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

New Environment America Report – Blocking Rooftop Solar: The Companies, Lobbyists And Front Groups Undermining Local Clean Energy

Released by the Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

Recent corruption scandals in Ohio and Illinois, in which utilities and other special interests allegedly used their clout to twist public policy in their favor, highlight how far anti-solar efforts have gone. Policymakers must resist pressure from utilities and the fossil fuel industry and implement pro-solar policies that will continue America’s momentum toward clean energy

In 2021, a national network of utility interest groups and fossil fuel-linked think tanks continues to offer funding, advice and support to utilities across the country seeking to undermine rooftop solar power. These include . . .  Continue reading here.

Download Report (PDF)

IN NEBRASKA

Our State’s Overall Solar Development & Potential

Net Metering Legislative Bills

Net metering changes considered – Legislative Update, Senator John Cavanaugh
The Natural Resources Committee heard testimony Feb. 10, 2021 on two bills that would modify Nebraska’s net metering laws.

Approved Legislation: In 2016 the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 824, which removed some regulatory barriers connected to renewable energy development in our state.

NEBRASKA LACKS UPDATED ENERGY PLAN / CLIMATE ACTION PLAN 

State energy plans show how process can match final product in impact, Energy News Network, February 10, 2021

More Previous Efforts

    • Nebraska needs overall plan for energy policies, Lincoln Journal Star, November 4, 2015 Nebraska’s Energy Office director says the state needs a comprehensive approach to its energy policies as it faces what could be a “seismic” change in federal regulations governing emissions. David Bracht, Gov. Pete Ricketts’ chief adviser on energy issues, talked about state energy policies Wednesday at the eighth annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Omaha. . . . [The] Nebraska Legislature has instructed the state Energy Office to create a comprehensive energy plan and budgeted more than $630,000 to see it done.
    • LB469: Provide procedures and reporting requirements relating to a state plan on carbon dioxide emissions, require a strategic state energy plan, and provide requirements for meteorological evaluation towers.
    • 2011 Nebraska Energy Plan, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

SOUTH SIOUX CITY

Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler, Energy News Network, August 19, 2020

South Sioux City’s City Council decided four years ago not to renew its contract with NPPD. It has gradually reduced its purchases from the utility down to 10% of its load this year, and will stop buying power from the wholesaler altogether on Jan. 1, 2022. “We’ve been very happy with the decision the [city] council made to get more into renewables,” said Lance Hedquist, the city administrator of the community of about 13,000 also located in northeast Nebraska. The city has added solar and wind energy to its portfolio, and now obtains about half of its power from renewables, he said.

  • NPPD’s Wholesale Power Contracts
    Wholesale energy sales are made to 60 entities under wholesale power contracts that terminate on Jan. 1, 2036 and to 10 other entities with wholesale power contracts that terminate on Dec. 31, 2021. The 10 wholesale customers that did not sign the 2016 contract provided the notice required under their existing 2002 contracts, and began in 2017 to reduce their purchases to 0% over a five-year period.  Source: Fitch Rates Nebraska Public Power District’s General Revs ‘A+’; Outlook Stable

MODEL AGGREGATED SOLAR PROJECT – A WAY FOR COMMUNITIES TO REDUCE COSTS

MEAN Issues RFP For Participant Community Solar PV Installation Project, July 15, 2021
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is issuing a Request for Proposals on behalf of 11 MEAN participant communities interested in obtaining energy from solar PV installations to be built in their respective communities. The project is an effort by MEAN to bring economically priced solar energy to interested MEAN participant communities. Participating communities hope to obtain lower solar costs through economies of scale through this joint effort. RFP proposals are due Aug. 31, 2021 with a bid award date set for Oct. 27, 2021.

