Tag Archives: GenPro Energy Solutions

Solar farm west of Norfolk could be in commercial use by April

By Austin Svehla, Norfolk Daily News

NPPD entered into an agreement with Sol Customer Solutions, a joint venture between Sol Systems and Arevon Energy Inc. Arevon will manage the asset, and Sol Systems will operate and maintain the array. Sol Systems, along with partners GenPro Energy Solutions and Mesner Development, executed a lease agreement with the City of Norfolk for the land where the solar panels are being installed along Highway 275 near Norfolk’s sewer maintenance facility. Continue reading here.

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) Resources

SPP, MISO COMPLETE CROSS-SEAM TRANSMISSION STUDY

Grid operators’ ‘seam’ study paves way for renewable expansion, E&E News

The study identified seven transmission projects along the MISO-SPP boundary that would cost $1.65 billion and enable 28 gigawatts of new generation capacity — and perhaps as much as 53 GW — across MISO and SPP combined. The latter estimate, based on modeling by SPP, would roughly double the combined wind and solar capacity that currently exists in the two regions.

MISO and SPP complete Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue, Southwest Power Pool

LES’ SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PROGRAM

LES Offers $1.5 Million Of Incentives Through Sustainable Energy Program, American Public Power Association

Since the program’s inception, LES customers have accessed nearly $28 million in program incentives and spent $220 million on energy-efficient equipment and/or services. “In total, energy efficiency projects that received SEP incentives have cumulatively saved more than 800,000 net megawatt-hours, or the equivalent annual electric use of 80,000 single-family homes,” said Marc Shkolnick, LES manager of Energy Services. Additional information about the program is available here.

NEW RESIDENTIAL SOLAR REPORT & WEBINAR FROM BERKELEY LAB

Solar Demographic Trends and Analysis
Berkeley Lab tracks and analyzes solar-adopter demographic characteristics. A central element of this work is a tracking report describing income and other socio-economic trends of residential solar adopters over time and across geographies. The report is based on household-level income and other demographic data for residential solar adopters across the United States, and is intended to serve as a foundational reference document for policy-makers, industry stakeholders, and other researchers interested in demographic trends among residential solar adopters.

The report is published with an accompanying interactive data visualization tool that allows users to further explore the underlying data. Nebraskans for Solar Note: Nebraska is not yet on the map, but data from other states may be of potential interest. 

The authors will host a webinar highlighting key findings from this study on March 17th at 2 pm Central Time. Register here.

Work continues on Norfolk solar project

GenPro Energy Solutions News Release
News Channel Nebraska

Commercial operation is anticipated to be achieved in the spring of 2022.

NORFOLK, Neb. — Construction work is continuing on Norfolk’s first solar farm, an 8.5 megawatt solar unit, located on land at the city’s well field on Highway West 275. Last year, it was announced Norfolk will be part of Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) SunWise Community Solar program.

“We’re excited to offer this power option to citizens,” said Mayor Josh Moenning. “Solar costs have declined significantly in the last 10 years, making this energy accessible at a very competitive rate. This project, paired with a battery storage system that will help us efficiently manage distribution, will be the largest of its kind in the state.” Read more here. 

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program
GenPro’s Current Employment Opportunities

SoCore Energy Photo: Kearney’s 5.7-megawatt solar farm on 53 acres of the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing. 

Previously Posted 

Also of Potential Interest

Previously posted Energy News Network article discusses NPPD’s decarbonization limits for Nebraska communities that source wholesale power from the utility and South Sioux City’s independent path to 100% renewable energy:

  • Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler
    The city of Norfolk, Nebraska, soon will celebrate its first solar farm — and the last one allowed under a contract with its electricity wholesaler. The 8.5-megawatt community solar project is being developed in partnership with the Nebraska Public Power District, which supplies power to most of the state outside of Omaha and Lincoln. The hitch for Norfolk is that the public utility’s contracts prevent municipal customers from generating more than 10% of their peak load from alternative sources, a threshold the city expects to reach with this project. “Northeast Nebraska is the renewable energy hotbed of the state,” said Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning. “I’d much rather use clean energy that’s made in our backyard than haul it in on a coal train from Wyoming, which is the status quo in Nebraska.”
  • NPPD’s Wholesale Power Contracts
    Wholesale energy sales are made to 60 entities under wholesale power contracts that terminate on Jan. 1, 2036 and to 10 other entities with wholesale power contracts that terminate on Dec. 31, 2021. The 10 wholesale customers that did not sign the 2016 contract provided the notice required under their existing 2002 contracts, and began in 2017 to reduce their purchases to 0% over a five-year period.  Source: Fitch Rates Nebraska Public Power District’s General Revs ‘A+’; Outlook Stable

Additional Resources

N Solar and Cozad Cut the Ribbon at City’s New Solar Energy Facility

Sol Systems News Release

COZAD, NE – August 17, 2021 –Today, the City of Cozad and N Solar cut the ribbon on a 2.4 MWdc solar energy system that will provide power directly to the city’s electric utility. The system is located at 2nd and Monroe Streets will provide enough electricity to power 400 homes annually.

Although the City contracts its power through Nebraska Public Power District, it can generate up to 2.4 MWdc of its power on its own, opening the possibility for the City to add solar energy to its portfolio. The City’s utility will purchase energy from the array at a fixed-price over a 30-year period providing energy savings and protection from price volatility present in a typical retail electricity contract.

“We are excited to partner with N Solar on our solar energy system and bring even more affordable and clean energy to our customers,” said Nikki Schwanz, Cozad City Administrator. “By working together, we are able to provide clean power to our community in a cost-effective way.”

Incorporating low cost, renewable power into a City’s energy portfolio represents a financially efficient and attractive strategy for Cozad to attract businesses. Cozad’s Development Corporation helped to drive this project forward for the City. According to Jen McKeone with CDC, “We are already seeing industries look at us because we have added a green energy component to our utility mix. This will be a great tool for economic development.”

The project was developed by N Solar, a three-company coalition consisting of Mesner Development, GenPro Energy Solutions, and Sol Systems, that provides energy solutions to municipal utilities and power districts throughout Nebraska.

Sol Systems, a Washington-DC based solar energy developer, financed the system through its joint venture with investment firm Capital Dynamics, who will serve as the long-term owner and operator of the system.

“Cozad will greatly benefit from 30 years of low-cost, clean energy at a price protected against inflation,” said Anna Noucas, Director of Originations at Sol Systems. “The City was a fantastic partner and are part of the growing number of forward-thinking municipalities that and leaders who value solar as a key part of their present and future energy strategy.”

GenPro Energy Solutions, a renewable energy construction firm based in South Dakota, provided construction for the array, which began in November 2020 and reached commercial operation last month. GenPro will also provide maintenance on the system throughout its life.

Molly Brown, Executive Vice President of Energy Development at GenPro Energy Solutions said “After several years of project development and finding the right solution for the City of Cozad, we’re excited to add Cozad to the growing number of municipal utilities who understand both the environmental and economic development benefits of distributed solar generation. Having a solar farm sited within the community it serves can be a source of pride for the Cozad community for years to come.” 

ABOUT N SOLAR

N Solar is a three-company partnership designed to provide every Nebraska community with the opportunity for clean energy integrated with local public power districts and municipal utilities. N Solar comprises Nebraska’s Mesner Development in partnership with GenPro Energy Solutions in site development and construction, and Sol Systems in financing, ownership, and power purchase agreements. To date, this team has developed, constructed and financed over 19 megawatts of solar in Nebraska.

ABOUT SOL SYSTEMS

Sol Systems is a leading national solar energy firm with an established reputation for integrity and reliability across its development, infrastructure, and environmental commodity businesses. To date, Sol has developed and/or financed over 1 GW of solar projects valued at more than $1 billion for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, counties, utilities, universities, and schools and provides services to nearly 17,000 customers across the US. The company was founded in 2008, is based in Washington, D.C., and is led by its founder. Sol Systems works with its team, partners, and clients to create a more sustainable future we can all believe in. For more information, visit https://www.solsystems.com. 

