Tag Archives: Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

NPPD seeing high interest in renewable projects for Monolith

Special to the Norfolk Daily News

Olive Creek 1 (OC1) in Hallam, Nebraska, is Monolith Materials’ first commercial-scale emissions-free production facility. It operates on 100% renewable power.

Projects could be located physically within the Southwest Power Pool footprint with preference to those projects within Nebraska. Hallam is south of Lincoln. Announced in January to facilitate Monolith Materials’ proposed $1 billion expansion of its Olive Creek facility near Hallam, NPPD and Monolith signed a letter of intent outlining the companies’ intentions to procure enough renewable energy resources to generate 2 million megawatt-hours annually.

“The approximately 2 million megawatt-hours of generation would create a sufficient number of renewable energy certificates to meet 100% of Monolith’s average annual energy usage and meet their environmental and sustainability goals,” said NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent. Read more here.

NPPD’s REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Request for Proposals for Renewable Energy Resources, 4/19/21
Description: NPPD is seeking bids for Renewable Generation Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with a proposed Commercial Operation Date (COD) during calendar year 2025. NPPD seeks to procure Energy, Capacity, and environmental attributes (including Renewable Energy Credits or RECS) for a term between 10-30 years.

MONOLITH MATERIALS NEWS RELEASES

ALSO PREVIOUSLY POSTED

MONOLITH MATERIALS’ GROUNDWATER USE 

  • Groundwater needs raise concerns about $100 million-plus manufacturing plant near Lincolnby Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald, July 29, 2020

    Groundwater is a big deal in Nebraska; it’s used to water more than 8 million acres of cropland across the state, used for drinking water by municipalities and used for various industrial purposes. “It’s a big concern,” Gary Vocasek, the chairman of the Hallam Village Board, told the Voice News a week ago. The village of 213 draws 11 million gallons of groundwater a year. Mark Becker, a spokesman for NPPD, said the big water request by Monolith also caught them off guard and will require some study to see how it might impact the water needs of the Sheldon Station, which pumps about 500 million gallons of water a year.

  • Lower Platte South NRD Approves Monolith Wells, with Conditions, LPSNRD News Release, July 1, 2021

    In its well permit applications, Monolith estimates the three wells will pump a combined 420 million gallons of water annually to be used primarily for cooling purposes in its carbon black manufacturing process and in the production of anhydrous fertilizer. The approvals, including certain conditions, came during a June 29 special meeting of the Board and follows a nearly one-year process of testing and study to determine what impact the wells would have on the groundwater aquifer and groundwater users in the area around the wells. Prior to the Board’s special meeting, LPSNRD also conducted an informational public open house in Hallam on June 15 and a public input session on June 17. Written comments from the public were also accepted.

U of M researchers pitch ‘green’ ammonia as key to renewable energy future

By Walker Orenstein, MinnPost

As wind and solar power make up an increasingly large share of energy production in the U.S., finding ways to store the intermittent energy they create is critical for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The University of Minnesota is working on a novel way to help solve the storage puzzle for renewable energy: by creating ammonia.  

Michael Reese, director of renewable energy at the U’s West Central Research and Outreach Center, said the U has previously turned wind power into ammonia that can be used for fertilizer and even to fuel agricultural equipment. Read more here.

Presentation by Michael Reese to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission: Green Ammonia for Fertilizer, Fuel, and Energy Storage

NPPD & MONOLITH’S GREEN AMMONIA INITIATIVE

Previously Posted

NPPD RFP

Request for Proposals for Renewable Energy Resources, 4/19/21
Description: NPPD is seeking bids for Renewable Generation Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with a proposed Commercial Operation Date (COD) during calendar year 2025. NPPD seeks to procure Energy, Capacity, and environmental attributes (including Renewable Energy Credits or RECS) for a term between 10-30 years.

