Tag Archives: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)

Cash pours into Nebraska Public Power District board of directors campaigns

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News. Network

Candidates in this month’s board of directors election for Nebraska’s largest utility drew record-breaking campaign contributions, making it the most expensive contest in history even before the final receipts are counted. The seven candidates for four board seats on the November general election ballot had collectively taken in more than $175,000 through Oct. 19. That’s more than twice the total raised in 2018 and quadruple the 2016 haul. Money poured in from environmental groups, large industrial customers, and others hoping to steer the agenda for the Nebraska Public Power District board, which has emerged as a frontline for clean energy policy in the state. Continue reading here.

More articles written by Karen Uhlenhuth:

OPPD NEWS

LED streetlight replacements top 50,000 fixtures

Eight mayors: We need a Marshall Plan for Middle America

Opinion by William Peduto, Jamael Tito Brown, Nan Whaley, Andrew Ginther, John Cranley, Steve Williams, Ron Dulaney Jr. and Greg Fischer
Published by The Washington Post

According to our research, taking advantage of our community assets, geographic positioning and the strengths of our regional markets can help create over 400,000 jobs across the region by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades to buildings, energy infrastructure and transportation assets. Read more here.

The writers are the mayors of Pittsburgh; Youngstown, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Huntington, W.Va.; Morgantown, W.Va.; and Louisville.

MORE ON LES’ DECARBONIZATION GOAL

Lincoln Electric System board adopts 100% net decarbonization goal by 2040, American Public Power Association

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & VIEWING

GREENBIZ VIDEOS

Solar Industry Outlines a Policy Agenda for the Biden Administration, 117th Congress

SEIA News Release, November 12, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is releasing a suite of policies and executive actions that it is asking President-elect Biden and the newly elected Congress to act on during their first 100 days in office.

“Our 100-day agenda aligns with President-elect Biden’s vision to build back better, and represents a critical opportunity to meet the moment of the climate era with equity and justice at the forefront,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Even as we face a likely divided government, every facet of this agenda has had bipartisan support. Now is the time to take action to generate economic opportunities for Americans in a way that promotes competition and addresses the climate crisis.” Read more here.

GREEN BIZ 350 PODCAST

Episode 245: How President-elect Joe Biden could help U.S. farmers, by Heather Clancy, Joel Makower & Jim Giles

TRANSMISSION

Transmission troubles? A solution could be lying along rail lines and next generation highways, Utility Dive. Recent studies, including the landmark and reportedly suppressed Department of Energy Seam study, show expanded transmission is critical. But two key barriers — where to put the new lines and how to pay for them — still slow development, according to a June 2020 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report to Congress. Allocation of the new lines’ costs remains unresolved, but new approaches to siting are attracting attention.

TRI-STATE

Tri-State ups the amount of greenhouse gases it will cut in Colorado by adding wind and solar generation, The Colorado Sun. Colorado’s second biggest electricity provider – Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association – upped its goal for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to an 80% cut by 2030 – putting itself in line with other utilities in the state. Tri-State is joining with North Dakota-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative, the Deseret Power Cooperative in Utah, the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska and the federal Western Area Power Administration to explore joining the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

Tri-State is a nonprofit cooperative of 45 members, including 42 electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states: Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Together, they provide power to more than a million electricity consumers.

CROWDFUNDED TRIBAL SOLAR 

Crowdfunded solar puts Red Lake Nation on a path to energy sovereignty, by Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

“We have to prove that we can do this and we have to do this not only for ourselves but for other tribal nations,” said Red Lake member Bob Blake, the founder and owner of Solar Bear installation company. The workforce training center solar array is the second of 12 solar projects planned for the reservation. The first sits not far away atop the Red Lake Government Center, a building distinguished by incorporating a two-story face of an eagle with wings spread across the facade. The projects are the first two solar installations in Minnesota to be financed through crowdfunding, in which dozens of small investors lend to businesses to support entrepreneurs and their products. The tribe has a separate initiative to construct a utility-scale 13-megawatt solar farm in partnership with Allete, one of the region’s primary electricity providers.