ABOUT GENPRO ENERGY SOLUTIONS

GenPro Energy Solutions is an energy service organization, with a global depth of experience in solar and energy efficient technologies. GenPro partners with businesses, municipalities, utilities, state and national governments on projects that range from energy efficient lighting systems to development of utility-grade solar energy farms. Fully certified solar design team including: NABCEP, SEI and ASES. GenPro currently serves 200+ energy-related dealers in North America. They are listed among Solar Power World Magazine’s “Top 500 Solar Contractors” for the past five consecutive years.

ABOUT MESNER DEVELOPMENT CO.

Mesner Development Co. is a real estate development firm specializing in affordable and workforce housing. Its owners, Cliff and Kathy Mesner, are both attorneys practicing in Central City, Nebraska. In addition to housing, the Mesners have helped several communities develop community solar.

Media Contacts:

Sol Systems: Will Patterson, William.patterson@solsystems.com, 240-778-3530

GenPro Energy Solutions: Phelan Scherer, phelan.scherer@genproenergy.com, 605-341-9920

Mesner Development: Cliff Mesner, cliff@mesnerlaw.com

Nebraskans for Solar Presentation: “Solar Power for Farms, Homes, and Businesses”

A Nebraska Earth Day Passport Event
April 20, 2021 – 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Please join us on Zoom for our special Earth Month event to learn about solar options for your farm, home, or business. Our guest speakers will be Jeff Berggren and Michael Shonka. All Nebraska solar installers are also invited to attend this event and contribute to the Q&A and discussion following their presentations.

Jeff Berggren manages GenPro Energy Solutions projects in Nebraska from the company’s office in Central City. He has worked in the renewable energy field since 2008 when he founded Husker Wind Power. With his construction and agricultural background, Jeff has managed multi-million-dollar energy efficiency projects for counties, school districts, and municipalities across Nebraska. Community projects to date include Lexington, Gothenburg, Aurora, Central City, and Fremont.

Michael Shonka, owner of Solar Heat and Electric based in Omaha, has over 30 years of experience in the solar industry. Recent projects include design and installation of multiple 25-kilowatt and 50-kilowatt systems for grid-tie applications. Specific examples of Michael’s work include: Nebraska’s first community solar project at Central City; Nebraska’s first Solar Lab at Metro Community College; an Army Corps of Engineers 50-kilowatt water pumping system; Nebraska’s first center pivot irrigation system, a 25-kilowatt project. 

Moderator & Q&A Facilitator: Leo Arens, Nebraskans for Solar President. Please send your questions to: Leo Arens sirsolarman77@gmail.com.

Note to Nebraska Earth Day Passport Participants: Leo will provide the code for our event following the Q&A.

Use this link to Join the Zoom meeting: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89193196410?pwd=cnhEY0g2SHZJWC91SlQ0K2l1VGNHQT09
Meeting ID: 891 9319 6410
Passcode: 015253

South Sioux City Continues Green Energy Effort

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ

Wednesday is “Energy Efficiency Day” and South Sioux City has a variety of projects that use alternative forms of energy to power the city. South Sioux City has a goal to be the greenest city in Nebraska. City Administrator Lance Hedquist says over half of the city’s energy now comes from renewable sources: Continue reading here.

Photo by Tim Hynds / Sioux City Journal: South Sioux City’s array at a solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla subsidiary.
Previously Posted News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal

ACEEE’S ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCORECARD

Midwest cities show more improvement in annual efficiency scorecard, by Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network. Northeast and West Coast cities dominated the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s annual city scorecard released Oct. 6, but the Midwest boasted the two most-improved cities in the rankings: St. Paul and St. Louis. Minneapolis was the only city in the top 10, tied for 4th with San Francisco, while Chicago was 13th. New York, Seattle and Boston claimed the top three spots. David Ribeiro, lead author of the scorecard, said Midwestern cities have much untapped potential, and he said cities anywhere in the nation should be able to do just as well as coastal leaders in incentivizing saving energy. 

