Category Archives: Installation

Customer solar applications to OPPD rise more than 700% year-over-year

By David Earl, KETV

OMAHA, Neb. — Solar power is having a moment in Omaha. Applications to Omaha Public Power District for installations on private property from home and business owners topped 532 in 2021. That dwarfs 2020’s total of 60. It’s a 780% year-over-year increase that has caught the attention of the public power district. Read more or watch the video here.

Links included in the news story transcript to more information on OPPD’s website:

DOE Better Buildings Webinar: PV Valuation: How Solar PV Adds Value to Your Assets, February 1, 2022, 10 a.m. Central Time

Photo: Solar array on the Wine, Beer and Spirits store located near Oakview Mall, currently the largest customer-owned project in OPPD’s service territory. Developer: Great Plains Renewables, owned by Dale Leuck. See more projects in the company’s gallery here.

Groundbreaking ceremony to be held for York’s new solar project

The Grand Island Independent

YORK – Representatives of Nebraska Public Power District, the City of York and Solar Developer GRNE will hold an official groundbreaking event for the York Community Solar project located at 1214 Road 15 (York landfill), north of York. The groundbreaking event is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. and will kick off construction of the 3.2 megawatt facility. Continue reading here.

Photo: Kearney Solar Farm. The panels for York’s solar project will be mounted on a tracker-designed racking system similar to Kearney’s.

Links to Additional Information

Previously Posted: Solar project at landfill still moving forward, York News-Times

Additional NPPD SunWise Projects
Construction underway at NPPD Ainsworth community solar site, NPPD News Release
When complete, the 500-kilowatt (KW) Ainsworth facility will generate enough electricity to serve the equivalent of approximately 75-100 homes in the community when the sun is shining. The solar project will join current projects, including those already operational in Venango, Scottsbluff, Kearney, and future projects planned for Norfolk, York, and Ogallala. The project will be built and operated by GRNE Solar, a Lincoln, Neb., company.  Once completed, the facility will be known as Solar Bundle One, LLC. Construction is scheduled for completion this fall . . .  [All shares are reserved].

COMING THIS WEDNESDAY: DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ZOOM MEETING

NCSP Community-Based Organizations Convening: Tools for Equitable Community Solar

Description

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is hosting a virtual meeting via Zoom for community-based organizations on Tools for Equitable Solar to introduce the National Community Solar Partnership’s new, rolling technical assistance program and other program resources to community-based organizations interested in pursuing community solar.

The convening will feature an overview of the National Community Solar Partnership resources, including the newly expanded technical assistance program, to explore opportunities to increase equitable deployment of community solar and community-owned solar. Guest speakers from the Partnership will discuss how to leverage technical assistance and other National Community Solar Partnership resources to support community solar development in your community.

When: September 29, 2021, 1 pm Central Time

Register Here.

Installing Your Own Solar Panels? First, Check This Checklist

By Joseph Burdick and Phillip Schmidt, Storey Publishing

If you can drive lag bolts and assemble prefabricated parts, and if you’re willing to spend a day or two on your roof (or not, if you’re mounting your panels on the ground), you can install your own solar system. You don’t have to know how to hook up the solar panels to your household electricity or the utility grid. You’ll hire an electrician for the house hookup, and the utility company will take care of the rest, usually for free. For a completely off-grid system, the utility company isn’t involved at all. Perhaps disappointingly, this job isn’t even a good excuse to buy new power tools, since the only one you need is a good drill. Read more here.

Photo from Burdick and Schmidt’s book, Install Your Own Solar Panels: Designing And Installing A Photovoltaic System to Power Your Home

Description

 

Homeowners can save thousands of dollars with this user-friendly manual, which follows the same process professional contractors use. This comprehensive DIY guide covers everything from assembling rooftop racking or building a ground-mount structure to setting up the electrical connections and making a battery bank for off-grid systems. – Storey Publishing

 

More About The Authors


Joseph Burdick
has more than 30 years of experience in the photovoltaics industry — from R&D, measurement, and testing to system design, installation, and project management. He is president and CEO of Burdick Technologies Unlimited, LLC, one of Colorado’s top renewable energy companies, and is also a professor at Ecotech Institute, where he trains students for careers in solar installation.

