality of electricity. The new natural gas assets are anticipated to run only when needed in order to serve OPPD’s peaking and grid support needs. Continue reading here.

The Wire News Story

OPPD takes next step towards adding state’s largest utility-scale solar presence, by Jason Kuiper

More Nebraska News

Bluestem offers tour of Fairmont wind farm, Aurora News Register 

Nebraska has bright renewable energy future, leaders say

By Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska is continuing to grow its renewable energy footprint, particularly when it comes to wind and solar. “There’s a lot of upside potential in our state because we have tremendous wind and solar resources,” John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, told attendees at the 2019 Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference and Exhibition. Hundreds of business executives, community leaders, landowners and others are attending the two-day event at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln. Continue reading here.