Tag Archives: renewable energy development in Nebraska

Celebrating National Clean Energy Week, Tri Global Energy Affirms Clean Energy Is the Future

Tri Global News Release

The company currently originates and develops utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Tri Global Energy’s headquarters is in Dallas with regional development offices in Lubbock, Texas; El Paso and Forreston, Illinois; and Reynolds and Hartford City, Indiana. Read more here. 

Tri Global Infographic: 100 MW Sugarloaf Wind project in Garden County, Nebraska.

See Also:

  • Clean Power Nebraska Fact Sheet, American Clean Power Association
  • Inside Clean Energy: The Energy Transition Comes to Nebraskaby 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.

NEAPCO

Neapco celebrates 100th anniversary, 40 years in Beatrice, Beatrice Daily Sun
“We have a customer today that buys a lot of product from us, and they’re non-automotive,” [Chief Davidson, plant manager for Beatrice], said. “They’re actually in the solar power industry, and we provide the mechanisms that position their mirrors to track the sun. So that’s a little bit out of the norm for us, but it’s the same type of technology. We’re also very heavily involved with the electric vehicle manufacturers. We know that that’s an upcoming trend, and we’re working on various new products that will support that industry as it gets off the ground.”

New Environment America Report – Blocking Rooftop Solar: The Companies, Lobbyists And Front Groups Undermining Local Clean Energy

Released by the Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

Recent corruption scandals in Ohio and Illinois, in which utilities and other special interests allegedly used their clout to twist public policy in their favor, highlight how far anti-solar efforts have gone. Policymakers must resist pressure from utilities and the fossil fuel industry and implement pro-solar policies that will continue America’s momentum toward clean energy

In 2021, a national network of utility interest groups and fossil fuel-linked think tanks continues to offer funding, advice and support to utilities across the country seeking to undermine rooftop solar power. These include . . .  Continue reading here.

Download Report (PDF)

IN NEBRASKA

Our State’s Overall Solar Development & Potential

Net Metering Legislative Bills

Net metering changes considered – Legislative Update, Senator John Cavanaugh
The Natural Resources Committee heard testimony Feb. 10, 2021 on two bills that would modify Nebraska’s net metering laws.

Approved Legislation: In 2016 the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 824, which removed some regulatory barriers connected to renewable energy development in our state.

NEBRASKA LACKS UPDATED ENERGY PLAN / CLIMATE ACTION PLAN 

State energy plans show how process can match final product in impact, Energy News Network, February 10, 2021

More Previous Efforts

    • Nebraska needs overall plan for energy policies, Lincoln Journal Star, November 4, 2015 Nebraska’s Energy Office director says the state needs a comprehensive approach to its energy policies as it faces what could be a “seismic” change in federal regulations governing emissions. David Bracht, Gov. Pete Ricketts’ chief adviser on energy issues, talked about state energy policies Wednesday at the eighth annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Omaha. . . . [The] Nebraska Legislature has instructed the state Energy Office to create a comprehensive energy plan and budgeted more than $630,000 to see it done.
    • LB469: Provide procedures and reporting requirements relating to a state plan on carbon dioxide emissions, require a strategic state energy plan, and provide requirements for meteorological evaluation towers.
    • 2011 Nebraska Energy Plan, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

SOUTH SIOUX CITY

Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler, Energy News Network, August 19, 2020

South Sioux City’s City Council decided four years ago not to renew its contract with NPPD. It has gradually reduced its purchases from the utility down to 10% of its load this year, and will stop buying power from the wholesaler altogether on Jan. 1, 2022. “We’ve been very happy with the decision the [city] council made to get more into renewables,” said Lance Hedquist, the city administrator of the community of about 13,000 also located in northeast Nebraska. The city has added solar and wind energy to its portfolio, and now obtains about half of its power from renewables, he said.

