Category Archives: Incentives

Opinion: Clean energy development can help our economy back onto its feet

By John Karakoulakis, The Colorado Sun

COVID-19 has knocked Colorado’s thriving economy off track. The path to getting our economy back on a strong footing won’t be easy, but clean energy development has been a boon for our state, and the industry will be vital in spurring economic growth. In the near-term, Congress will undoubtedly return focus to economic stimulus legislation. Any viable stimulus plan must include energy investment. Thankfully, two bills aimed at this goal already existAmerica’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) and the American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA) are two commonsense solutions to aid our damaged economy.
Continue reading here.

John Karakoulakis is Director of The Western Way, a nonprofit organization focused on conservative solutions to western U.S. conservation issues. Referenced in his article:
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Poll: GOP Voters Overwhelmingly Support Clean Energy to Jumpstart Economy, Create Global Competitive Advantage

NEW TRANSMISSION STUDY

Previously Posted

UTILITIES’ ZERO-CARBON EMISSIONS COMMITMENTS

The 5 Biggest US Utilities Committing to Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, Greentech Media
Utility net-zero carbon pledges are piling up, even if the companies are a long way from kicking their fossil fuel habits.

Check out more utilities’ carbon reduction commitments using this interactive map:
SEPA’S Utility Carbon Reduction Tracker
Omaha Public Power District’s Emission Reduction Goal: Net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

OPPD’S Decarbonization Study: Pathways to Decarbonization, OPPD Community Connect
What is decarbonization? Simply, it’s the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, commonly referred to as our carbon footprint. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere, human activities over the last century have significantly increased levels of greenhouse gases. These include burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, and removing trees (deforestation) to enable other land uses, such as clearing rainforests for agricultural purposes.

SMUD’S NEW COMMITMENT

SMUD aims for carbon neutrality by 2030 in new climate emergency declaration, Utility Dive
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Board President Rob Kerth said in a statement the move reflects a broader cultural transition among the country’s utilities.

YALE CLIMATE OPINION MAPS 2020

Estimated % of adults who think global warming is happening (72%), 2020, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. These maps show how Americans’ climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and policy support vary at the state, congressional district, metro area, and county levels.

MORE ABOUT WALMART’S NEW PROJECT GIGATON INITIATIVE

Walmart, Schneider Electric team up to help suppliers transition to renewable energy, Supply Chain Dive. Walmart is partnering with Schneider Electric to make renewable energy more accessible to suppliers. The initiative with Schneider Electric’s Energy & Sustainability Services, titled Gigaton PPA (power purchase agreements), seeks to educate suppliers on their renewable energy options and help them through conversion — a process Walmart’s Senior Director of Sustainability Zach Freeze said can be daunting for any supplier — especially small ones. Gigaton PPA aims to bridge the knowledge gap and pool like-minded, co-located suppliers to combine purchasing power.

GREEN CAMPUSES

Duke University buys 101 MW of solar from Duke Energy, PV Magazine
Three projects across North Carolina are being developed to fulfill a new agreement between Duke Energy and Duke University, under the utility’s Green Source Advantage program. The university is the first academic institution to come to terms on a renewable power contract under the program.

TESLA BATTERY DAY

Tesla battery day bingo, PV Magazine
Tesla battery day is next week. Earlier this year, Musk told analysts that what he had to say “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” Here’s a list of battery hyperbole and terms you’re bound to hear at the event.

ENERGY STORAGE INCENTIVES

Battery energy storage systems integrated in solar facilities to receive tax incentives, PV Magazine
Tax incentives spurring deployment of energy storage are limited in their application, as they require the system to be paired with solar. On top of this, the requirements to receive the tax incentives do not always align with advancements in battery technology and/or system design. The writer, Lysondra Ludwigis a tax law associate in Farella Braun + Martel’s San Francisco office.

LITHIUM BATTERY SUPPLY CHAIN

BNEF: Lithium battery supply chain is unsurprisingly led by China, Energy Storage News
BloombergNEF (BNEF) has ranked China #1 among the countries of the world most involved in the lithium-ion battery supply chain in 2020, with Japan and South Korea in second and third place respectively. While the top three results for 2020 are unlikely to surprise many, BNEF predicts that South Korea will fall out of the top three by 2025 to be replaced by the US, although Japan will remain in second place.

