Tag Archives: Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)

Construction complete on largest solar farm in Nebraska

By Anne Fischer, PV Magazine USA

The City of Norfolk, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), and members of the community are celebrating the completion of construction of what is currently the largest solar farm in the state. The 8.5 MW solar installation is paired with NPPD’s first large-scale battery storage system, capable of storing up to 2 MWh. It’s also a pollinator habitat, and it was led by an all-woman development team. In a state that in 2021 ranked 47th in the country for installed solar and was deriving only 0.22% of its electricity from solar (according to the Solar Energy Industries Association), this system gives the state a serious boost. Read more here.

NFS Note: NPPD’s contracts allow municipal customers to generate no more than 10% of their peak load from renewable energy sources. See: Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler

See more community- and utility-scale projects under development here: Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

FEATURED RESOURCES

MORE ABOUT PROPOSED CO2 PIPELINES

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska requests impact study on proposed carbon dioxide pipelines, WOWT
The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is asking for an environmental impact study regarding two pipelines. The Winnebago Tribal Council has unanimously approved a new resolution that requests an environmental impact study for two proposed pipelines: The Summit Carbon Pipeline and the Navigator Heartland Greenway Carbon Pipeline.

Ghost Pipelines: How Landowners Suffer, Long After a Project Gets Canceled, Natural Resources Defense Council 

In the Midwest, Bold Alliance, a network created during the KXL fight, continues a similar mission of connecting landowners, including through the Nebraska Easement Action Team, a nonprofit education and legal defense fund. And as Bold Alliance ramps up efforts to resist the construction of carbon pipelines in the region, the eminent domain lawyers from the KXL days have agreed to represent landowners once again.

Top 8 Reasons to Oppose Risky Carbon Pipelines, by Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska

Ribbon cutting scheduled for Norfolk Community Solar

Nebraska Public Power District News Release

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and the City of Norfolk will be celebrating the completion of the state’s largest solar facility with a ribbon cutting, June 22. The public is welcome to attend the ribbon cutting for the Norfolk Community Solar facility, which is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. The ribbon cutting will take place at the solar facility on South 49th Street on the west side of Norfolk, and will include representatives from NPPD, the City of Norfolk, N Solar, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), and the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET). Continue reading here.

More Nebraska News

St. Paul school is latest to conclude geothermal is ‘the way to go’

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

A St. Paul, Minnesota, high school expects to reduce its natural gas use by more than half with the installation of a ground-source geothermal heat pump system. When completed this summer, the $18.8 million project at Johnson High School will join just a handful of similar systems at Minnesota K-12 schools.

COVID-19 and climate change are both adding pressure on schools to update aging heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and the availability of federal pandemic relief funds has helped more projects move forward in recent years. Continue reading here.

Photo: Facilities project manager Henry Jerome at Johnson High School, where a an $18.8 million geothermal project expects to cut natural gas consumption by more than half. Credit: Frank Jossi

IN NEBRASKA

An energy source that lies right under your feet, OPPD The Wire

Nebraska is in a “sweet spot” for using geothermal technology, said Tim Rauscher, a senior field engineer at OPPD. The state’s location lets geothermal be its most effective and efficient thanks to the underground temperature.

Schools are frequent customers of geothermal, Rauscher said. In the early years of the program, they were the primary users. Long-term building occupants like schools are great candidates for geothermal, he said, because they easily recoup the cost over the life of the building.

One example is the work OPPD has done with Omaha Public Schools since 1998. The utility has done more than 20 projects to bring geothermal systems to their facilities. Other school districts in the Omaha metro area have also taken advantage of geothermal systems. OPPD has completed geothermal projects with Bellevue and Papillion-LaVista Public Schools.

In 2006, two Millard elementary schools were the first schools in Nebraska to receive the Energy Star designation. The designation is national recognition for superior energy-efficiency performance. Those schools utilize geothermal systems.

Photo by the University of Nebraska Omaha: Mammel Hall 

 

 

 

Sustainability at LPS: Energy
For thirty years, Lincoln Public Schools has been taking great strides in moving towards energy conservation and efficiency. With the support of bond issue projects, energy efficient upgrades being implemented throughout the district include LED lighting, high efficiency windows, occupancy sensors, building envelope upgrades, and high efficiency geothermal heat pump systems for heating and cooling our buildings.

This site provides links to resources on geothermal and other forms of renewable energy as well as energy conservation.

