Tag Archives: NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

Solar power for Plattsmouth discussed

By Timothy Rohwer, The Plattsmouth Journal

PLATTSMOUTH – The idea of bringing solar power to Plattsmouth was brought up Monday evening. Craig Vincent, account manager for the Nebraska Public Power District, went before the Plattsmouth City Council to discuss NPPD’s Sunwise Community Solar Program.

“We’ve had discussions with Plattsmouth going on several years now,” Vincent said. “It’s a service to communities to facilitate a solar energy product for communities to use and residents to take advantage of. It is sized to the community.” Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: IEW. Posted on City of Norfolk.Gov.

About NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

NFS Note: NPPD’s contracts allow municipal customers to generate no more than 10% of their peak load from renewable energy sources.

More About Nebraska Public Power District

As a publicly-owned utility and a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, NPPD is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the people they serve. Our chartered service territory is vast, including all or parts of 84 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. NPPD was formed on Jan. 1, 1970, when Consumers Public Power District, Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District (PVPPID) and Nebraska Public Power System merged to become who we are today. NPPD is grounded in serving Nebraska’s energy needs. We are respectful of the rich public power history in the state, yet we are mindful that the state’s energy future is being defined by what we do each and every day.

FEATURED QUOTATION

“We used to talk about affordability and reliability as the imperatives. Now I think
we have a three or four-legged stool. We need sustainability and resilience.”

– Mary Harding, NPPD Board of Directors member and former chair
Source: Midwest Energy News 

MORE ABOUT NEBRASKA’S LARGEST COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECT

Norfolk’s 8.5-megawatt solar farm nearing completion, Siouxland Proud

The program is made possible through a 30-year partnership between Norfolk’s energy supplier, Nebraska Public Power District, and Sol Customer Solutions. [Mayor Josh] Moenning said there’s much more demand for solar energy these days, specifically from corporations.

“We think this is very forward-looking. A lot of businesses now are looking only for renewable sources, clean sources of energy and we’ll be able to accommodate them to a certain extent with this project and we’re hopeful we can develop more in the future,” said Moenning.

Learn more here: City of Norfolk.Gov
Project Camera Link

Referenced by Mayor Moenning – Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasers

  • Visit Clean Energy Buyers Association for a sampling of corporate members who are among their large renewable energy buyers.
  • American Clean Power Association members also include large corporate renewable energy purchasers.
    > More than 1,000 utilities, cooperatives, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies buy wind and solar power.
    > Corporate buyers have contracted 46 GW of wind and solar to power their businesses.

Previously Posted Midwest Energy News Story

Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler

“Northeast Nebraska is the renewable energy hotbed of the state,” said Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning. “I’d much rather use clean energy that’s made in our backyard than haul it in on a coal train from Wyoming, which is the status quo in Nebraska.”

Moenning is happy about the solar project with NPPD, which will also include a 1-megawatt battery, but it doesn’t satisfy his city’s renewable aspirations, and they “absolutely” want more.

ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY SOLAR RESOURCES

Solar farm west of Norfolk could be in commercial use by April

By Austin Svehla, Norfolk Daily News

NPPD entered into an agreement with Sol Customer Solutions, a joint venture between Sol Systems and Arevon Energy Inc. Arevon will manage the asset, and Sol Systems will operate and maintain the array. Sol Systems, along with partners GenPro Energy Solutions and Mesner Development, executed a lease agreement with the City of Norfolk for the land where the solar panels are being installed along Highway 275 near Norfolk’s sewer maintenance facility. Continue reading here.

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) Resources

SPP, MISO COMPLETE CROSS-SEAM TRANSMISSION STUDY

Grid operators’ ‘seam’ study paves way for renewable expansion, E&E News

The study identified seven transmission projects along the MISO-SPP boundary that would cost $1.65 billion and enable 28 gigawatts of new generation capacity — and perhaps as much as 53 GW — across MISO and SPP combined. The latter estimate, based on modeling by SPP, would roughly double the combined wind and solar capacity that currently exists in the two regions.

MISO and SPP complete Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue, Southwest Power Pool

LES’ SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PROGRAM

LES Offers $1.5 Million Of Incentives Through Sustainable Energy Program, American Public Power Association

Since the program’s inception, LES customers have accessed nearly $28 million in program incentives and spent $220 million on energy-efficient equipment and/or services. “In total, energy efficiency projects that received SEP incentives have cumulatively saved more than 800,000 net megawatt-hours, or the equivalent annual electric use of 80,000 single-family homes,” said Marc Shkolnick, LES manager of Energy Services. Additional information about the program is available here.

NEW RESIDENTIAL SOLAR REPORT & WEBINAR FROM BERKELEY LAB

Solar Demographic Trends and Analysis
Berkeley Lab tracks and analyzes solar-adopter demographic characteristics. A central element of this work is a tracking report describing income and other socio-economic trends of residential solar adopters over time and across geographies. The report is based on household-level income and other demographic data for residential solar adopters across the United States, and is intended to serve as a foundational reference document for policy-makers, industry stakeholders, and other researchers interested in demographic trends among residential solar adopters.

