Tag Archives: NextEra Energy

Nebraska’s Onramp for Good-Paying EV Tech and Clean-Energy Jobs

By Eric Galatas, Producer, Public News Service

Central Community College of Nebraska is putting students of all ages on a path to good-paying jobs in the state’s growing clean-energy sector. Taylor Schneider is the energy technology instructor at the school’s Hastings campus. He said students receive valuable hands-on experience in the latest solar, wind and battery-storage technologies. They also get to climb a wind turbine tower that generates the school’s electricity. Continue reading here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

UTILITY DIVE POSTS

AMERICAN-MADE SOLAR PANELS – A SOLAR POWER WORLD RESOURCE

U.S. solar panel manufacturers – Updated June 2022
This is a current list of U.S. solar panel manufacturers/assemblers that produce solar panels for the traditional residential, commercial and utility-scale markets. This data was collected by Solar Power World editors and will be continually updated as facilities are started and/or expanded. If there is a facility update not included on this list, please contact editor Kelly Pickerel: kpickerel@wtwhmedia.com.

See Also: AES Forms US Solar Buyer Consortium with Leading Solar Companies to Invest More Than $6 Billion on Solar Panels to Scale Up Domestic Solar Manufacturing, AES Corporation News Release

Hundreds of environmental, consumer groups request investigation of electric utility industry

Contributed by Solar United Neighbors, Solar Power World

More than 230 consumer, environmental and public interest groups urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the electric utility industry for widespread abuses. These include bribery, fake dark-money campaigns and denying customers access to renewable energy.

Some of the abuses described in the petition include:

  • An Ohio utility, FirstEnergy, paid $60 million in bribes to the Ohio House speaker’s political machine. In return, the utility secured a $1 billion ratepayer-funded bailout for several of its unprofitable nuclear and coal plants.
  • Florida Power and Light spent millions of dollars on political consultants who engineered a scheme to siphon votes to third-party “ghost candidates” from candidates committed to holding utilities accountable, according to reporting by the Orlando Sentinel. The ghost candidate won in all three races. One utility opponent lost by just 32 votes.
  • A recent national survey found that nearly three-quarters of solar developers experience delays in interconnecting projects to the electric grid. Eighty-five percent of respondents specifically named utility noncompliance with interconnection procedures as a problem. These delays can increase the cost of distributed solar projects and cause customers to back out of long-delayed projects. Minnesota regulators fined Xcel Energy $1 million for failing to keep pace with a backlog of projects. Two years later the backlog remains a barrier to solar growth.

Read more here.

Photo: Federal Trade Commission building. Credit: Wikipedia

MORE U.S. NEWS

Summary: The U.S. economy has been deeply impacted by supply chain constraints. These constraints are due to shortages of labor and multiple classes of materials, causing disruptions on a global level. For public power utilities, the ability to provide reliable and affordable power to homes, businesses, and critical facilities is foundational to both their business model and the recovery and expansion of the U.S. economy. Prioritization of critical electric infrastructure and the electric industry’s critical functions during this period of material shortages and delays is necessary to prevent further economic slowdown and ensure electric reliability.

GLOBAL NEWS

Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rises, ocean heat levels and acidification, all set new records during 2021, while some glaciers reached the point of no return, according to the latest flagship report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on Wednesday. The State of the Climate 2021 indicates that extreme weather – the day-to-day face of climate change – wreaked a heavy toll of human lives, triggered shocks for food and water security, and led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses last year.

INNOVATIVE COOPERATIVE VENTURE

Democratizing clean energy: cooperative allows regular folks to profit from solar development, Wisconsin State Journal

A new venture is offering Wisconsin residents and businesses an opportunity to profit from solar energy development. A joint venture of Renew Wisconsin and a group of solar developers and installers, SolarShare Wisconsin co-op allows regular people — regardless of wealth — to invest in small-scale solar farms by pooling their money . . . Unlike large-scale solar farms, which require hundreds or thousands of acres and can generate local opposition, projects of that size can typically be built on less than 40 acres and connected directly to the local distribution grid rather than long-distance transmission lines.

Nebraskans for Solar Note: Nebraska has many very small towns and villages with fewer than 1000 residents where small-scale solar projects could provide a significant percentage of their electricity needs.

