Tag Archives: Lincoln Electric System (LES)

OPPD proposes recognizing ‘scientific consensus’ of humans’ role in climate change

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The Omaha Public Power District board is proposing to explicitly acknowledge climate change and the role of humans in contributing to it, a position that stands in contrast to the Nebraska Legislature. The board is considering the following proposed strategic directive: “The OPPD Board of Directors recognizes the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, from human activity contribute to climate change impacts.” To comment, go to oppdcommunityconnect.com and click on the “SD 7 Environmental Stewardship” discussion box. Continue reading here.

National News
What to expect ahead of Biden’s global climate change summit, by Emma Newburger, CNBC
President Joe Biden will host a closely watched global leaders climate summit on Thursday and Friday, during which the U.S. is expected to unveil an updated carbon emission reduction target and urge cooperation with other nations to combat the climate crisis. The president has invited 40 world leaders to the virtual summit and is hoping to reach deals with some of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, has been meeting with officials in China and elsewhere to garner support for the summit.

President Biden Invites 40 World Leaders to Leaders Summit on Climate, The White House Briefing Room

8 Days, 2 Kids, 2700 Miles, 1 Tesla — Lessons Learned From A Cross Country EV Road Trip

By Joe Wachunas, CleanTechnica

In Nebraska, we stayed in a cabin at an RV park and had access
to a 240 volt charger typically used by RVs.”

Our EV surpassed any ICE [Internal Combustion Engine] car in fueling cost and pollution reduction and came close to matching the traditional auto in how easy it was to “fill’er up.” In total, it took 41 hours of driving and 5 hours of charging to go 2,747 miles. Here are 9 “road trip” lessons we learned along the way. Read more here.

Learn more about EVs in an Earth Day Webinar devoted to electric vehicles April 22.. 

Joe Wachunas ives in Portland, Oregon, and works for the nonprofit Forth, which promotes electric transportation. He is also involved with Electrify Now because he believes that electrifying everything, from transportation to homes, is the quickest path to an equitable, clean energy future. And of course, Joe and his family live in an all-electric home and drive an EV.


PRESIDENT BIDEN’S EV INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN

 

 

 

 

MORE EV NEWS

NEBRASKA’S LARGEST UTILITIES’ EV PROGRAMS

If you receive power from another utility, check the website for EV programs and incentives.

LINKS TO MORE EV NEWS & RESOURCES

Solar array keeping Hemingford powered

By Mark McCarthy, Scottsbluff Star Herald

While other municipalities in the region and across the Midwest experienced rolling blackouts during the most recent cold snap, Hemingford was able to maintain electrical service due at least in part to the village’s solar energy production. City Clerk Barb Straub said Hemingford likely avoided the blackouts due to the production.

“Our solar is scheduled to produce about 10% of the village usage,” she said. “I can’t say for certain, but that probably helped our situation so that we didn’t have to (have a disruption in power).” Read more here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

FROM NEBRASKA’S LARGEST UTILITIES

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Texas must increase ties to the national grid and DER to avoid another power catastrophe, analysts say, Utility Dive. Planning for inter-regional transmission and distributed resources could do what ERCOT’s competitive, energy-only market didn’t – keep the heat and lights on, energy advisors say.

COMMUNITY MICROGRIDS

Community Microgrids — “Cornerstone Of Future Energy Operations”, CleanTechnica
A modest description of microgrids would mention their role in energy resilience. A National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) description might go further and describe microgrids as the cornerstone of future energy operations. In either case, integration comes first, which is why the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced in 2020 that it would award $34 million to energy systems integration projects, with a portion committed to developing community microgrids.

NPPD, LES, and OPPD ask customers to conserve energy during extremely cold weather

News Releases

NPPD asking customers to voluntarily conserve energy

Columbus, Neb. – Wholesale and retail customers of Nebraska Public Power District are being asked to take steps to conserve energy use due to current and future low temperatures that are affecting the state and midwestern portion of the country.

Customers are asked to reduce any electrical usage effective immediately and through midnight, Feb. 15, and the following 48 hours to mitigate the risk of potential widespread and longer-lasting outages. The effects of widespread and extreme cold weather have led to increasingly tightening conditions in Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) service territory which NPPD is a member.

NPPD is currently operating all available generating resources to meet demand but request voluntary conservation by electric consumers.

Electric consumers can do the following to assist without putting safety at risk:

  • Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees and lower at night.
  • Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Turn off and un-plug non-essential lights and appliances, computers and printers.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
  • Business should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Do not connect a generator to your home’s electrical system. Consult a licensed electrician.
  • Do not use any grilling equipment for heat indoors. Charcoal and gas grills produce large amounts of carbon monoxide and even small amounts has potentially fatal results.

See additional energy saving tips here.

