Conservation Nebraska will hold a public event at Keene Memorial Library this Saturday afternoon that will discuss water quality and regenerative agriculture. The free event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Guest speakers include Martín Darío Hernández Ramírez, Michaela Mast and Graham Christensen. The event will discuss issues with water quality in areas such as West Point and regenerative agriculture, a form of farming that focuses on soil as the number-one resource and using practices with the end goal to build soil organic matter. “I really like these speakers because their presentations not only give a lot of facts, but it’s really widely based on the solutions and what we can do to solve these problems,” said Dakota Stock, northeast conservation director for Conservation Nebraska. Continue reading here.
The City of Fremont will be hosting a dedication for Solar Farm No. 2, the electric vehicle charging stations and the plug-in hybrid vehicles at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at Solar Farm No. 2, located at 3851 East Hills Farm Road (near the intersection of Old Highway 275 and Hills Farm Road). The public is invited. Read morehere.
Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant Fremont City Administrator of Utilities: Fremont’s First Solar Farm
The City of Fremont recently completed installation of two ChargePoint electric vehicle (EV) charging stations — located in downtown Fremont, and along the 23rd Street corridor . . . The city purchased the two ChargePoint stations with help from a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust through the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance. The city received a $300,000 grant toward Solar Farm No. 2, 50 percent of the cost of two ChargePoint public electric vehicle charging stations, and 50 percent of the cost of five plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Kia Niro crossover vehicles. Read morehere.
Over the past several years the City of Fremont has made strides toward promoting and developing clean energy in the community. One community solar farm already drawing power from the sun and another currently being developed. Now, the city recently purchased five plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Kia Niro crossover vehicles with help from a grant from the Nebraska Environment Trust through the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance. The city received a $300,000 grant towards Solar Farm No. 2, 50 percent of the cost of two ChargePoint public electric vehicle charging stations, and 50 percent of the cost of five qualified vehicle. Qualified vehicles are those that are all electric, or are PHEV. Continue here.
The 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle is capable of going fully electric (EV mode) with the push of a button for trips around town. – Kia.Com
The city sold out 1 megawatt in five weeks and then decided to expand another .55 megawatts, which sold out in two weeks. 180 residential customers subscribed, along with 20 commercial customers and there are 70 more residential customers on a waiting list for a possible expansion. “We are committed to try to do another megawatt this year, we have 70 names already on the list, and we are hoping to sell it out easily in a few weeks as well,” [said Brian Newton, general manager of the Department of Utilities and interim city administrator]. Read more here.
Image: Google Maps. The location of the first solar farm in Fremont will sit to the north of the Fremont Department of Utilities warehouse (in yellow) and will go online in January. Due to the interest in the first solar farm, the FDU has developed a waiting list for a possible second solar farm which could be placed in the same location. Image: Google Maps
First National Bank Fremont is providing financing for the Community Solar Farm, and all shares of the farm have officially been sold, City Administrator Brian Newton said during Tuesday’s meeting. Newton said that he is working on acquiring an additional 1,500 panels because the demand has been so great from [the Fremont Department of Utilities] customers. Ten to 15 people are signing up for slots in the farm daily, he added. “The plan is to take it from around 1 megawatt, which is 3,382 panels, to near 5,000 panels, which is about 1 1/2 megawatts,” he said. “So that is really good news.” Read the entire news story here.
Photo: 300-kilowatt photovoltaic system installed by J-Tech Solar on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket. The business complex is now owned by Telesis, Inc. With 940 solar panels, the array is one of the largest privately-owned solar projects in Nebraska. Credit: Nicholas Bergin / Lincoln Journal Star
Written by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Fremont Tribune
Far from a lab experiment, a symbolic gesture, or a nice idea, the LES solar project is a concrete, innovative, and economically viable pathway for greater energy diversity. Renewable energy sources now constitute about 48 percent of the power purchased by LES customers. LES, the Omaha Public Power District, and the Nebraska Public Power District have all taken steps, particularly through wind, to take advantage of price competitive renewable sources made possible by technology advancements and certain public policies.
REAP [Rural Energy for America Program] is available to agricultural producers (51 percent or more of gross income comes from agriculture production) and rural (any area that has a population of 50,000 or less and is not adjacent to or is not a contiguous part of an urbanized area) small businesses (as classified by the Small Business Administration). The goal of the program is to reduce energy use and cost, and to help meet the Nation’s energy needs. REAP has two types of funding assistance available: grants and/or guaranteed loans. Assistance is available for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. Read the entire articlehere.
Photo: 21-kilowatt solar array at a family farm in Minden, Nebraska, which provides most of the farm’s energy needs. The project was partly funded by a USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant, which covered 25% of its cost. Additional financing was obtained through the Nebraska Energy Office’s low-interest loan program for solar installations. Courtesy of Graham Christensen / GC Resolve
Bill Sheppard is a USDA Rural Development Business Programs Specialist in Norfolk. He can be reached at 402-371-5350 Extension 104 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a list of all Nebraska USDA Contacts.
The city of Beatrice is taking the first step in planning a local wind power generation facility. The City Council approved an application at its Monday meeting for Nebraska Public Power District to do a review of electrical capacity and transmission, in order to assess the feasibility of a wind generation facility. The application was originally recommended by the Board of Public Works at a prior meeting and is the first step in what will be an ongoing process. Click to read more.
Photo: Wind-farm turbine near the small, centrally-located city of Broken Bow. Credit: Caroline Jezierski
Photo: Members of the Shine Runners solar car team gather around the “Bahama Blue” in the Fremont Walmart parking lot for a public showing (and education). The second team making the trip is the Liberty Christian Solar Car Team, and their car is called the “Solis Bellator” (Warrior of the Sun). Credit: John Liesveld, Fremont Tribune
Part of a national STEM initiative (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the Solar Car Challenge seeds young minds through education and hands on experience as they embark on a year-long quest to design and build working, road-worthy solar cars capable of traversing the long cross-country trip . . . [The] Fremont Tribune will have a short update in Tuesday’s edition to inform how both teams finished the race. Read the entire storyhere.