Tag Archives: Kearney Community Solar Farm

Solar that Benefits Birds & Pollinators – Workshop & Tour

By Rob Davis, Center for Pollinators in Energy

March 8, 2018
Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary
44450 Elm Island Road, Gibbon, Nebraska
Facebook Live Stream

In partnership with Kearney City officials, the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, Nebraska Public Power District, and SoCore Energy, we invite you to learn more about Nebraska’s largest solar array and the benefits it provides to the community and environment.

This array is radically different from the solar photos you’ve seen from the Arizona desert. Bird- and pollinator-friendly flowers and grasses have been seeded under and around the solar panels. Planned specifically for a time when Kearney is a national destination for millions of Sandhill cranes, a panel of local and regional leaders will discuss economic development and care for nature and the land in the context of the growing trend of solar development by cooperatives around the country.

The conversation/workshop will be followed by a tour of the Kearney solar array, with a light lunch provided. The solar array tour will include opportunities for attendees to assemble boxes for native bees and broadcast a bird- and pollinator-friendly seed mix, with assistance from the Kearney Outdoor Learning Area (KOLA) high-school students.

Workshop/Conversation: 10:30 – 11:30 am
Mayor Stanley Clouse, City of Kearney
Bill Taddicken, Audubon Center
Jason Guernsey, Department of Economic Development, State of Nebraska
Jerry Vap, past Chairman of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, past president of the National Association of Conservation Districts
Moderator: Rob Davis, Fresh Energy
Light Lunch: 11:30 am – 12:10 pm
Solar Site Tour: 12:30 – 1:30 pm
SoCore Energy & NPPD
UNK’s Marc Albrecht
Pete Berthelson, native plant expert

Photos by Rob Davis (top) and G. Parker.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION
Introducing the Center for Pollinators in Energy, by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

188-2: Minnesota Sets Standard for Land Use on Solar Sites

Rob Davis’ TedX Minneapolis Talk – Click image to start it.

Switch is on at Kearney’s solar farm: $11M facility is Nebraska’s largest

By Mike Konz, Kearney Hub Managing Editor

The 53-acre solar farm cost $11 million and, on a good day, will generate 5.8 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity. The project is a partnership between the city, Nebraska Public Power District and Chicago-based SoCore Energy, which has built hundreds of solar arrays, mostly on the roofs of large buildings. [Russell] Young, SoCore’s vice president of operations, said Kearney’s project is his company’s largest, but as the cost of building solar farms declines, he is confident SoCore will be building more like the one at Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing.
Read more here.

Top Photo: Officials snip a green ribbon to dedicate the $11 million, 53-acre solar array in northeast Kearney. Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

Photo: “Interconnection Systems of Central City built Kearney’s solar array on the Tech oNE Crossing tract near 56th Street and Antelope Avenue.”

NPPD’s SunWise Program

  • Kearney residents may sign up online to purchase solar shares in the project by clicking this link and selecting the Kearney project, or by calling NPPD toll-free at
    1-877-275-6773.
  • Request Community Solar In Your Community: In addition to Kearney, participating communities in NPPD’s SunWise Program include Venango and Scottsbluff. If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to request community solar in your community, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING – COMMUNITY BATTERY SYSTEMS

SoCore and United Power, an 82,000 member Colorado co-op, are partnering on an innovative community-battery-storage pilot program.
Like community solar, members of the community will purchase a portion of the battery’s capacity to power their homes during peak hours. In exchange, the participants will lower the demand charges on their monthly electrical bills. Construction on the project will start in the first quarter of 2018.