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

“Coal may contain as many as 76 of the 92 naturally occurring elements of the periodic table.” 
United States Geological Survey
__________________________________________

DOE Awards $19 Million for Initiatives to Produce Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals, Department of Energy News Release 

“The very same fossil fuel communities that have powered our nation for decades can be at the forefront of the clean energy economy by producing the critical minerals needed to build electric vehicles, wind turbines, and so much more,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “By building clean energy products here at home, we’re securing the supply chain for the innovative solutions needed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – all while creating good-paying jobs in all parts of America.” 

Production of rare earth elements and critical minerals, which serve as key components to several clean energy applications such as magnets in wind turbines and batteries in electric and conventional vehicles, is a prime example of how DOE is supporting regional economic growth and job creation in regions traditionally home to the fossil fuel industry.

The initiatives include:
University of Kansas Center for Research Inc. (Lawrence, Kansas) plans to study the feasibility of recovering critical minerals from coal and associated strata in the Cherokee-Forest City Basin encompassing Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and the Osage Nation.
DOE Funding: $1,500,000

See Also: FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Outlines Key Resources to Invest in Coal and Power Plant Community Economic Revitalization, The White House Briefing Room

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Community solar program marks one year

 By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

OPPD’s community solar facility in rural Washington County passed its first-year milestone in December. With that first year complete, the project has proved to be something customers want – there continues to be a waiting list. And the utility has learned valuable lessons they can apply to future projects. The solar array is a 5-megawatt (MW) solar energy facility that sits outside Fort Calhoun, tucked among rolling hills and trees. OPPD and NextEra Energy Resources have a 20-year power purchase agreement for the energy generated at the facility, which has more than 17,500 panels. Read more here.

What the Biggest Corporate Energy Buyers Want from Federal Clean Energy Policy

By Jeff St. John, Greentech Media

On Monday, a notable subset of the largest U.S. corporations signed on to a statement from the Renewable Energy Buyers Association (REBA), laying out their top federal policy priorities to help them meet their own aggressive decarbonization goals. Among the 34 signatories are tech giants like Amazon, AppleFacebookGoogle and Microsoft, manufacturing heavyweights including Cargill, Clorox and General Motors, and global retail and consumer brands like Disney, Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, Target and Walmart. Many of these companies have already pledged to zero out their carbon footprints in the next decade or two, whether internally or across their supply chains. Read more here.

ESG & SUSTAINABLE FINANCE

Welcome to a new era of ESG and sustainable finance, by Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, Green Biz Group

A vast ecosystem is in play. Investors have awakened to the notion that how companies manage environmental and social issues is nearly as key to their risk profile and profitability as are financial fundamentals. Banks and insurers are factoring climate risk and social issues into their products and portfolios, accelerating a shift that’s been gearing up for years.

Companies are warming to a world of deeper transparency and disclosure demands by investors, lenders, customers and others, and are trying to keep up with the dynamic world of standards and frameworks with which they’re being asked to comply. Oh, and it’s the dawn of a new U.S. presidential administration that sees virtue in assertive action on a range of social and environmental issues.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

KELLY SPEAKES-BACKMAN

Biden-Harris Administration picks Energy Storage Association CEO to join senior DoE leadership, Energy Storage News

A former utility commissioner in her home state of Maryland, Kelly Speakes-Backman has been leader of the ESA during a period of fast growth and rapid scale-up for energy storage in the US, with more than 2GW installed during that time.

In a recent interview for Energy-Storage.news, the now former ESA CEO said that the association expected to see at least 3.6GW of storage installed during 2021, and ESA published ‘Vision 2030’ a while ago, citing that the deployment of at least 100GW of energy storage on the grid is both desirable and achievable.

EV CHARGING 

EVgo Seeks $2.6B Public Market Valuation in SPAC Reverse Merger, Greentech Media
The LS Power subsidiary is the second major EV charger company in the U.S. seeking public capital to meet rocketing demand.

HOME HYDROGEN BATTERY

World-first home hydrogen battery stores 3x the energy of a Powerwall 2, New Atlas

To get off the grid with home solar, you need to be able to generate energy when the Sun’s out, and store it for when it’s not. Normally, people do this with lithium battery systems – Tesla’s Powerwall 2 is an example. But Australian company Lavo has built a rather spunky (if chunky) cabinet that can sit on the side of your house and store your excess energy as hydrogen.

