Tag Archives: Facebook

SEIA Expands Leadership Team, Adding Vice President of Congressional Affairs and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced today a restructure and expansion of its leadership team. Erin Duncan, a proven legislative strategist and advocate, has been named the organization’s new vice president of congressional affairs and Katherine Gensler has been named vice president of regulatory affairs.

Duncan has extensive experience in Washington D.C. She joins SEIA after more than 11 years as a federal lobbyist for the National Education Association. Prior to that, she spent eight years working on Capitol Hill, including six years as legislative director for Rep. Tom Osborne,
(R-Nebraska). Read more here.

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT NEWS

Corporate Customers Smash Green Procurement Marks, Commercial Property Executives. One of Facebook’s deals in 2018 was part of a new PPA signed in March with Adobe for energy produced by the 320-megawatt Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm in Nebraska owned by Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGPNA). 

Clean Energy Deal Tracker: ExxonMobil, Facebook headline a record-breaking fourth quarter,
GreenBiz. Not only was 2018 the biggest year on record for corporate renewable energy deals, with more than 6.5 gigawatts of contracts on the books, the furious pace of deal-making — and the creativity of the arrangements — barely slowed during the waning three months of the year. According to the official figures released in mid-December by the Business Renewables Center (BRC), part of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the publicly announced capacity contracted over the past 12 months was 6.43 GW.

NEBRASKA CONSERVATION AWARD

Conservation efforts recognized at NRD banquet,
Norfolk Daily News. In the past seven years, the [Wiese family of Oakland] has planted more than 1,200 trees and shrubs and renovated a 2½ acre windbreak
system — all by hand. Besides trees, the family also put in solar panels to provide electricity to their home and outbuildings. Since putting in the solar panels, the family has noticed a decrease in their monthly electric bill and feel good about producing green energy on their acreage. They also have a large garden on which they do their own version of no-till.

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY

Nebraska clean energy plan focuses on wind, solar, efficiency, by Don Walton, Lincoln Journal Star

Clean energy plan renamed: Due to a business having a similar name, the Husker Power Plan was renamed the Husker Energy Plan. The plan was revised August 28, 2018. To read the updated Husker Energy Plan and see the 16 partners that have endorsed it, visit: www.huskerenergyplan.org.

POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY SOLAR SITES

Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies, by Jodi Helmer, Scientific American
A trend of planting wildflowers on solar sites could maintain habitat for disappearing bees and butterflies.

Photo: Kearney’s solar farm consisting of approximately 23,000 panels on 53 acres located in the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, is Nebraska’s largest ground-mounted solar project, to date. Credit: Developer, SoCore Energy
Installer: Interconnection Systems based in Central City, Nebraska

Another distinguishing feature of Kearney’s Solar Farm is that it is a nationally-recognized pollinator-friendly site, benefiting local food producers. 

Previously posted links to information of potential interest to other Nebraska communities that have developed or plan to develop a solar farm:

Wind energy provides a breath of fresh air

The Grand Island Independent, Opinion written by Lu Nelsen,
Policy Associate, Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons

Wind energy projects have proven to be an important economic development tool for counties across rural America. In Nebraska, these projects generated nearly $3 million in tax revenue for local schools — accumulating a total of $3,065,623 in 2017. The contributions were used to fund schools, roads, and other essential services. As rural economies look to diversify their revenue streams without raising taxes, wind energy projects could provide a breath of fresh air.
Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: AWEA Public Domain Photos, “Wind Rainbow”

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The top five wind stories of 2018, Windpower Engineering Development

The low cost and reliability of wind have continued to drive strong
industry growth that is still pushing forward. AWEA predicts that seven states (Arkansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wyoming,
Maryland and Massachusetts) will soon build enough wind turbines to more than double their wind-power capacity. Flickr Image

Enel Green Power brings online 620 MW of new wind capacity in the United States, News Release

Enel, through its US renewable company Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA), has started operations of the 320 MW
Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Dixon County, Nebraska.

Enel Green Power brings online 620 MW of new wind capacity in the United States

Enel Green Power News Release

Enel, through its US renewable company Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA), has started operations of the 320 MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm, its first wind facility in the US state of Nebraska, and the Diamond Vista wind farm of around 300 MW in Kansas. Combined, the two new wind farms will generate around 2,600 GWh annually. With these two wind farms, the total renewable capacity that Enel Green Power has connected to grids around the world this year amounts to approximately 2.6 GW, of which over 830 MW in North America. Read more here.

