Tag Archives: Omaha Public Power District (OPPD)

The states that produce the most renewable energy

By Commodity.com, LatticePublishing.com, La Crosse Tribune

To determine the states producing the most renewable energy, researchers at Commodity.com used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to calculate the percentage of total electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable energy sources include: wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater five-year growth in renewable electricity production, between 2015 and 2020, was ranked higher. Here are the states that produce the most renewable energy.

Nebraska’s Rank: 15

  • Percentage of electricity generated from renewables: 28.9%
  • 5-year change in renewable electricity production: +115.7%
  • Total electricity generated from renewables (MWh): 10,648,740
  • Largest renewable energy source: Wind

Read more here.

See utility-scale wind and solar projects under development in our state at these Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy resources:

Additional Recommended Reading: FACT SHEET: President Biden Sets 2030 Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Target Aimed at Creating Good-Paying Union Jobs and Securing U.S. Leadership on Clean Energy Technologies, The White House Briefing Room

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS

UPCOMING OPPD WORKSHOPS

Pathways to Decarbonization WebEx Workshops 5 & 6
Pre-registration is encouraged to receive email reminders and Outlook calendar invites. The workshops are technical in nature and are designed to build from one another. It is highly recommended to watch previously recorded workshops before attending the upcoming ones. A summary video of past workshops is also available. 

  • Workshop 5: Initial Results
    Wednesday, October 27, 4-6 p.m.
  • Workshop 6: Final Results
    Thursday, December 9, 4-6 p.m.

Click here to learn more and pre-register for both.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FERC nominee Phillips uses 3-legged stool analogy in outlining regulatory approach to senators, Utility Dive

Having [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee Willie Phillips Jr.], a Democrat, at FERC could help the agency avoid deadlocks on pending issues such as transmission reformsnatural gas infrastructure reviews and the role aggregated demand response can play in wholesale markets. “FERC is at its best with a full complement of commissioners,” FERC Chairman Richard Glick said Tuesday on Twitter.

Previously Posted: Biden’s FERC nominee could pave the way for the administration’s massive clean energy agenda, Canary Media 

CLIMATE POSITIVE BUSINESSES

Panera bakes plan to go climate positive, GreenBiz Group


On Wednesday, fast-casual food chain Panera Bread announced that it plans to work towards a climate-positive business model by 2050. This means Panera will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits each year. Climate positive suggests that it will go a step beyond the popular net-zero carbon emissions movement that has taken the business world by storm over the past two years with commitments from UnileverNestleVerizon and many others.

Large-scale solar can help protect the special places we call home

Contributed by Chelsea Chandler, Director of Climate
Solutions for Clean Wisconsin, Wisconsin Examiner

The urgency of the climate crisis means that we need all hands on deck implementing all kinds of climate solutions. There’s no silver bullet; we need silver buckshot. That means we need a shift to electric vehicles and better public transit and pedestrian and bike infrastructure. We need energy efficiency and carbon-free electricity. And we need both smaller-scale, rooftop solar and large, utility-scale solar. Every kilowatt of clean energy adds up to make a difference, but given the urgency of climate change, a 465-megawatt project like the proposed Koshkonong Solar Energy Center would be a big step in matching the scale of the crisis with the scale of solutions.
Read more here.

IN NEBRASKA

Utility-Scale Projects Under Development, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy:
Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska 

  • Bellwood: 174.5 MW
  • Burt County: 250 MW
  • Clay County: Up-to 350 MW
  • Lincoln: 230 MW
  • Pierce County: 443 MW
  • Saunders County: 81 MW

FEATURED NEBRASKA PROJECT UNDER DEVELOPMENT

OPPD’s 81 MW solar farm, named “Platteview Solar”
In May 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 YutanAssociated Press

The above photo illustrates tree-screening surrounding a pollinator-friendly solar farm.

More About Platteview Solar, by 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 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.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED NREL 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

ADDITIONAL SOLAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT IN NEBRASKA

Community Solar Projects Map as of July 2021, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy Resource

Obscure state board seeks more authority over Nebraska public power districts

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — A proposal by an obscure state board to obtain more authority over public power districts has created a firestorm of concern and confusion among those utilities and some environmental groups.

