Category Archives: Nebraska / Midwest News

Rural Development Saves Nebraskans Energy Dollars

U.S. Department of Agriculture News Release

LINCOLN, NEB. – Nebraska Rural Development State Director Karl Elmshaeuser announces that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $203,493 in Nebraska to reduce energy costs for agricultural producers and rural small businesses.  “The energy projects funded will help to lower energy costs which will improve the recipients’ bottom lines and create jobs,” Elmshaeuser said. “Dollars saved will be available to be reinvested into Nebraska’s economy making it even stronger.” Nebraska recipients include: Continue reading here.

Aug 23rd: National Hydropower Day Celebrates America’s First Renewable

National Hydropower Association News Release

“America needs the clean, flexible power provided by the nation’s first renewable resource” said Malcolm Woolf, NHA President & CEO. “From the Industrial Revolution to World War II to growth of the tech sector, hydropower has powered American innovation and ingenuity. With the right mix of energy, environmental and market policies, hydropower can contribute even more as the nation moves towards decarbonization of the grid and electrification of the transportation industry.”

In 2018, hydropower was the largest generator of clean, renewable electricity, representing 7% of total U.S. electricity generation and 39.5% of renewable electricity generation. The U.S. hydropower fleet is comprised of approximately 2,200 power plants with a total capacity of roughly 102 GW, which includes 95% of U.S. storage capacity (23 GW) pumped storage. Hydropower is also a major job creator, employing 66,500 workers. Read the entire news release here.

National Hydropower Association

Additional Recommended Reading 

Entrepreneurs launch clean energy-powered affordable housing startup in Chicago

Written by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

[Robert “A.J.” Patton and Erica Johnson] are launching a company that they hope will provide quality housing to lower-income residents in Chicago, and avoid gentrification, by harnessing the potential of energy efficiency and solar. At the same time, they plan to provide jobs for low-income and minority residents who are disproportionately left out of the clean energy economy.

Patton said 548 will purchase buildings in marginalized, mostly minority neighborhoods on the South and West sides that have been deemed Opportunity Zones under the federal program meant to stimulate investment. That means if someone invests capital gains in projects in the zone, a portion of federal taxes is deferred or forgiven. Read more here.

Photo Credit: 548 Capital

Previously Posted 

 Nebraska Opportunity Zones

Opinion: Renewable electricity is the solution to the climate crisis

By Zach Renshaw, The Doane Line

This year at Doane, the Climate Reality Project Campus Corps of Doane University are working to help Doane commit to 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030. There are a number of benefits to pursuing this: lower costs, lower environmental impact, first in the state, etc. Doane was not only the first school in Nebraska to divest from fossil fuels last spring but [also] to commit to be the first school in the state to become carbon neutral through 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Continue reading here.

Photo: Zach Renshaw, Chair of Doane University’s Climate Reality Campus Corps

Previously Posted

More About The Climate Reality Project

100% Committed
Climate Reality Project’s 100% Committed Toolkit offers a step-by-step guide to building a 100% campaign, as well as all the tips and resources needed to organize your community and work with your school, city or town, or local businesses to shift to 100-percent renewable electricity.

Climate Reality Campus Corps
With help from National Climate Reality staff, students at participating campuses receive guidance in designing campaigns and organizing fellow students to convince their schools to embrace clean energy and sustainability.

Jonathan Scott Answers Climate Reality’s Solar Energy Questions
The following conversation is excerpted from Knowledge is Power, a new collaborative e-book from solar energy advocate and Property Brothers co-host Jonathan Scott and Climate Reality. Download a free copy of the e-book.

Sizing Up the Corporate Renewables Market

Corporate wind and solar procurement is in its early innings, a new analysis from WoodMac and the American Wind Energy Association says.

By Karl-Erik Stromsta, Greentech Media

Anyone watching the recent explosion of demand for renewable power from corporations like Facebook, Walmart and even ExxonMobil will have wondered: how far can this go? Much, much further, is the short answer. For all its recent gains, the corporate renewables market is likely in its very early innings, according to a new analysis from Wood Mackenzie and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Solar is likely to eclipse wind as the technology of choice for most corporate deals by the early 2020s. That’s due not only to a more favorable phaseout schedule of its main subsidy but also because of inherent economic advantages in its generation profile, with solar’s natural midday output more valuable to most companies. Read more here.

The report’s free 40-page executive summary is available for download here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Solar to overtake wind in corporate renewable procurement, PV Magazine
With the capacity of renewable generation by corporations rising exponentially every year and expected to continue to do so, with the exception of an expected two-year dip when the ITC runs out, the question of why corporations are moving towards renewables becomes increasingly important. To answer that question, AWEA and WoodMac identified four key factors that accelerate adoption: branding, investor pressure, peer pressure, and the utilization of Corporate Social Responsibility to mitigate future business risks.

Those first three factors are fairly self-explanatory. The opinion that humans are contributing to irreversible and damaging climate change is a popular one that grows in popularity by the day. As more people believe it, so too will more companies, as, spoiler alert, companies are comprised of people. So between pressure from customers, competitors and investors, as well as a held belief that climate change is occurring, more companies will look to tackle this threat.

Wind feels heat from solar for US corporate renewable top-spot, Recharge News
Up to 85GW of renewables demand exists within Fortune 1000 companies through 2030 as PV challenges current sector leader wind.

