Tag Archives: NPPD’s SunWise Program

Norfolk’s 8.5-megawatt solar farm nearing completion

By Dillon Adams, 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. Read more here.

The site will be planted with a pollinator crop. These are environmentally friendly and require minimal maintenance. Source: City of Norfolk.Gov

NEW REPORT ON ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUSES

New Report Details Benefits of Electric School Buses, American Public Power Association

With advances in electric bus technology, a growing understanding of the benefits of electrification, and an influx of federal money through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), electric school buses are becoming an increasingly viable option for school districts, according to a new report from the United States Public Interest Research Group, Environment America, and Frontier Group: Electric School Buses and the Grid

Read the Executive Summary and download the report here.

NDED RECOGNIZES FT. CALHOUN’S LEADERSHIP

Ft. Calhoun Honored for Leading Partnerships Geared Toward Energy, Recreational Growth, Nebraska Department of Economic Development News Release

The city of Ft. Calhoun (Pop. 908), home to a groundbreaking solar partnership with Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), has earned ongoing recognition from the State of Nebraska for recent economic growth. The Department of Economic Development (DED) this week announced the City’s recertification in Nebraska’s Leadership Certified Community (LCC) program. 

Click here for more information about the LCC Program.

PJM NEWS

Coal plant owners seek to shut 3.2 GW in PJM in face of economic, regulatory and market pressures, Utility Dive

PJM is a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of
wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Graphic: PJM Interconnection queue as of December 31, 2021.

Coal-fired power plants in PJM are retiring, as they are in other parts of the U.S., in the face of less expensive renewable energy, tougher environmental rules and higher operating costs, according to ESAI Power and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a nonprofit that supports moving away from fossil fuels.

FEATURED NATIONAL LIBRARY

USDA’s National Agricultural Library (NAL)
The National Agricultural Library is one of five national libraries of the United States and houses one of the world’s largest collections devoted to agriculture and its related sciences.

Recent NAL resources on renewable energy include:

Groundbreaking held for York’s new solar power generation field

By Melanie Wilkinson, York News-Times

YORK – It was quite fitting that the sun was brilliantly shining and there were near-record high temperatures as gold shovels were used to turn dirt during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new solar energy generation field at York. The location is on unused ground on the landfill property.

A number of people were on hand to mark the beginning of this project – a project that has been in the works since 2019 when the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and the City of York began working together toward this end goal. Continue reading here.

SITING SOLAR ON LANDFILLS & OTHER BROWNFIELDS

Links to Resources

  • RE-Powering America’s Land
    RE-Powering America’s Land is an EPA initiative that encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites when such development is aligned with the community’s vision for the site.
  • EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse contaminated properties. To learn about EPA’s broader efforts to put previously contaminated properties back into productive use, read about the Land Revitalization Program.
  • Brownfields and Land Revitalization in Region 7
    EPA Region 7 manages  Brownfields and Land Revitalization Programs in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. On this page you will find information specific to Region 7’s Brownfields and Land Revitalization activities. Visit the national Brownfields Program and Land Revitalization Program websites for more information about these programs’ competitive grants.
  • Brownfields: FAQs, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

USDA NEWS RELEASE


USDA Announces $3 Billion Investment in Agriculture, Animal Health, and Nutrition; Unveils New Climate Partnership Initiative, Requests Public Input

 


“The new Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative will support pilots that create new market opportunities for commodities produced using climate-smart practices and position U.S. farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners as leaders in addressing climate change. The pilots will invest in the science, monitoring and verification to measure the benefits of these climate smart practices. Today, we ask for public input to inform our decision making and enhance the design of this initiative.”
– Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Comments may be provided on or before 11:59 p.m. EST on November 1, 2021 via the Federal Register, Docket ID: USDA-2021-0010. Feedback will be used to inform design of the new Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

FACA consists of 80 organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, agribusinesses, manufacturers, the food and innovation sector, state governments, sportsmen and women, and environmental advocates. More information and a full list of members can be found at www.AgClimateAlliance.com. FACA’s original 40 recommendations are outlined in a 50-page report and summarized in a one-page hand-out.

RURAL ENERGY FOR AMERICA PROGRAM

REAP provides funding for rural America’s clean energy efforts,  Standard Journal

Contributed article by Kalee Olson,  a policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs. Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, nonprofit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action-oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1.

County board discusses North Bend project, solar farm

By Collin Spilinek, Fremont Tribune

[The Dodge County Board of Supervisors] unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Western Integrated Seed to establish a seven-acre solar farm on their property near Hooper. The farm came from a collaboration between Bluestem Energy Solutions and the Burt County Public Power District to provide energy to the county.

