Tag Archives: MidAmerican Energy

MISO board approves $10.3B transmission plan to support 53 GW of renewables

By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s board on Monday approved a $10.3 billion transmission plan that could support about 53 GW of wind, solar, hybrid and stand-alone battery projects found in state and utility clean energy goals in its northern and central regions.

While the projects were designed to maintain grid reliability amid a changing generation mix, MISO estimates that it will bring $23.2 billion to $52.2 billion in present value net benefits over 40 years, including up to $19.9 billion in congestion and fuel cost savings, according to a presentation by Aubrey Johnson, MISO vice president of system planning and competitive transmission. Next …. Continue reading here.

Upcoming Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Webinar

What Do Regional Transmission Organizations Do?, With Casey Cathey, Director of System Planning at Southwest Power Pool, August 17, 2022 at 10 a.m. This seminar will cover a variety of responsibilities of the Southwest Power Pool Regional Transmission Organization, such as transmission planning, resource adequacy, operations, and energy markets. Register here 

Questions? Please contact John Hansen, Conference Chair: john@nebraskafarmersunion.org, 402-580-8815 or Anita Scheuler, Conference Administrator: admin@nebraskawsc.com, 402-304-2790.

MidAmerican Energy News Releases

Solar ITC Extension

EV News – Utility Dive 

‘Build Back Better’ Hit a Wall, but Climate Action Could Move Forward

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, New York Times

The climate portion of Build Back Better includes about $555 billion aimed at moving the American economy away from its 150-year-old reliance on fossil fuels and toward clean energy sources. Instead of penalties to punish polluters, the bill offers incentives for industries, utilities and individuals to shift from burning oil, gas and coal for energy and transportation to using wind, solar and other forms of power that do not emit carbon dioxide, the most plentiful of the greenhouse gases that are warming the world.

It would provide about $320 billion in tax credits for producers and buyers of wind, solar and nuclear power. Buyers of electric vehicles would receive up to $12,500 in tax credits. It would extend existing tax credits to lower costs for homeowners of installing solar panels, geothermal pumps and small wind turbines, covering up to 30 percent of the bills. Read more here.

APPA FACT SHEET OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

The Need for Direct Payment Of Refundable Tax Credits for Public Power

APPA believes that if Congress intends to create incentives in pursuit of national energy and climate goals, it should realize that tax-based incentives will not have the market-wide reach of direct grants and other incentives. As a result, the association believes that tax-based incentives should be drafted to accommodate tax-exempt entities, including public power utilities. 

UTILITY DIVE SERIES

2022 Outlook: FERC expected to prioritize transmission, power markets and gas infrastructure, by Ethan Howland, Senior Reporter

This is the third part of Utility Dive’s 2022 Outlook Series.

With its oversight of interstate transmission and wholesale power markets, FERC, an independent agency, has a major role in the energy transition. “FERC’s regulation is central to the resilient, reliable future grid that’s already developing,” John Moore, director of the Sustainable FERC Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said.

Potential changes to the transmission system are driven by the growth of renewable energy, especially in areas that are far from major population centers, according to Moore. Other developments that are driving a focus on transmission planning include the development of offshore wind farms and the shift away from fossil fuels for cars, trucks and buildings, which will drive up electricity use, Moore said.

Referenced in the article: FERC’s new Office of Public Participation
Upcoming Resources for the Future Webinar: Policy Leadership Series with FERC Commissioner Allison Clements, January 25, 2022 at 10 a.m. Central Time


Fourth Part of Utility Dive’s 2022 Series 

2022 Outlook: US solar and wind boom continues despite supply chain woes, Build Back Better uncertainty,  by Iulia Gheorghiu

 

INTERIOR DEPARTMENT NEWS

Interior’s 2022 energy strategy: 3 things to watch, E&E News

Interior’s efforts will include authorizing solar energy in Western deserts and leasing waters in the Atlantic Ocean to offshore wind developers, as well as reexamining the rules that govern decommissioning offshore pipelines, drilling for oil and digging for federal coal . . . Meanwhile, renewables are about to get a boost on public lands.

Additional Recommended Reading: Offshore wind: a key to unlocking the American transition to a clean, reliable and affordable energy future, American Clean Power Association

USDA NEWS RELEASES

USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations Highlights 2021 Accomplishments to Advance Equity and Opportunity for Tribal Nations and Communities

“USDA and the federal government have a distinct relationship with tribal nations,” said USDA Office of Tribal Relations Director Heather Dawn Thompson. “We are embarking on new initiatives to reframe approaches to how USDA serves Indian Country and promotes government-to-government relationships with tribal nations.” 

MIDAMERICAN ENERGY NEWS RELEASE

MidAmerican Energy proposes $3.9 billion “Wind PRIME” renewable energy project

In a filing with the Iowa Utilities Board, MidAmerican’s proposed project, called Wind PRIME, would add 2,042 megawatts of wind generation and 50 megawatts of solar generation. The company also proposed conducting feasibility studies focused on other clean generation technologies, including carbon capture, energy storage and small modular nuclear reactors.

FEATURED EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION

The Zero Energy Project is a non-profit educational organization whose goal is to help home buyers, builders, designers, and real estate professionals take meaningful steps towards radically reducing carbon emissions and energy bills by building zero net energy homes and near zero energy homes.

We envision the day when positive energy homes, which produce more energy than they consume, will power electric vehicles as well as homes, so that everyone can live well with less expense and without fear of energy price spikes, while greatly reducing our carbon emissions.

Zero Energy Project’s Directory of Zero Energy Building Professionals
Recent Blog Post: Net-Zero vs Passive House: What are the Similarities and Differences?

DOE BETTER BUILDINGS WEBINAR

PV Valuation: How Solar PV Adds Value to Your Assets, February 1, 2022, 10 a.m. CT

Rooftop solar is a common renewable energy strategy, and owners and operators are now exploring potential financial benefits to the value of commercial and industrial properties. Learn from several building owners and managers on how they made the business case for solar PV and found increased asset value during appraisal or at the time of sale. This webinar will highlight multiple building types and financial models for solar PV.

Kayaking to Cut Coal Fired Power Plants: 2,341 Miles Down the Missouri River

By Clarence Dennis, Flatland KC

Part passion, part protest, Graham Jordison is paddling his kayak all 2,341 miles of the Missouri River, completely on his own. On Monday morning, Jordison pulled his orange boat onto the rocks at Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kansas, just a few hundred yards from the state of Missouri’s final stretch of the “Big Muddy.”

Jordison’s journey, which set off July 18 from Three Forks, Montana, is about a week away from the finish line in St. Louis, where the Missouri River pours into the Mississippi River. The long-distance paddler is moving at an average of 35 miles per day, give or take. Continue reading here.

Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal and Gas Campaign

Photo: Graham Jordison on the Missouri River near Sioux City. Credit: Emma Colman

BEYOND TAR SANDS

EDP Renewables, TC Energy Sign Power Agreement for Alberta Wind Farm, North American Wind Power

 “This agreement, which is Alberta’s largest power purchase agreement for wind, is an important step as TC Energy continues to build its renewable energy portfolio,” states Corey Hessen, TC Energy’s senior vice president and president of power and storage.

Previously Posted: Developer Abandons Keystone XL Pipeline Project, Ending Decade-Long Battle, by Jeff Brady and Neela Banerjee, NPR

FULLY ELECTRIFIED CAMPUS INITIATIVES

Columbia Pledges That All Future Campus Construction Will Be Fossil Free, Columbia News
As Climate Week NYC begins, the university explores creating a fully electrified campus. The Columbia Climate School is university partner of the weeklong climate showcase.

RESIDENTIAL RENEWABLES FOR ALL 

Advocates push for clean energy tax credits to help low-income households in budget bill, contributed by Jason Plautz, Utility Dive

A new coalition of more than 350 environmental groups, renewable energy companies and minority advocates is pushing for House Democrats to maintain tax language increasing clean energy access for low-income communities in the budget reconciliation package. 

