The sun was shining on the city of Hastings Thursday afternoon for a ribbon cutting at the new community solar project. Hastings Utilities Manager Kevin Johnson joked about the fact the original plan was to hold the ribbon cutting with the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, which turned out to be cold and rainy, and HU employees wanted to take credit for Thursday’s favorable weather. The project’s 6,012 panels hummed softly as they converted sunlight. Continue reading here.
Bill Hitesman leaves Central Community College-Hastings as a transplant who developed deep roots in the community. The CCC-Hastings commencement ceremony this year was Hitesman’s last. He announced in January he will retire June 3. Hitesman, 68, has served as CCC-Hastings campus president since 2002. He also serves as vice president over the skilled and technical sciences and business and entrepreneurship/incubator divisions. He will be succeeded by Jerry Wallace, who is currently dean of workforce, technical and community education at New River Community and Technical College in Beckley, West Virginia. Continue reading here.
Photo: Wind turbine built south of the Central Community College (CCC) campus in partnership with Bluestem Energy Solutions, Hastings Utilities and CCC. Credit: Amy Roh, Hastings Tribune via Associated Press
Derek Zeisler, director of marketing and energy supply for Hastings Utilities, gave an update on the power project during the Hastings Utility Board meeting Thursday. Members of the Hastings Utility Board voted recommend approval during their February meeting of a $2.38 million bid from GenPro Energy Solutions for a 1.5 megawatt AC solar project with the purchase option. The project has a completion date of Sept. 2, 2019 . . . Zeisler said Thursday this first phase of the solar project will include more than 6,000 panels within three arrays, most likely off of Highland Road just west of the Hastings Municipal Airport. There is plenty of room there to
expand with future phases. Hastings Utilities is moving forward with three pricing options. Read more here.
Photo: Fremont’s first of two 1.55-megawatt solar farms.
Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities
The Hastings Economic Development Corp.’s 45th annual meeting, Thursday evening at The Lark celebrated the work that colleges and school districts in Hastings are exerting to develop young talent and the future workforce . . . CCC broke ground in September 2018 for a 32,000-square-foot renovation and expansion of the Hamilton Building after the CCC Foundation met its $5 million fundraising goal six months ahead of schedule. The Hamilton Building is home to CCC’s advanced manufacturing design technology and welding technology programs . . . CCC is also working on potential partnerships for an energy technology program with companies that are either based in Nebraska or have a presence in Nebraska to train students to work in the renewable energy field in Nebraska. Read the entire article here.
Photo: The wind turbine on the CCC campus that came online in December 2016 has generated 120 percent of the campus’ energy needs in its first two years. Bluestem Energy Solutions of Omaha built and owns the turbine; Hastings Utilities buys and sells the electricity – including to CCC.
City seeking proposals for solar project, Hastings Tribune
Derek Zeisler, Hastings Utilities director of marketing and energy supply: “It seems to be a good size for a good price point,” he said of the 1.5 megawatt size of the solar project, which is similar to the power generated by the Central Community College-Hastings wind turbine.
After John Carllson put up a 40-foot by 80-foot shop last year at his home in Ayr, it just made sense to cover the south side of the roof with solar panels. His brother had erected solar panels at his home in Hordville. Carllson and his wife, Linda, were inspired. “I’d been kicking it around, and after I put the building up we talked it over,” said Carllson, who retired from working in the Hastings Utilities gas department. “I think it’s the coming thing. It’s free power from the sun.” Continue reading here.
Photo by Amy Roh: Heath Jennings (left) and Johnny Moser, of Interconnection Systems Incorporated out of Central City, install solar panels Tuesday in Ayr.
ALSO WRITTEN BY TONY HERMAN Renewable energy now key component of development, Hastings Tribune As officials from the city of Hastings have discussed a community solar project to diversify the local energy generation profile, one of the considerations most often talked about is how renewables may enhance economic development prospects. That has certainly been the case in Omaha.
