Tag Archives: Omaha Public Power District

Hastings, Adams County gear up for solar future

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

After John Carllson put up a 40-foot by 80-foot shop last year at his home in Ayr, it just made sense to cover the south side of the roof with solar panels. His brother had erected solar panels at his home in Hordville. Carllson and his wife, Linda, were inspired. “I’d been kicking it around, and after I put the building up we talked it over,” said Carllson, who retired from working in the Hastings Utilities gas department. “I think it’s the coming thing. It’s free power from the sun.” Continue reading here.

Photo by Amy Roh: Heath Jennings (left) and Johnny Moser, of Interconnection Systems Incorporated out of Central City, install solar panels Tuesday in Ayr.

ALSO WRITTEN BY TONY HERMAN
Renewable energy now key component of development, Hastings Tribune
As officials from the city of Hastings have discussed a community solar project to diversify the local energy generation profile, one of the considerations most often talked about is how renewables may enhance economic development prospects. That has certainly been the case in Omaha.

RENEWABLE ENERGY EDUCATION 

It’s the economics: Red states embracing wind energy don’t do it for the climate

By Sarah Mills, University of Michigan, The Conversation, 
San Francisco Chronicle

The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.

Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma lead the nation in renewable energy generation, with more than 30 percent of the power generated in each of these states coming from wind turbines and other renewable sources. Three nearby Great Plains states, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, are also in the top 10 . . . One reason why these states are greening their electricity is simple. They are in the nation’s windiest region, which runs through the middle of the country from North Dakota down through Texas. Another reason for this wind boom: Many communities in these states see renewable energy as an economic opportunity. Read more here.

NEBRASKA NEWS

OPPD proposes goals of 50% renewables, 20% cut in ‘carbon intensity’, Omaha World-Herald
OPPD has asked the public to weigh in on the new draft directive by Nov. 4, using a form on its website, oppd.com. Officials plan to sift through the next round of public comments in time to share them with the board. If the compromise appears acceptable, the OPPD board could adopt it during its Nov. 15 board meeting. If not, it could be sent back to the drawing board.

The Wire, OPPD Blog Posts

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

NATIONAL NEWS

MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE POSTS

CESA LAUNCHES LOW-INCOME SOLAR DIGEST

The newsletter will be published every other month with news and resources from around the country on bringing the benefits of solar electricity to low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. Email CESA Project Director Nate Hausman at nate@cleanegroup.org with LMI solar news and information. CESA welcomes your comments or questions on the newsletter. Click image to download the first newsletter and to subscribe for future issues.

The Clean Energy States Alliance is a national nonprofit coalition of state and municipal clean energy funds working with federal, regional, industry, and other stakeholders to promote clean energy markets and technologies. CESA has worked on low-income clean energy issues for over a decade. More resources are available on CESA’s low-income clean energy webpage, including CESA’s publications and upcoming and archived webinars.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Longi forecasts 1 TW PV market, PV Magazine International 
Zhenguo Li, founder and CEO of the Chinese solar manufacturer told the Future of Energy Summit in London the global PV marketplace would pass the milestone in the near future.

ADDITIONAL NEW RESOURCE

Tracking the Sun: 2018 Edition

This report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory documents trends in U.S. grid-connected solar installations, including overall price changes and how pricing depends on the location, system design, installer, customer, and other factors. 

Learn more.

UNMC to get 1,500 solar panels, enough to equal electricity use of 60 homes

By Julie Anderson, Omaha World-Herald

There is no shortage of rooftops on the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s growing campus. Now the university is working to put some of that space to another use, partnering with the Omaha Public Power District to install nearly 1,500 solar panels on top of three campus buildings.

The installation, which will total 500 kilowatts of solar capacity, is expected to become the largest rooftop solar array in the state. At that size, the array’s energy production will equal the average annual electricity use of 60 homes in OPPD’s service territory, said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Morrissey Engineering

Telesis Inc’s net-zero energy business complex in Lincoln’s Haymarket is the next largest rooftop solar array in Nebraska.

Project: J-Tech Solar collaborated with SWT Energy on this nearly 300-kilowatt photovoltaic system on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket. The business complex is now owned by Telesis, Inc. With 940 solar panels, the array is one of the largest privately-owned solar projects in Nebraska.

J-Tech’s thirteen-member installation crew worked closely with restoration contractors to integrate the system into existing and historical structures. Federal tax incentives, rebates from Lincoln Electric System and the steady rise in the cost of electricity were driving factors in the owner’s decision to complete such a large project. Also, the price of solar systems has decreased more than 70% since 2009.
News Story: Telesis going for net-zero energy use in Dairy House complex, by Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star

OPPD partnering with UNMC on state’s largest rooftop solar array

By Jodi Baker, OPPD Blog, The Wire

Darren Dageforde, executive director of utilities and energy utilization for UNMC, said the med center has already made great strides in reducing its energy use and increasing efficiency. “Having a renewable energy source on campus demonstrates our commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030 and parallels our mission to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities.” This solar installation is expected to be the largest rooftop system in Nebraska, said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Morrissey Engineering

Jared Friesen is immediate Past President of Nebraskans for Solar. Our nonprofit has the governing structure of President, President-Elect, and Past President.

OPPD NEWS RELEASE
OPPD To Consider Updating Plant Decommissioning Method
Due to the great strides made by Omaha Public Power District employees in the decommissioning of Fort Calhoun Station (FCS), the utility will consider a timely, more economical approach. In a presentation shared with the OPPD Board of Directors during their committee meetings Tuesday, the district’s senior management team provided the option of shifting from the SAFSTOR (safe storage) decommissioning method to DECON (decontamination) . . . DECON has the potential to save the utility up to an estimated $200 million, due to reduced building maintenance and upkeep.

Electric car and bicycle show draws admirers

Written by Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The license plates were the first sign that this car show was a bit different. “4GET OIL” “GAS LOL” and “LOVE EV2”. An electric car — and bicycle — show on the campus of Creighton University on Sunday drew a steady flow of viewers. For the most part, it seemed like any other car show: Proud owners chatting with admiring, even envious spectators. Continue reading here.

RELATED READING AND VIEWING

Electric cars make stop at Creighton University, by Steve Saunders, Fox 42 KPTM

OMAHA, Neb. (FOX42KPTM — Dead silence almost makes it hard to believe Ken Deffenbacher’s car is even on. “The maintenance is very low,” he said, “virtually non-existent.” That’s just one of the many reasons why Deffenbacher says he got the all-electric Chevy Bolt. He had his $37,000 car on display at Creighton Sunday. It was all part of the fifth annual National Drive Electric week. Read more here.

Fox 42 KPTM Photo: Nebraskans for Solar board member Ken Deffenbacher and KPTM reporter Steve Saunders

Top Photo: Nebraskans for Solar Board member Jared Friesen shown charging his new Nissan LEAF with the solar generators NFS was able to purchase and lend to schools and other nonprofit groups for public events–thanks to a grant from the Omaha Venture Group.
Credit: David Corbin, Nebraskans for Solar Board member and Nebraska Sierra Club Executive Committee Chair

Click here to view all of David’s photos of the event.
The National Drive Electric Week-Omaha event at Creighton University was sponsored by Nebraska Sierra Club and co-sponsored by Nebraskans for Solar and OPPD. National sponsors – Plug In America, Sierra Club, Electric Auto Association and Nissan LEAF. 

OPPD LINKS  

Myth or fact? Electric vehicles

Myth or fact? Electric vehicles

 By Laura King-Homan, OPPD Blog, The Wire

Many drivers have questions about how electric vehicles (EVs) work and their impact on the environment. In conjunction with National Drive Electric Week, we answer seven myths with facts about electric vehicles. OPPD launched its EV pilot rebate program in June.

In its first 90 days, 22 chargers and 25 car and charger rebates were paid to customers. More applications are awaiting approval. Since the program began, Nissan has increased its sale of the Leaf electric vehicle, selling 11 in the Omaha metro.

MYTH #1: EVs have a limited driving range for a full charge. Click here to get the facts.

NEBRASKA DRIVE ELECTRIC WEEK EVENTS

Omaha
Sunday, September 9, 2018
11 am to 3 pm
Creighton University Skutt Student Center Ballroom
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, Nebraska 68178
Register Here 

Lincoln
Sunday, September 16, 2018
12 pm to 4 pm
Hy-Vee parking lot
5020 N 27th Street Hy-Vee
Lincoln, Nebraska 68521
Register Here.

NextEra Energy Partners, LP announces agreement to acquire approximately 1,388 megawatts of contracted renewables projects and enters into a $750 million convertible equity portfolio financing

NextEra News Release

JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE : NEP ) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to acquire a geographically diverse portfolio of 11 wind and solar projects, collectively consisting of approximately 1,388 megawatts (MW) . . . The assets include the Cottonwood Wind Energy Center, a 90-MW wind generation plant in Webster County, Nebraska. Read the entire release here.

Pixabay Photo

Additional Recommended Reading

  • NextEra’s Sholes Wind Energy Center project in northern Wayne County near the village of Sholes, 160 megawatts, will be completed in 2018. Omaha World-Herald news story:
    OPPD partner’s wind power project will continue utility’s renewable energy growth
    Once opened, it would boost OPPD’s amount of wind-generated electricity to 971 megawatts, OPPD says. That’s enough to power about 125,000 homes.
    The NextEra project is OPPD’s third-largest contract for wind power, behind the 400 megawatts the utility buys from Grande Prairie wind farm in Holt County and the 200 megawatts from the Prairie Breeze project in Antelope County. OPPD is also working with NextEra on building its first community solar power array, a 5-megawatt facility being built near Fort Calhoun.
  • NPPD Wind Generation: NextEra’s first Nebraska wind project was the Steele Flats Wind Farm near the Kansas Border in Jefferson and Gage Counties, 75 megawatts, which began commercial operation in 2013.
  • Utility Dive: NextEra’s renewables backlog grows to 7.4 GW as customers anticipate lower costs
    The influx of new signed contracts show confidence in lower prices of renewables products. ​NextEra, whose batteries have added $0.015/kWh to the cost of wind and solar projects built in the last six to 12 months, anticipates storage costs to fall to $0.005/kWh for projects paired with renewable energy in 2025.
  • PV Magazine USA: 

NextEra expects storage to add half a cent to solar in mid-2020’s

Trump order on coal, nuclear power could force Nebraska, Iowa utilities to raise rates

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

Many utilities, including local ones, have committed millions of dollars to wind and solar projects, signing contracts with significant penalties if broken. Utilities also belong to regional groupings that require certain levels of production. “The bottom line of what it would do is increase our prices,” said Anne McGuire, vice chair of the Omaha Public Power District board. “We would have to increase our rates, which we wouldn’t be too happy about.” The president on June 1 ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to boost struggling coal and nuclear plants. Read the entire article here.

Omaha World-Herald print title: Utilities wary of possible requirement to use more coal, nuclear power

Photo Courtesy of Lincoln Electric System: OPPD is planning to build a solar array near Fort Calhoun similar in size to Lincoln Electric System’s SunShares 5-megawatt Solar Farm.

RELATED READING

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

With more solar and wind, North America’s grid is getting more reliable

Saving the monarch of the prairie

By Jason Kuiper and Joe Comstock, The Wire, OPPD Blog
June 18 is National Pollinator Week

In April and May, groups of volunteers from OPPD helped spread seed mix at a “Prairie in Progress” site being restored near the utility’s Nebraska City Station (NCS). At the OPPD Arboretum in the heart of Omaha, 2,000 pollinator plant plugs were also installed for a pollinator garden. OPPD is also restoring parcels of land at the decommissioning Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station (FCS). Along with habitat being planted at NCS and the plugs at the OPPD Arboretum, others restorations are planned on OPPD-owned land near 142nd and State streets and an additional 70-acres of prairie land at FCS. In all, OPPD plans on converting 260 acres into natural butterfly habitat but will continue looking at other locations that could also be converted into prairie beyond what has already been identified. The project is a joint effort between OPPD’s Environmental Affairs and Facilities Operation & Maintenance departments and the Save Our Monarchs Foundation. Read the entire article here.

Save Our Monarchs Foundation

Creative Commons Stock Photo

OPPD Electric Vehicle Pilot Offers Rebates And Incentives

OPPD News Release

Omaha Public Power District is taking its electric vehicle (EV) research further with the launch of a new pilot, designed to educate customers on the technology, while also providing incentives for the purchase of certain home charging stations and EVs.

Only about 600 EVs are currently registered in Nebraska. Half of those are within OPPD’s service territory. With improving technology and pricing, the EV market is poised for growth. By educating customers, as well as connecting them with purchase incentives, the utility will gather more data to determine how best to integrate increased EV technology into OPPD’s electric system. OPPD is partnering with the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) in this effort. Read the entire release here.

For more information, visit oppd.com/EVRebates.