Tag Archives: Nebraskans for Solar NewsBlog

Earth911 Conscious-Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels

By Sarah Lozanova

Technological advances have transformed the solar energy industry in recent years. Solar panels are significantly more efficient, producing more power in the same amount of space. Meanwhile, prices continue to fall, reducing the cost of solar electricity.

But with the introduction of new technologies comes uncertainty. Which solar panels are the most reliable and durable? What technology creates the least amount of pollution in the manufacturing process? Let’s explore some of these critical issues in the pursuit of the best solar panels on the market. Continue reading here.

Previously Posted: PV Recycling Initiatives – Click here and scroll down.

One third of the world’s power now comes from renewable energy

By Perry Miller, Inhabitat

After years of hard work and dedication, a third of the power generated around the world is now linked to renewable energy. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) just released new data that shows impressive growth in both wind and solar energy, which has contributed to the changes in energy sources around the globe. Read more here.

Photo posted by Inhabitat via IRENA.

ALSO IN THE NEWS – PLUS A FEATURED VIDEO

OP-ED 

You can’t kill the solar industry — and all attempts just make us stronger, by Tony Clifford, Chief Development Officer of Standard Solar, PV Magazine 

Illinois is beginning to build a robust solar industry in the wake of passing its Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016, and they’re in the process of following it up with a Clean Energy Jobs Act this year. And they’re not the only Midwestern state to join the Solar Revolution. Minnesota is the birthplace of the best community solar program in the nation, and Michigan is (albeit slowly) bringing its solar policies into the 21st century.

4 Ways Local Solar Projects Benefit Cities

By Lacey Shaver, World Resources Institute Blog

When a city decides to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, headlines follow. But the work has only just begun. Cities have many options for generating and purchasing renewable electricity, each of which comes with distinct benefits and challenges. Read more here.

Flickr Photo: Black Rock Solar

About the Renewables Accelerator
Together with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, World Resources Institute formed the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator to provide technical support to all U.S. cities as they explore new and innovative strategies for procuring renewable energy to meet their goals. Tools and Resources.

THE NEW REBA PROGRAM

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Expanding Membership Opportunities

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance News Release, PR Newswire

Google, Facebook, General Motors and Walmart, along with over 300 other companies, launched the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) today—the largest group of corporate renewable energy buyers in the United States. By working to unlock the marketplace for organizations to buy renewable energy, REBA hopes to bring more than 60 gigawatts of new renewables online in the United States by 2025. Read more here.

Recommended Viewing
What is REBA?, Two-minute video by REBA on Vimeo.

MORE ABOUT REBA’S MISSION & NEW MEMBERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES 

Since 2014, the REBA community has grown to over 200 large energy buyers, and over 150 clean energy developers and service providers. Participants in the REBA community have been a part of 95% of all large-scale US corporate renewable energy deals to date.

With dedicated expertise from four successful nonprofit programs that have helped organizations break through barriers in renewable energy procurement in recent years, REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands.

In 2018, four leading NGOS — Rocky Mountain InstituteWorld Wildlife FundWorld Resources Institute, and Business for Social Responsibility — merged their renewable energy programs, the Business Renewables Center, the Future of Internet Power, the Buyers Principles, and Green Tariff programs. This programmatic consolidation builds upon their collective success and offers a single streamlined solution.

Today’s REBA seeks to grow the market for end-user backed renewables from dozens to thousands of organizations nationwide, while advocating for an energy system that meets the needs of all.

REBA is a national membership association open to all non-residential energy buyers, supporting the entire clean energy transaction involving buyers, developers, and service providers of renewable energy.

REBA also collaborates with nonprofits, governments, and universities. Discounted membership pricing is available, as well as partnership opportunities.

Visit the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance website to learn more: www.rebuyers.org 

Analysis: New wind, solar cheaper than operating most existing coal plants

By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network

Locally generated solar and wind energy could already replace almost three-fourths of electricity made by U.S. coal plants for less than the cost of continuing to operate those plants, according to an analysis released today by two clean energy research groups.

