For Nebraska, it’s meant an investment of more than $1 billion, including 1,000 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs, so far. And that’s just for the first phase. The second phase, set for completion in 2023, will bring more construction and another 100 permanent jobs. During a grand opening event June 13, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said, “OPPD was really the linchpin in helping make this deal happen, because they were able to offer Facebook 100% renewable energy.”
The company is partnering with the Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation to invest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at the high-school level. The company’s skilled and technical trades program will build on the schools’ existing STEM education to benefit more than 1,000 students the first year alone. Read more here.
NEBRASKA’S LARGEST UTILITIES’ EV PROGRAMS & INCENTIVES
The City of Fremont plans to unveil a new electrical vehicle incentive program which will provide ten individuals with a $4,500 rebate toward the purchase of a new electric vehicle and charger later this summer. The incentive program is part of a pilot program to study the effect electric vehicles have on Fremont’s electric system, according to City Administrator Brian Newton. Read more here.
Photo: A Tesla electric vehicle uses one of the city’s two ChargePoint charging stations in the Fremont Mall. Credit: Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune
SCOTTSBLUFF — Scottsbluff could realize some of the lowest electric rates in the nation under an agreement that will bring solar power to all city operations. During its Monday meeting, council members approved a lease agreement with Sol Systems, LLC as part of the city’s five-megawatt solar power project. Sol Systems would then enter into an energy purchase agreement with Nebraska Public Power District for distribution of the solar electricity. Continue readinghere.
NPPD Photo: Scottsbluff Community Solar Project. Through NPPD’s SunWise Program, a total of 135 solar shares were available. Each solar share = 150 kilowatt-hours per month, the minimum participation level. The maximum participation level was the number of solar shares equal to 80% of a customer’s total annual energy consumption. For example, if a customer used an average of 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, 80% = 750 kilowatt-hours or up to five solar shares. All 135 solar shares were spoken for, and customers are now placed on a wait-list. See Solar Examples for additional details.
South Sioux City Solar Farm: 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary. Archived News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal Photo Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal
Minnesota’s Connexus Energy readies its solar energy storage sites, Daily Energy Insider “We listen to members who tell us they want renewable energy without it costing more,” Connexus CEO Greg Ridderbusch said. “Most solar energy is produced when there is lower demand and the price is lower. We will discharge stored solar energy during peak hours when energy costs are the highest.”
Million Solar Strong eyes New York, PV Magazine The coalition’s goal of powering one million homes with solar energy is gaining traction in the Empire State, especially among members of the State Assembly.
Renewables reduced wholesale power costs by $5.7 billion in Texas, PV Magazine
The City of Fremont will be hosting a dedication for Solar Farm No. 2, the electric vehicle charging stations and the plug-in hybrid vehicles at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at Solar Farm No. 2, located at 3851 East Hills Farm Road (near the intersection of Old Highway 275 and Hills Farm Road). The public is invited. Read morehere.
Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant Fremont City Administrator of Utilities: Fremont’s First Solar Farm
The City of Fremont recently completed installation of two ChargePoint electric vehicle (EV) charging stations — located in downtown Fremont, and along the 23rd Street corridor . . . The city purchased the two ChargePoint stations with help from a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust through the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance. The city received a $300,000 grant toward Solar Farm No. 2, 50 percent of the cost of two ChargePoint public electric vehicle charging stations, and 50 percent of the cost of five plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Kia Niro crossover vehicles. Read morehere.
Omaha Public Power District is taking its electric vehicle (EV) research further with the launch of a new pilot, designed to educate customers on the technology, while also providing incentives for the purchase of certain home charging stations and EVs.
Only about 600 EVs are currently registered in Nebraska. Half of those are within OPPD’s service territory. With improving technology and pricing, the EV market is poised for growth. By educating customers, as well as connecting them with purchase incentives, the utility will gather more data to determine how best to integrate increased EV technology into OPPD’s electric system. OPPD is partnering with the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) in this effort. Read the entire releasehere.
OPPD and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) will co-fund and distribute $500 grants to customers who purchase Charge Point EV chargers for their home via OPPD. A website link for purchases will be available when the pilot gets underway. In addition, OPPD will work to educate customers on financial incentives available when they purchase a new EV. These are expected to include:
$3,000 rebate at participating Nissan dealerships towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf
$4,000 grant from NCEA after the purchase of a new EV (only available in Douglas County)
Up to $7,500 federal tax credit (depending on the manufacturer)
The initiative team is presenting its findings and plans to OPPD’s Board of Directors during their May committee meetings. Read more here.
News Release: EV Research Strategy Presented To OPPD Board During this week’s committee meetings for the OPPD Board of Directors, the Integrated Energy Marketplace team presented its latest EV research, including plans to announce a pilot next month. The pilot, as part of the district’s EV Strategy and Process Initiative, will include EV education for customers. It will also connect customers to financial incentives available for the purchase of certain EVs, as well as certain EV chargers, among other areas.
AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION
Electric vehicles are here: are utilities ready to charge forward? Navigant Research said in a report, prepared for the American Public Power Association, that by 2021 it conservatively projects new EV (battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) sales of more than 700,000 units in the U.S. annually. Markets saw a 37 percent increase in sales of plug-in electric vehicles in 2016 and Navigant Research expects 50 percent growth in market sales in 2017 and 2018, largely due to Tesla’s Model 3 and other longer-range, low cost battery electric vehicles coming to the market, as well as more vehicle options becoming available for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
The event comes as the area faces an imminent transition. We want to give people the security in knowing that Nebraska is a leader in modern energy. And that by seeing that leadership, people can feel supported in their own renewable energy decisions. We’re all moving in the right direction.
Back in June, the Gothenburg City Council voted to add another 500 kilowatts in 2018 to the city’s solar project, which the council had approved a few months before. The initial phase of that project is now well underway and expected to be completed by late October.