The Wire, OPPD Blog
The future is growing brighter as OPPD takes its first steps to acquire up to 600 megawatts of utility-scale solar generation. OPPD recently signed a contract with Community Energy, Inc. for an 81-megawatt solar array spread across approximately 500 leased acres south of Yutan, Neb., in eastern Saunders County. When complete, this facility will be capable of powering around 14,000 average homes. The facility’s name: Platteview Solar.
[Power with Purpose-Solar, available here], features background information, Frequently Asked Questions and a forum where anyone can ask a specific question not addressed in the FAQ. OPPD is striving to be a net-zero carbon utility by 2050, and the commitment to renewable energy heralded by this announcement is one important step on that pathway to decarbonization. Read more here.
Inside Clean Energy: The Coast-to-Coast Battle Over Rooftop Solar, by Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News
Last year, all but four states—Alaska, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota—took some kind of action on rooftop solar policy, according to the most recent “50 States of Solar” report from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. (Autumn Proudlove, senior policy program director at the center, was one of the people I spoke with about what’s happening in states right now). There are big differences in the states’ approaches, but what they share is an awareness that regulations need to change to be ready for a market in which rooftop solar is much more common.
Yet, regulators only control part of the financial equation. The costs of solar panels continue to decrease. And customers are increasingly buying solar along with battery storage, which means people are storing excess electricity for their own use rather than sending it back to the grid, reducing the importance of net metering policy.
- 2020 EnergySage installer survey finds one in five solar installations nationwide included a battery, Solar Power World
- Study shows homeowners with PV are subsidizing their neighbors, Renewable Energy World
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN NEWS
- Four RSOs receive E.N. Thompson sustainability honors, by Troy Fedderson | University Communication, UNL News
A student-led competition held as part of the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is helping expand sustainability planning at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Offered as part of the forum’s 2020-21 focus on environmental issues, the E.N. Thompson Forum Sustainability Idea Award challenged Recognized Student Organizations to plan, develop or execute a “green” project that aligns with the university’s new sustainability and resilience master plan. The contest featured four themes: transportation, energy, waste management, and sustainability and COVID-19. “It was incredible to see a broad spectrum of student groups — more than 12 — participating and outlining a variety of interesting topics,” said Prabhakar Shrestha, sustainability coordinator for the university and a judge for the competition.
- NASA Announces 12th Round of Candidates for CubeSat Space Missions, NASA News Release
NASA has selected 14 small research satellites from nine states – including a first-time selected state, Nebraska – to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets launching between 2022 and 2025. The selected CubeSats were proposed by educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and NASA centers in response to NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) call for proposals issued in October 2020.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: “Big Red Sat-1” is an education mission with a primary goal of engaging and developing future aerospace engineers by contributing to the development of critical technologies to improve solar power generation. The technology demonstration secondary focus is to take proven perovskite panel technology at technical readiness level (TRL)-5 to TRL-6 by testing the panels in space using flight heritage information and systems to maximize potential success. Testing should provide answers on handling and the life of perovskites, as well as comparative day/night performance with silicon in a space environment.
OTHER MIDWEST STATES IN THE NEWS
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has announced the 10 teams selected to advance to the final stage of the $3 million American-Made Solar Prize Round 4. The finalists were selected from 20 teams that presented their solar innovations to a panel of expert judges at a demonstration day hosted by Carnegie Mellon University’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.
Two Midwest teams are among the finalists:
Cool Tech Solar (North Oaks, MN): A nano-textured heatsink material for the back of a solar panel to increase the surface area, helping dissipate heat and lowering the panel’s peak operating temperature.
Rocking Solar (Monroe, OH): A solar panel tracker system that tracks the sun using a rocking motion, reducing the weight of a photovoltaic system and the number of roof penetrations required for installation.
VOLKSWAGEN DIESEL EMISSION MITIGATION PROGRAM
- The Final Chapter In The Volkswagen Diesel Cheating Saga Is Being Written, CleanTechnica
In a press release dated March 26, 2021, the Volkswagen Supervisory Board declared that an extensive review of what went wrong has been completed.
- Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund: Nebraska Diesel Emission Mitigation Program, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy