Tag Archives: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)

Biden Revives ‘Clean Energy’ Program With $1B Loan Guarantee

By Matthew Daly, Associated Press
U.S. News & World Report

The Energy Department said it would guarantee up to $1 billion in loans to help a Nebraska company scale up production of “clean” hydrogen to convert natural gas into commercial products used in manufacturing and agriculture.

The revived loan program is part of President Joe Biden’s efforts to slash planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, amid legislative gridlock that has stalled a $2 trillion package of social and environmental initiatives. It’s among the tools he can use without new legislation. Read more here.

Research paper Daly references in the article, published by Energy Science & Engineering:
How green is blue hydrogen?,
by Robert W. Howarth and Mark Z. Jacobson


Loan Programs Office (LPO)
LPO has more than $40 billion in loans and loan guarantees available to help deploy large-scale energy infrastructure projects in the United States. Over the past decade, LPO has closed more than $30 billion of deals across a variety of energy sectors.


Previously Posted

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S HYDROGEN SHOT

The Department of Energy’s first Energy Earthshot, launched June 7, 2021—Hydrogen Shot—seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade.

The Hydrogen Shot establishes a framework and foundation for clean hydrogen deployment in the American Jobs Plan, which includes support for demonstration projects. Industries are beginning to implement clean hydrogen to reduce emissions, yet many hurdles remain to deploying it at scale.

Achieving the Hydrogen Shot’s 80% cost reduction goal can unlock new markets for hydrogen, including steel manufacturing, clean ammonia, energy storage, and heavy-duty trucks. This would create more clean energy jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and position America to compete in the clean energy market on a global scale. These efforts would ensure that environmental protection and benefits for local communities are a priority.

GREEN HYDROGEN NEWS

Here’s why one solar industry veteran is betting big on clean hydrogen, CNBC


Raffi Garabedian
 spent a dozen years developing solar panel technology at First Solar, a photovoltaics company that currently has a market value around $8 billion. The technologist then went on to co-found clean hydrogen start-up Electric Hydrogen, which he’s currently building out as its CEO.

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Races to Deploy Clean Energy that Creates Jobs and Lowers Costs

The White House Briefing Room, January 12, 2022

New Actions Advance Offshore Wind, Leverage Public Lands for Clean Energy, and
Build the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Transmission Lines

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is making major leaps forward on wind, solar, transmission, and other clean energy projects to create high-quality jobs and deliver affordable, carbon pollution-free electricity across the country. Seven federal agencies are announcing clean energy projects and plans that demonstrate the Administration’s unwavering commitment to creating cleaner and cheaper energy, and the actions showcase President Biden’s unprecedented coordination activating the entire government to fight climate change, produce good-paying, union jobs, and accelerate America’s clean energy economy. These actions include: Read more here.

RELATED READING

NPPD NEWS RELEASE

Jerry Chlopek elected NPPD Board Chair for 2022

Columbus, Neb. – Jerry Chlopek of Columbus was elected as Chair of Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) Board of Directors for 2022 following that body’s annual election of officers Wednesday in Columbus.

Also elected were Melissa Freelend of Kearney as first vice chair, Ed Schrock of Holdrege/Elm Creek as second vice chair, and Wayne Williams as secretary. NPPD Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Laura Kapustka was elected treasurer.

FROM OPPD THE WIRE

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Titan Solar Power is now the national installer for Go Solar Group

By Staff at Solar Builder Magazine

Go Solar Group inked a deal with Titan Solar Power to be its national installation team. Founded in Utah, Go Solar Group has expanded from its sole Salt Lake City office to include brick-and-mortar commercial and residential solar installation crews to Reno, Nevada; San Antonio, Texas; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Go Solar Group’s installation partnership with Titan Solar Power expands its solar installation access to Arizona, Colorado, Florida, California, Missouri, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. In 2022, Titan Solar Power plans to expand its installation reach to include Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Alabama, which will also further expand Go Solar Group’s installation outreach. Read more here. 

WORLD’S FIRST NAILABLE SOLAR SHINGLE

GAF Energy Launches Game-Changing Solar Roof to Power Mass Adoption of Clean Energy

This new system incorporates the world’s first nailable solar shingle, the Timberline Solar Energy Shingle™ (ES), which will be assembled domestically at GAF Energy’s manufacturing and R&D facility in San Jose, California—creating American jobs and delivering a revolutionary product with the potential to drive a seismic shift in residential clean energy adoption.

NFS Note: We emailed the company to ask if the GAF Energy solar roof is available in Nebraska. GAF’s reply: “We are not currently serving your area, but we are expanding across the US quickly. We hope to offer clean, renewable energy where you live soon. Our team is hard at work expanding our services and we hope to serve Nebraska customers in the future. So, please stay in touch! Check out our blog for the latest on what’s happening at GAF Energy and in solar.”

GOODYEAR NEWS RELEASES

Goodyear Develops 70% Sustainable Materials Tire With Industry-Leading Innovations


Goodyear’s new tire features three different carbon blacks that are produced from methane, carbon dioxide, and plant-based oil. Initial life cycle assessments demonstrate either reduced carbon emissions compared with current methods of carbon black production or the use of bio-based or waste feedstock sources.

Previously Posted: Goodyear Collaborates With Monolith On Carbon Black; Initial Testing Demonstrates Reduced Emissions

MORE ON MONOLITH MATERIALS


Turquoise hydrogen leader awarded $1bn US government loan to expand commercial facilities tenfold, Recharge News
Neither Monolith nor the Department of Energy (DOE) has explained the exact conditions that must be met for the 20-year loan to be finalized, but the announcement suggests that both are confident it will go ahead.


Fitch Rates Nebraska Public Power District’s General Revs ‘A+’; Outlook Stable
Scroll down to “New Large Customer” for a statement on Monolith Materials.

Open For Business: LPO Issues New Conditional Commitment for Loan Guarantee

By Jigar Shaw, Director of DOE’s Loan Programs Office

The improved U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) is open for business and ready to build on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s support for the deployment of clean energy.  

LPO has made substantial changes to improve the program that has now attracted more than 66 loan and loan guarantee applications, valued at more than $53 billion in clean energy and advanced vehicle technology projects. The recently-enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expanded LPO’s loan authority and broadened the pool of eligible borrowers for the program.  Continue reading here.

Image: A depiction of Monolith Nebraska LLC’s hydrogen facility in Hallam, Nebraska
Credit: Monolith

MORE ON MONOLITH MATERIALS

“As the leader in wind and solar energy, and as an investor in Monolith, NextEra Energy Resources is encouraged by the U.S. Department of Energy’s conditional approval of Monolith’s loan application,” said John Ketchum, president and chief executive officer, NextEra Energy Resources. “Monolith’s clean hydrogen production process is powered by locally-produced renewable electricity and represents a significant advancement to support cost-effective decarbonization of multiple sectors of the U.S. economy.”

Spokespeople from Monolith told E&E News that its pyrolysis process could reduce carbon emissions to about 0.45 kilogram, for every 1 kilogram of hydrogen — assuming it was all powered by 100 percent renewable electricity. That’s within the definition for “clean” hydrogen established by the bipartisan infrastructure law, which sets a 2-kilogram CO2 limit. Monolith did not provide an estimate, however, of how much nitrogen oxides and other local pollutants would be emitted through its hydrogen and carbon black production. Carbon black companies have long been major emitters of NOx, sulfur oxides and particulate matter. DOE told E&E News that NOx and other emissions from Monolith’s existing facility in Nebraska would be regulated by the state and county, as the plant was not considered a major source of hazardous emissions under the Clean Air Act.

A total of 28 different companies provided responses for a mix of wind, solar, storage and clean energy products. This included 21 wind projects totaling nearly 4,000 megawatts, 33 projects for solar amounting to approximately 5,800 megawatts, and electric storage projects amounting to 2,200 megawatts.The majority of proposals provided locations within Nebraska.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S HYDROGEN SHOT

The first Energy Earthshot, launched June 7, 2021—Hydrogen Shot—seeks to reduce the
cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade (“1 1 1”).

The Hydrogen Shot establishes a framework and foundation for clean hydrogen deployment in the American Jobs Plan, which includes support for demonstration projects. Industries are beginning to implement clean hydrogen to reduce emissions, yet many hurdles remain to deploying it at scale.

Achieving the Hydrogen Shot’s 80% cost reduction goal can unlock new markets for hydrogen, including steel manufacturing, clean ammonia, energy storage, and heavy-duty trucks. This would create more clean energy jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and position America to compete in the clean energy market on a global scale. These efforts would ensure that environmental protection and benefits for local communities are a priority.

