Tag Archives: SoCore

Solar that Benefits Birds & Pollinators – Workshop & Tour

By Rob Davis, Center for Pollinators in Energy

March 8, 2018
Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary
44450 Elm Island Road, Gibbon, Nebraska
Facebook Live Stream

In partnership with Kearney City officials, the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, Nebraska Public Power District, and SoCore Energy, we invite you to learn more about Nebraska’s largest solar array and the benefits it provides to the community and environment.

This array is radically different from the solar photos you’ve seen from the Arizona desert. Bird- and pollinator-friendly flowers and grasses have been seeded under and around the solar panels. Planned specifically for a time when Kearney is a national destination for millions of Sandhill cranes, a panel of local and regional leaders will discuss economic development and care for nature and the land in the context of the growing trend of solar development by cooperatives around the country.

The conversation/workshop will be followed by a tour of the Kearney solar array, with a light lunch provided. The solar array tour will include opportunities for attendees to assemble boxes for native bees and broadcast a bird- and pollinator-friendly seed mix, with assistance from the Kearney Outdoor Learning Area (KOLA) high-school students.

Workshop/Conversation: 10:30 – 11:30 am
Mayor Stanley Clouse, City of Kearney
Bill Taddicken, Audubon Center
Jason Guernsey, Department of Economic Development, State of Nebraska
Jerry Vap, past Chairman of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, past president of the National Association of Conservation Districts
Moderator: Rob Davis, Fresh Energy
Light Lunch: 11:30 am – 12:10 pm
Solar Site Tour: 12:30 – 1:30 pm
SoCore Energy & NPPD
UNK’s Marc Albrecht
Pete Berthelson, native plant expert

Photos by Rob Davis (top) and G. Parker.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION
Introducing the Center for Pollinators in Energy, by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

188-2: Minnesota Sets Standard for Land Use on Solar Sites

Rob Davis’ TedX Minneapolis Talk – Click image to start it.

Model for Nebraska: Investment in solar grows dramatically in Minnesota’s K-12 schools

Written by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

The largest solar project ever built to serve a Minnesota school district began producing energy last week. The Farmington public school district’s 3.1 megawatt (MW) project places photovoltaic panels on the rooftops of several buildings. The first project to go live is the 715 kilowatt, 2,200 panel installation on the roof of Dodge Middle School, with more buildings to follow. Once fully completed next year, the project will be one of the biggest rooftop solar photovoltaic installations ever built in Minnesota by a government entity. Read more here.

Photo by Farmington Area Public Schools

As in Minnesota, Nebraska K-12 schools, colleges and universities have the option of investing in solar through third-party financing, or in some communities such as Kearney, subscribing to a community solar development.

Model for Nebraska: Solar4Schools, which Frank Jossi references in his article, is a program created by IPS Solar that, for over a decade, has installed PV arrays at a number of Minnesota K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities. These include: Macalester College, Northland College, St Johns University, St Olaf College, University of Minnesota and University of St Thomas.

Kearney officially signs on $11M solar array project

By Mike Konz, Kearney Hub Managing Editor

According to Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse, going solar would add just $4.29 per month to electrical costs for an average home that consumes 962-kilowatt hours per month.

KEARNEY — Stan Clouse said Wednesday he’s ready to go green at home by signing up for solar-generated electricity, and he’s betting many of Kearney’s residential, commercial and institutional energy consumers also will want to do the same when Nebraska’s largest solar energy array is online in the fall . . . Tim Polz of SoCore Energy worked with the city and NPPD on the Kearney project. He anticipates construction will begin in late March and conclude before September. SoCore operates solar projects in 17 states, including Kansas, and is developing other projects in Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and South Dakota.  Read more here.

Photo Credit: SoCore

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Agreements signed in $11M solar project; Xpanxion announces official tech park plans, Kearney Hub. Posted February 3, 2017

RECOMMENDED VIEWING