SOLAR SCHOOLS

Solar Landscape to Provide Cost-Free Electricity to Asbury Park Schools, Renewable Energy Magazine
Entering into a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Solar Landscape will provide electricity to the Asbury Park School District at no cost for the entire term of the agreement. This will result in a critical cost savings of more than $120,000 a year for Asbury Park schools.

What is a solar power purchase agreement?, Solar Energy Industries Association 

 

FEATURED WIND ENERGY RESOURCES

Wind Workforce Webinar Series Offers Insights, Information, and Solutions
To help industry recruit the best and brightest people and to provide students with the essential resources to set them on a path toward a rewarding career in the wind energy workforce, NREL, in partnership with the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), hosted a three-part Wind Workforce Webinar Series as part of American Wind Week 2020.

KidWind Launches the Power Grid Kit
The KidWind Project recently launched the Power Grid Kit—the first large-scale, functioning grid model that provides educators with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore power grid systems and solutions with students of all ages. The kit models the flow of electricity from generation sources like nuclear, coal, natural gas, wind, hydropower, and solar power through substations before being distributed to industrial, commercial, and residential consumers. It also models distributed generation in the form of solar panels and residential wind turbines to demonstrate the broad range of energy options possible in the future.

Source: Department of Energy’s WINDExchange Newsletter

Amazon Becomes World’s Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy, Advancing its Climate Pledge Commitment to be Net-zero Carbon by 2040

Amazon News Release, Business Wire

Amazon today announced 26 new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects totaling 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity, bringing its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4 GW of capacity — the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year. These new projects will make Amazon the largest-ever corporate purchaser of renewable energy. In the U.S., Amazon has now enabled wind and solar projects in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Amazon has a total of 127 renewable energy projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe. Read more here.

Related

IN NEBRASKA

Renewable Energy Resources

Trade Association Reports 

ENERGY TRANSITION ANALYSES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST 

  • Most of America’s dirty power plants will be ready to retire by 2035, Grist
    A new analysis published in the journal Science last week offers a potential roadmap for the incoming Biden administration to manage the wind-down of all fossil fuels plants, not just coal plants, more systematically. Even better, it shows that shutting down the nation’s fossil fuel–burning power plants in the next 15 years to achieve Biden’s goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 isn’t as economically risky as previously thought. 

    Emily Grubert, a civil engineer and environmental sociologist at Georgia Tech and the author of the study, mapped out every coal-, gas-, or petroleum-powered generator running in the U.S. in 2018, the most recent year for which complete data was available. Grubert found that there’s already about 100 gigawatts worth of infrastructure past its prime, including a coal-fired generator in Nebraska from 1915. 

Pilot project tests potential of solar energy for Grand Island, Neb.

By Taelor Bentley, American Public Power Association

A solar panel array built in 2018 is a part of a pilot project in Grand Island, Neb., which is testing the potential of solar as a source of energy for Grand Island. The intent is to get operational data on projects and give the City of Grand Island Utilities Department hands-on information on how it might interact with their system.

The project represents a 25-year commitment by the city at no cost. The solar farm is owned by private investors who sell the city the power it produces. The solar panels generate 1-MW, producing about 1% of the city’s load when it’s at full operation.

Read more here.

Photo by project installer GenPro Energy Solutions. Founded in Rapid City, South Dakota in 2003, GenPro has a Nebraska office and warehouse located in Central City. Jeff Berggren is GenPro’s Nebraska Program Manager.

Grand Island’s Renewable Energy

SEIA Resources

 

 

 

Power Purchase Agreements: What is a solar power purchase agreement?
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost.