The report is published with an accompanying interactive data visualization tool that allows users to further explore the underlying data. Nebraskans for Solar Note: Nebraska is not yet on the map, but data from other states may be of potential interest. 

The authors will host a webinar highlighting key findings from this study on March 17th at 2 pm Central Time. Register here.

OPPD Continues Strong Focus On Reliability & Resilience For Future Generation

OPPD News Release, January 20, 2022

During this week’s all-committees meeting for the OPPD Board of Directors, utility leaders discussed resource planning work. OPPD must submit an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) every five years as part of a long-term contract to receive hydroelectric power. The utility uses comprehensive decision-support tools to evaluate resource options for the IRP, which serves as a road map for future generation and power purchases.

This latest IRP will take into account recently released findings from OPPD’s latest portfolio modeling process to move the utility toward its goal of net-zero carbon by 2050. The plan also includes the district’s Power with Purpose project to add up to 600 megawatts (MW) of solar generation with natural gas backup to power our growing communities, as well as the retirement of North Omaha Station units 1-3 and repowering of units 4-5 to run on natural gas.

Board officer positions for 2022

During today’s monthly board meeting, directors elected officer positions for the coming year, opting to retain the positions held in 2021. They also confirmed standing committee assignments for 2022.

LES YEAR-END REPORT & ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

 

 

NPPD RESOURCES

 

 

 

Work continues on Norfolk solar project

GenPro Energy Solutions News Release
News Channel Nebraska

Commercial operation is anticipated to be achieved in the spring of 2022.

NORFOLK, Neb. — Construction work is continuing on Norfolk’s first solar farm, an 8.5 megawatt solar unit, located on land at the city’s well field on Highway West 275. Last year, it was announced Norfolk will be part of Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) SunWise Community Solar program.

“We’re excited to offer this power option to citizens,” said Mayor Josh Moenning. “Solar costs have declined significantly in the last 10 years, making this energy accessible at a very competitive rate. This project, paired with a battery storage system that will help us efficiently manage distribution, will be the largest of its kind in the state.” Read more here. 

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program
GenPro’s Current Employment Opportunities

SoCore Energy Photo: Kearney’s 5.7-megawatt solar farm on 53 acres of the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing. 

Previously Posted 

Also of Potential Interest

Previously posted Energy News Network article discusses NPPD’s decarbonization limits for Nebraska communities that source wholesale power from the utility and South Sioux City’s independent path to 100% renewable energy:

  • Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler
    The city of Norfolk, Nebraska, soon will celebrate its first solar farm — and the last one allowed under a contract with its electricity wholesaler. The 8.5-megawatt community solar project is being developed in partnership with the Nebraska Public Power District, which supplies power to most of the state outside of Omaha and Lincoln. The hitch for Norfolk is that the public utility’s contracts prevent municipal customers from generating more than 10% of their peak load from alternative sources, a threshold the city expects to reach with this project. “Northeast Nebraska is the renewable energy hotbed of the state,” said Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning. “I’d much rather use clean energy that’s made in our backyard than haul it in on a coal train from Wyoming, which is the status quo in Nebraska.”
  • 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

Additional Resources

Groundbreaking ceremony to be held for York’s new solar project

The Grand Island Independent

YORK – Representatives of Nebraska Public Power District, the City of York and Solar Developer GRNE will hold an official groundbreaking event for the York Community Solar project located at 1214 Road 15 (York landfill), north of York. The groundbreaking event is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. and will kick off construction of the 3.2 megawatt facility. Continue reading here.

Photo: Kearney Solar Farm. The panels for York’s solar project will be mounted on a tracker-designed racking system similar to Kearney’s.

Links to Additional Information

Previously Posted: Solar project at landfill still moving forward, York News-Times

Additional NPPD SunWise Projects
Construction underway at NPPD Ainsworth community solar site, NPPD News Release
When complete, the 500-kilowatt (KW) Ainsworth facility will generate enough electricity to serve the equivalent of approximately 75-100 homes in the community when the sun is shining. The solar project will join current projects, including those already operational in Venango, Scottsbluff, Kearney, and future projects planned for Norfolk, York, and Ogallala. The project will be built and operated by GRNE Solar, a Lincoln, Neb., company.  Once completed, the facility will be known as Solar Bundle One, LLC. Construction is scheduled for completion this fall . . .  [All shares are reserved].

COMING THIS WEDNESDAY: DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ZOOM MEETING

NCSP Community-Based Organizations Convening: Tools for Equitable Community Solar

Description

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is hosting a virtual meeting via Zoom for community-based organizations on Tools for Equitable Solar to introduce the National Community Solar Partnership’s new, rolling technical assistance program and other program resources to community-based organizations interested in pursuing community solar.

The convening will feature an overview of the National Community Solar Partnership resources, including the newly expanded technical assistance program, to explore opportunities to increase equitable deployment of community solar and community-owned solar. Guest speakers from the Partnership will discuss how to leverage technical assistance and other National Community Solar Partnership resources to support community solar development in your community.

