Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

Nebraska Energy Quarterly: March 2020 Edition Now Available

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

Inside the March 2020 Edition:

NDEE Releases Energy Annual Report
The 2019 Energy Annual Report is now available on the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s website.
 
EV Charging Station Rebates Awarded
The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) has awarded rebates totaling over $1.8 million for new Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations that will be installed over the next two years.

How Many Homes can be Powered by Solar Energy?
As new solar facilities are being developed in Nebraska, NDEE has been asked to translate the scale of these projects into a more tangible way of understanding them.
 
MEAN Sets Carbon Neutral Goal
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) Board of Directors approved a resolution laying out a vision to a carbon neutral power resource portfolio by 2050 at its board meeting on Jan. 23 in Kearney.

EIA Website Shows State Rankings
Did you know the Energy Information Administration (EIA) maintains an overview of states’ energy profiles?

Rebates Fund Engine Replacements
NDEE awarded more than $950,000 through its 2019 Clean Diesel Rebate Program.

The Marshmallow Challenge
Their mission is to build a tower as tall as they can.
 
Smart Home Lighting
It seems like every device is getting smarter these days. Since smart home lighting is so new, many of us could use a little introduction.

Download the March Edition here.

Arizona commission signals support for 100% clean energy by 2050

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

Arizona could join 16 other states and territories that have targets of 100% clean or renewable electricity by 2050 or sooner. Thirty-two groups in Arizona have called for 50% renewables by 2030Read more here.

GRID INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS

Smooth sailing so far for planned Iowa-Illinois underground power line, by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

A high-voltage underground transmission line proposed to cross Iowa and Illinois is moving ahead without the landowner opposition that has dogged overhead transmission lines in the region. The SOO Green HVDC Link, which would span 349 miles from Mason City, Iowa, to a connection with the PJM grid at Yorkville, Illinois, has encountered no major objections at the four public meetings that have been held in Iowa and Illinois, according to project spokeswoman Sarah Lukan.

TRI-STATE 

Colorado expedites Tri-State member exit charge case, as power supplier gets ‘split decision’ on FERC jurisdiction, Utility Dive

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on March 20 accepted tariffs filed by Tri-State Generation and Transmission, meaning the agency will now have authority over wholesale rates for the cooperative’s member distribution utilities in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. In a separate order, FERC determined it does not have exclusive jurisdiction over member exit charges, allowing complaints by La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) and United Power pending before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (COPUC) to move forward. 

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING

Corporate renewable energy in the age of COVID-19, by Sarah Golden, Senior Energy Analyst & VERGE Energy Chair, GreenBiz Group 

“Large energy buyers signed onto 9.33 gigawatts of renewable energy deals in 2019 and they want those projects to come to fruition,” REBA’s CEO, Miranda Ballentine, wrote in an email. “We do expect for company interests and commitments to clean energy to remain strong given they are tied to broader corporate energy goals and emissions reductions targets.”

NET METERING

Which states offer net metering?, by Kelly Pickerel, Editor In Chief, Solar Power World

Congratulations. If you live/work in one of these 34 states, D.C., or four territories, you are able to take advantage of net metering credits in some form. View the database on DSIRE for more details about your specific region.

Net Metering – Nebraska
System Capacity Limit: 25 kW

Net Metering – Iowa
System Capacity Limit: 1 MW

ADDITIONAL PV MAGAZINE POSTS

ZEV PROGRAM 

Statement: Victory! Washington adopts Zero Emission Vehicle program, Environment America
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee today signed the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program into law. The move takes aim at reducing ozone pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and makes Washington the 12th state to adopt the ZEV program. With this new law, Washington joins the entire West Coast as part of this critical program to get more electric cars on the road. Under ZEV, the Evergreen State will deploy hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles over the next decade. 

PROJECT DRAWDOWN UPDATE

Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion, Yale Climate Connections. A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs.

FEATURED WEBINAR LIBRARY

Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) on-demand webinars: Many of them are free.

FEATURED BOOK

Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food, and a Green New Deal, Chelsea Green Publishing

Grassroots Rising offers a blueprint for building a grassroots Regeneration Movement based on consumer activism, farmer innovation, political change, and regenerative finance—embodied most recently by the proposed Green New Deal in the US.

Using regenerative agriculture practices that restore our agricultural and grazing lands, we can sequester massive amounts of carbon in the soil. Coupled with an aggressive transition toward renewables, Cummins argues that we have the power to not only mitigate and slow down climate change, but actually reverse global warming.

Lincoln Journal Star Letter: Commit to clean energy

Written by Alison Krohn

The City of Lincoln and Lincoln Electric System have taken steps towards a sustainable future through multiple efforts. The Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (2017-2018) calls for a 25% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 while increasing the use of renewable energy 50%.

