Category Archives: Community-Scale / Utility-Scale Solar

Community solar will open new markets for greater energy production

Opinion written by former U.S. Secretary of Navy John Lehman, PennLive

In late 2004, the 9-11 Commission published its report on the devastating September 11 terrorist attacks. As a member of the 9-11 Commission, I joined my colleagues in urging that America must begin producing its own energy in much greater amounts so that it would not be hostage to the geopolitics of a region fraught with war, repression, and ethnic and religious grievances.

It would have been hypocritical of me while urging this course on my fellow Americans not to practice what I had preached, so I invested in solar energy on my farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Continue reading here.

Referenced in the article: HB 531 would allow the installation of solar projects by multiple residents, farmers or business owners on a single property.

 Additional Recommended Reading 

Wind plants can provide grid services similar to gas, hydro, easing renewables integration: CAISO, Utility Dive

Utility-scale wind plants have the potential to provide grid services that match those of a gas plant or hydroelectric facility, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has found. CAISO, along with Avangrid Renewables, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and General Electric, conducted tests at a wind farm near San Diego last year. The takeaway was that “a wind plant could perform as well — and in some cases even better —​ than a conventional unit,” Clyde Loutan, renewable energy advisor and team lead, told Utility Dive. The study, published Wednesday, could have global implications for grids that are transitioning to renewables, according to the system operator. It’s just a first step, but “we’re very excited about it,” said Anne Gonzales, CAISO senior public information officer.  

As Nebraska Public Power celebrates 50 years, Scottsbluff solar project goes online

By Jerry Purvis, Scottsbluff Star-Herald

It was Nathan Johnson’s last official day as Scottsbluff city manager as he joined city officials and representatives from Nebraska Public Power District to cut the ribbon on the community’s new solar energy facility. NPPD Account Manager Terry Rajewich welcomed the public to the ceremony at the Landers Soccer Complex north of Scottsbluff.

“Partnerships are what we’re about,” Rajewich said. “NPPD is turning 50 this year and Scottsbluff has been with us for the past 46 years. They were the first to express an interest in purchasing more of its power from solar generation.” Continue reading here.

NPPD cutting ribbon on new community solar facility

Nebraska Public Power District News Release


Columbus, Neb. – 
The time has come to celebrate the launch of a new community solar farm with the official ribbon cutting for the Scottsbluff II project. The new addition to the Scottsbluff community’s renewable energy portfolio is set to go live on March 1, with the ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. March 2. “We are very excited to cut the ribbon and celebrate the official launch of Scottsbluff II,” says Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Vice-President and Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “The Scottsbluff II project is a great partnership between the city of Scottsbluff – NPPD and N-Solar and these combined efforts are what made this project a reality.” The ceremony is set to take place in the Landers Memorial Soccer Complex parking lot at 4205 5th Avenue just outside the new solar facility. Continue reading here.

OPPD News

Structure rebuild completed in time for potential flooding, The Wire

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How community solar supports rural communities and farmers

By David Gahl, Senior Director of State Affairs, Northeast,
Solar Energy Industries Association

There are nearly 2 gigawatts of community solar installed across the United States, supporting our rural communities by generating local revenue and helping states make progress toward their clean energy and climate goals. These projects are authorized in 19 states and the District of Columbia and allow residents, farmers, small businesses, and municipalities to receive credit on their electricity bills for the power produced from their section of a solar array, lowering overall electricity costs. A new paper released by SEIA details the various project models and arrangements farmers make to build or host community solar projects, and offers resources to help landowners and solar firms navigate this growing market. Continue reading here.

Read more news stories saved under the category: Community Scale / Utility Scale Solar 

Conditional Use Permit Approved For Pierce County Solar Farm

By Alex Loroff, News Channel Nebraska

The Pierce County Board of Commissioners is giving the green light to the construction of a large-scale solar farm in the near future. The board approved a conditional use permit on Monday for Boulevard Associates to construct the Goldenrod Solar Farm in Pierce County on the property of Aaron and Ryan Zimmerman. The approval of the permit was a major step in the process of creating the farm, but representatives of NextEra Energy don’t expect the solar farm to be up-and-running until 2021 at the earliest. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Two Pierce County Farmers Are Going Solar

Nebraska Public Power District’s R-Project
NPPD’s R-Project is a 345,000-volt transmission line from NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland to NPPD’s existing substation east of Thedford. The new line will then proceed east and connect to a second substation to be sited in Holt County. The R-Project will increase the reliability of the transmission system, relieve congestion on the existing system, and provide additional opportunities for development of renewable projects if desired at the local level.

Southwest Power Pool’s Role
NPPD is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. The SPP conducted a study, also known as the Integrated Transmission Plan, to assess the needs of the entire transmission network with the SPP region over the next 10 years. The R-Project is one of numerous projects to come out of that study.

Follow R-Project’s Progress Here.

Clay County Supervisors ask planning commission to look at solar regulations

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

The supervisors’ action Tuesday comes as Apex Clean Energy of Charlottesville, Virginia, is proposing the Big Allis Solar Project, a 305-megawatt solar project proposed for southwestern Clay County, which is anticipated to generate enough energy to power as many as 57,000 homes per year. Read more here.

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

Additional Recommended Reading

Solar project planned for southwest Clay County, Hastings Tribune, October 29, 2019
[Apex development manager Dylan Ikkala] pointed out that while 305 megawatts is a large project, it is only a small portion of the capacity through 22 solar projects planned across Nebraska. There are 3.2 gigawatts’ worth of solar projects planned in Nebraska for the next five years.

County board discusses North Bend project, solar farm

By Collin Spilinek, Fremont Tribune

[The Dodge County Board of Supervisors] unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Western Integrated Seed to establish a seven-acre solar farm on their property near Hooper. The farm came from a collaboration between Bluestem Energy Solutions and the Burt County Public Power District to provide energy to the county.

Bluestem is a renewable energy developer based out of Omaha that works with public power districts and municipal utilities across the state to provide them with options for local renewable generation. Matt Robinette, vice president of development, said the farm will provide energy to around 150 homes in Burt County. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Scottsbluff II Solar shares selling fast, NPPD News Release
Shares for the 4.375-megawatt solar farm opened for registration on Jan. 2, 2020. In just under a month, over 90 percent of the Scottsbluff II shares have already been purchased. 

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

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.