Tag Archives: Scottsbluff Star Herald

City moves toward solar energy

By Jerry Purvis, Scottsbluff Star-Herald

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 reading here.

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.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Recently Reposted by the Clean Energy Finance Forum: Small Decisions Move Clean Energy Forward in Nebraska

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 StorySolar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal
Photo Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ELECTRIC BUSES – NEWS & A REPORT

Oranges on the high plains? North Platte planning to construct solar-powered, geothermal-heated greenhouse

By Steve Frederick, Scottsbluff Star Herald

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

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING AND VIEWING

  • Geothermal Heat Could Warm Up Local Food Production In The Midwest, by Harvest Public Media Editor Grant Gerlock, KCUR
    Russ Finch of Alliance, Nebraska designed his first geothermal greenhouse two decades ago. Photo Credit: Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media
  • 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.

Community solar now available in Scottsbluff

By Spike Jordan, Scottsbluff Star Herald 

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 story here.

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

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Community Solar project begins in Scottsbluff

Written by Irene North, Scottsbluff Star Herald

scottsbluff-community-solar

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

SunWise: NPPD’s Pilot Community Solar Program 
Frequently Asked Questions

Community Solar Project breaking ground Wednesday

Published by the Scottsbluff Star Herald

sunwise

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.

SunWise Community Solar

MORE MIDWEST RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS
Iowa reaches new high mark for wind energy, The Gazette
Sustainable: Solar Energy growing fast in Minnesota,
Finance & Commerce

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
4 ways to motivate people to warm to community solar, Green Biz

South Sioux City approves hydroelectric turbine application

By Alex Boisjolie, Sioux City Journal

south-sioux-city
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 Credit: Jim Lee / Sioux City Journal

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Higher fixed fees in play as Nebraska public utilities cut demand growth forecasts,
Utility Dive
Scottsbluff solar project one step closer to reality, Scottsbluff Star Herald
Iowa co-op’s unique solar installation business expands outside its territory, Midwest Energy NewsA Twin Cities apartment owner bets big on solar energy, Midwest Energy News
Wind & Solar Aren’t Alternative Energy Anymore, CleanTechnica
In Minnesota churches, let there be light – solar light, Star Tribune
Top Solar Myths EBook, The Climate Reality Project
New $3.6B Project in Iowa Could Be One of Many ‘Mega’ Wind Orders, Greentech Media
Wind power helps U.S. cities go big on clean energy, Into the Wind, the American Wind Energy Association Blog

Focus groups provide direction on solar energy

Photo Illustrating a 100-kilowatt community solar project

Photo Illustrating a 100-kilowatt community solar project

By Irene North, Scottsbluff Star Herald

Key Takeaways from NPPD Focus groups:

Scottsbluff could be the site of a community solar project, ideally positioned to get the biggest benefit from the sun.

Homeowners and renters are eligible for the program. A pilot project in Scottsbluff would involve 20 homes.

More education is needed on solar energy, terminology.

Solar energy to be one aspect of “diverse portfolio.” NPPD hopes to have project operating by January 2017.

Read the entire story. 

Bright outlook for community solar project

By Irene North, Scottsbluff Star-Herald

Photo Illustrating a 100-kilowatt community solar project

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

Scottsbluff Star-Herald: “Solar project takes another step into the sun”

By Irene North

Proposed Community Solar Project in Scottsbluff: Vist: www.scottsbluff.com

Proposed Community Solar Project in Scottsbluff

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.

ADDITIONAL MIDWEST COMMUNITY SOLAR NEWS
The Kansas City Star: Independence community solar farm proposed If built the solar farm could be the largest in the Kansas City area.

Scottsbluff Star Herald Editorial on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Proposed Community Solar Project in Scottsbluff: www.scottsbluff.org

Proposed Community Solar Project in Scottsbluff:
www.scottsbluff.org

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.

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