The city of South Sioux City will become a “demonstration site” for the storage of electric power generated by the city’s 1,200-panel solar installation. A large-scale battery with the capacity to store 1.5 megawatts of power will be installed by Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. this winter, City Administrator Lance Hedquist said. The city’s two-year-old solar park provides roughly 5 percent of the city’s 45 megawatt electricity usage. That electricity costs roughly two-thirds the cost of electricity purchased from elsewhere, Hedquist said. Hedquist has said the city plans to fully phase out of its wholesale power contract with NPPD by 2020. Read more here.
Photo: South Sioux City’s solar array located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary. News Story:Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal Photo Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal Installer: Solar City
WAKEFIELD, Neb. — More than a hundred wind turbines loom large over the small town of Wakefield. In Dixon County, just northeast of Wakefield, Enel Green Power North America Inc. built the $430 million Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. All of the project’s 101 Acciona AW125-3.15 MW wind turbines, spread out over 32,000 acres, are operational, an Enel spokesman said. Read more here.
Invenergy will develop a pair of wind farms in Iowa, each capable of generating 200 MW, with construction slated to begin next year, according to Iowa Radio. The new projects by the Chicago-based developer in the northwest corner of the state are expected to be online by early 2020 and include more than 80 wind turbines at each location. Iowa generates more of its power from wind resources than any other state in the U.S. and more projects are coming. Continue readinghere.
According to the latest Clean Jobs Midwest report, clean energy employment across the
12-state region totaled 714,255 at the end of 2017. Nebraska employs 18,436 in clean energy jobs, the majority in energy efficiency.
WINNEBAGO, Neb. — The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is going green in a big way. The reservation plans to install 1,000 solar panels across 13 sites that will generate more than 300 kilowatts of solar power that are projected to reduce energy bills by about $40,000 a year . . . Additionally, Ho-Chunk is working with Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems to bring more green projects to the reservation, a list that includes replacing the wind turbine at Little Priest Tribal College, installing a solar panel farm near the Pony Express convenience store on the north end of the reservation, and more. Click here to read more, including the list of projects.
Shown is a rendering of a solar panel array that will be built on the north side of the Winnebago Reservation near Titan Motors and the Pony Express convenience store. Thanks to grants acquired by Ho-Chunk Inc. as well as matching funds provided by the economic development corporation, the reservation is slated to have 1,000 solar panels installed across 13 sites.
Panels that are part of a 21-acre solar farm are shown on the south end of South Sioux City. The solar park produces 2.3-megawatts of capacity, enough to meet 5 percent of the city’s total electrical needs. Photo Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal
In addition to the 5 percent from solar, future plans call for South Sioux City to purchase 7 percent of its power from hydroelectric sources, another 7 percent from under-construction Green Star Gasifiers and 33 percent from Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources LLC via the Cottonwood Wind Farm, a project currently under construction in Webster County. Once all of those entities are in place, 52 percent of the electricity used to power South Sioux City will have originated from renewable sources, which also brings with it significant cost savings, [City Administrator Lance Hedquist] noted.
SOUTH SIOUX CITY — Lance Hedquist sees a bright future for renewable energy in South Sioux City. The latest shining example of the northeast Nebraska town’s increasing effort to reduce its carbon footprint is a 21-acre solar park south of the city alongside C Avenue comprised of more than 1,200 solar panels. “We started up operation in January of this year,” Hedquist, the longtime city administrator, said . . . The city is working with the South Sioux City Community Schools system to also make the solar park a learning opportunity for the system’s 3,850 students. Interestingly enough, we are also putting in monitors in all of our school systems, so grade school kids or high school kids can see how much is being produced at any given time,” Hedquist said. Click here to continue reading.
Photo: An aerial view of the 21-acre solar array in South Sioux City, which now provides 5 percent of the Northeast Nebraska city’s electricity. Credit: Becca Feauto, Pulse Marketing
OTHER NEBRASKA COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE DEVELOPED OR PLAN TO DEVELOP SOLAR PROJECTS / INFORMATION LINKS
Written by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder. Published by GreenBiz
Dear President-elect Trump,
For nearly two decades, we’ve been tracking and chronicling the transition to a clean-energy economy. While we know that we don’t see eye-to-eye with you on all of the issues, we wanted to send you the following “open letter” to update you on the clean-energy business opportunity, and what you might do as president to enable a massive infrastructure build out which supports American jobs and home-grown energy. Continue reading.
Ron Pernick is Founder and Managing Director and Clint Wilder is Senior Editor of Clean Edge Inc. Photo: Kaiser Permanente solar installation. Credit: First Solar
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING OTHER VOICES: Wind energy: It’s good business, by Debi Durham, former president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and currently director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Published by the Sioux City Journal
About 5,500 acres of the [Swan Lake Valley] is part of Edgewood Ranch. Lauren Jespersen’s family has been on this land since the 1970s, farming about half of it and making pellet livestock feed. But like many farm families, the Jespersens are trying to ensure their futures by doing more with their land. “It’s hard to make a living in agriculture anymore unless you are an extremely large operation,” Jespersen says. Like a growing number of farmers on the sunny, windy eastern side of the Cascades, they’re getting into the business of renewable energy. For Jespersen, it’s an emerging niche of the renewables market: large-scale energy storage called “pumped storage hydroelectricity.” At its very core, pumped hydro is a giant water battery. Read the entire storyhere.
Opinion written by the Sioux City Journal Editorial Board
Earlier this month, the South Sioux City Council unanimously agreed to, along with Green Star Energy Group LLC, apply for a $200,000 Nebraska Environmental Trust grant for a proposed $290,000 turbine . . . Other actions planned or taken by the city include the purchase of electric cars for use by city employees, the purchase of solar and wind power and construction of a private solar farm. In a unique, additional step, the city will produce electricity for its Scenic Park campground by burning fallen tree branches, limbs and brush it collects along the riverfront and across the community. Read about additional initiatives here.
Photo by Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal. South Sioux City senior code official Kent Zimmerman demonstrates the electric-car charging station in front of City Hall in South Sioux City in September 2015. Electric cars for city employees is one component of the city’s commendable renewable energy strategy.
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.