Tag Archives: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

For first time, renewable generation exceeds coal nationwide

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

In April, U.S. monthly electricity generation from renewable sources exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time, according to a recent story by the American Public Power Association (APPA). The APPA story was based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The story said renewable sources provided 23% of total electricity generation compared to coal’s 20%. Read more here.

NextEra Photo of Butler Ridge Wind Energy Center wind turbines on farm land in Dodge County, Wisconsin.

More News & Resources

News & Resources from the Department of Energy’s Latest WINDExchange Newsletter

  • 2019 Tribal Energy Webinar Series
  • Wind for Schools Brochure 2019
  • NREL Receives DOE Funding for Wind-Wildlife Mitigation Technologies
    NREL recently received DOE funding to reduce environmental impacts of wind energy by improving the effectiveness of ultrasonic acoustic deterrents technology, which emit frequencies perceptible to bats to discourage them from approaching wind turbines. Other technological innovations include thermal imaging cameras and specially developed radar technologies, both of which detect and deter wildlife from approaching wind turbine blades. Learn more about NREL’s work to identify the best wind-wildlife mitigation technologies. Eight other organizations also received funding to help reduce environmental compliance costs and environmental impacts of land-based and offshore wind energy.
  • DOE Announces Winners of Collegiate Wind Competition 2019 Technical Challenge
    DOE’s Collegiate Wind Competition aims to prepare college and university students from multiple disciplines to enter the wind energy workforce by providing real-world technology experience. The competition challenges participants with tasks including business plan development; wind plant siting; and wind turbine design, building, and testing. Twelve collegiate teams gathered at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Flatirons Campus in May to compete in the Collegiate Wind Competition Technical Challenge. Click here to see who won.

USDA Helps Farmers, Businesses and Ag Producers Cut Energy Costs

USDA News Release

Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding 58 grants for projects in 17 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (PDF, 146 KB) to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.

USDA is providing the grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $1 million in renewable energy projects. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. Read the entire news release here.

INDUSTRY NEWS

SELF-COMMITTING IN POWER MARKETS

Are old Midwest coal plants pushing renewables offline?, E&E News
The utility process of self-committing or self-scheduling power plants to run even when there’s cheaper energy available on the grid is a complex issue and opaque to outsiders. Increasingly, there are questions about whether it’s slowing a transition to cleaner energy. 

The Billion-Dollar Coal Bailout Nobody Is Talking About: Self-Committing In Power Markets, 
Union of Concerned Scientists. Markets are supposed to ensure that all power plants are operated from lowest cost to most expensive. Self-committing allows expensive coal plants to cut in line, pushing out less expensive power generators such as wind, depriving those units from operating and generating revenue.

A radical idea to get a high-renewable electric grid: Build way more solar and wind than needed

The Conversation

Article contributed by Richard Perez, Senior Research Associate in Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York and Karl R. Rabago, Professor of Law; Executive Director, Pace Energy and Climate Center, Pace University.

Excerpt: Once firmed up through a combination of overprovisioning and storage, variable renewable energy resources become effectively dispatchable – able to provide power when as needed – and functionally equivalent to traditional power plants. In this way, renewables can replace these generators without major grid reengineering.

Our team has modeled a high-solar and overbuilt solution for the not particularly sunny state of Minnesota. The goal was to determine the least costly combination of grid-connected solar, wind and storage necessary to provide round-the-clock, year-round energy services. Read more here.

Recommended Viewing: Richard Perez’s 3-minute YouTube video summarizes his scalable strategy to achieve 100 percent renewables, which he refers to as the “Perfect Forecast.”

