Tag Archives: NPPD

Rural Electric Co-ops Dive Into Gas-Killing Solar Panels + Farmland Fray

Written by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy legislative session over in the great state of Michigan, where policy makers are considering the idea that putting solar panels on farmland is a good thing. If the state does relax its restrictions, look for other US states to amp up the solar power rush. Read more here.

Photo Credit: George Parker / Fresh Energy



New Plan To Save Coal Jobs: Teeny, Tiny Coal Power Plants, CleanTechnica




  • Washington 100% renewable bill passes both Houses, PV Magazine
    Washington is looking to become the fourth state to make the move to 100% renewable electricity, with only a Senate review and the hand of Governor Inslee left in the way of SB 5116.
  • Homeowners play a role in Atlanta’s Clean Energy Plan, Atlanta Journal Constitution
    Developed by the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, the Clean Energy Plan was approved in March by the City Council. It offers the framework to overhaul energy usage of municipal operations and the community with short- and long-term strategies aimed at achieving 100% clean energy by 2035.
  • Green Mountain Power on 100% clean energy: hold my beer, PV Magazine
    The Vermont utility has set a plan to decarbonize more aggressively than even Washington DC, as the second utility know to pv magazine to set a 100% clean electricity target.


NextEra, Nebraska farmers aim to build largest solar farm in the Midwest

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a massive solar project in northeastern Nebraska that, if built, would be the largest in the Midwest and among the largest in the country. The 423 megawatt project is in the early stages of development and still hinges on how much it will cost to connect to the regional transmission grid. “We’re in a holding pattern until we get clarification from the Southwest Power Pool,” said Phil Clement, NextEra’s project director in Nebraska. “We need to know if it’s viable.” Sean Gallagher, vice president for state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the project could be a sign of things to come in the region, which is increasingly attractive for large solar projects.
Continue reading here.

Photo by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

Previously Posted

Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light: Utility Action Update

OPPD – The comment period for Strategic Directive 7 (SD7), which covers environmental stewardship, has been extended to November 4th! They received hundreds of comments, right up until the previous deadline, many calling for a 100% renewable energy goal. The new language of SD7 includes a goal of 50% renewable retail sales and keeps the carbon intensity metric of a 20% reduction of 2010 levels by 2030. This is a step in the right direction, but we would like to see a 20% reduction in TOTAL carbon emissions and a goal of 100% renewables. You can read SD7, submit your comments and watch video recaps here.

LES – In their 2019 proposed budget, LES intends to allocate $1.5 million of their Sustainable Energy Program (SEP) for low-income energy efficiency programs. Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light Policy & Outreach Director Ken Winston has been engaging LES on this issue. The following are suggestions for increasing the likelihood of success of the new low-income efficiency proposal, the SEP going forward, energy efficiency in general and customer engagement:

  1. Establish a diverse task force of low-income, neighborhood and other community representatives to make sure there is a low-income efficiency program that best serves the needs of the community.
  2. Establish a continuing funding source for the low-income program.
  3. Make energy efficiency a part of the energy portfolio of LES, including establishing goals for energy efficiency.
  4. Improve marketing and outreach to make sure both the SEP and the new low-income efficiency program are reaching the people who need to be reached. Suggestions: presentations at Mayor’s Environmental Task Force and neighborhood roundtables, outreach to groups with contact lists.
  5. Work with the City of Lincoln and other agencies to improve energy efficiency in public buildings.
  6. Work with businesses, community organizations and idea leaders to make Lincoln the most energy-efficient community in the region.
  7. Establish a customer engagement portal on the website for comments and suggestions. It could be called “LES Listens” or something like that.

You can submit comments to LES here.

Related – Local View: LES should preserve funding for sustainability program, Lincoln Journal Star

NPPD – They are in the process of drafting their own Strategic Directives, and these will include environmental stewardship goals. They also had a discussion at their last meeting of supporting carbon fee and dividend if such legislation would be introduced in the Legislature next session. Let your NPPD director know what they should do for environmental goals and a carbon tax here.

Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light: It is better that OPPD and NPPD hear from their respective customer-owners and for them to mention their board representative. In the case of LES, the entire board represents the whole LES service area.

Website: Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light

Public power easily gets public records exception

By Joe Duggan, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers have granted public power districts the ability to keep certain financial and proprietary information out of the hands of business competitors and the public. State senators voted 42-4 Friday to pass a public records exception that electrical utilities say they need to remain competitive in a 14-state regional energy market. Read more here.

Public domain photo of a hybrid renewable energy project.


Public Domain Photo of a Hybrid Project

Solar that Benefits Birds & Pollinators – Workshop & Tour

By Rob Davis, Center for Pollinators in Energy

March 8, 2018
Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary
44450 Elm Island Road, Gibbon, Nebraska
Facebook Live Stream

In partnership with Kearney City officials, the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, Nebraska Public Power District, and SoCore Energy, we invite you to learn more about Nebraska’s largest solar array and the benefits it provides to the community and environment.

This array is radically different from the solar photos you’ve seen from the Arizona desert. Bird- and pollinator-friendly flowers and grasses have been seeded under and around the solar panels. Planned specifically for a time when Kearney is a national destination for millions of Sandhill cranes, a panel of local and regional leaders will discuss economic development and care for nature and the land in the context of the growing trend of solar development by cooperatives around the country.

The conversation/workshop will be followed by a tour of the Kearney solar array, with a light lunch provided. The solar array tour will include opportunities for attendees to assemble boxes for native bees and broadcast a bird- and pollinator-friendly seed mix, with assistance from the Kearney Outdoor Learning Area (KOLA) high-school students.

Workshop/Conversation: 10:30 – 11:30 am
Mayor Stanley Clouse, City of Kearney
Bill Taddicken, Audubon Center
Jason Guernsey, Department of Economic Development, State of Nebraska
Jerry Vap, past Chairman of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, past president of the National Association of Conservation Districts
Moderator: Rob Davis, Fresh Energy
Light Lunch: 11:30 am – 12:10 pm
Solar Site Tour: 12:30 – 1:30 pm
SoCore Energy & NPPD
UNK’s Marc Albrecht
Pete Berthelson, native plant expert

Photos by Rob Davis (top) and G. Parker.

Introducing the Center for Pollinators in Energy, by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

188-2: Minnesota Sets Standard for Land Use on Solar Sites

Rob Davis’ TedX Minneapolis Talk – Click image to start it.

Final pieces moving into place for Stegall transmission line project

By Scott Miller, KNOP News

NPPD says the 115,000 volt line from Stegall to Scottsbluff is complete, but it will likely be August before the system can be energized . . . The project, which also includes a short 345,000 volt line to the Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s existing Stegall substation, is expected to enhance system reliability in the Panhandle. Click here to read more.

NPPD: Stegall to Scottsbluff

Kearney officially signs on $11M solar array project

By Mike Konz, Kearney Hub Managing Editor

According to Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse, going solar would add just $4.29 per month to electrical costs for an average home that consumes 962-kilowatt hours per month.

KEARNEY — Stan Clouse said Wednesday he’s ready to go green at home by signing up for solar-generated electricity, and he’s betting many of Kearney’s residential, commercial and institutional energy consumers also will want to do the same when Nebraska’s largest solar energy array is online in the fall . . . Tim Polz of SoCore Energy worked with the city and NPPD on the Kearney project. He anticipates construction will begin in late March and conclude before September. SoCore operates solar projects in 17 states, including Kansas, and is developing other projects in Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and South Dakota.  Read more here.

Photo Credit: SoCore

Agreements signed in $11M solar project; Xpanxion announces official tech park plans, Kearney Hub. Posted February 3, 2017


Community Solar Project breaking ground Wednesday

Published by the Scottsbluff Star Herald


An official groundbreaking for the Scottsbluff Community Solar Project on Wednesday will begin the physical work on a project that’s been in the works for nearly two years. The public is invited to the event, which will eventually see a 128-killowatt solar array in the area, providing greener electricity to the city.  Click here for additional details.

SunWise Community Solar

Iowa reaches new high mark for wind energy, The Gazette
Sustainable: Solar Energy growing fast in Minnesota,
Finance & Commerce

4 ways to motivate people to warm to community solar, Green Biz

Focus groups provide direction on solar energy

By Irene North, Scottsbluff Star Herald

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) aimed to on learn the thoughts of its customers and gather input on a proposed solar project during focus groups held in Scottsbluff and Kearney this week.

Key Takeaways from NPPD Focus groups:

  • Scottsbluff could be the site of a community solar project, ideally positioned to get the biggest benefit from the sun.
  • Homeowners and renters are eligible for the program. A pilot project in Scottsbluff would involve 20 homes.
  • More education is needed on solar energy, terminology.
  • Solar energy to be one aspect of “diverse portfolio.” NPPD hopes to have project operating by January 2017.

Read the entire news story.

South Sioux City embraces electric cars, wind, solar options

South Sioux City senior code official Kent Zimmerman demonstrates the electric-car charging station in front of City Hall on Friday. The northeast Nebraska city has four electric cars, part of its push to use more renewable energy. Photo by Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal

South Sioux City senior code official Kent Zimmerman demonstrates the electric-car charging station in front of City Hall on Friday. The northeast Nebraska city has four electric cars, part of its push to use more renewable energy. Photo by Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal

By Mike Bell, Sioux City Journal

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. / Mayor Rod Koch was upbeat on the city’s drive to be green, which he described not only as money-smart but also ahead of the curve. “With all the regulations and changes Washington’s making on coal, we’re seeing the writing on the wall – we’re trying to get in a better position for the future, and the future is wind and solar,” Koch said . . . The city has set aside 21 acres of land — on C Avenue south of East 48th Street, between South Sioux City and Dakota City — for a future solar farm that could be operational in 2016. The city is receiving bids from private companies that would build, own and install solar panels. The farm would provide 3 megawatts of solar power for the city.

Read more here.

South Sioux City to buy electric capacity from Lincoln utility, by Dave Dreeszen, Sioux City Journal