The Nebraska Power Review Board, at its meeting Friday morning, will discuss whether the five-member board, appointed by the governor, should have the final say over contracts reached between power districts and energy suppliers, such as wind farms, and be able to weigh in on whether existing power plants should be decommissioned.
Continue reading here.

Nebraska Power Review Board Meeting 
Friday, October 15, 2021 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
First Floor Hearing Room
Nebraska State Office Building
301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, Nebraska

Agenda Item 7:
Discussion regarding whether the Power Review Board should have authority to review and approve decisions by public power utilities to enter into power purchase agreements and to decommission commercial generation facilities: PRB PPA & Decommissioning Authority (DRAFT Language for 10-15-21 Meeting).docx

Although the meeting will be held in-person, any member of the public also has the option to join virtually via Webex. The full agenda and Instructions on how to join the meeting and provide comments are posted here: Nebraska Power Review Board Meeting.

The minutes of the board meeting will be posted here.

Your utility: 5 facts about public power

By Laura King-Homan, The Wire

Public power utilities represent 60 percent of the electric utilities in the United States, serving 1 in 7 Americans. Nebraska has 166 public power utilities and cooperatives.

Public power is a unique part of living in Nebraska. The state is the only one in the country where all residents get electricity from public power utilities or cooperatives. This week, Oct. 3-9, is Public Power Week. In recognition, here are a few facts you may not know about your public power utilities.

Public power customers enjoy electricity rates averaging 11.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to investor-owned utility customers, who pay an average of 13.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Nebraska enjoys rates that are even lower, an average of 10.6 cents per kilowatt-hour. Learn more here.

Infographic by the American Public Power Association (APPA)

Also Written by Laura King-Homan
Resolve to be more energy efficient: October tips, The Wire

Additional Recommended Reading

The [annual Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report] comes as lawmakers consider infrastructure and budget reconciliation measures that include billions in funding for efficiency, which experts say could boost the sector’s employment and reduce U.S. carbon emissions. “What I’m seeing in Congress is a growing acceptance … that we have to act,” Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said at an event introducing the efficiency employment report.

Energy Efficiency Jobs in America  by nonpartisan business group E2 and clean energy nonprofit E4TheFuture

A bipartisan Ohio bill would be a first step to recouping savings, say advocates. But huge losses from House Bill 6 would remain. For Ohio, the MEEA report estimates that Ohioans missed out on roughly $980 million in net benefits for one program year. That figure includes savings on energy bills, as well as things like reduced capacity costs and avoided costs for transmission and distribution. When avoided health impacts and the social costs of carbon are factored in, Ohioans would have saved more than $2 billion for a single program year, according to the analysis.

Since he joined FERC four years ago, Glick has argued the agency isn’t taking a sharp enough look at how gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities affect the climate as well as environmental justice communities, or whether the proposed facilities are even needed. Glick’s letter comes as FERC is considering changing how it reviews natural gas infrastructure under a policy statement set in 1999. The agency launched a review of its natural gas policy in April 2018. After Glick was elevated to chairman last January, he asked for another round of comments from stakeholders on issues like how to evaluate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Statement: Massive oil spill off Southern California coast harming wildlife

Environment America News Release

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — A broken pipeline has spewed more than one hundred thousand gallons of oil into the ocean near Huntington Beach, California, closing the beach and forcing the cancellation of the final day of the Pacific Air Show. The spill, discovered Saturday morning, is coming from an oil drilling operation eight miles off the coast, operated by Houston-based Amplify Energy. The pipeline, formerly operated by Shell oil, has been in place since the 1980s. The Coast Guard has been called in for emergency clean-up, since the oil has rendered the coastline too dangerous for humans and marine wildlife. Read more here.

Related

NEW STUDY SHOWS AIR POLLUTION’S HARM TO HUMAN HEALTH

New report: More than one in six Americans experienced greater than 100 days of polluted air in 2020, Environment America

‘Trouble in the Air’ study shows where particulate matter and ozone pollution are harming human health in the U.S. “Air pollution can be just as dangerous for our health as smoking,” said Wendy Wendlandt, President of Environment America Research & Policy Center. “We learned in the 1960s that cigarettes were bad for us and we started to do something about it. Today, air pollution causes hundreds of thousands of people who never took up smoking to die too early each year. It’s past time to do something about that.” 