Click here to download the RFP.
Additional MEAN News

Previously Posted

About MEAN
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is the not-for-profit wholesale electricity supply organization of NMPP Energy. Created in 1981, MEAN provides cost-based power supply, transmission and related services to 69 participating communities in four states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. MEAN Members/Participants

About NMPP Energy
NMPP Energy is a member-driven coalition of four organizations based in Lincoln, Neb., serving nearly 200 member communities in six Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. NMPP Energy’s organizations fulfill separate needs to their respective member communities. Collectively, they subscribe to the core philosophies of local control and working together to provide reliable, cost-based energy and energy-related services. NMPP Energy Members 

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE ON LEASING LAND FOR UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR

Considerations for Leasing Land for Solar Development, by F. John Hay – Extension Educator for Bioenergy

Utility scale solar development is here — in the eight months since the solar leasing article was published in August 2020, Nebraskans have seen continued land lease activity, county zoning rule adoption, an extension of the federal tax credit, and projects approved by county commissioners/supervisors. Additionally, one project (Saunders County [OPPD electrical purchase]) has reached the important step of electricity sales, which is the most common tipping point between a proposed project and a project that will get built. Many smaller solar projects have been built in the years prior to 2021, with the largest at about 8 MW, or about 50 acres. The utility scale projects being proposed and approved are many times larger, with 500 or more acres.

Hot Solar Summer: Building Back Better with Clean Energy Infrastructure

Solar Energy Industries Association 

America is facing an unprecedented opportunity to enact bold federal policies to decarbonize our electric grid and generate hundreds of thousands of quality clean energy jobs. To achieve this, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is mobilizing a nationwide campaign urging leaders in Washington to act. Hot Solar Summer will help to keep pressure on lawmakers to meet this moment and accelerate an equitable transition to a clean energy economy. Read more here.

Join the Hot Solar Summer campaign and learn how your company or organizations can get involved at www.seia.org/AmericanJobs.

Previously Posted: 100+ Organizations Urge Congress to Act on a 10-year Investment Tax Credit (ITC) extension

SITING SOLAR ON CONTAMINATED LAND

How ‘unusable’ capped landfill can gain a second life as a solar farm,  by Michelle Lewis, Electrek

Putting solar farms on landfill is a great way to generate clean energy on what were previously considered unusable sites, but there are some special factors to consider. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points out that “it is important to think about PV projects on landfills in terms of an integrated system, not as separate landfill and PV systems.”

When it comes to making solar work on landfill, Gretchen Dolson, renewable energy lead for HDR, an architectural, engineering and consulting firm based in Omaha, Nebraska [via Waste 360], says: Always begin with the end in mind and know it’s never too early to plan and think of alternate uses, regardless of the type of waste facility. Solar is often viable. But it depends on how the landfill was designed to function and how it was closed. (Pixabay Photo)

Links to Resources

  • RE-Powering America’s Land
    RE-Powering America’s Land is an EPA initiative that encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites when such development is aligned with the community’s vision for the site.
  • EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse contaminated properties. To learn about EPA’s broader efforts to put previously contaminated properties back into productive use, read about the Land Revitalization Program.
  • Brownfields and Land Revitalization in Region 7
    EPA Region 7 manages  Brownfields and Land Revitalization Programs in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. On this page you will find information specific to Region 7’s Brownfields and Land Revitalization activities. Visit the national Brownfields Program and Land Revitalization Program websites for more information about these programs’ competitive grants.
  • Brownfields: FAQs, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

Nebraska’s Solar, Wind, and Energy Storage Development: SEIA/ACP Data & Additional Resources

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranks Nebraska forty-seventh in the country in the number of megawatts of installed solar. The state generates enough solar energy to power about 9,000 homes. Nebraska’s solar industry is made up of 26 solar companies, employing 1,246 workers in manufacturing, installing/developing and “other” types of businesses.
Data Current Through: Q4 2020

SEIA’s Nebraska Solar Fact Sheet 

Additional Resources

  • Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
    Projects Under Development: Utility Scale
    Bellwood: 174.5 MW
    Burt County: 250 MW
    Clay County: (Up-to) 305 MW
    Lincoln: 230 MW
    Pierce County: 443 MW
    Saunders County: 81 MW. “This is the first step towards OPPD’s plan to provide 600 megawatts of solar power.”
    Community-Scale Projects are also listed under this same subheading.
  • Community-Scale / Utility-Scale Solar, Nebraskans for Solar

The American Clean Power Association (ACP) ranks Nebraska twenty-second in the nation for the number of megawatts (2,550) of wind, solar, and energy storage capacity and eleventh in the percentage (23.76%) share of all electricity produced in our state that comes from those power plants. The state generates enough clean energy to power 703,000 homes.

Additional ACP Statistics

  • Capital invested in wind, solar, and energy storage projects in Nebraska: $4 billion
  • Clean power investments in local Nebraska communities, providing property, state, and local taxes in 2021: $26.7 million
  • Clean power projects provide extra income to farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners. In 2021, these drought-proof land lease payments totaled $4.6 million.

ACP’s Nebraska Clean Energy Fact Sheet, May 2021

Additional Resources

Incentives

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency/Nebraska

More than 374,000 MW of new generation capacity under development in U.S., APPA reports

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

More than 374,000 megawatts of new generation capacity is under development in the U.S., with 100,047 MW that is under construction or permitted and 274,309 MW that is proposed or pending application, according to a new report from the American Public Power Association (APPA). The report, “America’s Electricity Generation Capacity: 2021 Update,” notes that the overall capacity mix continues to shift toward natural gas, solar, and wind. Of the capacity slated to begin operating in 2021, 97% will be fueled by these three resources, with wind and solar accounting for more than 79% of new capacity. Read more here.

IN NEBRASKA

Solar Industry Sets Records in 2020, On Track to Quadruple by 2030

SEIA News Release 

WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX — The U.S. solar industry grew 43% and installed a record 19.2 gigawatts (GWdc) of capacity in 2020, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2020 Year-in-Review report, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

For the second year in a row, solar led all technologies in new electric-generating capacity added, accounting for 43%. According to Wood Mackenzie’s 10-year forecast, the U.S. solar industry will install a cumulative 324 GWdc of new capacity to reach a total of 419 GWdc over the next decade. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Solar Industry Congratulates U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Her Confirmation

About SEIA
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is a national trade association building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org. 

Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

The Nebraska Energy Quarterly Now Available!

 Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)

Included in the December 2020 Edition:

NDEE’s year in review
While 2020 has been a challenging year, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy has continued to provide its services to Nebraska.

Electricity storage and Nebraska’s future
Storing coal is easy—pile it up. Storing gas and petroleum is relatively easy—pour them into tanks. Storing electricity in bulk—now that is a challenge worthy of engineers.

Know what to do around downed power lines
Old Man Winter can create some pretty severe storms, which can interfere with power distribution or even bring down lines.

NMPP weighing interest in possible AMI service for utilities
The Nebraska Municipal Power Pool Board of Directors discussed a possible new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) service for member utilities during their board meeting held in September.

NDEE updates solar and wind maps
Sources of energy for Nebraska are changing.

Conservation practices: windbreaks
Heating and cooling account for more than half of a household’s energy use.

Get kids interested in saving energy
Getting kids interested in saving energy can seem tough at first.

Don’t let cold wind heat up your energy bill
Fall and winter are great times to prepare your home for cold weather.

Download the newsletter as a PDF here.

Amazon Becomes World’s Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy, Advancing its Climate Pledge Commitment to be Net-zero Carbon by 2040

Amazon News Release, Business Wire

Amazon today announced 26 new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects totaling 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity, bringing its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4 GW of capacity — the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year. These new projects will make Amazon the largest-ever corporate purchaser of renewable energy. In the U.S., Amazon has now enabled wind and solar projects in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Amazon has a total of 127 renewable energy projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe. Read more here.