More Resources

EDF says K-Junction solar project would pump millions of dollars into local economy

York News-Times

McCOOL JUNCTION – EDF Renewables released information this week, saying their proposed K-Junction solar project “will add $781,000 in annual revenue to the McCool Junction School District and approximately $27 million over the life of the project.

“York County farmers and their families will earn drought-proof and flood-proof lease payments, while the tax payments will benefit everyone in McCool Junction and York County,” said Pervez Agwan, project developer at EDF Renewables. “Bolstering the economy and investing in the community with a new crop will provide substantial new resources for this area.” Read more here.

Related Reading & Resources of Potential Interest

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS


BEATRICE – Gage County officials have extended a moratorium on applications for commercial solar [and] wind energy permits indefinitely, as the county’s planning commission works toward finalizing regulations. The action taken by the county board on a 6-1 vote, Wednesday, does not apply to smaller residential solar improvements, under 25 kilowatts. County Zoning Administrator Lisa Wiegand says the commission will be meeting next Tuesday night, with one of the items on the agenda being discussion of commercial solar energy regulations.

NPPD Photo: Steele Flats Wind Farm. Part of the wind farm, completed in 2013, is located in southwest Gage County.

FEATURED 2021 NEBRASKA WIND & SOLAR CONFERENCE VIDEO & SLIDES

It All Begins With Landowners

  • Moderator, Dave Levy: Partner, Baird Holm. He is representing Ranger Power in the proposed Salt Creek Solar project. 
  • Sean Harris: Vice President of Development, Ranger Power.
  • Mike Zakrzewski: A third-generation Holt County, Nebraska farmer who is among landowners hosting Grande Prairie Wind Farm turbines in return for annual lease payments.
  • John Hansen: President of the Nebraska Farmers Union and Chair of the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference planning committee. As he states in the video, he is “a landowner in a potential wind project.”

Click here to view the video and here for the PowerPoint slides.

Collaborating on zero energy homes could help meet utility climate goals and grow affordable housing

Contributed Utility Dive article by Rebecca Foster,
Vermont Energy Investment Corporation CEO

Additional factories will need to be built in more regions for ZEM [Zero Energy Modular] to expand its impact. In response to this gap, VEIC created the ZEM Factory Initiative to propose a new business model to create ZEM factories to manufacture energy-efficient, affordable units, and sell them directly to affordable housing developers in areas of high housing demand. VEIC continues to refine the model with a project called A New State-of-the-Art Zero-Energy Modular Factory and Multifamily Housing Construction System with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

After five years promoting ZEM homes, we have glimpsed their potential significance. The world needs decarbonized homes and buildings, and onsite generation of electricity — boosted by residential batteries — could offset growing demand faced by utility companies. Factory installation and process simulation models could enable better integration of resilience, energy efficiency, and low-carbon design strategies as documented in our work funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Moreover, we need these resilient homes to prepare for the next stage of climate change, as extreme weather events cause more disruptions. Read more here.

Google Search: Zero Energy Modular Homes in Nebraska

Photo: Clayton’s first net-zero electricity home as displayed to the public at the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha.

Already Own or Live in a Manufactured Home?
If you’re interested in making your current manufactured home more efficient, visit the Department of Energy’s Energy Saver website (see link below) for helpful tips and resources, or contact your utility service provider to learn about programs and incentives that may be available to you.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESOURCES 

  1. Department of Energy
    Energy Saver
    Energy Efficiency 
  2. Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)
    Nebraska Weatherization Assistance Program
    Dollar & Energy Saving Loans
  3. Nebraska Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  4. Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
  5. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)-Nebraska
  6. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)
  7. Heat Pump Systems, Department of Energy 
  8. Advanced Water Heating initiative Fact Sheet, New Buildings Institute
  9. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
  10. Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

For anyone interested in a heat pump: What are upfront and lifetime costs of heat pumps?, PV Magazine. The “all electric” movement is shining new light on heat pumps. A recent survey looks at their costs in terms of replacements for heating and air conditioning systems.

STATES’ INFRASTRUCTURE & ECONOMIES

Invest federal funds in energy efficiency, dozens of groups, companies urge state officials,
by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

There is more than $1 trillion in estimated maintenance and repair for public buildings, including hospitals, airports, universities, and schools, that has been deferred over time, according to the letter. The groups called for federal funds to be “leveraged alongside private investments, tax credit programs, loans, leases, and/or existing demand-side management programs to maximize impact.”