LES offers several incentives for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvements. The utility obtains approximately 40% of its distributed power from renewable sources. But are these goals and incentives enough? Continue reading here.

Photo: Telesis Inc’s solar array on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED RESOURCE: LOW-INCOME SOLAR POLICY GUIDE

Best Practices for Utility Ownership
In considering the roles utilities can and should play in making solar available for low-income households and underserved communities, Principles and Recommendations for Utility Participation in Solar Programs for Low-Income Customers from the Environmental Law & Policy Center, GRID Alternatives, and Vote Solar outlines three interrelated sets of guidelines and considerations for policy makers and regulators to review.

NEBRASKA GRID INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS

USDA Invests $8.2 Million For KBR Rural Public Power District, USDA News Release
The power district serves 4,847 customers over 2,604 miles of line in five counties in north central Nebraska.

APPA ANNUAL REPORT

Wind, solar, natural gas dominate capacity in development, American Public Power Association
Wind, solar, and natural gas are the three dominant sources in the development pipeline for electricity generation in the US, according to a report from the American Public Power Association. America’s Electricity Generating Capacity, 2020 Update is the Association’s 14th annual look at the country’s current and future capacity. Wind, natural gas, and solar projects account for 94% of all capacity under construction, which is consistent with additions over the past five years, of which 97% came from these three resources.

ENERGY STORAGE

US Storage Industry Achieved Biggest-Ever Quarter and Year in 2019, Greentech Media
“Storage is being deployed all across the country now, at megawatt-scale, in more than half of U.S. states,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association. Eight states now contain utility-scale storage facilities adding up to more than 50 megawatts. Another 11 states operate more than 10 megawatts each. Only 15 states have yet to adopt any advanced storage in front of the meter, according to WoodMac’s data. Overall, U.S. storage installations are expected to nearly triple in 2020 and more than double in 2021. Residential numbers, in particular, will triple this year compared to last year.

NEW 500-WATT SOLAR PANELS

How the new generation of 500 watt panels will shape the solar industry, PV Magazine
There are two solar module manufacturers, Risen Energy and Trina Solar, that have unveiled first-of-their kind 500W, 50-cell, PV modules. “For applications where you have a lot of area, particularly commercial and especially utility-scale, it’s really significant,” CEO of Cinnamon Energy Systems Barry Cinnamon told pv magazine. “You could just use fewer modules, it reduces handling costs and overall balance-of-system costs go down.” If there are less modules needed to reach the capacity specifications of a project, that means overall project costs will go down as these modules become economically viable. A significant area that will see cost reduction will come from the racking and trackers.

NREL’S FREE DATABASE

WattBuy to automate and expand NREL’s utility rate database, PV Magazine
With this new, free database, WattBuy can help residential homeowners more accurately calculate the return on investment (ROI) on a solar and/or solar-plus-storage system and make a more informed decision, Hood said. For solar financiers and energy efficiency companies, the new data will be useful for targeting new markets and for tracking projects’ ROI, he added.

EV NEWS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Project developers can secure cash from new IRENA funding pot, PV Magazine
The Climate Investment Platform launched by three multilateral bodies in September is now open for business and renewables companies in developing nations could qualify for help with clean energy facilities, renewables-related grid improvements and energy efficiency schemes.

15 books about women leading the way on climate change

By Michael Svoboda, Yale Climate Connections

To observe Women’s History Month, Yale Climate Connections has again chosen to present a selection of new and recent titles on how women’s lives will be affected by climate change and on how women are changing the politics and prospects for action. Read more here.

 ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

DOE NEWS RELEASE

Energy Department Announces $20 Million Investment in Workforce Development in Emerging Fields.

EV NEWS

 CIRCULAR BATTERY

The case for designing a circular battery, by Jesse Gerstin, GreenBiz
Jesse Gerstin is director of Sustainable Business at SimpliPhi Power, providing energy storage solutions and access to energy for underserved communities globally.  

Commentary: With battery technology ready, regulatory framework must catch up

By Rafael Esteban, CEO of Acciona’s energy division in the
United States and Canada, Energy News Network

The energy sector sits on the cusp of a truly transformative change: Utility-scale ready battery storage technology has arrived. As is with the case with many disruptive technologies, before reaping the benefits of energy storage — which are many — we need modernization of the regulatory framework. This work is well underway. In 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order 841, requiring regional energy agencies to adopt rules for energy storage.