Related

IN NEBRASKA

Renewable Energy Resources

Trade Association Reports 

ENERGY TRANSITION ANALYSES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST 

  • Most of America’s dirty power plants will be ready to retire by 2035, Grist
    A new analysis published in the journal Science last week offers a potential roadmap for the incoming Biden administration to manage the wind-down of all fossil fuels plants, not just coal plants, more systematically. Even better, it shows that shutting down the nation’s fossil fuel–burning power plants in the next 15 years to achieve Biden’s goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 isn’t as economically risky as previously thought. 

    Emily Grubert, a civil engineer and environmental sociologist at Georgia Tech and the author of the study, mapped out every coal-, gas-, or petroleum-powered generator running in the U.S. in 2018, the most recent year for which complete data was available. Grubert found that there’s already about 100 gigawatts worth of infrastructure past its prime, including a coal-fired generator in Nebraska from 1915. 

Next Era’s Bet on Renewable Energy Was a Winner All Along

By Kyle Stock, Bloomberg

NextEra’s wind and solar farms, now scattered across about half the U.S., produce enough juice to power Greece. The company has plans to nearly double its renewable capacity — enough turbines and panels — to power 11 million homes. That’s about 10 percent of the country. From there, the next 10% should come far cheaper. Read more here.

Previously Posted: 5 Major US Utilities That Haven’t Promised to Fully Decarbonize: Some of the holdouts will surprise you, by Julian Specter, Greentech Media

Photo: NextEra built Nebraska’s 5-megawatt solar array on 35 acres east of Fort Calhoun, which became operational in late December of 2019. NextEra contracted with OPPD to sell the power it produces to the utility for at least 20 years. See: Here comes the sun: OPPD awards contract for community solar, The Wire

More On NextEra & Nebraska

About Power Purchase Agreements

Solar Power Purchase Agreements, Solar Energy Industries Association 
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost. 

TRANSMISSION

Dynamic Line Rating: Expanding Transmission Grid Capacity for Clean Energy, by Jeff St. John, Greentech Media

Renewable energy projects are “awaiting interconnections because of the inefficiency of the transmission we have,” Jon Wellinghoff, FERC chairman from 2009 to 2013 and CEO of Grid Policy, told GTM. “If we start providing developers with incentives to improve that efficiency, we’ll see interconnections will happen much more quickly, more smoothly, and at a much lower cost.”  While President-elect Joe Biden’s most aggressive clean energy plans may face roadblocks from Republicans in Congress, transmission development could be a realm where federal policymakers could align, [Hudson Gilmer, CEO of DLR provider LineVision] noted. “Modernizing our grid, especially using advanced technologies, is an area that both sides of the aisle can agree on.” 

NATIONAL & LOCAL SOLAR INFORMATION

Solar Jobs, Solar Installations, & Homes Powered by Solar in Top 10 US Solar States, by Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

In October, I published reports on the top US solar states per capita, the top US solar states as a percentage of electricity, and the top US states in terms of total installed solar power capacity. Based on that first ranking system, I’m going a bit broader and looking at some more solar stats.

Local Resource: Solar Energy Generation In Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

DOE FUNDS STUDY ON CO-LOCATING SOLAR & POLLINATOR HABITATS

UIC receives $1.8M from DOE to study effects of pollinator habitats at solar energy facilities, by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Newswise

The three-year project, “Evaluation of Economic, Ecological, and Performance Impacts of Co-Located Pollinator Plantings at Large-Scale Solar Installations” will examine the economic, ecological and performance impacts of pollinator habitats co-located at five large-scale solar photovoltaic facilities in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.


LEGO’S CARBON REDUCTION GOALS

The LEGO Group’s carbon goal approved by Science Based Targets initiative, WebWire

The LEGO Group has committed to reducing its absolute carbon emissions by 37% by 2032 to ensure the company plays its part in limiting the effects of climate change1. The target has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative as consistent with levels required to keep global warming to below 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.