See Also: SEIA Fact Sheets

Advanced macro grid initiative announced in US

By Jean Haggerty, PV Magazine

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid are launching the Macro Grid Initiative to improve the country’s balkanized electricity transmission system and better integrate low-cost renewable energy. Breakthrough Energy, an organization that Bill Gates formed in 2015 to expand clean energy investment and innovation, will provide substantial funding for the initiative. “To respond to the challenge of climate change, we need ambitious investments in our electrical grid. Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources are booming, moving us toward a carbon-free future,” said Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

News Release: Macro Grid Initiative Launches to Expand and Upgrade America’s Transmission Network

The R-Project in Nebraska: You can learn more about NPPD’s construction of the 345,000-volt transmission line and stay informed on the latest R-Project information here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW JERSEY’S WIND PORT & THE STATE’S 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY COMMITMENT

UNILEVER’S HOLISTIC CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Unilever unveils climate and nature fund worth more than $1 billionGreenBiz
Unilever CEO Alan Jope emphasized the company intended to eschew a sustainability strategy that focused on emissions alone and instead take a holistic approach. “Climate change, nature degradation, biodiversity decline, water scarcity — all these issues are interconnected, and we must address them all simultaneously,” he said.

RE100: Unilever is one of 241 RE100 companies that have made a commitment to go 100% renewable. An increasing number of them are also working with their supply chains to help the companies purchase renewable energy for their own operations, providing an exponential boost to its deployment. Read about the actions RE100 businesses are taking and why here.

REIT HOSTS ROOFTOP COMMUNITY SOLAR 

Duke Realty Set To Become New Jersey’s Largest Community Solar Host, Duke Realty News
Duke Realty, the largest domestic-only, pure-play logistics property REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) in the United States, has announced it will host solar projects covering nearly 1 million square feet of roof space across four of its New Jersey industrial sites through a partnership with Solar Landscape. The Clean Energy Act of 2018 established a statewide Community Solar Program in New Jersey. The pilot program allows property owners to lease their rooftops or land to solar developers to construct large solar projects that power their communities. The pilot program is being rolled out over three years.

Commentary: Time to double down on wind investment

By Ray Gaesser, Globe Gazette

Iowa recently made news for surpassing 40 percent of its total energy generation from wind and installing a record amount of wind power in a single year. While we should take time to celebrate this milestone, we need to double down on these important infrastructure investments to aid in our state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As chair of the Iowa Conservative Energy Forum, I can tell you that wind energy’s economic impact is needed in rural Iowa now more than ever. Rural landowners in Iowa are receiving $69 million annually in land lease payments. This consistent source of income can help farmers and landowners weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY REPORT 

  • Renewables Increasingly Beat Even Cheapest Coal Competitors on Cost, IRENA News Release. “We have reached an important turning point in the energy transition. The case for new and much of the existing coal power generation, is both environmentally and economically unjustifiable,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA. “Renewable energy is increasingly the cheapest source of new electricity, offering tremendous potential to stimulate the global economy and get people back to work. Renewable investments are stable, cost-effective and attractive offering consistent and predictable returns while delivering benefits to the wider economy.”
  • See IRENA’s  interactive infographic on How Falling Costs Make Renewables a Cost-effective Investment
  • Energy firms urged to mothball coal plants as cost of solar tumbles, The Guardian
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has found that up to 1,200 gigawatts of the world’s existing coal capacity could cost more to run than the cost of new utility-scale solar plants. If energy companies replaced only their most expensive coal plants with new solar power projects or onshore wind farms, totalling 500 GW globally, they could save up to $23bn every year and wipe out 5% of last year’s total global carbon emissions, according to Irena.

TESLA SUPERCHARGERS

With North Dakota, All 48 Continental US States Have Tesla Superchargers, CleanTechnica
Overall, there are now 1,870 Tesla Supercharger stations and 16,585 Supercharging ports around the world.

