LYONS, Neb. — The growth of the solar industry has brought a wave of new projects to Nebraska, including a community solar farm in Scottsbluff that’s expected to save the city more than $2 million in energy costs over 25 years. With more projects on the horizon, Lu Nelsen, policy program associate for the advocacy group Center for Rural Affairs, says solar is poised to boost rural economies. Nelsen says advances in technology and manufacturing have made solar more affordable for homes, communities and for big utility companies.
Lighting the way – ahead of schedule, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire After accelerating the replacement of streetlights with new LED fixtures last year, OPPD is running ahead of schedule on the project. The utility announced the project in 2018 to update the 98,744 streetlights in the OPPD service territory over a five-year period. So far, 32,000 lights have been replaced. Lights in smaller towns are done and SIDS will be among the next wave of replacements.
It was Nathan Johnson’s last official day as Scottsbluff city manager as he joined city officials and representatives from Nebraska Public Power District to cut the ribbon on the community’s new solar energy facility. NPPD Account Manager Terry Rajewich welcomed the public to the ceremony at the Landers Soccer Complex north of Scottsbluff.
“Partnerships are what we’re about,” Rajewich said. “NPPD is turning 50 this year and Scottsbluff has been with us for the past 46 years. They were the first to express an interest in purchasing more of its power from solar generation.” Continue reading here.
Columbus, Neb. – The time has come to celebrate the launch of a new community solar farm with the official ribbon cutting for the Scottsbluff II project. The new addition to the Scottsbluff community’s renewable energy portfolio is set to go live on March 1, with the ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. March 2. “We are very excited to cut the ribbon and celebrate the official launch of Scottsbluff II,” says Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Vice-President and Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “The Scottsbluff II project is a great partnership between the city of Scottsbluff – NPPD and N-Solar and these combined efforts are what made this project a reality.” The ceremony is set to take place in the Landers Memorial Soccer Complex parking lot at 4205 5th Avenue just outside the new solar facility. Continue reading here.
[The Dodge County Board of Supervisors] unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Western Integrated Seed to establish a seven-acre solar farm on their property near Hooper. The farm came from a collaboration between Bluestem Energy Solutions and the Burt County Public Power District to provide energy to the county.
Bluestem is a renewable energy developer based out of Omaha that works with public power districts and municipal utilities across the state to provide them with options for local renewable generation. Matt Robinette, vice president of development, said the farm will provide energy to around 150 homes in Burt County. Read more here.
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Scottsbluff II Solar shares selling fast, NPPD News Release Shares for the 4.375-megawatt solar farm opened for registration on Jan. 2, 2020. In just under a month, over 90 percent of the Scottsbluff II shares have already been purchased.
Residents of Scottsbluff who are interested in having solar energy as part of their electricity options, now have the opportunity! The City of Scottsbluff, in cooperation and partnership with Nebraska Public Power District, will again offer community solar shares to their customers in Scottsbluff. A second community solar project is under construction in Scottsbluff, located near Landers Soccer Complex. The 4.375-megawatt solar farm, scheduled to go live this spring, will begin taking registration for shares from Scottsbluff residents and businesses on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. The initial solar farm, located at NPPD’s Scottsbluff office, was well received and sold out immediately. Continue reading here.
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Wayne State partners with UNL to offer dual-degree program, Kearney Hub The goals of the partnership are to provide education platforms in resilient food, energy, water and societal systems in alignment with career opportunities, as well as prepare teachers and curriculum to respond to the increased need for agricultural science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educators.
Work continues on a five-megawatt solar array to supplement the electrical supply in the City of Scottsbluff. The solar array, located north of Scottsbluff near the Landers Soccer Complex, includes more than 14,000 solar panels that will track the sun throughout the day. It’s expected to be online sometime in the first quarter of 2020. It’s the second solar project in the community for Nebraska Public Power District. The first one, a 128-kilowatt array that went into operation in 2017, is located at the Scottsbluff NPPD offices on South Beltline Highway. Traditional power generation costs about $58 per megawatt to produce at the wholesale level. Because solar power comes in at a lower rate, it will help lower the overall cost of electricity for NPPD consumers. Continue reading here.
