Tag Archives: Mike Konz

2017 Top government stories: Kearney switches on $11 million solar farm

By Mike Konz, Managing Editor, Kearney Hub

The idea for the solar park was planted several years ago. That is when Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse and City Manager Mike Morgan began looking into renewable energy systems. Kearney had narrowly missed being selected as the site for a $1 billion Facebook data center. Facebook had been offered an extremely competitive electrical rate to build in Kearney, but planners selected a site in Iowa that offered electricity from wind turbines. Kearney leaders realized that to get tech companies’ attention, clean renewable energy had to be part of the proposition. Click here to read the entire article.

Photo Caption: It was the year of the trail in Kearney, as the final stretch of a 13.2-mile hike-bike trail finally linked Cottonmill Park west of the city with Fort Kearny State Recreation Area southeast of the city. Kearney also completed Nebraska’s first water trail near Yanney Heritage Park. Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

Track Kearney Solar Farm’s Energy Production

To learn more about installing solar for your home, business or farm, plan to attend the Kearney workshop Is Solar Right for You? sponsored by Common Ground and presented by Nebraska Extension Educator F. John Hay on January 30, 2018. The public is invited!

NPPD’s COMMUNITY SOLAR PROGRAM

  • Kearney residents may sign up online to purchase solar shares in the project by clicking this link and selecting the Kearney project, or by calling NPPD toll-free at1-877-275-6773.
  • Kearney Community Solar Q&A
  • Request Community Solar In Your Community: In addition to Kearney, participating communities in NPPD’s SunWise Program include Venango and Scottsbluff. If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to request community solar, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST – PILOT COMMUNITY STORAGE PROGRAM

SoCore and United Power, an 82,000 member Colorado co-op, are partnering on an innovative community-battery-storage pilot program.
Like community solar, members of the community will purchase a portion of the battery’s capacity to power their homes during peak hours. In exchange, the participants will lower the demand charges on their monthly electrical bills. Construction on the project will start in the first quarter of 2018.

Switch is on at Kearney’s solar farm: $11M facility is Nebraska’s largest

By Mike Konz, Kearney Hub Managing Editor

The 53-acre solar farm cost $11 million and, on a good day, will generate 5.8 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity. The project is a partnership between the city, Nebraska Public Power District and Chicago-based SoCore Energy, which has built hundreds of solar arrays, mostly on the roofs of large buildings. [Russell] Young, SoCore’s vice president of operations, said Kearney’s project is his company’s largest, but as the cost of building solar farms declines, he is confident SoCore will be building more like the one at Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing.
Read more here.

Top Photo: Officials snip a green ribbon to dedicate the $11 million, 53-acre solar array in northeast Kearney. Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

Photo: “Interconnection Systems of Central City built Kearney’s solar array on the Tech oNE Crossing tract near 56th Street and Antelope Avenue.”

NPPD’s SunWise Program

  • Kearney residents may sign up online to purchase solar shares in the project by clicking this link and selecting the Kearney project, or by calling NPPD toll-free at
    1-877-275-6773.
  • Request Community Solar In Your Community: In addition to Kearney, participating communities in NPPD’s SunWise Program include Venango and Scottsbluff. If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to request community solar in your community, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING – COMMUNITY BATTERY SYSTEMS

SoCore and United Power, an 82,000 member Colorado co-op, are partnering on an innovative community-battery-storage pilot program.
Like community solar, members of the community will purchase a portion of the battery’s capacity to power their homes during peak hours. In exchange, the participants will lower the demand charges on their monthly electrical bills. Construction on the project will start in the first quarter of 2018.

Solar array is on its way: Work begins on $11M Kearney project

By Mike Konz, Managing Editor, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Sometime in January, SoCore Energy will throw the switch and electrical power from 22,464 solar panels will begin flowing into Kearney. But before that happens, there is work to do. Following a groundbreaking Tuesday, construction of Nebraska’s largest solar energy array now is under way in northeast Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing technology park. Continue reading

Photo: Some of the 4,500 metal piles that will hold the solar panels are laid out and ready to pile-drive into position after Tuesday’s groundbreaking for the $11 million solar array in northeast Kearney. When it’s finished it will be Nebraska’s largest array.
Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub