Tag Archives: NextEra Energy Resources

Cass County officials seek outside counsel on solar project

By Ethan Hewett, KMA News

During its latest regular meeting, the county’s board of commissioners approved seeking outside counsel on a proposed solar farm through Boulevard Associates–which would be one of the largest in the state. While saying the board has not selected specific counsel yet, County Zoning Administrator Mike Jensen tells KMA News the outside perspective was sought to assist with reviewing a large amount of information soon to be placed in front of the county. In August 2021, the commissioners approved an updated set of solar regulations. While saying he and the board are confident in their regulations, Jensen says a big focus has been on the decommissioning process. Read more here.

NextEra Energy Resources is the parent company for Boulevard Associates, LLC.

Previously Posted: Cass County solar farm plans unveiled, by Ethan Hewett, KMA News

Nebraskans for Solar Note: We commend Cass County officials for their plan to thoroughly study Boulevard Associates’ proposal for a 350MW solar project near Murray and for consulting with other jurisdictions. This sets an excellent example for all Nebraska communities that are considering or are in the process of planning community- or utility-scale solar projects.

One large (81MW) project under development by Community Energy is “Platteview Solar” in eastern Saunders County, near Yutan:

Resources On Decommissioning / PV Recycling

NextEra Energy Resources

Cass County solar farm plans unveiled

By Ethan Hewett, KMAland.com

(Murray) — Plans have been revealed for one of the largest solar farms in the state in southeast Nebraska. That’s according to Cass County Zoning Administrator Michael Jensen, who says Boulevard Associates has revealed plans for a proposed 320-megawatt and 3,200-acre solar farm just north of Murray. Jensen says the Cass County farm would be one of the largest in the state in both land coverage and production. Read more here.

NFS Note: NextEra Energy Resources is the parent company for Boulevard Associates, LLC.

FEATURED ORGANIZATION & WEBSITE 

The AgriSolar Clearinghouse is an information-sharing, relationship-building, public communications hub for all things agrisolar. The AgriSolar community will:

  • Connect farmers, developers, researchers, and the public
  • Provide practical technical assistance
  • Develop best practices and innovative solutions to barriers
  • Evaluate innovative financing options
  • Promote sustainable agrisolar opportunities

Resources Include: Information Library / Media Hub / Events Calendar

MORE RESOURCES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

    • Bellwood: 174.5 MW
    • Burt County: 250 MW
    • Clay County: Up-to 305 MW
    • Lincoln: 250 MW
    • McCool Junction: 310 MW
    • Murray: 320 MW
    • Pierce County: 443 MW
    • Saunders County: 81 MW

FEATURED PROJECT – PLATTEVIEW SOLAR IN SAUNDERS COUNTY NEAR YUTAN

About the Project, Community Energy

In April 2021, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Community Energy (CE) announced a Power Purchase Agreement for Platteview Solar, an 81 megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar photovoltaic installation with a proposed location just south of Hwy 92 near Yutan in eastern Saunders County.

The project site consists of approximately 500 total leased acres, spanning several clusters of land with a flat, gently rolling topography. This announcement supports OPPD’s Power with Purpose initiative. The official project announcement is on OPPD’s The Wire. OPPD is the lone customer for Platteview Solar’s energy, providing long-term stability and support.

Platteview FAQs – Community Energy 

Among the questions, the following is one that often comes up in discussions about utility-scale solar projects: 

Doesn’t solar take good agricultural ground out of production?

Community Energy: Not in a meaningful way. Saunders County is 486,400 acres of ground.  The Platteview Solar project impacts approximately 500 acres. 

Farm ground used for solar projects does not necessarily mean the end of agricultural use on the land. It will be different than traditional crops, but a robust pollinator program can benefit not only the project properties, but cropland, orchards, residential gardens, trees and other landscaping within 30 miles of the project site.

Additionally, the traditional agricultural nature of the property is not permanently lost. The benefits of restorative vegetation on nitrogen and CO2 depleted land improves agricultural land for the future. Solar projects are a long term, but temporary, use of agricultural land that allows landowners to diversify their assets, creating financial stability and allowing agricultural land to remain in families for future generations.