Image Credit: OPPD

Previously Posted News Release
Enel sells energy from new US wind farm to Facebook and Adobe

Flush With Data Centers, Sarpy County Lines Up Another

Newcomer’s identity is not yet revealed, but size may rival Facebook’s campus.

By Cindy Gonzalez, Omaha World-Herald

The identity of the latest on-deck newcomer — which would join the likes of Facebook and Travelers insurance — for now is being kept secret from the public. Still, Papillion officials earlier this month gave the government go-ahead to what is being called “Project Wizard.” . . . What is the magnet for the data centers? [Andrew Rainbolt, executive director of the Sarpy economic development group], said they’re attracted to the area in part because of new energy rates created by the Omaha Public Power District for big electricity users seeking to power their operations with renewable energy. Read the entire article here.

Image Credit: Facebook

Papillion Data Center on Facebook

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement Continues to Break Records in 2018, Rocky Mountain Institute News Release

Corporate renewable energy procurement has set a new single-year record for new capacity of announced wind and solar deals in 2018, the Business Renewables Center (BRC), a membership
program at Rocky Mountain Institute, reported in its updated corporate-backed renewable energy
procurement deal tracker. “The record number of companies successfully pursuing renewable energy this year sends a clear signal that environmental sustainability is a serious priority for business leaders across the economy,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. “These companies aren’t going to wait for public policy on climate issues to catch up—they are taking the initiative to accelerate toward a prosperous, low carbon economy.”

One for the Books: The Biggest Corporate Renewable Deals of 2018, Energy Manager Today
Facebook: The BRC found that the social media giant signed 20 renewable contracts totaling 1,894.5 MW in 2018, which tops all the corporate deals the BRC tracked in 2016 put together. Those deals
included a power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power North America in March for energy from Enel’s planned 320 MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska.

THE RENEWABLE ENERGY BUYERS ALLIANCE

The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) is led by four non-profit organizations that have brought together their deep expertise in transforming energy markets.

Collectively, REBA works with more than 100 large buyers that represent enormous demand for renewable power. REBA’s goal is to help corporations purchase 60GW of additional renewable energy in the US by 2025.

REBA Initiatives

Click image to link to the map.

Decarbonizing enterprise: The path to 100 percent corporate renewable energy

Center Stage Podcast, GreenBiz

It’s clear that 100 percent renewable energy is imperative to fight climate change. And it’s already starting. Chris Clark, president at Xcel Energy; Bill Weihl, former sustainability and energy efficiency manager at Facebook; and Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy at Google talked about how to push and pull all companies, utilities and the public toward accessible 100 percent renewable energy. Listen to the Podcast
More Center Stage Podcasts

ALSO IN THE NEWS

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

SOLAR MODULE NEWS


Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better,
PV Magazine
NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves. Image: NREL, Hit me with your SunShot


ENERGY SECURITY

100% Renewable Energy As Catalyst For Achieving Peace & Justice
By Rob van Riet, Director of the Climate Energy Program at the World Future Council and a regular contributor to The Beam
Unlike fossil fuels, which are characterized by the uneven geographical distribution of natural reserves, RE is abundant across regions and countries. Photo by Justin Holzgrove, DOE’s Hit me with your SunShot


HOW DOES THAT WORK? SERIES

Mutual Aid, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

WHAT IS IT?
 Mutual aid is an agreement through which other utilities offer their restoration services after natural disasters strike and cause widespread power outages. OPPD has been on both sides of the aisle. Photo: OPPD trucks line up in Tampa, Florida, part of the mutual aid deployed to help restore power following a hurricane.

Four key takeaways from a Michigan utility’s clean energy transition

By Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

In a speech this week to a large, business-friendly crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe presented an economic case for solar power, electric vehicles and moving past coal. The company closed seven Michigan coal plants in 2016, cutting carbon emissions 25 percent without hurting its workforce. As the company focuses on solar in the coming years, Poppe said electric vehicles will play a growing role in the company’s “triple bottom line” principle of serving people, the planet and prosperity. Read more here.

Photo: Consumers Energy’s community solar array at Grand Valley State University.

