Tag Archives: City of Lincoln

City of Lincoln, Nebraska, Selected for $800,000 EPA Brownfields Grant to Address Contaminated Properties

EPA News Release, May 21, 2021

Lenexa, Kansas – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, to receive $800,000 in EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Program. During the press event at the former Nature’s Variety Cold Storage Facility, Acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Edward H. Chu presented a novelty big check to Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.

“Thank you to the EPA for this boost in resources that will help our city overcome remaining environmental challenges and grow the vibrancy of our West and South Haymarket neighborhoods,” said Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. “Brownfield grants like this one align with our local Climate Action Plan goals and do more than clean up polluted ground. They also create opportunities to build more housing, provide additional park land, address local food security, and improve our community’s health and well-being.” Read the entire release here.

For More Information

OPPD proposes recognizing ‘scientific consensus’ of humans’ role in climate change

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The Omaha Public Power District board is proposing to explicitly acknowledge climate change and the role of humans in contributing to it, a position that stands in contrast to the Nebraska Legislature. The board is considering the following proposed strategic directive: “The OPPD Board of Directors recognizes the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, from human activity contribute to climate change impacts.” To comment, go to oppdcommunityconnect.com and click on the “SD 7 Environmental Stewardship” discussion box. Continue reading here.

National News
What to expect ahead of Biden’s global climate change summit, by Emma Newburger, CNBC
President Joe Biden will host a closely watched global leaders climate summit on Thursday and Friday, during which the U.S. is expected to unveil an updated carbon emission reduction target and urge cooperation with other nations to combat the climate crisis. The president has invited 40 world leaders to the virtual summit and is hoping to reach deals with some of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, has been meeting with officials in China and elsewhere to garner support for the summit.

President Biden Invites 40 World Leaders to Leaders Summit on Climate, The White House Briefing Room

Commentary: Clean transportation can help prevent pollution that damages our health and heightens COVID risk

Written by Dr. Shelley Francis and Johana Vicente, Energy News Network

If you are Black, Latinx, or a member of an Indigenous community, you are far more likely than a white person to know someone firsthand who has died of COVID-19. This mirrors what is happening in cities, suburbs, rural areas and tribal lands across the U.S. — our communities are being ravaged by the virus. As of mid-January, more than 375,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, with people of color between 2.2 to 2.5  times more likely to have died from the virus than whites of the same age. There are a number of longstanding racial inequities rooted in our current economic and social systems that contribute to this disparity . . . Continue reading here.


Dr. Shelley Francis
is co-founder of EVHybridNoire, the nation’s largest network of Black people and people of color who are enthusiastic about shifting away from fossil fuels. Francis co-wrote this op-ed with Chispa National Director Johana Vicente.

 

In Nebraska: The City of Lincoln’s Exemplary Climate Action Leadership

We Are Still In: Current Climate Actions City Of Lincoln, Nebraska Is Taking, by Frank Uhlarik, Sustainability and Compliance Administrator, City of Lincoln, Nebraska. The City of Lincoln acknowledges the threat of Climate Change and the need to develop and implement sound policies and programs intended to mitigate and/or adapt to the effects of Climate Change.

About We Are Still In
We Are Still In is a joint declaration of support for climate action, signed by more than 3,900 CEOs, mayors, governors, tribal leaders, college presidents, faith leaders, health care executives, and others. The organizations they represent comprise the largest and most diverse coalition of actors ever established in pursuit of climate action in the United States.

Additional Recommended Reading: Mayor Releases Draft Climate Action Plan, News Release, City of Lincoln Mayor’s Office

Lincoln’s Leadership on Clean Transportation

More Related News Stories & Resources:

EV EQUITY

With bans on gas-powered vehicles, here are key steps to increase EV equity, GreenBiz article contributed by Pamela Gordon, Managing Director, PGS Consults, Presidio Graduate School

At Presidio Graduate School, we see affordability of EVs as being both an equity and a diversity factor. Some of our professors reserve an empty seat in their classroom representing those who are not able to join the discussion. Although most new product and service adoptions are at first expensive before becoming more affordable, it’s time to buck the old way of targeting markets that inherently exclude those not usually in the room.

EV CHARGING DESERTS

In Chicago, ‘charging deserts’ part of racial divide on electric vehicles, Energy News Network
Public charging stations are most heavily concentrated in the city’s more affluent neighborhoods, creating a chicken/egg scenario for electric car adoption.

EV MAINTENANCE & REPAIR COSTS

It’s Official — Consumer Reports Confirms EV Owners Spend Half As Much On Maintenance, CleanTechnica

Data is king, and when it comes to information on the frequency of repairs on automobiles, Consumer Reports has more data than anyone. For its latest report, it did a deep dive into the data from its 2019 and 2020 reliability surveys of electric and gasoline powered vehicles. After crunching all the numbers, Consumer Reports says “drivers of electric vehicles are saving an average of 50% on maintenance and repair over the life of a vehicle compared to owners of gas-powered vehicles.”

