Category Archives: NewsBlog

OPPD Focused On Continued Investment In Our Communities

Omaha Public Power District News Release
February 14, 2019

Omaha Public Power District is committed to investing in the communities it serves. Furthering that effort, today, the OPPD Board of Directors approved a labor contract for streetlight
conversion work within its service territory to replace current technology with light emitting
diode (LED) technology.

This is part of the district’s five-year plan, officially beginning next month, to replace nearly 100,000 existing high-pressure sodium fixtures within its service territory. To date, OPPD has
converted approximately 400 burned out streetlights to LED. The district is utilizing a contractor alongside OPPD employees due to the volume and time frame of work taking place.
Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
NDEQ Co-hosting Nebraska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference on March 25, NPPD News Release

NEWS FROM OTHER CITIES & STATES

The nuclear city goes 100% renewable, PV Magazine
Yesterday Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled the city’s
Resilient Chicago plan, which in action 38 is a commitment to
“transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy in buildings community-wide by 2035”. 

Smart community projects “a natural” for public power, says Kelly

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

Smart community projects are “a natural for public power,” said Sue Kelly, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association on Feb. 11 in remarks made at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ 2019 Winter Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. Among the things that public power is doing when it comes to smart city activities is converting streetlights to LEDs and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In addition, public power is working on microgrids and distributed energy installations. Read more here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

FEATURED NATIONAL INITIATIVE

Tariffs Hurt The Heartland, a bipartisan coalition launched in
September 2018, represents 150 organizations, including farms, small businesses, and consumer groups.

The coalition has hosted 15 events across the country to showcase stories of individuals, businesses, nonprofits and communities that have been hurt by tariffs.

Previously Posted

BNEF: U.S. solar installations grew in 2018 despite tariffs

Written by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

Today we got our first real estimate of solar installations in 2018, which indicates that despite four different rounds of tariffs – not to mention net metering and rate design battles and the gutting of PURPA at the state level – solar installations still grew 6% in 2018 to 11.7 GWdc.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released these numbers as only one data point in its Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, published in collaboration with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.  Continue reading here.

Free Webinar: 2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook

February 26, 2019, 1:30 to 2:30 pm: Join the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Clean Energy Business Network for this webinar briefing and Q&A on the 2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.   

How do corporate wind deals benefit local communities?

By Anna Hoffman, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

It’s clear that states that make it easy to buy renewable energy have a competitive edge over others when attracting corporate investment. What do the community benefits of non-utility wind deals look like? Case studies of wind farms with corporate investments in Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma provide good examples. We examined the following projects: Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

National Solar Jobs Census 2018

The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2018 is the ninth annual report on the size and scope of the American solar workforce. As of 2018, the National Solar Jobs Census found:

  • The United States has 242,343 solar workers, defined as those who spend 50% or more of their time on solar-related work.
  • Overall, the solar workforce has grown 159 percent since the first Census was released in 2010, adding nearly 150,000 jobs.
  • Solar jobs increased in 29 states in 2018, including many states with emerging solar markets. States with the highest employment gains include Florida, Illinois, Texas, and New York State.
  • While solar employment nationwide fell 3.2% for the year, with a backlog of utility-scale projects and new policy incentives in key states, survey respondents predict that solar jobs will increase 7 percent in 2019, bringing the total to 259,400 jobs.

Learn more here.
Solar Jobs By State
The Solar Foundation Infographic: Solar Jobs Census 2018

SEIA News Release: Tariffs Take a Bite Out of American Solar Jobs

Despite these recent challenges, though, many emerging markets saw solar job growth in 2018, and the U.S. solar industry’s long-term growth trajectories remain strong. The Solar Decade is upon us, and the dozens of gigawatts of new solar capacity the U.S. is poised to add will be accompanied with quality job opportunities for all Americans in each of the 50+ states and territories.

Previously Posted
Local View: Tariffs jeopardize wind farm growth, by Dan McGuire, Lincoln Journal Star
Dan McGuire is director of the American Corn Growers Foundation. He lives in Lincoln.

From Kaiser To Vail Ski Resorts, Companies Doubled Their Wind And Solar In 2018

By Grace Hood, Colorado Public Radio

Corporate giants like Facebook, Walmart, Microsoft and Apple made big deals in 2018, but now smaller corporate fish have waded into the pond. “We had Etsy do a deal last year, J.M. Smucker Company that makes jellies and jams,” [Kevin Haley, a program manager at the Business Renewables Center at Rocky Mountain Institute] said. “It’s a great way for them to reduce a lot of carbon all at once.”

Colorado-based Vail Resorts has joined the ranks of small companies as well. It inked a 12-year agreement to buy new wind that will be produced from a Nebraska farm starting in 2020. When the wind farm is operational, the purchased power will offset Vail’s fossil fuel use across North America. “This is the way that a company that’s geographically diverse can make a significant impact and bring new renewable resources online,” said Kate Wilson, director of sustainability for Vail Resorts. Read more here.

About Vail Resorts Corporation

Lincoln Clean Energy photo of the partially-completed 230 MW Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska. Once operational, the project will create high-paying local jobs and will result in over $3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne County area. This includes much needed property tax revenues, with some of the largest beneficiaries being the Norfolk and Winside school districts.