ALSO PUBLISHED BY THE ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

MORE MIDWEST NEWS & NDEE RESOURCE

  • Powered by renewables, by Andrew Weeks, Grand Forks Herald
    Renewables, or what is sometimes called green energy, is shaping the energy sector not only in the Midwest but across the country. “I think the thing to really look at is what’s going on with the trends in energy right now,” said Dwight Patterson, CEO of GenPro Energy Solutions in Piedmont, S.D. “Renewable energy is really taking center stage in the United States as well as globally.” Renewable energy is projected to grow substantially over the next four years, he said, noting, “it’s an incredibly fast-moving market; it’s growing very quickly.” According to information by the Pew research Center, changes in renewable energy will continue to trend upward and will affect the labor market, including demand for new skill requirements.
  • Kansas is a state full of sun, so why does Kansas lag behind in solar power?, by Sarah Spicer, Wichita Eagle. “We’ve got a top 10 resource,” said Zack Pistoria, the Kansas lobbyist for the Sierra Club, a national environmental organization. “We haven’t done anything on solar.” Part of the reason, he said, is some of the anti-solar policies the state has in place. One example is the demand fees utility companies charge residents who use solar to generate energy at home. Utilities argued the fee was needed as a way to maintain infrastructure and transmission lines, but critics saw it as a way to discourage solar in the state.
  • Omaha Public Power District announces sites for two new gas generators, by Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association. Locations for the solar components of the Power with Purpose project have not yet been announced because sourcing for solar portions of the project are still under way.
  • Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)

INNOVATIVE ENERGY STORAGE INCENTIVES PROGRAMS

Arizona OKs home battery incentives as Green Mountain Power program shows millions in customer savings, by Emma Penrod, Utility Dive

The Arizona Corporation Commission last month approved the state’s first residential battery storage program — an incentive pilot proposed in August by the Arizona Public Service Company. Around the same time, Green Mountain Power (GMP) said its growing network of stored energy in Vermont, including home batteries and other resources, has reduced customer costs by about $3 million so far in 2020. Arizona has several hundred thousand households with rooftop solar, according to Court Rich, vice president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association.

NEXT ERA

Wind and solar producer tops Exxon as most valuable U.S. energy company, CBS News
Exxon, once the world’s most valuable company, has seen its revenues and profits slide over the last decade. By contrast, NextEra —the largest wind producer in North America and one of the largest solar companies — has enjoyed profit margins of as much as 50%, while its stock has outperformed the broader stock market. 

U.S. CORPORATE SOLAR ENERGY PURCHASING

NUCLEAR ENERGY

Nuclear Energy — The High Cost Of A Dying Industry, by Johnna Crider, CleanTechnica
The nuclear sector, OilPrice says, simply can’t compete with the flood of inexpensive natural gas and is struggling to stay alive. However, it’s not just natural gas — renewable energy has been passing up natural gas in terms of new power capacity, and also growing strong in terms of new electricity generation. 

TRANSPORTATION INEQUITY STUDY

Parking and public transit tell us a lot about equity in cities, by Joe Cortright, GreenBiz
University of Northern Illinois professor Chris Goodman recently compiled data for the nation’s 30 largest cities on the price cities charge for on street parking permits compared to the price of a transit pass. The disparity between what people pay to park their cars on the public street (nothing or very little) and what they have to pay to use transit speaks volumes about privilege and equity in transportation. To take advantage of free or low cost on street parking, you have to own a car, which automatically means the poorest households receive little or no benefit; meanwhile, because car ownership is highly correlated with income, more benefits go to high income households.

