Tag Archives: Sol Systems

Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

The city of Norfolk, Nebraska, soon will celebrate its first solar farm — and the last one allowed under a contract with its electricity wholesaler. The 8.5-megawatt community solar project is being developed in partnership with the Nebraska Public Power District, which supplies power to most of the state outside of Omaha and Lincoln. The hitch for Norfolk is that the public utility’s contracts prevent municipal customers from generating more than 10% of their peak load from alternative sources, a threshold the city expects to reach with this project. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Norfolk solar facility, battery energy storage system ready to go, Norfolk Daily News
NPPD plans to enter into a 30-year agreement with N Solar for an 8.5 megawatt solar unit to be constructed on land at the city’s well field. The expectation is installation of the solar panels will begin in 2021 with operations beginning by the end of 2021.

ALSO WRITTEN BY KAREN UHLENHUTH

Photo by Tim Hynds / Sioux City Journal: South Sioux City’s Solar Park, a 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 SolarCity, a Tesla subsidiary. Archived News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal

Sol Systems Announces Groundbreaking Solar Power Community Investment Agreement with Microsoft

News Release By The Sol Systems Team

WASHINGTON, DC – Sol Systems, a national solar energy finance and development firm, today announced a groundbreaking initiative with Microsoft, Corp. that creates the first community investment fund and the company’s single largest renewable energy portfolio energy purchase agreement. Sol Systems and Microsoft designed the portfolio to maximize its positive environmental, community and societal impact. The strategic initiative will help Microsoft meet its goal of shifting to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.

Sol Systems will finance, develop and operate a portfolio of over 500 megawatts (MW) of solar projects in the U.S. and will sell energy from those projects to Microsoft. In parallel, working with local leaders in nearby communities and those disproportionately impacted by climate change, Sol Systems and Microsoft will invest at least $50 million for community-led grants and investments that support educational programs, job and career training, habitat restoration, and programs that support access to clean energy and energy efficiency. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

APPLE NEWS

Apple commits to be 100 percent carbon neutral for its supply chain and products by 2030, Apple Newsroom. The company is already carbon neutral today for its global corporate operations, and this new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact. “Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

  • USA Rare Earth LLC Announces 100% Renewable Energy Plan for Round Top Mountain Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas, News Release, GlobeNewswire
    USA Rare Earth, LLC, the funding and development partner of the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas together with Texas Mineral Resources Corp. is pleased to announce its commitment to power operations at its Round Top Heavy Rare Earth & Critical Mineral Project in Hudspeth County, West Texas with 100% renewable energy. West Texas is widely recognized as one of the best places in the world for solar power.
  • ‘Whiskey, Neat’: Kentucky Co-ops to Power New Distillery With 100% Renewables, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The Diageo Lebanon, Kentucky Distillery is expected to be one of the largest carbon neutral distilleries in North America, according to the company, whose portfolio contains more than 200 brands, including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal and Guinness. Among its innovations will be electrode boilers and an onsite fleet of only electric vehicles, including forklifts, Diageo said.

NEW YORK SEEKS 4000 MEGAWATTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

Governor Cuomo Announces Largest Combined Solicitations for Renewable Energy Ever Issued in the U.S. to Combat Climate Change, News Release, New York State

KIWI POWER

ENERGY STORAGE

Guidehouse Insights: Utility-scale energy storage industry ‘blossoming’ in several US states, Energy Storage News. The US utility-scale energy storage market is projected to maintain its position as the world’s largest and fastest-growing in the coming years, according to a new report from Guidehouse Insights. Despite the rapid growth, the development of new utility-scale energy storage systems (ESSs) remains highly concentrated in a few states. The market research provider’s report shows California, New York, and Texas lead the top 10 US energy storage markets.

Previously Posted: The magnificent seven: US states with energy storage mandates, targets and goals

TESLA SOLAR

Tesla’s Latest Moves In Solar Indicates It Is Either Crazy Or Has Made A Breakthrough, contributed CleanTechnica article by Paul FosseWell, part 2 of the master plan said this about solar: “Create a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works, empowering the individual as their own utility, and then scale that throughout the world. One ordering experience, one installation, one service contact, one phone app.” With that quote in mind, let’s look at what they are doing right now with solar.

EV NEWS

GM backs away from hydrogen fuel-cell tech in passenger vehicles, Green Car Reports
When GM announced plans for the 20 electric vehicles in October 2017, the automaker said it would pursue a “two-pronged” approach with both battery-electric and fuel-cell powertrains. Now GM plans to focus on battery-electric powertrains for passenger cars, and fuel-cell powertrains for military and commercial vehicles.