Save the Date! September 12, 2019 at 7 pm


Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director
UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201/205. Mr. Bracht will provide an overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth.


Specific topics will include:

  • power purchase agreements
  • virtual power purchase agreements
  • commercial and industrial use of solar
  • the potential for combined solar and battery installations
  • incentives and depreciation

Opportunity zones could provide major boost for clean energy, sustainable development

By Julia Parzen and Graham Richard, GreenBiz

A provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zones (OZone) program seeks to spur investment of patient capital in low- and moderate-income communities across the United States. The program allows investors to delay or avoid paying capital gains taxes if they invest in Qualified Opportunity Funds that then invest within Census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones.

Market watchers are predicting $200 to $300 billion in investment in the nation’s 8,700-plus OZones. And federal rules have made it clear that green economy projects — such as local power generation, microgrids, EV charging stations and energy storage — are eligible for OZone investment. Read more here.

Parzen and Richard recently co-authored a report, Tapping the Opportunity Zone Program to Accelerate an Equitable Clean Economy (PDF), from which this article is adapted.

 Previously Posted

 Nebraska Opportunity Zones

Wind farm produces jobs, farm income, tax revenue

By Nick Gebhart, Norfolk Daily News

RURAL RANDOLPH — Standing tall here among the crops and pastures of western Wayne County may be the future of energy production in Nebraska. The farmlands here near Randolph are the site of the Sholes Wind Energy Center, a 76-square-mile wind farm with 71 turbines that will generate 160 megawatts when the facility comes online later this year. Elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning, joined media and various environmental and agricultural organizations and businesses for a firsthand look at the wind farm Thursday afternoon. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Wind powers big opportunity in rural America, by Senator Chuck Grassley, Daily Iowegian

Compute North cuts ribbon on ‘next generation data center’

By Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

The Compute North facility that soon will be built at Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing represents the next generation in data centers. The Kearney data center will occupy just 5 acres and employ 10-20 when completed, but it will possess massive computing power. Compute North’s tenants will utilize their computing power for a variety of applications ranging from blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to artificial intelligence and machine learning. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Photo by SoCore Energy of Kearney’s Solar Farm consisting of approximately 23,000 panels on 53 acres located in the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, To date, the array is Nebraska’s largest solar project, generating 5.8 megawatts of electricity, or about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand. Track The Farm’s Energy Production.
Installer: Interconnection Systems based in Central City, Nebraska
NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

Compute North’s colocation services listed on their website include “cost-competitive infrastructure powered by renewable energy.”

Initiative & Resources for Green Data Center Owners & Colocation Services Providers

Future of Internet Power is a member of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). The organization’s mission: “Increase the use of renewable energy to power data centers  through collaboration with companies, power providers, developers, utilities and policymakers.”

Accomplishments 

  • Produced a white paper, informed by colocation data center clients and vendors and GHG emissions verifiers, outlining the information and documentation that may be required to verify colocation client greenhouse gas inventories as it relates to renewable energy procured by colocation vendors for their data centers
  • Developed and launched the Corporate Colocation and Cloud Buyers’ Principles, six criteria that customers of data center colocation and cloud services expect their data center service providers to meet
  • Compiled a series of tools and resources for companies to use as they put the Principles into action
  • Produced a white paper with the World Resources Institute addressing the issues of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting, renewable energy procurement, and reporting in the data center sector
  • Continuing to work with our REBA co-founders to scale renewable energy and help corporations purchase 60GW of additional renewable energy in the US by 2025

Quick Links

About REBA

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)
In 2018, four leading NGOS — Rocky Mountain InstituteWorld Wildlife FundWorld Resources Institute, and Business for Social Responsibility — merged their renewable energy programs, the Business Renewables Center, the Future of Internet Power, the Buyers Principles, and Green Tariff programs. This programmatic consolidation builds upon their collective success and offers a single streamlined solution.

Green Data Centers’ Global Market 

Green Data Centers: Worldwide Market Insight Report 2019-2024 – Power Segment to Hold a Significant Market Share, Research and Markets, Globe Newswire. The green data center market was valued at USD 43.24 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach a value of USD 147.88 billion by 2024 registering a CAGR of 23.01%, during the forecast period 2019-2024. The concern about the growing percentage of energy consumption by data centers over the years has alerted governments across the US and Europe to regulate energy consumption regularly, which is the primary factor which drives the green data center market.

Judge switches course on conflict of interest case: Board members can vote on Sand Hills wind project

By Reece Ristau, Omaha World-Herald

The wind is blowing in a new direction in Cherry County. A court order that had temporarily prevented two of the county’s board members from voting on an application for a 19-turbine wind farm in the Nebraska Sand Hills was vacated last week — a move that, for the time being, allows the county to hold a vote on the project. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Local EV Events

Learn more at the following community events about electric vehicles, including information on available incentives, and how, when and where to charge EVs:

 

 

 

National Drive Electric Week – Bellevue / Omaha, September 15, 2019, 12 to 4 pm,
Bellevue University Campus, 812 Bruin Boulevard, Bellevue, Nebraska 68005.

National Drive Electric Week – LincolnSeptember 22, 2019, 12 to 4 pm, HyVee Parking Lot, 5020 N 27th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68521

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