Category Archives: Community-Scale / Utility-Scale Solar

Contracts for Hemingford Solar Project Signed

By Kay Bakkehaug, The Ledger, Scottsbluff Star Herald

A total of seven contracts for the Hemingford Solar Project were signed by Village of Hemingford Chairman John Annen last Thursday, October 3. GenPro first reached out to Annen and the Village Board not quite three years ago. Solar power wasn’t necessarily on their radar at the time so the initial email was passed off to Village Clerk Barb Straub. Just over a year ago plans really began taking place when GenPro held a town hall meeting in Hemingford to discuss the benefits of solar energy. Over the past year contracts were worked and reworked to ensure that the Village of Hemingford was getting the best deal and history was made on October 3, 2019 when the solar project plans were signed. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Southern Public Power approves wind farm, while some residents object, NTV
Southern Power leaders say their agreement with Bluestem Energy for four wind turbines south of Aurora goes back five years. The project was agreed to, but development was delayed. Southern officials said this amendment will increase the capacity, at a better rate.“So that will be to the benefit of all our customers. This will be made available to any commercial industrial customers in Hamilton County for those that want a renewable energy,” said CEO Neal Niedfeldt. The customers Niedfeldt has in mind are ethanol plants that can reduce their carbon footprint, and improve their margins.

Wind will speed Holy Cross Energy to 70% renewable goal, Mountain Town News
Customers of Aspen Electric, the city utility, can be excused for yawning. After all, the city was able to hit 100% renewable energy in 2015, one of the first few utilities in the nation able to make that claim. It did so by bulking up on wind power from the Great Plains, specifically the panhandle of Nebraska, but also hydroelectric power from the big dams of the West, a bit of local and regional hydroelectric, plus a tiny amount of landfill gas. The gas is burned to generate electricity.

Here comes the sun: Farmers consider solar leasing

By Sarah Donkin, Farm and Dairy

As farmers consider whether to lease their farmland for solar development, there are some concerns. Many of these leases are long-term, which means taking farmland out of production for a long time. While some developers allow farmers to graze sheep or build pollinator habitats around solar projects, this is not always the case, since different developers will include different terms in their leases. Farmers who want to continue using their land for another agricultural purpose instead of taking it out of commission entirely should be sure to negotiate that in the leases. Hall said some leases can last up to 40 years, taking an entire generation away from the land. Read more here.

Farmland Owner’s Guide to Solar Leasing, National Agricultural Law Research Publication

Hastings’ future is bright

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

The sun was shining on the city of Hastings Thursday afternoon for a ribbon cutting at the new community solar project. Hastings Utilities Manager Kevin Johnson joked about the fact the original plan was to hold the ribbon cutting with the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, which turned out to be cold and rainy, and HU employees wanted to take credit for Thursday’s favorable weather. The project’s 6,012 panels hummed softly as they converted sunlight. Continue reading here.

Hastings Community Solar Farm, City of Hastings

Local Events Part of National Solar Tour – The Largest Annual Grassroots Renewable Energy Event in the U.S.

This annual nationwide tour provides numerous opportunities for you to visit with Nebraskans who have invested in solar energy and with Hastings Utilities representatives at the city’s new solar farm, to gain information about how solar works, its benefits, and what local resources are available.

These open houses and tours are free, and people of all ages are invited to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you. Click links to learn more about each one and to RSVP:

Council OKs solar project that would be state’s largest

By Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

The Lincoln City Council on Monday paved the way for a solar farm east of Lincoln that would be the largest in the state. Council members voted 6-0 to grant a special permit to Ranger Power, a New York-based company that wants to build a 230-megawatt solar farm on roughly 1,100 acres in an area bounded by 128th Street, 148th Street and O Street and Havelock Avenue. Ranger Power officials said they chose the area east of Lincoln because it is close to the state’s two largest cities and also because it has existing infrastructure — in the form of a nearby transformer owned by Lincoln Electric System. Read more here.

Image: A rendering shows a series of solar panels planned as part of a project east of Lincoln.

National Solar Tour Event – Hastings Utilities Hosting Open House at Recently-Completed Community Solar Farm

This event is part of the National Solar Tour, the largest annual
grassroots renewable energy event in the nation.


RSVP HERE.

Hastings Utilities is hosting a tour and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 3 pm – 6 pm at the recently-completed Community Solar Farm. The project was installed by GenPro Energy Solutions. See solar panels up close, ask questions about how solar works, learn why people in a growing number of our communities are making the choice to go solar, and connect with others who support solar energy. This event is free and open to the public. More information is available about Hastings’ Community Solar Farm here.

MORE NEBRASKA EVENTS

The following solar open house and tours are also free and  open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you.

  • Bennington, Nebraska Solar Open House: October 5, 2019, 11 am to 6 pm
    20210 High Country Circle, Bennington, Nebraska 68007. “Our solar system was installed by Great Plains Renewables in 2018.” RSVP HERE.
  • Omaha, Nebraska Solar Tour: October 5, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.
  • Bellevue/Sarpy County Solar Tour: October 6, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HEREOmaha and Bellevue/Sarpy County Solar Tours’ Sponsors: Green Bellevue, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraskans for Solar

Solar power farms gain momentum in Fremont

By Roger Hamer, WOWT

More than 300 households and counting have made the switch to the solar power system in Fremont, Nebraska. Two years ago, Tom Christensen of Christensen Lumber was among the first to sign up for the city’s solar panel system. “It stirred my interest so it seemed like a real progressive thing for the city to do,” said Christensen. Since the summer of 2017, hundreds have joined the movement and Lottie Mitchell, the City of Fremont Executive Assistant of Communications and Grants was not expecting such a large turnout.

Read more or watch the video here.

More News Stories & Photos: Community-Scale / Utility-Scale Solar

Proposed solar farm in Lancaster County could potentially power 30,000 homes

By Alden German, KLKN TV

Lancaster County may soon have a new solar farm. The plan, still in its early stages, would build an 1100 acre solar farm just northeast of Lincoln in an area from north 134th to 148th Streets, from Holdredge to Adams Streets. Why Lincoln? “In the first place we believe there is a marketplace for solar power that we are intending to produce with this project. There is existing infrastructure in place that we believe can handle the size of the project we want to build, which eliminates the need to build costly transmission lines,” Colin Snow of Ranger Power said.
Continue reading here.

Solar farm proposal great for Lancaster County

Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board

As demand for renewable energy increases and the cost of generating it decreases, the playing field in Nebraska is evolving. Omaha Public Power District shut down its nuclear plant, the nation’s smallest, near Fort Calhoun in October 2016, citing its operating costs. Just a few months later, LES formally ended its agreement to purchase 30% of the power generated by a coal-fired Nebraska Public Power District plant near Hallam. Meanwhile, more companies than ever pledge to use 100% of their power from renewable sources, as Facebook has done with wind energy at its new Papillion data center, and energy providers increasingly diversify for more environmentally friendly offerings. Continue reading here.

Image: A rendering shows a series of solar panels planned as part of a proposed 230-megawatt solar farm east of Lincoln.

Previously Posted

Solar energy, storage project planned for Burt County

Special to the Norfolk Daily News

TEKAMAH — Burt County Public Power District’s board and management are moving forward with a storage-plus-solar project, which is to be built within Burt County’s service territory. The distribution-connected generation project will be a combination of solar energy and a battery storage system. The 6 megawatt hour storage system will enable the interconnected renewable energy generation facility to become a dispatchable resource. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association