Tag Archives: Lincoln Electric System

Thank you to everyone who attended our event this evening at UNO’s Community Engagement Center!

First of all, thank you to our guest speakers for their excellent presentation on Nebraska’s first-ever community solar project developed by a neighborhood association: Terry Wittler and Jeff Buhrman, Lincoln Capitol Beach homeowners, led the association’s efforts to pioneer this
innovative model for our state.

Michael Shonka, owner of Solar Heat and Electric and Nebraskans for Solar board member,
collaborated with Terry and Jeff on the project and joined them for part of the program this evening. The challenges they encountered and the lessons learned resulted in a time-saving plan for anyone interested in proposing the same idea to other power districts.

The discussion that followed their presentation generated many insightful questions and
comments from audience members. Thank you to everyone who attended.

Michael Shonka’s contact information is listed in Nebraskans for Solar’s Directory for anyone with additional questions.

Terry Wittler may be reached at the following email address: terrywittler@gmail.com.

Photo by David Corbin

With little space for solar farms, suburbs are finding creative ways to embrace renewable energy

By Sarah Freishtat, Chicago Tribune

Solar farms are cropping up on Illinois’ open land, spurred by state requirements and a new state program, but several built-up suburbs are carving out room for solar power as well. From Evanston to Oak Park to Will County, communities are embracing solar power as a means to help meet renewable energy goals. And in Aurora, the state’s second-largest city, some advocates see solar power as part of their vision to get half of all Aurora’s energy from renewable sources within roughly 10 years . . . The growth of solar projects is spurred in part by the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, which took effect in 2017 and, among other things, created new solar programs and incentives. Read more here.

See Also: Greenest Region Compact, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Initiative

HAPPENING IN OTHER CITIES & STATES

Virginia’s solar freedom bill
In this op-ed for PV Magazine, Ivy Main looks at new legislation to remove barriers and allow Virginia to develop its distributed solar potential. Ivy is a lawyer, writer and energy consultant who also serves as the Renewable Energy Chair for the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club. Her articles on Virginia energy topics appear regularly in the Virginia Mercury and her blog, PowerforthepeopleVA.com.

CORPORATE NEWS


How Tesla is taking over neighborhoods with solar energy
, Electrek
Tesla has been betting on word of mouth to promote most of its products and solar has been no exception since it has acquired SolarCity. Here’s how Tesla has been taking over neighborhoods with solar energy thanks to the help of satisfied customers. Photo Credit: SolarCity



GE to install and test a ‘prototype’ of vast 12-megawatt turbine in the Netherlands, CNBC

 


FEATURED RESOURCES

Nebraska Utilities’ Programs & Incentives
NPPD Community / Rooftop Solar Resources
NPPD EnergyWise Incentives & Programs
OPPD’s Electric Vehicle Rebate Program – New rebates added.
More On OPPD Rebates & Programs
LES offers customers $1.5 million in Sustainable Energy Program incentives

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

 

NPPD’s R-Project. To learn more about the project, click here.
NPPD News Release: Contract awarded for R-Project transmission line construction by NPPD

 

Myth or fact? Electric vehicles

 By Laura King-Homan, OPPD Blog, The Wire

Many drivers have questions about how electric vehicles (EVs) work and their impact on the environment. In conjunction with National Drive Electric Week, we answer seven myths with facts about electric vehicles. OPPD launched its EV pilot rebate program in June.

In its first 90 days, 22 chargers and 25 car and charger rebates were paid to customers. More applications are awaiting approval. Since the program began, Nissan has increased its sale of the Leaf electric vehicle, selling 11 in the Omaha metro.

MYTH #1: EVs have a limited driving range for a full charge. Click here to get the facts.

NEBRASKA DRIVE ELECTRIC WEEK EVENTS

Omaha
Sunday, September 9, 2018
11 am to 3 pm
Creighton University Skutt Student Center Ballroom
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, Nebraska 68178
Register Here 

Lincoln
Sunday, September 16, 2018
12 pm to 4 pm
Hy-Vee parking lot
5020 N 27th Street Hy-Vee
Lincoln, Nebraska 68521
Register Here.

Trump order on coal, nuclear power could force Nebraska, Iowa utilities to raise rates

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

Many utilities, including local ones, have committed millions of dollars to wind and solar projects, signing contracts with significant penalties if broken. Utilities also belong to regional groupings that require certain levels of production. “The bottom line of what it would do is increase our prices,” said Anne McGuire, vice chair of the Omaha Public Power District board. “We would have to increase our rates, which we wouldn’t be too happy about.” The president on June 1 ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to boost struggling coal and nuclear plants. Read the entire article here.

