Tag Archives: Hastings Tribune

Schools, manufacturers working to “grow our own”

Written by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

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. 

Previously Posted

Hastings, Adams County gear up for solar future

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

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.

RENEWABLE ENERGY EDUCATION 

Global students racing to catch rays in Hastings

By John Huthmacher, Hastings Tribune

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 article here.

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.

For additional details, see our calendar or visit: americansolarchallenge.org.

Should Norfolk do more with solar?

Norfolk Daily News Editorial

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.

Also published by The Norfolk Daily News

Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant Fremont City Administrator of Utilities:  Fremont’s First Community Solar Farm

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Commission opts to delay solar projects, by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

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

Superior buys into solar power with AEP contract

By Donna Christensen, Hastings Tribune

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 article here.

Webster County leaders get up-close look at wind farm

By Will Vraspir, Hastings Tribune

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.

Click here to read more.

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

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Wind turbines going up in Webster County, by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

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.

Omaha company building wind turbine in Seward

Lincoln Journal Star

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.

Continue reading.

Photo Credit: Beatrice Daily Sun. The energy generated by the Seward wind turbine will be enough to power 600 homes.

According to the 2016 census, Seward’s population is 7,219, and the number of occupied homes is 2,521. The wind turbine will provide about 25% of Seward’s homes with renewable energy.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Turbine is a wind win as it meets all CCC electricity needs, Hastings Tribune

Area wind farm heading into construction phase

Published by The Hastings Tribune

The project is set to include three different wind farms that will take up parts of Saline, Fillmore and Thayer counties and will cost around $1 billion. The project will occupy 45,000 acres in Saline County and will stretch 11 miles from one end of the Saline County project to the edge of the Thayer County project. The three wind farms — one of which is located in Saline and Fillmore counties, another in Saline County exclusively and a third in Thayer County — are expected to generate nearly 450 megawatts of energy. Click here to read more.

Aksamit’s Projects

Nebraska research shows ‘profound’ economic, environmental benefits of electric cars

By Martha Stoddard, Omaha World-Herald

moe_alahmad“At today’s gasoline and electricity prices in Nebraska, you can spend $50 on gasoline and drive 454 miles or you can spend $50 on electricity and drive 1,666 miles, cutting the carbon emissions in half or more,” said Moe Alahmad, an associate engineering professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on the Omaha campus. He reported his research Friday to a special legislative committee charged with working toward a state action plan on climate change. State Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill, co-chairman of the committee with Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm, said Monday that he believes that electric vehicles have a role to play in the state’s response.
Read more.

Photo: Moe Alahmad

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Hastings introduces its first electric vehicle charging station for use by publicOmaha World-Herald. Hastings officials gave the traveling public a jolt Monday afternoon. The city introduced its first electric vehicle charging station, as well as the newest addition to its city fleet — a 2016 Ford Fusion hybrid vehicle. The electric vehicle charging station, which is available for public use, is in the parking lot of the Hastings Museum, 1330 N. Burlington Ave.

State senators set to discuss past, future of renewables, Hastings Tribune
ne wind and solar logoOn Monday, Nov. 7 Nebraska State senators Ken Haar, Heath Mello, John McCollister, Patty Pansing Brooks and Ken Schilz will discuss what has happened in the Legislature regarding wind and solar energy legislation, and what needs to happen in the future to advance those industries. The discussion begins at 8:45 a.m. during the Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference. “This is a great opportunity to not only hear from but meet the State Senators who have been instrumental in the legislative changes made in recent years to improve the competitiveness of Nebraska wind and solar energy,” said Adam Herink, conference co-chairman. Click logo to link to the Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference website. 

Hastings couple making switch to solar power

Photo Credit: Hastings Tribune

Photo Credit: Hastings Tribune

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — Tim Smith will never look at a cloudy day the same way again after installing 30 solar panels on the roof of his workshop in north Hastings.

Tim and Pam Smith became the first Hastings Utilities customers to take advantage of LB 436, which allows participants to connect co-generation installations.

When the law was passed in 2009, its intent was to encourage private investment in renewable energy, stimulate economic growth and enhance diversification of energy resources in the state.

 Read more here.