 


Philip Schmidt has been teaching readers how to do things for almost two decades. A former carpenter and longtime writer and editor, he is the author of 18 books, including PlyDesign, Decorating with Architectural Details, and The Complete Guide to Treehouses. He lives in Colorado with his wife, two daughters, and too many leftover building materials.

 

Links to Incentives, Depreciation and Net Metering Information, Nebraskans for Solar Resource

Survey Finds Majority of Voters Support Initiatives to Fight Climate Change

 By John Schwartz, New York Times

A survey carried out after the November election found that 66 percent of respondents said that developing sources of clean energy should be a high or very high priority.

Of those polled, 83 percent said they supported creating a jobs program that would hire unemployed coal workers, shut down old coal mines safely, and restore the natural landscape. The same percentage said they supported a jobs program that would shut down the thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells around the nation, which pollute water and leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Read more here.

BIDEN CLIMATE TEAM

Biden Builds Out Administration-Wide Climate Team, American Institute of Physics
Adding to his early announcement of former Democratic senator and secretary of state John Kerry as special climate envoy, Biden’s team now includes a “national climate advisor” focused on domestic policy and nominees to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Energy and the Interior. Other Cabinet nominees and White House staff members named this month also have experience in climate policy.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NRDC’S REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE SERIES

Regenerative Agriculture Part 3: The Practices, Natural Resources Defense Council 
The first blog introduced the philosophy of regenerative agriculture, and the second blog covered the principles of regenerative agriculture. This blog summarizes some of the practices that regenerative growers use. The fourth blog will discuss the benefits of regenerative agriculture.

TESLA NEWS

Tesla (TSLA) launches its own solar power inverter, Electrek
Tesla has had success with its Powerwall, a home battery pack that matches well with a residential solar installation, and it is starting to have some success with its solar roof tiles. Surprisingly, considering Tesla’s extensive expertise in power electronics in its electric vehicles, the company never had its own solar power inverter, an important part of a solar installation… until now. Now the company is adding a new in-house designed ‘Tesla Solar Inverter’ to its lineup.

Previously Posted: Tesla partners with other companies to install solar roof tiles, Electrek

Tesla Solar Roof Available in Nebraska


Certified
 Tesla Solar Roof Installer in
Nebraska: Weddle & Sons Roofing
Office locations in Lincoln and Omaha

You Tube Video: We Installed A Tesla Solar Roof In One Day: Weddle & Sons Roofing

Johnsons’ home solar investment will pay off in a few years

Written by Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Today, 14 months after they went online, the solar panels feeding energy to Joe and Tara Johnson’s home northeast of Kearney are producing the numbers the couple expected when they invested $20,000 in October 2019 installing them. The panels don’t always eliminate their monthly electricity bills, but they are carving off a substantial portion of the bills, just as Joe had hoped. Read more and view a series of photos here.

Photo Credit: Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub

Featured Solar+Storage Guide

Understanding Solar+Storage: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Solar PV and Battery Storage, CleanEnergy Group

This guide addresses commonly asked questions about solar PV and battery storage technologies. It is based on the results of a survey identifying the most common knowledge gaps around solar and energy storage.

The information presented in the guide focuses primarily on customer-sited, behind-the-meter solar+storage installations, though much of the information is relevant to other types of projects as well, including storage-only projects and front-of-the-meter solar+storage projects. It is meant to serve as a starting point to establish a foundation of knowledge and understanding for individuals and organizations beginning to explore solar+storage options for their homes, businesses, or community facilities.

Solar energy is better for the environment and your pockets

By Alyssa Curtis, KMTV

BELLEVUE – The country’s largest renewable energy event is being held this week. National Solar Tours is an opportunity for people around the country to learn about making the switch to solar energy from their neighbors. Continue reading or watch the video here.

