Category Archives: Nebraska / Midwest News

NPPD’s Scottsbluff solar project performing as expected

NPPD News Release, Scottsbluff Star Herald

“The Scottsbluff project, and NPPD’s other Sunwise Community Solar projects, are operating well and performing as expected. The Scottsbluff project was sold out within days of our launch of the project and the community has been extremely supportive,” explained NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “In fact, Scottsbluff has embarked on a second community solar project with the developer, SolSystems, for a significantly larger 4.6-megawatt operation.”

In the initial signup for the community solar program in Scottsbluff, customers who purchased shares (150 kilowatt hours per share) paid a higher premium. Arlt pointed out that with the second community solar project all subscribers will see a bill credit for the community solar shares. The solar share prices will be blended together resulting in a production cost savings to all solar program participants . . . Arlt pointed out that NPPD is in various stages of progress for community solar projects in Norfolk, Chadron, O’Neill, Ainsworth, Pawnee City and Loup City.
Read the entire news release here.

NPPD Photo: Scottsbluff’s first community solar project developed by Mesner Solar and GenPro Energy Solutions, both based in Central City, and NPPD.

Update: Related News Story Published February 9, 2019
NPPD’s second solar project set for bright future, by Irene North, Scottsbluff Star Herald
The new project will be significantly larger at 4.6 megawatts. The city of Scottsbluff is also a retail community for NPPD. The city owns the infrastructure and has NPPD run it. With a new
professional agreement, the city can generate 10 percent of overall load as renewable.
Construction is expected to begin at the end of spring with an operational date during the fourth quarter of 2019.

NPPD’s SunWise Program
Request Community Solar In Your Community
 
If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to request community solar in your community, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Impact study points to approval of R-Project, by Tod Von Kampen, The North Platte Telegraph
Copies of the final environmental impact statement, Fish and Wildlife’s proposed decision and other supporting documents may be found online at fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/nebraska/r-project.php. Hard copies also will be available at west central Nebraska public libraries in North Platte, Stapleton, Mullen, Valentine and Thedford.

For more information on the R-Project, go to www.rproject.nppd.com.
Previously Posted NPPD News Release
Contract awarded for R-Project transmission line construction by NPPD

More Iowa Farmers Adapting to Climate Change

By Roz Brown, Public News Service – Iowa

Katie Rock, policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, said when talking to Iowa farmers, it’s increasingly clear that many want to innovate on their farms to address climate change. “They’ve taken the initiative to add on-site solar power and make energy-efficient upgrades, and these changes have led to significant cost-savings,” Rock said. “And farmers and landowners, they also lead through conservation practices that can improve soil health.”

Matt Russell is executive director of the state’s Interfaith Power and Light. He believes Iowa and other Midwest states that provide America’s food are in a position to lead the conversation on climate change. “One of our strongest ways to lead is to engage Iowa farmers to innovate on their farms, capturing carbon, generating renewable energy,” Russell said. “And then also to advocate for those practices and the resources to make that happen on their farms.”

Read the entire article or listen to the story here.

Photo: Flooding has cost Iowa residents, businesses and farmers about $18 billion over nearly three decades, according to a 2018 University of Iowa study. Credit: Pixabay/werner22brigitte

MORE CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

Michigan’s New Governor Puts Climate Change at Heart of Government, Inside Climate News

Gretchen Whitmer created a new office of climate and energy and is the 20th governor to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing to the Paris climate principles. Photo Credit: Governor Whitmer’s Office


IN NEBRASKA: UPCOMING EVENTS & RESOURCES

Nebraska Legislative Hearing
On Monday, February 11 at 12 pm there will be a hearing on LB283 before the Executive Board in room 1525. LB283 would provide funding to the University of Nebraska to
develop a plan for adapting to and mitigating the impacts of
climate change.

You can testify at the hearing or send written testimony to Senator Mike Hilgers, Executive Board Chair, by this Friday, February 8th. His email address is: mhilgers@leg.ne.gov.
Your letter must include your name and address, state a position for, against or neutral on the bill and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.
Nebraska Legislature: Testifier Tips
Nebraska Legislature News

Local View: Tariffs jeopardize wind farm growth

Written by Dan McGuire, Lincoln Journal Star

Over the past few years, wind farms have started springing up across the state, and these projects are providing a financial lifeline for our farming communities . . . Unfortunately, just like an unexpected drought or spike in gas prices, Nebraska farmers hoping to harvest the wind have been thrown yet another curveball — the Trump administration’s trade war with China is threatening wind’s growth in our state.