“From manufacturing floors to downtown office towers to our own living rooms, buildings of all sorts are critical infrastructure that power states’ economies,” said Ceres’ Gold Roberts. “Programs that modernize buildings and equipment … are good for business and good for the economy.”

Nebraskans for Solar Note: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s State Scorecard ranks Nebraska 41: https://database.aceee.org/state/nebraska

Top Ten

Energy efficiency guru Amory Lovins: ‘It’s the largest, cheapest, safest, cleanest way to address the crisis’

By John Vidal, The Guardian

One of the leading advocates of energy conservation explains why this
could be a turning point for climate economics

Temperatures dropped far below freezing this week in Snowmass, Colorado. But Amory Lovins, who lives high up in the mountains at 7,200ft above sea level, did not even turn on the heating. That’s because he has no heating to turn on. His home, a great adobe and glass mountainside eyrie that he designed in the 1980s, collects solar energy and is so well insulated that he grows and harvests bananas and many other tropical fruits there without burning gas, oil or wood. Nicknamed the “Einstein of energy efficiency”, Lovins, an adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, has been one of the world’s leading advocates and innovators of energy conservation for 50 years. Continue reading here.

Physicist Amory Lovins is Cofounder (1982) and Chairman Emeritus of Rocky Mountain Institute, which he served as Chief Scientist 2007–19 and now supports as a contractor and Trustee; energy advisor to major firms and governments in 70+ countries for 45+ years; author of 31 books and more than 700 papers; and an integrative designer of superefficient buildings, factories, and vehicles. Source: Rocky Mountain Institute

ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESOURCES 

  1. Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)
    Nebraska Weatherization Assistance Program
    Dollar & Energy Savings Loans
    Nebraska Energy Quarterly 2022 – 1st Quarter Issue
  2. Nebraska Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  3. Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
  4. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)-Nebraska
  5. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)
  6. Energy Saver, Department of Energy 
  7. Heat Pump Systems, Department of Energy 
  8. Advanced Water Heating initiative Fact Sheet, New Buildings Institute
  9. American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
  10. Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA)
    Nebraska Initiatives
    Policy

MEEA Webinar: The Value of Energy Efficiency in Buildings for Safety and Wellness
Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at 12 p.m.

Over the last two years the focus of building owners and operators has, rightfully so, been on health and safety concerns. Join us for a webinar to learn more about how energy efficiency can help with your health and safety goals while saving money and improving occupant comforts.

UNIQUE TINY HOUSE IN NEBRASKA

UNO Magazine: Big Future for Tiny HomesUniversity of Nebraska Omaha News Center

A living space that can be efficiently heated
by an energy output
equivalent to
16 birthday candles.

Focused on the future of tiny houses, Bing Chen, Ph.D., a UNL professor of electrical and computer engineering based out of Omaha’s Peter Kiewit Institute, envisions a future filled with tiny, environmentally friendly houses.

Solar farm west of Norfolk could be in commercial use by April

By Austin Svehla, Norfolk Daily News

NPPD entered into an agreement with Sol Customer Solutions, a joint venture between Sol Systems and Arevon Energy Inc. Arevon will manage the asset, and Sol Systems will operate and maintain the array. Sol Systems, along with partners GenPro Energy Solutions and Mesner Development, executed a lease agreement with the City of Norfolk for the land where the solar panels are being installed along Highway 275 near Norfolk’s sewer maintenance facility. Continue reading here.

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) Resources

SPP, MISO COMPLETE CROSS-SEAM TRANSMISSION STUDY

Grid operators’ ‘seam’ study paves way for renewable expansion, E&E News

The study identified seven transmission projects along the MISO-SPP boundary that would cost $1.65 billion and enable 28 gigawatts of new generation capacity — and perhaps as much as 53 GW — across MISO and SPP combined. The latter estimate, based on modeling by SPP, would roughly double the combined wind and solar capacity that currently exists in the two regions.

MISO and SPP complete Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue, Southwest Power Pool

LES’ SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PROGRAM

LES Offers $1.5 Million Of Incentives Through Sustainable Energy Program, American Public Power Association

Since the program’s inception, LES customers have accessed nearly $28 million in program incentives and spent $220 million on energy-efficient equipment and/or services. “In total, energy efficiency projects that received SEP incentives have cumulatively saved more than 800,000 net megawatt-hours, or the equivalent annual electric use of 80,000 single-family homes,” said Marc Shkolnick, LES manager of Energy Services. Additional information about the program is available here.