LITHIUM BATTERY RECYCLING

Lithium battery recycling facility welcomed by New York Governor Cuomo, Energy Storage News
Along with a worldwide growth in interest in recycling and sustainability topics around lithium batteries and other clean energy technologies, there is growing interest in the US and elsewhere for establishing secure supply chains for lithium and other materials such as nickel and cobalt. A few days ago four US Federal agencies including the Department of Energy announced the formation of the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) to support domestic industry.

Trump Administration Invests $776,960 in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for Rural Nebraska–Investment to Help 39 Agricultural Producers or Businesses

USDA Rural Development News Release


“The investments announced today will help many rural businesses and agricultural producers to save on energy costs which will allow them to reinvest into their farm or business, helping the rural economy,” said Nebraska State Director Karl Elmshaeuser for USDA Rural Development. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Nebraska in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.” Listed by county are Nebraska’s recipients: Continue reading here.

For more information contact Nebraska Energy Coordinator Jeff Carpenter at
402-437-5554 or jeff.carpenter@usda.gov.

USDA Rural Development State Office
Suite 308 Federal Building
100 Centennial Mall North
Lincoln, Nebraska  68508

Rural Energy for America Program: Next applications deadline is November 2, 2020

  • Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less and Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications due by November 2, 2020, or March 31, 2021.
  • Applications for Unrestricted Grants or Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications due by March 31, 2021.
  • Guaranteed Loans are accepted on a continuous application cycle.

Program Fact Sheet
Hoja Informativa del Programa en Español

Nebraskans for Solar Resources

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE): Nebraska Dollar and Energy Saving Loans

Department of Energy Resource: Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar

EV program recharging for another year

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire

OPPD’s popular electric vehicle rebate program is back for a third year. Historically, the program has had a measurable impact on adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the OPPD service territory. The rebates have sold out every year. This year, the rebates for residential electric vehicles and chargers are still available. A fleet vehicle replacement rebate for businesses is new this year. EV fleet rebates are rare in the national market, but OPPD is leading the way by making these rebates available to business customers. Learn more here.

LES & NPPD EV PROGRAMS & INCENTIVES

Dundee Bank installs $34,000 worth of solar panels at its headquarters

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The lights turn on just like they always have at Dundee Bank’s headquarters, but forgive the folks at the bank if they get a happy jolt out of flipping the switch. Since last month, the sun has been generating about 10%, sometimes more, of the bank’s electricity. That’s because 30 solar panels were installed on the building’s flat roof at 5015 Underwood Ave. The system will generate 14,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power the equivalent of 16 Omaha homes a month. Mandy Mellott, vice president of marketing, said the solar panels are part of a broader effort by the bank to reduce its environmental footprint as it works to match its practices with the values of its customers. Continue reading here.

Photo by Sam Raetz, commercial photographer based in Omaha.

What The Post-Pandemic World Needs Is A Solar Energy Revolution

By Enrique Dans, Senior Contributor, Forbes

One technology above all has exceeded all expectations over recent years: solar energy. Near-exponential growth has lowered manufacturing costs and efficiency of the solar cells to the point that building a solar energy generation plant is now significantly cheaper than its fossil fuel equivalent, or even maintaining an existing unit — and most importantly, leave a negligible carbon footprint

Today, virtually everything that most people think they know about solar energy, about the days when only subsidies made solar installations profitable and some generated power with diesel engines at night, is completely obsolete and outdated. The solar energy landscape has changed so much in terms of costs and performance that it requires completely new analyses. Read more here.

ON-FARM SOLAR 

Indiana farmers see benefits in on-farm solar power for grain storage systems, contributed by Emergent Solar Energy, PV Magazine. “Every morning a potential energy source rises over the horizon to the east of my farm,” said Will Harlow, owner of the farm. “It seemed a waste to not harness this daily free energy source, erasing some of what I take from the grid. The solar components’ being made in the United States was also important to me. I hope if any positive comes from this pandemic, it is that we must do what we can to get production of all kinds returning to America.”

Links to resources for solar-powering farm operations & farmhouses: 

 

 

 


Nebraskans for Solar

Department of Energy: Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NET METERING

FERC Might Rewrite Solar Net Metering. Here’s What That Could Mean, by Ben Huffman and Marc Palmer, Greentech Media

On April 14, the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) petitioned FERC to assert jurisdiction over any on-site, behind-the-meter generation that injects energy onto the grid. If FERC asserts such jurisdiction in the manner requested by NERA, individual states could lose control over their solar net-metering policies — with myriad implications for the U.S. distributed solar market. FERC is currently accepting comments and intervenors from individuals and organizations. The period to comment or intervene ends June 15, 2020.

