Tag Archives: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)

Nebraska utility won’t convert power plant to run on hydrogen after all

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Nebraska’s largest electric utility and the manufacturer that will soon be its largest private customer have agreed to abandon a potentially innovative plan to partially convert an aging fossil fuel power plant to run on hydrogen. The Nebraska Public Power District in 2018 said it had contracted with Monolith Materials to buy all of the hydrogen byproduct produced at a new factory under construction near the utility’s 225-megawatt Sheldon Station power plant, about 20 miles south of Lincoln. The power district planned to convert a 120-megawatt boiler to burn hydrogen, something that’s never been done before. Continue reading here.

NPPD Photo: 225-MW Sheldon Coal Plant near Hallam, Nebraska

ALSO WRITTEN BY KAREN UHLENHUTH

Solar firm buying land rights near coal plants with eye toward transmission

New Resources Developed by Nebraska’s Largest Utilities – Plus an Upcoming Event

Announcing LES’ Electric Vehicle Webinar Series
By Marc J. Shkolnick, LES Manager/Energy Services

Electric vehicle enthusiasts are invited to participate in one or more noon-hour webinars presented by Lincoln Electric System. The virtual workshops will cover a wide array of topics ranging from home and public charging trends and technologies, results of LES’ residential charging study, considerations for buying or leasing a new or used electric vehicle and innovations in electric transportation. LES has booked experts from the Electric Power Research Institute (ERPI) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to present and engage in question and answers for each webinar. RSVP by visiting www.les.com/ev

LES News Release: Recent grant enables LES to offer first EV rebate
Lincoln Electric System has received a grant of $120,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for its “Electric Vehicle Public Engagement and Rebate Program.” The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its June 11 meeting, and LES made the official announcement during its own administrative board meeting July 17. Funds will be used to offer LES customers purchase or lease rebates for new, all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.


New Series of Solar Videos Created by NPPD & UNL 
By David Rich, NPPD Sustainable Energy Manager

The series’ co-creator and presenter F. John Hay, shown in the above photo, is an Extension Educator for Biological Systems Engineering at UNL. Small wind turbines and small solar systems for home, farm, or business are among his various areas of research and teaching interests. The videos include:

The resources are also posted here on NPPD’s website. Click “Videos”.


New platform gives customers a way to connect
By Laura King-Homan, The Wire


OPPD recently launched a new way to connect with customers – and hear what they have to say. The utility’s new outreach websiteOPPDCommunityConnect, replaces the previous website and provides a more interactive experience. It also supports the utility’s strategic directive around stakeholder engagement and transparency.

Current conversations featured on the site include:

  • Power with Purpose – OPPD’s utility-scale solar and backup natural gas generation project
  • Pathways to Decarbonization – The work OPPD is doing to reach net-zero carbon production by 2050
  • COVID-19 pandemic updates and community resources

OPPD has streamlined its customer-owned generation program
By Jodi Baker, The Wire

“We know more and more customers are looking into owning their own generation, and we want to guide them in the process,” said Kirk Estee, Customer Alternative Energy Solutions Manager for OPPD. “We are their energy partner, and we’re here to help.”With those goals in mind, OPPD recently revamped and streamlined its process of applying for Customer-Owned Generation (COG). And the utility created a new website, with educational resources, such as a quick-start guide, information on net metering for billing, and available tax credits. Customers will also find a calculator to determine their pay-off period for an investment in solar panels.


LES ANNOUNCEMENT

LES’ signature sustainability event is back this year in a whole new way — online!

We’re hosting our 10th annual Sustainable Living Festival digitally as a weeklong extravaganza July 20-24.

This year, we need your help in spreading the word about the event. Feel free to invite friends and family to this virtual festival through social media and your other channels! Each day, we will have a variety of content from local experts to help festivalgoers discover easy ways to take care of our environment and live more sustainably.

See the lineup of live events and mini sessions & register here.