LES asks customers to voluntarily conserve energy

LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System asks customers to take steps to conserve energy in the next 48 hours due to low temperatures that are causing increased electricity and natural gas usage. The higher usage is putting a significant strain on these systems that could cause service reliability issues.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), LES’ regional reliability coordinator, has notified utilities within its regional footprint that energy curtailments may be necessary. Such reductions would be used to balance the supply and demand of electricity in the region.

To help lower the electric system load, LES asks customers to voluntarily and safely implement one or more of the following tips to help reduce their energy use during this time:

  • Lower your thermostat a few degrees or as low as is comfortable.
  • Make sure air registers are not obstructed by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Open shades and drapes on sunny sides of your home or business during daytime hours. Close them at night.
  • Keep windows tightly latched. Seal windows and external doors with weather stripping.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Avoid using a wood-burning fireplace for supplemental heating, as it pulls hot air out of a home through the chimney to fuel the fire.
  • Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers until the demand for electricity decreases.
  • Turn down the temperature setting of your water heater.
  • Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
  • Look for other opportunities in your home or business to reduce the use of electricity and natural gas during this short period.

For additional information on ways to conserve energy, see these energy-saving tips.

As Temperatures Dip, OPPD Asks Customers To Conserve Energy

Omaha Public Power District asks customers to conserve energy due to the extremely cold weather we are experiencing now and over the next couple of days. The bitter cold temperatures have increased demand for energy across the Plains region, even south into Texas and Oklahoma. Much as it does in summer, high demand can put additional strain on our system. We are seeing similar effects now, only this time with record cold instead of heat.

Customers can help by taking steps to reduce our service territory’s peak energy load and help balance supply and demand in the energy market.

  • Lower your thermostat a few degrees and dress more warmly or use additional blankets to stay comfortable, instead. You can reduce your energy usage by 1-3% for each degree.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Use dampers on the ductwork to balance the airflow in your home if one room is colder or warmer than another. Closing registers should be a last resort if dampers are not available.
  • Do not use a wood-burning fireplace for supplemental heating, as it pulls hot air out of a home through the chimney in order to fuel the fire.
  • Seal windows and external doors with weather stripping.
  • Avoid washing and drying clothing or running dishwashers during the coldest parts of the day – typically late night and early morning.
  • Avoid “phantom” power loss:
    • Switch desktop computers and monitors to sleep mode when not in use.
    • Shut computer monitors off when not in use.
    • Do not just turn off electronics like televisions, DVD, Blu-Ray players, or cable boxes when not in use. Unplug them if possible.
    • A central power strip enables you to turn off multiple devices at once.

For more energy conservation information, including guidance on reducing energy for each room in your home, to an energy usage calculator, and other tips, click here. You will also find a video library to walk you through ways to make your home more energy efficient, step by step.

KETV Video

OPPD CEO Tim Burke answers questions about the utility’s planned outages that began about midday today: Power companies begin forced outages as bitter temperatures push electric infrastructure to the limit

Wind Energy Tops Coal, Natural Gas in Southwest Power Pool

By Michael Bates, North American Windpower

In 2020, Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional transmission organization, became the first grid operator to have wind as its number-one fuel source – outpacing the integration of coal and natural gas. “Maintaining reliability with this large amount of wind is extraordinary,” says Barbara Sugg, president and CEO of SPP. Read more here.

Image Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

AI & MORE EFFICIENT SOLAR POWER PLANTS 

Making solar power more efficient, Case Western Reserve University News Release, Newswise
CLEVELAND–Case Western Reserve University computer scientists and energy technology experts are teaming up to leverage the diagnostic power of artificial intelligence (AI) to make solar-power plants more efficient. The work, funded by a three-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is part of a broad $130 million solar-technologies initiative announced by the DOE in 2020—including $7.3 million specifically for machine-learning solutions and other AI for solar applications. 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Biden administration will replace the entire federal vehicle fleet with EVs, CNET

The current federal vehicle fleet is estimated at
around 645,000 vehicles, and President Biden plans to replace all of them with American-made electric vehicles. The American-made part of this is essential because the announcement was part of Biden’s “Made In America” executive order, which is set to redirect a sizable portion of the government’s spending to American businesses and on American-made products.

Nebraska’s Largest Utilities’ EV Programs & Incentives
Interested in purchasing an electric vehicle or charger? Click a link, below, if you are a customer of one of Nebraska’s largest utilities and want to learn more about their EV programs and incentives, or check your local utility’s website for any available resources.

