Tag Archives: renewable energy development in Nebraska

Readout of the March National Climate Task Force Meeting

The White House Briefing Room, March 15, 2022

Yesterday, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy convened the tenth meeting of the National Climate Task Force with Cabinet members and senior leadership from across the Biden-Harris Administration. The Task Force focused on how agencies can continue supporting the President’s commitment to addressing Putin’s Price Hike from his unprovoked war against Ukraine, minimizing pain at the pump here at home, continue rapidly deploying clean energy, and keep reducing emissions that cause climate change. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEBRASKA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY 

Source: Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

Clean Power Nebraska Fact Sheet, American Clean Power Association

Public hearing set for Monday on 3,200-acre solar farm

By Timothy Rohwer, Fremont Tribune

[A] facility that could be one of the largest in the state has been proposed near Murray. A public hearing on the matter is set for this Monday at 7 p.m. at the Expo Building at the Cass County Fairgrounds. The hearing will consider a conditional use permit for the solar farm request. Boulevard Associates, LLC, is the firm seeking these permits, according to the Cass County Zoning Office. Read more here.

NFS Note: NextEra Energy Resources is the parent company for Boulevard Associates, LLC.


Photo example of pole-mounted solar:

Crops or pollinator-friendly plants can be grown underneath the array, or farm animals can graze and seek shade and shelter there. Pole mounts can also easily incorporate a single-axis or dual-axis sun tracking system, enabling the panels to produce more energy.  

Previously Posted News Channel Nebraska Stories

Solar FAQs

Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar
This is a Department of Energy resource that answers questions farmers, ranchers, and other community members often ask not only about an individual solar project but also a utility-scale development proposed for their area.

Ohio Can Lead the Electric Vehicle and Clean Energy Economy

Expert Blog by Daniel Sawmiller
Natural Resources Defense Council

Driven primarily by projected electric vehicle (EV) demand, the global Lithium-ion battery industry and its associated supply chain have committed more than $600B in funding towards launching new electric vehicle models. This includes large scale investment in mineral extraction, chemical processing, anode and cathode production, cell production, recycling facilities and the provision of EV component parts.

The GM and LG Chem announcement of the Ultium Cells battery factory has opened up new possibilities for Ohio. Already a powerhouse in the automotive supply chain, Ohio has a unique opportunity to capture  investment and establish the state as a hub for the EV and battery industries. However, competition for EV supply chain manufacturing investment in North America—and around the globe—is intensifying and deals are being negotiated and announced right now, making it essential for the state to move quickly. Decisions made over the next two years will shape the footprint of auto production for decades. Continue reading here.

NRDC Now Hiring

More Articles, News Briefs & Resources

News Briefs & Resources from DOE & Other Sources

STEM Education Events 

Engineers Week starts February 20. Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, the event is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.

Students can get advice in this profile from DOE’s archives about engineer Jennifer Hoynack, and check out DOE’s engineering programs like Argonne’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Brookhaven National Lab’s annual bridge building competition, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, Sandia’s Athena Engineering Scholars Program, and more on the STEM Rising website.

The 2022 Science on Saturday series presented by DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on “Energy and the Environment” showcases the Lab’s research and technology on environmental issues and climate change. Geared toward high school and middle school students, the virtual series is FREE. Click the above link to join the discussions and download companion student worksheets.
Sign in: 11:45 a.m. Central Time. Presentations begin at 12 p.m. 

Past presentations can be viewed on LLNL’s Science on Saturday YouTube channel

K-Junction Solar Project, west and south of McCool, discussed before county board

By Melanie Wilkinson, York News-Times

The York County Commissioners’ meeting room filled in record time this week, as a large contingency of people from the McCool Junction/Lushton area arrived to hear information about the proposed and likely upcoming K-Junction Solar Project.

So many people arrived that the over-flow was directed to the old commissioners’ meeting room in the courthouse basement, where the crowd could watch and listen to the proceedings via Zoom. Continue reading here.

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) Resource
Solar Projects Under Development

More Nebraska News
‘Now is the time to do it’: City of Omaha aims for operational streetcar system by 2026, KMTV
The City of Omaha will be giving residents another public transportation option in east Omaha.

After over 13 years of research and planning, Mayor Jean Stothert announced Wednesday that the city plans to build a streetcar down Farnam Street, from 10th to 42nd Streets. 

Customer solar applications to OPPD rise more than 700% year-over-year

By David Earl, KETV

OMAHA, Neb. — Solar power is having a moment in Omaha. Applications to Omaha Public Power District for installations on private property from home and business owners topped 532 in 2021. That dwarfs 2020’s total of 60. It’s a 780% year-over-year increase that has caught the attention of the public power district. Read more or watch the video here.

Links included in the news story transcript to more information on OPPD’s website:

DOE Better Buildings Webinar: PV Valuation: How Solar PV Adds Value to Your Assets, February 1, 2022, 10 a.m. Central Time

Photo: Solar array on the Wine, Beer and Spirits store located near Oakview Mall, currently the largest customer-owned project in OPPD’s service territory. Developer: Great Plains Renewables, owned by Dale Leuck. See more projects in the company’s gallery here.

Renewable energy project developer selects Norfolk for office

Norfolk Daily News 

Bluestem Energy Solutions — a developer, owner and operator of renewable energy generation projects — has announced plans to open a new office in Norfolk. The location will be the third Bluestem office in the state of Nebraska, joining the headquarters in Omaha and a service center in Columbus.

The Omaha-based company chose Norfolk for its new office to better serve customers in the area. “Over the last nine years, we have built strong partnerships throughout the entire state,” said Mitch Hyde, Bluestem’s director of operations. “As we continue to expand and have operating projects in rural parts of the state, we felt it was important to have offices and staff in communities closer to our facilities.” Read more here.

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.