Tag Archives: David Bracht

Thank you to everyone who attended last evening’s Nebraskans for Solar event

First of all, thank you to our distinguished guest speaker, David Bracht, who provided an excellent overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth. If you missed his presentation last night at UNO’s Community Engagement Center, his PowerPoint slides will be posted on our website Home Page and our Facebook Page soon.

Thank you, as well, to our attendees, who contributed many insightful questions and comments to the discussion that followed Mr. Bracht’s presentation, and to our co-sponsoring groups: Conservation Nebraska, Nebraska Sierra Club, Green Bellevue, and OTOC’s Environmental Sustainability Action Team.

About Our Speaker

David Bracht, Attorney with the U.S. law firm Kutak Rock, advises clients involved in renewable energy development including biofuels, biomass, solar and wind energy, as well as lenders, power companies and government agencies supporting renewable energy development.

Mr. Bracht works with companies, service providers and other public agencies focused on improving energy efficiency to reduce energy use and cost. He counsels producers, agribusinesses and other businesses involved in production and processing of agriculture products, along with lenders, insurers and other firms supporting the production of food, fiber and fuel from agriculture processes. He has more than 35 years’ experience in business, government and law, including private legal practice and senior executive experience in private industry and federal and state government agencies.

Most recently, Mr. Bracht served as Director of the Nebraska Energy Office and a member of the cabinet of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts from January 2015 to August 2018.  During his service as Nebraska Energy Director, total solar facilities statewide expanded from an estimated 1-2 megawatts to more than 30-40 megawatts and total wind facilities in Nebraska nearly doubled and the current 1.97 gigawatts is nearly triple those operating in 2014.

Recommended Reading
Nebraska gains as wind power grows, by David Bracht, The Grand Island Independent
Bolstered by more than $3.5 billion in private investment, close to 2,000 Nebraskans work in wind today. In fact, Yahoo Finance recently reported that “wind turbine service technician” is the fastest growing job in our state. Those jobs, and the option for young people to return home, bring new life to communities that have been suffering population decline for decades. Wind farms adding 10, 15 and sometimes 25 new good-paying jobs has had a dramatic impact, especially in Nebraska’s small towns. Look to towns like Petersburg, Elgin, Allen, and Neligh for just a few examples.

Sizing Up the Corporate Renewables Market

Corporate wind and solar procurement is in its early innings, a new analysis from WoodMac and the American Wind Energy Association says.

By Karl-Erik Stromsta, Greentech Media

Anyone watching the recent explosion of demand for renewable power from corporations like Facebook, Walmart and even ExxonMobil will have wondered: how far can this go? Much, much further, is the short answer. For all its recent gains, the corporate renewables market is likely in its very early innings, according to a new analysis from Wood Mackenzie and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Solar is likely to eclipse wind as the technology of choice for most corporate deals by the early 2020s. That’s due not only to a more favorable phaseout schedule of its main subsidy but also because of inherent economic advantages in its generation profile, with solar’s natural midday output more valuable to most companies. Read more here.

The report’s free 40-page executive summary is available for download here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Solar to overtake wind in corporate renewable procurement, PV Magazine
With the capacity of renewable generation by corporations rising exponentially every year and expected to continue to do so, with the exception of an expected two-year dip when the ITC runs out, the question of why corporations are moving towards renewables becomes increasingly important. To answer that question, AWEA and WoodMac identified four key factors that accelerate adoption: branding, investor pressure, peer pressure, and the utilization of Corporate Social Responsibility to mitigate future business risks.

Those first three factors are fairly self-explanatory. The opinion that humans are contributing to irreversible and damaging climate change is a popular one that grows in popularity by the day. As more people believe it, so too will more companies, as, spoiler alert, companies are comprised of people. So between pressure from customers, competitors and investors, as well as a held belief that climate change is occurring, more companies will look to tackle this threat.

Wind feels heat from solar for US corporate renewable top-spot, Recharge News
Up to 85GW of renewables demand exists within Fortune 1000 companies through 2030 as PV challenges current sector leader wind.

Save the Date! September 12, 2019 at 7 pm


Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director
UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201/205. Mr. Bracht will provide an overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth.


Specific topics will include:

  • power purchase agreements
  • virtual power purchase agreements
  • commercial and industrial use of solar
  • the potential for combined solar and battery installations
  • incentives and depreciation

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.

Clean energy provides Nebraska jobs

The Grand Island Independent

LINCOLN — More than 18,400 Nebraska residents now work in clean energy industries in 92 out of 93 counties in the state, according to a new analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Nebraska’s clean energy workforce now employs more than 5 times as many people than all the computer programmers and web developers in the state, according to Department of Labor Employment Statistics. Read more here.