NEW RESIDENTIAL SOLAR REPORT & WEBINAR FROM BERKELEY LAB

Solar Demographic Trends and Analysis
Berkeley Lab tracks and analyzes solar-adopter demographic characteristics. A central element of this work is a tracking report describing income and other socio-economic trends of residential solar adopters over time and across geographies. The report is based on household-level income and other demographic data for residential solar adopters across the United States, and is intended to serve as a foundational reference document for policy-makers, industry stakeholders, and other researchers interested in demographic trends among residential solar adopters.

The report is published with an accompanying interactive data visualization tool that allows users to further explore the underlying data. Nebraskans for Solar Note: Nebraska is not yet on the map, but data from other states may be of potential interest. 

The authors will host a webinar highlighting key findings from this study on March 17th at 2 pm Central Time. Register here.

ConnectDER Partners with Nebraska Public Power and Omaha Public Power District to Provide Simple Solar Integration

ConnectDER News Release, PR Newswire

ConnectDER, the innovative company that enables utilities and homeowners to expand access to distributed energy resources (DERs), is launching availability of its Solar Collar for new residential solar installations in Nebraska. ConnectDER’s simple, affordable meter collar can now be used in solar installations throughout Nebraska Public Power and Omaha Public Power District areas. The ConnectDER Solar Collar is a UL-Listed meter collar that enables rapid interconnection of grid-ready residential PV systems. The device creates a safe, standardized, low-cost alternative to traditional wiring methods for home installations. Continue reading here.

SOLAR APP+ ALSO EXPEDITING SOLAR PROJECTS & SAVING MONEY

LINKS TO RESOURCES FOR POTENTIAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CUSTOMERS

OPPD, NPPD, LES: Customer-Owned Generation

American Solar Energy Society (ASES)

Department of Energy

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

  • Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
    Eligible Technologies Include: Solar Water Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Wind (Small)
  • Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
    Eligible Technologies Include: Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Geothermal Electric, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Combined Heat & Power, Wind (Small), Geothermal Direct-Use, Microturbines

EnergySage

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Renewable Energy Series

Consumers Webinar for Residential / Small Business Solar
Speakers
David Rich: Sustainable Energy Manager, NPPD
John Hay: Extension Educator – Energy, UNL
Ron Rose: Renewable Energy Consultant, NPPD
Kirk Estee: Customer Alternative Energy Solutions Manager, OPPD
Marc Shkolnick: Manager, Energy Services, LES

Additional Resources

K-Junction Solar Project, west and south of McCool, discussed before county board

By Melanie Wilkinson, York News-Times

The York County Commissioners’ meeting room filled in record time this week, as a large contingency of people from the McCool Junction/Lushton area arrived to hear information about the proposed and likely upcoming K-Junction Solar Project.

So many people arrived that the over-flow was directed to the old commissioners’ meeting room in the courthouse basement, where the crowd could watch and listen to the proceedings via Zoom. Continue reading here.

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) Resource
Solar Projects Under Development

More Nebraska News
‘Now is the time to do it’: City of Omaha aims for operational streetcar system by 2026, KMTV
The City of Omaha will be giving residents another public transportation option in east Omaha.

After over 13 years of research and planning, Mayor Jean Stothert announced Wednesday that the city plans to build a streetcar down Farnam Street, from 10th to 42nd Streets. 

DOE Upgrades One Million Homes as Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Provides Massive Investment in Energy Efficiency

Department of Energy News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Delaware today to announce that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has upgraded one million American homes with energy efficiency improvements through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program. The trip and milestone underscore the importance of the weatherization and energy efficiency investments that are within the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. Since 2001, the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program has helped American homeowners and renters save $7.7 billion on their energy bills and cut carbon emissions equivalent to a year’s worth of 11 coal-fired power plants.  

“DOE’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program has helped one million homeowners make energy-savings improvements at an affordable price,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s historic investments in energy efficiency and weatherization, we will ensure more Americans can benefit from cleaner air, more resilient homes, and lower energy bills.” Read more here.

Visit the Building Technologies Office to learn more about DOE’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

MORE ON THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

The White House Briefing Room

Reuters: US Energy Dept to hire 1,000 workers in infrastructure boost, officials say

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & RESOURCES

USDA NEWS RELEASE

USDA Announces Scholars Programs for Students at Historically Black and Tribal Land-Grant Colleges and Universities