Download Trouble In The Air 

CARBON POLLUTION & LOCAL DECARBONIZATION LIMITS / LONGTERM INITIATIVES

South Sioux City’s Solar Park

Previously posted article discusses specific decarbonization limits for Nebraska communities and South Sioux City’s independent path to 100% renewable energy:

  • Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler, 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. “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

Solar Industry Doubles Down on Solar+ Decade Goal, Targets 30% Solar by 2030

SEIA News Release

“The destructive impacts of climate change are happening now, and it’s time to reimagine our entire electricity system,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “The solar industry is leading the way in reducing electricity sector emissions, but we’ll fall far short of the 850 gigawatts we need to reach 30% of electricity generation by 2030 without policy action. It’s time for lawmakers to meet the urgency of this climate moment. If the industry reaches 30% solar by 2030, the solar and storage industry will grow to 1 million workers and add more than $800 billion in new private sector investment. Read the entire news release here.

Learn more about SEIA’s 2030 goals and solar industry’s bold vision for the Solar+ Decade

GREEN POWER LEADERSHIP 

EPA Honors SEIA with the 2021 Green Power Leadership Award for Market Development, SEIA News Release, September 28, 2021

Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the Center for Resource Solutions, unveiled the Green Power Leadership Awards (GPLA) to recognize outstanding achievements in the clean energy marketplace. This year, the GPLAs honored SEIA as a winner in their Market Development category. Watch a brief video here.

U.S. SOLAR MANUFACTURING – LEGISLATION / LEADERSHIP

U.S. SOLAR MANUFACTURERS IN THE NEWS

FORD MOTOR COMPANY

Ford To Lead America’s Shift To Electric Vehicles With New Mega Campus In Tennessee and Twin Battery Plants In Kentucky: $11.4B Investment To Create 11,000 Jobs And Power New Lineup Of Adlvanced. EVs, News Release, Ford Media Center

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 27, 2021 – Ford Motor Company is announcing plans to bring electric vehicles at scale to American customers with two new massive, environmentally and technologically advanced campuses in Tennessee and Kentucky that will produce the next generation of electric F-Series trucks and the batteries to power future electric Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Ford plans to make the largest ever U.S. investment in electric vehicles at one time by any automotive manufacturer and, together with its partner, SK Innovation, plans to invest $11.4 billion and create nearly 11,000 new jobs at the Tennessee and Kentucky mega-sites, strengthening local communities and building on Ford’s position as America’s leading employer of hourly autoworkers.

See Also: FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Steps to Drive American Leadership Forward on Clean Cars and Trucks, White House Briefing Room

OPPD’S NEW EV GUIDE

Thinking about making the switch? Here’s your EV guide, by Julie Wasson, The Wire

With its new EV guide, OPPD has made it easier than ever to learn about making the switch to electric vehicles. EV 101 explains the basics of owning and operating an EV. The EV calculator provides a personalized estimate that lets you compare vehicle models side-by-side. That can help you understand the near- and long-term costs of switching to an EV, based on your driving habits, electricity use and savings potential.

You can also check out a map of the public charging stations available in the Omaha area and across the state. And you can learn about incentives and rebates available to EV buyers, including OPPD’s rebate program.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

WATCH NOW: Carthage students form business to promote renewable energy, Kenosha News

Celebrating National Clean Energy Week, Tri Global Energy Affirms Clean Energy Is the Future

Tri Global News Release

The company currently originates and develops utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Tri Global Energy’s headquarters is in Dallas with regional development offices in Lubbock, Texas; El Paso and Forreston, Illinois; and Reynolds and Hartford City, Indiana. Read more here. 

Tri Global Infographic: 100 MW Sugarloaf Wind project in Garden County, Nebraska.

See Also:

  • Clean Power Nebraska Fact Sheet, American Clean Power Association
  • Inside Clean Energy: The Energy Transition Comes to Nebraskaby Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News. Lincoln Electric System is the second large utility in Nebraska to approve a net-zero emissions goal, as the state reaps the benefits of wind power. Scott Benson, manager of resource and transmission planning for Lincoln Electric, told me that his utility’s new goal is a big deal because it is a more aggressive timetable than that of many other utilities across the country. But the net-zero goal is also not a big deal, he said, because Lincoln Electric was moving in this direction regardless.

NEAPCO

Neapco celebrates 100th anniversary, 40 years in Beatrice, Beatrice Daily Sun
“We have a customer today that buys a lot of product from us, and they’re non-automotive,” [Chief Davidson, plant manager for Beatrice], said. “They’re actually in the solar power industry, and we provide the mechanisms that position their mirrors to track the sun. So that’s a little bit out of the norm for us, but it’s the same type of technology. We’re also very heavily involved with the electric vehicle manufacturers. We know that that’s an upcoming trend, and we’re working on various new products that will support that industry as it gets off the ground.”

Nebraska Recognizes Clean Energy Week 2021

By Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Norfolk Daily News

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has issued a proclamation recognizing September 20-24, 2021 as Clean Energy Week in the state in conjunction with the fifth annual National Clean Energy Week (NCEW).

“Nebraska believes in reliable, affordable, and clean forms of energy,” wrote Governor Ricketts in his proclamation. “Wind is responsible for a significant portion of the state’s renewable electricity generation, with more than 1,000 wind turbines and more than 2,100 MW of installed utility-scale capacity.” Read more here.

RESOURCES FOR CLEAN ENERGY WEEK – OR ANYTIME – FROM OPPD, NPPD & LES

If you are a customer of another utility company, check the website for available resources.

 

 

 

 

Business Resources

Residential Resources

 

 

 

 


NPPD’s EnergyWise Incentives & Rebates For:

 

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED RESOURCE

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency-Nebraska

OPPD Board Promotes Vice President To Chief Operating Officer

OPPD News Release, September 16, 2021

Today, the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors promoted Troy Via to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer and Vice President — Utility Operations, effective Oct. 31. Via is presently Vice President – Energy Delivery, having served in that role for the past three years. He joined the utility in September 2013 as the Director of Energy Marketing and Trading.

In his new position, Via will provide overall leadership, strategic planning and long-term objectives for OPPD’s energy production and energy delivery groups. He will also oversee the ongoing decommissioning of Fort Calhoun Station. The role will oversee the main energy operational capabilities to ensure OPPD’s continued commitment to affordable, reliable, and environmentally sensitive energy services. Prior to joining OPPD, Via held progressively responsible positions with Dominion Resources and Aquila Energy. He holds a bachelor of Business Administration degree with a focus in Finance from the University of Central Missouri.

The release also includes:
Final review of polar vortex event
Power With Purpose Update

Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
OPPD nets national economic development award, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire

OPPD’s Next “Pathways to Decarbonization” Session: Thursday, September 2

OPPD has committed to achieving net-zero carbon power by 2050 and has initiated a “Pathways to Decarbonization” study to identify and prioritize strategies and actions to reach that goal. The utility has sponsored a series of public forums over the past several months, beginning in April. Click here to view recordings of all past workshops. A summary video of the workshops is also available here.

Previously Posted

Board Approves Net Metering Change, The Wire
OPPD customers who want to generate their own energy have increased options for doing so starting Sept. 1. OPPD’s Board of Directors approved an increase to “the aggregate system size limit for net metering services” at its August board meeting. The limit increases from 25 kilowatts (kW) to 100kW. The change accommodates customers who are seeking options in generating their own energy. The board passed the resolution unanimously. 
For more information about how to go solar with OPPD, visit: OPPD.com/COG

Also of Potential Interest

Should Utility CEO Compensation Be Linked To Decarbonization Goals?, Environment+Energy Leader

As part of its recently launched Utility Transformation Challenge initiative, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) recommends utilities undergo a series of cultural and business model changes, such as linking executive compensation to carbon reduction goals, to support the transition to a carbon-free, clean energy future.