Tariffs that tax certain wind turbine parts could unnecessarily raise the cost of wind power, preventing some of the wind farms in our development pipeline from getting built. That means fewer jobs and less income for host communities. The trade dispute is already affecting farmers in our state. Read more here.

Dan McGuire is director of the American Corn Growers Foundation. He lives in Lincoln.

LiveGreen: Solar panels up, operational

By Melanie Stewart, Live Green, UNMC Newsroom  

The 1,487 solar panels sit atop the three largest roof surfaces on the UNMC campus. 

The panels can generate up to 500 kilowatts of solar-powered electricity to help power the campus, and “its energy production will equal the average annual electricity use of 60 homes in OPPD’s service territory,” said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project . . . Darren Dageforde, executive director of utilities and energy utilization for UNMC, said the med center already has made great strides in reducing energy use and increasing efficiency. “Having a renewable energy source on campus demonstrates our commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030 and parallels our mission to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities.” Read the entire article here.

Previously Posted

OPPD partnering with UNMC on state’s largest rooftop solar array, by Jodi Baker, The Wire

AWEA Blog Post: Consumer demand drives record year for wind energy purchases

By Celeste Wanner, Into the Wind

It’s a wrap for 2018, and the numbers show a great year for American wind power. AWEA’s
U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2018 Market Report reveals that consumer demand combined with policy stability and low, stable prices helped wind power capacity installations rise to the third strongest quarter in the industry’s history. Another big highlight—demand from corporate buyers hit an all-time high in 2018. Here are some of the top takeaways from this quarter’s report: Continue reading here.

Previously Posted
Checking in on the Nebraska wind boom, Into the Wind

Wyoming in the News
Wind farm developers ask for more time, Gilette News Record
The $5 billion wind farm backed by Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz is set to install up to 1,000 turbines on portions of 320,000 acres of federally- and privately-owned lands south of Rawlins and northwest of Saratoga. It’s projected to usher in about $850 million in state tax revenues.

The fastest-growing job in each U.S. state

By Adriana Belmonte, Yahoo Finance News

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and projections from the government-backed Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), we mapped out the top jobs by growth rate (as opposed to plentifulness). A solar panel installer is the fastest-growing job in eight different states, including California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, and New Jersey. It is also known as a “PV installer,” and “assembles, installs, and maintains solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures.” . . . There are more and more wind turbine service technicians in states like Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, and Iowa. The BLS defines these workers as those who “inspect, diagnose, adjust, or repair wind turbines” and “perform maintenance on wind turbine equipment including resolving electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic malfunctions.” Read more here.

Fastest Growing Occupations: Bureau of Labor Statistics

RENEWABLE ENERGY JOBS

Renewable Energy Jobs in Nebraska, Indeed
Renewable Energy Jobs in Iowa, Indeed
Jobs in the Community Solar Industry, Coalition for Community Solar Access
Another strategy is to search local and national solar and wind energy companies’ websites for renewable energy jobs postings, or major nonprofit organizations if you are interested in renewable energy advocacy jobs.

NextEra looking into potential solar farm in northeast Nebraska

By Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

NextEra has signed a lease for 2,500 acres in Pierce County with brothers Ryan and Aaron Zimmerman, who have a 345-kilovolt Nebraska Public Power District power line running through their land. The brothers told the Energy News Network website that they previously had an agreement with a smaller solar company a couple of years ago.  Read more here.

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES


FPL brings online 298 MW of solar parks in Florida,
Renewables Now

The company, which is a unit of NextEra Energy Inc, last month unveiled plans to add over 30 million solar panels totaling 11,000 MW in Florida by 2030 and said it will make “unprecedented new investments” in energy storage projects.

