Tag Archives: Plum Creek Wind Farm

Council hears rate study for proposed electric rate changes

By Monica BrichBeatrice Daily Sun

Replenishing cash reserves impacted by the freezing temperatures and rolling blackouts in February was one of the topics the Beatrice City Council heard during its regular meeting Monday evening. The city hired J.K. Energy consultant John Krajewski to perform a rate study. He said the last time Beatrice had a full rate study was in 2009, with an abbreviated study done in 2014. Krajewski said the city has transitioned to a better portfolio of energy sources, as they’re planning to transition away from the Nebraska Public Power District after the next fiscal year. Continue reading here.

ØRSTED 

Ørsted completes largest onshore wind project to date, Globe Newswire


Ørsted has completed the 367 MW Western Trail Wind Farm located in Wilbarger and Baylor counties, Texas – its largest onshore wind project to date that brings Ørsted’s total onshore capacity to over 2.8 GW of wind, solar, and battery storage in operation.

In Nebraska: The 298MW Haystack Wind Farm, adjacent to Ørsted’s 230MW Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County, is due to become operational by the end of 2021. Haystack will utilize existing interconnection infrastructure in Southwest Power Pool North.

All about the Southwest Power Pool, The Wire

IOWA PUBLIC RADIO INTERVIEW WITH ENERGY SECRETARY GRANHOLM

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Talks Infrastructure, The Ames Lab, Biofuels And More, by Ben KiefferRick BrewerCaitlin Troutman

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February 2021. She served as Michigan’s first female governor from 2003 to 2011. Recently, Granholm virtually toured the Ames Laboratory and met with the lab’s researchers to discuss sustainable energy and technology. She joined River to River on July 29 to discuss the visit as well as share her thoughts on the future of infrastructure, combating climate change and sustainable energy.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

DOD Official Says U.S. Faces Climate Change Crisis, by David Vergun

Climate change absolutely affects national security, said the senior climate advisor to the secretary of defense. Speaking yesterday to the Department of Energy’s Energy Exchange forum, Joe Bryan said:

Image: Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska amidst severe flooding in 2019, resulting in $400 million in infrastructure damage to the base. Credit: U.S. Air Force

SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION

Climate versus jobs? Not in this heartland state.

By Stephanie Hanes, Christian Science Monitor

For five generations, Andrew Bowman’s family has worked the land in Oneida, population 700-ish – a flat and fertile swath of Illinois his father always said was good for growing crops and kids. Today, he farms soybeans and corn, as well as specialty popcorn, which he sells under the label Pilot Knob Comforts. Mr. Bowman hopes to have a new resource to harvest soon, as well: wind.

This past year, Mr. Bowman took a lead representing local landowners in negotiating witOrion Renewable Energy Group, one of the many companies installing wind farms across Illinois, to build a new 100-turbinproject in his part of Knox County. Clean energy would not only help keep the local school open and support the fire department and library, he says, but would also offer a new income stream to farmers who agree to lease some of their land for the project – some $30 million over 25 years, according to the proposal. Continue reading here.

Photo by Orion Renewable Energy Group

CLIMATE ACTION TOOLS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Local Governments Can Use Their Power to Combat Climate Change, Bloomberg Law


Cities are nimbler than Congress and more capable of implementing climate policy through local laws and policy initiatives, says Jillian Blanchard, director of the climate change program at Lawyers for Good Government. She lays out some of the tools local governments can use to shift to renewable energy and the legal considerations.

 

WYOMING

It’s past time to prepare for coal country’s future, contributed opinion by Bob LeResche, Casper Star Tribune

Believe what you will about climate change or a “war on coal,” the simple fact is coal is no longer cost competitive with renewable energy or natural gas. Coal will keep losing market share, more coal power plants will close, and those that are left will burn less coal.

Bob LeResche is a former Commissioner of Natural Resources of Alaska, energy executive and investment banker. He and his wife Carol own a ranch and heirloom vegetable farm near Clearmont, Wyoming. He is a board member of the Powder River Basin Resource Council and the Western Organization of Resource Councils.