Omaha World-Herald print title: Utilities wary of possible requirement to use more coal, nuclear power

Photo Courtesy of Lincoln Electric System: OPPD is planning to build a solar array near Fort Calhoun similar in size to Lincoln Electric System’s SunShares 5-megawatt Solar Farm.

RELATED READING

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

With more solar and wind, North America’s grid is getting more reliable

LES installs solar-charging bench and stations for public use

By Lauren Wagner, Lincoln Journal Star

The Lincoln Electric System introduced its first solar-powered charging bench in Holmes Park on Tuesday afternoon. The utility purchased the bench, along with four solar-powered mobile charging stations, using the savings realized by customers switching to paperless billing, said LES spokeswoman Kelley Porter. Click here to read more.

More About LES’ Paperless Billing
YouTube Video: Enroll in LES Paperless Billing

ALSO HAPPENING IN LINCOLN
City plans to pay $12M to convert to LED street lights using loan to itself, by Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star

Photo by Lauren Wagner, reprinted with permission.

American Public Power Association Honors LES & NPPD

By Paul Ciampoli, News Editor, Public Power Daily, APPA

Nebraska’s Lincoln Electric System has received the 2017 Award of Continued Excellence from the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments program. The award recognizes continued commitment to the DEED program and its ideals, including support of research, development and demonstration, improving efficiency, renewable resources and support of public power. “As a utility, LES embodies excellence in many ways,” said Association President and CEO Sue Kelly. “When it comes to R&D and participation in DEED, there’s no question that LES is blazing a path of innovation that other public power utilities can follow. Click here to read more.

Photo: The award was presented during the Association’s annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference in San Antonio, Texas on May 8th. Left to right: Diane Bell, DEED Board Chair; Sue Kelly, APPA CEO & President, Jason Smith of LES and Michele Suddleson, DEED Program Director

National industry organization recognizes NPPD for customer service
NPPD News Release

Columbus, Neb. –  On May 8, the American Public Power Association recognized Nebraska Public Power District for its reliable and safe electric service to customers and designated the statewide utility as a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)®. The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. There are more than 2,000 community owned electric utilities in the United States, yet only approximately 220 public power utilities hold the RP3 designation.

NPPD serves more than 91,000 Nebraskans in 80 different communities across the state. Recent initiatives by NPPD’s retail division include community solar projects in Scottsbluff, Venango and Kearney, and LED street lighting upgrades in Plattsmouth and Aurora. The utility has also not had an electric rate increase for retail customers in four years.

Read the entire release here.

Photo: Kearney’s 5.8-megawatt solar project under construction. When completed, it will be Nebraska’s largest solar energy array.

Media Release: 100kW solar panel system in Lincoln complete

LINCOLN, Neb. – GRNE Solutions, a Midwest-based renewable energy provider, announced it has completed one of the largest privately owned commercial solar panel systems in the Lincoln, Nebraska area. GRNE and its partner, landowner JAX Properties, will sell electricity produced by the system back to the local electric company. Located at 1900 Saltillo Rd., the new system is the latest development in an advancing solar scene in the Lincoln area. The company has created a new division to administer its solar energy resources: GRNE Solar. In 2016, the company installed roughly 340kW of renewable energy across Lincoln and the Midwest. The systems varied in size from 5kW residential systems to the new 100kW commercial system. Read the entire release here.

About GRNE Solutions
GRNE Solutions provides renewable energy for homes, commercial buildings and utilities through the use of photovoltaics and other renewable sources, including passive methods. GRNE’s patented Energy Column is a renewable energy system for generating self-sustaining electricity.

 ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

LINCOLN’S CUSTOMER-OWNED GENERATION 
The latest GRNE Solar project stands out, in part, because although residential and community solar projects are significantly increasing in number throughout the state, especially in the last several months, there are only a few commercial solar projects developed, so far.

One contributing factor to the “advancing solar scene in the Lincoln area” in all sectors of the industry is Lincoln Electric System’s solar-friendly policy of providing installers and customers streamlined and time saving application processes and forms. There are two separate applications: one for projects up to 25 kilowatts and less and another for projects up to 100 kilowatts. Lincoln Electric System pays the full retail rate for excess power sent back to the grid. LES also offers the following incentives for solar photovoltaic installations to the commercial, industrial, residential, and federal government sectors:

Southern-facing fixed solar: $375/kW-DC of the solar system’s nameplate capacity
Western-facing fixed solar: $475/kW-DC of nameplate capacity
Single or dual tracking solar: $475/kW-DC of nameplate capacity

For example: Lincoln Electric System provided Dual Dynamics an incentive for the company’s south-facing system in the amount of $9,300 ($375 x 24.8kW) as a capacity payment, as soon as the project was commissioned. (See Solar Examples).