Part of the National Solar Tour: Don Preister’s home in Bellevue with solar + a geothermal heat pump.
Solar Installation: 8.4-kilowatt, grid-tied, OPPD net-metered system, ground mounted on south-facing slope with no battery storage (yet) and 28 optimizers. Installation was completed in December 2016, with enough capacity for all electrical needs in an all-electric residence of 2000 square feet. There is extra capacity to charge his electric vehicle.
Photo Credit: Eugene Curtin / Bellevue Leader
Installer: Solar Heat & Electric with help from the Preister brothers

Are you installing solar for your home or business? See Links to Incentives, Depreciation and Net Metering

MISSOURI REAP PROJECTS

Missouri Farmers Increasingly Look To Solar To Power Their Operations, KCUR Here and Now Story by Jonathan Ahl, Harvest Public Radio

Chris Bohr’s farm in Martinsburg, Missouri, has hundreds of acres of soybeans and corn. It also has a 5,000 head hog barn that requires a lot of electricity to power its ventilation system, cooling fans and lights. About fifty yards away from the barn are three rows of solar panels. Bohr is among a growing number of farmers that are generating solar power to meet their needs. Bohr received a Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to help pay for his solar panels. And the number of farmers applying for the grants is going up.

PV MAGAZINE ARTICLES

FROM ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

Grid congestion a growing barrier for wind, solar developers in MISO territory, Energy News Network
A recent analysis found 245 clean energy projects that were withdrawn during the advanced stages of development, with many blaming a lack of transmission capacity.

NEW WOODMAC REPORT

Global Energy Storage Capacity to Hit 741GWh by 2030, Greentech Media
The U.S. will account for half of the world’s installed energy storage capacity by the end of the decade. Global energy storage capacity is now expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31 percent through 2030, according to Wood Mackenzie’s new global storage outlook.

COMMUNITY STORAGE

SMUD’s Energy StorageShares program: The first virtual energy storage program in the US, Renewable Energy World

SMUD’s innovative Energy StorageShares program is the first virtual energy storage program in the US. StorageShares allows SMUD’s commercial customers to invest in an off-site battery storage system and enjoy energy cost savings without siting batteries at their facilities. In this newly launched pilot program, eligible commercial customers make an up-front payment to SMUD for program participation; in exchange, they receive a monthly on-bill credit. SMUD bundles the investments from program participants with its own capital, procures a battery, and installs it in a location that optimizes grid benefits.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD

NEBRASKA CLIMATE CHANGE STORIES

These stories were developed as part of a yearlong UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications depth-reporting project examining the impact of climate change on Nebraska. To learn more, visit: climatechangenebraska.com

SOLAR ACCESS IN HISPANIC COMMUNITIES

Investing in equitable access to solar energy for Hispanic communities, PV Magazine article contributed by Javiar Chacon, a Customer Analyst on the SREC Operations team at Sol Systems, where he works closely with customers to help mint their SRECs.

As one of the fastest growing American communities, the Hispanic population has been historically underrepresented in solar energy. The barriers that have excluded Hispanic people from solar, however, are not permanent and work can be done to ensure an equitable energy transition.

HDR & LANDFILL SOLAR 

Rethinking post-closure landfill care, Waste Today Magazine
HDR Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, has been supporting municipal and private solid waste clients for over 40 years with the planning, permitting and construction of secure solid waste landfills across the U.S. Of HDR’s beneficial use projects, one of the company’s most reputable post-closure developments is the Hickory Ridge Landfill in Atlanta. In 2010, HDR utilized a new exposed geomembrane solar cap technology to transform the landfill into the largest solar energy-generating facility in Georgia.

According to the company, it is the world’s largest solar energy cap and the first use of the technology as part of a fully permitted landfill final closure system. Utilizing over 7,000 solar panels to convert sunlight into more than 1 megawatt of clean, renewable electricity, the new technology essentially takes a durable, high-strength geomembrane material made for outdoor exposure on roofs and secures it to the landfill like a bedsheet through the use of vertical anchor trenches.