Photo Credit: iStock

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Inside Business: Kutak Rock, Omaha World-Herald
    During Mr. Bracht’s tenure as Director of the Nebraska Energy Office, the state’s solar developments expanded by 20-fold from just over one megawatt to more than 25 megawatts. In addition, Nebraska now exceeds 1.4 gigawatt of operating wind farms, and at the completion of projects under development will have more than 2.4 gigawatts.
  • LED streetlight program moving forward, The Wire, OPPD Blog
    Beginning in September, OPPD representatives will meet with municipalities, counties and other streetlight customers about the transition from high-pressure sodium fixtures to LED fixtures. The utility is finalizing which LED fixture design it will go with, looking at several options to determine which will be the best for customers both in terms of cost and function.
  • Rural electric cooperatives look at cutting the cord, Colorado Springs Gazette
    At least four cooperatives — United Power, the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, the La Plata Electric Association and San Miguel — have hit the 5 percent cap, and four more are near the limit, according to a survey by Clean Cooperative. Tri-State Members’ Service Territories include Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.
    In Nebraska:
    CR Chimney Rock Public Power District, Bayard
    MW The Midwest Electric Cooperative Corporation, Grant
    NW Northwest Rural Public Power District, Hay Springs
    PH Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association, Alliance
    RS Roosevelt Public Power District, Scottsbluff
    WB Wheat Belt Public Power District, Sidney

  • America’s Electric Cooperatives, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Fact Sheets (PDF)
  • Study: Wind farms do not hurt property values, Nebraska Radio Network Contributor, Lu Nelsen, Policy Associate, Center for Rural Affairs

Nebraska’s Former Director of Energy David Bracht Returns to Kutak Rock

Kutak Rock News Release

“David brings more than 30 years of knowledge, experience and real understanding of the unique needs of our clients,” said Mike Curry, Managing Partner of Kutak Rock’s Omaha office. “As we continue to grow the firm’s renewable energy and agribusiness practices, David will be an invaluable expert resource. His extensive experience in agricultural matters, with energy transactions and leading legislative initiatives, will position our clients for success as they seek to maneuver upcoming changes in the agribusiness and energy spaces. We are thrilled to welcome David back to Kutak Rock.

Read the entire release here.

Added August 12, 2018: Inside Business: Kutak Rock, Omaha World-Herald
“During Mr. Bracht’s tenure as Director of the Nebraska Energy Office, the state’s solar developments expanded by 20-fold from just over one megawatt to more than 25 megawatts. In addition, Nebraska now exceeds 1.4 gigawatt of operating wind farms, and at the completion of projects under development will have more than 2.4 gigawatts.”

Nebraska Fire Marshal, Energy Office Director Stepping Down

US News & World Report

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has announced the retirement of State Fire Marshal Jim Heine and plans by state Energy Office Director David Bracht to leave that post next month . . . Bracht will end his service on Aug. 1 to return to his private law practice, Kutak Rock, in Omaha.

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Director Jim Macy will serve as interim director of the energy office.

Read the entire news release here,

David Bracht: Nebraska Energy Office Programs

David Bracht was appointed as the Director of the Nebraska Energy Office (NEO) by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts in January 2015.  Bracht serves on the Governor’s Cabinet as the principle advisor on energy policy.

As Director, Bracht is responsible for leadership of agency operations including administration of Nebraska’s Weatherization Assistance Program, management of the state’s $48 million Revolving Energy Loan Program and implementation of the State Energy Program.

Since Bracht’s appointment, NEO has initiated several programs to encourage energy efficiency and save cost for local and state government facilities.

NEO also leads the Access Ethanol Nebraska program, which is focused on doubling the number of fuel dispensers in Nebraska offering E-85, E-15 and other high-ethanol blends utilizing a $2.4 million grant under the USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership.

Prior to his appointment, Bracht co-founded and co-led the renewable energy and biofuels practice groups at two Midwestern-based law firms, advising clients involved in renewable energy development including biofuels, biomass, wind and solar energy, as well as agribusinesses and businesses involved in production and processing of agriculture products.

Bracht has more than 30 years experience in business, government and law, including positions in Washington, DC as Associate Manager of USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and Director of Finance for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

A Nebraska native, Bracht lives in Omaha and continues to be involved in his family’s farming operation in northeast Nebraska.

Source: Nebraska Department of Administrative Services: State Personnel

Additional Recommended Reading

Nebraska needs overall plan for energy policies

By Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star David Bracht

OMAHA – Nebraska’s Energy Office director says the state needs a comprehensive approach to its energy policies as it faces what could be a “seismic” change in federal regulations governing emissions.

David Bracht, Gov. Pete Ricketts’ chief adviser on energy issues, talked about state energy policies Wednesday at the eighth annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Omaha. Continue reading.