About The Science Based Targets Initiative
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. More information can be found here.

RE100 Member
Since 2012 the LEGO Group has invested approximately $890 million in offshore wind power. In May 2017 the company joined RE100 and achieved its ambition to balance 100% of its electricity use with energy from renewable sources. RE100 members include over 270 of the world’s most influential businesses.

GLOBAL IMPACT INVESTING

The unglamorous approach to impact investing in energy, PV Magazine article contributed by David Riester, a partner at Lacuna Sustainable Investments

Even the most cynical among us (rest assured I will have my moments herein) must be heartened by the near $1 trillion dedicated across the globe to “double-bottom line” investments, especially considering that ten years ago, using the same methodology, the pool of capital was $50 billion. Yet, as I stare at a press release for the twelfth ESG focused “SPAC”, I wonder: is the impact investment community directing its energy sector allocation optimally? The coming pages will touch upon 1.) Where the money is going now, 2.) Where it should go, and 3.) Why it isn’t going there.

special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a company with no commercial operations that is formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. – Investopedia

VEHICLE-TO-GRID CHARGING

Vermont’s Green Mountain Power deploys vehicle-to-grid charger, by Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

Vermont power company Green Mountain Power (GMP) has successfully deployed what it says is a first-of-its kind vehicle-to-grid charger to reduce energy use on the grid during peak demand.

DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS

Solar Energy is Hitting a Growth Spurt. So Is The Disinformation Around It, Texas Observer
Disinformation about renewable energy isn’t new. For decades, fossil fuel companies and conservative think tanks have painted wind turbines as a bird-killing, unreliable, and property-value damaging source of energy. “We’re starting to see the same forces shift over, focusing on solar farms,” says Dave Anderson, a researcher with the Energy and Policy Institute who tracks fossil-fuel-funded disinformation about renewable energy. 

New Power Nebraska Energy Coalition Hosts Panel on Energy Grid Modernization

By Jesse Dougherty and Josh Moenning
New Power Nebraska News Release

This year Nebraska has positioned itself as a leader in America’s growing wind energy industry, generating nearly 20% of state electricity production from wind power. Solar power is also growing in the state, with the capacity to power nearly 8,000 homes. But if these renewable energy sources are to continue growing, modernized infrastructure is essential.  
 
A panel hosted by the New Power Nebraska coalition discussed the status of the state’s electricity grid infrastructure, including projects like the R-Line, opportunities for grid improvement, and how modernization will impact industry growth in the coming years. The virtual event featured local leaders and industry leaders discussing the growth of wind and solar in Nebraska and some of the projects and initiatives that will help improve electrical grid transmission.  
 
In Nebraska, wind now supports 4,000 jobs and provides $14.7 million in annual land lease payments. It provides $12 million in tax revenue for state and local governments, leading to new community facilities such as schools and courthouses, improving roads and bridges, and upgrading emergency services. Additionally, Nebraska’s wind projects have powered the equivalent of 680,000 homes while avoiding 1.4 million metric tons of carbon emissions. 
 
“Nebraska is at the center of an emerging national energy renaissance,” said David L. Bracht, former Nebraska Director of Energy and counsel at Kutak Rock. “We as a state continue to see how wind and solar can support our local economies. Having additional natural resources that we can use, develop, and export for value strengthens Nebraska’s economy and benefits the entire state” 
 
Solar power is also having its day in the sun here in Nebraska. There have been nearly 1,500 jobs created by the solar power industry in our state, and prices for consumers have declined by 38 percent in the last five years. The solar industry has invested more than $87 million in Nebraska, including over $20 million in 2019 alone.  
 
Nebraska presents a significant opportunity for renewable energy development,” said James Williams, Vice President of Renewable Development for Invenergy. “Invenergy is proud of our existing contributions to the State’s renewable energy leadership and look forward to helping Nebraska realize a cleaner energy future.” 
 
