Category Archives: Energy Conservation

RE100 experiences biggest year ever

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine

RE100, the coalition of the world’s largest companies committed to becoming 100% renewably powered experienced a banner year in 2019, growing by over a third, with 40% of that growth coming from Asia and the South Pacific. Now, with over 200 members, the cumulative electricity demand of RE100 participants, if taken as one country, would be 21st in the world, at 228 TWh/year. Read more here.

RE100.Org

NEW SURVEY

Almost every American supports the extension of clean energy tax incentives, Smart Energy International. The study was conducted by Global Strategy Group and has found that:

  • Americans overwhelmingly support extending tax incentives for clean energy and would change their vote based on the issue. 89% of voters support the extension.
  • 95% of Democrats, 86% of Independents and 83% of Republicans support the government’s extension of clean energy tax incentives.

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS & REPORT

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

Clean B.C. is quietly using coal and gas power from out of province. Here’s why, The Narwhal
Behind the sheen of its CleanBC program, the province holds back hydro power to instead import cheap electricity from 12 states including Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska and Montana which generate 55 to 90 per cent of their power from coal.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

Whiplash: Bifacial Solar Modules to Retain US Tariff Exemption, Greentech Media
In a win for project developers, a court blocked the Trump administration from withdrawing a tariff exemption for imported bifacial solar modules.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

GTM POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

Big Oil on Trial: Where the Climate Lawsuits Currently Stand, Greentech Media
In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to UCLA law professor Ann Carlson and journalist Emily Atkin about litigation that could cost fossil fuel companies billions.

FEATURED CLIMATE INITIATIVE

The U.S. Climate Alliance represents 55 percent of the U.S. population and an $11.7 trillion economy – an economy larger than all countries but the United States and China. The climate and clean energy policies in Alliance states have attracted billions of dollars of new investment and helped create more than 1.7 million clean energy jobs, over half the U.S. total. The Alliance is demonstrating that climate leadership and economic growth go hand-in-hand.

NATURAL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

SOLAR SCHOOLS & POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

A 2.9-Megawatt Solar Project For 10 Schools & 24% Of Richmond Public Schools’ Electricity Needs, CleanTechnica

Standard Solar, Inc. is now supporting Richmond Public Schools with a 2.9-megawatt solar project that should be completed this year. “Energy management with education and local engagement is a powerful combination and with less funding being allocated to schools year over year, public school administrators must find innovative means to deliver programs,” explained John Finnerty, director of business development for Standard Solar. “With our smart project financing, solar expertise and local engagement, we can provide the funding to make implementing a solar energy program without capital expenditure possible, all while equipping schools for a brighter future.”

How heat pumps can cut carbon pollution from buildings

Contributed by Sarah Kennedy, ChavoBart Digital Media.
Posted on Yale Climate Connections

“These new cold climate air source heat pumps are functional down to -10, -15 degrees,” [Chris Carrick with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board] says. And they run on electricity, so they generate heat without burning oil, natural gas or other fuels on site. According to a report by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, switching to heat pumps could dramatically reduce the carbon pollution caused by home heating. They have the most impact in places with renewable electricity. Read more here.

More Yale Climate Connections Posts / Audio 

Nebraska Information Sources on the Above Topics 

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

OPPD, Papillion Rose To Top Of Google’s Search

OPPD News Release

Omaha Public Power District officially welcomes Google to its service territory. Today, the tech giant announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Papillion, Neb. “OPPD and its partners are experienced with large-scale, innovative and strategic solutions for major corporations,” said Tim Burke, OPPD President and Chief Executive Officer. “The pro-business climate here has made our service territory a choice destination.” Community partnerships have been crucial to efforts to attract new business and industry. Continue reading here.

The Wire 

Google unveils newest data center in Sarpy County corridor, by Jason Kuiper
Internet giant Google announced plans to build a new data center just outside of Papillion. Google made the announcement Friday at the project site, which is already under construction and located opposite of the Facebook data center near Nebraska Highway 50. Google valued their partnership with OPPD as one of the key reasons they chose to invest $600 million in the area.

“We’re thrilled to call Papillion and the Greater Omaha area one of our hometowns,” said Dan Harbeke, Google’s Regional Head of External Affairs. “At Google, our investment isn’t limited to our facilities: we are committed to being good neighbors and creating opportunities for the communities that we call home.”