A field of 21 collegiate clubs from around the globe are spending a week in Hastings to catch rays at the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2018 at Motorsport Park Hastings through July 12. Universities representing the U.S., Russia, Canada, Australia, Italy and Saudi Arabia will compete in eight-hour qualifying heats Tuesday through Thursday at the track in hopes of earning a trip to the bi-yearly American Solar Challenge Road Event from Omaha to Oregon July 13-22.
The three-day race runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at MPH, 427 S. Showboat Blvd. Admission is free but visitors must sign a standard waiver and wear a wrist band while on the grounds. Team members will visit with the public as their schedules allow. Parking is available by the security station. Read the entire articlehere.
DISPLAY DAY & START LINE
Following the track race, teams will move to the starting point of the American Solar Challenge in Omaha, Nebraska at Lewis & Clark Landing. This is where the display day and multi-occupant judging will take place.
Display: July 13, 3:00-7:00pm Start Line: July 14 at 8:00am
Nebraskans for Solar will be among organizations hosting booths at the American Solar Challenge Display Day at Lewis & Clark Landing on July 13. Please join us for a solar activity for all ages as you visit representatives from local nonprofits.
For the road portion of the event, teams can expect a journey covering more than 1,700 miles. The route will cover portions of the Oregon Trail from Nebraska to Oregon. Stops include Grand Island on July 14 and Gering on July 15 – 16.
Our perception of Norfolk — which is probably shared by many others — is that this is a community that is both progressive and yet conservative. It’s more than willing to try something new but it is cautious about going too far or investing too much simply to be on the cutting edge. It desires to be environmentally friendly but practicality has to be considered, too. That kind of a description provides the context for this question: Should Norfolk be doing more to explore solar energy within the community? Continue here.
After the city of Hastings enacted a moratorium last month on solar energy generation facilities until applicable regulations can be crafted, Adams County has taken similar
action . . . “The only purpose of the moratorium is so that you can do some planning and some thinking about what you want to do.” – Dave Bergin, deputy Adams County attorney
Meeting Nov. 13, the Superior City Council voted unanimously to sign a contract to authorize the construction of the solar array east of the current waste water treatment plant, on land south of the sewer plant access road and east of the actual sewer plant. The company known as AEP Onsite Partners is expected to begin construction of a 1-megawatt solar array in February 2018, with the new facility operational by May 1, 2018. Read more here.
AEP Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Electric Power Company, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, and ranked 167 of the Fortune 500.
Also in the News: Omaha-Based Tenaska Inc
The Plan to Build a Giant Water Battery in San Diego County Voice of San Diego
The project is designed to make money off daily changes in energy prices and provide enough green energy to power 325,000 homes. The project would cost well over $1 billion. The plan is to buy low-priced solar power during the day when it is cheap, and use that electricity to pump water from the existing San Vicente Reservoir uphill to a new, higher-elevation reservoir. When electricity prices rise, water would be released back downhill. As the water falls, it would spin turbines to generate electricity that could be sold at a profit. Some environmentalists are eyeing the project as a way to help the city meet its goal of having 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. The Water Authority’s board will vote this week whether to negotiate with its preferred business partner, a joint venture of Nebraska-based Tenaska and Los Angeles-based Diamond Generating Corporation. Read the entire articlehere.
Employees with NextEra Energy Resources, the Florida-based company that is building and operating the wind farm, gave tours of a few wind turbine sites in various stages of
completion . . . Electricity from the wind farm will be sold to Northeast Nebraska Public Power District and the cities of Beatrice, Fremont, South Sioux City and Wayne.
Photo: Jeff Damen, senior manager for NextEra Energy Resources, (center) provides a tour to local leaders at the Cottonwood Wind Energy Center near Blue Hill, scheduled for completion in November. Credit: Will Vraspir
According to a fact sheet for the project, Cottonwood Wind Energy Center will generate more than 200 construction jobs and six to 10 full-time operation jobs. Regarding income, $9.4 million in property taxes and $30 million in landowner payments are anticipated during the first 30 years of the project. [Project Manager Phil] Clement said the turbines are built for a 35-year life span.
Construction is underway on a wind turbine in Seward. Bluestem Energy Solutions announced this week that it is constructing a 1.7 megawatt wind turbine on a farm near the city of 7,000 about 20 miles west of Lincoln.