The Lincoln City Council on Monday paved the way for a solar farm east of Lincoln that would be the largest in the state. Council members voted 6-0 to grant a special permit to Ranger Power, a New York-based company that wants to build a 230-megawatt solar farm on roughly 1,100 acres in an area bounded by 128th Street, 148th Street and O Street and Havelock Avenue. Ranger Power officials said they chose the area east of Lincoln because it is close to the state’s two largest cities and also because it has existing infrastructure — in the form of a nearby transformer owned by Lincoln Electric System. Read more here.
Image: A rendering shows a series of solar panels planned as part of a project east of Lincoln.
Wind turbines have become a familiar part of the landscape in the rural Midwest, and with them have come jobs, income for farmers and tax revenue for communities. They’re one sign of how the clean energy transition is helping to transform areas that sometimes struggle to attract jobs and investment.
A new reportfrom the Natural Resources Defense Council shows the extent to which clean energy is contributing jobs to the rural economies of 12 Midwestern states. It also reflects what the rural Midwest stands to lose from Trump administration actions that harm clean energy, such as its recent call to eliminate subsidiesfor renewable energy, its tariffson solar energy equipment, and its plan to weaken the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The authors say the numbers underscore the need in the Midwest for government policies that are supportive of clean energy instead. Read more here.
Dan Gearino covers the U.S. Midwest, part of Inside Climate News’ National Environment Reporting Network. His coverage deals with the business side of the clean-energy transition, and he writes Inside Climate News’ Clean Economy WeeklyNewsletter.
REGIONAL—The Center for Rural Affairs is strongly supportive of renewable energy. Those words come from Lucas Nelsen, policy program associate for the Lyons, NE-based nonprofit organization, which earlier this year released, “Powering Iowa: Rural Perspectives on Iowa’s Renewable Energy Transformation,” a research report examining renewable energy development in the Hawkeye State. Nelsen explained why the center is in favor of renewable energy. Continue here.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, the country’s largest coalition of cities representing 148 million people and 41.8 percent of the country’s electricity use, plans to vote this weekend on a pledge to make 100 percent renewable power a top policy priority over the next decade.
NextEra plans deeper moves into solar, PV Magazine The world’s largest wind and solar asset owner has identified opportunities for 9-10 GW of solar as it expands into renewables and away from risky conventional merchant generation.