Tag Archives: Argonne National Laboratory

New CESA Resource: State Pollinator-Friendly Solar Initiatives

By Georgena Terry, Clean Energy States Alliance

Recognizing that solar installations can coexist with pollinator habitats, seven states have enacted legislation to promote pollinator-friendly solar development. This white paper provides an overview of these state efforts and offers suggestions for what other states can do to promote solar while also creating or preserving healthy habitats for pollinators. Download the paper.

Thank you to everyone who participated in last night’s Nebraskans for Solar and OPPD event

From Left: Michal Lisowyj, David Rich, Courtney Kennedy, Mayor Josh Moenning

Many thanks to event attendees, who posed numerous insightful questions during the discussion session that followed the excellent panel presentation. Nebraskans for Solar also wish to extend our appreciation to the following event moderator and speakers:

Courtney Kennedy, OPPD Alternative Energy Program Manager, moderated the panel discussion and facilitated the Q&A.

Our guest speakers and the topics they discussed are identified below, as well as links to related articles, news releases and resources: 

Michal Lisowyj, OPPD Alternative Energy Specialist
Mr. Lisowyj provided an overview of why energy storage is becoming increasingly popular, the technologies being deployed, as well as some that may be used in the future (cryogenic, pumped, flow, etc.). He also presented an overview of OPPD’s grant application for energy storage, summarized OPPD’s 5-megawatt community solar project under construction by NextEra Energy Resources, and provided information on OPPD’s Request for Proposals for 400 to 600 megawatts of solar, detailed in the document, below.

Recommended Reading

Josh Moenning, City of Norfolk Mayor and founder of New Power Nebraska
Mayor Moenning provided an overview of the City of Norfolk’s planned 8.5-MW community solar project and accompanying battery energy storage system, made possible by a grant award from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. He also briefly discussed New Power Nebraska, an alliance open to the public that he founded to promote the development of wind energy. To learn more about New Power Nebraska and sign up for the group’s newsletter, visit:
www.newpowernebraska.org 

Recommended Reading

David Rich, NPPD Sustainable Energy Manager
Mr. Rich discussed NPPD’s application to the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a 1 MW/2 MWH battery energy storage system in partnership with the City of Norfolk, NPPD’s Request for Proposals, the evaluation of the proposals and their current status and issues raised by the developers regarding potential utilization of the U.S. Investment Tax Credits.

Additionally, Mr. Rich discussed Monolith Materials’ manufacturing facility in Hallam, Nebraska, adjacent to NPPD’s Sheldon Station. Monolith Materials uses a patented process to manufacture carbon black, a common material found in a great number of products, including tires, cellphones, paints, printing inks, plastics and batteries. Hydrogen is a byproduct of the carbon black manufacturing process. Monolith uses natural gas instead of coal-tar and oil, as in the conventional process. Norris Public Power District headquartered in Beatrice is the natural gas provider.

Recommended Reading & Viewing

Image Credit: Nebraskans for Solar Board Member David Corbin
Top Photo: “Collaboration” by Jamie Burmeister, a sculptor, musician and educator living and working in Omaha. David and his wife, Josie Metal-Corbin, are among the subjects of the miniature sculptures featured in “Collaboration.”

How Land Under Solar Panels Can Contribute to Food Security

By Frank Jossi, Ensia

With more land being devoted to solar energy production, the idea of making those acres pollinator friendly seems to make ecological and economic sense. “Incorporating habitat into these solar farms across the nation is a good way to promote and protect pollinator health,” says Val Dolcini, president and CEO of the San Francisco­–based Pollinator Partnership, a non-profit organization promoting pollinator environments.

Under-panel native plants benefit not just their immediate solar farm surroundings but nearby cropland. Lee Walston, an ecologist at Argonne National Laboratory, says pollinating insects roam beyond solar installations to other agricultural fields, where they help increase production. Native plantings offer refuge for declining species such as monarch butterflies and rusty patched bumblebees while serving the additional purpose of controlling stormwater and erosion, he adds. Read more here.

Ensia Editor’s Note: Frank Jossi is Minnesota correspondent for Midwest Energy News, an editorially independent publication of Fresh Energy. Rob Davis, who is quoted in the article, is the director of Fresh Energy’s Center for Pollinators in Energy.

Photo Credit: Prairie Restoration Inc.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Small as energy maker, solar farm generates big interest