Local Do-It-Yourself Solar Project & Two How-To Guidebooks

Featured Solar Example
Colin Croft’s Do-It-Yourself Project in Gering, Nebraska

Project Description: Grid-tied 5.4-kilowatt PV system in rural Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska, which generates enough to about “break even” in overall consumption/generation for this year-round home (electric heat supplemented by wood stove).  Twenty 260/270w panels tied to Enphase M250 micro-inverters/Enphase Envoy gateway were used.  The array was mounted about 25 degrees east of due south using basic and inexpensive Unistrut framing, bolted to E mounts by Quick Mount PV, which were installed during replacement of the old roof with a new composite roof.
Production/consumption monitoring using SiteSage for Homes/Powerhouse Dynamics.
PDF Download: DIY PV Installation & Passive Solar Sunroom, written by Colin Croft

DO-IT-YOURSELF BOOKS

Mobile Solar Power Made Easy!


Subtitle: Do-it-yourself Guidebook to Vehicle Mounted Solar System Design and Installation, by William Errol Prowse IV. The guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to size and install a solar system for an RV, van, car and boat.

Install Your Own Solar Panels

Subtitle: Designing and Installing a Photovoltaic System to Power Your Home
Through detailed directions and step-by-step photos, veteran solar installer Joseph Burdick and seasoned builder Philip Schmidt teach you how to determine the size, placement, and type of installation you’ll need. This comprehensive DIY guide covers everything from assembling rooftop racking or building a ground-mounted structure to setting up the electrical connections and making a battery bank for off-grid systems.

LINKS TO INCENTIVES TO REDUCE YOUR PROJECT COST
PLUS ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems: 30% to December 31, 2019.
Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Solar Energy Industries Association 

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.

Source: Customer-owned Renewable Generation

SEIA Releases Updated ‘SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power’

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – To advance efforts to educate residential solar consumers across America and  pave the way to a positive solar buying experience, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) launched an updated SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power.

Available online, the free guide offers those interested in going solar a one-stop shop to better understand the basics of solar energy and ownership options. It includes key questions to ask solar installers before entering a transaction. The guide is a result of a joint effort of the leading companies across the solar industry and goes hand in hand with SEIA’s existing Solar Business Code by which all SEIA members abide. Read the entire news release here.

More SEIA Resources

Additional Guide for Local Landowners
Solar Land Lease: Considerations in Nebraska
Authors:

YouTube Video
Solar Farm Leases – John Hay

About SEIA
Celebrating its 44th anniversary in 2018, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 250,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

IREC launches new checklist for inspecting residential solar

By Mark Burger, PV Magazine USA

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has produced an updated Model Inspection Checklist for Residential Rooftop PV. This 15-page document facilitates a process for local inspectors and installers in plan review and field inspection steps, from structural analysis to signs and labels to be posted. Continue reading here.

Photo: Bob & Gina’s home in Lincoln, Nebraska – Solar Examples

ALSO PUBLISHED BY PV MAGAZINE USA

DIY PV Installation & Passive Solar Sunroom in Gering, Nebraska

By Colin Croft

Brief overview
This article includes a discussion of a DIY installation of a grid-tied 5.4-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system using Enphase microinverters, as well as the conversion of a two-level sunroom into a passive solar heating space using a thermostat-controlled fan/vent system. I also discuss my limited experimentation with micro wind turbines (not for the faint of heart!), and the hardware and software I’ve used to monitor my energy consumption and generation.

Download and save DIY PV Installation & Passive Solar Sunroom

About the Writer
Colin is a philosophy instructor at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, who enjoys hiking, backpacking, biking, birding and generally exploring the wild places of Western Nebraska and nearby western states.

Note to Other Do-it-Yourselfers

If you have completed a DIY solar project and would like to share it with other solar enthusiasts, please email your information to Helen Deffenbacher at nebraskansforsolar@gmail.com.