 

INTERVIEW

 

Local leadership: A conversation with Jodie Van Horn of Sierra Club’s Ready for 100, by Christian Roselund, Americas Editor, PV Magazine

 


SOLAR IN SPORTS

Move Over Tom Brady, Solar Is the Real Super Bowl MVP, Solar Energy Industries Association 

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia “hosts over 4,000 solar panels that produce more than 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to power more home games than the Falcons play during the regular season! It is the first sports facility in U.S. history to receive a Platinum LEED certification, the highest “green” rating a building can achieve.”
Check out SEIA’s Solar in Sports report to see if your favorite teams are taking advantage of solar.

SOLAR AS A SERVICE NEWS

The Time For Home Solar Is Now, Sponsored Post, CleanTechnica
Sunrun’s solar as a service model allows households to access clean solar energy from as little as zero dollars down, with no debt and no maintenance worries. The household simply pays for the energy at a low monthly rate — solar delivered as a service. We install the panels on the roof, monitor them daily, and maintain them. 


SOLAR TECHNOLOGY

Aurora Solar raises $20 million in funding and will hire more tech professionals, Solar Power World

Aurora’s world-class engineering team has developed its patented SmartRoof technology, which is the only solution in the market that allows solar professionals to create a highly accurate 3D CAD model of a site in just a few minutes. Using these models, Aurora can forecast how many solar panels will fit on a property, calculate how much energy they will produce, and predict how much money the installation would save a property owner.

EV NEWS


Volkswagen floats opening up EV platform to competitors,
Smart Cities Dive. It comes just a couple of weeks after VW and Ford signed a global alliance in which they pledged to cooperate on developing EVs, autonomous vehicles (AVs) and mobility services.

10 easy steps to going green and having fun in the process

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

If you want to live a greener lifestyle, there’s no better person to ask than Don Preister. The former Nebraska legislator and current Bellevue City Councilman hasn’t generated trash in three years. “One step at a time is the way to get there,” said Preister, who leads a zero-carbon footprint lifestyle. “I didn’t get to where I am by doing everything at once.” Daniel Lawse, an Omaha father of three and chief century thinker at the sustainability consulting firm Verdis Group, adds this suggestion: Make it fun. Continue reading here.

Photo of Don Preister taken by KETV last October to illustrate a story about the 2018 National Solar Tour organized by the American Solar Energy Society and Solar United Neighbors. A
local tour was sponsored by Nebraska Sierra Club, Green Bellevue and Nebraskans for Solar.

Previously posted news stories about the fun and educational tour, which will be held again this fall.

For the first time ever, three women are serving on OPPD’s board

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

Five of electric utility’s eight senior managers also are women.

Returning Omaha Public Power District Chairwoman Anne McGuire has served on the OPPD board since 1997. In more than two decades, she has never served beside another woman. That changed last month with the arrival of new OPPD board members Amanda Bogner of
Omaha, who owns a small business, and Janece Molhoff of Ashland, Nebraska, who retired as a colonel in the Army Reserve. They made January’s board meeting “historic,” McGuire said.
Read more here.

Consumer demand drives record year for wind energy purchases

American Wind Energy Association News Release

US wind power industry reports third strongest quarter ever for new capacity installations.

WASHINGTON — Fortune 500 brands and a range of other non-utility entities, including cities and universities, are catalyzing America’s growing demand for renewable energy by purchasing a record amount of wind power in 2018 according to a new report released today by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Consumer demand combined with policy stability and low, stable prices helped wind power capacity installations rise to the third strongest quarter in the industry’s history.

AWEA’s U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2018 Market Report reveals that non-utility customers like AT&T, Walmart, ExxonMobil, and Shell Energy purchased a record 4,203 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity in 2018 through long-term contracts, or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). Contracted wind capacity from non-utility customers in 2018 surged 66 percent higher than the previous high-water mark in 2015. Data from the Business Renewables Center confirms that wind provides more energy to corporate brands than any other renewable source. Read the entire news release here.

Wind Energy in Nebraska
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 1,972 MW of installed wind power and ranks 14th in the nation for installed capacity. Harnessing more of Nebraska’s wind potential could make the state a powerhouse for the wind industry while providing savings for electricity customers. Source: Nebraska Fact Sheet (PDF), American Wind Energy Association

Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Energy Office

Photo: “Wind Rainbow,” AWEA’s Wind Energy Image Gallery