Previously Posted
Vail Resorts Announces Long-Term Wind Energy Contract, Renewable Energy Magazine
The company’s multimillion-dollar wind energy virtual power purchase agreement enables the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project. It is expected to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 100,000 U.S. homes each year.

Additional Colorado News: More Colorado co-ops announce clean energy goals, Clean Cooperative

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

Solar seen as bright career path at Illinois community colleges, Energy News Network

Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act included funding to make solar training more accessible to lower-income residents.
 

The Green New Deal Just Speeds Up The Current Green Wave. Case In Point: Solar-Plus-Storage

By Ken SilversteinForbes

The Green New Deal is not an “abstract” idea. Globally economies are trending toward cleaner energies — efforts initiated by public demands, improved technologies and forward-thinking policies: The sponsors are compelled to accelerate the pace — to not just help impoverished communities but to also prevent environmental catastrophe. Think this wild-eyed? Think again. Wind costs have fallen by 67% since 2009 while utility-scale solar has dropped by 86% since that time, according to the financial adviser, Lazard.

“People have opinions about the economics of green energy investments based on a set of facts that are five years old,” says Trip Miller, managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners, in an interview. “And if you extrapolate out, we will get to the point where these energy forms just need battery technologies before they become pervasive.” Read more here.

Photo by Martin Tidbury / Flickr

Previously Posted

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The 25 cities involved in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge are projected to collectively cut 40 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2025, according to a new analysis released by the foundation. That’s the equivalent of eliminating 10 coal plants. The $70 million challenge brings 25 cities into a two-year accelerator program, which will offer money and technical assistance for local efforts to fight climate change. The full cohort of cities was announced last month.

Catalyzing Clean Energy Innovation

By Jackie Wong and Arjun Krishnaswami, Natural Resources Defense Council

Clean energy is not a futuristic notion but rather a present reality. It already supports more than 3 million U.S. jobs for people of different skill sets and education levels. It also has become clear that clean energy can advance economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, AND energy security. Utilities’ commitments like those from Xcel Energy to eliminate carbon
emissions from its power plants and from Southern Company to be low- to no-carbon—both by 2050—are just some of the many signals that fully embracing clean energy is not only necessary and doable, but also an accelerating trend increasingly backed by businesses. Read more here.

Image: Pixabay / Public Domain

Also Published by NRDC: New Mexico Embraces Transition to 100% Clean Energy

ADDITIONAL 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


Green energy group aims to move Illinois toward 100 percent renewable energy, DeKalb Daily Chronicle

State Rep. Davis plans to introduce ‘Path to 100’ bill
within two weeks.

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


UNI offers incentive for solar panels, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier


In a push for more clean energy in Black Hawk County, experts from University of Northern Iowa are offering a smooth transition from using coal-fired power to naturally renewable solar energy . . . The “Go Solar” group-buy program gives businesses, farms and residents in Black Hawk County the opportunity to take advantage of reduced energy costs and join the increasing number of Iowans who are going solar and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

There’s now an official Green New Deal. Here’s what’s in it.

By David Roberts, Vox

It’s worth noting just what a high-wire act the authors of this resolution are attempting. It has to offer enough specifics to give it real shape and ambition, without overprescribing solutions or prejudging differences over secondary questions. It has to please a diverse range of interest groups, from environmental justice to labor to climate, without alienating any of them. It has to stand up to intense scrutiny (much of it sure to be bad faith), with lots of people gunning for it from both the right and center. And, of course, it eventually has to give birth to real legislation.

Given all those demands, the resolution does a remarkably good job of threading the needle. It is bold and unmistakably progressive, matched to the problem as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while avoiding a few needless fights and leaving room for plenty of debate over priorities and policy tools. Read more here.

According to one survey, the Green New Deal has strong bipartisan support, with 92% of
Democrats and 64% of Republicans in favor of such a plan.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey’s Green New Deal Resolution (PDF)

Flickr Photo by Martin Tidbury

Missouri utilities consider program to pay for efficiency on customer bills

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

The Pay As You Save program puts energy efficiency projects within reach
for renters and lower-income customers.

Missouri utilities are studying a potential program that would let customers pay for energy efficiency projects through their monthly bills. Pay As You Save, or PAYS, has been primarily used by rural electric cooperatives, but it has supporters in Missouri and Iowa who think it could be a valuable tool to put energy efficiency upgrades within reach for more customers. A consultant recently analyzed the program’s potential for all three of Missouri’s investor-owned utilities. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Roy Manchester / Flickr: Countdown To My Electric Bill

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY BUYING

As corporate renewable buying surges, innovative PPAs pressure utilities to improve green tariffs, Utility Dive. Green tariff structures that
allow utilities to serve corporate demand for renewables within
regulatory rules continue to evolve slowly. But power purchase agreements between renewables developers and big energy users are adding innovative, risk-limiting financial strategies that make them
more appealing and challenge utilities to match the offers.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

U.S. SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURING 

SunPower officially producing P-Series at former SolarWorld factory in Oregon