LAND LEASE RESOURCE  

 

Considerations for Leasing Land for Solar Development,
by F. John Hay, Extension Educator for Bioenergy,
University of Nebraska Lincoln


Links to More Extension Resources

FUN HOBBY FOR ALL AGES

Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification Program

This Extension program is open to Nebraska homeowners, schools, businesses, parks, homeowner associations, farmers, acreage owners and community gardens.

The Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification application form with complete requirements and lists of pollinator-friendly plants is available here.

Public hearing set for Monday on 3,200-acre solar farm

By Timothy Rohwer, Fremont Tribune

[A] facility that could be one of the largest in the state has been proposed near Murray. A public hearing on the matter is set for this Monday at 7 p.m. at the Expo Building at the Cass County Fairgrounds. The hearing will consider a conditional use permit for the solar farm request. Boulevard Associates, LLC, is the firm seeking these permits, according to the Cass County Zoning Office. Read more here.

NFS Note: NextEra Energy Resources is the parent company for Boulevard Associates, LLC.


Photo example of pole-mounted solar:

Crops or pollinator-friendly plants can be grown underneath the array, or farm animals can graze and seek shade and shelter there. Pole mounts can also easily incorporate a single-axis or dual-axis sun tracking system, enabling the panels to produce more energy.  

Previously Posted News Channel Nebraska Stories

Solar FAQs

Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar
This is a Department of Energy resource that answers questions farmers, ranchers, and other community members often ask not only about an individual solar project but also a utility-scale development proposed for their area.

City Pursues Solar Option

By Forrest Hershberger, Publisher, Sun-Telegraph

The concept was first brought before the [Sidney City Council] Dec. 14, 2021. MEAN (Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska), the wholesale electricity provider for Sidney, approved a policy that allows communities to have renewable resources . . . MEAN has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on behalf of 10 communities with MEAN staff recommending Sandhills Energy, LLC be awarded the Purchase Power Agreement (PPA). Part of the City’s motivation is to offset potential cost increases. Read more here.

BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW INVESTMENTS IN RURAL AMERICA CREATING WEALTH

Investments include Revitalizing America’s energy communities: 
In February 2021, President Biden established the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization to identify and deliver resources to the coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities that have powered our country for generations. The working group identified 25 communities across the country for immediate strategic investment. Since then, member agencies have delivered more than $2.8 billion in federal investment to these communities, including $167 million through USDA’s Renewable Energy for America Program and the Electric Loan Program. The working group also established a resource clearinghouse with more than $181 billion in open and planned funding opportunities for energy communities, to facilitate access to federal programs.

ST. LOUIS IN THE NEWS 

Coal giant Peabody announces joint venture focused on solar power and energy storage, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The renewable industry newcomer has plans to make big moves fairly quickly, by pursuing the development of more than 3.3 gigawatts of solar power and 1.6 gigawatts of battery storage capacity over the next five years, Peabody said in a release.

One gigawatt is enough power to illuminate 110 million LED bulbs.

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.

NextEra Energy announces agreement to sell a 50% interest in an approximately 2,520-megawatt portfolio renewables project to a third party, highlighting the value of its best-in-class development program,

NextEra Energy News Release, PRNewswire

JUNO BEACH, Fla., Nov. 30, 2021 — NextEra Energy, Inc. today announced that a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC has entered into an agreement to sell a 50% non-controlling interest in an approximately 2,520 megawatt (MW) portfolio of long-term contracted renewables assets (the portfolio) to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’ or the investor), one of the world’s largest pension plans and a leading infrastructure investor, with approximately C$227.7 billion in net assets. The remaining 50% interest in the portfolio is under an agreement to be sold by NextEra Energy Resources to NextEra Energy Partners, LP pursuant to a purchase and sale agreement executed on Oct. 21, 2021 between a subsidiary of NEP and a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources. The sale proceeds are expected to be redeployed into new wind, solar and battery storage growth opportunities, including NextEra Energy Resources’ more than 18,000-MW renewables and storage backlog. Read more here.

NextEra Image: The portfolio includes Little Blue Wind in Nebraska, scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2021. The wind farm’s economic benefits include: $60 million payments to Webster and Franklyn County landowners, an additional $45 million in tax revenue for the two counties, and 200 construction jobs.

