Tag Archives: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)

8 Days, 2 Kids, 2700 Miles, 1 Tesla — Lessons Learned From A Cross Country EV Road Trip

By Joe Wachunas, CleanTechnica

In Nebraska, we stayed in a cabin at an RV park and had access
to a 240 volt charger typically used by RVs.”

Our EV surpassed any ICE [Internal Combustion Engine] car in fueling cost and pollution reduction and came close to matching the traditional auto in how easy it was to “fill’er up.” In total, it took 41 hours of driving and 5 hours of charging to go 2,747 miles. Here are 9 “road trip” lessons we learned along the way. Read more here.

Learn more about EVs in an Earth Day Webinar devoted to electric vehicles April 22.. 

Joe Wachunas ives in Portland, Oregon, and works for the nonprofit Forth, which promotes electric transportation. He is also involved with Electrify Now because he believes that electrifying everything, from transportation to homes, is the quickest path to an equitable, clean energy future. And of course, Joe and his family live in an all-electric home and drive an EV.


PRESIDENT BIDEN’S EV INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN

 

 

 

 

MORE EV NEWS

NEBRASKA’S LARGEST UTILITIES’ EV PROGRAMS

If you receive power from another utility, check the website for EV programs and incentives.

LINKS TO MORE EV NEWS & RESOURCES

Businesses urge Biden admin to set ambitious federal climate target

By Cailin Crowe, Smart Cities Dive

A group of multinational corporations — including Apple, Microsoft and Walmart — and small to medium enterprises have signed a letter urging the Biden administration to pursue an ambitious federal climate target, or national determined contribution (NDC), that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Led by the “We Mean Business” coalition and nonprofit sustainability advocacy group Ceres, the companies that signed the letter each have business operations in the U.S. and share the goal to halve emissions over the next decade to help the country reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Read more here. 

Website Links
We Mean Business Coalition
Ceres

RELATED NEWS & RESOURCES

The Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy (ITEP) Analyses

The Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy (ITEP) is a non-profit, non-partisan tax policy organization that conducts rigorous analyses of tax and economic proposals and provides data-driven recommendations on how to shape equitable and sustainable tax systems. ITEP’s expertise and data uniquely enhance federal, state, and local policy debates by revealing how taxes affect both public revenues and people of various levels of income and wealth.

PRESIDENT BIDEN’S FY 2022 BUDGET PROPOSAL

FEATURED AMERICANS FOR A CLEAN ENERGY GRID RESOURCE

What Everyone Needs to Know about Transmission: Facts and Sources
To download the full “Facts and Sources” document, click here.

Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) is the only non-profit broad-based public interest advocacy coalition focused on the need to expand, integrate, and modernize the North American high-voltage grid. ACEG brings together the diverse support for an expanded and modernized grid from business, labor, consumer and environmental groups, and other transmission supporters to support policy which recognizes the benefits of a robust transmission grid.

NPPD’S R-PROJECT RESOURCES

Michigan solar supporters make new push to eliminate rooftop solar caps

By Tom Perkins, Energy News Network

A bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers has introduced legislation to eliminate a 1% cap on distributed energy in the state’s investor-owned utility territories. It’s the third time in recent years that such legislation has been introduced. Though utilities and their political allies have successfully blocked it to date, advocates see an opportunity with a change in state Republican caucus leadership and Michigan’s burgeoning solar industry approaching the cap in some utility territories. The bill also has support from a broad swath of legislators for reasons having to do with job creation, energy freedom and the environment. Read more here.

Photo Credit: David Marvin / Creative Commons. The Michigan Statehouse in Lansing.

Additional Recommended Reading
Commentary: To build energy resilience in Michigan, we must challenge DTE, Energy News Network

NPPD’S CURRENT RENEWABLE ENERGY LIMIT & TWO RECENT STUDIES

Kearney’s Solar Farm

Previously posted articles by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network:

  • Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler
    The city of Norfolk, Nebraska, soon will celebrate its first solar farm — and the last one allowed under a contract with its electricity wholesaler. The 8.5-megawatt community solar project is being developed in partnership with the Nebraska Public Power District, which supplies power to most of the state outside of Omaha and Lincoln. The hitch for Norfolk is that the public utility’s contracts prevent municipal customers from generating more than 10% of their peak load from alternative sources, a threshold the city expects to reach with this project. “Northeast Nebraska is the renewable energy hotbed of the state,” said Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning. “I’d much rather use clean energy that’s made in our backyard than haul it in on a coal train from Wyoming, which is the status quo in Nebraska.”
  • Nebraska utility could slash emissions at little or no added cost, studies show
    A pair of reports by independent consultants both conclude that the Nebraska Public Power District could eliminate most of its carbon emissions without having to spend significantly more than it would otherwise for power.

