Tag Archives: Lincoln Electric System’s SunShares

OPPD strikes deal to bring solar power facility to Fort Calhoun

By Casey L. Sill, Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise

Mary Fisher, vice president of Energy Production and Nuclear Decommissioning, said it’s something OPPD customers have been wanting for some time. “Our customers have really been asking for a solar option,” she said . . . Community solar facilities are built by a third-party operation and run by the utility company. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, will build this facility. OPPD awarded a 20-year power purchase agreement to a Next Era subsidiary. Once the facility is underway, individual consumers can then buy shares or a “subscription” to the facility. Shareholders would bear the extra cost for the facility, but would also reap the benefits. Read more here.

Photo: Lincoln Electric System’s 5-kilowatt community solar farm,  located on a portion of a 46-acre site near Northwest 75th and Holdrege Streets. See Solar Examples.


Let’s Be Clear: Solar Energy Benefits Everyone, by Sean Gallagher, Solar Energy Industries Association Blog

Gallagher focuses on rooftop solar, but the same benefits apply to community and utility-scale solar, as well, several of which are excerpted, below, from the article:

  • Solar on businesses, government buildings and schools, [or aggregated into a community-solar program] can save utilities and consumers money on other distribution infrastructure costs. For example, expensive utility transformers can get overloaded on hot summer days when people are using more energy to cool their homes. Solar can reduce strain on the system on these days, which extends the life of utility equipment and creates savings for everyone.
  • Additional widely-recognized benefits of solar: avoided fuel hedging costs created by volatile fossil fuels like natural gas, avoided electricity losses from power plants that are located far away from cities, and avoiding the need to build new expensive natural gas plants.

OPPD customers will soon be able to buy shares of solar power

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

Omaha Public Power District Customers will soon be able to support the local production and use of solar power – at a cost. OPPD as early as next year will start selling shares of solar power to customers interested in using more renewable power, including those who lack the means to buy or lease their own solar panels . . . Michael Shonka, president of Nebraskans for Solar, called OPPD’s effort “a start” but said other utilities offer customers solar power at market rate, with the potential of getting ahead financially. Click here to read the entire article.

Photo: Lincoln Electric System’s solar array on Holdrege Street west of Lincoln. OPPD is now planning to build a solar array in one or more of three locations: Calhoun, Bellevue or near Gretna. Credit: Lincoln Electric System

Community Solar: Lincoln Electric System’s SunShares

– from LES SunShares web link: www.les.com/SunShares

The local, community solar project, Lincoln Electric System (LES) SunShares, is an affordable opportunity for all LES customers to be involved in the development of solar-generated energy. The level of LES SunShares participation will influence project size with the highest-value project selected to continue diversifying the LES resource portfolio, while decreasing reliance on fossil fuels.

A 2013 survey indicated many LES customers are interested in, and willing to contribute to, the development of renewable energy resources in and around the LES service area. Results of the survey prompted LES to study the feasibility of a community solar project. LES administrators are evaluating proposals and are authorized to acquire up to 10 megawatts of solar-generated electricity.

Now LES customers can enroll to contribute to LES SunShares and help make a solar farm a reality.

$3-6 donated to SunShares
Receive the LES SunShares updates and invites to exclusive project events.
$7-10 donated to SunShares Receive a decal, public listing + Spark benefits.
Write your own donation. 
If more than $10, receive Sunburst benefits + VIP invite to the ribbon cutting.
Businesses may participate starting at just $3/month.
 Receive a window cling and public recognition. If more than $20, receive the media kit + VIP invite to the ribbon cutting.

There are two ways to enroll: By calling 402-475-4211 or completing the online form at www.les.com/SunShares

To download a brochure, click here: https://www.les.com/pdf/sunshares-brochure.pdf

Additional Examples of Utility-Sponsored Community Solar
Lincoln Electric System is among a growing number of publicly owned utilities providing an option for community solar, including:

Sacramento Municipal Utility’s Solar Shares https://www.smud.org/en/residential/environment/solar-for-your-home/solarshares/index.htm

Video about Sacramento Municipal Utility’s Solar Farm, “Locally-grown Solar Power”:

Salt River Project (SRP), one of Arizona’s largest utilities, Community Solar Program http://www.srpnet.com/menu/solar/SRPcommunitysolar.aspx

SRP’s EarthWise Energy builds solar energy projects for nonprofits:

LES offers SunShares as way to buy into community solar energy project

by Algis J. Laukaitis, Lincoln Journal Star

Lincoln Electric System customers who want to support renewable energy growth will have an opportunity to invest in a community-funded solar energy project.

The LES Administrative Board on Friday unveiled a new customer participation program that allows customers to buy so-called SunShares for $3 a month through their bills.

The city-owned utility plans to launch a marketing program soon to encourage customers to sign up for the voluntary program set to begin Aug. 2.

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