By 2025, the share of “at risk” coal generation will jump from 74 percent to 86 percent, adds the report by Energy Innovation Policy & Technology in San Francisco and Boulder-based Vibrant Clean Energy. “We’re not talking about replacing every coal plant overnight,” said report co-author Eric Gimon at Energy Innovation. “What we’re saying is every coal plant should be looked at.” How do coal plants compare to solar or wind energy in the analysis? Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading 

Photo by SoCore Energy: Kearney Solar Farm

Kathiann M. Kowalski is the author of 25 books and more than 600 articles, and writes often on science and policy issues. In addition to her journalism career, Kathi is an alumna of Harvard Law School and has spent 15 years practicing law. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

Small Iowa town hopes benchmarking makes big impact on energy efficiency, by Karen Uhlenhuth

As state lawmakers and investor-owned utilities in Iowa retreat from energy efficiency investments, Bloomfield stands in stark contrast. The building benchmarking program is part of an aggressive plan to tap efficiency and renewables to meet a goal of total energy independence by 2030 for the small town of about 2,700 people in far southeastern Iowa. Photo by Jo Naylor, Flickr, Creative Commons: Bloomfield, Iowa

Microgrid boosters hope Michigan ‘energy district’ will spur more interest, by Andy Balaskovitz

Microgrid advocates hope a Michigan utility’s proposed “energy district” can help demonstrate the technology and spur more interest in similar projects. Consumers Energy announced plans last month for a smart energy district on a 4-square-block area near the utility’s headquarters in Jackson. Though not formally a microgrid, the plan calls for developing a “smart energy community” around renewables, battery storage and electric vehicles, mirroring concepts of interconnected “smart cities.” Photo Credit: Consumers Energy

New toolkit provides U.S. cities with ten ways to go solar

Environment America News Release

With local municipalities playing an increasingly important role in the clean energy revolution, Environment America Research and Policy Center released a new toolkit to support cities and towns nationwide in capturing more clean renewable energy from the sun. Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar offers practical ways to take advantage of millions of available rooftops across the country.

“If we’re going to forestall catastrophic climate change and protect our cities and towns from the effects of extreme weather, there’s nothing better than clean, locally harvested renewable power,” said Susan Rakov, chair of Environment America Research and Policy Center’s Clean Energy Program. “Rooftop solar can make communities cleaner, safer and more self-reliant. Cities and towns need to put the pieces in place to help this technology thrive.” Read more here.

Links to Solar Energy Incentives & Additional Resources

Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems: 30% to December 31, 2019.
Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Additionally, LES customers may qualify for a one-time capacity payment of up to $1,000 per kilowatt of peak demand reduced. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the system size and primary direction the system is facing, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $375.
  • Western facing or single or dualaxis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $475.

Source: Customer-owned Renewable Generation

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources

New Project Would More Than Double Wisconsin’s Solar Energy Output

By Hope Kirwin, Wisconsin Public Radio

A major utility in western Wisconsin has announced plans for a new solar farm in Jefferson County. Dairyland Power Cooperative plans to purchase 149 megawatts of solar energy from the Badger State Solar project. That’s almost six times Dairyland’s current solar investment and would more than double the state’s solar production, The new partnership would create one of the largest solar farms in Wisconsin. The solar farm would be built by development company Ranger Power on private land in the towns of Jefferson and Oakland. Read more here.

Ranger Power Photo

Related

MORE NEWS FROM STATES


Big cheese gets big solar+storage proposal, PV Magazine
Invenergy has proposed a solar project up to 200 MWac / 300 MWdc in capacity with a 50 MW / 200 MWh battery in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

State of the states: 4 reasons that red plus blue makes green economics, Utility Dive Contributor Malcolm D. Woolf, managing director of MW Energy Advisors and former chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials. Washington, D.C. is abuzz with the Green New Deal, but my bet is that the most pivotal energy legislation enacted this year comes from red and blue state houses across the nation.

GLOBAL NEWS

Rise of bifacial lifts profits for the world’s tracker companies, PV Magazine

Soltec Image: Single-axis tracker

Rural America is ready for some sort of a New Deal, preferably green

By Art Cullen, Published by The Guardian and Republished by Yahoo! News

The Midwest would welcome a New Deal, and this is where it must start. The Great Plains from Iowa down through Kansas and Texas lead the world in wind energy production. Yet the wind energy production tax credit is set to wane and expire over the next five years. Those wind turbine royalties are increasingly important in western Kansas where you can barely raise a corn crop even with irrigation because of soil degradation and warmer nights wrought by climate change. Wind energy technicians who keep the blades whirring are paid good union wages and are welcome residents in tiny Iowa villages. They could ply their trade in West Virginia as well. Read the entire article here.

Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in Iowa and won the 2017 Pulitzer prize for editorial writing. Cullen is the author of the book, Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper (Viking 2018).