According to the order, rules must allow energy storage to participate in the wholesale, retail and capacity markets. Then came FERC order 845, which asked for interconnection standards and clarity on how storage would participate in capacity markets. Across the nation, regional transmission organizations and independent system operators are developing plans to come into compliance with this order. Interestingly, the pitched battles at FERC around policies for fossil fuels and renewable energy have been absent from discussions about storage. Read more here.

Previously Posted 

  • ACCIONA acquires 3,000 MW in photovoltaic projects being developed in the USA, Acciona News Release, October 21, 2019. ACCIONA today announced the signature of an agreement with the [Nebraska-based] company Tenaska to acquire a portfolio of photovoltaic projects in seven states across the country.
  • ACCIONA buys solar + storage on a national scale, PV Magazine
    The Spanish company has purchased 3 GW of solar projects and 1 GW of solar + storage from developer Tenaska, with all of the projects concentrated in non-traditional solar markets.
  • The Midwest’s solar future will be unlike anything seen before, PV Magazine
    Fitch Solutions Marco Research has boldly predicted the region will be a main driver towards the 100 GW of solar power capacity expected to hit the U.S. over the next 10 years. The procurement will be led by city and utility commitments to renewable energy, the falling costs of solar and the continued expansion of popular community solar programs.

Acciona & Tenaska Job Opportunities

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREEN CAMPUSES

These Pa. colleges are going all in on renewable energy — with a little help from a Texas solar farm, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Four Pennsylvania schools have teamed up to support a Texas solar farm that will supply them with “virtual” renewable energy, joining a trend among institutions of higher education to address climate change. Lehigh University, Lafayette College, Muhlenberg College and Dickinson College announced the partnership Monday to collectively purchase solar power. They signed a virtual power-purchase agreement to support production from a 45.9-megawatt share of a new 200-acre solar farm that will be built at an undisclosed location [in] Texas. The schools announced the agreement at Second Nature’s 2020 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit in Atlanta.

NEW INITIATIVE ADDRESSES CLIMATE CHANGE

Inside Bill Weihl’s quest to give employees and job seekers a ‘ClimateVoice’, by Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

ClimateVoice, launched this weekend at the ClimateCAP conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, is the brainchild of Bill Weihl, who led Facebook’s sustainability team until leaving the company in 2018. Prior to that, he served as Google’s “energy czar” during the early days of that company’s ambitious clean-energy push. Weihl’s new initiative is aimed at activating college students and rank-and-file employees to persuade their current or would-be employers to take a public stand on federal, state and local initiatives that address the climate crisis.

NEW ENVIRONMENT AMERICA REPORT

New report provides roadmap to achieve carbon-free transportation, Environment America News Release

A new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group describes how we can build a zero-carbon transportation future – all while cleaning our air and creating safer, healthier communities. Entitled Destination: Zero Carbon: Three strategies to transform transportation in America, the report looks at the factors underlying high transportation emissions, and proposes new policy solutions. Americans drive more than 10,000 miles a year on average, often in inefficient gas-burning vehicles. Poor public transit and unsafe conditions for walking or biking leave many Americans with few good low-carbon transportation options.

EV NEWS

Inside Clean Energy: Tesla Gets Ever So Close to 400 Miles of Range, Inside Climate News
The increased range is a step toward bringing EVs—and their contribution to combating climate change—into the mainstream.

Call for Nebraska climate change plan advances to full legislative debate

By Chris Dunker, Lincoln Journal Star

The Legislature’s Executive Board on Tuesday advanced a bill calling on the University of Nebraska to develop a plan to mitigate the effects of climate change in the state. Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks’ proposal (LB283) lay dormant for more than a year — it was the focus of a Feb. 11, 2019, hearing — before the Executive Board advanced an amended version for debate by the full body. Under the amended version, the university would be given $250,000 in cash funds paid by petroleum companies to “develop an evidence-based, data-driven, strategic action plan” establishing a baseline measurement of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Continue reading here.

LB283: Provide for a climate change study

More Nebraska News

Previously Posted

Nissan LEAF rebate extended through March 31

LES News Release

The American Public Power Association and Nissan are extending their popular 2019 Nissan LEAF rebate for the second time. From now through March 31, 2020, Lincoln Electric System customers are eligible for a $3,500 rebate toward the all-electric 2019 LEAF standard edition and $2,500 toward the ePlus edition. In addition to the public power rebate, customers also can get up to $7,500 in federal electric vehicle tax credits. That’s a possible $11,000 off the price of a new 2019 Nissan LEAF.

“This collaboration between Nissan and the American Public Power Association is incredibly valuable for LES customers. Another rebate extension only demonstrates the popularity of this promotion,” said Marc Shkolnick, manager of Energy Services at LES. “LES is proud to be a customer-owned, public power utility that is able to offer savings like this for our customers in the community.” Continue reading here.