A Ready-Made Microgrid at Zero Cost? Yep. A Nebraska Utility Did It

By Ethan Howland, Microgrid Knowledge

Lincoln Electric System (LES), the public power utility serving greater Lincoln, Nebraska has set up a microgrid with 5 MW of load to serve critical facilities. The cost? Zero. The microgrid in downtown Lincoln is based around an existing duel-fuel, 29-MW generating unit and a substation and its infrastructure, according to Scott Benson, LES manager of resource and transmission planning. The project didn’t require any new equipment or a microgrid controller.

The US Department of Energy is preparing a publication that highlights the J Street microgrid project as an example of how to use existing infrastructure to provide new community benefits, [Scott Benson, LES manager of resource and transmission planning] said. Read more here.

More Articles About Utility Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Previously Posted

New LES Media Release

NPPD Media Release

  • Mary Harding elected NPPD Board Chair for 2021
    Columbus, Neb. – Mary Harding of Plattsmouth was elected as Chair of Nebraska Public Power District’s Board of Directors for 2021 following that body’s annual election of officers Wednesday in Columbus. Also elected were Jerry Chlopek of Columbus as first vice chair, Melissa Freelend of Kearney as second vice chair, and Ed Schrock of Elm Creek as secretary. NPPD Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Traci Bender was elected treasurer.

Smaller clean energy partnerships may pave way to LES decarbonization

By Riley Johnson, Lincoln Journal Star

Following a decade of expanded investment in wind energy and other renewable energy and the termination of a partnership with a local coal plant, Lincoln Electric System has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions within the next 20 years. LES Board members on Nov. 20 elected the goal following a yearlong study of the issue and surveys of local stakeholders, including the business community. The goal sets the benchmark of offsetting the 2011 utility’s emission levels as part of an effort to reduce its impact on the climate. Continue reading here.

LES Generation Resources

Featured Resource: SEPA Utility Carbon Reduction Tracker

 

 

New commitments from Lincoln Electric System and Portland General Electric.
Keep track of all publicly announced utility commitments to carbon or emission reduction.

  • 61 Utilities across the United States have publicly stated carbon or emission reduction goals.
  • 36 Utilities have goals of carbon-free or net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • 78% Of utilities with goals of carbon-free or net-zero emissions by 2050 are SEPA members.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Inside Clean Energy: The Energy Transition Comes to Nebraska, by Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News. Lincoln Electric System is the second large utility in Nebraska to approve a net-zero emissions goal, as the state reaps the benefits of wind power. Scott Benson, manager of resource and transmission planning for Lincoln Electric, told me that his utility’s new goal is a big deal because it is a more aggressive timetable than that of many other utilities across the country. But the net-zero goal is also not a big deal, he said, because Lincoln Electric was moving in this direction regardless.
  • Tri Global Energy Dominates U.S. Wind Production in Q3, Helps Texas Retain Top Ranking Nationally, Tri Global News Release, PR Newswire. Tri Global Energy, a leading privately held renewable energy developer, dominated U.S. wind production in development for the third quarter of 2020, with a total of 1,657 MW, which exceeds total wind power in development in 47 individual U.S. states. 
  • Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
    Scroll down to wind energy projects in development: Tri Global Energy is planning to develop a 100–megawatt wind farm, which will be named the Sugar Loaf Wind Farm in Garden County.
  • Vail Resorts makes progress toward EpicPromise goals with renewable energy and waste diversion, Summit Daily. Vail Resorts’ 2019-20 EpicPromise Progress Report was released Tuesday, Dec. 1, and shows movement toward the company’s goal of reaching a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Two renewable energy projects the company is participating in — the Plum Creek Wind project and the Elektron Solar project — mean 93% of Vail Resorts’ electric usage will be renewable by 2023. Nebraska’s Plum Creek Wind Farm
  • Another wind project in Wayne County: Ørsted starts construction of 298 MW Nebraska wind project, Ørsted News Release, October 28, 2020. Ørsted continues to expand its footprint in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) via the acquisition and final investment decision of the 298 MW Haystack Wind project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Situated adjacent to Ørsted’s 230 MW Plum Creek wind farm, Haystack will utilize existing interconnection infrastructure in SPP North. Haystack is expected to come online in fourth quarter 2021, adding further diversity to Ørsted’s portfolio of onshore wind, solar PV, and energy storage across Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast US.

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION ARTICLES

Eight mayors: We need a Marshall Plan for Middle America

Opinion by William Peduto, Jamael Tito Brown, Nan Whaley, Andrew Ginther, John Cranley, Steve Williams, Ron Dulaney Jr. and Greg Fischer
Published by The Washington Post

According to our research, taking advantage of our community assets, geographic positioning and the strengths of our regional markets can help create over 400,000 jobs across the region by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades to buildings, energy infrastructure and transportation assets. Read more here.

The writers are the mayors of Pittsburgh; Youngstown, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Huntington, W.Va.; Morgantown, W.Va.; and Louisville.

