Tag Archives: Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

Grand Island deepens stake in alternative energy

Editorial, The Grand Island Independent 

As power generation facilities across the U.S. continue to invest in cleaner fuel sources, gas, solar, hydro, wind and nuclear energy alternatives are rapidly replacing coal as the staple. Grand Islanders have long benefited from comparatively low energy costs due in large part to forward-thinking improvements and continued investment in the city’s power generation facilities and alternative energy sources. Grand Island Utilities Department Director Tim Luchsinger spoke to the Grand Island Rotary Club last week about the city’s long-range plan to diversify its electric energy production. Read more here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

Previously Posted: Pilot project tests potential of solar energy for Grand Island, Neb., American Public Power Association

Grand Island’s Renewable Energy

MORE LOCAL NEWS & OPINION

  • Interim report for the first half year 2020 – Strong first half, Ørsted News Release, Globe Newswire. We commissioned the 230MW onshore wind farm Plum Creek in Nebraska ahead of schedule and on budget, and we received tax equity funding from our partners.
  • About Plum Creek Wind: The 82–turbine Plum Creek Wind located in Wayne County began commercial operation in 2020. Maximum capacity is 230,000 kilowatts (or 230 megawatts). The facility could produce an amount of energy equivalent to the amount of electricity used by approximately 100,000 Nebraska residences in a year (average annual output). Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy
  • Burt County officials learn about wind energy project as they consider area wind energy guidelines, KTIV
  • Commentary: New farm income — Martin Kleinschmit, owner of MarLin Wind & Solar LLC, Norfolk Daily News. HARTINGTON — Wind power has had a remarkably positive impact on the Nebraska economy. In addition to producing affordable and reliable clean power, wind energy is creating jobs in rural places and contributing significant new tax revenues to local governments and schools. Of all the positive attributes of wind energy, though, one of the most important and understated is the impact it has had on our state’s farmers.
  • First-hand experience to dispel wind energy myths, by Nebraska farmer/rancher Mike Zakrzewski of O’Neill, Nebraska, Blair Enterprise Publishing. For whatever it’s worth, I’m a third-generation farmer/rancher in Holt County, Nebraska. I own and operate the farm I grew up on northeast of O’Neill, in the middle of the Grande Prairie Wind Energy Project. Grande Prairie is a 400-megawatt, 200 turbine project, currently the largest in the state. There are fourteen turbines within one mile of my front door; some are on my land, many more are on my neighbors’ properties. This November will mark four years of operation for the project, so I may have some useful insight regarding living with wind turbines.

RESOURCES FOR NEW FARMERS & RANCHERS

Nebraska partners to provide energy answers for new farmers, ranchers, Hamburg Reporter
These videos are posted on the project team’s YouTube channel, Energy Answers for the Beginning Farmer & Rancher. Additional resources can be found online here. Contributing extension programs include Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.

AMERICAN WIND WEEK – INTO THE WIND POSTS

Dakota County tables action on wind farm moratorium

By Nick Hytrek, Sioux City Journal

Dakota County leaders have decided more study and public input is needed before voting on a moratorium on wind farm developments. The board’s decision was applauded by Josh Moenning, director of New Power Nebraska, a renewable energy development organization that promotes and develops wind energy projects. The Norfolk, Nebraska, mayor, Moenning participated in the meeting via teleconference. “I think it’s the right call,” he said in a statement emailed to the Journal. “This decision requires a fair, full hearing in order for public officials to have the benefit of all perspectives.” Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

INVESTOR-OWNED UTILITIES’ EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

Investor-owned utilities pay top executives millions — are they worth it?, PV Magazine
Energy and Policy Institute has tracked the past three years of CEO compensation at 41 investor-owned utilities across the country. And, while the numbers are eye-popping, a well-paid CEO does not necessarily reflect company success. Some of the highest-paid CEOs on the EPI  list head utilities — such as Southern Company and NextEra — that have slowed the growth of residential solar in their regions.  

Utility CEOs received over $1 billion in executive compensation from 2017 – 2019, Energy And Policy Institute

IREC HIRING

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council is seeking a Communications Coordinator to join their (all remote) team. The Coordinator will support day-to-day communications operations, including social media, email and website management. Advance your communications career while helping IREC build the foundation for a 100% clean energy future. The application deadline is this Friday, May 8th. Apply today or share the opportunity with qualified candidates in your network. To apply, submit a resume, cover letter and professional writing sample to info@irecusa.org. Learn more here.

Keystone XL developer pushes back construction date in Montana

By Jay Kohn, KTVQ

A TC Energy spokeswoman told MTN News Wednesday that construction on the pipeline crossing between the United States and Canada, did not get underway this morning as was previously anticipated. Spokeswoman Sara Rabern described the situation as “fluid”. On Tuesday, TC Energy announced the Keystone Pipeline project has new life – thanks to a $1 billion investment from the government of Alberta that will fund the project for the next year. The pipelines would transfer oil from the tar sands of Alberta to an existing line in Nebraska. The project has multiple ongoing challenges in federal court. Read more here.

Previously Posted News Stories & Resources: 

 TAR SANDS’ PRICE

U.S. Coal Bankruptcies Reveal The Future Of Alberta Tar Sands, Forbes
With oil demand softening, only the most efficient oil producers will survive. By some estimates, “the price of oil could permanently plummet to $25 a barrel by the mid-2020s. Only the cheapest oil in places like Saudi Arabia could be economically produced. Canada’s oil sands, where most projects need an oil price of $60 to $80 a barrel just to break even, would cease to make financial sense.” 

STRANDED ASSETS

  • “Stranded assets” are referenced in the above article. What are they?
    According to the Carbon Tracker InitiativeStranded assets are now generally accepted to be fossil fuel supply and generation resources which, at some time prior to the end of their economic life (as assumed at the investment decision point), are no longer able to earn an economic return (i.e. meet the company’s internal rate of return), as a result of changes associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • The growing concern over stranded assets, GreenBiz

FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES’ ENERGY TRANSITION

Thriving in a low carbon future: M&A and the new energy economy, Utility Dive
Contributed article by Mary Anne Sullivan, Sarah Shaw and Alex Harrison, Partners at Hogan Lovells. Traditional oil and gas companies and utilities want to ride the wave of new technologies that can preserve their market position, even as old markets are redefined. Many companies have a combination of these motives. One particular trend we are witnessing in this sector is traditional oil and gas and utilities companies moving into new areas, principally renewable energy, electric vehicles and storage.

NEBRASKA’S ENERGY TRANSITION / LOCAL LEADERSHIP

SECURITIZATION 

Securitization laws are easing the transition from coal and other fossil fuels in the following states:

Nebraska Energy Quarterly: March 2020 Edition Now Available

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

Inside the March 2020 Edition:

NDEE Releases Energy Annual Report
The 2019 Energy Annual Report is now available on the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s website.
 
EV Charging Station Rebates Awarded
The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) has awarded rebates totaling over $1.8 million for new Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations that will be installed over the next two years.

How Many Homes can be Powered by Solar Energy?
As new solar facilities are being developed in Nebraska, NDEE has been asked to translate the scale of these projects into a more tangible way of understanding them.
 
MEAN Sets Carbon Neutral Goal
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) Board of Directors approved a resolution laying out a vision to a carbon neutral power resource portfolio by 2050 at its board meeting on Jan. 23 in Kearney.

EIA Website Shows State Rankings
Did you know the Energy Information Administration (EIA) maintains an overview of states’ energy profiles?

Rebates Fund Engine Replacements
NDEE awarded more than $950,000 through its 2019 Clean Diesel Rebate Program.

The Marshmallow Challenge
Their mission is to build a tower as tall as they can.
 
Smart Home Lighting
It seems like every device is getting smarter these days. Since smart home lighting is so new, many of us could use a little introduction.

Download the March Edition here.

Nebraska Energy Quarterly – December 2019 Edition

Published by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

Inside this issue of the Nebraska Energy Quarterly:

Clean Diesel Rebate Applications Accepted Through Jan. 17
The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s 2019 Clean Diesel Rebate Program is now accepting applications for two types of rebates—local diesel truck replacements and agricultural irrigation pump diesel engine replacements.