NATURAL BEER CARBONATION

Are the bubbles in your beer made from sustainable CO2?, by Jesse Klein, GreenBiz
Most beer produced in the United States is forcibly carbonated by injecting pressurized CO2 into the liquid. It can take up to two weeks to naturally carbonate beer, according to George, so few breweries do it for economic reasons. Carbon capture technology could provide a version of natural carbonation at a fraction of the time by grabbing the naturally produced gas for use later.

EPA-FUNDED BIODIGESTER PROJECT

Pa. college plans to power two farms from cafeteria waste, cow manure, and brewery scraps, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Kenneth Shultes, in charge of the school’s sustainability planning, said the biodigester project will reduce the school’s overall carbon emissions by 120 metric tons annually. “This fits with the college’s mission, and everything that we’re doing with sustainability,” Schultes said.

Hemingford Solar Array Powered Up

By Kay Bakkehaug, Hemingford Ledger

Monday morning was a beautiful, sunny morning without a cloud in the sky; a perfect day to celebrate the Village of Hemingford’s solar array field with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Hemingford Chamber of Commerce. The solar system was up and running on September 9th.

The completed solar array is located just north of the Box Butte County Fair Grounds, on the west end of the Hemingford Golf Course. The Village Board of Trustees began discussions with GenPro back in early 2017. Village of Hemingford Chairman John Annen took the moment to thank everyone for their hard work on the project. Read more here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

Previously Posted: Contracts for Hemingford Solar Project Signed, by Kay Bakkehaug, Scottsbluff Star Herald

Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

The city of Norfolk, Nebraska, soon will celebrate its first solar farm — and the last one allowed under a contract with its electricity wholesaler. The 8.5-megawatt community solar project is being developed in partnership with the Nebraska Public Power District, which supplies power to most of the state outside of Omaha and Lincoln. The hitch for Norfolk is that the public utility’s contracts prevent municipal customers from generating more than 10% of their peak load from alternative sources, a threshold the city expects to reach with this project. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Norfolk solar facility, battery energy storage system ready to go, Norfolk Daily News
NPPD plans to enter into a 30-year agreement with N Solar for an 8.5 megawatt solar unit to be constructed on land at the city’s well field. The expectation is installation of the solar panels will begin in 2021 with operations beginning by the end of 2021.

ALSO WRITTEN BY KAREN UHLENHUTH

Photo by Tim Hynds / Sioux City Journal: South Sioux City’s Solar Park, a 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer SolarCity, a Tesla subsidiary. Archived News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal

Grand Island deepens stake in alternative energy

Editorial, The Grand Island Independent 

As power generation facilities across the U.S. continue to invest in cleaner fuel sources, gas, solar, hydro, wind and nuclear energy alternatives are rapidly replacing coal as the staple. Grand Islanders have long benefited from comparatively low energy costs due in large part to forward-thinking improvements and continued investment in the city’s power generation facilities and alternative energy sources. Grand Island Utilities Department Director Tim Luchsinger spoke to the Grand Island Rotary Club last week about the city’s long-range plan to diversify its electric energy production. Read more here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

Previously Posted: Pilot project tests potential of solar energy for Grand Island, Neb., American Public Power Association

