Tag Archives: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)

Aug 23rd: National Hydropower Day Celebrates America’s First Renewable

National Hydropower Association News Release

“America needs the clean, flexible power provided by the nation’s first renewable resource” said Malcolm Woolf, NHA President & CEO. “From the Industrial Revolution to World War II to growth of the tech sector, hydropower has powered American innovation and ingenuity. With the right mix of energy, environmental and market policies, hydropower can contribute even more as the nation moves towards decarbonization of the grid and electrification of the transportation industry.”

In 2018, hydropower was the largest generator of clean, renewable electricity, representing 7% of total U.S. electricity generation and 39.5% of renewable electricity generation. The U.S. hydropower fleet is comprised of approximately 2,200 power plants with a total capacity of roughly 102 GW, which includes 95% of U.S. storage capacity (23 GW) pumped storage. Hydropower is also a major job creator, employing 66,500 workers. Read the entire news release here.

National Hydropower Association

Additional Recommended Reading 

Compute North to break ground at new Kearney data center Wednesday

By Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

Compute North will be building on a 5-acre tract it is purchasing for $75,000 from the city of Kearney at Tech oNE Crossing. Nebraska Public Power District will build a substation to provide energy for the data center, which is expected to become one of NPPD’s top electrical consumers in Kearney. To operate and cool its facility, Compute North will need as much as 20 megawatts at any given time. Compute North will become the third business in Tech oNE Crossing, which currently has the Xpanxion Executive Briefing Center and the 53-acre SoCore solar farm. Read more here.

SoCore Energy Photo of Kearney’s Solar Farm. Track The Farm’s Energy Production.

Council gives nod toward solar project

By Melanie Wilkinson, York News-Times

York is ready to go green. A proposed solar site to generate electrical power in York will show the city is utilizing renewable energy and it will provide consumers an option for going green if they so choose. It also indicates the city cares about sustainability through conservation and other programs that protect the environment and its resources. Craig Vincent, Nebraska Public Power District Account Manager, explained to the York City Council this past week that NPPD has been doing community solar projects for the last two years. Continue reading here.

SoCore Energy Photo of Kearney’s Solar Farm. Track The Farm’s Energy Production.

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

Previously Posted

More news stories, editorials and releases about Nebraska’s Community-Scale / Utility-Scale Solar projects and developers.

Community Solar Resources & Industry Jobs

The Coalition for Community Solar Access is a national Coalition of businesses and non-profits working to expand customer choice and access to solar for all American households and businesses through community solar.

“Our mission is to empower every American energy consumer with the option to choose local, clean, and affordable community solar. We work with customers, utilities, local stakeholders, and policymakers to develop and implement policies and best practices that ensure community solar programs provide a win, win, win for all, starting with the customer.”

With new board members, Omaha utility making moves toward low-carbon future

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News / Energy News Network

The staff began looking into decarbonization options nearly two years ago, [Mary Fisher, OPPD’s vice president for energy production and nuclear decommissioning] said, but picked up the pace last fall — about the time that new board members interested in cleaner energy were elected. The change stands in contrast to the state’s largest utility, the Nebraska Public Power District, where many board members continue to downplay the urgency of climate change even after catastrophic flooding in the state earlier this year. Fisher said the board is not the only reason the utility is moving toward cleaner energy. “The factor really has been the ongoing conversation about climate change and carbon emissions nationally,” she said. “You’re seeing it on the nightly news reports, you’re seeing it in the presidential debates, you’re seeing it all over.” Read more here.

Photo by Laura King-Homan, OPPD’s The Wire: Visitors view components of the Omaha Public Power District’s Sholes Wind Farm under construction near Wayne, Nebraska in November.

Additional Recommended Reading

Dawson Public Power proud to be publicly owned

By Brian Neben, Lexington Clipper-Herald

LEXINGTON — Nebraska is the only state to be served entirely by public power and the Dawson Public Power District is proud of this fact and to serve their region of Central Nebraska. Dawson Public Power District, DPPD, held their annual customer tour of their facility south of Lexington on Tuesday, June 25. During the tour DPPD electrical services and policies were explained, safety demonstrations held and people could ask questions about public power. “An informed customer is our greatest asset,” said DPPD general manager Gwen Kautz. DPPD was organized in February 1937 as a part of the Rural Electrification Act passed by President Franklin Roosevelt as part of an effort to electrify rural farmsteads.

Looking to the future Kautz said “renewable energy is late coming to Nebraska, but it is coming and it will grow.” Changes will have to be made to the grid as wind, solar, batteries and stored hydro become more prevalent and traditional sources like coal, nuclear and natural gas are slowly phased out. “I predict the marriage of solar power to storable batteries will take over for the traditional energy sources,” said Kautz. She said 10 years ago she doubted the impact of renewable energy, today she has rethought that position. Read more here.

Sol Systems Photo: In 2017, Sol Systems and GenPro Energy Solutions partnered with the City of Lexington to develop, finance, and construct a 3.9 MW solar farm. The array produces enough energy to power 700 homes each year. By locking into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the City of Lexington will have 25 years of price certainty against volatile wholesale electricity rates.

Additional Recommended Reading
Charged Up About Electric Vehicles, by Gwen Kautz, General Manager, Dawson Public Power
EV Charging Station Rebate Brochure

South Sioux City to add 1.5MW battery to store solar power

By Mason Dockter, Sioux City Journal

The city of South Sioux City will become a “demonstration site” for the storage of electric power generated by the city’s 1,200-panel solar installation. A large-scale battery with the capacity to store 1.5 megawatts of power will be installed by Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. this winter, City Administrator Lance Hedquist said. The city’s two-year-old solar park provides roughly 5 percent of the city’s 45 megawatt electricity usage. That electricity costs roughly two-thirds the cost of electricity purchased from elsewhere, Hedquist said. Hedquist has said the city plans to fully phase out of its wholesale power contract with NPPD by 2020. Read more here.

Photo: South Sioux City’s solar array located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary.
News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal
Photo Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal
Installer: Solar City

Nebraska needs more clean energy, NPPD board member Melissa Freelend says

By Mike Konz, The Grand Island Independent

Melissa Freelend wants Nebraskans to have more clean, renewable energy, and she’s working toward that goal as a member of the board of directors at Nebraska Public Power District. Elected in 2016, Freelend, 32, is the NPPD Board’s youngest member. She’s a Grand Island native and is employed in media and broadcasting. Her District 3 encompasses Buffalo and Hall counties. Continue reading here.

Iowa pork producers stall utility efforts to upend solar net metering

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

In their push to upend the economics of rooftop solar, Iowa’s major electric utilities are up against an opponent as politically potent as they are: the state’s pork producers. Hog farmers in the nation’s top pork-producing state have made clear that they don’t want legislators messing with their net metering arrangements. “Their voice is making a huge difference,” said Kerri Johannsen, who directs the Iowa Environmental Council’s energy program. “The things they are doing are definitely a big part of what’s held this bill up.” Continue reading here.

Photo: IowaPolitics.com / Wikimedia Commons Via Energy News Network

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

FEATURED NPPD WEBSITE LINKS

OPPD Focused On Continued Investment In Our Communities

Omaha Public Power District News Release
February 14, 2019

Omaha Public Power District is committed to investing in the communities it serves. Furthering that effort, today, the OPPD Board of Directors approved a labor contract for streetlight
conversion work within its service territory to replace current technology with light emitting
diode (LED) technology.

This is part of the district’s five-year plan, officially beginning next month, to replace nearly 100,000 existing high-pressure sodium fixtures within its service territory. To date, OPPD has
converted approximately 400 burned out streetlights to LED. The district is utilizing a contractor alongside OPPD employees due to the volume and time frame of work taking place.
Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
NDEQ Co-hosting Nebraska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference on March 25, NPPD News Release

NEWS FROM OTHER CITIES & STATES

The nuclear city goes 100% renewable, PV Magazine
Yesterday Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled the city’s
Resilient Chicago plan, which in action 38 is a commitment to
“transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy in buildings community-wide by 2035”. 

TRI-STATE NEWS

In Nebraska, a unique carbon-capture concept has a lot of unknowns

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

In November, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) announced a partnership with Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology and Wärtsilä, a Finnish manufacturer, to explore using that company’s technology to generate electricity from methanol, which would be synthesized by combining hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

While a news release touts the study as intending to help “accelerate the move towards a future where energy will be produced from 100 percent renewable carbon free sources,” NPPD does not yet know whether any carbon reduction benefits will result. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Wärtsilä

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

ASU engineers break solar cell record, ASU News
Arizona State University researchers continue to break solar cell efficiency records in an effort to harness the sun’s energy more economically as a renewable source for electricity. Last year, Assistant Professor Zachary Holman and Assistant
Research Professor Zhengshan “Jason” Yu in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering set a world record of 23.6 percent
efficiency for a tandem solar cell stacked with perovskite and silicon.

The number was a few percentage points shy of the
theoretical efficiency limit for silicon solar cells alone. Now, the team improves upon the record by nearly two percentage points, to 25.4 percent, in a joint project with researchers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, predicting they’ll be nearing 30 percent tandem efficiency within two years.

Photo: The perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell created by researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has the potential to transform mainstream silicon technology and lower the cost of solar energy. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU

ADDITIONAL UNIVERSITY NEWS

Stanford scientists locate nearly all U.S. solar panels by applying machine learning to a billion satellite images, Stanford University News. Stanford researchers have identified the GPS locations and sizes of almost all U.S. solar power installations from a billion images. Using the data, which are public, they identified factors that
promote the use of solar energy and those that
discourage it. Photo: Telesis Inc’s solar array in Lincoln