On Tuesday, the county board conducted a public hearing and approved a set of solar regulations that were first considered and approved by the Madison County Joint Planning Commission in recent months . . . Heather McWhorter, the planning and zoning administrator for Madison and Pierce counties, provided the county board with an update on how Madison County researched its regulations. Read more here.
NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a massive solar project in northeastern Nebraska that, if built, would be the largest in the Midwest and among the largest in the country. The 423 megawatt project is in the early stages of development and still hinges on how much it will cost to connect to the regional transmission grid. “We’re in a holding pattern until we get clarification from the Southwest Power Pool,” said Phil Clement, NextEra’s project director in Nebraska. “We need to know if it’s viable.” Sean Gallagher, vice president for state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the project could be a sign of things to come in the region, which is increasingly attractive for large solar projects. Continue reading here.
NextEra: solar and wind plus batteries will be “massively disruptive” to conventional generation, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine. NextEra CEO Jim Robo’s exact math is that even after the federal tax credits expire, wind will be 2 – 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, large-scale solar will be 2.5 – 3 cents, and storage will add .5 – 1 cent. This would put these resources slightly below the current cost of natural gas-fired generation, without the uncertainty around fuel prices that is inherent to gas.
Last Thursday, the Madison County Joint Planning Commission listened to Ryan Zimmerman, the Pierce County Planning Commission chairman, discuss what he has learned about harnessing the sun’s energy. Pierce County approved its own solar regulations last year. Zimmerman has leased much of his land for use as a solar farm and has researched the topic extensively for a couple of years. Zimmerman said he and his brother, who farm in southwest Pierce County, have entered into a contract with NextEra Energy with plans to use their land to develop a 423-megawatt (MW) solar farm . . . Following the discussion, the commissioners approved a basic set of solar regulations for Madison County that are similar to those in Pierce County. Read more here.