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA REPORT

Electrifying America’s buildings by 2050 could be like taking 65 million cars off the road
Entitled Electric Buildings: Repowering Homes and Businesses for Our Health and Environment, the study documents the benefits of electrifying the majority of buildings in America for consumers and the environment. In addition, the report ranks states by their capacity to decrease greenhouse gas emissions through building electrification.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE (RMI) REPORT

Build Back Better Homes: How to Unlock America’s Single-Family Green Mortgage Market

Residential energy efficiency reduces emissions and delivers a wealth of other societal benefits, but homeowners often lack access to low-cost financing to improve the performance of their homes. The mortgage industry is well positioned to fill this gapA new RMI report proposes practical solutions to reduce friction in originating and securitizing single-family green mortgage products. This untapped opportunity can create a new market with a total potential value of $2.2 trillion over 10 years.

RMI EVENTS

  • Decarbonizing America’s Buildings: Preparing for a Carbon-Neutral Future
    April 13: In this webinar, RMI’s Michael Gartman joins Brad Liljequist and Heath Mackay from the construction engineering firm McKinstry for a discussion on decarbonizing the buildings sector. The speakers will outline proven strategies for transitioning buildings to zero carbon in terms of both operational emissions and embodied emissions in the building’s materials.
  • Advanced Building Construction Summit
    April 28: The inaugural ABC Summit convenes experts from the public and private sectors to share insights and experiences around high-performing, decarbonized, affordable construction.

CANARY MEDIA

The Rocky Mountain Institute has launched Canary Media, independent energy journalism powered by former Greentech Media staff and David Roberts. 

Canary Media will cover the global effort to combat climate change from business, technology, and policy perspectives. Editors include Eric Wesoff, Jeff St. John, and David Roberts.

EV INFRASTRUCTURE

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE (UPS)

UPS Orders 10 Electric Vertical Takeoff & Landing Aircraft, CleanTechnica
10 BETA aircraft will be delivered in 2024, if all goes according to plan, and UPS has an option to buy up to 150 at the agreed-upon terms. Last year, UPS ordered 10,000 electric vehicles from EV startup Arrival as well.

Local governments set record for new renewable energy procurement in 2020, groups report

By Chris Teale, Smart Cities Dive

Ninety-five local governments across 33 states procured 3,683 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy generation capacity in 2020 through 143 deals, the largest amount of capacity ever added in one year, according to the latest update from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and World Resources Institute (WRI) in their Local Government Renewables Action Tracker.

The 143 transactions, a 23% increase over 2019’s levels, could generate enough electricity to power approximately 812,000 households annually, the organizations reported. Solar was the most popular renewable energy to be procured, at 79% of all deals, followed by wind at 17% and geothermal at 4%. Read more here.

Photo Credit: First Solar

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

SOLAR INSTALLER SURVEY

2020 EnergySage installer survey finds one in five solar installations nationwide included a battery, Solar Power World

EnergySage and NABCEP released the results of the sixth annual Solar Installer Survey, the largest and most comprehensive business survey of solar companies nationwide. Over 650 residential and commercial installers across the country participated in this year’s survey, which was fielded and authored by EnergySage in partnership with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

NELNET SOLAR TAX EQUITY INVESTMENT

Nelnet Renewable Energy Partners with Three Co-Investors to Complete $9.9 Million Solar Tax Equity Investment in the Northeast, Nelnet Renewable Energy, PR Newswire. Nelnet’s co-investors include Adams Bank & Trust and West Gate Bank, both of Nebraska.

OMAHA RANKS #7 AMONG GREENEST U.S. CITIES FOR RENTERS

The Greenest Cities in the U.S. for Renters, Apartment Guide

In the heart of the Great Plains, many view Omaha as a far-flung place known for quality steak, college baseball, 311 and Warren Buffett. But the diverse Nebraska city of half a million residents is a heartland oasis filled with culture, education, upscale shopping and trendy dining. And with nearly 22 percent of properties reporting green amenities, it’s the greenest city in the Midwest for renters.