Solar firm buying land rights near coal plants with eye toward transmission

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

A utility-scale solar developer is acquiring land rights near U.S. coal-fired power plants, hoping the facilities will close sooner than expected and open up lucrative transmission connections. Photosol US, a subsidiary of a French company, has purchased options near plants in Nebraska and Kansas, as well as the San Juan Generating Station in northern New Mexico. While the San Juan plant has approval from state regulators to shut down in 2022, the Nebraska and Kansas plants, completed in the early 1980s, do not have retirement dates. The Nebraska Public Power District, which owns the Gerald Gentleman Station, has begun evaluating the plant’s future. Read more here.

Wikipedia Photo: The Gerald Gentleman Station, located just south of Sutherland, is Nebraska’s largest electricity generating plant. The station consists of two coal-fired generating units which were launched into service in 1979 and 1982 and which together have the generation capacity of 1,365 megawatts of power.

NPPD’s R-Project: Reducing transmission congestion and providing opportunities for additional renewable energy 

Project Overview
NPPD’s R-Project is a 345,000-volt transmission line from NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland to NPPD’s existing substation east of Thedford. The new line will then proceed east and connect to a second substation to be sited in Holt County.

NPPD’s electric grid is an essential link to ensuring service for our customers. The R-Project will increase the reliability of the transmission system, relieve congestion on the existing system, and provide additional opportunities for development of renewable projects if desired at the local level.

Southwest Power Pool’s Role
NPPD is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. The SPP conducted a study, also known as the Integrated Transmission Plan, to assess the needs of the entire transmission network with the SPP region over the next 10 years. The R-Project is one of numerous projects to come out of that study.

Additional Recommended Reading

Department of Energy awards funding for Phase II of carbon capture study for Gentleman Station, NPPD News Release

New Series of Solar Videos Created by NPPD & UNL

David Rich, Sustainable Energy Manager at Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), today shared information with Nebraskans for Solar about a new series of videos jointly developed by NPPD and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).

The series’ co-creator and presenter F. John Hay, shown in the above photo, is an Extension Educator for Biological Systems Engineering at UNL. Small wind turbines and small solar systems for home, farm, or business are among his various areas of research and teaching interests.

In 2017 Hay installed a solar PV system at his own home. He has provided many hands-on workshops in communities throughout Nebraska to teach others about solar design and installation, emphasizing the importance of starting with a good economic analysis. Last November Nebraskans for Solar hosted a presentation by Professor Hay at UNO’s Community Engagement Center on those topics.

Especially now while we are unable to enjoy sponsoring or co-sponsoring with allied organizations our own series of in-person events, we are happy to share the following videos on behalf of NPPD and UNL:

The resources are posted here on NPPD’s website. Click on “Videos”.

Courtesy Photo: F. John Hay

Judge delivers blow to controversial Sand Hills transmission line project

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — A federal judge has delivered a blow to a controversial project to extend a high-voltage, electrical transmission line through Nebraska’s Sand Hills. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Martinez revoked a federal permit that would have allowed the Nebraska Public Power District to kill or severely disturb the endangered American burying beetle as a consequence of building its R-Line project. The 225-mile, 345-kilovolt transmission line would extend from near Sutherland, northward to Thedford, and then eastward to near Clearwater. Tom Kent, the CEO of NPPD, said Thursday that the ruling will delay but not stop the project. Continue reading here.

Image Credit: NPPD

Related Articles

R-PROJECT WEBSITE

R-Project Overview
NPPD’s electric grid is an essential link to ensuring service for our customers. The R-Project will increase the reliability of the transmission system, relieve congestion on the existing system, and provide additional opportunities for development of renewable projects if desired at the local level. The first two reasons take precedence over the third as, even if no renewable energy projects ever connect to this line, it is still needed to address reliability concerns and relieve congestion.

SPP’s Role
NPPD is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. The SPP conducted a study, also known as the Integrated Transmission Plan, to assess the needs of the entire transmission network with the SPP region over the next 10 years. The R-Project is one of numerous projects to come out of that study. If NPPD did not build the R-Project, the SPP would find another entity to do so.

R-Project Website

Solar project at landfill still moving forward

By Melanie Wilkinson, Managing Editor, York News-Times

YORK – The project that will result in a solar energy facility on York’s landfill property remains underway. Craig Vincent from the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) recently met with city officials and the council to provide an update on the progress.