XCEL’S RECORD-LOW-PRICE PROCUREMENT

Xcel’s record-low-price procurement highlights benefits of all-source competitive solicitations, Utility Dive

Xcel’s [all-source competitive solicitation] returned a $0.017/kWh bid for wind, a $0.023/kWh bid for solar, and a $0.03/kWh bid for solar-plus-storage, according to a February 2021 Xcel presentation to Michigan regulators. These prices, compared to Colorado’s average January 2021 residential electricity price of $0.126/kWh, have other utilities asking how they can use this procurement approach.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

SOLAR ON FORMER COAL MINEFIELDS

Former coal mine land to be transformed into solar energy sites in Wise County


WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Collaborating groups in Southwest Virginia plan to repurpose land previously used for coal mining and convert it into sites for solar development. Five different sites in Wise County are designated to become utility-scale solar farms over the next few years. The project was initiated by the Nature Conservancy, a global environmental organization that has had a conservation program in Southwest Virginia since the early 1990s. Image Credit: Sun Tribe

Additional information on land use and utility-scale solar is available here: 

NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL

Five Wins for Clean Energy Innovation in Biden’s Budget, by Arjun Krishnaswami &  Sasha Stashwick

The Biden administration’s 2022 budget released on Friday includes major funding increases for important Department of Energy (DOE) programs to drive clean energy innovation, address the climate crisis, and build a strong and equitable economy. These funding increases complement the investments proposed in the President’s American Jobs Plan (AJP). Now it’s up to Congress to pass AJP and write a government funding bill that reflects the President’s proposals. 

RECYCLING WIND TURBINE BLADES

World’s largest offshore wind farm developer to recover, reuse or recycle turbine blades, CNBC

Denmark’s Orsted said Thursday it would “reuse, recycle, or recover” all turbine blades in its worldwide portfolio of wind farms once they’re decommissioned.  


Ørsted In Nebraska – Previously Posted 

Ørsted signs long-term power purchase agreements with PepsiCo for Nebraska and Texas wind farms

Ørsted Newsroom

PepsiCo Inc. has signed two agreements with Ørsted to purchase a portion of energy from the 298 MW Haystack wind project in Nebraska and the 367 MW Western Trail wind project in Texas.

“We’re excited to partner with PepsiCo in their efforts to decarbonize their operations,” said Ørsted Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Ørsted Onshore. “These PPAs at Western Trail and Haystack are another demonstration of our ability to provide customized solutions across multiple geographies to support achievement of corporate sustainability ambitions.” Continue reading here.

Previously Posted
Ørsted starts construction of 298 MW Nebraska wind project, Ørsted Newsroom

PepsiCo’s Renewable Energy Commitment
PepsiCo is a member of RE100 and the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.
From RE100.Org: PepsiCo is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its company owned and controlled operations by 2030 and across its entire global operations by 2040.

Photo: Ørsted’s 230 MW Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska, adjacent to the Haystack Wind Farm under construction.

Smaller clean energy partnerships may pave way to LES decarbonization

By Riley Johnson, Lincoln Journal Star

Following a decade of expanded investment in wind energy and other renewable energy and the termination of a partnership with a local coal plant, Lincoln Electric System has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions within the next 20 years. LES Board members on Nov. 20 elected the goal following a yearlong study of the issue and surveys of local stakeholders, including the business community. The goal sets the benchmark of offsetting the 2011 utility’s emission levels as part of an effort to reduce its impact on the climate. Continue reading here.

LES Generation Resources

Featured Resource: SEPA Utility Carbon Reduction Tracker

 

 

New commitments from Lincoln Electric System and Portland General Electric.
Keep track of all publicly announced utility commitments to carbon or emission reduction.

  • 61 Utilities across the United States have publicly stated carbon or emission reduction goals.
  • 36 Utilities have goals of carbon-free or net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • 78% Of utilities with goals of carbon-free or net-zero emissions by 2050 are SEPA members.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Inside Clean Energy: The Energy Transition Comes to Nebraska, by 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.
  • Tri Global Energy Dominates U.S. Wind Production in Q3, Helps Texas Retain Top Ranking Nationally, Tri Global News Release, PR Newswire. Tri Global Energy, a leading privately held renewable energy developer, dominated U.S. wind production in development for the third quarter of 2020, with a total of 1,657 MW, which exceeds total wind power in development in 47 individual U.S. states. 
  • Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
    Scroll down to wind energy projects in development: Tri Global Energy is planning to develop a 100–megawatt wind farm, which will be named the Sugar Loaf Wind Farm in Garden County.
  • Vail Resorts makes progress toward EpicPromise goals with renewable energy and waste diversion, Summit Daily. Vail Resorts’ 2019-20 EpicPromise Progress Report was released Tuesday, Dec. 1, and shows movement toward the company’s goal of reaching a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Two renewable energy projects the company is participating in — the Plum Creek Wind project and the Elektron Solar project — mean 93% of Vail Resorts’ electric usage will be renewable by 2023. Nebraska’s Plum Creek Wind Farm
  • Another wind project in Wayne County: Ørsted starts construction of 298 MW Nebraska wind project, Ørsted News Release, October 28, 2020. Ørsted continues to expand its footprint in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) via the acquisition and final investment decision of the 298 MW Haystack Wind project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Situated adjacent to Ørsted’s 230 MW Plum Creek wind farm, Haystack will utilize existing interconnection infrastructure in SPP North. Haystack is expected to come online in fourth quarter 2021, adding further diversity to Ørsted’s portfolio of onshore wind, solar PV, and energy storage across Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast US.