Find current job openings here:  Careers at NextEra Energy

Learn more about the institutional investor here:

IRENA RESEARCH

According to a November 2020 International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report, Mobilising Institutional Capital for Renewable Energy:

Institutional investors – including pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and other endowments and foundations – represent an enormous global capital pool that has yet to be harnessed for the energy transition. Despite accounting for USD 87 trillion in assets under management, institutional investors have so far played a very minor role in financing renewables. Institutional capital still accounted for just 2% of total direct investment in renewables in 2018. About 20% institutional investors have invested in renewables indirectly through funds, while only 1% have invested directly.

NextEra Energy Partners, LP announces agreement to acquire a 50% interest in an approximately 2,520-megawatt portfolio of long-term contracted renewables projects and enters into new convertible equity portfolio financing

NextEra Energy Partners LP News Release, PR Newswire

NextEra Energy Partners, LP today announced that it has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to acquire a 50% interest in an approximately 2,520-megawatt (MW) renewables portfolio. In conjunction with the acquisition, NextEra Energy Partners has also entered into an approximately $824 million convertible equity portfolio financing with Apollo Global Management (Apollo).

“The transactions announced today support NextEra Energy Partners’ continued ability to execute on its long-term growth plan and access attractive low-cost sources of capital,” said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer. Continue reading here.

Photo: NextEra Energy’s Sholes Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska

Nebraska’s Little Blue Wind project is included in today’s announced agreement:

  • The project is currently under construction and is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2021.

NextEra Job Notice, October 13, 2021
Wind Site Manager – Little Blue Wind – Campbell, NE

Nebraska Wind Energy Projects Also Include: Gage Wind

  • Up to 50 GE wind turbines capable of generating up to 124 megawatts (MW).
  • Subject to local and state approvals, the project is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2022.

Previously Posted News Stories

Additional Recommended Reading

Coal-rich Indiana is going solar. It’s not easy

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News

“Solar is like a private CRP [Conservation Reserve Program]. Instead of the government
paying farmers, we pay the farmers.” – Nick Cohen, CEO of Global Energy

The coal mines dotting Indiana’s southwest corner are quickly giving way to a new source of energy that will help power Hoosier State factories and farms in the decades to come — the sun. Solar projects totaling 22,000 megawatts of capacity —- 50% greater than the sum of Indiana’s coal fleet — are seeking to plug into the two wholesale power grids that cover parts of the state, PJM Interconnection and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator.

The boom is part of a broader trend playing out across the Midwest and the United States as solar costs continue to fall. But coal-reliant Indiana has emerged as an unlikely solar hot spot, with more new capacity seeking interconnection than California last year, according to a recent analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In fact, only Texas and Arizona saw more gigawatts of solar capacity added to interconnection queues. Read more here.

Additional information on land use and utility-scale solar is available here: 

SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION

 

 

 


Siting, Permitting & Land Use for Utility-Scale Solar
There is tremendous solar power generation potential in the United States. In five minutes, enough sunlight shines on the continental U.S. to satisfy our electricity demand for an entire month. Research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that the entire U.S. could be powered by utility-scale solar occupying just 0.6% of the nation’s land mass.

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT – U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Solar Energy: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The BLM manages millions of acres of public lands with excellent solar energy potential. Climate concerns, state renewable energy portfolio standards, investment tax credits, technological advances, and decreasing costs of equipment are drivers of interest to site utility-scale solar energy development on public lands. As a result, we expect that private companies will continue to have an interest in developing this resource on public lands. In fact, we have been approving solar projects since 2010.

ThSolar Energy Environmental Mapper is an online mapping tool that allows users to overlay solar energy potential on BLM-administered lands with other natural, social, and cultural resource data. BLM staff and stakeholders can use the tool to identify areas with high solar energy potential and low resource conflict that may be appropriate for solar energy development.

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY 

 

 


Six Pathways to a Clean and Green Renewable Energy Buildout

Renewable energy infrastructure requires a lot of landespecially onshore wind and large-scale solar installations, which we will need to meet our ambitious climate goals. Siting renewable energy in areas that support wildlife habitat not only harms nature but also increases the potential for project conflicts that could slow the buildout—a prospect we cannot afford. Building renewables on natural lands can also undermine climate progress by converting forests and other areas that store carbon and serve as natural climate solutions.

Fortunately, there is plenty of previously developed land that can be used to meet our clean energy needsat least 17 times the amount of land needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals. But accelerating the buildout on these lands requires taking pro-active measures now.