GEOTHERMAL

The Earth itself could provide carbon-free heat for buildings, by David Roberts, Vox
What exactly are the technologies that can provide heat from the Earth? There are two basic categories. Let’s start by looking at the smaller side.

NEBRASKA’S FIRST ALL-GEOTHERMAL NEIGHBORHOOD

The Bridges is a unique neighborhood being developed in Lincoln, Nebraska of lakefront lots and traditional lots. Geothermal energy is featured throughout the entire development, which is landscaped with miles of trails and covered bridges. Download a brochure.

GAS BANS GROWING IN CALIFORNIA

San Francisco’s gas ban on new buildings could prompt statewide action, Utility Dive
The vote adds San Francisco to the growing list of nearly 40 California cities to pass such ordinances since Berkeley’s historic ban in July 2019.

FINANCIAL RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

In first for Fed, U.S. central bank says climate poses stability risks, Reuters
The U.S. Federal Reserve for the first time called out climate change among risks enumerated in its biannual financial stability report, and warned about the potential for abrupt changes in asset values in response to a warming planet. “Acute hazards, such as storms, floods, or wildfires, may cause investors to update their perceptions of the value of real or financial assets suddenly,” Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in comments attached to the report, released Monday.

EV CHARGING STATIONS 

NREL report says EV charging stations continued strong growth in early 2020, American Public Power Association

The report’s statistics tap data from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator, which NREL said is the most widely used tool on the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center. The report is available here.

EV REBATES 

Retired teacher, first-time elected official to join OPPD board

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

Mary Spurgeon said she is looking forward to working collaboratively with the existing board on its goal of moving toward heavier reliance on renewable energy. Incumbent Amanda Bogner was unopposed to represent Subdivision 1, which serves northwest and west-central Omaha. Sara Howard won in Subdivision 2, which covers central and South Omaha. Read more here.

More Election News

AMAZON’S FULFILLMENT CENTER IN SARPY COUNTY

Amazon joins list of high-profile names in Sarpy corridor, The Wire
“Partnerships like the one OPPD has with Amazon and all of our local economic development partners and local officials allows our entire area to thrive,” said Tim Burke, president and CEO of OPPD, and chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s executive committee. “Helping our local economies grow, and bring jobs to the area, is just one way we honor our community.”

Additional Recommended Reading: Amazon’s Sustainability Initiatives & Partnerships

DATA CENTERS

Data center construction market continues to boom, Construction Dive
Google, Amazon and Facebook are the biggest names in data center construction in the U.S. Here’s a closer look at the state of data center construction across the country for the three internet giants.

REBA’S NEW INITIATIVE 

Additional Recommended Reading: 5 predictions for the corporate renewable energy market in 2021, PV Magazine article contributed by Rob Collier of PPA marketplace, LevelTen Energy.

SPP AND “UNECONOMIC SELF-COMMITMENT”

Time for SPP to Commit to Competitive Clean Energy, NRDC Expert Blog by John Moore, Director, Sustainable FERC Project, Climate & Clean Energy Program.

Consumers across the heartland are paying about $60 million more a year than they should for electricity to power their homes, farms and businesses. That is because of a practice employed by some coal-fired generators to the detriment of wind power producers. It’s long past time for the regional grid operator to put an end to this practice called “uneconomic self-commitment,” but, unfortunately, the Southwest Power Pool is deliberately downplaying the issue.

New studies find grid modernization accelerates cost-effective renewable energy growth

By John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Renewable energy has begun to dominate new electric generation capacity additions over the past several years for a variety of reasons – plummeting technology costs, increasing efficiency, and corresponding demand from the public and private sector, among others. However, to fully realize a 21st century clean energy economy we need to update our electric system to meet today’s needs, modernize the grid, and expand access to renewables through transmission infrastructure. Now, two new studies show how transmission investments can accelerate clean energy growth while saving money for American families and businesses. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

NPPD’S R-Project Newsroom
Nebraska Public Power District’s Board of Directors voted to award a construction contract to Forbes Brothers Timberline Construction, Inc., of Rapid City, S.D. for the R-Project transmission line.