PV RECYCLING

‘They need to be ready.’ Study warns of growing solar waste, by David Iaconangelo, E&E News
In a study published last week in Nature Energy, analysts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory said roughly 8 million tons of solar photovoltaic panels are expected to hit landfills globally by the end of this decade, rising to 80 million by midcentury, when they could account for about 10% of all electronic waste. But solar recycling could turn into a $15 billion global industry of its own by 2050, according to prior studies, and lead to the creation of 2 billion new panels. In the U.S., recycling could also provide a supply of minerals deemed “critical” for national security purposes, while reducing the solar industry’s environmental footprint, the study said.

CARBON ACCOUNTING

Morgan Stanley Joins Leadership of Global Carbon Accounting Partnership (PCAF), News Release, Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials. Morgan Stanley is the first major U.S.-based global financial institution to join PCAF’s 66 formal members, which include financial institutions from around the world and represent more than $5.3 Trillion USD in assets.

4 misconceptions about large-scale solar

By Patrick Smith, American Public Power Association

When it comes to large-scale solar for utilities and municipalities, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports that there are 37,000 MW in operation, with a whopping 74,000 MW additional in development. With such widespread solar adoption, it’s clear that many believe in the power of solar. However, there’s also a lot to understand behind the scenes, which can sometimes lead to misconceptions. Here, we’ll address and correct some of the more common ones. Continue reading here.

Also Published by the American Public Power Association
Report sees dramatic increase of solar-plus-storage projects, by Peter Maloney

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREEN CAMPUSES

Sol Systems, University of Illinois sign PPA for 12.1-MW solar project, Solar Power World
The PPA structure will yield cost savings for the university of approximately $300,000 in the first year and an estimated $5 million over the life of the project. Sol Customer Solutions (SCS), the joint venture between Capital Dynamics and Sol Systems, will design, build, operate, finance and maintain the solar farm for the life of the PPA.

MICROGRID NEWS & RESOURCES

 INTERVIEW

The EV Resistance: Gas Automakers Vs Tesla, by Brooke Crothers, Forbes
General Motors and Toyota were early leaders in electric vehicles. But a lot has changed in 20 years. I recently spoke with Chris Paine, director of the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car” (2006) and the sequel “Revenge of the Electric Car” (2011), and a longtime follower of the EV and Tesla.

GLOBAL SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING MARKET

Rising Adoption of Solar Power Driving Solar Panel Recycling Market, PV Magazine International
The global solar panel recycling market was valued at $80.7 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $269.8 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 22.0% during the forecast period (2018–2023).

New study: Solar power delivers much more than just clean energy

Environment America News Release

Americans benefit from solar panels in important ways that are often overlooked by policymakers, according to The True Value of Solar: Measuring The Benefits of Rooftop Solar Power, a new study released today by Environment America Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group.  States should assess all those benefits when determining their energy policies and incentives.

“Power from the sun is a boon to the environment, protects our health from dirtier power options and gives us a shot at leaving our kids a better world,” Susan Rakov, chair of Environment America Research and Policy Center’s Clean Energy program, said. “We need to appreciate what solar energy is really worth, and base our public policies on it.” Read more here.

MORE NEWS & RESOURCES

Dawson Public Power proud to be publicly owned

By Brian Neben, Lexington Clipper-Herald

LEXINGTON — Nebraska is the only state to be served entirely by public power and the Dawson Public Power District is proud of this fact and to serve their region of Central Nebraska. Dawson Public Power District, DPPD, held their annual customer tour of their facility south of Lexington on Tuesday, June 25. During the tour DPPD electrical services and policies were explained, safety demonstrations held and people could ask questions about public power. “An informed customer is our greatest asset,” said DPPD general manager Gwen Kautz. DPPD was organized in February 1937 as a part of the Rural Electrification Act passed by President Franklin Roosevelt as part of an effort to electrify rural farmsteads.

Looking to the future Kautz said “renewable energy is late coming to Nebraska, but it is coming and it will grow.” Changes will have to be made to the grid as wind, solar, batteries and stored hydro become more prevalent and traditional sources like coal, nuclear and natural gas are slowly phased out. “I predict the marriage of solar power to storable batteries will take over for the traditional energy sources,” said Kautz. She said 10 years ago she doubted the impact of renewable energy, today she has rethought that position. Read more here.

Sol Systems Photo: In 2017, Sol Systems and GenPro Energy Solutions partnered with the City of Lexington to develop, finance, and construct a 3.9 MW solar farm. The array produces enough energy to power 700 homes each year. By locking into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the City of Lexington will have 25 years of price certainty against volatile wholesale electricity rates.

Additional Recommended Reading
Charged Up About Electric Vehicles, by Gwen Kautz, General Manager, Dawson Public Power
EV Charging Station Rebate Brochure

OPPD sells out of shares for Community Solar program

By Sydnie Holzfaster, Fox42

In less than two months OPPD sold out of their shares to provide renewable energy to their customers through the Community Solar programSunday the environmental group Green Bellevue welcomed Cliff Mesner of Mesner Development Company and Tricia McKnight from OPPD to talk about community solar programs across Nebraska. McKnight said OPPD sold over 8,400 shares for renewable energy. The program will pull solar energy from OPPD future solar farm in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska later this year . . . Don Preister, Bellevue city councilman for the fifth ward, said the concept of a solar share program isn’t new. He has been working to bring a solar share program to Bellevue for the last eight years. Read more here.