SOLSMART SOLAR + EV GUIDE

SolSmart Report: Solar & Electric Vehicles, A Guide For Local Governments
This new report outlines key strategies including educating community members on the benefits of PV and EVs, organizing group purchase campaigns to support both technologies, providing financial and non-financial incentives on EV and PV regulation, and adjusting local regulations to reduce costs and ease integration.


EV CHARGING STATIONS WITH BATTERY STORAGE

Energy storage for EV charging can lower demand charges, Guidehouse reports, Utility Dive
EV charging stations with battery storage systems can make EV charging more cost effective by drawing energy from the grid during low-demand periods and releasing power to charge EVs during peak-demand periods, according to a Guidehouse Insights report. 

VEHICLE-TO-GRID (V2G) BENEFITS

Public power utilities, others pursue vehicle-to-grid opportunities, American Public Power Association


In 2019, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released a study finding that utilities and ratepayers can derive substantial value from large-scale deployment of EVs equipped to transmit power to the grid.


FEDERAL LEADERSHIP THAT WILL ALSO BENEFIT OUR COMMUNITIES

Biden administration will replace the entire federal vehicle fleet with EVs, CNET

The current federal vehicle fleet is estimated at

around 645,000 vehicles, and President Biden plans to replace all of them with American-made electric vehicles. 

NREL’S FEDERAL FLEET TRAINING VIDEOS

NREL Learning Resources: NREL’s fleet electrification experts develop training content and regional workshops that help fleets evaluate EV potential for sites, campuses, and more.

7 Things to Know About Renewable Natural Gas

By Tom Cyrs and John Feldmann, World Resources Institute

The production and use of renewable natural gas made from organic waste is growing rapidly in the United States. In the last five years, the number of production facilities has grown approximately threefold, with about 115 facilities now making the fuel — which is interchangeable with fossil natural gas — out of landfill waste, animal manure, wastewater, food waste and other organic feedstocks.

Due to the potential benefits of renewable natural gas as an alternative to fossil fuels, a handful of states including California, Washington and Oregon have integrated it into climate goals. Both state and national assessments find that sufficient amounts of the waste-derived fuel could be produced to displace as much as 4-7% of current fossil gas consumption, while delivering other co-benefits related to waste management.

However, policymakers across the country still face questions on the extent to which renewable natural gas can help states meet ambitious climate change targets. A new research paper by WRI examines the potential of renewable natural gas as a climate strategy.

Learn more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

City Hall: Lancaster County seeks to relax rules for wind turbines

By Riley Johnson, Lincoln Journal Star

Lancaster County commissioners want to ease the restrictions they adopted just last year governing wind turbines in a move they see as recalibrating rules that have proven prohibitive. “It has become apparent the (county’s rules) failed to strike an appropriate balance that would allow a viable path toward wind energy development,” the five commissioners wrote in a joint letter to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Top six wind trends of 2020 (so far), by Nora Zacharski, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog
This has been a year like no other, complete with a tremendous amount of uncertainty for our country and the entire world. Despite the many challenges, the wind industry continued to provide reliable, clean, and affordable energy for the American people. And there’s no sign that it will be slowing down any time soon. Here is a look at 2020’s top industry trends (at least through November).

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

Wind and Solar Jobs: U.S. Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook

Books, reports for jump-starting U.S. climate action in 2021

By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D. Yale Climate Connections

In the midst of a Coronavirus-dominated Thanksgiving season, the climate-concerned find themselves scurrying for ways the incoming Biden/Harris administration can best move forward on climate action, whatever the political obstacles. Real action on climate change will require difficult, long-term efforts to organize and maintain a broad and diverse coalition of interests – and do so in the face of concerted and well-funded opposition. Several individuals and organizations have been thinking through various approaches, and the results of their efforts are now available in new books and reports highlighted below. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Resources

Local Climate Action

Previously Posted: Mayor Releases Draft Climate Action Plan, News Release, City of Lincoln Mayor’s Office

New Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance

A Sustainable Harvest, American Farm Bureau
Just last week we announced a historic alliance with organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments and environmental advocates, called the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance. The founding members are diverse, but we are united around the goal of developing and promoting voluntary, market- and incentive-based climate solutions. At the American Farm Bureau, we are proud of agriculture’s sustainability story, and we believe that we can continue to build on that success together. This new alliance was formed in February and has been working diligently to develop 40 recommendations built around three key principles:

Virtual Conversation Hosted By The Union of Concerned Scientists

Connecting Faith, Climate, and Justice, December 8, 2020, 6 pm CT
Join the Union of Concerned Scientists and faith leaders for a virtual discussion about how traditions can inform advocacy and action in response to climate change and racial justice.

LES Board Commits to Net Zero Carbon by 2040

By Lincoln Electric System | November 22, 2020, KRVN

LINCOLN – The Lincoln Electric System Board Friday passed a resolution setting a goal for the utility to achieve net-zero carbon by 2040. With the passage of the goal, LES joins dozens of other utilities and cities that have passed similar measures, including the Omaha Public Power District.

“As LES Board Members, our fiduciary responsibility is to ratepayers. Across the country, clean energy like wind and solar is becoming cheaper while coal is becoming more costly,” said Lucas Sabalka, an LES Board Member. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Seeking input on decarbonization goal, LES to host public meetings

Lincoln Electric System News Release 

LINCOLN — Over the last decadeLincoln Electric System has made great strides in transitioning its energy production portfolio to more sustainable sources. From 2010 to 2019, the community-owned utility increased renewable energy production from the equivalent of 10% of retail sales in 2010 to 46% in 2019, simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions by 42% and the carbon intensity of its energy produced by 38%.

Along with transitioning to more renewable resources, LES has also promoted sustainability through customer-facing programs like incentivized rates for customer-owned solar, virtual net metering, allowing customers to buy “virtual” panels at the local community solar facility, and by offering multiple energy efficiency and demand reduction incentives and opportunities. Both distributed generation and load reduction are important parts of maintaining sustainability for an electric utility, and LES has been ahead of the curve on implementing many of these actions.

[Seeking input from LES customers on the utility’s decarbonization goal]: Virtual public meetings will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 11:30 a.m. and the following Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m. These meetings will include a presentation by LES staff, interactive polls and time for public comment. Please refer to “How to participate in a virtual public meeting” and find more information on the upcoming meetings at LES.com/decarb. Read the entire news release here.

Photo: Lincoln Electric System’s Solar Farm

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & RESOURCES

Lincoln Journal Star Letter: Commit to clean energy

Written by Alison Krohn

The City of Lincoln and Lincoln Electric System have taken steps towards a sustainable future through multiple efforts. The Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (2017-2018) calls for a 25% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 while increasing the use of renewable energy 50%.

LES offers several incentives for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvements. The utility obtains approximately 40% of its distributed power from renewable sources. But are these goals and incentives enough? Continue reading here.

Photo: Telesis Inc’s solar array on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED RESOURCE: LOW-INCOME SOLAR POLICY GUIDE

Best Practices for Utility Ownership
In considering the roles utilities can and should play in making solar available for low-income households and underserved communities, Principles and Recommendations for Utility Participation in Solar Programs for Low-Income Customers from the Environmental Law & Policy Center, GRID Alternatives, and Vote Solar outlines three interrelated sets of guidelines and considerations for policy makers and regulators to review.

NEBRASKA GRID INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS

USDA Invests $8.2 Million For KBR Rural Public Power District, USDA News Release
The power district serves 4,847 customers over 2,604 miles of line in five counties in north central Nebraska.

APPA ANNUAL REPORT

Wind, solar, natural gas dominate capacity in development, American Public Power Association
Wind, solar, and natural gas are the three dominant sources in the development pipeline for electricity generation in the US, according to a report from the American Public Power Association. America’s Electricity Generating Capacity, 2020 Update is the Association’s 14th annual look at the country’s current and future capacity. Wind, natural gas, and solar projects account for 94% of all capacity under construction, which is consistent with additions over the past five years, of which 97% came from these three resources.

ENERGY STORAGE

US Storage Industry Achieved Biggest-Ever Quarter and Year in 2019, Greentech Media
“Storage is being deployed all across the country now, at megawatt-scale, in more than half of U.S. states,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association. Eight states now contain utility-scale storage facilities adding up to more than 50 megawatts. Another 11 states operate more than 10 megawatts each. Only 15 states have yet to adopt any advanced storage in front of the meter, according to WoodMac’s data. Overall, U.S. storage installations are expected to nearly triple in 2020 and more than double in 2021. Residential numbers, in particular, will triple this year compared to last year.

NEW 500-WATT SOLAR PANELS

How the new generation of 500 watt panels will shape the solar industry, PV Magazine
There are two solar module manufacturers, Risen Energy and Trina Solar, that have unveiled first-of-their kind 500W, 50-cell, PV modules. “For applications where you have a lot of area, particularly commercial and especially utility-scale, it’s really significant,” CEO of Cinnamon Energy Systems Barry Cinnamon told pv magazine. “You could just use fewer modules, it reduces handling costs and overall balance-of-system costs go down.” If there are less modules needed to reach the capacity specifications of a project, that means overall project costs will go down as these modules become economically viable. A significant area that will see cost reduction will come from the racking and trackers.

NREL’S FREE DATABASE

WattBuy to automate and expand NREL’s utility rate database, PV Magazine
With this new, free database, WattBuy can help residential homeowners more accurately calculate the return on investment (ROI) on a solar and/or solar-plus-storage system and make a more informed decision, Hood said. For solar financiers and energy efficiency companies, the new data will be useful for targeting new markets and for tracking projects’ ROI, he added.

EV NEWS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Project developers can secure cash from new IRENA funding pot, PV Magazine
The Climate Investment Platform launched by three multilateral bodies in September is now open for business and renewables companies in developing nations could qualify for help with clean energy facilities, renewables-related grid improvements and energy efficiency schemes.