Bluestem is a renewable energy developer based out of Omaha that works with public power districts and municipal utilities across the state to provide them with options for local renewable generation. Matt Robinette, vice president of development, said the farm will provide energy to around 150 homes in Burt County. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Scottsbluff II Solar shares selling fast, NPPD News Release
Shares for the 4.375-megawatt solar farm opened for registration on Jan. 2, 2020. In just under a month, over 90 percent of the Scottsbluff II shares have already been purchased. 

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

Interested in solar energy? Nebraska Public Power District can help make that interest a reality

NPPD News Release

Residents of Scottsbluff who are interested in having solar energy as part of their electricity options, now have the opportunity! The City of Scottsbluff, in cooperation and partnership with Nebraska Public Power District, will again offer community solar shares to their customers in Scottsbluff. A second community solar project is under construction in Scottsbluff, located near Landers Soccer Complex. The 4.375-megawatt solar farm, scheduled to go live this spring, will begin taking registration for shares from Scottsbluff residents and businesses on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. The initial solar farm, located at NPPD’s Scottsbluff office, was well received and sold out immediately. Continue reading here.

More Nebraska News

Wayne State partners with UNL to offer dual-degree program, Kearney Hub
The goals of the partnership are to provide education platforms in resilient food, energy, water and societal systems in alignment with career opportunities, as well as prepare teachers and curriculum to respond to the increased need for agricultural science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educators.

Thank you to everyone who participated in last night’s Nebraskans for Solar and OPPD event

From Left: Michal Lisowyj, David Rich, Courtney Kennedy, Mayor Josh Moenning

Many thanks to event attendees, who posed numerous insightful questions during the discussion session that followed the excellent panel presentation. Nebraskans for Solar also wish to extend our appreciation to the following event moderator and speakers:

Courtney Kennedy, OPPD Alternative Energy Program Manager, moderated the panel discussion and facilitated the Q&A.

Our guest speakers and the topics they discussed are identified below, as well as links to related articles, news releases and resources: 

Michal Lisowyj, OPPD Alternative Energy Specialist
Mr. Lisowyj provided an overview of why energy storage is becoming increasingly popular, the technologies being deployed, as well as some that may be used in the future (cryogenic, pumped, flow, etc.). He also presented an overview of OPPD’s grant application for energy storage, summarized OPPD’s 5-megawatt community solar project under construction by NextEra Energy Resources, and provided information on OPPD’s Request for Proposals for 400 to 600 megawatts of solar, detailed in the document, below.

Recommended Reading

Josh Moenning, City of Norfolk Mayor and founder of New Power Nebraska
Mayor Moenning provided an overview of the City of Norfolk’s planned 8.5-MW community solar project and accompanying battery energy storage system, made possible by a grant award from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. He also briefly discussed New Power Nebraska, an alliance open to the public that he founded to promote the development of wind energy. To learn more about New Power Nebraska and sign up for the group’s newsletter, visit:
www.newpowernebraska.org 

Recommended Reading

David Rich, NPPD Sustainable Energy Manager
Mr. Rich discussed NPPD’s application to the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a 1 MW/2 MWH battery energy storage system in partnership with the City of Norfolk, NPPD’s Request for Proposals, the evaluation of the proposals and their current status and issues raised by the developers regarding potential utilization of the U.S. Investment Tax Credits.

Additionally, Mr. Rich discussed Monolith Materials’ manufacturing facility in Hallam, Nebraska, adjacent to NPPD’s Sheldon Station. Monolith Materials uses a patented process to manufacture carbon black, a common material found in a great number of products, including tires, cellphones, paints, printing inks, plastics and batteries. Hydrogen is a byproduct of the carbon black manufacturing process. Monolith uses natural gas instead of coal-tar and oil, as in the conventional process. Norris Public Power District headquartered in Beatrice is the natural gas provider.

Recommended Reading & Viewing

Image Credit: Nebraskans for Solar Board Member David Corbin
Top Photo: “Collaboration” by Jamie Burmeister, a sculptor, musician and educator living and working in Omaha. David and his wife, Josie Metal-Corbin, are among the subjects of the miniature sculptures featured in “Collaboration.”

NPPD will seek proposals on community solar

By Record Editor Kerri Rempp, Rapid City Journal  

Chadron qualifies for a 1.15 megawatt community solar project, and all Nebraska Public Power District customers within city limits would be eligible to purchase shares to have up to 100 percent of their electrical usage generated by solar power. The city would be required to purchase any unsold shares. Read more here.