 EVGO MILESTONE

EVgo Celebrates 300,000 Customer Account Milestone, Valdosta Daily Times
EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO), the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and first powered by 100% renewable electricity, today announced its nationwide customer accounts have crossed the 300,000 mark. The milestone arrives as EVgo continues to expand its fast-charging network footprint with convenient and reliable fast charging stations where drivers shop, work, and play.

FEATURED OPINION

Congress must commit to electric vehicles, Utility Dive
Contributed article by Ben Prochazka, Executive Director, Electrification Coalition; Dr. Shelley Francis, Co-Founder and Director, EVHybridNoire; Jeff Allen, Executive Director, Forth; and Joel Levin, Executive Director, Plug In America.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Incentives for Energy and Transportation Are Climate Action

By Grant Carlisle, Natural Resources Defense Council

The newly minted Biden administration has made clear that climate change is a top priority. A vital arrow in the administration’s quiver should be tax policies including predictable and long-term extensions and upgrades to clean energy and clean transportation incentives. See here for a letter from 45 environmental, faith and business groups sent to President Biden today supporting robust clean economy tax policies. These policies will help clean energy and clean transportation play a critical role in building an ascendant 21st century American economy, putting people back to work, and laying the foundation for a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous future. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NATIONAL GREEN BANK BILL

National Green Bank Bill Targets $100B for Business Sectors Key to Biden’s Climate Agenda, Greentech Media. A report this week from the National Academies of Science highlighted the need for federal funding to bolster private capital sources that are “unlikely to be sufficient to finance the low-carbon economic transition, especially during the 2020s when the effort is new.” 

CORPORATE NEWS

LIHEAP

APPA, other groups call for a $10 billion emergency supplemental appropriation for LIHEAP, American Public Power Association

A group of national gas and electric utility associations, including the American Public Power Association, on Feb. 4 sent a letter to Congress calling for a $10 billion emergency supplemental appropriation for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).The letter was sent to House and Senate Appropriations committee chairmen and ranking members.

“LIHEAP is the bedrock of America’s energy safety net, providing heating and cooling assistance to our most vulnerable, including the elderly, those with disabilities, and families with young children,” the letter noted.

Nebraska LIHEAP Program

Keep your eyes on these 9 electric truck and van companies in 2021

By Mike De Socio, Contributor, GreenBiz 


Last year, a number of automakers announced or advanced ambitious plans to electrify heavy-duty big rigs, semi-trucks, box trucks, delivery vans and more. That article was one of GreenBiz’s most popular stories throughout the year. And the demand and interest in this technology is only growing stronger. Given that trucks consume the vast majority of energy compared to other modes of freight transportation, electrification in this area has huge potential to decrease the carbon impact of fleets. Continue reading here.

Virtual Renewable Energy Education Summit


Thursday, February 4, 2021, 10am – 4pm Central Time

The KidWind Project and REpowering Schools are inviting educators, researchers and practitioners from around the world to come together to discuss the state and future of renewable energy education in a collaborative, day-long virtual summit. This is an application-based event. Participants will receive a $150 stipend for their time. Click here to learn more and to apply.

News From Other States

OPPD Maintains Strong Credit Rating, Helping Utility Keep Rates Low For Customer-Owners In Challenging Economy

OPPD News Release 

Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s latest ratings give OPPD an Aa2 and AA, respectively. These ratings are among the highest ratings a public power utility can receive. OPPD’s solid financial position has allowed it to access credit markets during the current market downturn, while lower rated entities have had limited access . . . The board received an update on OPPD’s Pathways to Decarbonization strategic initiative. A long-term study is underway to identify pathways to improve our environmental impact while maintaining reliability, resiliency and affordability. During its committee meetings this week, the board received an update on OPPD’s Power with Purpose (PwP) plan, approved in November 2019. The plan includes the addition of between 400 and 600 megawatts of accredited utility-scale solar generation, as well as the addition of modernized natural gas backup generation assets. Read the entire news release here.