SEIA Blog: Solar + EVs: Two Peas in a Pod

IOWA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY & TRANSMISSION

Experts: Iowa’s renewable energy growth depends on better transmission, Iowa Capital Dispatch
Iowa could become an even bigger leader in renewable energy, especially if renewable hydrogen is developed and transmission lines are improved, a panel of university, government and corporate leaders said Wednesday

MICHIGAN STUDY QUANTIFIES RETURN ON CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT

Commentary: Clean energy is good economic policy for Michigan, by Laura Sherman / Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, Energy News Network

Last month Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set a goal for Michigan to be carbon-neutral by 2050, a bold move that will bring more jobs and industry to the state. We can measure the economic growth and jobs that these energy innovations have already brought to Michigan and can continue to bring—not in 10, 20 or 30 years, but right now. A new report from the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) does just that. It quantifies how increasing investment into advanced energy through a future federal stimulus package could energize the state’s economy, and finds that these investments would generate a return on the order of eight times the level of public spending for Michigan. 

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA’S “RENEWABLES ON THE RISE 2020” REPORT

The 2020 edition of a report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group
Clean energy technology has boomed in the last decade, enabling Americans to envision a future powered by 100 percent renewable energy. “Renewables on the Rise 2020” tells the story of the dramatic growth of clean energy. The data story below explains how strong state renewable energy commitments have helped to spark the clean energy revolution. The interactive charts enable you to explore how clean energy technology is growing in your state. And the six fact sheets provide a detailed look at the key technologies driving America toward clean, renewable energy — from electric vehicles to offshore wind power — and the hope they provide for the future. 

Environment America’s 100% Campaigns

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS ANALYSIS

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) commissioned BW Research to analyze clean energy job wages and benefits.

The Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report is the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector. According to the report, workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage, clean fuels and clean vehicles earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019 compared with the national median wage of $19.14. In addition, jobs in many clean energy sectors are more likely to be unionized and come with health care and retirement benefits than the rest of the private sector, the analysis shows.


REIMAGINE APPALACHIA

Clean energy, infrastructure plan could bring 489,000 jobs to Ohio, Pa., Farm and Dairy
ReImagine Appalachia’s plan, released in July, lays out how to build and modernize infrastructure, repair the land and create jobs through public investment in Appalachia’s Ohio River Valley. Reimagine Appalachia is a coalition of more than 75 grassroots organizations from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. It calls for, among other things, encouraging regenerative agriculture practices, reviving the Civilian Conservation Corps, increasing clean energy use, expanding broadband, building a sustainable transportation system and creating “good union jobs.”

GREEN HYDROGEN CHARGING STATIONS

World’s First Green Hydrogen Universal Charging Station for Electric and Hydrogen Vehicles, H2-Greenforce, Extends Preferred Series A Funding Raising up to $12 Million to Debut Green Island™, H2 Greenforce LLC News Release, PR Newswire

About H2-Greenforce: Founded in 2019 in New Jersey, H2’s mission is to decarbonize our planet through production of green electricity. H2-Greenforce combines its own proprietary green hydrogen technology and know-how, with advanced industrial components to build self-sustainable electric infrastructure. H2-Greenforce is a trademark of H2-Greenforce LLC in the United States and other countries.

CLIMATE ACTION 100+ NEWS

Investors call on major US polluters to clean up lobbying activities, by Cecilia Keating, GreenBiz
It is just the latest intervention from Climate Action 100+, which is backed by more than 500 global investors representing $47 trillion of assets worldwide and aims to ramp up climate ambition from companies it has identified as collectively responsible for up to 80 percent of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Companies targeted by the campaign span a number of polluting sectors, including oil and gas, consumer goods, power and transportation, and have been identified as “systematically important” to the net zero transition by the campaign.

FEATURED LOCAL RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SAVE ENERGY & MONEY

City council approve solar project agreement

By Nick Stevenson, Norfolk Daily News

The Norfolk City Council approved a Community Solar Project Agreement at its meeting Monday night. City Engineer Steve Rames told the council members the agreement amends the current Distribution System Lease Agreement between the Nebraska Public Power District and the City. Read more here.

Photo by Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

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UPCOMING EVENT

Solar Land Lease Considerations for Landowners: Webinar Presented by Nebraska & Ohio Extension Specialists

NEBRASKA LEGISLATIVE BILL 824

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

EV program recharging for another year

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire

OPPD’s popular electric vehicle rebate program is back for a third year. Historically, the program has had a measurable impact on adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the OPPD service territory. The rebates have sold out every year. This year, the rebates for residential electric vehicles and chargers are still available. A fleet vehicle replacement rebate for businesses is new this year. EV fleet rebates are rare in the national market, but OPPD is leading the way by making these rebates available to business customers. Learn more here.

LES & NPPD EV PROGRAMS & INCENTIVES

Nebraska Nanoscale Facility gets five-year renewal

By Dan Moser | Research and Economic Development
Nebraska Today, University of Nebraska Newsroom

The Nebraska Nanoscale Facility — housed mostly in the Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Research Center — has received a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to ensure its continuation through at least 2025. Nebraska’s facility is one of 16 centers created under the NSF’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure program, designed to advance the nation’s nanoscience research by expanding the equipment and service capabilities of universities and industries.

“We can proudly say here in Nebraska that this is quite an elite club we are in,” said Christian Binek, director of the nanoscale facility.  The national infrastructure aims to ensure “the entire country is equipped with the tools and expertise to perform nanoscience and nanotechnology.”

Read more here.

MORE NEBRASKA / MIDWEST NEWS STORIES

Alternative energy supporters vying for NPPD board

By Molly Hunter, The Columbus Telegram

Voters in Platte County will have a hand in influencing the state’s renewable energy future in November. The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is the Loup Power District’s wholesale power supplier. Eleven seats on the NPPD Board of Directors are up for election this fall. Supporters of alternative energy sources are vying for at least four of those seats, including the one that covers Platte County. Continue reading here.

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MORE LOCAL NEWS

OPPD board Chairman Craig Moody announces bid for Omaha City Council, Omaha World-Herald
Craig Moody, chairman of the Omaha Public Power District board and co-owner of a small business focused on sustainability, has announced a campaign for District 3, which covers the city’s downtown and midtown areas. Council President Chris Jerram, who currently represents the district, has said he won’t seek reelection.

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

CALIFORNIA 

US ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES NEW GOAL

100GW in 10 years: US Energy Storage Association issues ‘expanded vision’, Energy Storage News

The US national Energy Storage Association (ESA) has adopted a goal for the deployment of 100GW of new energy storage using a range of technologies by 2030, updating a previously set 35GW by 2025 target.
The trade group has nearly 200 industry stakeholder members.

EV CHARGING STATIONS WITH BATTERY STORAGE

Energy storage for EV charging can lower demand charges, Guidehouse reports, Utility Dive

EV charging stations with battery storage systems can make EV charging more cost effective by drawing energy from the grid during low-demand periods and releasing power to charge EVs during peak-demand periods, according to a Guidehouse Insights report. 

SOLAR-POWERED SCHOOLS & CHURCHES

Catholic Energies adding solar to Virginia schools and churches, Solar Power World
The combined projects will generate over 1.6 million kWh of clean electricity each year for decades and save the churches more than $2 million in energy operating costs during the term of their solar agreements.

Local View: Don’t hamper wind growth

By Gary Thompson, Lincoln Journal Star

Last month, the Gage County Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend to the County Board of Supervisors that amendments be made to existing regulations governing development of wind farms in the county.

Among these was the requirement that each turbine be set back at least one mile away from any non-participating residence. If approved, this would be one of the most restrictive regulations in the nation — and its practical effect would be to ban any further development of wind energy within the county borders. Continue reading here.

Gary Thompson has served as an NPPD Board of Directors member for 27 years. He lives in Clatonia.

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