By Laura King-Holman, The Wire, OPPD Blog
Solar energy is a hot topic. It seems you can’t escape the topic in the news and on social media. OPPD is also taking steps to pursue a community solar project of its own. But what does “solar” mean? Here are some facts and history of solar energy from the U.S. Department of Energy. Continue here.
Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant Fremont City Administrator of Utilities: Fremont’s First Community Solar Farm
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Solar on businesses, government buildings and schools, [or aggregated into a community-solar program] can save utilities and consumers money on other distribution infrastructure costs. For example, expensive utility transformers can get overloaded on hot summer days when people are using more energy to cool their homes. Solar can reduce strain on the system on these days, which extends the life of utility equipment and creates savings for everyone.
Additional widely-recognized benefits of solar: avoided fuel hedging costs created by volatile fossil fuels like natural gas, avoided electricity losses from power plants that are located far away from cities, and avoiding the need to build new expensive natural gas plants.
Written by Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald
LINCOLN — Omaha Public Power District President and Chief Executive Tim Burke said half the energy the utility sells to retail customers will come from renewable sources by the end of 2020. Burke said in remarks over lunch at the 10th annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference on Monday that the utility is working on a request for proposals for up to 300 megawatts more of wind energy. Click here to continue reading.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Enel’s New 320 MW U.S. Wind Project Will Power Facebook Data Centre in Nebraska, GlobeNewswire Press Release. Once fully operational, Rattlesnake Creek will be able to generate around 1.3 TWh annually, enough energy to meet the equivalent annual consumption needs of more than 105,000 U.S. households, while avoiding the emission of around 940,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News
States across the Midwest are updating their interconnection rules for solar customers, a process likely to cut the time and money required to establish a connection to the grid. In addition, the new standards will equip utilities to efficiently process solar applications as their numbers likely escalate in coming years, according to an attorney who worked on revisions recently approved by the Iowa Utilities Board. Updated and improved interconnection standards are “a critical part of moving distributed generation ahead.. And having clear, fair and efficient interconnection rules is critical to enabling a healthy distributed generation market,” said Sky Stanfield, an attorney who was involved in negotiating the new standards.
Photo by plien / Creative Commons
In March Green Bellevue presented the workshop, “Solar Powering Your Home,” co-sponsored by the Green Omaha Coalition and Nebraskans for Solar. If you missed it, you can watch it on YouTube here.
Updated Information: Regarding the discussion toward the end of the video about interconnection, OPPD is offering solar installers and code inspectors training on this process. Undoubtedly, this will make it more streamlined and customer-friendly, and OPPD is to be commended for taking this step.