Resource listing all Nebraska programs and incentives
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

LES adjusting to shifting customer use, stagnant demand

By Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star

journal-star-photo

“As an industry, a lot of us missed this dramatic drop in demand growth,” LES Vice President of Power Supply Jason Fortik said during a recent interview. “It wasn’t just an LES thing. As the utility industry, we’re out incenting people to be more efficient and place less demand on our system. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised when it actually starts to occur . . . ” A typical Lincoln household’s average monthly electric use peaked in 2010 at 906 kilowatt hours. By last year, it had declined to 829 kwh. Meanwhile, more customers are making their own electricity by installing solar panels. It’s a trend LES closely monitors and has encouraged. Read the entire article here.

Photo by Eric Gregory, Lincoln Journal Star. Maintenance Supervisor Tyson Chambers describes equipment at the Lincoln Electric System’s Terry Bundy Generating Station.

les-image Click image to enlarge it. 

LES board OKs budget, gets update on renewable energy projects

Photo Illustrating the Project: Lincoln Journal Star

Photo Illustrating Holdrege Solar Center by The Lincoln Journal Star

By Algis Laukaitis, Lincoln Journal Star

Excerpt
Construction of the Holdrege Solar Center near Northwest 75th and Holdrege streets is set to begin in February, and the 5-megawatt solar farm should be completed in June 2016 . . . Completion of the three [wind} projects should bring LES very close to meeting its goal of having 48 percent of the energy used by customers come from renewable energy sources.

Read the entire article.

Visit Lincoln Electric System’s website: www.les.com

Thank you notes from Nebraskans for Solar

First of all thank you to John Atkeison, Energy Policy JohnAtkeison
Director for the Nebraska Wildlife Federation and Co-Director of Clean Energy Nebraska, for his well-presented and well-received public forum on May 14th at the Community Engagement Center on the topic of “Renewable Energy Development in Nebraska.” His discussion generated numerous questions from the audience. We appreciate your leadership and your outstanding work, John, in renewable energy advocacy and education.

Thank you and congratulations to Creighton University Erin Cheesegraduate Erin Cheese, who served on Nebraskans for Solar’s Board of Directors for one-and-a-half years. At Creighton she was a double major in Energy Science and Applied Physical Analysis, working on material science research in the physics department. Collaborating with other Creighton students, she co-founded the Creighton Energy Science Club, with the objective of developing campus and community outreach projects with Nebraskans for Solar and other organizations. Erin was recently accepted as a Junior Fellow with the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. We will miss her, and we wish her all the best.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Nebraskans for Solar OG Logo
during Omaha Gives! Your donations will have a “double impact,” as an anonymous donor has matched each gift. Nebraskans for Solar is a completely volunteer organization, so 100% of all gifts will be put to work on our community outreach projects.

Thank you to Fuse Coworking and Lincoln Artist Jamie Burmeister FuseCoworkingSharedesk.net
for hosting today’s panel presentation in Lincoln from 4 to 6 p.m. @ Fuse Coworking, 800 P Street. The panelists are:

  • Robby Bearman, Senior Operations Manager for Uber, the ride-sharing service that has been gaining traction over the past few years.
  • Scott Benson: Manager, Resource & Transmission Planning, Lincoln Electric System.
  • Jon Dixon is a mentor of UNL Engineers Without Borders: World Energy Project, and he is a board member of Nebraskans for Solar.
  • Jamie Burmeister is the artist behind that LUV U LUV: Message Matters exhibition where he signaled a message in morse code with lights over the Haymarket. His small, life-like figures are currently in every nook and cranny at FUSE.

As always, there will be plenty of networking, cold beer, and fancy wine! See you there!

FUSE Coworking is located at 800 P Street in Lincoln, on the 3rd Floor above the Dock – the loading area on the West side of The Mill Coffee Shop.

For additional details, please visit: www.facebook.com/NebraskansForSolar 

Thank you to Ken Johnson, who is Vice President of Communications at the Solar Energy Industries Association and who is on NFS’ ListServe, for his information about SEIA’s new video, “Solar Energy in the United States: A Decade of Record Growth.” It’s just 4 minutes long & fun to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFMkL2QIduY

Finally, thank you everyone for all you are doing to advance solar energy in our state!

Nebraskans for Solar