The Community Solar Farm in West Hastings is seeing customers gravitate to solar panel shares. The community solar farm has 6,000 solar panels and more than a thousand have already been bought. This form of renewable energy reduces air pollution, makes us less dependent on imported fuels and can create more jobs in our hometown. “With the solar panel you are paying for that upfront and then we are paying you for the power it generates,” said Derek Zeisler, Director of Marketing and Energy Supply, Hastings Utilities. Watch the video here.
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.
Hastings Utilities is hosting a tour and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 3 pm – 6 pm at the recently-completed Community Solar Farm. The project was installed by GenPro Energy Solutions. See solar panels up close, ask questions about how solar works, learn why people in a growing number of our communities are making the choice to go solar, and connect with others who support solar energy. This event is free and open to the public. More information is available about Hastings’ Community Solar Farm here.
MORE NEBRASKA EVENTS
The following solar open house and tours are also free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you.
Bennington, Nebraska Solar Open House: October 5, 2019, 11 am to 6 pm
20210 High Country Circle, Bennington, Nebraska 68007. “Our solar system was installed by Great Plains Renewables in 2018.”RSVP HERE.
Omaha, Nebraska Solar Tour: October 5, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.
Bellevue/Sarpy County Solar Tour: October 6, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE. Omaha and Bellevue/Sarpy County Solar Tours’ Sponsors: Green Bellevue, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraskans for Solar
Several HU employees were on hand Thursday to answer questions and help customers run their individual financial figures to see whether the solar program is right for them. More information is available about the program at www.cityofhastings.org/solar, including a tool that allows customers to plug in their own budget information.
The Hastings City Council approved earlier this year a $2.38 million bid from GenPro Energy Solutions for a 1.5 megawatt AC solar project with the purchase option. This first phase of the solar project will include 6,012 panels that tilt with the sun within three arrays northwest of Hastings Municipal Airport. Jeff Berggren, Nebraska program manager for GenPro Energy Solutions, attended the meeting Thursday. One of the most common questions he gets is whether the panels will withstand hail. Read more here.
Pricing options for participation in Hastings’ planned solar power project were made public Thursday with registration to begin mid-July. Derek Zeisler, Hastings Utilities director of marketing and energy supply, shared those options during a report at the Hastings Utility Board’s regular meeting. Options include the purchase of installed panels, participating in a solar share program or a combination of the installation and share options. The options carry a one-time $50 enrollment fee due at the time of application that is refundable as a credit to the account after one year of participation. Continue reading here.
Photo: Fremont’s first of two solar farms, similar in size to Hastings’ project, under construction. Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities
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
“As far as the facility itself, at its peak it will generate enough energy to run the campus,” Campus President Bill Hitesman said. “Everything we get back from Hastings Utilities will be clean energy.” Construction started on the project in October and finished a couple weeks ago. The turbine was online as of Dec. 23 and is now sending power to the Hastings Utilities grid. Hitesman said CCC is in process of putting together a wind energy curriculum. Read more.
Photo: A 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