DOE leverages new and existing authorities to spur transmission development key to energy transition

By Ethan Howland, Senior Reporter, Utility Dive

The Department of Energy has developed a plan for reducing barriers to high-voltage transmission projects that includes public-private partnerships, permitting and planning support, and about $20 billion in financing. The move comes as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, another key player in the transmission arena, is preparing to propose changes to its rules for transmission planning, determining who pays for the infrastucture and connecting power facilities to the grid. Continue reading here.

Department of Energy News Release: DOE Launches New Initiative From President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law To Modernize National Grid

MORE INDUSTRY NEWS

Previously Posted

NFS Note: SB 1024 is working its way through the Florida Legislature’s Regulated Industries committee.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The Myth of the Solar “Cost Shift” and the True Value of Solar (PDF), Solar United Neighbors

Monopoly electric utilities are waging a well-documented campaign against rooftop solar. They see it as a threat to their outmoded business model of selling more and more electricity in order to increase their profits. They are lobbying across the country to make it more expensive and difficult for people to go solar. The utilities’ primary claim is that non-solar customers are subsidizing solar owners. They describe this using the terms “cost-shift” or “cross-subsidization.” Their logic goes like this:

Renewable energy company moves ahead with massive solar farm on Bill Gates-owned land

By Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch

A renewable energy company is moving ahead with plans to develop one of the largest solar farms in the U.S. in Madison County that includes land owned by Bill Gates. The 10,000-acre solar farm would be built north of London near Plumwood and would cost at least $1 billion to build. 

Property records don’t directly link Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft, to the 6,300 acres. County records show Midwest Farms LLC of Monterey, Louisiana, is the actual owner of the farmland in Union, Deer Creek, Monroe and Somerford townships that belongs to Gates. The announcement of Oak Run marks another step in the surge of solar farms in Ohio with more than 40 farms in some stage of development. Amazon alone is behind 16 of the projects. Read more here.

Related News Stories

MONOLITH NEWS

Monolith to collaborate with Goodyear on carbon black for its tire production; methane pyrolysis, by Mike Milligan, founder and editor of Green Car Congress

Monolith, a leader in clean carbon black production, signed a collaboration agreement and letter of intent (LOI) with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, one of the world’s largest tire companies. As part of the agreements, Monolith expects to collaborate with Goodyear on the development and potential use of clean carbon black produced at its expanding Olive Creek facility in Hallam, Nebraska.

About The Monolith Process – Posted on the company’s website:
Through its proprietary technology, Monolith has perfected methane pyrolysis, which uses 100% renewable electricity to convert traditional or renewable natural gas or renewable biogas into Clean Hydrogen and carbon (for use in clean carbon black). This clean, sustainable process produces zero local emissions and significantly reduces life-cycle emissions by 96%.

 Previously Posted 

Groundwater Needs of Monolith & NPPD’s Sheldon Station 

  • Clean power agreement could spur $1.2 billion in wind, solar energy projects in Nebraska, Omaha World-Herald, January 4, 2021. Updated February 11, 2021.
    [Monolith CEO Rob Hanson] said that the water-use projections of Monolith are now being reviewed by the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District. He said he hopes approval comes in the next couple of months.
  • Groundwater needs raise concerns about $100 million-plus manufacturing plant near Lincoln, Omaha World-Herald, July 29, 2020
    Groundwater is a big deal in Nebraska; it’s used to water more than 8 million acres of cropland across the state, used for drinking water by municipalities and used for various industrial purposes. “It’s a big concern,” Gary Vocasek, the chairman of the Hallam Village Board, told the Voice News a week ago. The village of 213 draws 11 million gallons of groundwater a year. Mark Becker, a spokesman for NPPD, said the big water request by Monolith also caught them off guard and will require some study to see how it might impact the water needs of the Sheldon Station, which pumps about 500 million gallons of water a year.
  • Lower Platte South NRD Approves Monolith Wells, with Conditions, July 1, 2021
    In its well permit applications, Monolith estimates the three wells will pump a combined 420 million gallons of water annually to be used primarily for cooling purposes in its carbon black manufacturing process and in the production of anhydrous fertilizer.

EPA NEWS RELEASE

EPA Announces Appointment of Meg McCollister as Regional Administrator for EPA Region 7


LENEXA, KAN. (DEC. 9, 2021) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced that President Biden will appoint Meg McCollister to become EPA’s Regional Administrator for Region 7. McCollister will lead the implementation of the Biden-Harris environmental agenda in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and nine tribal nations.

CCC students get hands-on experience climbing wind turbines

By KSNB, News Channel Nebraska

HASTINGS, Neb. — Central Community College students got some hands-on experience climbing up a 400-foot wind turbine Tuesday. Students involved in the energy technology program are taught about wind, solar and battery storage energy at the Hastings campus. For the wind portion of their learning, they are required to make the climb. Continue reading here.

Previously Posted
CCC introduces unique renewable energy program
, Hastings Tribune, August 28, 2019

Links to More Information About Nebraska Wind & Solar Technology Programs

Bureau of Labor Statistics

U.S. Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook

Additional Recommended Reading/Resources

About The IREC

For nearly 40 years, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council has made clean energy possible for millions of Americans through cutting-edge solutions that advance renewable energy, electric grid modernization, and energy efficiency. 

Today, our work continues in response to the urgent need to transition to clean energy—to mitigate climate change, improve the resiliency of our communities, and ensure all people benefit from a just transition to a clean energy future.

In 2021, IREC merged with The Solar Foundation, a national nonprofit that has led the advancement of solar energy and solar-compatible technologies since 1977. Together, we are excited to deepen our impact across all clean energy technologies.

Wind energy company studying Jefferson County for possible wind farm

By Michael Shively, News Channel Nebraska

FAIRBURY, NE — A major renewable energy company is studying to see if Jefferson County would be a good spot for a new wind farm.The Jefferson County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a special use permit for Big Blue Nebraska Wind LLC to build a meteorological tower. The tower will be built about two miles northwest of Harbine. Big Blue Nebraska Wind LLC is owned by NextEra Energy . . . Continue reading here.

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

NextEra’s Nebraska Projects Also Include: 

Of Potential Interest To High School Teachers & Students

 NEW REGENERATIVE AG ORGANIZATION 

Jessica Gnad“a dedicated soil health advocate with more than a decade of experience in the food, finance, and farming industries,” heads up Great Plains Regeneration, a new alliance made up of farmers, ranchers and academics from Kansas and neighboring states. The organization’s leaders also include two Nebraskans: Graham Christensen, from Oakland, who serves on the board of directors, and Trey Blackhawk, from Winnebago, a member of the advisory board. Great Plains Regeneration’s current initiatives include: farmer/rancher-led education, watershed regeneration, regional marketplace development.

Visit Great Plains Regeneration for more information.

VILSACK ADDRESSES RECENT FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT BIDEN’S CLIMATE ACTION PLANS

USDA chief Tom Vilsack says climate plans won’t involve a leaner meat diet, land seizures, Omaha World-Herald

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will not use eminent domain to take farm or ranch property out of production to meet its climate goal of conserving 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030, nor will it try to restrict people’s meat consumption, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday.

Additional Recommended Reading
USDA: 100 Days Update
Here is a summary of USDA’s work over these past 100 Days of the Biden-Harris Administration and a look at what is ahead.

Haaland: Era where tribes on backburner over

By Cindy Yurth, Navajo Times

In her first press conference as secretary of the Interior Wednesday, Deb Haaland promised to repair the nation-to-nation relationship between tribes and the federal government and to enact real consultation with tribes on important issues — not just within Interior but across the federal government.

Appropriately enough, the first Native American Interior secretary chose members of the Native American Journalists Association for the Zoom conference, which she scheduled for her very first day on the job. Continue reading here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Inside Clean Energy: Real Talk From a Utility CEO About Coal Power

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

Let’s begin with a game of, “Who said that?” Here’s the quote: “There is not a regulated coal plant in this country that is economic today, full period and stop,” he said. You might guess that it’s someone from the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign or the Natural Resources Defense Council. But the correct answer is that those words came from the CEO of the country’s largest electricity utility by market value,  Jim Robo of NextEra Energy, speaking last week in a conference call with analysts about the company’s latest earnings report. Continue reading here.

Also written by Dan Gearino

AMERICAN CLEAN POWER REPORT

American Clean Power Market Report Q4 2020
American Clean Power’s newest market report details the latest U.S. wind industry, utility-scale solar, and energy storage activity and trends. The public version of the report provides a summary of key takeaways and graphics from the full report, which is available for ACP members. ACP’s future quarterly reports will include the association’s own data on utility-scale solar and energy storage, along with wind.