  • NPPD’s Wholesale Power Contracts
    Wholesale energy sales are made to 60 entities under wholesale power contracts that terminate on Jan. 1, 2036 and to 10 other entities with wholesale power contracts that terminate on Dec. 31, 2021. The 10 wholesale customers that did not sign the 2016 contract provided the notice required under their existing 2002 contracts, and began in 2017 to reduce their purchases to 0% over a five-year period.  Source: Fitch Rates Nebraska Public Power District’s General Revs ‘A+’; Outlook Stable

MODEL AGGREGATED SOLAR PROJECT – A WAY FOR COMMUNITIES TO REDUCE COSTS

MEAN Issues RFP For Participant Community Solar PV Installation Project, July 15, 2021
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is issuing a Request for Proposals on behalf of 11 MEAN participant communities interested in obtaining energy from solar PV installations to be built in their respective communities. The project is an effort by MEAN to bring economically priced solar energy to interested MEAN participant communities. Participating communities hope to obtain lower solar costs through economies of scale through this joint effort. RFP proposals are due Aug. 31, 2021 with a bid award date set for Oct. 27, 2021.

Click here to download the RFP.
Additional MEAN News

Previously Posted

About MEAN
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is the not-for-profit wholesale electricity supply organization of NMPP Energy. Created in 1981, MEAN provides cost-based power supply, transmission and related services to 69 participating communities in four states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. MEAN Members/Participants

About NMPP Energy
NMPP Energy is a member-driven coalition of four organizations based in Lincoln, Neb., serving nearly 200 member communities in six Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. NMPP Energy’s organizations fulfill separate needs to their respective member communities. Collectively, they subscribe to the core philosophies of local control and working together to provide reliable, cost-based energy and energy-related services. NMPP Energy Members 

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE ON LEASING LAND FOR UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR

Considerations for Leasing Land for Solar Development, by F. John Hay – Extension Educator for Bioenergy

Utility scale solar development is here — in the eight months since the solar leasing article was published in August 2020, Nebraskans have seen continued land lease activity, county zoning rule adoption, an extension of the federal tax credit, and projects approved by county commissioners/supervisors. Additionally, one project (Saunders County [OPPD electrical purchase]) has reached the important step of electricity sales, which is the most common tipping point between a proposed project and a project that will get built. Many smaller solar projects have been built in the years prior to 2021, with the largest at about 8 MW, or about 50 acres. The utility scale projects being proposed and approved are many times larger, with 500 or more acres.

How heat pumps can cut carbon pollution from buildings

Contributed by Sarah Kennedy, ChavoBart Digital Media.
Posted on Yale Climate Connections

“These new cold climate air source heat pumps are functional down to -10, -15 degrees,” [Chris Carrick with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board] says. And they run on electricity, so they generate heat without burning oil, natural gas or other fuels on site. According to a report by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, switching to heat pumps could dramatically reduce the carbon pollution caused by home heating. They have the most impact in places with renewable electricity. Read more here.

More Yale Climate Connections Posts / Audio 

Nebraska Information Sources on the Above Topics 

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Nebraska gains as wind power grows

Article contributed by David Bracht, Director of the Nebraska
Energy Office from 2015 to 2018, The Grand Island Independent

Clean and affordable wind energy is powering homes and fueling economic growth. In 2018, no other state grew its wind energy capacity faster than Nebraska, and in 2019 no state is better positioned than Nebraska to reap the benefits associated with this important renewable energy resource. In past generations, states with significant fossil fuel resources – namely coal and oil –could count on jobs, tax revenue, and opportunity as those resources were developed. While not devoid of traditional energy resources, Nebraska has never topped the list of fossil fuel states. But we are at the top when it comes to wind – and that has major positive implications for our future. Continue reading here.

City of Hastings looking to become more sustainable

By Valerie Juarez, NTV

Hastings, NEB. — One of the tri-cities is looking to become more sustainable. This as it’s hoping to lower their amount of fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy. The city of Hastings says they’re ready for the next step, and this would be a way to protect the community and make it more resilient for the future. Continue reading here.

Related: City seeking proposals for solar project,  by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

US Utility Invests in Kilowatt Labs to Boost Service with Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Until December 2017, Kilowatt Labs was still a startup company, developing supercapacitor-based energy storage and an energy server that’s designed to manage distributed energy. But after the company delivered its first product in January, Kilowatt Labs attracted more business than expected. Most recently, it garnered a $2.5 million investment from utility NorthWestern Energy, which serves 718,300 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. Photo: Omer Ghani, co-founder and managing director of Kilowatt Labs.

About NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy has served customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska for more than 100 years. The company, which got its start in small communities, today provides more than 718,300 residential and business customers with electricity and natural gas. NorthWestern Energy is a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

OPPD provides third straight year with no rate increases

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The budget includes three major transmission projects and helps bring more renewable energy online. The $200 million Sholes wind farm in Wayne and Stanton Counties is expected to come online next year, bringing with it 160 megawatts of electricity. Additionally, a community solar project east of Fort Calhoun will generate five megawatts when it comes online next summer.
Read more here.

Lincoln Electric System Photo: The utility’s 5-megawatt solar farm.

SPRING EVENT

 

Save the Date! Nebraskans for Solar Public Forum:
OPPD’s Community Solar Program, March 13, 2019 at UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 230/231.
Co-sponsored by Allied Organizations.


NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Clean Energy Deal Tracker: Novartis and J.M. Smucker join the buyers’ club

By Heather Clancy, GreenBizClick infographic to enlarge it.

[Corporate] buyers already have procured more clean energy in 2018 than for both 2016 and 2017 combined. And the year is far from over. [J.M. Smucker deal in Nebraska]: After roughly a year of evaluation and negotiations, the 120-year-old company behind brands such as Smucker’s jam, Crisco vegetable shortening and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in August announced it had signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 60 MWs of the 230-MW Plum Creek Wind Project in Wayne County, Nebraska. When the project starts generating power in 2020, it will offset about 50 percent of Smucker’s electricity usage. The developer behind the deal is Lincoln Clean Energy (now part of Orsted), which developed about 2 GW of wind power during 2017.
Read more here.

Previously Posted News Release: The J. M. Smucker Company Announces Renewable Energy Agreement

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

Walmart Rooftop Solar Project

CORPORATE BUYER’S GUIDES


Corporate Buyer’s Guide to Wind Energy

U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide for Corporate Buyers

 

MORE TRANSITION NEWS

  • NIPSCO submits blueprint for shift from coal to renewables, Kokomo Perspective
    NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris said the decision to retire the four coal-fired generators at Schahfer by 2023 and one at Michigan City by 2028 was a result of the utility’s investigation of the most cost-effective, reliable and environmentally sustainable means to deliver power to its customers.
  • North Carolina’s climate plan could bring 25 gigawatts of solar (or more), PV Magazine
    Executive Order No. 80, which barely makes it to four pages, calls for the creation of a “Clean Energy Plan” . . . [Solar] is poised to play the biggest role in meeting the state’s aggressive new goal, for a number of reasons.
  • New England moves to open the market for battery storage, PV Magazine
    As utilities discover more and more how energy storage can solve many of the problems that they have been facing, there is more and more pressure to change market rules to allow for greater use of batteries and other new technologies. The biggest move in this regard has been the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) landmark Order 841, which required that grid operators open wholesale markets to the participation of energy storage.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO SOLAR SYSTEM OWNERS


7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Solar Energy System
Mother Earth News Contributor

Photo: Dageforde Net-Positive Energy Home (See Solar Examples)

 

FEATURED RENEWABLE ENERGY PILOT PROGRAM

Archdiocese of New York launches renewable energy pilot program, News Release Posted by PV Magazine. Today, the Energy Department of the Archdiocese of New York along with five parishes joined Con Edison Solutions, one of America’s leading energy services companies, and students from Blessed Sacrament School to launch a renewable energy pilot program. As part of the initiative, five parishes, including Blessed Sacrament, St. Clare, and St. Patrick on Staten Island and St. Ann and St. Anthony in Yonkers have installed rooftop solar arrays which will collectively generate approximately 700,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity through 1,717 solar panels. Photos from today’s event can be found here.

GREEN TRANSPORTATION

B-cycle bike-share program nearly doubles number of Omaha locations, Omaha World-Herald. Heartland B-cycle on Wednesday announced the locations and installation dates of 34 new bike-share stations around the Omaha metro area. Heartland B-cycle is Omaha’s first large-scale municipal bike-sharing system. Since 2015, it has been working to expand its current network of 35 B-stations to at least six more neighborhoods, granting more people easy access to the blue bikes.

5 Ways To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Travel, Earth 911
Whether traveling by train, plane, ship, or automobile, getting from one place to another produces carbon emissions. In fact, the transportation sector accounted for the largest portion — 28 percent — of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Here are some strategies to help you lower your emissions while getting from point A to point B.

