Tag Archives: Cliff Mesner

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

First of all, thank you to our speakers: Anna Noucas, Project Development Manager at
Sol Systems, based in Washington DC, and Jeff Berggren, Nebraska Program Manager for
GenPro Energy Solutions, headquartered in Piedmont, South Dakota.

They provided excellent presentations on a large number of solar projects completed
throughout our state and others in the development or planning stage. As their slides
demonstrated, solar energy projects have increased exponentially throughout Nebraska
over the past several years. Each of these projects contributes tax revenues to our local
communities, benefiting our state’s overall economy, while growing jobs.

The discussion that followed their presentations generated numerous insightful questions from audience members. Thank you to all our attendees, who were mainly from Omaha and Bellevue but also included people from Lincoln, Central City, Elkhorn, Bennington and Council Bluffs.

We also wish to thank two special guests, who contributed their professional expertise to the discussion:

  • David Bracht, former Director of the Nebraska Energy Office, who in August 2018
    rejoined the law firm Kutack Rock and whose practices include renewable energy and agribusiness.
  • Cliff Mesner, from Mesner Solar Development in Central City, who has completed utility-scale projects in Nebraska, starting with Nebraska’s first-ever community solar project in Central City.

NFS invites all four of them back for a future panel presentation and update on our state’s growing renewable energy development.

FEBRUARY EVENT

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us again in February when our speakers will
discuss a Lincoln neighborhood association’s community solar project, a first for Nebraska!

Lincoln’s Capitol Beach Community Solar Project – A Showcase Model for Nebraska
UNO’s Community Engagement Center, Rooms 230/231. February 13, 2019 – 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Presenters
Terry Wittler & Jeff Buhrman, Capitol Beach LLC
Michael Shonka, Solar Heat & Electric
Click here to view a Google Earth image of the solar project.
A Q&A will follow their presentation. All our events are open to the public. If you
belong to a neighborhood association, please share the event with other members.

FEBRUARY BOOK DRAWING

We will hold another book drawing at our February event. for ten copies of the Solar Electricity Handbook – 2019 Edition, by Michael Boxwell

The Solar Electricity Handbook is a simple, practical guide to using electric solar panels and designing and installing photovoltaic PV systems. Now in its thirteenth edition, the 2019 Edition assumes no previous knowledge of solar electric systems. The book explains how photovoltaic panels work and how they can be used. It provides a step by step guide to successfully design and install a photovoltaic solar system from scratch.

Town supports solar energy

Fremont Tribune Staff

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A Fremont’s Department of Utilities’ survey conducted in July and August examining some of the technical aspects of solar energy showed that Fremont residents are highly interested in the prospect of solar energy . . . Paul Gifford, chairman of the Board of Public Works, was pleased with the findings. “The board was very pleased with the survey’s results and appreciates the suggestions and comments received from customers,” he said. “We will continue working on the project and will share more information through bill stuffers as well as hold several community meetings early next year.” Read more.

Photo: Central City’s 200-kilowatt solar farm developed by Cliff Mesner. If developed, the Fremont solar farm would be significantly larger at 1.7 million kilowatt hours per year, providing enough power to supply 140 average homes.

Thank you to last night’s Nebraskans for Solar’s public forum speakers!

Nebraskans for Solar and our co-sponsors Creighton Energy Club and Green Bellevue wish to thank our speakers, Erin Cheese and Cliff Mesner, for their excellent presentations on community solar last evening at UNO’s Community Engagement Center. Many thanks, too, to NFS President Eric Williams for moderating the event and to everyone who attended and participated in our brainstorming session following their talks.

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Cliff Mesner, owner of Mesner Solar Development, who led Central City’s efforts to create Nebraska’s first community solar garden, presented an update on that project as well as community solar projects developing in other Nebraska communities, including Scottsbluff, Venango, Holdrege, Lexington and McCook.

 

erin-cheese2Our main speaker, Erin Cheese, is a Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, graduate of Creighton University’s Energy Technology Program, and former Nebraskans for Solar Board member for two years. Erin presented information about:

  • The National Community Solar Partnership, which works to expand access to community solar throughout the nation, especially in low- and moderate-income households. On July 19, 2016, the White House announced a new goal to enable 1 GW of low- and moderate-income solar by 2020. Nebraskans for Solar is a member of the National Community Solar Partnership.
  • CivicPACE – Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, the CivicPACE Program is working to support solar energy deployment by bringing property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to tax-exempt organizations, such as nonprofits, affordable housing, faith based institutions, and schools.
  • SolSmart – A national recognition and a no-cost technical assistance program for local governments designed to drive greater solar deployment and help make it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access affordable and renewable solar energy to meet their electricity needs. SolSmart supports the goals of the SunShot Initiative to make it faster, cheaper, and easier to go solar.
  • Solar In Your Community ChallengeErin announced that the SunShot Initiative will soon release information about the challenge. The program will award funds to teams in dozens of communities to develop innovative models to increase solar deployment and cut communities’ energy bills, in particular in low-income communities.  A major goal of this challenge is to reduce market barriers to solar development by spurring the deployment of dozens of projects across the nation, with an emphasis on new and emerging solar markets.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Wanted: Your ideas for new community solar projects or programs in Nebraska!