Download the report for free – public version.
Nebraska Clean Energy Fact Sheet

News Release: Wind Industry Closes Record 2020 With Strongest Quarter Ever

About American Clean Power
American Clean Power represents the renewable energy industry in the United States, bringing together over 1,000 member companies, 120,000 members, and a national workforce located across all 50 states. By uniting the power of wind, solar, storage, and transmission companies and their allied industries, we enable the transformation of the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable and renewable power system.

The ACP Team
ACP’s Careers page is coming soon.

A Catalyst for the Midwest’s Clean Energy Transition

By Brian Palmer, Natural Resources Defense Council

When you discuss clean energy with senior energy economist Ashok Gupta, everything seems so obvious. Make it cheap; use it smartly. What’s all the fuss about? Don’t let the simplicity of his vision fool you, though. Gupta understands the economics and politics of energy better than anyone working in the United States today. He has devoted his nearly 30-year career at NRDC to transforming the American power sector and to converting cities into clean energy laboratories.

From 2004 to 2013, he served on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Sustainability Advisory Board and Energy Policy Task Force, which created knowledge centers for carbon reduction and efficiency that served as models for other cities. In 2012, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and shifted his focus to the clean energy future of the Midwest, helping Missouri, Kansas, and their biggest cities to embrace efficiency and capitalize on the region’s dropping price of wind and solar power. Read more here.

Previously Posted: The Clean Power Plan and the Midwest’s Winds of Change, by Ashok Gupta, NRDC

RENEWABLE ENERGY GIANTS

The New Energy Giants Are Renewable Companies, Bloomberg
Meet the clean supermajors. They have the clout and financial might of the energy behemoths that plumbed the world over for oil and gas before them. But instead of digging mines and drilling wells, they’re leading the race to electrify the global economy.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

DISTRIBUTED WIND & GREEN AMMONIA

The Renewable Energy Cows Come Home, Now With Green Ammonia, CleanTechnica
US farmers have been on the front lines of the renewable energy revolution, and they are in the vanguard of yet another clean tech trend that could finally help the distributed wind industry get the attention it deserves. If all goes according to plan, farms across the country will sprout wind turbines attached to devices that spit out green ammonia for fertilizer and zero emission fuel.

NEW APPRENTICE PROGRAM

McCarthy Partnering with Adaptive Construction Solutions in Support of Veterans, McCarthy News Release

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. announces a new partnership with Adaptive Construction Solutions, Inc. (ACS) to recruit and train veterans for careers in the construction trades, addressing a national workforce shortage. Together, the two organizations will identify and enroll veterans with military occupational specialties in an apprenticeship program that can lead to full-time employment with McCarthy. As a leading renewable energy builder, McCarthy will pilot the ACS program on its utility-scale solar and renewable energy projects.

The McCarthy Renewable Energy & Storage group focuses on utility-scale solar installation projects as well as other renewable energy projects across the U.S. In 2021, the firm will be constructing more than 1.8 GW of clean energy projects across the nation and expects to hire nearly 1,000 craft professionals for the construction of the projects that year alone. The renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing in the world and is anticipated to provide new and developing career opportunities for years to come.

Established in 1864, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc has office locations in 17 cities, including Omaha.

U.N. VIRTUAL CLIMATE SUMMIT

UN calls on humanity to end ‘war on nature,’ go carbon-free, ABC News
With new reports highlighting 2020’s record-breaking weather and growing fossil fuels extraction that triggers global warming, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered yet another urgent appeal to curb climate change. It was tinged with optimism but delivered dire warnings, as the UN gears up for a Dec. 12 virtual climate summit in France on the 5th anniversary of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The Climate Emergency Is The Only Business Variable That Matters

By Enrique Dans, Senior Contributor, Forbes

Any recovery from the post-pandemic economic crisis will have to be based on renewable energies, and this will have major consequences for the business environment. The oil companies are falling out of favor: a solar and wind energy companyNextEra Energy, is already worth more than the formerly all-powerful Exxon, which has been kicked out of the Dow Jones index, and they are dragging down the industries that depended on them: last July, Tesla reached $208 billion, more than the sum of Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Ferrari, General Motors, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen combined. It is now worth almost double that, $411 billion, and defines the destinies of an industry that will have to be completely rebuilt around electric motors. Even workers in the fossil fuel industry are fleeing to renewables. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Solar the new ‘king of electricity’ as renewables make up bigger slice of supply: IEA
PARIS (Reuters) – Solar output is expected to lead a surge in renewable power supply in the next decade, the International Energy Agency said, with renewables seen accounting for 80% of growth in global electricity generation under current conditions.