Sol Systems CEO Yuri Horwitz shares a view from the front lines of the solar sector. Greentech Media
America overwhelmingly supports renewable energy. As of January 2019, 73 percent of Americans support the further development of renewable energy, according to The Pew Research Center, which is one of the largest pluralities in history. The United States has the largest electricity load in the world, and these same Americans are electricity customers who support both policy initiatives for renewable energy and who will create the demand for renewables in the next decade. In 2018, we noted that Americans overwhelmingly support our industry, but we did not anticipate how rapidly this would translate into renewable support at the state level. Read more here.
Solar Array: Sol Systems and GenPro Energy Solutions partnered with the City of Lexington to develop, finance, and construct this 3.9 MW solar farm. The array produces enough energy to power 700 homes each year. Through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Lexington locked in 25 years of price certainty against volatile wholesale electricity rates.
Recently Posted NPPD to plug in more solar energy, Scottsbluff Star Herald A new source of electricity will soon be available to Scottsbluff residents and businesses when a 4.6 megawatt solar project comes online by the end of the year. Construction on the solar array should begin during the summer of 2019 at the southeast edge of the Landers Soccer Complex north of Scottsbluff. The array will include more than 14,000 solar panels that will track the sun throughout the day. NPPD has entered into a 25-year purchase agreement with solar finance and development firm Sol Systems for a fixed solar electricity rate of 5.19 cents per kilowatt hour.
A new source of electricity will soon be available to Scottsbluff residents and businesses when a 4.6 megawatt solar project comes online by the end of the year. Construction on the solar array should begin during the summer of 2019 at the southeast edge of the Landers Soccer Complex north of Scottsbluff. The array will include more than 14,000 solar panels that will track the sun throughout the day . . . NPPD has entered into a 25-year purchase agreement with solar finance and development firm Sol Systems for a fixed solar electricity rate of 5.19 cents per kilowatt hour. Continue reading here.
Photo: Scottsbluff’s 112-kilowatt solar array at NPPD offices.
SCOTTSBLUFF — Scottsbluff could realize some of the lowest electric rates in the nation under an agreement that will bring solar power to all city operations. During its Monday meeting, council members approved a lease agreement with Sol Systems, LLC as part of the city’s five-megawatt solar power project. Sol Systems would then enter into an energy purchase agreement with Nebraska Public Power District for distribution of the solar electricity. Continue readinghere.
NPPD Photo: Scottsbluff Community Solar Project. Through NPPD’s SunWise Program, a total of 135 solar shares were available. Each solar share = 150 kilowatt-hours per month, the minimum participation level. The maximum participation level was the number of solar shares equal to 80% of a customer’s total annual energy consumption. For example, if a customer used an average of 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, 80% = 750 kilowatt-hours or up to five solar shares. All 135 solar shares were spoken for, and customers are now placed on a wait-list. See Solar Examples for additional details.
South Sioux City Solar Farm: 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary. Archived News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal Photo Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal
Minnesota’s Connexus Energy readies its solar energy storage sites, Daily Energy Insider “We listen to members who tell us they want renewable energy without it costing more,” Connexus CEO Greg Ridderbusch said. “Most solar energy is produced when there is lower demand and the price is lower. We will discharge stored solar energy during peak hours when energy costs are the highest.”
Million Solar Strong eyes New York, PV Magazine The coalition’s goal of powering one million homes with solar energy is gaining traction in the Empire State, especially among members of the State Assembly.
Renewables reduced wholesale power costs by $5.7 billion in Texas, PV Magazine
SCOTTSBLUFF — The City of Scottsbluff has taken the first step toward building a 5-megawatt solar electric station to provide more low-cost energy to its residents. At their Monday meeting, council members agreed on a location just south and east of the Landers Soccer Complex north of the city. Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson said the project will save the city about $500,000 in interconnectivity costs as there is already a transmission station in that area. Read the entire articlehere.
Photo: Scottsbluff’s First Community Solar Project. Credit: NPPD