Tag Archives: City of Fremont

Masonic Home gets solar energy grant, plans open house Thursday

By Tammy Real-McKeighan, Fremont Tribune

Nebraskans for Solar and the Masonic Eastern Star Home for Children are partnering on a solar energy endeavor. This venture will allow the children’s home to join the City of Fremont’s Community Solar Program.

Nebraskans for Solar’s Green Watts for Good Program has provided a $5,000 grant to the Masonic Home. The Masonic Home has provided an equal match of $5,000 to purchase 50 solar panels in Fremont’s Community Solar Program. The panels will be purchased from the City of Fremont Department of Utilities. This purchase will provide enough solar energy to cover 50% of the electricity consumed in the Leonard A. Johnson 4-H Barn.

A presentation and open house will start at 1 p.m. Thursday in the main office of the Masonic Home at 2415 N. Main St. – the second building on the right. Read more here.

More About The Project

Nebraskans for Solar Board Member Leo Arens is the Lead Coordinator for the Fremont project in partnership with the Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children and the City of Fremont Department of Utilities. This is our seventh Green Watts for Good project. Leo will represent Nebraskans for Solar at tomorrow’s presentation and open house.

5 Ways You Can Get Involved in Local Green Watts for Good Projects

To make a tax-deductible contribution to the Fremont solar project and find more ways to join in on our Green Watts for Good Program, click here.

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of the Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children, including the 4-H Barn and the Technology Center. The Center’s 4-H technology projects consist of welding, electrical, robotics, wind generation, aquaponics, carpentry, wood working, and mechanics. Nebraskans for Solar board members have gifted a NEED Solar Energy Kit for Grades 9-12, “Exploring Photovoltaics,” for the Technology Center, and so 4-H’ers will have the additional choice of solar technology projects.

Above Right Photo: The Technology Center’s Robotics Classroom
Top Photos: Aerial View of the Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children
At the Leonard A. Johnson 4-H Barn – From left: Ron Giesselmann, Executive Director of the Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children, Nebraskans for Solar Board Members Helen Deffenbacher, Ken Deffenbacher, and Leo Arens. Photographer: Lottie Michell, City of Fremont Department of Utilities.

Thank you for your Giving Tuesday donations!

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to our Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign and donated much-needed items for our community service project in partnership with Heartland Hope Mission. Also, thank you to SHARE Omaha for organizing and hosting the 24-hour metro-wide event.

Contributions will be used to install a minimum 4-kilowatt solar system on Heartland Hope Mission’s building at 2021 U Street. Over the 25-or-more-years’ lifespan of the solar panels, the system will save the nonprofit approximately $18,000 on their electricity bills.

The project will be completed on or before Earth Day, April 22, 2020, which will be the national organization’s 50th anniversary. Ken and Helen Deffenbacher are the Lead Coordinators for the Heartland Hope Mission project.

New Green Watts for Good Project To Be Announced Soon!

Leo Arens is the Lead Coordinator for our seventh Green Watts for Good project. Over the past few weeks he has been developing this new charitable solar project in partnership with Fremont community leaders. Details will be announced very soon, including ways everyone can join in on this innovative program.

City looks to roll out electric vehicle incentive program this summer

By Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune

The City of Fremont plans to unveil a new electrical vehicle incentive program which will provide ten individuals with a $4,500 rebate toward the purchase of a new electric vehicle and charger later this summer. The incentive program is part of a pilot program to study the effect electric vehicles have on Fremont’s electric system, according to City Administrator Brian Newton. Read more here.

Photo: A Tesla electric vehicle uses one of the city’s two ChargePoint charging stations in the Fremont Mall. Credit: Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune

City seeking proposals for solar project

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

The city of Hastings is seeking proposals for a 1.5 megawatt solar farm project. Derek Zeisler, Hastings Utilities director of marketing and energy supply, told members of the Hastings Utility board during their regular meeting Thursday HU will disseminate an RFP on Friday for a solar farm project and is asking for those proposals by Nov. 28. “It seems to be a good size for a good price point,” he said of the 1.5 megawatt size of the solar project, which is similar to the power generated by the Central Community College-Hastings wind turbine. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities. First Fremont Solar Farm, 1.55-megawatts. The city completed a second solar farm of the same size in September 2018 to accommodate strong customer demand.


Stowe, Okemo resorts to be powered by virtual wind energy, Vermont Biz
Lincoln Clean Energy Photo: Nebraska’s Plum Creek Wind Farm  development, expected to be completed in 2020.

City plans dedication for Oct. 1

The Fremont Tribune

The City of Fremont will be hosting a dedication for Solar Farm No. 2, the electric vehicle charging stations and the plug-in hybrid vehicles at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at Solar Farm No. 2, located at 3851 East Hills Farm Road (near the intersection of Old Highway 275 and Hills Farm Road). The public is invited. Read more here.

Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant Fremont City Administrator of Utilities: Fremont’s First Solar Farm

City’s electric vehicle charging stations up-and-running, by Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune

City’s electric vehicle charging stations up-and-running

By Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune

The City of Fremont recently completed installation of two ChargePoint electric vehicle (EV) charging stations — located in downtown Fremont, and along the 23rd Street corridor . . . The city purchased the two ChargePoint stations with help from a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust through the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance. The city received a $300,000 grant toward Solar Farm No. 2, 50 percent of the cost of two ChargePoint public electric vehicle charging stations, and 50 percent of the cost of five plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Kia Niro crossover vehicles. Read more here.

ChargePoint Photo

OPPD Board Receives Community Solar Update

Omaha Public Power District News Release

Omaha Public Power District’s plans for community solar are moving forward. During their monthly meeting, today, the OPPD Board of Directors received an update on the project. The district awarded a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, to build a 5-megawatt solar facility near the City of Fort Calhoun. When the community solar program has been finalized, OPPD customers will have an opportunity to purchase shares of the solar energy produced. The utility will be developing the marketing of these solar shares in the next few months, and we will include stakeholder outreach as part of this process. Read the entire release here.

NextEra Wind Projects in Nebraska

More Nebraska Community Solar News
City gives public look at solar farm, power plant, Fremont Tribune

Solar farm, power plant tour set for Tuesday

By Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune

For area residents who might want to learn more about the local solar program, the Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund (NCEF) is hosting a tour of both the Fremont Solar Farm and Lon D. Wright Power Plant on Tuesday, June 5 at 4 p.m. The walking tour is free to attend and will include 40-minute presentations focused on both the Fremont Solar Farm and Lon D. Wright Power Plant. The Solar Farm portion of the tour will feature a presentation from Jeff Berggren, GenPro Energy Solutions Nebraska Project Manager. Read more here.

Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator of the Fremont Department of Utilities: Fremont’s First Solar Farm

When asked in an email if local schools may participate in Fremont’s Community Solar Program, Mr. Schaben replied, “While they did not participate in this phase of the solar farm, they were eligible to participate.”

More About Fremont’s Community Solar Development

About the Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund (NCEF)
The Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund (NCEF) works to build a conservation movement that transcends ideological and political boundaries, and that is led by a broad coalition of Nebraskans who aim to protect our natural resources and ensure that we have a just, secure, and prosperous future. Working as a non-profit, non-partisan organization, NCEF educates the public, media and elected officials about important conservation issues, works to increase public participation in the democratic process and mobilizes a diverse network of people to engage in public policy.

SEPA Case Study – Selling Out 1.55 MW of Community Solar in 7 Weeks: Inside the City of Fremont, Nebraska‘s Community Solar Program

Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Few think of rural towns as the perfect case study for community solar, but they don’t know Fremont, Nebraska. The town has a long history of environmental stewardship and latent demand for renewable energy. When Brian Newton arrived in Fremont as the new Utility General Manager, he set about discussing the possibility of a community solar farm for his customers. Through a series of public meetings, Brian was able to launch, and twice expand, the community solar farm within seven weeks. This case study lays out the principles and tactics Newton undertook to ensure the 1.55 MW community solar farm was a success.

  • Click here to read more and to download the free research report.
  • Learn more about Fremont’s Community Solar Farm by watching this YouTube video.

Utilities take note: Next generation utility-led community solar is emerging

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive
Flexible subscriptions and solar-plus plans “push the envelope” of utility programs.

[Smart Electric Power Alliance Utility Strategy Manager Dan] Chwastyk said the success of the Municipal Utility of Freemont, NE, SunShares program may be one version of next generation community solar. Fremont worked with SEPA on a survey to understand what customers wanted, Department of Utilities General Manager Brian Newton told Utility Dive . . . Newton said the utility decided the best way to capture the interest was to offer two kinds of subscriptions.
Read the entire article here.

Photo by Mike Kruger: Construction began in October on Fremont’s first solar farm, which sold out in 7 weeks and is expected to go online in December. A second solar farm already has a waiting list of 70.

To learn more about Fremont’s innovative community solar program, click the following links:


Nebraska town can’t get enough of community solar: Smart program design drives sold-out project, Smart Electric Power Alliance

Fremont Business Park, Greater Fremont Development Council

  • 80 acres municipally-owned, shovel ready; Olsson Associates master planned site
  • 10MW power available with ability to grow with customer
  • Power rates in the 4.5 to 4.9 cent range per kWh – Municipally-owned utilities
  • Fixed rate period up to 5 yrs. available per Nebraska State law and dependent on size and scope of project
  • Municipality has two sources for power backup; NPPD & OPPD through automatic interconnect agreements