NextEra Energy Partners, LP announces agreement to acquire approximately 1,388 megawatts of contracted renewables projects and enters into a $750 million convertible equity portfolio financing

NextEra News Release

JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE : NEP ) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to acquire a geographically diverse portfolio of 11 wind and solar projects, collectively consisting of approximately 1,388 megawatts (MW) . . . The assets include the Cottonwood Wind Energy Center, a 90-MW wind generation plant in Webster County, Nebraska. Read the entire release here.

Pixabay Photo

Additional Recommended Reading

  • NextEra’s Sholes Wind Energy Center project in northern Wayne County near the village of Sholes, 160 megawatts, will be completed in 2018. Omaha World-Herald news story:
    OPPD partner’s wind power project will continue utility’s renewable energy growth
    Once opened, it would boost OPPD’s amount of wind-generated electricity to 971 megawatts, OPPD says. That’s enough to power about 125,000 homes.
    The NextEra project is OPPD’s third-largest contract for wind power, behind the 400 megawatts the utility buys from Grande Prairie wind farm in Holt County and the 200 megawatts from the Prairie Breeze project in Antelope County. OPPD is also working with NextEra on building its first community solar power array, a 5-megawatt facility being built near Fort Calhoun.
  • NPPD Wind Generation: NextEra’s first Nebraska wind project was the Steele Flats Wind Farm near the Kansas Border in Jefferson and Gage Counties, 75 megawatts, which began commercial operation in 2013.
  • Utility Dive: NextEra’s renewables backlog grows to 7.4 GW as customers anticipate lower costs
    The influx of new signed contracts show confidence in lower prices of renewables products. ​NextEra, whose batteries have added $0.015/kWh to the cost of wind and solar projects built in the last six to 12 months, anticipates storage costs to fall to $0.005/kWh for projects paired with renewable energy in 2025.
  • PV Magazine USA: 

NextEra expects storage to add half a cent to solar in mid-2020’s

Facebook’s Nebraska reach expands

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Facebook announced today their Nebraska data center will be three times the size of its original announcement. The Papillion data center will be six buildings instead of two with groundbreaking set to begin in May on the additional buildings. Facebook announced last April their plan to build its next data center here and credited the development of OPPD’s Rate 261M as one of the biggest draws. Read the entire blog post.

Facebook’s Press Release: Papillion Data Center Expanding to Six Buildings
Author: Jim Piazza, Director of Data Center Operations, East. Last year, we worked with Omaha Public Power District to create a new renewable energy tariff that ensures we can power our data center with clean and renewable energy. With the tariff in place, we could seek new, in-state wind projects, which we found in Enel Green Power‘s Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. We will now increase our purchase from 200 MW to 320 MW to support our growth, and we are excited to share that we have partnered with Adobe to help them enter the U.S. renewable energy market with Enel; 10 MW of Rattlesnake Creek will be allocated to Adobe.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Enel sells energy from new US wind farm to Facebook and Adobe, Enel Press Release
The new deal between Enel and Facebook widens the scope of the bundled, long-term power purchase agreement for 200 MW signed in November 2017 to gradually include the plant’s overall output by 2029, following Facebook’s decision to significantly expand its data centre in Papillion, around 120 miles from Rattlesnake Creek. The energy produced by the entire wind farm will enable the expanded data centre to be 100% renewable-powered.

“Powering our data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy is not just a goal for Facebook, it is a requirement of our business,” said Bobby Hollis, Director of Global Energy at Facebook. “The Rattlesnake Creek wind farm will enable us to power our future Papillion Data Center, and fulfills our passion to expand the energy market for other corporate buyers, like Adobe.”

The expansion increases Facebook’s total investment in the Papillion Data Center to $1 billion.

Nebraska Supreme Court orders NPPD to open its books, disclose costs

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that the Nebraska Public Power District must open its books and disclose specific cost information, including the expense of generating electricity from its individual power plants . . . A private company that seeks to compete with NPPD, Lincoln-based energy firm Aksamit Resource Management, had filed a lawsuit seeking the information from the public power firm. Aksamit argued that the information was public and that it would help the firm and Nebraska ratepayers better understand why NPPD’s costs were rising. Without the detailed information, the firm argued, the public could not determine why NPPD’s costs had risen. Read more here.

Public Domain Photo of a Hybrid Project

RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND READING