By Layne Sup, LES Administrative Board Chair,
Lincoln Journal Star
The week of Oct. 6-12 is Public Power Week, our annual chance to highlight public power and what it means. While public power is honored nationwide this week, Nebraska has special cause to celebrate.
Public power utilities in Nebraska have had a long tradition of providing customers safe, reliable electric service. Ours is the only 100% public power state in the United States because Nebraskans understand the value proposition of public power — affordability, reliability, safety and community control.
- One in seven Americans are served by a public power utility. More than 2,000 communities – in 49 states and 5 U.S. territories – have a public power utility.
- 10% of electricity generated in the U.S. is from public power facilities.
- In 2017, more than 40% of this electricity was generated from non-carbon emitting sources.
- Public power reduced its carbon emissions by 33% from 2005 to 2017.
News From Other States
- Columbus, OH mayor shares lessons from award-winning tenure, Smart Cities Dive
Mayor Andrew Ginther detailed his plans to continue developing a smart city that’s inclusive of all residents, incorporating equity and affordable housing. Mayor Ginther has been at the helm of these smart city initiatives, leading the city in its 2016 Smart City Challenge win. Columbus has become a model for smart city success due to its adoption of ambitious climate goals, electric vehicle (EV) technology, community engagement and more.
- Wichita, KS mayor talks Paris agreement concerns, support for solar, Smart Cities Dive
While Mayor Jeff Longwell decided not to sign his city onto the Paris agreement after the U.S. withdrew in 2017, he’s still leading a wave of green initiatives.
- University partners for Grow Solar STL program, Washington University in St. Louis News
The demand for residential solar energy is growing in the St. Louis area. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, enough solar has been installed in Missouri to power more than 26,000 homes, and prices for installation have fallen 32% over the last five years. Now, there’s a new program for homeowners interested in making the switch to renewable energy: Grow Solar St. Louis. The group-purchasing program for residential solar is offered by the Missouri Botanical Garden and Washington University in partnership with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
- Botanical Garden’s New Solar Program Brings Green Power To Homes, Businesses, St. Louis Public Radio
- Florida: One Step Closer to Becoming Solar Energy Leader, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
A settlement agreement filed at the Florida Public Service Commission on the Solar Together community solar program will, if approved, allow all FPL customers – including low-income – to participate in the largest community solar program in the US and help catapult Florida to the number two spot in the country for solar development. Other utilities and states should take note of this trailblazing program.
- World’s largest solar battery under construction in Manatee County, WWSB
- To keep the lights on during California’s blackouts, people are using solar power, Fast Company
As long blackouts become more common in California to reduce the risk of devastating wildfires, more people are turning to solar power and battery storage.
- Minnesota will use VW money to plug gaps in electric vehicle charging network, Energy News Network
- Lithium Batteries Finally Get their Due with Nobel Prize Win, by Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists