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.
PGE, NextEra team up for largest wind-solar-storage project in US, Utility Dive PGE is moving “aggressively” to integrate smart grid technology alongside renewables, President and CEO Maria Pope said in a statement. The Wheatridge project will be “a model for integrating renewable generation and storage,” she said, in order to cost-effectively reduce emissions and balance the grid.
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.
Study Shows Positive Perception Creates More Acceptance of Wind Farms, Renewable Energy Magazine. A recent study from the University of Michigan states when local
residents feel the planning process for building wind turbines is fair and open, their perceptions of the often-controversial energy source remain steady or improve with time. In fact, the
openness with which the planning process is handled is more important in shaping residents’
perceptions of wind energy than receiving a payment, researchers say.
Second phase of EV charging station plan begins in July, American Public Power Association Electrify America has announced that the second, $300 million cycle of its National Zero
Emissions Vehicle investment plan is available and that the 30-month investment period begins on July 1.
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.
Omaha’s growing sector of data centers will add a major name to its ranks now that Google has announced plans to bring a data center to the state. A map on the tech giant’s website indicated the center will be in the Omaha area. The Nebraska facility was announced as part of a national expansion plan by Google, which will invest more than $13 billion in 2019 in data centers and offices across the country, according to a statement. Continue reading here.
Google is a member of RE100, a global, collaborative initiative uniting more than 100 influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. A growing number of RE100 members and other corporate buyers of renewable energy are working with their suppliers to adopt that goal, as well, exponentially increasing the deployment of wind and solar projects nationwide.
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) — Capitol Beach Lake neighborhood in Lincoln is living off solar
energy. The co-founders of Beach Solar LLC began the community effort in 2015. Two entrepreneurs began the solar project from the ground up, but the community effort is what’s seeing it through.
“This is something that is better for our future and for our kids’ kids. Let’s do it,” said Jeff Burhman, co-founder of Beach Solar. Burhman and his business partner, Terry Wittler, stopped at UNO along their solar power tour, Wednesday night. The discussion is their 12th seminar, but they never set out for this. Continue reading or watch the news storyhere.
Click here to view a Google Earth image of the solar project.
First of all, thank you to our guest speakers for their excellent presentation on Nebraska’s first-ever community solar project developed by a neighborhood association: Terry Wittler and Jeff Buhrman, Lincoln Capitol Beach homeowners, led the association’s efforts to pioneer this
innovative model for our state.
Michael Shonka, owner of Solar Heat and Electric and Nebraskans for Solar board member,
collaborated with Terry and Jeff on the project and joined them for part of the program this evening. The challenges they encountered and the lessons learned resulted in a time-saving plan for anyone interested in proposing the same idea to other power districts.
The discussion that followed their presentation generated many insightful questions and
comments from audience members. Thank you to everyone who attended.
Michael Shonka’s contact information is listed in Nebraskans for Solar’s Directory for anyone with additional questions for one or all three of the collaborators.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The power industry is ever-changing – whether through technology, regulations, or market mechanisms. On a
recent visit to Omaha, Sue Kelly, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA), discussed
some of the bigger issues facing public power and its
customers. APPA is preparing for their Legislative Rally in Washington, D.C. at the end of February. Each year, nearly 600 Association members – policy-makers like city council and utility board members – gather to learn about “hot
issues,” Kelly said. Continue reading here.
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.
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.