NDEE Announces Survey Results
Inherent to the duties of the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) is the preparation of the Nebraska State Energy Plan (NSEP).

Winter Forecast Projects Possible Lower Energy Bills
On Oct. 11, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) convened their annual call with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to discuss the winter forecast.

Nebraska’s Renewable Status
Renewable resources fuel almost one-fifth of Nebraska’s net electricity generation.

Poultry Operation to Install Solar Array
NDEE, along with Dundee Bank of Omaha, has awarded a low-interest rate loan for solar facilities associated with a poultry operation.

NIBB and Educational Outreach
In 2016, the then-Nebraska Energy Office submitted a state competitive application to the U.S. Department of Energy.

How Does Your Home Handle the Cold?
When the thermometer dips below 20oF, you can find out a lot about how well your home seals out the cold.

Read the articles here.

How heat pumps can cut carbon pollution from buildings

Contributed by Sarah Kennedy, ChavoBart Digital Media.
Posted on Yale Climate Connections

“These new cold climate air source heat pumps are functional down to -10, -15 degrees,” [Chris Carrick with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board] says. And they run on electricity, so they generate heat without burning oil, natural gas or other fuels on site. According to a report by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, switching to heat pumps could dramatically reduce the carbon pollution caused by home heating. They have the most impact in places with renewable electricity. Read more here.

More Yale Climate Connections Posts / Audio 

Nebraska Information Sources on the Above Topics 

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

An introduction to the state of wind power in the U.S.

By Philip Warburg, Yale Climate Connections

As a non-carbon-emitting technology, wind power has a big environmental advantage over its leading fossil fuel competitors. Onshore and offshore wind has a life cycle carbon footprint of 20 grams or less of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. The “cleanest” natural gas power plants – those that use combined cycle technology – produce more than 400 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. Supercritical coal plants – the least polluting in the industry – generate close to 800 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour.

While attractive to many who see climate change as a real and immediate threat, wind power has developed much of its momentum in relatively conservative rural states [see Table 1]. In 2018, 13 states in the nation’s interior region accounted for more than 80% of new wind capacity additions. Read more here.

Philip Warburg, an environmental lawyer, is former president of the Conservation Law Foundation.

ADDITIONAL WIND ENERGY RESOURCES

Nebraska Data

American Wind Energy Association Fact Sheets

State Fact Sheets
Learn the top wind energy facts about each state by using the interactive map or downloading a state-specific PDF. Updated July 2019

Corporate Purchaser Fact Sheet
Major brands are choosing wind power as a cost-competitive source. Read quotes from the top companies buying wind.

Radar and Airspace Fact Sheet
Wind farms can and do co-exist with military facilities, while promoting our energy independence, national security and military operations.

Wind Energy and Sound Fact Sheet
Wind turbine noise may be one of the most easily misunderstood issues related to wind energy projects.

Transmission Fact Sheet
Power lines move electrons from where they are generated to where they are used. Our grid needs attention to keep reliably delivering electricity.

Wildlife Fact Sheet
Researchers routinely find that wind energy has one of the lowest impacts on wildlife and their habitats of any utility-scale power source.

Wind Energy & Tariffs
Recent tariffs levied by the Trump administration will have a harmful effect on the U.S. wind industry.

Wind Energy Tariffs & Job Impacts
Learn more about how potential tariffs from the administration could impact American jobs.

Offshore Wind Energy
U.S. offshore wind is taking shape in waters off the coast across the country. Learn more about the abundant potential of this new ocean energy resource.

Federal Tax Policy
Tax policy can be an important driver that prompts private investment, benefits the U.S. economy and creates new jobs.

UPCOMING EVENT

The Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference is a two-day event that brings together a diverse range of stakeholders from Nebraska and across the country to share the latest information and innovations in wind and solar. Shaped by volunteers from state agencies, farmer and rancher organizations, public power utilities, the renewable energy industry, and academia – the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference aims to present accurate and objective information pertaining to all aspects of wind and solar development.

Links to More Information