Clean & Green: Pathways for Promoting Renewable Energy, a new report from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is a call to action that highlights six ways for governments, corporations and lenders to promote a clean and green renewable energy buildout.

Previously Posted

Community solar program marks one year

 By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

OPPD’s community solar facility in rural Washington County passed its first-year milestone in December. With that first year complete, the project has proved to be something customers want – there continues to be a waiting list. And the utility has learned valuable lessons they can apply to future projects. The solar array is a 5-megawatt (MW) solar energy facility that sits outside Fort Calhoun, tucked among rolling hills and trees. OPPD and NextEra Energy Resources have a 20-year power purchase agreement for the energy generated at the facility, which has more than 17,500 panels. Read more here.

Verizon adds six PPAs for 845MW solar capacity

By Edith Hancock, PV Tech

Major telecoms provider Verizon has secured power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 845MW of solar electricity with four energy giants in the US. The PPAs with Lightsource BP, Invenergy, EDF Renewables and NextEra Energy Resources will be used to finance six solar projects which are due to be completed over the next two years. Read more here.

MORE CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT NEWS 

Largest Solar Project in US Underway in Texas, Earth911
Who will purchase the energy? Corporations have already signed virtual Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for Samson’s solar electricity. “The Samson Solar Energy Center is the latest example of what can be achieved when companies and utilities seek an innovative partner to meet their sustainability goals and invest in a clean energy future,” said Ted Romaine, senior vice president of origination at Invenergy.

Leading U.S. Energy Buyers Support National Unity – On Clean Power, That Is, Triple Pundit
Despite a decades-long disinformation campaign by fossil stakeholders and their allies,  the latest data from Yale University’s program on
Climate Change Communication reveal a strong majority consensus on climate change and climate science, highlighted by 86 percent support for funding that supports clean power research. There is no question that business leaders are on firm ground in the area of clean power.

ENERGY STORAGE

Beyond Declining Battery Prices: Six Ways to Evaluate Energy Storage in 2021, Greentech Media
Contributed article by Aaroh Kharaya, “product manager for energy storage at Clean Energy Associates (CEA). He is a licensed Professional Engineer with nine years of experience in electrical power systems and is also a subject matter expert in battery energy storage systems.”

GREEN HYDROGEN


Nel to slash cost of electrolysers by 75%, with green hydrogen at same price as fossil H2 by 2025, Recharge

Manufacturer is building a new fully automated electrolyser factory in Norway, which will be expanded to 2GW, resulting in huge economies of scale.

Green hydrogen cost reduction, International Renewable Energy Agency
This report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) outlines strategies to reduce electrolyser costs through continuous innovation, performance improvements and upscaling from megawatt (MW) to multi-gigawatt (GW) levels.

Canada is set to have one of the world’s biggest green hydrogen plants, CNBC
A major green hydrogen project in Canada took another step forward with an engineering contract awarded to a subsidiary of German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp. Canada could eventually be home to a number of green hydrogen facilities. Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, for example, is part of a consortium looking to develop another major plant that would be located in British Columbia, in the west of the country. Over the last few years, major firms including RepsolSiemens EnergyOrsted and BP have gotten involved in projects connected to green hydrogen production.

BUILDING A GREEN ECONOMY & CLIMATE RESILIENCE


Carbon Markets for Farmers

Previously Posted Indianapolis Star articles by Sarah Bowman and London Gibson

  • There is a lot of money on the table with carbon markets. But farmers are skeptical.
    As more greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere and more companies pledge to go carbon neutral, interest in creating a market for carbon capture through agriculture is growing. Agriculture is now being seen by many as an untapped resource, and carbon markets the way to tap it.  “I think the potential is boundless, really,” said Mobley of The Nature Conservancy. “If it can work in Indiana, it can work anywhere in the country — politically, programmatically, with on-the-ground implementation, all of it.”
  • 5 things you need to know about what Biden’s plan for a carbon market means for farmers
    The incoming administration is proposing to create a carbon bank at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which would buy credits from farmers and then sell them to corporations for offsets. Several other private carbon market programs have popped up, both from companies and non-profit organizations that are developing their own platforms. 

GTM’S ENERGY GANG PODCAST

 

This week on The Energy Gang: What to make of Biden’s historic, sweeping actions on climate and clean energy?