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION ARTICLES

Ørsted starts construction of 298 MW Nebraska wind project

Ørsted News Release

Ørsted continues to expand its footprint in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) via the acquisition and final investment decision of the 298 MW Haystack Wind project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Situated adjacent to Ørsted’s 230 MW Plum Creek wind farm, Haystack will utilize existing interconnection infrastructure in SPP North. Haystack is expected to come online in fourth quarter 2021, adding further diversity to Ørsted’s portfolio of onshore wind, solar PV, and energy storage across Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast US. Continue reading here.

Photo by Ørsted: Plum Creek Wind Farm

Previously Posted

Grand Island deepens stake in alternative energy

Editorial, The Grand Island Independent 

As power generation facilities across the U.S. continue to invest in cleaner fuel sources, gas, solar, hydro, wind and nuclear energy alternatives are rapidly replacing coal as the staple. Grand Islanders have long benefited from comparatively low energy costs due in large part to forward-thinking improvements and continued investment in the city’s power generation facilities and alternative energy sources. Grand Island Utilities Department Director Tim Luchsinger spoke to the Grand Island Rotary Club last week about the city’s long-range plan to diversify its electric energy production. Read more here.

Photo Credit: GenPro Energy Solutions

Previously Posted: Pilot project tests potential of solar energy for Grand Island, Neb., American Public Power Association

Grand Island’s Renewable Energy

MORE LOCAL NEWS & OPINION

  • Interim report for the first half year 2020 – Strong first half, Ørsted News Release, Globe Newswire. We commissioned the 230MW onshore wind farm Plum Creek in Nebraska ahead of schedule and on budget, and we received tax equity funding from our partners.
  • About Plum Creek Wind: The 82–turbine Plum Creek Wind located in Wayne County began commercial operation in 2020. Maximum capacity is 230,000 kilowatts (or 230 megawatts). The facility could produce an amount of energy equivalent to the amount of electricity used by approximately 100,000 Nebraska residences in a year (average annual output). Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy
  • Burt County officials learn about wind energy project as they consider area wind energy guidelines, KTIV
  • Commentary: New farm income — Martin Kleinschmit, owner of MarLin Wind & Solar LLC, Norfolk Daily News. HARTINGTON — Wind power has had a remarkably positive impact on the Nebraska economy. In addition to producing affordable and reliable clean power, wind energy is creating jobs in rural places and contributing significant new tax revenues to local governments and schools. Of all the positive attributes of wind energy, though, one of the most important and understated is the impact it has had on our state’s farmers.
  • First-hand experience to dispel wind energy myths, by Nebraska farmer/rancher Mike Zakrzewski of O’Neill, Nebraska, Blair Enterprise Publishing. For whatever it’s worth, I’m a third-generation farmer/rancher in Holt County, Nebraska. I own and operate the farm I grew up on northeast of O’Neill, in the middle of the Grande Prairie Wind Energy Project. Grande Prairie is a 400-megawatt, 200 turbine project, currently the largest in the state. There are fourteen turbines within one mile of my front door; some are on my land, many more are on my neighbors’ properties. This November will mark four years of operation for the project, so I may have some useful insight regarding living with wind turbines.

RESOURCES FOR NEW FARMERS & RANCHERS

Nebraska partners to provide energy answers for new farmers, ranchers, Hamburg Reporter. These videos are posted on the project team’s YouTube channel, Energy Answers for the Beginning Farmer & Rancher. Additional resources can be found online here. Contributing extension programs include Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.

AMERICAN WIND WEEK – INTO THE WIND POSTS