Tag Archives: Omaha

Funding for study a rare bright spot in Nebraska’s statewide climate change efforts

By Erin Bamer, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — Kat Woerner has learned not to use the words “climate change” when talking about climate change with some Nebraska politicians. The 22-year-old environmental advocate said the words have a stigma that causes many conservative lawmakers to shut down as soon as they hear them.

These roadblocks have been on display in the Nebraska Legislature, which has made little to no progress in approving climate change legislation in recent years, despite pleas from scientists and advocates. A rare exception came earlier this year when lawmakers appropriated up to $150,000 in federal funding for an update to a statewide climate change report. Continue reading here.

Also Of Potential Interest 

U.S. State Climate Action Plans, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
34 states have released a climate action plan or are in the process of revising or developing one.

National Climate Task Force: Take Climate Action in Your Community, The White House

Lincoln officials announce new electric vehicle infrastructure plan

By Nolan Dorn, KLKN TV

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln officials announced a new initiative on Thursday that is aimed at helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Lancaster County. The main goal of the Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan is to help the city become more electric-car friendly.  It will create the infrastructure needed for those electric vehicles. Leaders across the county hope that this plan will help people use renewable resources and move away from fossil fuels. Continue reading here.

OMAHA

Saving Planet Omaha: City Takes First Steps toward A Greener Future, But Challenges Remain, by Regan Thomas, The Reader

To date, 417 cities, including 35 of the 50 largest, have some form of plan to address adverse weather effects. Today, about one in three Americans live in a place that has a Climate Action Plan.

For Omaha to catch up to other cities like Des Moines, Lincoln and even Crete, which all have or have started a Climate Action Plan, city officials need to work effectively, said Craig Moody, managing principal at Verdis Group, a sustainability and climate planning consultancy in Omaha. Moody’s organization has long helped cities like Lincoln build their own plans, and one week after last August’s flash foods, Moody published a blog giving cities a how-to guide for “one of the most important things a community can do to accelerate climate action,” saying these documents are meant to be used, not sit on a shelf.

Additional Recommended Reading: For Earth Day, key facts about Americans’ views of climate change and renewable energy, Pew Research Center

NEW ENVIRONMENT AMERICA REPORT

Shining Cities 2022: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy,
Environment America Research & Policy Center

Solar power continues to expand rapidly. The United States now has 121.4 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, producing enough solar energy to power more than 23 million homes. Millions of Americans have invested in solar energy and millions more are ready to join them.

America’s major cities have played a key role in the clean energy revolution and stand to reap tremendous benefits from solar energy. As population centers, they are major sources of electricity demand and, with millions of solar rooftops, they can be major sources of clean energy production as well.

Additional Recommended Reading: From Earth Day 1970 to 2022: A story of progress 
The rise of solar power since the first Earth Day is just one example of how far we’ve come.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Omaha Metro Transit launches new electric buses, has plans to expand

By Marlo Lundak, WOW TV

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – It’s been a two-year process, but Metro Transit launched its first electric buses Tuesday morning. The company made the announcement Monday, stating the buses were made possible by a competitive federal grant and thanks to support from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. We are really looking to make sure that we are protecting our region, that we’re still viable, a great place to live, work, and play in the future and into future generations,” Metro Transit’s CEO, Lauren Cencic, tells 6 News Tuesday. The new buses will catch your eye, but not your ear, they’re extremely quiet. Continue reading or watch the video here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Omaha metro area will draft climate action plan, by Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

When the plan is in place, Omaha will join several hundred other cities in the U.S. with strategies for confronting climate change. Lincoln, the Kansas City metropolitan area and the Twin Cities already have plans. Des Moines is developing one. The Nebraska Legislature has rejected calls for a statewide plan. Asked “why now?” Mayor Jean Stothert said in an email to The World-Herald that the time is right to take advantage of local efforts. “Omaha has been implementing sustainability measures for some time now without the need for a formal plan,” she wrote. 

Local governments set record for new renewable energy procurement in 2020, groups report

By Chris Teale, Smart Cities Dive

Ninety-five local governments across 33 states procured 3,683 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy generation capacity in 2020 through 143 deals, the largest amount of capacity ever added in one year, according to the latest update from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and World Resources Institute (WRI) in their Local Government Renewables Action Tracker.

The 143 transactions, a 23% increase over 2019’s levels, could generate enough electricity to power approximately 812,000 households annually, the organizations reported. Solar was the most popular renewable energy to be procured, at 79% of all deals, followed by wind at 17% and geothermal at 4%. Read more here.

Photo Credit: First Solar

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

SOLAR INSTALLER SURVEY

2020 EnergySage installer survey finds one in five solar installations nationwide included a battery, Solar Power World

EnergySage and NABCEP released the results of the sixth annual Solar Installer Survey, the largest and most comprehensive business survey of solar companies nationwide. Over 650 residential and commercial installers across the country participated in this year’s survey, which was fielded and authored by EnergySage in partnership with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

NELNET SOLAR TAX EQUITY INVESTMENT

Nelnet Renewable Energy Partners with Three Co-Investors to Complete $9.9 Million Solar Tax Equity Investment in the Northeast, Nelnet Renewable Energy, PR Newswire. Nelnet’s co-investors include Adams Bank & Trust and West Gate Bank, both of Nebraska.