What is Rate 261M?, OPPD Resource

Energy Efficiency
OPPD has launched a new energy efficiency section on their website.

Pilot eases costs for income-qualified customers

By Jodi Baker, The Wire

Financial difficulties come in many forms for many people. They could be the result of a long-term illness, an unexpected car repair, low wages, unemployment or other issues. OPPD is working to reach and help customers struggling with these issues through the Income-Qualified Energy Efficiency Program Pilot. It’s open to households with an income of up to double the federal poverty level.

Customers taking part in the pilot would receive an energy efficiency kit from OPPD, as well as a home energy audit. If the audit shows a need for improvements, OPPD will provide up to $1,000 in upgrades. For more information on this or other OPPD programs, email OPPD’s Customer Care team at customerservice@oppd.com, or call them at (402) 536-4131. Read more here.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Flickr File

Minnesota wind-solar hybrid project could be new frontier for renewable energy

By Mike Hughlett, Minnesota Star Tribune

PELICAN RAPIDS, MINN. – The wind turbine and small solar array planted in a cornfield near this northwestern Minnesota town look modest. But the hybrid power plant could be a new frontier for renewable energy. By capturing both sun and wind power, it can provide a more stable supply of electricity than either energy source can provide alone. And given its small size, it is relatively easy to hook into the electricity grid. “It delivers low-cost clean energy right to where the power is being consumed, and it leads to the retention of energy dollars in the community,” said Dan Juhl, the Minnesota renewable-energy pioneer whose company developed the project. Renewable-energy analysts said it makes a lot of sense. Read more here.

Photo by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota: Dan Juhl

Additional Recommended Reading 

Corporate News

  • Jeff Bezos unveils sweeping plan to tackle climate change, CNBC
    Bezos says Amazon is committed to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. As part of the plan, Amazon has agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from vehicle manufacturer Rivian. Bezos expects 80% of Amazon’s energy use to come from renewable sources by 2024, before transitioning to zero emissions by 2030. The company also announced a $100 million donation to The Nature Conservancy to form the Right Now Climate Fund, which will work to restore and protect forests, wetlands and peatlands around the world, with the goal of removing carbon from the atmosphere.
  • Google’s jaw-dropping renewable procurement proclamation, GreenBiz
    Google just declared a new record in corporate renewables by announcing the largest procurement deal ever. The tech giant Thursday revealed it would purchase a 1.6-gigawatt package of agreements, including 18 new wind and solar deals across the globe.

Solar-Powered Crop-Drying Technology

Purdue Startup Awarded $150K, Inside Indiana Business. A Purdue University-affiliated startup has received federal and state grants worth $150,000. JUA Technologies International says it will use the funding to further develop its solar-powered crop-drying devices. The company was founded by husband-wife duo Klein Ileleji, a professor in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue and Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna.

New ACEEE Report

Halfway There: Energy Efficiency Can Cut Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half by 2050. Energy efficiency can slash US energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% by 2050, getting us halfway to our national climate goals. We can achieve almost all these savings, worth more than $700 billion in 2050, by dramatically scaling up government policies and programs. This report examines 11 packages of efficiency opportunities in every economic sector and the policies that could unlock each of them. We find the greatest savings from efficient and electric vehicles, industrial efficiency and decarbonization, transportation system efficiency, upgrades to existing buildings and homes, zero energy new buildings and homes, and appliance and equipment efficiency. (Fact sheet here.)

Featured Initiative

The U.S. Climate Alliance represents 40 percent of the U.S. population and a $9 trillion economy, greater than the third largest country in the world, and U.S. Climate Alliance states are on track to meet their share of the Paris Agreement emissions target by 2025.

How to save on your energy bill during this week’s heat wave

By Roseann Moring, Omaha World-Herald

Want to beat the heat without breaking your budget? The Omaha Public Power District’s energy consultant, Eric BenSalah, and media relations specialist, Jodi Baker, offered these tips for efficient cooling of your home during this week’s predicted heat wave.

Continue reading here.

Additional Resources

Voices of 100% Podcast: Small Iowa Town Pushes for Energy Independence

By John Farrell, Energy Democracy Initiative Director,
Institute For Local Self-Reliance

How does a small city in southeastern Iowa plan to achieve energy independence and join the more than 100 cities across the country that are working toward ambitious goals to generate their electricity from renewable resources?