Ben Huffman is a partner with law firm Sheppard Mullin’s energy, infrastructure and project finance team. Marc Palmer is managing director of New Resource Solutions, a clean energy project facilitator.

 UC’S ESG INVESTMENT POLICY 

UC’s investment portfolios fossil free; clean energy investments top $1 billion, University of California Press Room

To date, UC’s new energy investments have developed and accelerated 9.2 gigawatts (GWs) of wind and solar capacity across all the platforms in which it has invested. Directly attributable to UC Investments’ share of the platforms is 1.47 GWs of wind and solar energy capacity in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and India. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 1 gigawatt of power is comparable to the energy produced by 3.125 million photovoltaic panels or 412 utility-scale wind turbines.

New report: Top six wind power trends of 2019

By John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is causing great uncertainty throughout our economy, American wind power rests on a strong foundation as we seek to overcome these challenging times. And AWEA’s just-released Wind Powers America Annual Report 2019 shows just how strong that foundation is. Wind energy is powering more U.S. families and businesses than ever before while providing well-paying jobs, investments in rural America, and a cleaner environment. Let’s dig into some of the report’s top trends. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

Wind Energy In Nebraska, Nebraska Fact Sheet, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
Nebraska is a national leader in wind resource potential.
Nebraska is one of the top states in the country for potential wind energy generation, with a technical potential of approximately 465,000 megawatts (MW) according to NREL. Nebraska now has 2,132 MW of installed wind power and ranks 14th in the nation for installed capacity, with a total capital investment of $3.8 billion. In 2019, wind power generated 19.9 percent of Nebraska’s electricity, ranking 7th in the nation for wind energy as a share of total electricity generation. Harnessing more of Nebraska’s wind potential could make the state a powerhouse for the wind industry while providing savings for electricity customers.

Wind Projects as of 4Q 2019:
Installed wind capacity: 2,132 MW » State rank for installed wind capacity: 14th
Number of wind turbines: 1,045 » State rank for number of wind turbines: 16th
Wind projects online: 26 (Projects larger than 10 MW: 19)

Wind capacity under construction: 1,011 MW
Wind capacity in advanced development: 200 MW

Wind and solar farm leases create extra income for farmers and other landowners and provide valuable tax revenues for our local communities.

Previously Posted

NEBRASKA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES

NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Wind, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Nebraska is 5th among the 36 states that utilize wind as a source of power.

SMALL WIND RESOURCES

Incentives for Homeowners & Businesses
Small wind installations are among the clean and renewable energy projects that qualify for the Federal Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is now 26% through December 31, 2020. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Small Wind Installers: Most businesses listed in Nebraskans for Solar’s Directory install small wind systems.

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources

Net Metering

Net Metering – Nebraska
System Capacity Limit: 25 kW

Net Metering – Iowa
System Capacity Limit: 1 MW

More information on utility net metering policies can be found at the following websites:

ALL INCENTIVES FOR RENEWABLES & EFFICIENCY
Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY GUIDES FOR SMALL WIND & SOLAR PROJECTS

Solar companies invest in acres in the Midwest

Kenosha News

More and more rural electric cooperatives and individual farmers are turning to solar power as an energy alternative. Brady Boell, director of safety and member services for the Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative, says his cooperative has built five sites in Iowa since October 2018. “The idea was to offer members a way to invest in solar energy,” he says. “Many cannot install these arrays on their own property, so this allows them to invest.” Solar energy use has rapidly grown over the past two years, says Tim Dwight, president of the Iowa Solar Trade Association and owner of Integrated Power Corporation, a solar energy installer. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Bill refines solar rules with input from pork producers, Kenosha Times

Photo Credit: Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY GUIDES FOR SOLAR & SMALL WIND PROJECTS

NRECA RESOURCES

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Renewable Energy Resources

Previously Posted News Release

DOE Selects NRECA for Wind Energy Research Initiative
The Department of Energy has selected the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to research small-scale, community-based wind energy solutions that can be deployed by electric cooperatives. NRECA will team with co-ops around the country to evaluate and deploy diverse types of distributed wind projects. Like NRECA’s solar deployment project, a similar DOE-funded program that accelerated utility-scale solar at co-ops across rural America, NRECA expects this project to increase the number of electric cooperatives incorporating wind applications into their resource planning. DOE has identified high technical potential for “hundreds of thousands of turbines” totaling more than 10 gigawatts of electric capacity on rural distribution grids. 