It is being recommended, Vincent said, that the project be awarded to GRNE Solar, which is headquartered in Lincoln. Vincent said the company’s proposal meets all requirements and they have previous solar installation experience. Vincent said NPPPD is currently doing another such project with them in northeast Nebraska. Read more here.

Photo: Kearney Solar Farm. The panels for York’s solar project will be mounted on a tracker designed racking system similar to Kearney’s.

NPPD’s Community Solar

Learn more about GRNE Solar here.

OPPD begins steps toward energy storage

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire

The pilot program will test how battery storage can integrate into OPPD’s grid, providing load relief and voltage support at the substation level. The research gleaned in the pilot will help the utility understand the procurement, construction and operations of small energy-storage applications and how to scale for potential future applications. Last summer, OPPD announced a strategic initiative to study pathways to decarbonization. The study includes emerging technologies such as battery storage. The battery project is slated to be operational by December 2021. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading & Resources

It’s Time to Incentivize Residential Heat Pumps

By Claire McKenna, Amar Shah, Mark Silberg
Rocky Mountain Institute

Heat pump technology is a particularly efficient way to heat a home, delivering two to four times more heating energy than the electricity it consumes. As of 2020, replacing a gas furnace with a heat pump will reduce carbon emissions in 46 of 48 states (99 percent of US households); all but Wyoming and Utah, which remain heavily reliant on coal-fired electricity.

Our analysis found two key reasons why a heat pump purchased today will have lower carbon emissions than a gas furnace over the 15-year appliance lifetime: (1) modern heat pumps are significantly more efficient than gas furnaces, even in cold climates; (2) the electricity sector has reached a tipping point in reducing carbon emissions. Read more here.

LOCAL INCENTIVES

Below are links to our three major utilities’ heat pump incentives. If you aren’t a customer, search your local utility company’s website for any available rebates.

Nebraska Public Power District

Omaha Public Power District 

Lincoln Electric System 

FEDERAL INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT

Geothermal heat pumps are eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC), which is 26% to the end of 2020: Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (ITC)

Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

An Open Letter on COVID-19: The Resilience of the Solar Industry

By Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA Blog Post

Alongside our members and allies, we have conducted hundreds of phone calls and video meetings with legislators at the state and federal level to talk about how COVID-19 is affecting solar companies, what policymakers can do to #SaveSolarJobs, and how this industry is poised to help rebuild the U.S. economy. There is much more work to be done — and I strongly encourage you to join us in this campaign.

We also are taking care of the day-to-day business of ensuring development and implementation of smart state policiesfighting for trade policies that do no further harm to solar and advocating fiercely for competitive markets and open access for clean energy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies to get the best possible outcomes for our industry. Read more here.

IN NEBRASKA

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

AMERICAN WIND WEEK 2020

#AmericanWindWeek 2020: Wind Builds the Future, Into The Wind, AWEA Blog
August is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start planning for #AmericanWindWeek 2020, happening August 9-15. And to get your creative juices flowing, we’re happy to announce this year’s theme: Wind Builds the Future.

JOURNALISM NETWORK

$4.7 Million Grant From Eric & Wendy Schmidt to NPR Collaborative Journalism Network, NPR News Release

All 25 public radio stations in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska serving some 63 cities will have access to content produced by the Midwest regional newsroom, which will be led by the largest public media stations in the region–KCUR in Kansas City, St. Louis Public RadioIowa Public Radio and NET in Nebraska–with NPR as the national partner.

The grant will add investigative units in California and the Midwest, enabling the regional newsrooms to provide deeper coverage of topics like government accountability, criminal justice, the environment, healthcare and rural economic development. The regional hubs will also leverage existing reporting resources by coordinating coverage of breaking news and elections across statewide news teams.

OPPD Offers New And Improved Process And Resources For Customer-Owned Generation

OPPD News Release

More and more people are showing interest in generating their own electricity through solar panels, wind turbines, or other sources. Omaha Public Power District now has a new and improved process to help them get started.

We’ve implemented a streamlined online application system, as well as resources for those considering Customer-Owned Generation, at www.oppd.com/COG.

Read more here.

NPPD NEWS RELEASE

Spencer, Wiese named to vice president positions at NPPD
Michael (Mick) Spencer was named Vice President of Energy Production and Art Wiese was named Vice President of Energy Delivery.