MORE CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

EIA says 4 GW of coal-fired capacity may retire by end of 2019, American Public Power Association. So far in 2018, 11 GW of coal-fired generating capacity has retired through September, and another 3 GW are expected to retire in the final three months of the year, based on data reported to EIA by plant owners and operators. “If these plants retire as planned, 2018 will be the second-highest year for coal retirements. Another 4 GW of capacity are planning to retire by the end of 2019,” EIA reported.

U.S. energy storage storm grows in strength, PV Magazine

A Wood Mackenzie report shows U.S. energy storage deployments tripling in capacity during Q3 ’18 versus last year’s volume, while noting that the future pipeline growth rate doubled versus prior quarters to reach a 33 GW of future projects.


NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

EV NEWS

 

New plans by VW, Tesla and BYD support predictions that EV sales are set to skyrocket, PV Magazine

 

 

Major Study Shows Electric Bikes Good For Health, CleanTechnica
There was moderate evidence that e-cycling provided physical activity of at least moderate intensity, which was lower than the intensity elicited during conventional cycling, but higher than that during walking. There was also moderate evidence that e-cycling can improve cardiorespiratory fitness in physically inactive individuals. Photo: Omaha QuikByke Kiosk

ENERGY CONSERVATION

 

Rule your attic, save on energy costs, The Wire, OPPD Blog

OPPD named top utility for economic development

By Paula Lukowski, OPPD Blog, The Wire 

For the second year in a row, Site Selection named OPPD one of 2018’s “Top Utilities in Economic Development”. . . Significant projects that OPPD landed include Facebook (100-plus jobs, $1.2 billion-plus investment), Veramaris (20 jobs, $200 million-plus investment) and Novozymes (10 jobs, $215 million-plus investment). Other efforts highlighted by Site Selection include the creation of OPPD’s rate 261M, the Rattlesnake Creek Wind project and the Integrate Energy Marketplace strategic initiative, which includes an enhanced economic development strategy.
Read more
here.

Image Credit: Facebook

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • OPPD’s The Wire Series: How Does That Work?
    Data Centers,
     by Jason Kuiper
    The Omaha metro area has a number of data centers, including Yahoo, Travelers, Cabela’s, Verizon and First Data, and the newest, a Facebook data center in Sarpy County. There are now more than 20 data centers that call the Omaha metro area home.
    Read the entire blog post and others in the series here.
  • Muth making a difference at OPPD and for environmentThe Wire
    A self-professed biologist in an engineer’s world, Emily Muth is pursuing her passions while serving in the energy industry. Muth, Environmental Affairs administrator, is the lead environmental auditor for OPPD. In her role, she travels around the district to power plants and work sites to ensure environmental compliance with air and water quality and waste management. She focuses on ensuring requirements are met and looking for ways to improve processes. Muth is most proud of her involvement with the Prairie in Progress program at OPPD, a recent effort where some OPPD grounds are being restored to prairie land to help pollinators thrive, particularly the monarch butterfly.

Colorado approves Xcel plan to retire coal, shift to renewables and storage

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Colorado’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted unanimously on Monday to give preliminary approval to Xcel Energy’s Clean Energy Plan, which would see the utility close 660 MW of coal-fired generation a decade earlier than scheduled and shift to renewable resources. Under the plan, Xcel will close units 1 and 2 at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo and invest $2.5 billion in renewable energy and battery storage. The utility expects the plan to save ratepayers $213 million. In January, the utility solicited notably low bid prices for wind-plus-storage, $21/MWh, as well as $36/MWh for solar-plus-storage, some of the lowest bids for renewable energy plus storage on record. Read more here.

Image credit: Flickr; Energy.gov

RELATED READING

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Minnesota community solar reaches 400 MW milestone

Community Solar project edging closer to becoming reality

By Spike Jordan, Star Herald

Hemingford is edging closer to having a community solar project that generates electricity for the  community, adding certainty and stability to utility rates for village residents, Doug Dyskstra of GenPro Energy Solutions said Monday . . . So far, the Nebraska communities [GenPro] has served at various stages have been Central City, Aurora, Fremont, Grand Island, Gothernburg, Venango, and Scottsbluff. “We’ve seen this push to community solar across the country, and especially across Nebraska,” Dyskstra said.
Read more here.