MORE ON LES’ DECARBONIZATION GOAL

Lincoln Electric System board adopts 100% net decarbonization goal by 2040, American Public Power Association

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & VIEWING

GREENBIZ VIDEOS

LES Board Commits to Net Zero Carbon by 2040

By Lincoln Electric System | November 22, 2020, KRVN

LINCOLN – The Lincoln Electric System Board Friday passed a resolution setting a goal for the utility to achieve net-zero carbon by 2040. With the passage of the goal, LES joins dozens of other utilities and cities that have passed similar measures, including the Omaha Public Power District.

“As LES Board Members, our fiduciary responsibility is to ratepayers. Across the country, clean energy like wind and solar is becoming cheaper while coal is becoming more costly,” said Lucas Sabalka, an LES Board Member. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Solar Industry Outlines a Policy Agenda for the Biden Administration, 117th Congress

SEIA News Release, November 12, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is releasing a suite of policies and executive actions that it is asking President-elect Biden and the newly elected Congress to act on during their first 100 days in office.

“Our 100-day agenda aligns with President-elect Biden’s vision to build back better, and represents a critical opportunity to meet the moment of the climate era with equity and justice at the forefront,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Even as we face a likely divided government, every facet of this agenda has had bipartisan support. Now is the time to take action to generate economic opportunities for Americans in a way that promotes competition and addresses the climate crisis.” Read more here.

GREEN BIZ 350 PODCAST

Episode 245: How President-elect Joe Biden could help U.S. farmers, by Heather Clancy, Joel Makower & Jim Giles

TRANSMISSION

Transmission troubles? A solution could be lying along rail lines and next generation highways, Utility Dive. Recent studies, including the landmark and reportedly suppressed Department of Energy Seam study, show expanded transmission is critical. But two key barriers — where to put the new lines and how to pay for them — still slow development, according to a June 2020 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report to Congress. Allocation of the new lines’ costs remains unresolved, but new approaches to siting are attracting attention.

TRI-STATE

Tri-State ups the amount of greenhouse gases it will cut in Colorado by adding wind and solar generation, The Colorado Sun. Colorado’s second biggest electricity provider – Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association – upped its goal for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to an 80% cut by 2030 – putting itself in line with other utilities in the state. Tri-State is joining with North Dakota-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative, the Deseret Power Cooperative in Utah, the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska and the federal Western Area Power Administration to explore joining the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

Tri-State is a nonprofit cooperative of 45 members, including 42 electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states: Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Together, they provide power to more than a million electricity consumers.

CROWDFUNDED TRIBAL SOLAR 

Crowdfunded solar puts Red Lake Nation on a path to energy sovereignty, by Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

“We have to prove that we can do this and we have to do this not only for ourselves but for other tribal nations,” said Red Lake member Bob Blake, the founder and owner of Solar Bear installation company. The workforce training center solar array is the second of 12 solar projects planned for the reservation. The first sits not far away atop the Red Lake Government Center, a building distinguished by incorporating a two-story face of an eagle with wings spread across the facade. The projects are the first two solar installations in Minnesota to be financed through crowdfunding, in which dozens of small investors lend to businesses to support entrepreneurs and their products. The tribe has a separate initiative to construct a utility-scale 13-megawatt solar farm in partnership with Allete, one of the region’s primary electricity providers.

GEOTHERMAL

The Earth itself could provide carbon-free heat for buildings, by David Roberts, Vox
What exactly are the technologies that can provide heat from the Earth? There are two basic categories. Let’s start by looking at the smaller side.

NEBRASKA’S FIRST ALL-GEOTHERMAL NEIGHBORHOOD

The Bridges is a unique neighborhood being developed in Lincoln, Nebraska of lakefront lots and traditional lots. Geothermal energy is featured throughout the entire development, which is landscaped with miles of trails and covered bridges. Download a brochure.

GAS BANS GROWING IN CALIFORNIA

San Francisco’s gas ban on new buildings could prompt statewide action, Utility Dive
The vote adds San Francisco to the growing list of nearly 40 California cities to pass such ordinances since Berkeley’s historic ban in July 2019.

FINANCIAL RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

In first for Fed, U.S. central bank says climate poses stability risks, Reuters
The U.S. Federal Reserve for the first time called out climate change among risks enumerated in its biannual financial stability report, and warned about the potential for abrupt changes in asset values in response to a warming planet. “Acute hazards, such as storms, floods, or wildfires, may cause investors to update their perceptions of the value of real or financial assets suddenly,” Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in comments attached to the report, released Monday.

EV CHARGING STATIONS 

NREL report says EV charging stations continued strong growth in early 2020, American Public Power Association

The report’s statistics tap data from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator, which NREL said is the most widely used tool on the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center. The report is available here.

EV REBATES