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

NEW IRENA REPORT

Renewable energy costs hit new lows, now cheapest new power option for most of the world, Electrek
The findings come from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in its new report, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018

Iowa Governor To Lead Midwestern Governors Association With Focus On Transmission

By Betsy Lillian, North American Windpower

The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) has announced its 2019 leadership: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz have been named chair and vice chair of the association, respectively . . . Under Reynolds – hailing from wind-rich Iowa – the association will bring together the energy policy and utility regulatory staff, as well as the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and stakeholders, to establish a long-term transmission grid vision for the region. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Omaha-based Tenaska developing 2,000 MW of solar in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Market, Tenaska News Release

The transaction includes 14 solar projects with approximately 2,000 megawatts (MW) in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market. The portfolio represents a large share of all solar projects currently in the MISO North interconnection queue, with projects in Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota.  Flickr Photo by Juwi Renewable Energies Limited

Solar tsunami, PV Magazine USA
Developers have applied to build 139 GWac of large-scale solar projects in the territory of six grid operators – around five times what is currently online across the country – and that figure doesn’t even cover the entire United States. By any metric, we are looking at an unprecedented boom in solar development over the next five years. 

Electric Power Markets: National Overview, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Nebraska is a member of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) wholesale market.

Based in Little Rock, Arkansas. SPP manages transmission in fourteen states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Its membership is comprised of investor-owned utilities, municipal
systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state authorities, independent power producers, power marketers and independent transmission companies.

Infrastructure fund snatches up Clean Energy Collective

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine


For the past few years we at pv magazine have been reporting on the trend of asset managers, infrastructure funds, and even insurance companies and pension funds moving in to buy up portfolios of solar projects, starting with yieldcos and large-scale projects, and later moving into distributed solar portfolios. The acquisitions have become particularly intense in the past few months, and we’ve written about the “wall of money” looking for projects to buy. Now these funds may be making the next step, which is going from buying projects to investing in the developers and other companies that make these projects happen. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Clean Energy Collective

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEBRASKA ENERGY OFFICE LOANS

Nebraska Dollar and Energy Saving Loans are offered statewide by the Nebraska Energy Office and the state’s lending institutions. The simple interest rates are as low as 1%*.
*final annual percentage rate (APR) may vary by lender and loan fees charged.

Many common home, building or system energy improvements qualify for financing.

SPP Integrated Marketplace turns five

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) recently marked the five-year anniversary of launching its wholesale electricity market, the integrated marketplace. In noting the March 1 anniversary, SPP said market participants have saved more than $2.7 billion. Participants also have previously unimaginable access to renewables across the region. OPPD is a member of SPP, joining the marketplace in 2014. Read more here.
Image Credit: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Also written by Jason Kuiper

EV program recharging for another year
“This program has been wildly successful,” said Judy Sunde, senior product specialist at OPPD. “We sold out of our rebates from the pilot year.” Sunde said the new rebates will be available in mid-May. OPPD is again working with the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) to co-fund and distribute $500 rebates to customers who purchase ChargePoint EV chargers for their home via OPPD. Additionally, a $2,500 rebate is available after the purchase of a new EV and purchase, installation and registration of a ChargePoint Home charging station. Sunde said there is also a $2,500 or $3,500 incentive towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf, and $1,000 purchase incentive at Audi Omaha for an Audi e-tron.

US adds 1.15 GW of large wind, solar capacity in Jan 2019

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Update,
Post Written by Renewables Now

The 202.5-MW Upstream Wind Energy Project in Nebraska and the 161.3-MW Pine River Wind Park in Michigan were among the biggest newly completed installations in the US in January. Most of the new solar power capacity for the month is located in Florida. Read more here.

Invenergy Photo: Upstream Wind Energy Center Turbine

About Nebraska’s Upstream Wind Energy Center
Invenergy has constructed several other wind projects in Nebraska in addition to the  81 turbines for the Upstream Wind Energy Center on the north and east side of Neligh in Antelope County. The wind project became operational in January, 2019. Maximum capacity is 200,000 kilowatts (or 200 megawatts). The wind project is expected to supply enough annual energy to power approximately 68,000 homes.

Invenergy also built the 118–turbine Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Farm located in Antelope, Boone, and Madison counties, which began commercial operation in March 2014. Maximum capacity is 200 megawatts. The average annual output could power 60,000 homes.

Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Energy Office

Previously Posted News Release
In January Florida Power & Light (FPL) announced in a news release a groundbreaking “30-by 30” plan to install more than 30 million solar panels by 2030. “FPL and its sister company, NextEra Energy Resources, are already the world’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun and, when this plan is completed, FPL expects to be the largest utility owner and operator of solar in America.” Read the news release here.