Tesla Supercharger Map

Alliant coal plant could cost Wisconsin customers $257M by 2030, report says

By Catherine Morehouse, Utilty Dive

Two Wisconsin coal plants cost Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin customers $16 million in 2019 alone, according to a report released Tuesday from the Sierra Club. Alliant on Friday announced it plans to retire one of those facilities — the 380 MW last remaining unit of its Edgewater plant — by 2022. However, the 1,023 MW Columbia coal plant has no set retirement date, and if it continues to operate the utility’s share of the plant could cost customers $257 million through 2030, according to Sierra Club. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Related: Alliant Energy looks to add 675 MW of PV and quadruple Wisconsin’s solar capacity, PV Magazine

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The (energy) efficient road to small business recovery, Utility Dive
The following is a contributed article by Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Co-Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and John Di Stasio, President of the Large Public Power Council.

MORE ON SECRET GROUP’S FERC PETITION

24 Congressional Democrats urge FERC to reject net metering overhaul, Utility Dive
A group of Democratic senators and representatives on Tuesday wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, urging the regulatory body to shut down a net metering proposal that experts say would effectively overturn the policy nationally. In the letter, Congress Members questioned FERC’s authority to make such a rule and also asked the commission to ask the petitioner, New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), to disclose its members. 

Upcoming Advanced Energy Economy Webinar


Net Energy Metering and State Authority: What’s at Stake for Advanced Energy in FERC Petition, June 3 at 2 p.m.


This webinar will explain how FERC ruling the wrong way could impact existing and emerging state and municipal and cooperative utility approaches to supporting distributed energy resources in retail markets. 

Panelists

  • Ted Thomas, Chairman, Arkansas Public Service Commission
  • Hannah Muller, Director of Public Policy, Clearway Energy
  • John McCaffrey, Senior Regulatory Counsel, American Public Power Association
  • Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel, Advanced Energy Economy

PEAK COALITION REPORT

Dirty Energy, Big Money, by the PEAK Coalition
Subtitle: 
How Private Companies Make Billions from Polluting Fossil Fuel Peaker Power Plants in New York City’s Environmental Justice Communities – and How to Create a Cleaner, More Just Alternative

The high costs of these peaker plants—both in public health impacts and on New Yorkers’ electric utility bills—are largely hidden to the public. It is not well known, but the owners of these plants receive exorbitant payments from utilities and other energy service providers just for the plants to exist. 

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS STUDY

The Coal Bailout Everybody Is Talking About, by Joseph Daniel, senior energy analyst with the Climate & Energy program at UCS

 As we found in our new UCS report, Used but How Useful, How Electric Utilities Exploit Loopholes, Forcing Customers to Bail Out Uneconomic Coal-Fired Power Plants, utilities across 15 states right in the heart of the U.S. exploited power market loopholes, costing customers $350 million in 2018.

Previously Posted

Inside Clean Energy: With a Pen Stroke, New Law Launches Virginia Into Landmark Clean Energy Transition

By Dan Gearino

One lawmaker compared the passage of the statute, which requires the state to move to 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2045, to landing on the moon.

Read more here.

NEW YORK INITIATIVES

In New York, a New Way for Stay-at-Home Customers to Get Paid for Shaving Peak Energy, Greentech Media. New York is struggling with the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak, but it’s also pushing ahead on its ambitious clean energy goals. Those include major expansions of wind and solar power, more energy storage to manage that intermittent supply — and, on the demand side of the equation, programs that can turn utility customers from passive consumers into active grid-balancing participants. 

GREEN CAMPUSES

University of Pennsylvania signs PPA for largest solar project in the state, Solar Power World
The University of Pennsylvania has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the creation of a solar power project moving the University significantly closer to meeting its commitment of a 100% carbon neutral campus by 2042, as outlined in the “Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 3.0.”

Recommended Resources

CARBON PRICING

NextEra, Vistra join array of stakeholders in asking FERC to look at carbon pricing, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. A wide group of energy stakeholders, including independent power producers, gas interests and clean energy advocates, are asking federal regulators to look more closely at the benefits of pricing carbon across wholesale electricity markets.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY & RESILIENCE

GREEN TRANSPORTATION

KEYSTONE XL

US judge cancels permit for Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, Associated Press