When: September 29, 2021, 1 pm Central Time

Register Here.

City gives nod to solar

By Suzi Nelson, Wahoo Newspaper

On July 27, the Wahoo City Council authorized the mayor to sign a letter of intent for a 2-megawatt solar plant on 10 acres on the east side of Wahoo. The project was approved unanimously by the Wahoo Board of Public Works on July 21, according to Ryan Hurst, general manager for Wahoo Utilities, the city-owned utility department. Hurst said Nebraska Public Power District, the entity from which Wahoo Utilities purchases electricity that is not generated by the local power plant, allows communities to use up to 10% or 2 megawatts of renewable power. Continue reading here.

To read more about NPPD’s limit on renewable energy, click here and scroll down to “South Sioux City” and “NPPD’s Wholesale Power Contracts”.

See Also: Council hears rate study for proposed electric rate changes, Beatrice Daily Sun, posted yesterday.

NPPD NEWS RELEASES

  • Information forums on decarbonization scheduled by NPPD
    NPPD’s Board of Directors is seeking to better understand their constituents’ opinions in three areas: 1) the risks associated with being a carbon emitting utility; 2) what NPPD’s carbon reduction goal should be; and 3) what principles (cost, environmental, reliability, resilience) are most important to customers  as NPPD works to reduce its carbon emissions.
  • NPPD hosting SunWise community solar open house Aug. 10
    GRNE Solar, based out of Lincoln, Neb., is the solar developer for the 500-kilowatt project. GRNE will sell electricity generated by the solar facility to NPPD, and NPPD will resell this energy to Ainsworth solar subscribers at cost. NPPD already has existing solar facilities operating in Kearney, Scottsbluff and Venango amounting to approximately 10.5 megawatts in size.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

In her article, Suzi Nelson references OPPD’s 81 MW solar project in Saunders County, named Platteview Solar.

The Saunders County Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 to approve the Conditional Use Permit for the 81 MW Platteview Solar Project. See: Saunders County approves solar farm construction near Yutan, Associated Press

More About Platteview Solar – 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 Solar Project 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?

Not in a meaningful way. Saunders County is 486,400 acres of ground.  The proposed project would impact 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.

Previously Posted Research

Beneath Solar Panels, the Seeds of Opportunity SproutNational Renewable Energy Laboratory 

“It doesn’t have to be an either-or choice. For all our agriculturally productive land, let’s help PV developers and farmers plan out these solar projects so that farmers can get under the arrays and continue to work the land for the next 20 or 30 years.” —Gerry Palano, energy program coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture

Construction underway at NPPD Ainsworth community solar site

Nebraska Public Power District News Release

Ainsworth, Neb. – If you live in and around Ainsworth, you might have noticed construction at the site of NPPD’s newest SunWise℠ community solar facility located just north of the Cowboy Trail at the south end of East City Park. Construction officially began the second week of May.

When complete, the 500-kilowatt (KW) Ainsworth facility will generate enough electricity to serve the equivalent of approximately 75-100 homes in the community when the sun is shining. The solar project will join current projects, including those already operational in Venango, Scottsbluff, Kearney, and future projects planned for Norfolk, York, and Ogallala. The project will be built and operated by GRNE Solar, a Lincoln, Neb., company.  Once completed, the facility will be known as Solar Bundle One, LLC. Read the entire news release here.

NPPD Sunwise Community Solar
GRNE Solar

Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility, NPPD

Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

The city of Norfolk, Nebraska, soon will celebrate its first solar farm — and the last one allowed under a contract with its electricity wholesaler. The 8.5-megawatt community solar project is being developed in partnership with the Nebraska Public Power District, which supplies power to most of the state outside of Omaha and Lincoln. The hitch for Norfolk is that the public utility’s contracts prevent municipal customers from generating more than 10% of their peak load from alternative sources, a threshold the city expects to reach with this project. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Norfolk solar facility, battery energy storage system ready to go, Norfolk Daily News
NPPD plans to enter into a 30-year agreement with N Solar for an 8.5 megawatt solar unit to be constructed on land at the city’s well field. The expectation is installation of the solar panels will begin in 2021 with operations beginning by the end of 2021.

ALSO WRITTEN BY KAREN UHLENHUTH

Photo by Tim Hynds / Sioux City Journal: South Sioux City’s Solar Park, a 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer SolarCity, a Tesla subsidiary. Archived News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal

Solar shares still available

Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

KEARNEY — Want to power your home with solar energy? There’s still plenty of it available from the 53-acre solar farm at TechoNE Crossing, Kearney’s technology park. To get the solar energy, you’ll need to purchase shares in the solar farm, which went online in 2018 and initially offered about 7,000 shares. About one-third of the shares remain unsold, according to the city of Kearney, which announced this week it is looking for buyers for the 2,032 solar shares still available. In addition to getting buyers plugged into solar energy, owning the shares will lock in solar electrical rates for 20 years. Kearney residents who are interested in locking in electrical rates or protecting the environment can sign up online to purchase solar shares at sunwise.nppd.com. They also may call NPPD at 877-275-6773. Read more here.