Tag Archives: Mayor Chris Beutler

Lincoln Environmental Action Plan Headed to Council

Mayor Chris Beutler has released the final Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (LEAP) to guide City action in the areas of energy, land use, transportation, waste and water. The LEAP was introduced at the City Council meeting Monday, December 11 and includes changes suggested by the community since the draft plan was released in July.

The Council will have a public hearing and vote on the LEAP Monday, December 18. The final plan is available here.

Suggested changes in the final plan include:

  • a new strategy to streamline the permitting and review for solar energy facilities;
  • a more comprehensive strategy that includes areas surrounding the urban core, such as Wilderness Park, saline wetlands and prairie corridors;
  • increased metrics to demonstrate improvements associated with the Green Light Lincoln project;
  • Increased support for electric vehicles, transit and biking; and
  • More aggressive goals to reduce solid waste going into the City landfill.

Mayor Beutler said the LEAP also guides several other initiatives moving forward in the next few weeks and months. Those include the following:

  • The implementation of energy savings performance contracts, a tool to improve the energy efficiency of City streets lights and public buildings and save taxpayer dollars.
  • The development of a prairie corridor to preserve our landmark landscapes and promote eco-tourism.
  • The testing of new autonomous vehicle technology to improve travel times, increase safety and reduce fuel costs.

“Investing in a Cleaner, Greener Lincoln creates what industry and economists call a ‘Triple Bottom Line’ – it returns economic, social and environmental value,” Beutler said. “This innovative thinking, planning and building are big reasons Lincoln continues to shine on the national stage.”


Ways you may support the Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (LEAP)

  • If you are a resident of Lincoln, contact your City Council member before December 18th here.
  • Attend the City Council meeting, where you will have the opportunity to testify in support of the plan, on Monday, December 18th at 5:30 pm at the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street, Room 113

Mayor Beutler sending environmental plan to council for approval

By Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed plan at its Dec. 18 meeting and is expected to vote that evening . . . The final draft incorporates suggestions from the public, including streamlining the permitting and review for solar energy facilities, a more comprehensive strategy for protecting green space, and increased support for electric vehicles, transit and biking. Read more here.

Photo: Solar panels fill the roof space at the former Meadow Gold buildings at Seventh and M streets. Credit: Gwyneth Roberts, Lincoln Journal Star

Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (LEAP)

Energy Strategies
#1 Convert to LED street lights.
#2 Improve energy efficiency in City of Lincoln municipal buildings.
#3 Reduce non-renewable fuel usage in the City fleet operations by 50% by 2030.
#4 Improve energy efficiency of Lincoln’s new homes and buildings
#5 Expand Lincoln’s potential for solar energy growth.

Two Specific Goals & Why Implement Them:

  • By March of 2018 obtain a “gold” designation in the Department of Energy’s SOLSMART program, which measures whether City policy and processes are solar friendly for residents and businesses that seek to start solar projects. Lincoln currently has a “bronze” designation.
  • Continue also to evaluate and implement solar energy projects at municipal facilities where economically viable.
  • Lowering the costs of solar installations by streamlining permitting and review processes will encourage broader residential and commercial utilization of this renewable energy source.
  • Implementing solar projects at municipal facilities will increase the City’s energy resilience, lower costs, contribute to attainment of renewable energy goals and enhance public perceptions of this renewable technology.

SolSmart: An Opportunity For All Nebraska Communities

Since the SolSmart program launched in April 2016, 78 communities have achieved SolSmart Gold, Silver or Bronze designations, recognized nationally for making it faster, easier and cheaper to go solar.

Lincoln, Nebraska has achieved the SolSmart “bronze” designation. Recently, Mayor Beutler released the Lincoln Environmental Action Plan 2017-2018. Among the plan’s many goals:

By December 2017 obtain a “gold” designation in the Department of Energy’s
SolSmart program, which measures whether City policy and processes are
solar friendly for residents and businesses that seek to start solar projects.

All cities and counties are eligible to join SolSmart and receive no-cost technical assistance from The Solar Foundation and its partners.

To learn more, visit: http://www.gosparc.org

LES announces new wind, solar

Media Release Posted: 12/19/2014 – Lincoln Electric System’s website www.les.com

LINCOLN – Lincoln Electric System has finalized power purchase agreements to add 173 megawatts of wind energy and 5 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy to its power supply resource portfolio by 2016. These projects will increase the utility’s equivalent renewable generation portfolio to 48 percent of LES’ retail energy.

Mayor Chris Beutler and Kevin Wailes, administrator & CEO of Lincoln Electric System, today announced this as one of the most aggressive renewable energy portfolios.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, the projects will also save customers money. “When viewed as a package, our wind and solar contracts are expected to save LES customer-owners approximately $429 million over the next 25 years,” said Wailes.

The wind additions are spread across two wind contracts secured with the same developer, Invenergy, and involve the 73 megawatt Prairie Breeze II Wind Energy Center, located in northeastern Nebraska, and 100 megawatt Buckeye Wind Energy Center, located in north-central Kansas. In August, LES issued a Request for Proposal for up to 200 megawatts of wind energy. LES received 15 responses encompassing a total of 105 distinct proposals. The selected projects will bring LES’ total wind portfolio to 304 MW.

“This is a very opportune time for LES to invest in more wind energy due to future uncertainties of federal Production Tax Credits for wind developers, potential additional regulations on power plant emissions, and the volatility of fossil fuel prices.” said Wailes.

The solar contract was in response to an LES survey which indicated customers were willing to support more local solar energy. LES implemented SunShares, a new program in partnership with customers to bring a community solar project to the Lincoln area.

The 5 megawatt solar array will be located about 75th and W. Holdrege Street, visible from Interstate 80. LES will leverage savings achieved through its wind agreements to help supplement customer participation in the LES SunShares program, which allowed LES to obtain optimal pricing for the solar project.

This project will provide LES with valuable solar operating experience and will be the largest solar installation in the state.