SCOTTSBLUFF — Scottsbluff could realize some of the lowest electric rates in the nation under an agreement that will bring solar power to all city operations. During its Monday meeting, council members approved a lease agreement with Sol Systems, LLC as part of the city’s five-megawatt solar power project. Sol Systems would then enter into an energy purchase agreement with Nebraska Public Power District for distribution of the solar electricity. Continue readinghere.
NPPD Photo: Scottsbluff Community Solar Project. Through NPPD’s SunWise Program, a total of 135 solar shares were available. Each solar share = 150 kilowatt-hours per month, the minimum participation level. The maximum participation level was the number of solar shares equal to 80% of a customer’s total annual energy consumption. For example, if a customer used an average of 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, 80% = 750 kilowatt-hours or up to five solar shares. All 135 solar shares were spoken for, and customers are now placed on a wait-list. See Solar Examples for additional details.
South Sioux City Solar Farm: 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary. Archived News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal Photo Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal
Minnesota’s Connexus Energy readies its solar energy storage sites, Daily Energy Insider “We listen to members who tell us they want renewable energy without it costing more,” Connexus CEO Greg Ridderbusch said. “Most solar energy is produced when there is lower demand and the price is lower. We will discharge stored solar energy during peak hours when energy costs are the highest.”
Million Solar Strong eyes New York, PV Magazine The coalition’s goal of powering one million homes with solar energy is gaining traction in the Empire State, especially among members of the State Assembly.
Renewables reduced wholesale power costs by $5.7 billion in Texas, PV Magazine
The [North Platte Natural Resources District] is raising funds for a solar-powered, geothermal-heated greenhouse, sunk 4 feet into the ground over a network of ducts circulating 54-degree air warmed by the earth. The greenhouse would measure 126 by 17 feet and stand 14 feet high, said NRD Assistant Manager Barb Cross, who is overseeing the project. General Manager John Berge conceived the project, which will include an outdoor learning facility, to promote NRD’s research and education missions . . . Solar power will provide the $500 worth of electricity needed each year to run the fans. The greenhouse panels will be made of impact-resistant Lexan plastic, manufactured in Alliance . . . Practical experience will be provided by intern Jenifer Berge Sauter, who will operate the greenhouse, and by Russ Finch of Alliance, who has been growing a variety of plants, including citrus trees, in his own greenhouse for about 25 years. Click here to learn more.
Photo: Jenifer Berge Sauter, left, and Barb Cross visit the site of a future greenhouse where the North Platte Natural Resources District plans to grow fruits and vegetables for local food banks. The structure, part of a 1.6-acre educational facility, is set to be built next spring. Credit: Steve Frederick / Scottsbluff Star Herald
YouTube Video, Harvest Public Media: Can the Midwest Grow Citrus? Russ Finch lives in northwestern Nebraska in the town of Alliance. He designed and built ‘The Greenhouse in the Snow,’ a greenhouse that runs only on a small fan that circulates geothermal heat. Using energy costs of about one dollar a day, Russ produces hundreds of pounds of citrus fruit every year to sell at local farmer’s markets.
Along with GenPro, Central City-based developer Mesner Development Company worked with NPPD and the City of Scottsbluff to make the project a reality. “When we did this project, we ran the numbers past somebody in California,” Cliff Mesner of Mesner Development said. “He said we were showing as much solar gain in Scottsbluff as we get in the Mojave desert.” Read the entire news storyhere.
Photo: Scottsbluff Mayor Randy Meininger cuts the ribbon for Nebraska Public Power District’s new community solar project outside NPPD’s Scottsbluff office Tuesday. Meininger is flanked by representatives from the Scottsbluff / Gering United Chamber of Commerce, NPPD employees and the project’s representatives and shareholders. Credit: Spike Jordan / Scottsbluff Star Herald
An historic groundbreaking took place on Wednesday for the Scottsbluff Community Solar Project, the first of its kind in the Panhandle. In July 2015, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) chose Scottsbluff as the pilot city for its community solar project in part because there is plenty of land and sunshine. NPPD and the city have also had a strong relationship over the years, and both entities felt working together would go smoothly. Continue reading.
Photo credit: Irene North / Scottsbluff Star Herald
An official groundbreaking for the Scottsbluff Community Solar Project on Wednesday will begin the physical work on a project that’s been in the works for nearly two years. The public is invited to the event, which will eventually see a 128-killowatt solar array in the area, providing greener electricity to the city. Click here for additional details.
To lower rates for residential and business customers and add more renewable sources of power, the South Sioux City municipal utility has spent the last few years moving to diversify its mix of wholesale power. In January 2015, the city council voted to reduce by 30 percent the power it gets from its longtime partner, Nebraska Public Power District, starting Jan. 1, 2018. The city’s contract with the state’s largest utility is scheduled to expire in 2021. Click to read more.
Photo Illustrating a 100-kilowatt community solar project
The City of Scottsbluff and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) continue to pursue a community solar project and define how the program will work. NPPD filed a letter of intent for the project on Jan. 4 to document the process between NPPD and the city so they can continue working toward formalizing their arrangement . . . The City of Scottsbluff will have the right to exit the agreement if the Nebraska State Legislature does not adopt renewable energy incentives in LB 423 or if the developer fails to be awarded a USDA REAP grant for the project. Read more.
The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is another step closer to making the city of Scottsbluff a pilot site for solar energy. The Scottsbluff City Council moved to accept NPPD’s Community Solar project, which aims to bring community solar to western Nebraska. The project would see a solar facility next to the NPPD building in Scottsbluff. It would be interconnected to a distribution line where multiple end-use customers within the community could participate. Continue reading.
On Monday, President Barack Obama released the final version of the Clean Power Plan, designed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants. The plan would increase regulations to limit the amount of carbon power plants can emit. Specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan calls for the United States to cut its C02 emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, stricter than the 30 percent in last year’s version.
Democrats laud the plan as a boon for the environment, while Republicans decry it as expensive, anti-industry and harmful to jobs and the economy. In Nebraska, Gov. Pete Ricketts has come out against it, saying he’s concerned it would be a burden and costly to residents.