Released by the Environment Florida Research & Policy Center
Recent corruption scandals in Ohio and Illinois, in which utilities and other special interests allegedly used their clout to twist public policy in their favor, highlight how far anti-solar efforts have gone. Policymakers must resist pressure from utilities and the fossil fuel industry and implement pro-solar policies that will continue America’s momentum toward clean energy
In 2021, a national network of utility interest groups and fossil fuel-linked think tanks continues to offer funding, advice and support to utilities across the country seeking to undermine rooftop solar power. These include . . . Continue reading here.
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Our State’s Overall Solar Development & Potential
Net Metering Legislative Bills
Net metering changes considered – Legislative Update, Senator John Cavanaugh
The Natural Resources Committee heard testimony Feb. 10, 2021 on two bills that would modify Nebraska’s net metering laws.
Approved Legislation: In 2016 the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 824, which removed some regulatory barriers connected to renewable energy development in our state.
NEBRASKA LACKS UPDATED ENERGY PLAN / CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
State energy plans show how process can match final product in impact, Energy News Network, February 10, 2021
More Previous Efforts
- Nebraska needs overall plan for energy policies, Lincoln Journal Star, November 4, 2015 Nebraska’s Energy Office director says the state needs a comprehensive approach to its energy policies as it faces what could be a “seismic” change in federal regulations governing emissions. David Bracht, Gov. Pete Ricketts’ chief adviser on energy issues, talked about state energy policies Wednesday at the eighth annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Omaha. . . . [The] Nebraska Legislature has instructed the state Energy Office to create a comprehensive energy plan and budgeted more than $630,000 to see it done.
- LB469: Provide procedures and reporting requirements relating to a state plan on carbon dioxide emissions, require a strategic state energy plan, and provide requirements for meteorological evaluation towers.
- 2011 Nebraska Energy Plan, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)
SOUTH SIOUX CITY
Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler, Energy News Network, August 19, 2020
South Sioux City’s City Council decided four years ago not to renew its contract with NPPD. It has gradually reduced its purchases from the utility down to 10% of its load this year, and will stop buying power from the wholesaler altogether on Jan. 1, 2022. “We’ve been very happy with the decision the [city] council made to get more into renewables,” said Lance Hedquist, the city administrator of the community of about 13,000 also located in northeast Nebraska. The city has added solar and wind energy to its portfolio, and now obtains about half of its power from renewables, he said.
- 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
MODEL AGGREGATED SOLAR PROJECT – A WAY FOR COMMUNITIES TO REDUCE COSTS
MEAN Issues RFP For Participant Community Solar PV Installation Project, July 15, 2021
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is issuing a Request for Proposals on behalf of 11 MEAN participant communities interested in obtaining energy from solar PV installations to be built in their respective communities. The project is an effort by MEAN to bring economically priced solar energy to interested MEAN participant communities. Participating communities hope to obtain lower solar costs through economies of scale through this joint effort. RFP proposals are due Aug. 31, 2021 with a bid award date set for Oct. 27, 2021.
Click here to download the RFP.
Additional MEAN News
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is the not-for-profit wholesale electricity supply organization of NMPP Energy. Created in 1981, MEAN provides cost-based power supply, transmission and related services to 69 participating communities in four states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. MEAN Members/Participants
About NMPP Energy
NMPP Energy is a member-driven coalition of four organizations based in Lincoln, Neb., serving nearly 200 member communities in six Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. NMPP Energy’s organizations fulfill separate needs to their respective member communities. Collectively, they subscribe to the core philosophies of local control and working together to provide reliable, cost-based energy and energy-related services. NMPP Energy Members
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE ON LEASING LAND FOR UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR
Considerations for Leasing Land for Solar Development, by F. John Hay – Extension Educator for Bioenergy
Utility scale solar development is here — in the eight months since the solar leasing article was published in August 2020, Nebraskans have seen continued land lease activity, county zoning rule adoption, an extension of the federal tax credit, and projects approved by county commissioners/supervisors. Additionally, one project (Saunders County [OPPD electrical purchase]) has reached the important step of electricity sales, which is the most common tipping point between a proposed project and a project that will get built. Many smaller solar projects have been built in the years prior to 2021, with the largest at about 8 MW, or about 50 acres. The utility scale projects being proposed and approved are many times larger, with 500 or more acres.