Photo: GenPro Energy solutions has been in talks with the Village of Hemingford since late 2016 to install a community solar project to help generate electricity for the municipality. As discussions continue, the Hemingford Community Solar Project could soon be a reality. Credit: GenPro

NEBRASKA ALSO IN WIND POWER MONTHLY
New Facebook wind power deal
Mark Zuckerberg’s company is looking to power its global operations with renewables. In March, Facebook announced a deal with Enel to source some of the power from the 320MW Rattlesnake Creek site in Nebraska. It also has power deals in Texas and Iowa, as well as some in Europe. 

NEWS RELEASE: OMAHA-BASED VALMONT
Valmont Acquires Majority Stake in Convert Italia SpA, a Leading Provider of Solar Tracker Solutions
“The partnership with Convert Italia is an exciting advancement of our strategy to grow market adjacencies in our Utility Support Structures business,” said Stephen G. Kaniewski, President and CEO of Valmont. “Combining their single access tracker technology with our global manufacturing capabilities and utility customer base, allows us to provide an integrated solar tracker solution to utility-scale customers around the world.”

Google And Apple Lead The Corporate Charge Toward 100% Renewable Energy

Post written by Silvio Marcacci, Communications Director at
Energy Innovation. Published by Forbes

America’s technology corporate giants have led the corporate renewables procurement trend, but two of the biggest names in tech just reached a new mark: Apple and Google are now both 100% powered by renewable energy . . . This trend is opening up new markets for renewable energy, leading corporate suppliers to decarbonize, and saving money on corporate bottom lines – and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Read more here.

Photo Credit: hpgruesen / Creative Commons

MORE ABOUT CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT NATIONWIDE

The Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles and the Business Renewables Center, which Silvio Marcacci references, are the core initiatives of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, or REBA. The alliance’s goal is to help US corporations procure renewable energy to meet their needs.

Click these links to learn more:

U.S. Renewable Energy Map: Click map to link to it. 

CORPORATIONS’ GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING

About RE100, which Marcacci also references in his article:
RE100
is a collaborative, global initiative uniting more than 100 influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, working to massively increase demand for – and delivery of – renewable energy.

RE100 is sponsored by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. Both organizations are part of the We Mean Business coalition, working with leading businesses around the world.

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT IN NEBRASKA


Facebook’s recently-announced expansion increases the corporation’s total investment in the Papillion Data Center to
$1 billion. Facebook is partnering with Adobe to help them enter
the U.S. renewable energy market with Enel; 10 MW of Nebraska’s Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project will be allocated to Adobe.


Links to More Information

  • Facebook’s Nebraska reach expands, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD March Blog Post
    Facebook announced today their Nebraska data center will be three times the size of its original announcement. The Papillion data center will be six buildings instead of two with groundbreaking set to begin in May on the additional buildings. Facebook announced last April their plan to build its next data center here and credited the development of OPPD’s Rate 261M as one of the biggest draws. Read the entire blog post.
  • Facebook’s Press Release: Papillion Data Center Expanding to Six Buildings
    Author: Jim Piazza, Director of Data Center Operations, East. Last year, we worked with Omaha Public Power District to create a new renewable energy tariff that ensures we can power our data center with clean and renewable energy. With the tariff in place, we could seek new, in-state wind projects, which we found in Enel Green Power‘s Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. We will now increase our purchase from 200 MW to 320 MW to support our growth, and we are excited to share that we have partnered with Adobe to help them enter the U.S. renewable energy market with Enel; 10 MW of Rattlesnake Creek will be allocated to Adobe.

Additional Recommended Reading 

Enel sells energy from new US wind farm to Facebook and Adobe, Enel Press Release
The new deal between Enel and Facebook widens the scope of the bundled, long-term power purchase agreement for 200 MW signed in November 2017 to gradually include the plant’s overall output by 2029, following Facebook’s decision to significantly expand its data centre in Papillion, around 120 miles from Rattlesnake Creek. The energy produced by the entire wind farm will enable the expanded data centre to be 100% renewable-powered.

“Powering our data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy is not just a goal for Facebook, it is a requirement of our business,” said Bobby Hollis, Director of Global Energy at Facebook. “The Rattlesnake Creek wind farm will enable us to power our future Papillion Data Center, and fulfills our passion to expand the energy market for other corporate buyers, like Adobe.”