For more information, click here.
OPPD invites customer-owners to submit feedback at OPPD Listens.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

THE HEROES ACT

House Democrats unveil $3 trillion COVID-19 response proposal, American Public Power Association. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in late March by President Trump included $900 million for LIHEAP to help low-income households pay their utility bills during the crisis. But the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) on April 6 said that due to the depth of the crisis, “this funding only scratches the surface of what families will need to stay afloat.” 

CLEAN ENERGY FORWARD INITIATIVE

Republicans Are Leading On Clean Energy, Newsweek
Opinion contributed by Heather Reams, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, a non-profit organization that recently launched Clean Energy Forward to engage Republican policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge.

TRANSITION PATHWAY INITIATIVE

Investor group: No European oil and gas major has a credible net zero plan, GreenBiz
That is the conclusion of a new analysis from the influential Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), backed by investors representing $19 trillion of assets worldwide.

TRI-STATE

SOLAR PLUS STORAGE

GAF SOLAR ROOF

GAF Energy Launches New Flex Option for Roof-Integrated Solar System, Solar Industry Magazine

GAF Energy, a provider of roof-integrated solar solutions in North America, has launched their “Flex” option for use with the company’s redesigned Decotech 2.0 roof-integrated solar product. Flex maintains the efficiency of standard system sizing, while also introducing new configuration choices for homeowners.

  • Homeowners interested in learning more about the GAF solar roof, click here.
  • Roofing contractors interested in installing GAF Energy products, click here.

THIN-FILM SOLAR MODULES

A new player appears in American thin-film cadmium telluride solar module manufacturing, PV Magazine. Toledo Solar is trying to distinguish itself from First Solar’s cadmium telluride dominance by operating in the residential and commercial markets, markets which have been historically unkind to the technology.

GREENTECH MEDIA’S INTERCHANGE

Mapping the Post-COVID Future for Electric Cars, Behavior Change and Energy Demand, Greentech Media. This week on The Interchange, we talk with futurist Ramez Naam about a wide range of scenarios for energy.

MORE ON MICHAEL MOORE’S CONTROVERSIAL DOCUMENTARY

What Michael Moore’s New Climate Documentary Gets Wrong About Renewables, Forbes

15 books about women leading the way on climate change

By Michael Svoboda, Yale Climate Connections

To observe Women’s History Month, Yale Climate Connections has again chosen to present a selection of new and recent titles on how women’s lives will be affected by climate change and on how women are changing the politics and prospects for action. Read more here.

 ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

DOE NEWS RELEASE

Energy Department Announces $20 Million Investment in Workforce Development in Emerging Fields.

EV NEWS

 CIRCULAR BATTERY

The case for designing a circular battery, by Jesse Gerstin, GreenBiz
Jesse Gerstin is director of Sustainable Business at SimpliPhi Power, providing energy storage solutions and access to energy for underserved communities globally.  

All Hell Breaking Loose Examines Climate Change From the Perspective of the U.S. Military

All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective
On Climate Change, by Michael T. Klare

The Pentagon, unsentimental and politically conservative, might not seem likely to be worried about climate change―still linked, for many people, with polar bears and coral reefs. Yet of all the major institutions in American society, none take climate change as seriously as the U.S. military. Both as participants in climate-triggered conflicts abroad, and as first responders to hurricanes and other disasters on American soil, the armed services are already confronting the impacts of global warming.

The military now regards climate change as one of the top threats to American national security―and is busy developing strategies to cope with it. Drawing on previously obscure reports and government documents, renowned security expert Michael Klare shows that the U.S. military sees the climate threat as imperiling the country on several fronts at once. Read more about the book here.

Related Reading 

Additional Recommended Reading

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter – Iowa’s Outstanding Wind Energy Development

Here’s what Buffett is telling shareholders in his annual letter, Omaha World-Herald

Buffett talked up the success of Berkshire’s energy subsidiary, which was launched in 2000 when Berkshire purchased MidAmerican Energy in neighboring Iowa. He said MidAmerican will hit a significant milestone in 2021 when it’s projected to be producing 25.2 million megawatt-hours of electricity from wind. That’s more than the annual needs of all of its Iowa customers. “In other words, our utility will have attained wind-energy self-sufficiency in the state of Iowa,” he said.