Please bring your ideas for local community solar development to Nebraskans for Solar’s public forum this Wednesday, October 12th at 7 p.m. in Combined Rooms 201/205/209 at UNO’s Community Engagement Center.

The Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership will be the primary topic of discussion for this first in a series of fall Nebraskans for Solar events. You will learn about the basics and benefits of community solar and how you can help develop a community solar project or program in your local community. You will also learn about another new program supported by DOE’s SunShot Initiative: CivicPACE.

erin-cheese2
Our main speaker will be Erin Cheese, Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, graduate of Creighton University’s Energy Technology Program, and former Nebraskans for Solar Board member for two years.

 

 

cliff-mesner-3Cliff Mesner,  owner of Mesner Solar Development, who led Central City’s efforts to create Nebraska’s first community solar garden, will then join the discussion. He will present several steps for developing community solar projects, available incentives, and benefits; the current status of Central City’s solar garden; and community solar projects developing in other Nebraska communities.

A brainstorming session will follow in which the audience will divide into small groups to discuss the information presented and propose ideas for new community solar projects and programs in our local communities.

This event, which is open to the public, is co-sponsored by Creighton Energy Club and Green Bellevue. We’ve invited additional solar developers and renewable energy advocacy groups and individuals, as well as government leaders and utility company representatives.

In addition to Nebraskans for Solar, Creighton Energy Club, and Green Bellevue, there are many more organizations and agencies educating people of all ages about renewable energy in our state. These groups have also been invited to participate in our public forum, and they include in alphabetical order: Bold Nebraska, Center for Rural Affairs, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Clean Energy Nebraska, Green Omaha Coalition, Nebraska Energy Office,  Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Green Schools, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, Nebraska League of Conservation Voters, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraska Solar Schools, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Omaha Together One Community, and Wind for Schools Program.

Please join us! Refreshments will be served. Reserved parking is available in the lot in front of the Community Engagement Center, near the Durham Bell Tower, and adjacent lots.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The National Community Solar Partnership works to expand access to community solar throughout the nation, especially in low- and moderate-income households. On July 19, 2016, the White House announced a new goal to enable 1 GW of low- and moderate-income solar by 2020. Nebraskans for Solar is a member of the National Community Solar Partnership. Included in Erin’s presentation will be information on joining the partnership and the benefits.

CivicPACE: Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, the CivicPACE Program is working to support solar energy deployment by bringing property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to tax-exempt organizations, such as nonprofits, affordable housing, faith based institutions, and schools.

Nebraska Community Solar Links 

USDA to Host Earth Day Event in Central City – Community Solar Developers to be Honored

Published by The Central City Republican-Nonpareil

Work completed on the 200 kW community solar garden north of Central City, says Central City’s Cliff Mesner, has sparked interest across the state, leading Nebraska USDA Rural Development to invite the public to attend an Earth Day event on April 21, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

The event will be held at the Venture Center located at 1532 17th Ave. (East corner of the US Highway 30 and NE Highway 14 intersection). Link to announcement.

Central City Administrator Chris Anderson (left) and Mesner Development's Cliff Mesner display the 2016 NMPP Project of the Year Award

Central City Administrator Chris Anderson (left) and Mesner Development’s Cliff Mesner

Central City Solar Development. Photo Credit: Cliff Mesner

Central City Community Solar Development (800 solar panels) . Photo Credit: Cliff Mesner

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Central City solar garden earns NMPP Energy’s Project of Year Award, The Central City Republican-Nonpareil. NMPP: Nebraska Municipal Power Pool

Thank you to Michael Shonka and everyone who attended his presentation last night!

Co-Sponsors Nebraskans for Solar and the Omaha Sierra Club would like to thank Michael Shonka for his informative and well-received presentation at UNO’s Community Engagement Center on the topic of “Central City’s Solar Farm.” We also thank everyone who braved last night’s bitter temperatures to attend the event and for your thoughtful and well-informed questions.

We regret that Michael’s friend and colleague, Chuck Marken, was unable to join us. On behalf of Nebraskans for Solar, however, Michael has let him know that the invitation to come to Nebraska and present a public forum remains open.

We also wish to thank three special guests: David Bracht, Director of the Nebraska Energy Office; Cliff Mesner, whose company developed the Central City Solar Farm and who contributed to last night’s presentation, answering a number of questions from the audience; and Don Preister, a leading pioneer in renewable energy legislation that laid the groundwork for its development in our state, serving for 16 years as a senator from Bellevue in the Nebraska Legislature.

Save the date!  You are invited to a panel presentation, “Creighton University’s Sustainable Energy Science Program” on Monday, March 23rd. RSVP required. Please see our calendar for additional details.