CO-LOCATION RESOURCES

Co-locating apiaries, pollinator-friendly plants, and industrial hemp with solar and wind projects can provide extra income for farmers and improve Nebraska’s honey production and retail sales, among other benefits. Click here and scroll down for a list of resources.

INCENTIVES & DEPRECIATION

Incentives for Homeowners & Businesses
Business and residential solar projects qualify for the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is now 26% through December 31, 2020.

 

 

All Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

Resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources

LAND LEASES

Solar and wind farm leases create extra income for farmers and other landowners and provide valuable tax revenues for local communities.

These States Are Winning on Clean Energy

By Robert Harding and Amanda Levin, Natural Resources Defense Council

To take on the climate crisis, the United States needs to build a lot of renewable energy, and fast. While the power sector—which accounts for 28 percent of the nation’s climate pollution—has been getting cleaner every year as renewable energy becomes the cheapest form of new electricity, new data shows some states are moving faster than others.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) power sector data released last week offers the first official state-by-state look at 2019—what was built last year, what was closed, and what it means for our nation’s power mix and emissions. With some politicians promising radically different futures for the country—from a coal-powered renaissance to a 100 percent clean futureEIA’s new release shines a light on how these futures stack up relative to today. Continue reading here.

Related Reading 

Inside Clean Energy: An Energy Snapshot in 5 Charts, by Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News
New data from the Energy Information Administration show coal tanking, solar surging, wind growing fast and electricity usage remaining stable.

Nebraska Wind Energy Information Sources 

Additional Recommended Reading 

Solar panels gaining popularity in Lincoln, 1011 NOW
LES says that solar energy use in Lincoln doesn’t stack up to bigger coastal cities but we are using it more than other Midwest cities. “Compared to other states in our region the number of systems is pretty good,” said Marc Shkolnick the manager of energy services with LES said.

Incentives for Homeowners & Businesses
Business and residential solar projects qualify for the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is now 26% through December 31, 2020. Resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

 

 

 

 

All Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

Resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

LES Solar Incentive
Additionally, LES customers may qualify for a one-time capacity payment of up to $1,000 per kilowatt of peak demand reduced. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the system size and primary direction the system is facing, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $375.
  • Western facing or single or dual axis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $475.

Resource: Customer-Owned Generation, LES

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources

An energy source that lies right under your feet

By Laura King-Homan, OPPD The Wire

More than 100 holes dot a construction site around Mammel Hall. Soon, tubing will wind through the holes to heat and cool a new addition to the building on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus. The project is an example of how commercial electricity customers utilize geothermal heating and cooling to reach their energy goals. OPPD has offered expertise in this area for decades, including testing potential building sites for suitability. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: OPPD The Wire

About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the managing editor of The Wire and a communications specialist at the Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan


Previously Posted News & Resources

Web Links 

Examples of Nebraska homeowners who have installed geothermal heat pumps – Click on “Solar Examples” on the above menu bar and scroll down to:
Dageforde Net Positive Energy Home
Don Preister’s Home In Bellevue

Incentives for Homeowners & Businesses
Geothermal projects qualify for the Federal Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is now 26% through December 31, 2020.
Resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

All Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
Resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

LES funds $1.75 mil in incentives for efficiency upgrades

By Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association

Lincoln Electric System (LES) in Nebraska is continuing its Sustainable Energy Program with $1.75 million in incentive funds for customers that want to switch to more energy efficient equipment. LES says that since it began its Sustainable Energy Program (SEP) in 2009, customers have accessed $22.5 million in incentives and spent $126.6 million on energy-efficient equipment and/or services. The incentive level for the SEP program in 2019 was $1.5 million. “It is the eleventh year of the program,” and the utility’s board is “solidly behind it,” and there is no sign of that waning, Marc Shkolnick, LES’ manager of energy services, said. “They see it as a fitting role for a public power provider.” Continue reading here.

Nebraska Also In The News Here