Photo: First  Fremont Solar Farm, 1.55-megawatts. The city completed a second solar farm of the same size in September 2018 to accommodate strong customer demand.
Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities


NPPD’s SunWise Program

NPPD customers can request community solar for their town or city by submitting the SunWise Community Interest Form here,

NPPD’s Scottsbluff solar project performing as expected

Nebraska Public Power District News Release

“The Scottsbluff project, and NPPD’s other Sunwise Community Solar projects, are operating well and performing as expected. The Scottsbluff project was sold out within days of our launch of the project and the community has been extremely supportive,” explained NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt.  “In fact, Scottsbluff has embarked on a second community solar project with the developer, SolSystems, for a significantly larger 4.6-megawatt operation.”  Arlt pointed out that NPPD is in various stages of progress for community solar projects in Norfolk, Chadron, O’Neill, Ainsworth, Pawnee City, and Loup City. Read the entire news release here.

NPPD Photo: Scottsbluff’s first community solar project developed by Mesner Solar and GenPro Energy Solutions, both based in Central City, and NPPD.

NPPD’s SunWise Program

Request Community Solar In Your Community: 
If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to request community solar in your community, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.


Previously Posted News Release
Contract awarded for R-Project transmission line construction by NPPD
For more information on the R-Project, go to www.rproject.nppd.com.

Nebraska Also in the News Here
Enel Green Power, Anheuser-Busch Partner to Make Super Bowl Week ‘Super Green’, Renewable Energy Magazine. An Interview with Mark McGrail, associate vice president for energy management at Enel Green Power North America. “To date we’ve been focusing our efforts on Kansas and Oklahoma, but now we are expanding into other regions, like Texas and Nebraska and Illinois.”

Previously Posted Enel News Release
Enel Green Power brings online 620 MW of new wind capacity in the United States
Enel, through its US renewable company Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA), has started operations of the 320 MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm, its first wind facility in the US state of Nebraska, and the Diamond Vista wind farm of around 300 MW in Kansas.
 OPPD image

2017 Top government stories: Kearney switches on $11 million solar farm

By Mike Konz, Managing Editor, Kearney Hub

The idea for the solar park was planted several years ago. That is when Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse and City Manager Mike Morgan began looking into renewable energy systems. Kearney had narrowly missed being selected as the site for a $1 billion Facebook data center. Facebook had been offered an extremely competitive electrical rate to build in Kearney, but planners selected a site in Iowa that offered electricity from wind turbines. Kearney leaders realized that to get tech companies’ attention, clean renewable energy had to be part of the proposition. Click here to read the entire article.

Photo Caption: It was the year of the trail in Kearney, as the final stretch of a 13.2-mile hike-bike trail finally linked Cottonmill Park west of the city with Fort Kearny State Recreation Area southeast of the city. Kearney also completed Nebraska’s first water trail near Yanney Heritage Park. Credit: Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

Track Kearney Solar Farm’s Energy Production

To learn more about installing solar for your home, business or farm, plan to attend the Kearney workshop Is Solar Right for You? sponsored by Common Ground and presented by Nebraska Extension Educator F. John Hay on January 30, 2018. The public is invited!

NPPD’s COMMUNITY SOLAR PROGRAM

  • Kearney residents may sign up online to purchase solar shares in the project by clicking this link and selecting the Kearney project, or by calling NPPD toll-free at1-877-275-6773.
  • Request Community Solar In Your Community: In addition to Kearney, participating communities in NPPD’s SunWise Program include Venango and Scottsbluff. If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to request community solar, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST – PILOT COMMUNITY STORAGE PROGRAM

SoCore and United Power, an 82,000 member Colorado co-op, are partnering on an innovative community-battery-storage pilot program.
Like community solar, members of the community will purchase a portion of the battery’s capacity to power their homes during peak hours. In exchange, the participants will lower the demand charges on their monthly electrical bills. Construction on the project will start in the first quarter of 2018.

NPPD News Release: Kearney SunWise community solar shares on sale starting Sept. 15, 2017

Project slated to come online in February 2018

Columbus, Neb. – Starting Sept. 15, 2017, residential and commercial customers who live in Kearney will have the opportunity to purchase solar shares in the City’s SunWise Community Solar Program. The facility, which will be constructed in Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing Technology Park, is expected to come online early next year. NPPD has been working with Kearney officials over the past year to develop their respective program, which will be the third of its kind in the state.

“NPPD’s community solar program enables NPPD to partner with its retail communities interested in pursuing their own solar projects,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “Under this program, NPPD works with the community and a selected developer to purchase the output of a solar unit. End-use customers can then participate in the program and pay for shares via their electric bill.”

Read the entire news release.

Photo Credit: Nebraska TV (NTV)

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

What is SunWise?

SunWise is a community solar program available in participating Nebraska Public Power District retail communities. Eligible customers have the opportunity to use solar energy to partially power their homes and businesses without the need to invest in a rooftop or home-based system.

Participating Communities

  • Venango – fully subscribed
  • Scottsbluff – fully subscribed
  • Kearney – shares available starting September 15, 2017