LIBRARIES’ CLIMATE LITERACY PROGRAMS


How libraries are improving climate literacy in their communities,
Yale Climate Connections


The Racine Public Library is one of 25 libraries with funding from the American Library Association to offer programming about climate change.

Nebraska utility could slash emissions at little or no added cost, studies show

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Nebraska’s largest electric utility could dramatically reduce carbon emissions over the next three decades at little or no cost to ratepayers, according to a pair of recent reports prepared for the utility’s board of directors. The path — and cost — of completely eliminating emissions by midcentury, though, becomes far less certain.

The Nebraska Public Power District, which serves most of the state’s population outside the cities of Omaha and Lincoln, last year hired two firms to forecast the potential impact of federal carbon regulations. The results, by Ascend Analytics and Siemens, both conclude that the utility could significantly reduce its exposure to such policies without burdening customers with severe rate hikes. Continue reading here.

NPPD Photo: Gerald Gentleman 1,365MW coal-fired power plant in Sutherland

Also Written by Karen Uhlenhuth

Nebraska Legislation: LB483: Provide for a climate change study and action plan

Solar array keeping Hemingford powered

By Mark McCarthy, Scottsbluff Star Herald

While other municipalities in the region and across the Midwest experienced rolling blackouts during the most recent cold snap, Hemingford was able to maintain electrical service due at least in part to the village’s solar energy production. City Clerk Barb Straub said Hemingford likely avoided the blackouts due to the production.

“Our solar is scheduled to produce about 10% of the village usage,” she said. “I can’t say for certain, but that probably helped our situation so that we didn’t have to (have a disruption in power).” Read more here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

FROM NEBRASKA’S LARGEST UTILITIES

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Texas must increase ties to the national grid and DER to avoid another power catastrophe, analysts say, Utility Dive. Planning for inter-regional transmission and distributed resources could do what ERCOT’s competitive, energy-only market didn’t – keep the heat and lights on, energy advisors say.

COMMUNITY MICROGRIDS

Community Microgrids — “Cornerstone Of Future Energy Operations”, CleanTechnica
A modest description of microgrids would mention their role in energy resilience. A National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) description might go further and describe microgrids as the cornerstone of future energy operations. In either case, integration comes first, which is why the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced in 2020 that it would award $34 million to energy systems integration projects, with a portion committed to developing community microgrids.

NPPD, LES, and OPPD ask customers to conserve energy during extremely cold weather

News Releases

NPPD asking customers to voluntarily conserve energy

Columbus, Neb. – Wholesale and retail customers of Nebraska Public Power District are being asked to take steps to conserve energy use due to current and future low temperatures that are affecting the state and midwestern portion of the country.

Customers are asked to reduce any electrical usage effective immediately and through midnight, Feb. 15, and the following 48 hours to mitigate the risk of potential widespread and longer-lasting outages. The effects of widespread and extreme cold weather have led to increasingly tightening conditions in Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) service territory which NPPD is a member.

NPPD is currently operating all available generating resources to meet demand but request voluntary conservation by electric consumers.

Electric consumers can do the following to assist without putting safety at risk:

  • Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees and lower at night.
  • Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Turn off and un-plug non-essential lights and appliances, computers and printers.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
  • Business should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Do not connect a generator to your home’s electrical system. Consult a licensed electrician.
  • Do not use any grilling equipment for heat indoors. Charcoal and gas grills produce large amounts of carbon monoxide and even small amounts has potentially fatal results.

See additional energy saving tips here.

LES asks customers to voluntarily conserve energy

LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System asks customers to take steps to conserve energy in the next 48 hours due to low temperatures that are causing increased electricity and natural gas usage. The higher usage is putting a significant strain on these systems that could cause service reliability issues.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), LES’ regional reliability coordinator, has notified utilities within its regional footprint that energy curtailments may be necessary. Such reductions would be used to balance the supply and demand of electricity in the region.