For this episode of our Voices of 100% series of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell spoke with Chris Ball, Community Development Director for the town of Bloomfield, Iowa. Bloomfield is a small town in southeastern Iowa with a population of about 2,600 people, aging homes, and its own municipal electric and gas utilities. At the urging of the town’s residents, Bloomfield is now pursuing ways to expand energy independence and reduce their reliance on imported energy by investing in solar, energy efficiency, and more. Listen to the full episode to learn how the town is taking action to support local, clean energy.

ADDITIONAL NEWS & RESOURCES

Environment America: Voices for 100% Renewable Energy

States of repair: governors, state legislatures find climate solutions, Environment America News Release. Six months ago, as new governors and state legislators took office, Environment America Research & Policy Center released a report, Climate Solutions from Day One: 12 Ways Governors Can Lead on Climate Now, detailing a set of 12 actions governors could take immediately to significantly reduce planet-warming carbon pollution and ensure a more stable climate for their states and the nation. In the intervening months, Republican and Democratic governors from coast to coast have listened to their constituents’ bipartisan concerns about climate change and have taken action. At last count, 14 states took at least one of the actions laid out in the report. Colorado (8), Maine (6) and New Mexico (5) took action in the most categories.

RE100 Update: 185 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why. A growing number of them are encouraging their suppliers to make the commitment to 100% renewable energy.

Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Update: 130 cities have made the commitment to 100% clean and renewable energy for all.

FEATURED ENERGY CONSERVATION RESOURCE

Energy Savings At Home: Energy Star

EV NEWS

Video: How you can earn money with OPPD’s Cool Smart program

By Laura King-Homan, The Wire, OPPD Blog


Cool Smart
, an OPPD Power Forward program, is a demand-side management program that helps OPPD work toward its goal of shedding 300 megawatts (MW) of peak demand by 2023. To date, approximately 43,000 customers are enrolled in the program, and they’re getting paid to do so – $50 during the first year. Their participation is reducing OPPD’s peak energy usage by 62 MW. Learn more here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Nebraska to Become the Midwest’s Leader in Building Efficiency

By Tara Lukasik, Building Safety Journal. Republished in the Nebraska
Energy Office’s June 2019 Newsletter, Nebraska Energy Quarterly

The state of Nebraska is ready to update the state’s energy codes for residential and commercial buildings — from the 2009 to the 2018 edition — which will make the state a regional leader on building efficiency. Nebraska lawmakers presented LB 405 to Governor Pete Ricketts on May 2, 2019, which he signed into law (effective Sept. 7, 2019).

Shortly before, Governor Ricketts signed LB 348 into law (also effective Sept. 7, 2019) which updates the International Building Code, International Residential Code and International Existing Building Code from the 2012 to the 2018 edition. Read the entire article here.

Additional articles and resources in the electronic newsletter are posted here.

Click here to subscribe to the Nebraska Energy Quarterly.

OPPD Customers Embracing Programs, Pilots To Help Manage Their Energy Usage

OPPD News Release

Omaha Public Power District is leading the way the future is powered. The district has a number of customer program offerings to support that vision and provided an update to the OPPD Board of Directors at their monthly meeting.

Community Solar Program

OPPD launched its first community solar program this spring with an agreement to purchase all 5 megawatts (MW) of energy from an array that’s under construction in the City of Fort Calhoun. The facility will be owned and operated by NextEra Energy. Construction was delayed due to the recent floods, but it is expected to be completed and generating electricity by mid-August at the latest.

Continue reading here to learn more about this and the following three additional OPPD customer program offerings:

Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Pilot
Income-Qualified Energy Efficiency Pilot
LED streetlight conversion

Previously Posted
Local artist paints Nebraska’s story into mural at Facebook’s data center in Papillion, Omaha World-Herald. When employees of the Facebook data center in Papillion go to work each day, they’ll be greeted by a colorful 76-foot mural made by a Nebraskan, for Nebraskans. Created by Omaha native Justin Queal, the mural incorporates themes and images familiar to locals. Facebook officials say the mural, located in an administrative building at the 144-acre site on the northwest corner of Highway 50 and Capehart Road, helps connect Papillion’s roots with those of one of the biggest tech companies in the world. The first Facebook data center in Papillion is expected to go online in 2020. An expansion to the project is meant to launch in 2023.