Tag Archives: community solar development in Nebraska

Community solar now available in Scottsbluff

By Spike Jordan, Scottsbluff Star Herald 

Along with GenPro, Central City-based developer Mesner Development Company worked with NPPD and the City of Scottsbluff to make the project a reality. “When we did this project, we ran the numbers past somebody in California,” Cliff Mesner of Mesner Development said. “He said we were showing as much solar gain in Scottsbluff as we get in the Mojave desert.”
Read the entire news story here.

Photo: Scottsbluff Mayor Randy Meininger cuts the ribbon for Nebraska Public Power District’s new community solar project outside NPPD’s Scottsbluff office Tuesday. Meininger is flanked by representatives from the Scottsbluff / Gering United Chamber of Commerce, NPPD employees and the project’s representatives and shareholders. Credit: Spike Jordan / Scottsbluff Star Herald

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Nebraska utility seeking input for first community solar project

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

One of Nebraska’s largest utilities is scheduled to meet with stakeholders today to begin developing a vision for its first community solar project. When Omaha Public Power District was soliciting feedback from customers a couple of years ago about its sources of generation, community solar “was one of the things our stakeholders always asked about,” said Laurie Zagurski, the utility’s manager of community outreach . . . Nebraskans for Solar generally supports community solar, and plans to send a representative to the meeting today to convey its thoughts about how community solar could be structured. It should, for one, result in an offset of energy or demand charges, and not take the form of “energy payments,” according to the group. “We really want it to be a program that is in the vein of what maybe nationally is recognized as a community-solar program, and not just a program given the name community solar and that maybe turns into a donation or request for money or something like that,” said Jared Friesen, an electrical engineer and the president of Nebraskans for Solar. Read more here.

Photo: Nebraska Public Power District provides customers in Venango and Scottsbluff the opportunity to purchase solar energy through its pilot community solar program. “Community solar is the fastest growing segment of today’s solar market.” – NPPD

As costs drop, solar projects get attention

Written by Mike Konz, Kearney Hub Managing Editor

The Kearney project, at $11 million and 5.8 megawatts, will be the largest solar array in Nebraska when its solar panels spanning 53 acres go online in the fall. The Kearney project is among community solar projects that are flying off the drawing board as creative partnerships, technological advancements and other factors have turned solar into a cost-effective, long-term alternative among renewable energy sources. Read the entire article here.

Photo: Chicago-based SoCore Energy will build Kearney’s community solar project. The company recently partnered on the Dairyland Power Cooperative’s solar array in Wisconsin, which received a “Project of Distinction” award at the 2016 PV Conference & Expo in Chicago. The award recognizes the best photovoltaic projects in the Midwest. Dairyland Power Cooperative and its project partners — SoCore Energy, Faith Technologies Inc. and Distribu-Gen Cooperative — were recognized for Dairyland’s 18 MW solar portfolio. The 14 sites in the portfolio are spread across Wisconsin and Iowa, with installations ranging from 600 kilowatts to 2.75 megawatts in size. – Source: SoCore Energy Blog

Going green: Kearney on renewable energy map

Kearney Hub Opinion

How the new 5.8-megawatt community solar project will benefit Kearney:

First, residents and commercial consumers will be able to buy the solar energy, if powering their homes and businesses with green power is important to them. Second, and perhaps more important, the project will serve as a giant billboard for Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing to aid in recruiting technology firms to the city’s tech park. Kearney lost the bid a few years ago for a $1 billion Facebook data center not because we offered sharply reduced electrical rates for the power-gobbling data center, but because the winning bid from Iowa included renewable wind energy. With an $11 million solar array in the works, Kearney is now a player in the technology recruitment game. Third, the city, school district, county and other taxing entities will get a bump in their tax draws as the solar array and new tech firms fill the Tech oNE park.
Read more here.

Photo: Downtown Kearney. Credit: Nebraska Business First

RECOMMENDED READING
Facebook is one of 65 signatories to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles.

Corporate Renewable Strategy Map

Corporate Buyers’ Principles signatories need to buy nearly 44 million megawatt hours of renewable energy across the US by 2020. States that offer products can compete for this economic development and these companies more effectively. The Corporate Renewable Strategy Map shows where large energy buyers can access the renewable energy they want at the scale they need.