To help lower the electric system load, LES asks customers to voluntarily and safely implement one or more of the following tips to help reduce their energy use during this time:

  • Lower your thermostat a few degrees or as low as is comfortable.
  • Make sure air registers are not obstructed by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Open shades and drapes on sunny sides of your home or business during daytime hours. Close them at night.
  • Keep windows tightly latched. Seal windows and external doors with weather stripping.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Avoid using a wood-burning fireplace for supplemental heating, as it pulls hot air out of a home through the chimney to fuel the fire.
  • Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers until the demand for electricity decreases.
  • Turn down the temperature setting of your water heater.
  • Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
  • Look for other opportunities in your home or business to reduce the use of electricity and natural gas during this short period.

For additional information on ways to conserve energy, see these energy-saving tips.

As Temperatures Dip, OPPD Asks Customers To Conserve Energy

Omaha Public Power District asks customers to conserve energy due to the extremely cold weather we are experiencing now and over the next couple of days. The bitter cold temperatures have increased demand for energy across the Plains region, even south into Texas and Oklahoma. Much as it does in summer, high demand can put additional strain on our system. We are seeing similar effects now, only this time with record cold instead of heat.

Customers can help by taking steps to reduce our service territory’s peak energy load and help balance supply and demand in the energy market.

  • Lower your thermostat a few degrees and dress more warmly or use additional blankets to stay comfortable, instead. You can reduce your energy usage by 1-3% for each degree.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Use dampers on the ductwork to balance the airflow in your home if one room is colder or warmer than another. Closing registers should be a last resort if dampers are not available.
  • Do not use a wood-burning fireplace for supplemental heating, as it pulls hot air out of a home through the chimney in order to fuel the fire.
  • Seal windows and external doors with weather stripping.
  • Avoid washing and drying clothing or running dishwashers during the coldest parts of the day – typically late night and early morning.
  • Avoid “phantom” power loss:
    • Switch desktop computers and monitors to sleep mode when not in use.
    • Shut computer monitors off when not in use.
    • Do not just turn off electronics like televisions, DVD, Blu-Ray players, or cable boxes when not in use. Unplug them if possible.
    • A central power strip enables you to turn off multiple devices at once.

For more energy conservation information, including guidance on reducing energy for each room in your home, to an energy usage calculator, and other tips, click here. You will also find a video library to walk you through ways to make your home more energy efficient, step by step.

KETV Video

OPPD CEO Tim Burke answers questions about the utility’s planned outages that began about midday today: Power companies begin forced outages as bitter temperatures push electric infrastructure to the limit

Wind Energy Tops Coal, Natural Gas in Southwest Power Pool

By Michael Bates, North American Windpower

In 2020, Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional transmission organization, became the first grid operator to have wind as its number-one fuel source – outpacing the integration of coal and natural gas. “Maintaining reliability with this large amount of wind is extraordinary,” says Barbara Sugg, president and CEO of SPP. Read more here.

Image Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

AI & MORE EFFICIENT SOLAR POWER PLANTS 

Making solar power more efficient, Case Western Reserve University News Release, Newswise
CLEVELAND–Case Western Reserve University computer scientists and energy technology experts are teaming up to leverage the diagnostic power of artificial intelligence (AI) to make solar-power plants more efficient. The work, funded by a three-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is part of a broad $130 million solar-technologies initiative announced by the DOE in 2020—including $7.3 million specifically for machine-learning solutions and other AI for solar applications. 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Biden administration will replace the entire federal vehicle fleet with EVs, CNET

The current federal vehicle fleet is estimated at
around 645,000 vehicles, and President Biden plans to replace all of them with American-made electric vehicles. The American-made part of this is essential because the announcement was part of Biden’s “Made In America” executive order, which is set to redirect a sizable portion of the government’s spending to American businesses and on American-made products.

Nebraska’s Largest Utilities’ EV Programs & Incentives
Interested in purchasing an electric vehicle or charger? Click a link, below, if you are a customer of one of Nebraska’s largest utilities and want to learn more about their EV programs and incentives, or check your local utility’s website for any available resources.

Monolith Seeking 2 Million Megawatt-Hours of Renewable Energy Annually for Planned Expansion

Monolith Materials News Release, PR Newswire

LINCOLN, Nebraska — To facilitate the proposed $1 billion expansion of its Olive Creek facility, Monolith Materials, Inc. (Monolith) and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) signed a letter-of-intent to procure enough renewable energy resources to generate two million megawatt-hours annually. NPPD will secure the generation resources and power to the facility [which] will be delivered by Norris Public Power District, a wholesale customer of NPPD.