Ogallala, Nebraska Public Power announce ‘community solar farm’ project

By Todd Von Kampen,  Scottsbluff Star-Herald

The city of Ogallala and Nebraska Public Power District are poised to make the Keith County seat NPPD’s seventh retail town with a “community solar farm.” The Ogallala City Council Dec. 14 approved buying 13.53 acres south of Country View Campgrounds where solar panels will be installed, Interim City Manager Jane Skinner said last week.

The project should allow the city to cut its NPPD power bills and allow Ogallala residents to do likewise by subscribing for shares, said Pat Hanrahan, the district’s general manager for retail services. Ogallala is one of 79 Nebraska cities and villages where NPPD both sells and delivers electricity. North Platte buys its power from NPPD but distributes it to residents and businesses through city-owned Municipal Light & Water. Read more here.

Links to Additional Information

Photo: Kearney Solar Farm

GRAND ISLAND SENIOR HIGH

Grand Island Public offers ‘pathway’ to a greener world, by Jessica Votipka, Grand Island Independent

“I have a team of students who are designing and building solar phone charge stations for the new Stolley Park Community Gardens. We are hoping to finalize them and install them in March, but the solar panels themselves have been made already.” – Alex Kemnitz, alternative energy and robotics teacher. Next semester Alternative Energy Pathway students are going to do an energy audit on Newell Elementary School, to identify find out how to remedy any energy efficiency weakness, he said. 

Click the following link to learn more about the Academies of Grand Island Senior High.

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS

Key minerals discovered in Nebraska, but challenges loom, by Josh Funk, The Associated Press, York Dispatch

The Biden administration made rare earth elements a focus of its supply chain review earlier this year and is investigating the national security implications of relying so heavily on imports. A task force is planned to identify U.S. sites for production. The new $1 trillion infrastructure plan that provides incentives for electrical vehicles and wind power is expected to boost demand for critical minerals.

Previously Posted

Department of Natural Resources awarded grant for initiative to assess rare earth elements, critical minerals, The Missouri Times

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A partnership between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the University of Kansas will receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the feasibility of recovering critical minerals from coal and associated strata in the Cherokee-Forest City Basin, which encompasses Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and the Osage Nation. The Department of Energy’s Carbon Ore, Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Initiative is a $19 million nationwide effort to assess rare earth elements and critical minerals in fossil fuel-producing areas.

DOE Awards $19 Million for Initiatives to Produce Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals, Department of Energy News Release 

“The very same fossil fuel communities that have powered our nation for decades can be at the forefront of the clean energy economy by producing the critical minerals needed to build electric vehicles, wind turbines, and so much more,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “By building clean energy products here at home, we’re securing the supply chain for the innovative solutions needed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – all while creating good-paying jobs in all parts of America.” 

Production of rare earth elements and critical minerals, which serve as key components to several clean energy applications such as magnets in wind turbines and batteries in electric and conventional vehicles, is a prime example of how DOE is supporting regional economic growth and job creation in regions traditionally home to the fossil fuel industry.

See Also:

Renewable energy company moves ahead with massive solar farm on Bill Gates-owned land

By Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch

A renewable energy company is moving ahead with plans to develop one of the largest solar farms in the U.S. in Madison County that includes land owned by Bill Gates. The 10,000-acre solar farm would be built north of London near Plumwood and would cost at least $1 billion to build. 

Property records don’t directly link Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft, to the 6,300 acres. County records show Midwest Farms LLC of Monterey, Louisiana, is the actual owner of the farmland in Union, Deer Creek, Monroe and Somerford townships that belongs to Gates. The announcement of Oak Run marks another step in the surge of solar farms in Ohio with more than 40 farms in some stage of development. Amazon alone is behind 16 of the projects. Read more here.

Related News Stories

MONOLITH NEWS

Monolith to collaborate with Goodyear on carbon black for its tire production; methane pyrolysis, by Mike Milligan, founder and editor of Green Car Congress

Monolith, a leader in clean carbon black production, signed a collaboration agreement and letter of intent (LOI) with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, one of the world’s largest tire companies. As part of the agreements, Monolith expects to collaborate with Goodyear on the development and potential use of clean carbon black produced at its expanding Olive Creek facility in Hallam, Nebraska.

About The Monolith Process – Posted on the company’s website:
Through its proprietary technology, Monolith has perfected methane pyrolysis, which uses 100% renewable electricity to convert traditional or renewable natural gas or renewable biogas into Clean Hydrogen and carbon (for use in clean carbon black). This clean, sustainable process produces zero local emissions and significantly reduces life-cycle emissions by 96%.