He noted the company has done that with rate increases of less than 1% a year, and the company has pledged no rate increases through at least 2028. He contrasted that to the other major utility in Iowa, which gets less than 10% of its power from wind and which has rates 61% higher than MidAmerican. Buffett also put out an offer to the rest of the industry. Berkshire has the operating talent and experience to manage “truly huge utility projects” of $100 billion or more, he said. “We stand ready, willing and able to take on such opportunities,” he said. 

Pair of wind energy projects moving forward in Banner County

By Mark McCarthy, Scottsbluff Star-Herald

HARRISBURG — Two companies are showing renewed interest in wind farms in Banner County, and hope to have systems up and running in the next couple of years. Orion Energy and Invenergy LLC are both working on securing leases, conducting environmental assessments and conducting public surveys in the hopes of getting projects up and running. Representatives for both companies projected that there would likely be systems up and running over the next two years. Ben Turner, manager of renewable development for Invenergy LLC, said they are looking at a project of up to or over 500 megawatts, likely utilizing between 150 and 200 turbines. The company has just over 100,000 acres leased. Continue reading here.

Map Credit: World Atlas

IOWA NEWS

In Iowa, clean energy advocates hope solar will complement wind farms, written by Karen Uhlenhith, Energy News Network

Iowa has long been one of the nation’s leading producers of electricity from wind. Now, the state appears ready to take a great leap forward with utility-scale solar. Invenergy, a major developer of large renewable generation projects nationwide, began construction in December on three solar arrays with a total capacity of 750 megawatts. It may at some point add three batteries with a capacity of 190 MW. The Iowa Utilities Board about a month ago issued generation certificates for the projects, which are in three adjacent counties on the Iowa-Minnesota border. 

Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act will improve the state’s economic climate

By Christine Hicks, Environmental Defense Fund

A recent study developed by The Accelerate Group measured the economic impact of CEJA and found the answer — it’s tens of billions of dollars. The new economic impact report released by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition shines a light on just how much CEJA would contribute to the state’s economy. Here’s the bottom line: the legislation, if enacted, would result in $39 billion in new private investment in Illinois through 2030. Read more here. 

ALSO IN THE NEWS

UPCOMING WEBINAR

Solar Plus Storage as Resiliency: Friday, December 13, 9 to 9:45 a.m. 
As part of Michigan Energy Options’ Winter Solar Webinar Series, Seth Mullendore, Vice President and Project Director for Clean Energy Group, will discuss how solar PV with battery storage can create resiliency in communities and replace traditional power plants with clean technologies. 

Register here.

NEW STUDY

Biased capacity markets accelerating gas over solar, storage, PV Magazine
Regional markets for energy capacity favor new gas generation over solar and storage, at a high cost to consumers. Eight U.S. Senators have taken notice, while a new report marshals the evidence. The Grid Strategies report, titled Too much of the wrong thing: the need for capacity market replacement or reform, was written by Rob Gramlich and Michael Goggin. The Sustainable FERC Project, which commissioned the report, is a partnership among 24 citizens’ groups.

WOMEN IN AG LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Generations of leadership is focus of Women in Ag Leadership Conference, LeMars Daily Sentinel
Iowa State alumnus Elizabeth Burns-Thompson is the capstone speaker. Among the nation’s first cohort of 30 Under 30 leaders in agriculture, she is passionate about Iowa’s renewable energy. She will encourage women of all generations to follow their dreams and trust their own abilities and opportunities. Online registration is available at www.aep.iastate.edu/leadership
General registration is $60 and student registration is $30.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES

RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE RESOURCES

NRECA’s Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) Resources
NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Solar
NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Community Solar
NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Wind

FEATURED HOLIDAY WISH LIST

2019 holiday wish list: Power sector edition, Utility Dive 
With the holiday season upon us, many kids — and some adults — are making wish lists. In that spirit, Utility Dive queried a dozen industry and environmental/advocacy groups about their policy wish list.