“Renewable electricity is the primary input to our proprietary process,” said Rob Hanson, co-founder and chief executive officer of Monolith. “While affordability and reliability are key business considerations, the sustainability of our power supply is also a critical factor for Monolith. We use this renewable electricity to sustainably make essential products for the automotive, industrial and agriculture sectors.” Continue reading here.

The Monolith Process – Posted on the company’s website:
Hydrogen is conventionally produced by steam reforming natural gas or coal, a process that emits roughly 10 T of CO2 for every T of hydrogen. Conventional carbon black is produced by burning decant oil or coal tar, releasing over 2 T of CO2 per T of carbon black. At Monolith, we have developed and perfected a new technology that uses renewable electricity to convert natural gas into carbon black and hydrogen

Additional Recommended Reading 

Previously Posted Article by Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

NPPD won’t use hydrogen from Monolith
“The economics just didn’t pan out,” said Rob Hanson, Monolith’s CEO. He said the company and NPPD spent two years and about $2 million trying to convert one of the Sheldon Station units to use hydrogen and just couldn’t make it financially feasible.

Photo: The first phase of the Monolith project, Olive Creek 1 production facility near Hallam and south of NPPD’s Sheldon Station.

Smaller clean energy partnerships may pave way to LES decarbonization

By Riley Johnson, Lincoln Journal Star

Following a decade of expanded investment in wind energy and other renewable energy and the termination of a partnership with a local coal plant, Lincoln Electric System has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions within the next 20 years. LES Board members on Nov. 20 elected the goal following a yearlong study of the issue and surveys of local stakeholders, including the business community. The goal sets the benchmark of offsetting the 2011 utility’s emission levels as part of an effort to reduce its impact on the climate. Continue reading here.

LES Generation Resources

Featured Resource: SEPA Utility Carbon Reduction Tracker

 

 

New commitments from Lincoln Electric System and Portland General Electric.
Keep track of all publicly announced utility commitments to carbon or emission reduction.

  • 61 Utilities across the United States have publicly stated carbon or emission reduction goals.
  • 36 Utilities have goals of carbon-free or net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • 78% Of utilities with goals of carbon-free or net-zero emissions by 2050 are SEPA members.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Inside Clean Energy: The Energy Transition Comes to Nebraska, by Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News. Lincoln Electric System is the second large utility in Nebraska to approve a net-zero emissions goal, as the state reaps the benefits of wind power. Scott Benson, manager of resource and transmission planning for Lincoln Electric, told me that his utility’s new goal is a big deal because it is a more aggressive timetable than that of many other utilities across the country. But the net-zero goal is also not a big deal, he said, because Lincoln Electric was moving in this direction regardless.
  • Tri Global Energy Dominates U.S. Wind Production in Q3, Helps Texas Retain Top Ranking Nationally, Tri Global News Release, PR Newswire. Tri Global Energy, a leading privately held renewable energy developer, dominated U.S. wind production in development for the third quarter of 2020, with a total of 1,657 MW, which exceeds total wind power in development in 47 individual U.S. states. 
  • Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
    Scroll down to wind energy projects in development: Tri Global Energy is planning to develop a 100–megawatt wind farm, which will be named the Sugar Loaf Wind Farm in Garden County.
  • Vail Resorts makes progress toward EpicPromise goals with renewable energy and waste diversion, Summit Daily. Vail Resorts’ 2019-20 EpicPromise Progress Report was released Tuesday, Dec. 1, and shows movement toward the company’s goal of reaching a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Two renewable energy projects the company is participating in — the Plum Creek Wind project and the Elektron Solar project — mean 93% of Vail Resorts’ electric usage will be renewable by 2023. Nebraska’s Plum Creek Wind Farm
  • Another wind project in Wayne County: Ørsted starts construction of 298 MW Nebraska wind project, Ørsted News Release, October 28, 2020. Ørsted continues to expand its footprint in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) via the acquisition and final investment decision of the 298 MW Haystack Wind project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Situated adjacent to Ørsted’s 230 MW Plum Creek wind farm, Haystack will utilize existing interconnection infrastructure in SPP North. Haystack is expected to come online in fourth quarter 2021, adding further diversity to Ørsted’s portfolio of onshore wind, solar PV, and energy storage across Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast US.

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION ARTICLES