To be placed on OPPD’s community solar waiting list, call customer care at 402-536-4131.

Bellevue’s Proposed Landfill Solar Project – Previously Posted 

Given the dramatic decrease in solar energy’s costs over the past several years since Bellevue’s landfill solar project was first proposed, it would be good to see an up-to-date analysis of the project’s levelized costs through a twenty-year power purchase agreement.

About Power Purchase Agreements

  • Solar Power Purchase Agreements, Solar Energy Industries Association 
    A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost. 
  • Power purchase agreements, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog
    Currently, OPPD utilizes PPAs for the output of five wind farms: Grande Prairie, Prairie Breeze, Flatware, Petersburg, as well as Sholes, which is under construction. Also, OPPD has signed power sales agreements with NPPD for the partial output of five other wind farms. Those farms are Ainsworth, Broken Bow 1, Broken Bow 2, Crofton Bluffs and Elkhorn Ridge. The normal term of OPPD’s PPAs is 20 years. The new community solar project near Fort Calhoun is under a PPA, with NextEra Energy Resources.

About N-Solar

 

 

 

Sol Systems News Release
With a long history of serving Nebraska communities, Mesner Development assembled a team of solar energy experts, including GenPro Energy Solutions for site development and construction and Sol Systems for project development and power purchase agreements. To date, the companies comprising N-Solar have developed, constructed, or financed a combined 17.6 megawatts of solar electric generating capacity across Nebraska.

Top Photo by N-Solar: Central City’s 499-kW Municipal Solar System

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar


Request Community Solar: If you are an NPPD customer and would like to request community solar for your community, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.

A Solar CEO’s 2019 Forecast: More Complexity, New Investors and Continued Growth

Sol Systems CEO Yuri Horwitz shares a view from the front lines of the solar sector. Greentech Media

America overwhelmingly supports renewable energy. As of January 2019, 73 percent of Americans support the further development of renewable energy, according to The Pew Research Center, which is one of the largest pluralities in history. The United States has the largest electricity load in the world, and these same Americans are electricity customers who support both policy initiatives for renewable energy and who will create the demand for renewables in the next decade. In 2018, we noted that Americans overwhelmingly support our industry, but we did not anticipate how rapidly this would translate into renewable support at the state level. Read more here.

Solar Array: Sol Systems and GenPro Energy Solutions partnered with the City of Lexington to develop, finance, and construct this 3.9 MW solar farm. The array produces enough energy to power 700 homes each year. Through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Lexington locked in 25 years of price certainty against volatile wholesale electricity rates.

Recently Posted
NPPD to plug in more solar energy, Scottsbluff Star Herald
A new source of electricity will soon be available to Scottsbluff residents and businesses when a 4.6 megawatt solar project comes online by the end of the year. Construction on the solar array should begin during the summer of 2019 at the southeast edge of the Landers Soccer Complex north of Scottsbluff. The array will include more than 14,000 solar panels that will track the sun throughout the day. NPPD has entered into a 25-year purchase agreement with solar finance and development firm Sol Systems for a fixed solar electricity rate of 5.19 cents per kilowatt hour.

PURPA Reign: Michigan Could Grow Solar Market With New Avoided Cost Methodology

By Sol Systems, The Energy Collective

Recently, the Michigan Public Service Commission (“MPSC”) approved a final order to the approach the Consumers Energy Company (“Consumers Energy”) determines the avoided cost under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”). Consumers Energy is a public utility providing power to 6.7 million of the Michigan’s 11 million residents.

What’s PURPA?

In 1978, Congress enacted PURPA with the purpose to promote the development of alternative electric energy sources while reducing dependency on fossil fuels. PURPA requires utilities to purchase energy from qualifying facilities (“QFs”) within their service territories. PURPA allows small QFs to sell electricity to utilities at an avoided cost, which is the cost the utility would have incurred if the utilities had bought power from fossil fuels such as coal.

Read more here.

How Lexington, Nebraska Became Home to the Second Largest Solar Farm in the State

 Corporate Social Responsibility Wire, CSRwire

The City of Lexington, Nebraska offers an exemplary case study of good planning and willing counterparties uniting to complete a large-scale solar project. Sol Systems partnered with GenPro Energy Solutions, a developer and engineering, procurement, and construction contractor based in South Dakota, and the City of Lexington to develop, finance, and construct a 3.9MW solar
farm . . . Fortunately, each and every counterparty was driven, proactive, responsive, and, not to be understated, friendly. These factors, together with applying the Three Es of Successful Solar, will make Lexington home to the second largest solar energy system in Nebraska come May 2017. Continue reading.

Photo Credit: Melena Ward, Lexington Clipper-Herald

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