Tag Archives: Nebraska Public Power District

Community solar report delivered

By Kerri Rempp, The Chadron Record – Rapid City Journal

This map shows two possible plots of land where a community solar farm could be installed.

After a year of studying the issue, the Chadron City Council could decide soon if the city should take the next step to seriously consider a community solar project. Council members were
given an update and recommendation from the committee researching the possibility Monday.

Nebraska Public Power District alerted Chadron to the opportunity for a community solar project in October 2017, and because there seemed to be a positive response to the idea, a committee was formed to study the feasibility of such a project in January last year.
Continue reading here.

Draft Document: Questions & Answers: SunWise Community Solar Program, City of Chadron and NPPD

NPPD’s SunWise Program
If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to learn more about developing a SunWise project in your community, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form to NPPD.

On-and-Off Wind and Solar Power Pushing Coal Plants to the Brink

By Chris Martin, Bloomberg

Nebraska Gentleman coal plant output slipped to 15% in April.

The Gentleman coal plant was once the linchpin of Nebraska’s electricity grid, its twin smokestacks visible for miles across the prairie. Now, the state’s biggest power source is routinely pushed aside to make room for more wind and solar energy.

Operators ramp it down and then bring it back up again, often on a daily basis. That’s not how coal-fired power plants are supposed to be used — they respond more like oil tankers than speed boats — and the stress is taking a toll on the aging equipment. Read more here.

Photo: The Gerald Gentleman Station in Nebraska. Source: Nebraska Public Power District
“These plants were designed to run at, or near, full capacity,” Mick Spencer, a plant manager for Nebraska Public Power District, which operates the Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland, Nebraska. “We aren’t doing that much anymore.”

NextEra Energy Partners, LP announces agreement to acquire approximately 1,388 megawatts of contracted renewables projects and enters into a $750 million convertible equity portfolio financing

NextEra News Release

JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE : NEP ) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to acquire a geographically diverse portfolio of 11 wind and solar projects, collectively consisting of approximately 1,388 megawatts (MW) . . . The assets include the Cottonwood Wind Energy Center, a 90-MW wind generation plant in Webster County, Nebraska. Read the entire release here.

Pixabay Photo

Additional Recommended Reading

  • NextEra’s Sholes Wind Energy Center project in northern Wayne County near the village of Sholes, 160 megawatts, will be completed in 2018. Omaha World-Herald news story:
    OPPD partner’s wind power project will continue utility’s renewable energy growth
    Once opened, it would boost OPPD’s amount of wind-generated electricity to 971 megawatts, OPPD says. That’s enough to power about 125,000 homes.
    The NextEra project is OPPD’s third-largest contract for wind power, behind the 400 megawatts the utility buys from Grande Prairie wind farm in Holt County and the 200 megawatts from the Prairie Breeze project in Antelope County. OPPD is also working with NextEra on building its first community solar power array, a 5-megawatt facility being built near Fort Calhoun.
  • NPPD Wind Generation: NextEra’s first Nebraska wind project was the Steele Flats Wind Farm near the Kansas Border in Jefferson and Gage Counties, 75 megawatts, which began commercial operation in 2013.
  • Utility Dive: NextEra’s renewables backlog grows to 7.4 GW as customers anticipate lower costs
    The influx of new signed contracts show confidence in lower prices of renewables products. ​NextEra, whose batteries have added $0.015/kWh to the cost of wind and solar projects built in the last six to 12 months, anticipates storage costs to fall to $0.005/kWh for projects paired with renewable energy in 2025.
  • PV Magazine USA: 

NextEra expects storage to add half a cent to solar in mid-2020’s

Trump order on coal, nuclear power could force Nebraska, Iowa utilities to raise rates

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

Many utilities, including local ones, have committed millions of dollars to wind and solar projects, signing contracts with significant penalties if broken. Utilities also belong to regional groupings that require certain levels of production. “The bottom line of what it would do is increase our prices,” said Anne McGuire, vice chair of the Omaha Public Power District board. “We would have to increase our rates, which we wouldn’t be too happy about.” The president on June 1 ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to boost struggling coal and nuclear plants. Read the entire article here.

Omaha World-Herald print title: Utilities wary of possible requirement to use more coal, nuclear power

Photo Courtesy of Lincoln Electric System: OPPD is planning to build a solar array near Fort Calhoun similar in size to Lincoln Electric System’s SunShares 5-megawatt Solar Farm.

RELATED READING

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

With more solar and wind, North America’s grid is getting more reliable

Saving the monarch of the prairie

By Jason Kuiper and Joe Comstock, The Wire, OPPD Blog
June 18 is National Pollinator Week

In April and May, groups of volunteers from OPPD helped spread seed mix at a “Prairie in Progress” site being restored near the utility’s Nebraska City Station (NCS). At the OPPD Arboretum in the heart of Omaha, 2,000 pollinator plant plugs were also installed for a pollinator garden. OPPD is also restoring parcels of land at the decommissioning Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station (FCS). Along with habitat being planted at NCS and the plugs at the OPPD Arboretum, others restorations are planned on OPPD-owned land near 142nd and State streets and an additional 70-acres of prairie land at FCS. In all, OPPD plans on converting 260 acres into natural butterfly habitat but will continue looking at other locations that could also be converted into prairie beyond what has already been identified. The project is a joint effort between OPPD’s Environmental Affairs and Facilities Operation & Maintenance departments and the Save Our Monarchs Foundation. Read the entire article here.