Grand Island’s Renewable Energy

MORE LOCAL NEWS & OPINION

  • Interim report for the first half year 2020 – Strong first half, Ørsted News Release, Globe Newswire. We commissioned the 230MW onshore wind farm Plum Creek in Nebraska ahead of schedule and on budget, and we received tax equity funding from our partners.
  • About Plum Creek Wind: The 82–turbine Plum Creek Wind located in Wayne County began commercial operation in 2020. Maximum capacity is 230,000 kilowatts (or 230 megawatts). The facility could produce an amount of energy equivalent to the amount of electricity used by approximately 100,000 Nebraska residences in a year (average annual output). Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy
  • Burt County officials learn about wind energy project as they consider area wind energy guidelines, KTIV
  • Commentary: New farm income — Martin Kleinschmit, owner of MarLin Wind & Solar LLC, Norfolk Daily News. HARTINGTON — Wind power has had a remarkably positive impact on the Nebraska economy. In addition to producing affordable and reliable clean power, wind energy is creating jobs in rural places and contributing significant new tax revenues to local governments and schools. Of all the positive attributes of wind energy, though, one of the most important and understated is the impact it has had on our state’s farmers.
  • First-hand experience to dispel wind energy myths, by Nebraska farmer/rancher Mike Zakrzewski of O’Neill, Nebraska, Blair Enterprise Publishing. For whatever it’s worth, I’m a third-generation farmer/rancher in Holt County, Nebraska. I own and operate the farm I grew up on northeast of O’Neill, in the middle of the Grande Prairie Wind Energy Project. Grande Prairie is a 400-megawatt, 200 turbine project, currently the largest in the state. There are fourteen turbines within one mile of my front door; some are on my land, many more are on my neighbors’ properties. This November will mark four years of operation for the project, so I may have some useful insight regarding living with wind turbines.

RESOURCES FOR NEW FARMERS & RANCHERS

Nebraska partners to provide energy answers for new farmers, ranchers, Hamburg Reporter. These videos are posted on the project team’s YouTube channel, Energy Answers for the Beginning Farmer & Rancher. Additional resources can be found online here. Contributing extension programs include Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.

AMERICAN WIND WEEK – INTO THE WIND POSTS

Pilot project tests potential of solar energy for Grand Island, Neb.

By Taelor Bentley, American Public Power Association

A solar panel array built in 2018 is a part of a pilot project in Grand Island, Neb., which is testing the potential of solar as a source of energy for Grand Island. The intent is to get operational data on projects and give the City of Grand Island Utilities Department hands-on information on how it might interact with their system.

The project represents a 25-year commitment by the city at no cost. The solar farm is owned by private investors who sell the city the power it produces. The solar panels generate 1-MW, producing about 1% of the city’s load when it’s at full operation.

Read more here.

Photo by project installer GenPro Energy Solutions. Founded in Rapid City, South Dakota in 2003, GenPro has a Nebraska office and warehouse located in Central City. Jeff Berggren is GenPro’s Nebraska Program Manager.

Grand Island’s Renewable Energy

SEIA Resources

 

 

 

Power Purchase Agreements: What is a solar power purchase agreement?
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost.

See Also: SEIA Fact Sheets

Contracts for Hemingford Solar Project Signed

By Kay Bakkehaug, The Ledger, Scottsbluff Star Herald

A total of seven contracts for the Hemingford Solar Project were signed by Village of Hemingford Chairman John Annen last Thursday, October 3. GenPro first reached out to Annen and the Village Board not quite three years ago. Solar power wasn’t necessarily on their radar at the time so the initial email was passed off to Village Clerk Barb Straub. Just over a year ago plans really began taking place when GenPro held a town hall meeting in Hemingford to discuss the benefits of solar energy. Over the past year contracts were worked and reworked to ensure that the Village of Hemingford was getting the best deal and history was made on October 3, 2019 when the solar project plans were signed. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Southern Public Power approves wind farm, while some residents object, NTV
Southern Power leaders say their agreement with Bluestem Energy for four wind turbines south of Aurora goes back five years. The project was agreed to, but development was delayed. Southern officials said this amendment will increase the capacity, at a better rate.“So that will be to the benefit of all our customers. This will be made available to any commercial industrial customers in Hamilton County for those that want a renewable energy,” said CEO Neal Niedfeldt. The customers Niedfeldt has in mind are ethanol plants that can reduce their carbon footprint, and improve their margins.

Wind will speed Holy Cross Energy to 70% renewable goal, Mountain Town News
Customers of Aspen Electric, the city utility, can be excused for yawning. After all, the city was able to hit 100% renewable energy in 2015, one of the first few utilities in the nation able to make that claim. It did so by bulking up on wind power from the Great Plains, specifically the panhandle of Nebraska, but also hydroelectric power from the big dams of the West, a bit of local and regional hydroelectric, plus a tiny amount of landfill gas. The gas is burned to generate electricity.