 Previously Posted 

Groundwater Needs of Monolith & NPPD’s Sheldon Station 

  • Clean power agreement could spur $1.2 billion in wind, solar energy projects in Nebraska, Omaha World-Herald, January 4, 2021. Updated February 11, 2021.
    [Monolith CEO Rob Hanson] said that the water-use projections of Monolith are now being reviewed by the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District. He said he hopes approval comes in the next couple of months.
  • Groundwater needs raise concerns about $100 million-plus manufacturing plant near Lincoln, Omaha World-Herald, July 29, 2020
    Groundwater is a big deal in Nebraska; it’s used to water more than 8 million acres of cropland across the state, used for drinking water by municipalities and used for various industrial purposes. “It’s a big concern,” Gary Vocasek, the chairman of the Hallam Village Board, told the Voice News a week ago. The village of 213 draws 11 million gallons of groundwater a year. Mark Becker, a spokesman for NPPD, said the big water request by Monolith also caught them off guard and will require some study to see how it might impact the water needs of the Sheldon Station, which pumps about 500 million gallons of water a year.
  • Lower Platte South NRD Approves Monolith Wells, with Conditions, July 1, 2021
    In its well permit applications, Monolith estimates the three wells will pump a combined 420 million gallons of water annually to be used primarily for cooling purposes in its carbon black manufacturing process and in the production of anhydrous fertilizer.

EPA NEWS RELEASE

EPA Announces Appointment of Meg McCollister as Regional Administrator for EPA Region 7


LENEXA, KAN. (DEC. 9, 2021) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced that President Biden will appoint Meg McCollister to become EPA’s Regional Administrator for Region 7. McCollister will lead the implementation of the Biden-Harris environmental agenda in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and nine tribal nations.

Nebraska Public Power District approves net-zero carbon by 2050 Goal

Rural Radio, December 9, 2021

Nearly every Nebraskan now receives electricity from
a utility committed to carbon neutrality.

COLUMBUS – By a 9-2 vote today, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Board of Directors adopted a decarbonization goal of net-zero carbon by 2050. Nebraska Conservation Voters (NCV), a statewide organization that advocates for policies to protect the environment for future generations, applauded today’s vote:

NCV’s Deputy Director, Chelsea Johnson, said: “NPPD’s vote is pro-growth, pro-economic development, pro-jobs, pro-opportunity, and pro-clean air and water. Setting a decarbonization goal signals commitment to all of these principles, so it makes sense that the NPPD Board adopted this policy and that Nebraskans are behind them.” Continue reading here.

NPPD Board of Directors

Work continues on Norfolk solar project

GenPro Energy Solutions News Release
News Channel Nebraska

Commercial operation is anticipated to be achieved in the spring of 2022.

NORFOLK, Neb. — Construction work is continuing on Norfolk’s first solar farm, an 8.5 megawatt solar unit, located on land at the city’s well field on Highway West 275. Last year, it was announced Norfolk will be part of Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) SunWise Community Solar program.

“We’re excited to offer this power option to citizens,” said Mayor Josh Moenning. “Solar costs have declined significantly in the last 10 years, making this energy accessible at a very competitive rate. This project, paired with a battery storage system that will help us efficiently manage distribution, will be the largest of its kind in the state.” Read more here. 

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program
GenPro’s Current Employment Opportunities

SoCore Energy Photo: Kearney’s 5.7-megawatt solar farm on 53 acres of the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing. 

Previously Posted 

Also of Potential Interest

Previously posted Energy News Network article discusses NPPD’s decarbonization limits for Nebraska communities that source wholesale power from the utility and South Sioux City’s independent path to 100% renewable energy:

  • 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.”
  • NPPD’s Wholesale Power Contracts
    Wholesale energy sales are made to 60 entities under wholesale power contracts that terminate on Jan. 1, 2036 and to 10 other entities with wholesale power contracts that terminate on Dec. 31, 2021. The 10 wholesale customers that did not sign the 2016 contract provided the notice required under their existing 2002 contracts, and began in 2017 to reduce their purchases to 0% over a five-year period.  Source: Fitch Rates Nebraska Public Power District’s General Revs ‘A+’; Outlook Stable

Additional Resources

Wayne State Green Team writes letters in support of carbon neutrality

By Collin Hain, Wayne Stater

On Nov. 10 Nebraska politicians will vote on moving towards carbon neutrality and why clean energy is important for Nebraska, which the Wayne State Green Team encouraged by writing letters in support. Laura Dendinger, the faculty sponsor, said it is an all-campus group that is available for anyone to join.