Save Our Monarchs Foundation

Creative Commons Stock Photo

Editorial: OPPD’s solar-shares program may stir customer interest

Omaha World-Herald Editorial Staff

Many Nebraskans say increased use of renewable energy needs to be a priority for our state and nation. Omaha Public Power District, in response, is about to promote solar power via sales of shares to customers. Continue reading here.

Photo: Lincoln Electric System’s SunShares Solar Farm. Courtesy of LES

Also Published by the Omaha World-Herald
OPPD customers will soon be able to buy shares of solar power, by Aaron Sanderford

OPPD’s Solar Shares Program

OPPD has posted information on their website about the Solar-Shares Program, including background information, program highlights, and information on how a participant’s monthly solar charge will be calculated.

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar

SunWise is a community solar program available in participating Nebraska Public Power District retail communities. Eligible customers have the opportunity to use solar energy to partially power their homes and businesses without the need to invest in a rooftop or home-based system.

  • Current Participating Communities
    Venango – fully subscribed
    Scottsbluff – Pilot project fully subscribed. NPPD and the City of Scottsbluff are now working on a 5-megawatt project. 
    Kearney – shares available
    Kearney Community Solar Q&A
  • Customers living in other communities served by NPPD may request community solar for their town or city by submitting the online form available at the link, below. NPPD serves 80 communities throughout Nebraska.
    Request community solar in your community.

LES SunShares

Generating 5 megawatts of solar energy, the LES community solar facility is the largest and first utility-scale solar installation in Nebraska, as well as one of the largest in the region.

The project was developed by Enerparc, and LES contracted for all energy produced by the facility. The installation, located at Northwest 75th and West Holdrege streets, uses 15,333 solar panels to produce enough energy to power 900 typical homes in Lincoln. Enerparc began construction in March 2016, and the solar facility went online in June 2016. At the time of its completion, over 1,200 residential and business customers voluntarily contributed funds through the LES SunShares program to help support a portion of the facility.
Businesses enrolled in LES SunShares
LES Community Solar Facility
LES Community Solar Brochure
Lincoln Electric System’s Sustainable Energy Program

Links to more Nebraska communities’ completed solar projects or plans, and general community solar information sources are available here:
Resources For Nebraska Communities Considering A Community Solar Project

NPPD launches pilot EV charging station incentive program

Nebraska Public Power District, in partnership with its wholesale utility customers, has a need to understand the future impact of electric vehicle charging on the electric distribution system. Electrification of the transportation sector is expected to grow and have a substantial impact on the electricity delivery system. By collecting data on individual charging stations, the utilities can better implement strategies to maintain and improve utility infrastructure. In order to collect this information, the utility is offering an incentive to eligible customers with qualifying equipment.

A $200 EnergyWise incentive for the installation of a residential vehicle charging station is available for a limited time from Nebraska Public Power District and your local public power utility. This incentive is for customers living in the service area of NPPD or its wholesale customers who purchase an electric vehicle and choose to install a ChargePoint 32 amp WI-FI enabled station. Other charging stations may be incented but must pass pre-approval criteria. To qualify for the pilot incentive program, the installation location of the charging station must have internet wireless connectivity.

Additional details about the program are available here.

Community solar now available in Scottsbluff

By Spike Jordan, Scottsbluff Star Herald 

Along with GenPro, Central City-based developer Mesner Development Company worked with NPPD and the City of Scottsbluff to make the project a reality. “When we did this project, we ran the numbers past somebody in California,” Cliff Mesner of Mesner Development said. “He said we were showing as much solar gain in Scottsbluff as we get in the Mojave desert.”
Read the entire news story here.

Photo: Scottsbluff Mayor Randy Meininger cuts the ribbon for Nebraska Public Power District’s new community solar project outside NPPD’s Scottsbluff office Tuesday. Meininger is flanked by representatives from the Scottsbluff / Gering United Chamber of Commerce, NPPD employees and the project’s representatives and shareholders. Credit: Spike Jordan / Scottsbluff Star Herald

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Utilities squeezed as corporations seek renewable energy elsewhere

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

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As large corporations increasingly demand 100 percent renewable energy, many utilities are left in a bind: Add to their already excess capacity, or they can risk losing new customers to lower-priced third-party agreements. “We have to figure out how to thread the needle with utilities,” said Letha Tawney who, as the director for utility innovation at the World Resources Institute, spends many of her waking and working hours trying to guide utilities into a new energy paradigm . . . As of September, 62 of the country’s largest corporations had indicated their energy priorities by endorsing the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Principles. Other large institutions such as universities and military bases are moving in that direction as well. Click to read the entire article.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Report by Advanced Energy Economy: Opportunities To Increase Corporate Access To Advanced Energy: A National Brief. Four Midwest states rank among the top in the nation in facilitating corporate access to solar and wind.

Corporate Renewable Strategy Map
Corporate Buyers’ Principles signatories need to buy nearly 44 million megawatt hours of renewable energy across the US by 2020. States that offer products can compete for this economic development and these companies more effectively.

Renewable-Energy-Supplies-Map

Where companies can buy renewable energy through the grid
The Corporate Renewable Strategy Map reveals where large energy buyers can access the renewable energy they want at the scale they need through their utility. This interactive tool tracks their options in different states. They can use this map to consider siting new facilities and to prioritize their renewable energy purchasing strategies. It highlights green tariff programs and other utility energy products that allow customers to meet their clean energy goals and lower electricity costs. It compares each product to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles.

Nebraska Public Power District offers one-on-one renewable energy deals between a company and the utility, but no green tariff to date.