Tag Archives: Beach Solar LLC

Lincoln neighborhood solar farm turns entrepreneurs into pioneers

By Mason Mauro

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 story here.

Click here to view a Google Earth image of the solar project.

Thank you to everyone who attended our event this evening at UNO’s Community Engagement Center!

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.

Terry Wittler may be reached at the following email address: terrywittler@gmail.com.

Photo by David Corbin

Will Chicago be competitive in the community solar market?

By Kevin Stark, Midwest Energy News

“We want it to come here,” said Deborah Stone, chief sustainability officer for Cook County. “Community solar doesn’t all need to go to very remote greenfield sites. We think that these pilot sites will go ahead, and we’ve provided a tool kit we hope will give these urban sites a leg up.”

While some critics question whether a lack of available land makes cities suitable for community solar, K Kaufmann, communications manager for Smart Electric Power Alliance, said that there are successful programs in cities and in small towns and the issue is less about siting and more about how the program is designed and who the customers will be. Click here to read more.

Photo: Solar panels at the Chicago Center for Green Technology by Josh Koonce / Creative Commons

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY SOLAR INITIATIVE IN LINCOLN

  • Council approves solar energy system for Capitol Beach site, Lincoln Journal Star. The City Council previously changed city codes to allow development of mid-size solar energy conversion systems such as this one. City codes already allowed large systems in industrial and agricultural areas and small systems for individual homeowners in residential areas, but had no rules for mid-size systems.
  • Capitol Beach would have first community solar energy project, Lincoln Journal Star
    The group, which has incorporated as Beach Solar LLC, hopes to have up to 20 Capitol Beach homeowners invest in the solar system, according to Terry Wittler, one of the homeowners involved in the development.

To learn more about this initiative and other types of community solar across Nebraska, save the date and plan to attend NFS’s December 14th Event: “Community Solar,” which board member Leo Arens is organizing.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Council approves solar energy system for Capitol Beach site

By Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star

The group of homeowners interested in developing the 100-kilowatt solar energy system on land owned by the Capitol Beach Neighborhood Association had a letter from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recommending it put the solar panels farther to the north to avoid affecting saltwort growing in the wetland area. The group has agreed to do that, said Terry Wittler, a Lincoln attorney and one of three Capitol Beach homeowners, who created Beach Solar LLC, which is developing the solar energy system. Read the entire story here.

Photo Credit: Lincoln Journal Star

RELATED READING
Capitol Beach would have first community solar energy project
The group, which has incorporated as Beach Solar LLC, hopes to have up to 20 Capitol Beach homeowners invest in the solar system, according to Terry Wittler, one of the homeowners involved in the development.