More websites of potential interest

Solar panels installed at NPPD

By Irene North, Scottsbluff Star Herald

Once finished, there will be five rows of panels, with approximately 500 panels. GenPro hopes to be finished installing the panels in two to three days. The solar project is the first of its kind in the Panhandle . . . The 128-kilowatt solar array is a step toward the future for NPPD as it looks to remain competitive and provide customers with renewable energy. Read the entire article here.

HELPFUL LINKS

2017 NEBRASKA COMMUNITY SOLAR LEGISLATION
Nebraska Legislative Bill 610
: Adopt the Community Solar Energy Economic Development Act. Introduced by Senator Rick Kolowski January 18, 2017. Referred to the Natural Resources Committee January 20, 2017.
Download LB 610 (PDF)

Nebraska Legislative Bill 626: Adopt the Shared Community Solar Act. Introduced by Senator Tyson Larson of O’Neill on January 18, 2017. Referred to the Natural Resources Committee January 20, 2017. LB626 would authorize the establishment of guidelines, including the participation, regulation and financing of community solar projects.
Download LB626 (PDF) 

Resources For Nebraska Communities Considering A Community Solar Project


Photo: Nebraska’s first community solar project in Central City.

HELPFUL LINKS 

NEBRASKA COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE DEVELOPED OR PLAN TO DEVELOP
SOLAR PROJECTS – WITH LINKS TO INFORMATION

MORE COMMUNITY SOLAR LINKS

Scottsbluff community solar project delayed but construction expected to start soon

NPPD News Release

Scottsbluff, Neb. – If you were wondering when the new community solar project in Scottsbluff at the Nebraska Public Power District office was going to be installed . . . it’s still coming.

“We have had a delay in construction due to material shortages and delivery issues,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “We will be making contact with Scottsbluff customers who have signed up for the program to explain the delay and keep them in the loop as to when the solar unit would begin operation.”

Arlt indicated that construction is expected to begin in the next week, and is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Of the solar shares made available to the community, all 135 have been sold and accounted for, although NPPD would continue taking names to be placed on a waiting list. “We had positive feedback from customers in Scottsbluff from the beginning and they showed their interest by becoming part of this community solar project,” Arlt added.

While that construction begins soon, drivers are urged to be cautious driving along the construction site in front of the NPPD Operations Center at the intersection of Belt Line Highway and First Avenue. Link to NPPD’s Newsroom.

 NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

RELATED NEWS STORIES
Venango site for one of NPPD’s first community solar projects, The Imperial Republican
Venango ‘solar garden’ gets off the ground, North Platte Telegraph

Groundbreaking for the Venango Community Solar Project

Click image to watch the newscast or read the post by KNOP News2.

Photo: Venango homes and businesses have the opportunity to purchase up to ten 150-kilowatt shares of the solar garden for $2.17 each, with 108 total shares available.

For more information about the pilot community solar project, click here.

Venango ‘solar garden’ gets off the ground

By Tammy Bain, North Platte Telegraph

The western Nebraska village of Venango will soon have access to solar power. The Venango Community Solar Project will host a groundbreaking ceremony just northeast of the village at 3:30 p.m. MST Wednesday, with an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Tin Can Diner, 116 N. Pennsylvania Ave. At the open house, potential customers will learn about solar power and its uses. Continue reading

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

Photo: Developer Cliff Mesner at Central City’s solar garden, Nebraska’s first community solar project.

Venango site for one of NPPD’s first community solar projects

By Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican

The village of Venango owns its own electrical distribution system and leases it to NPPD, who operates it on behalf of the village. In return, NPPD returns 12 percent of the revenues to the village. [Tim Arlt, general manager of retail sales for NPPD] said this project puts Venango on the cutting edge in Nebraska. Both the Venango [96 kWs] and Scottsbluff projects are set to come online in January so the race is on to see which one will be NPPD’s first-ever solar project to go live. The Scottsbluff project will generate 128 kWs. The much bigger Kearney project, which will generate 5.7 megawatts, is slated to come online in July 2017.
Read more here.

NPPD’s SunWise Program