Spring Deadline for USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Applications: Includes information on incentives for solar and small wind.

The spring deadline to apply for USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants is April 1, 2019. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year round. REAP assists agricultural producers and rural small businesses in reducing energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

A 25-kilowatt photovoltaic system installed in 2015 powers the Hammond family farm operations west of Benedict, Nebraska. Photo Credit: Matt Ryerson / Lincoln Journal Star

Rick Hammond’s array cost $84,864 in 2015, but a combination of a USDA grant and federal tax credits brought the cost to him down to $19,100. Source: Farms flexing solar power, Lincoln Journal Star. Installers: MarLin Wind & Solar and North Star Solar Bears

Additional Recommended Reading

 

Rick Hammond and his family are the subjects of This Blessed Earth, the One Book, One Nebraska pick for 2019. Ted Genoways’ award-winning book is
also this year’s All Iowa Reads Selection.

 

More Farm Energy Resources

Supportive energy policy shines spotlight on rural Nebraska

Written by Lu Nelson, Policy Associate at the Center for Rural Affairs,
Contributing Opinion, The Grand Island Independent

Through net metering, homeowners are able to save on energy rates while utilities gain access to local, renewable energy that they can use to meet the needs of other customers. Meanwhile, the installation of generating systems like solar panels brings jobs to communities where consumers are looking to invest in projects. In Nebraska, the solar industry already supports more than 1,300 jobs, and there is plenty of room for the industry to grow as panels continue to get cheaper and more efficient.

Legislative Bill 509 in the Nebraska Legislature would raise the existing cap on the size of projects that qualify for net metering. Allowing consumers to send more of their excess renewable energy to the grid helps lower costs, creates new economic opportunities, and promotes energy independence. Read more here.

LB 509: Redefine the terms net metering and qualified facility and change powers and duties of a local distribution utility

Upcoming Legislative Hearing
Nebraska Legislative Bill 678: Create the Volkswagen Settlement Cash Fund and provide duties for the Department of Environmental Quality
Introduced by Senator Tony Vargas
LB 678 Appropriations Committee Hearing: March 20. 2019 at 1:30 pm in Room 1003
Appropriations Committee
Senator John Stinner, Chairperson jstinner@leg.ne.gov
Senator Kate Bolz kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Robert Clements rclements@leg.ne.gov
Senator Myron Dorn mdorn@leg.ne.gov
Senator Steve Erdman serdman@leg.ne.gov
Senator Robert Hilkemann rhilkemann@leg.ne.gov
Senator Mike McDonnell mmcdonnell@leg.ne.gov
Senator Tony Vargas tvargas@leg.ne.gov
Senator Anna Wishart awishart@leg.ne.gov

Testifier Guide (PDF)
Written Position Letter
If you are not testifying in person and would like to submit a written position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, the letter must be delivered to the office of the committee chair (or emailed to the committee chair) of the committee conducting the hearing on the bill by 5:00 p.m. on the last work day prior to the public hearing.

Additionally, the letter must include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.

Upcoming Event: Nebraska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is partnering with the Nebraska Power Association to host the conference on March 25, 2019 at 10 am at the Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Avenue in York. On-site registration and exhibits start at 9 am.

The free conference is intended for those interested in installing public electric vehicle chargers and also for members of the public interested in the development of public electric vehicle charging in Nebraska. If you would like to participate in lunch, snacks and refreshments throughout the day, the fee will be $20 per person.

View Agenda.
To register, visit: www.evnebraska.com.

Hello, sunshine!

Written by Lynn Hartzell, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor,
Contributor, Lincoln Journal Star Lifestyle Magazine

I have to admit, there was a time in my life when I heard someone talking about Alternative Energy and I would roll my eyes. I had had a long career at a local public power company working in the power plants that produce energy with coal, diesel fuel and natural gas. They all worked pretty well, and I saw no reason to mess with success. But in 2015, my wife and I did some investigating and found that the price of solar power for residential use was coming down quickly and made financial sense. Continue reading here.

Links to Solar & Small Wind Energy Incentives & Nebraska Energy Office Loans

Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems and small wind turbines: 30% to December 31, 2019. Small wind: 100 kilowatts or less. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Additionally, LES customers may qualify for a one-time capacity payment of up to $1,000 per kilowatt of peak demand reduced. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the system size and primary direction the system is facing, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $375.
  • Western facing or single or dualaxis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $475.

Source: Customer-owned Renewable Generation

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources