HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – The city council Monday night approved a $2.38 million dollar
contract with Gen Pro Energy to build a solar farm west of the Hastings airport. It will be a 1.5 megawatt solar field, and have about 6,000 panels according to Derek Zeisler, director of
marketing and energy supply with Hastings Utilities. Zeisler said customer options would be
able to buy a panel, buy shares or donate to the project as a whole. Whatever rate that’s set would last for 25 years. Continue reading here.
The 1,487 solar panels sit atop the three largest roof surfaces on the UNMC campus.
The panels can generate up to 500 kilowatts of solar-powered electricity to help power the campus, and “its energy production will equal the average annual electricity use of 60 homes in OPPD’s service territory,” said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project . . . Darren Dageforde, executive director of utilities and energy utilization for UNMC, said the med center already has made great strides in reducing energy use and increasing efficiency. “Having a renewable energy source on campus demonstrates our commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030 and parallels our mission to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities.” Read the entire article here.
NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a massive solar project in northeastern Nebraska that, if built, would be the largest in the Midwest and among the largest in the country. The 423 megawatt project is in the early stages of development and still hinges on how much it will cost to connect to the regional transmission grid. “We’re in a holding pattern until we get clarification from the Southwest Power Pool,” said Phil Clement, NextEra’s project director in Nebraska. “We need to know if it’s viable.” Sean Gallagher, vice president for state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the project could be a sign of things to come in the region, which is increasingly attractive for large solar projects. Continue reading here.
NextEra: solar and wind plus batteries will be “massively disruptive” to conventional generation, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine. NextEra CEO Jim Robo’s exact math is that even after the federal tax credits expire, wind will be 2 – 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, large-scale solar will be 2.5 – 3 cents, and storage will add .5 – 1 cent. This would put these resources slightly below the current cost of natural gas-fired generation, without the uncertainty around fuel prices that is inherent to gas.
On Thursday, Jan. 10, the City of Atkinson will celebrate the conversion of its waste water plant to operate entirely on solar energy. Erika Young, marketing and external affairs manager for GenPro Energy Solutions, said the City of Atkinson wanted a tracked system that could provide enough energy to offset the energy consumption of its water treatment plant. GenPro Energy Solutions of Piedmont, S.D., was the project developer. Through NPPD’s Buy-Sell Solar Rider, Atkinson will be able to create long-term cash flow for the city through the production of solar energy, Young said. Read more here.
Event Details What: Atkinson Waste Treatment Plant Solar Array ribbon cutting. Where: City of Atkinson Waste Water Treatment Plant, 700 S. Main St., Atkinson. When: Thursday, January 10, 10 a.m. Cider and cookies will follow the ceremony at the Atkinson Community Center,
206 W. Fifth Street.
Those making their way far enough down the stretch of east 16th Street in Schuyler have likely noticed the work taking place on an expansive 33-acre plot of land. The hours of labor transpiring at the location will soon result in the completion of a green energy project similar to ones in Nebraska cities like Fremont, Lincoln, Central City, Aurora and Lexington. A solar energy farm expected to go live in January 2019 is being erected in the town comprised of less than 10,000 people. Continue reading and view photoshere.
The city of Hastings is seeking proposals for a 1.5 megawatt solar farm project. Derek Zeisler, Hastings Utilities director of marketing and energy supply, told members of the Hastings Utility board during their regular meeting Thursday HU will disseminate an RFP on Friday for a solar farm project and is asking for those proposals by Nov. 28. “It seems to be a good size for a good price point,” he said of the 1.5 megawatt size of the solar project, which is similar to the power generated by the Central Community College-Hastings wind turbine. Continue reading here.
Photo Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities. First Fremont Solar Farm, 1.55-megawatts. The city completed a second solar farm of the same size in September 2018 to accommodate strong customer demand.
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 city of Norfolk is fixing to one-up Kearney on the solar energy front, and we wish Norfolkans the best of luck. Earlier this week, the northeast Nebraska city entered an agreement with Nebraska Public Power District on a venture to build a sizable solar array and link it to an energy storage system. It doesn’t appear as if Norfolk’s array will rival Kearney’s in size, but the size of the system isn’t nearly as important as its ability to successfully plow new ground in the development of green energy. Continue readinghere.
Photo: Kearney’s $11 million, 53-acre solar farm, currently the largest in the state.
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST: NEBRASKA / MIDWEST NEWS
Solar farm proposed to help power Kendall County Courthouse, Chicago Tribune Lincoln, Nebraska-based GRNE Solar is seeking special use permit approval from Yorkville to install and operate a solar farm consisting of about 6,400 solar modules at the southeast corner of John Street and Beecher Road west of the Kendall County Government campus in Yorkville.
Chasing green: These metros have the best job opportunity in renewable energy, The Bay State Banner. Using the ZipRecruiter Best Job Market Index, we dug into the metropolitan statistical areas that provide the best opportunity for employment in renewable energy. Then we leveraged multiple factors to determine the overall quality of life in these areas. [#7. Omaha, Nebraska-Council Bluffs, Iowa]
Ohio’s Largest Solar Farm Development Announced, News Release, Natural Resources Defense Council. Today’s filing includes plans for developing a combined 400MW of solar, split between two farms that were selected through a competitive bid process. Both will be located in Highland county. The filing at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is expected to be followed with other projects that would make up the 900MW of renewable energy announced in Ohio last week.
Greenspace: Renewables energizing job growth, Post Bulletin “Rochester is uniquely poised because it’s a municipal utility company,” said Rick Morris, Rochester clean energy organizer for Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter. He noted Minneapolis has a plan to convert to 100 percent renewable electricity citywide by 2030 and St. Louis Park has made a 100 percent renewable commitment as well. “Not only is it possible, but our neighbors are already doing it,” Morris said.
Local construction company creates solar division, Journal Standard Illinois’ goal is to produce 25 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025. There are multiple state and federal incentives to help home and business owners recoup portions of the cost of an installation. The state’s Solar Renewable Energy Credits program grants one sellable credit to homeowners for each megawatt hour of electricity their solar system produces. One credit from a small-scale system sold for approximately $180 during spring 2017. A small-scale seven-kilowatt system could generate about 8,000 kilowatt-hours each year, which means an Illinois homeowner could receive $1,440 per year in additional income, according to energysage.com.
By Grant Schulte and Tess Williams, Associated Press, The News & Observer
LINCOLN, NEB. – Solar energy is gaining traction in Nebraska as a growing number of cities adopt the technology, and state officials are looking for ways to help the trend along. The
technology has become so popular that some cities have had to expand their recently built solar farms or build new ones to keep pace with customer demand. Continue readinghere.
Photo: Cliff Mesner at Central City’s 500-kilowatt solar array, installed by Mesner Solar Development on an abandoned parking lot.
Michael Shonka, owner of Omaha-based solar designer and installer Solar Heat and Electric, installed the state’s first community solar project in Central City in 2013. He acknowledges the trade imbalance between Asian manufacturers of solar components and U.S. buyers like himself and his clients but questions why the entire industry should suffer.
“You might think you’re doing something (helpful) but there are very definite unintended consequences” of instituting import tariffs, said Shonka, who is also chair of Nebraskans for Solar. Making panels potentially more expensive will harm the industry as a whole, he said, even if it does give a boost to domestic manufacturers. Read the entire article here.