Nissan Rebate Flyer

EV grant will expand charger access

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

The award for the OPPD projects was nearly $600,000, which is about one-third of the total funds awarded in Nebraska. The grants are based on matching funds. The proposed sites are in North Bend, Blair, Syracuse, Omaha and La Vista. OPPD worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, the Sierra Club and the City of Omaha among others to secure the grants. Those partnerships, along with the proposed locations spread throughout the service territory, were key to securing the grants, said Karisa Vlasek, coordinator of Grants & Stakeholder Outreach at OPPD. Several local city governments and businesses also partnered with OPPD. The Electric Vehicle Charging Rebate program comes out of the Volkswagen settlement fund. Nebraska received $12.25 million in the settlement, administered by the Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy. Read more here.

A list of the electric vehicle charging projects receiving funding through this program is available here: Electric Vehicle Charging Rebate Recipients.

Also Published by The Wire

OPPD debuts new public EV charger, by Laura King-Homan
This week, OPPD debuted a new public charger for electric vehicles (EVs) just outside the utility’s headquarters. A grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) in coordination with the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) paid for a portion of the charger. OPPD paid the remaining costs. 

NATIONAL INITIATIVE

ChargePoint and NATSO Launch Collaborative to Significantly Expand  EV Charging  Along Nation’s Highways and in Rural Communities, News Release 

ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, and NATSO, which represents America’s travel plazas and truckstops, announced a landmark partnership to create a National Highway Charging Collaborative to extend EV charging to every corner of the nation. Over the next decade, the Collaborative will leverage $1 billion in capital to deploy charging at more than 4,000 travel plazas and fuel stops that serve highway travelers and rural communities.

Tri-State will replace coal plants with a gigawatt of new wind and solar

By Joe Smyth, Clean Cooperative

“We’ve seen the cost of renewables plummet. From the first renewable project we signed 10 years ago, we’re seeing like an 85% reduction in the cost of solar energy. And because the wind and solar energy now comes in prices lower than the cost of generating with any fossil fuel, coal or gas, it provides us with an opportunity, if you want to call it a “green energy dividend,” that those savings in energy costs can be used to help us accelerate the retirement of coal and pay for that accelerated retirement, without negative rate impacts.” – Tri-State CEO Duane Highley

Read more here. 

Tri-State Association members are located in four states: Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Nebraska.

Previously Posted: Tri-State CEO says wholesaler’s clean energy transition will pay dividends, Energy News Network

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

CLEAN ENERGY CAREERS

What’s It Like to Be a Solar Salesperson at a Residential Installer?, Greentech Media
Clean Energy Careers: In a new Greentech Media series, we’re asking people with cleantech jobs to tell us what they really do all day.

SUNNOVA’S NEW SERVICES BUNDLING MODEL

Sunnova to bundle roof replacements along with home solar + storage financing, Solar Builder Magazine. “Launching this product provides another way for our dealers to offer a holistic energy experience for our customers,” said John Santo Salvo, Executive Vice President, Channel Operations and Chief Procurement Officer at Sunnova. “This is another link in our value chain that enables our dealers to source solar, storage, service and now roofing from a single, national service provider.”

EV NEWS

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Solar Industry Response to Solar Tariff Midterm Review Report
“On behalf of more than 10,000 U.S. solar companies and 242,000 American solar workers, we are asking President Trump to give American solar companies the certainty to move forward on billions of dollars in new investment. “Let’s work together on solutions that advance American-made products and that build a stronger clean energy economy for all Americans. An added tariff burden, most certainly is not the answer.” – Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association

GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION QUOTATION OF THE WEEK 

 “The energy transition will have an impact on every single oil and gas player.”
– Valentina Kretzschmar, director of corporate research at Wood Mackenzie
The quotation is from the PV Magazine article: Oil and gas giants Shell and Total get serious about solar

SMUD unveils unique Energy StorageShares program

By Ethan Howland, American Public Power Association

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, a California public power utility, has developed a unique program that allows the public power utility to partner with customers to install battery systems where they are most needed on the grid. The program, unveiled in January, aims to align the benefit commercial customers would see by installing on-site storage with the locational needs of the grid, according to James Frasher, a member of SMUD’s distributed energy storage group.

Instead of installing behind-the-meter storage that would lower a customer’s demand charge, but not particularly benefit SMUD’s distribution system, the customer can buy a “share” of a battery system installed in a location with a distribution feeder system that is maxed out and is in line to be upgraded, Frasher said. Continue reading here.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District Website

Additional Recommended Reading