Tag Archives: Nelnet

Nelnet Acquires Solar Construction Firm GRNE Solutions

Nelnet Renewable Energy News Release

LINCOLN, Neb. , July 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) announced today a controlling investment in affiliates of GRNE Solutions, LLC (GRNE), known as GRNE Solar, a leading Midwest solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm. In addition, Nelnet acquired certain solar assets from an affiliate of GRNE, some already generating power and others currently being constructed. The transaction closed July 1, 2022.

GRNE designs and installs residential, commercial and utility-scale solar systems in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and soon in Colorado. Its solar projects typically generate between 1 megawatt (MW) to 5 MWs of power. GRNE also offers battery backup, electric vehicle charging, energy monitoring, and operations and maintenance services.

Based in Palatine, Ill., and Lincoln, Neb., GRNE was established in 2012 by Jess Baker and Eric Peterman. The co-founders will continue to lead GRNE and retain a minority ownership interest in the company. Today, GRNE has grown to more than 80 employees in seven office locations in their service area.

“We are excited to partner with Jess, Eric and the GRNE team to accelerate their growth plans and our diversification into solar development,” said Scott Gubbels, Nelnet executive director of tax and renewable energy. “The GRNE team has earned a strong reputation in the solar industry for their culture, values and high-quality execution and construction management. Together, we will create a unique solution in the renewable space, including EPC services, financing solutions and subscription management.”

Nelnet is a diversified and innovative company, which includes a brand dedicated to renewable energy offerings and solutions, Nelnet Renewable Energy. Through tax-equity investing, its tax co-investing platform, community solar subscription and campus solar development solutions, Nelnet Renewable Energy provides significant value to its partners and customers within various industries. Since its initial investment in 2018, Nelnet Renewable Energy has expanded its solar investment portfolio, including with co-investors, to more than $240 million in more than 200 solar projects. In addition, Nelnet Renewable Energy acquires and manages thousands of subscribers for our community solar development partners.

“This acquisition presents an outstanding opportunity for the growth of GRNE and for Nelnet’s continued expansion into the renewable energy space. With Nelnet’s proven track record for growing and scaling business as well as GRNE’s industry expertise, we will continue to accomplish amazing things. Solar energy is a key component to accomplishing the energy goals of the future, and we are proud to be part of the solution,” said Jess Baker, co-founder and president of GRNE Solar.

This acquisition combines two complementary businesses that understand the critical need for renewable energy in the future. GRNE brings more than a decade of solar engineering and construction experience and will be able to leverage Nelnet’s years of customer service expertise, financial strength, and asset management experience to fulfill its increasing demand.

“With Nelnet’s investment in GRNE, we have planted another seed toward a cleaner future,” said Gubbels.

About GRNE
Since 2012, GRNE has been designing and installing commercial, residential and utility scale solar systems throughout the Midwest. Its full-service team includes consultants, engineers, project managers, electricians and solar installers. Collectively, the GRNE team has over three decades of renewable energy and green construction experience and has proudly generated over 35 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean renewable energy. Visit GRNESolar.com

About Nelnet
Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) is a publicly traded diversified financial services and technology company focused on offering educational services, technology solutions, professional services, telecommunications, renewable energy, and asset management. Nelnet has nearly $21 billion in assets, including a $17.6 billion loan portfolio, and services almost $560 billion in loan assets. Since 2018, Nelnet Renewable Energy has funded or committed to the construction of more than $1.5 billion of solar energy projects via tax equity financing. From this foundation, the company has broadened its engagement in the renewable energy sector by adding administrative and management services for tax equity investments, community solar subscriber acquisition and management and solar development. To learn more visit NelnetInc.com. 

Career Portals

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.

Big Oil’s Net-Zero Plans Show the Hard Limits of Carbon Offsets

By Kate Mackenzie, Bloomberg Green

A tracking project from American University lists dozens of large companies that, as of December 21, cited carbon dioxide-removal (CDR) in their pledges for climate neutrality. They include Apple Inc., Walmart Inc., British Airways Plc, and many of their peers. It’s not just companies. The European Union’s promise to cut emissions 55% by 2030 has been criticized for relying in part on land-based “carbon sinks” to soak up some of the pollution.

As more companies follow suit, the total volume of offsets they rely on will quickly exceed the ability of the planet to provide them. Without more concrete near-term actions, “net zero” risks becoming a fairytale providing cover for the heavy emitting industries, particularly those in the fossil fuel sector who have aggressively blocked climate action. Read more here.

Kate Mackenzie writes the Stranded Assets column for Bloomberg Green. She advises organizations working to limit climate change to the Paris Agreement goals.

NATIONAL ACADEMIES REPORT

National Academies report sees $300 bil cost by 2030 for a zero-carbon economy, American Public Power Association

The reportAccelerating Decarbonization of the U.S. Energy System, the first of two, said that achieving the 2050 goal is feasible and presented a technical blueprint and policy road map for the next 10 years. The report also found that immediate action would be required to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and that most near-term reductions would come from the electricity sector, electrification of vehicles, and home heating. 

BLACK & VEATCH REPORT

Green Hydrogen: A Rising Star, T&D World
According to Black & Veatch’s latest Strategic Directions: Electric Report, based on a survey of more than 600 industry stakeholders, utilities over the next decade expect solar (79%) and wind (67%) power to help them meet their clean energy goals or cut their emissions and carbon output. That’s presumably because those renewables are readily deployable with established, matured technology and competitive costs. But looking past 2030, those numbers drop into the 40th percentiles, segueing to more deployments of hydrogen (58%) — an energy-dense alternative fuel that emits only water — and battery energy storage (48%) as the leading, more favored options as they evolve.

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM

LINCOLN-BASED BUSINESS IN THE NEWS

Directions 2021: Nelnet’s Alyssa Martin enjoys balance of work and life in hometown, by Victoria Ayotte Brown, Lincoln Journal Star. Requires digital subscription.

“Nelnet is becoming a leader in the tax equity space and is really paving the way for a carbon-free future by facilitating the development of solar projects all over the country. I think there’ve been 86-plus solar projects Nelnet has had a role in helping along. It’s really amazing. It’s going to continue to grow, and I’m excited to be part of it.” – Alyssa Martin, legal counsel for tax and renewable energy for Nelnet

Previously Posted: Nelnet announces new division focused on solar, Lincoln Journal Star

GREEN TRANSPORTATION

FEATURED WEBSITE FOR KIDS

Launched in 2010, NASA’s Climate Kids website tells the story of our changing planet through the eyes of the NASA missions studying Earth. Targeting upper-elementary-aged children, the site is full of games, activities and articles that make climate science accessible and engaging.

NASA is a world leader in climate studies and Earth science. While its role is not to set climate policy or prescribe particular responses or solutions to climate change, its purview does include providing the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change. NASA then makes this information available to the global community – the public, policy- and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies around the world.

Nelnet Expands Commitment to Renewable Energy with Launch of Community Solar Subscriber Acquisition and Management Services

Nelnet News Release, PR Newswire

LINCOLN, Neb., June 10, 2020 — Nelnet today introduced a new business line, Nelnet Renewable Energy, offering community solar developers comprehensive and scalable subscriber acquisition, management, and support services. The company also launched a new consumer website, NelnetEnergy.com, aimed at promoting renewable energy and supporting its community solar subscriber acquisition efforts. Nelnet Renewable Energy is committed to expanding renewable energy use by helping solar developers find subscribers for their community solar projects – homeowners, renters, and businesses who are looking for accessible and affordable solar energy.  Read more here. 

Nelnet Renewable Energy is a member of the Solar Energy Industries Association.