OMAHA RANKS #7 AMONG GREENEST U.S. CITIES FOR RENTERS

The Greenest Cities in the U.S. for Renters, Apartment Guide

In the heart of the Great Plains, many view Omaha as a far-flung place known for quality steak, college baseball, 311 and Warren Buffett. But the diverse Nebraska city of half a million residents is a heartland oasis filled with culture, education, upscale shopping and trendy dining. And with nearly 22 percent of properties reporting green amenities, it’s the greenest city in the Midwest for renters.

LIBRARIES’ CLIMATE LITERACY PROGRAMS


How libraries are improving climate literacy in their communities,
Yale Climate Connections


The Racine Public Library is one of 25 libraries with funding from the American Library Association to offer programming about climate change.

Bluestem Energy Solutions to open new office in Columbus

By David Becker, The Columbus Telegram

Bluestem Energy Solutions, an Omaha-based company that is known for operating low carbon electric generation projects and enables consumers and businesses to have renewable energy, will soon be opening up its first office in Columbus. “The new office was chosen due to Columbus’ proximity to our operating assets, a strong workforce and our relationship with Loup Public Power. Loup Public Power District has a great team focused on growing their community and serving their customers with the highest of standards,” said Adam Herink, vice president of Bluestem Energy Solutions.

“Bluestem is focused on all low carbon energy generation technologies in the market, along with battery storage. The economics are competitive today and every area of the country will experience growth in renewable technologies like solar and wind coupled with battery storage. The advent of battery storage on our industry is driving more decisions faster because it minimizes the variability of renewable energy,” Herink said. Read more here.

Bluestem Energy Solutions

Loup Power District

Loup Power District celebrated 85 years in 2018. It was the first public power district in Nebraska. Loup Power serves 21 Nebraska communities with a total current population of approximately 62,300 people. The total service area covers 2,219 square miles and consists of 794 miles of transmission and distribution lines. In addition, the District sells electric power to one wholesale customer.

Loup Power has distribution system lease and franchise agreements with all the municipalities that provide for the continued operation of their distribution systems until the expiration of the agreements. Under these agreements, the District retains the responsibilities of ownership and/or operation, including the obligation to meet the costs of property additions and maintenance. The Board sets sufficient electric rates to pay the cost of operating, maintaining and repairing the transmission and distribution systems.

YouTube Video: Loup Power Canal Chronicles – January 2019
Bluestem’s Creston Ridge Wind Farm: Phases I and II, Boyd Jones

Local Events Part of National Solar Tour – The Largest Annual Grassroots Renewable Energy Event in the U.S.

This annual nationwide tour provides numerous opportunities for you to visit with Nebraskans who have invested in solar energy and with Hastings Utilities representatives at the city’s new solar farm, to gain information about how solar works, its benefits, and what local resources are available.

These open houses and tours are free, and people of all ages are invited to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you. Click links to learn more about each one and to RSVP:

National Solar Tour Event – Hastings Utilities Hosting Open House at Recently-Completed Community Solar Farm

This event is part of the National Solar Tour, the largest annual
grassroots renewable energy event in the nation.


RSVP HERE.

Hastings Utilities is hosting a tour and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 3 pm – 6 pm at the recently-completed Community Solar Farm. The project was installed by GenPro Energy Solutions. See solar panels up close, ask questions about how solar works, learn why people in a growing number of our communities are making the choice to go solar, and connect with others who support solar energy. This event is free and open to the public. More information is available about Hastings’ Community Solar Farm here.

MORE NEBRASKA EVENTS

The following solar open house and tours are also free and  open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you.

  • Bennington, Nebraska Solar Open House: October 5, 2019, 11 am to 6 pm
    20210 High Country Circle, Bennington, Nebraska 68007. “Our solar system was installed by Great Plains Renewables in 2018.” RSVP HERE.
  • Omaha, Nebraska Solar Tour: October 5, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.
  • Bellevue/Sarpy County Solar Tour: October 6, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HEREOmaha and Bellevue/Sarpy County Solar Tours’ Sponsors: Green Bellevue, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraskans for Solar

‘They’re stealing our future’: ‘Hamilton’ actor, AJR singer join Omaha climate change rally

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The demand for action by elected leaders on climate change was sounded repeatedly Friday at a rally outside City Hall in Omaha. The event, which drew more than 300 people, was part of a larger “climate strike” occurring around the globe over the next several days.

A group of about 500 also gathered outside the Nebraska Union on the UNL campus, organizers said. The group included a mix of college students, children, older residents and representatives of local Native American tribes. Similar rallies were to be held in Crete and Kearney and at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. The youths want Nebraska to pass a state climate action plan, among other steps. Read more here.

Photo by Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

Additional Recommended Reading

Climate change rally at state Capitol urges lawmakers to take action, by Mia Azizah, Lincoln Journal Star. The rally, “Nebraska Climate Strike,” was organized by Sustain UNL, a student organization at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that seeks to encourage local lawmakers to implement more regulations to make the planet more sustainable. “There is a global strike movement happening all over the world, and through seeing those, we knew right away we needed to organize in Nebraska,” said Brittni McGuire, Sustain UNL president. “We know that climate change is a global problem, but it has local solutions. We’re not going to have a future unless local communities all over the world take action.”

Previously Posted