Panelists covered topics including transmission improvement needs, initiatives launched by the Omaha Public Power District, the Nebraska Public Power District’s R-Project, and the policy environment related to energy infrastructure and renewable development.  
 
Watch the event here.
 
“Nebraska’s journey to harvest wind and solar is just beginning, and it comes at a time when the state’s agricultural sector is experiencing significant financial stress,” said Nebraska State Senator John McCollister (R-Omaha). “In the next few years, I am certain that these homegrown resources will become major economic forces in Nebraska.” 
 
Nebraska belongs to the Southwest Power Pool, which is a regional transmission organization. The organization recently conducted a study called the Integrated Transmission Plan that assesses the needs of the entire transmission network within the region over the next 10 years. The R-Project came as a result of that study.  
 
“NPPD’s over 5,000 miles of electric transmission system is a critical component of ensuring ongoing low cost and reliable service to our customers and the people of Nebraska,” stated Tom Kent, President & CEO of Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). “The R-Project will increase the reliability of the transmission system, relieve congestion on the existing system, and provide additional opportunities for the development of clean energy projects if desired at the local level.” 
 
Modernization of Nebraska’s power grid requires investment in transmission infrastructure. This will be key to achieving renewable energy goals, followed by affordable energy prices. This enhances both reliability and the opportunity for home-grown energy.  
 
“Many companies now have renewable energy goals, and OPPD can help them reach those goals by having a long-term strategic plan for future low-carbon energy production,” said Janece Mollhoff, member of the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) board of directors. “Ultimately, if we do our job right, we can have affordable, reliable, and environmentally sensitive energy, meeting all three legs of OPPD’s mission.” 
 
To set up an interview with a panelist or speak with a New Power Nebraska representative, please contact Jesse Dougherty at jdougherty@strategicelements.com or (608) 807-8619. 
 
New Power Nebraska is sharing highlights and other content on Facebook and Twitter. Follow along and join in the conversation by using #NewPowerNebraska and #WindBuildsTheFuture. 
 
About New Power Nebraska
New Power Nebraska, an initiative of the American Wind Energy Association, shines a light on the benefits wind energy generation brings to Nebraska’s communities and rural places – clean power, farm income, and new jobs. Learn more at www.newpowernebraska.org

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy Resources

South Sioux City Continues Green Energy Effort

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ

Wednesday is “Energy Efficiency Day” and South Sioux City has a variety of projects that use alternative forms of energy to power the city. South Sioux City has a goal to be the greenest city in Nebraska. City Administrator Lance Hedquist says over half of the city’s energy now comes from renewable sources: Continue reading here.

Photo by Tim Hynds / Sioux City Journal: South Sioux City’s array at a solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla subsidiary.
Previously Posted News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal

ACEEE’S ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCORECARD

Midwest cities show more improvement in annual efficiency scorecard, by Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network. Northeast and West Coast cities dominated the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s annual city scorecard released Oct. 6, but the Midwest boasted the two most-improved cities in the rankings: St. Paul and St. Louis. Minneapolis was the only city in the top 10, tied for 4th with San Francisco, while Chicago was 13th. New York, Seattle and Boston claimed the top three spots. David Ribeiro, lead author of the scorecard, said Midwestern cities have much untapped potential, and he said cities anywhere in the nation should be able to do just as well as coastal leaders in incentivizing saving energy. 

ALSO PUBLISHED BY THE ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

MORE MIDWEST NEWS & NDEE RESOURCE

  • Powered by renewables, by Andrew Weeks, Grand Forks Herald
    Renewables, or what is sometimes called green energy, is shaping the energy sector not only in the Midwest but across the country. “I think the thing to really look at is what’s going on with the trends in energy right now,” said Dwight Patterson, CEO of GenPro Energy Solutions in Piedmont, S.D. “Renewable energy is really taking center stage in the United States as well as globally.” Renewable energy is projected to grow substantially over the next four years, he said, noting, “it’s an incredibly fast-moving market; it’s growing very quickly.” According to information by the Pew research Center, changes in renewable energy will continue to trend upward and will affect the labor market, including demand for new skill requirements.
  • Kansas is a state full of sun, so why does Kansas lag behind in solar power?, by Sarah Spicer, Wichita Eagle. “We’ve got a top 10 resource,” said Zack Pistoria, the Kansas lobbyist for the Sierra Club, a national environmental organization. “We haven’t done anything on solar.” Part of the reason, he said, is some of the anti-solar policies the state has in place. One example is the demand fees utility companies charge residents who use solar to generate energy at home. Utilities argued the fee was needed as a way to maintain infrastructure and transmission lines, but critics saw it as a way to discourage solar in the state.
  • Omaha Public Power District announces sites for two new gas generators, by Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association. Locations for the solar components of the Power with Purpose project have not yet been announced because sourcing for solar portions of the project are still under way.
  • Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)

INNOVATIVE ENERGY STORAGE INCENTIVES PROGRAMS

Arizona OKs home battery incentives as Green Mountain Power program shows millions in customer savings, by Emma Penrod, Utility Dive

The Arizona Corporation Commission last month approved the state’s first residential battery storage program — an incentive pilot proposed in August by the Arizona Public Service Company. Around the same time, Green Mountain Power (GMP) said its growing network of stored energy in Vermont, including home batteries and other resources, has reduced customer costs by about $3 million so far in 2020. Arizona has several hundred thousand households with rooftop solar, according to Court Rich, vice president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association.

NEXT ERA

Wind and solar producer tops Exxon as most valuable U.S. energy company, CBS News
Exxon, once the world’s most valuable company, has seen its revenues and profits slide over the last decade. By contrast, NextEra —the largest wind producer in North America and one of the largest solar companies — has enjoyed profit margins of as much as 50%, while its stock has outperformed the broader stock market. 

U.S. CORPORATE SOLAR ENERGY PURCHASING

NUCLEAR ENERGY

Nuclear Energy — The High Cost Of A Dying Industry, by Johnna Crider, CleanTechnica
The nuclear sector, OilPrice says, simply can’t compete with the flood of inexpensive natural gas and is struggling to stay alive. However, it’s not just natural gas — renewable energy has been passing up natural gas in terms of new power capacity, and also growing strong in terms of new electricity generation. 

TRANSPORTATION INEQUITY STUDY

Parking and public transit tell us a lot about equity in cities, by Joe Cortright, GreenBiz
University of Northern Illinois professor Chris Goodman recently compiled data for the nation’s 30 largest cities on the price cities charge for on street parking permits compared to the price of a transit pass. The disparity between what people pay to park their cars on the public street (nothing or very little) and what they have to pay to use transit speaks volumes about privilege and equity in transportation. To take advantage of free or low cost on street parking, you have to own a car, which automatically means the poorest households receive little or no benefit; meanwhile, because car ownership is highly correlated with income, more benefits go to high income households.

NATURAL BEER CARBONATION

Are the bubbles in your beer made from sustainable CO2?, by Jesse Klein, GreenBiz
Most beer produced in the United States is forcibly carbonated by injecting pressurized CO2 into the liquid. It can take up to two weeks to naturally carbonate beer, according to George, so few breweries do it for economic reasons. Carbon capture technology could provide a version of natural carbonation at a fraction of the time by grabbing the naturally produced gas for use later.

EPA-FUNDED BIODIGESTER PROJECT

Pa. college plans to power two farms from cafeteria waste, cow manure, and brewery scraps, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Kenneth Shultes, in charge of the school’s sustainability planning, said the biodigester project will reduce the school’s overall carbon emissions by 120 metric tons annually. “This fits with the college’s mission, and everything that we’re doing with sustainability,” Schultes said.