“We are committed to environmental issues and sustainability, we have some social activities as well as plant related activities,” Dendinger said. “We also cover and address different issues in the news.” The actual event that took place last Thursday was put on by Lauren White, a junior, that has been the event planner for the Green Team for the past three years. Continue reading here.

NEBRASKA CONSERVATION VOTERS PETITION

 NPPD Board Meeting: November 10, 2021 at 8 a.m.

The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is considering setting a net zero carbon goal, but they won’t do it unless they hear from you! If you haven’t already, sign the petition today to ask Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) to commit to a clean energy future. 

We are the only 100% public power state in the country, so your voice makes a big difference. If you have already signed the petition and would like to know how else you can help, please fill out our volunteer form. – Chelsea Johnson, Deputy Director, Nebraska Conservation Voters

SUSTAIN UNL EVENT

Nebraska Climate Strike, November 19, 2021
Beginning at 3pm, Nebraska Union, 1400 R Street

About Sustain UNL
We are an aggregate of students from diverse backgrounds who have come together to create a sustainable world through activism, education, and service-engagement. Our core values of Integrity, Community, Growth, Diligence, and Empathy guide us in our Sustain initiatives and in our daily lives. We work to promote social, economic, and environmental sustainability on campus and in the Lincoln community through hosting events, running campaigns, and collaborations. Most importantly, we stand with open arms to anyone who is looking for a place on campus where they can be surrounded by wonderful, passionate people that have a dream to ensure a livable future for everyone on Earth. Contact: sustainunl@gmail.com

LOCAL MODEL OF COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING 

LB357 funds continue to enhance school, city infrastructure and recreation, York News-Times
In November of 2014, residents of York approved a ½ cent sales tax for community infrastructure and recreation. Prior to the election, the City of York and the York Public School District entered an interlocal agreement to form the York Community Infrastructure and Recreation Committee, commonly referred to as the LB 357 committee.

LB357: Passed over Governor Dave Heineman’s veto on April 18, 2012.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

TRI GLOBAL NEWS

Tri Global Energy CEO Named Renewable Energy Executive Of The Year, Tri Global News Release, PR Newswire

John B. Billingsley, Chairman and CEO of Dallas-based Tri Global Energy, has been named Renewable Energy Executive of the Year by D CEO magazine as part of their annual Energy Awards. The awards honor excellence and innovation in oil and gas from North Texas to the Permian Basin, and for the first time, the 2021 awards included the category of renewable energy. 

About Tri Global Energy
We are developers of sustainable energy. Tri Global Energy’s mission is to improve communities through local economic development generated by originating and commercializing renewable energy and storage projects. The company currently originates and develops utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Tri Global Energy’s headquarters is in Dallas with regional development offices in Lubbock, Texas; El Paso and Forreston, Illinois; and Reynolds and Hartford City, Indiana.  For more information, visit www.triglobalenergy.com

Under Development in Nebraska: 100 MW Sugarloaf Wind Project in Garden County

SALT CREEK SOLAR

Big Solar Farm Proposal Near Lincoln Advancing, Nebraska Public Media
This week, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission held an eight-hour hearing on whether to approve permits for the proposal. The Planning Commission is expected to revote on the county portion of the permit Nov. 17. Its decisions can be appealed to the county board and city council.

Previously Posted: Nebraska’s largest solar farm planned east of Lincoln is looking to clear final zoning hurdles, Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska’s largest solar farm planned east of Lincoln is looking to clear final zoning hurdles

By Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

[Sean Harris, vice president of development], said Ranger Power chose the spot outside of Lincoln for several reasons. Among them are that it’s close to an existing substation, which means any power generated can easily be transported to the electrical grid, and that it’s also close to the large population centers of Lincoln and Omaha. Read more here.

Image: Virginia pollinator-friendly solar farm with tree screening surrounding it.

  • Read more about the project hereSalt Creek Solar, Ranger Power
  • Public Meeting Scheduled Today
    Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission Meeting, October 27, 2021, 1 to 4 pm, County/City Building, 555 S. 10th Street, City Council Chambers

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

70 Public Power Utilities Earn Smart Energy Provider Designation, by Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

Designees include Lincoln Electric System (2021), Nebraska Public
Power District (2021). Omaha Public Power District (2020).

Seventy public power utilities have earned a Smart Energy Provider (SEP) designation from the American Public Power Association. The designations were presented on October 26 during APPA’s Customer Connections Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Smart Energy Provider Program Designees