Additional Recommended Reading

After a tough 2018, solar is getting ready for a major boom, by Tim Sylvia and Christian Roselund, PV Magazine USA

The United States finished 2018 with nearly 24 GWdc of utility-scale projects under power contracts, a volume only ever exceeded three months ago. Furthermore, 2.6 GWdc of those contracted projects are already under construction. When looking beyond projects which have contracts secured, Wood Mackenzie identified more than 42 GWdc of projects that have been announced and are in their respective interconnection queues nationally.

Solar tsunami

By Christian Roselund and John Weaver, PV Magazine

Developers have applied to build 139 GWac of large-scale solar projects in the territory of six grid operators – around five times what is currently online across the country – and that figure doesn’t even cover the entire United States. By any metric, we are looking at an unprecedented boom in solar development over the next five years. Read more here.

Flickr Photo by Juwi Renewable Energies Limited


Electric Power Markets: National Overview

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

 

 

Recently Posted: Capital Dynamics Signs Agreement with Tenaska to Develop Solar Projects, News Release. The transaction includes 14 solar projects with approximately 2,000 megawatts (MW) in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market. The portfolio represents a large share of all solar projects currently in the MISO North interconnection queue, with projects in Michigan,
Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota.

Nebraska is a member of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) wholesale market.
Based in Little Rock, Arkansas. SPP manages transmission in fourteen states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Its membership is comprised of investor-owned utilities, municipal
systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state authorities, independent power producers, power marketers and independent transmission companies.

Also Published by PV Magazine:

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

INTERVIEW

What’s In Store for U.S. Solar Energy in 2019?, by the Center on Global Energy Policy, Earth Institute, Columbia University. In the latest edition of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, host Bill Loveless talks to Abigail Ross Hopper, the president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. trade group for solar energy.

OPPD POSTS RESIDENTIAL SERVICE CHARGE FAQs ON WEBSITE

The final adjustment to the residential service charge begins January 1. Review the Rate Restructuring FAQs for details

FAQ #9:  I am considering installing solar panels and/or wind generation at my home. How would this affect me?
Because the fixed portion of the bill is increasing, customers who wish to install solar or wind to meet part of their energy needs would see an increase in the payback period associated with recovering their investment.

Previously Posted: Are regulators starting to rethink fixed charges?, Utility Dive
[In 2017], regulators only approved 6 out of 84 proposals for higher customer charges, suggesting regulators might be looking for “something better,” Proudlove told Utility Dive. Autumn Proudlove is senior manager of policy research at the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC).

Omaha-based Tenaska developing 2,000 MW of solar in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Market

Capital Dynamics, an independent global private asset management firm, today announced that its Clean Energy Infrastructure (CEI) business has signed an agreement with respected energy developer Tenaska to develop a portfolio of greenfield solar projects in the Midwestern United States. The deal closed on November 26, 2018.

The transaction includes 14 solar projects with approximately 2,000 megawatts (MW) in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market. The portfolio represents a large share of all solar projects currently in the MISO North interconnection queue, with projects in Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota. Read more here.

 

Electric Power Markets: National Overview
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

 

 

NORFOLK NEWS STORY


To make an impact, focus on public policy on local level, mayor says

By Olivia Book, Special to the Norfolk Daily News. 

Included among Mayor Josh Moenning’s many endeavors, “He also is spending more time helping to develop Nebraska’s wind energy industry.”

In Blow to Pipeline Project, Court Invalidates Trump Administration’s Keystone XL Environmental Review, Blocks Construction

Written by Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska

GREAT FALLS, Mont.– A federal judge ruled today that the Trump administration violated bedrock U.S. environmental laws when approving a federal permit for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project. The judge blocked any construction on the pipeline and ordered the government to revise its environmental review.

The decision is a significant setback for a pipeline that investors are already seriously questioning. TransCanada has not yet announced a Final Investment Decision on whether to move forward and build Keystone XL should it receive all the necessary permits.

Continue reading here.

Bold Nebraska Image: Solar XL #2

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING