The Pierce County Board of Commissioners is giving the green light to the construction of a large-scale solar farm in the near future. The board approved a conditional use permit on Monday for Boulevard Associates to construct the Goldenrod Solar Farm in Pierce County on the property of Aaron and Ryan Zimmerman. The approval of the permit was a major step in the process of creating the farm, but representatives of NextEra Energy don’t expect the solar farm to be up-and-running until 2021 at the earliest. Read more here.
Nebraska Public Power District’s R-Project NPPD’s R-Project is a 345,000-volt transmission line from NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland to NPPD’s existing substation east of Thedford. The new line will then proceed east and connect to a second substation to be sited in Holt County. The R-Project will increase the reliability of the transmission system, relieve congestion on the existing system, and provide additional opportunities for development of renewable projects if desired at the local level.
Southwest Power Pool’s Role NPPD is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. The SPP conducted a study, also known as the Integrated Transmission Plan, to assess the needs of the entire transmission network with the SPP region over the next 10 years. The R-Project is one of numerous projects to come out of that study.
Residents of Scottsbluff who are interested in having solar energy as part of their electricity options, now have the opportunity! The City of Scottsbluff, in cooperation and partnership with Nebraska Public Power District, will again offer community solar shares to their customers in Scottsbluff. A second community solar project is under construction in Scottsbluff, located near Landers Soccer Complex. The 4.375-megawatt solar farm, scheduled to go live this spring, will begin taking registration for shares from Scottsbluff residents and businesses on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. The initial solar farm, located at NPPD’s Scottsbluff office, was well received and sold out immediately. Continue reading here.
More Nebraska News
Wayne State partners with UNL to offer dual-degree program, Kearney Hub The goals of the partnership are to provide education platforms in resilient food, energy, water and societal systems in alignment with career opportunities, as well as prepare teachers and curriculum to respond to the increased need for agricultural science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educators.
The Lincoln City Council on Monday paved the way for a solar farm east of Lincoln that would be the largest in the state. Council members voted 6-0 to grant a special permit to Ranger Power, a New York-based company that wants to build a 230-megawatt solar farm on roughly 1,100 acres in an area bounded by 128th Street, 148th Street and O Street and Havelock Avenue. Ranger Power officials said they chose the area east of Lincoln because it is close to the state’s two largest cities and also because it has existing infrastructure — in the form of a nearby transformer owned by Lincoln Electric System. Read more here.
Image: A rendering shows a series of solar panels planned as part of a project east of Lincoln.
More than 300 households and counting have made the switch to the solar power system in Fremont, Nebraska. Two years ago, Tom Christensen of Christensen Lumber was among the first to sign up for the city’s solar panel system. “It stirred my interest so it seemed like a real progressive thing for the city to do,” said Christensen. Since the summer of 2017, hundreds have joined the movement and Lottie Mitchell, the City of Fremont Executive Assistant of Communications and Grants was not expecting such a large turnout.
Hastings, NEB. — As the city of Hastings is hoping to lower their amount of fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy Hastings Utilities provided an update at Monday’s city council meeting on their community solar project. Read more here.
Excerpted program features: This farm has 15,000 panels. So far, 400 customers have purchased about 500 panels. Customers have the option to purchase 1 panel for $640 in 2019, or half panels for $320. On average it saves customers $32 a year on LES bills. The solar farm is under lease on the current property for 17 more years. Read more here.
Photo Credit: Lincoln Electric System
This news story update raises several questions:
Why aren’t more LES customer-owners participating in their community solar program?
The program saves LES customers money each year. What other factors / benefits might encourage more to subscribe to the program?
In 2018, Nebraska obtained 63% of its net electricity generation from coal, 15% from nuclear power, and 14% from wind. Almost all of the rest was generated from hydropower (4%) and natural gas (3%).
Nebraska is among the top 10 states in per capita total energy consumption in part because of its energy-intensive industrial sector, led by agriculture and food processing, and because of the state’s hot summers and harsh winters.
Nebraska has the third-highest number of industrial electricity customers of any state, and a significant share of Nebraska’s industrial consumption is seasonal demand from farms where electricity is used to run irrigation systems.
Last Updated: March 21, 2019
Pricing options for participation in Hastings’ planned solar power project were made public Thursday with registration to begin mid-July. Derek Zeisler, Hastings Utilities director of marketing and energy supply, shared those options during a report at the Hastings Utility Board’s regular meeting. Options include the purchase of installed panels, participating in a solar share program or a combination of the installation and share options. The options carry a one-time $50 enrollment fee due at the time of application that is refundable as a credit to the account after one year of participation. Continue reading here.
Photo: Fremont’s first of two solar farms, similar in size to Hastings’ project, under construction. Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities
Approval was given Monday at the Norfolk City Council meeting regarding the state’s largest community solar project with NPPD. The project will be tied to a battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project expected to be in operation by mid-2020. NPPD, with support from the City of Norfolk, received a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust in the amount of $490,000 over two years for the battery energy project, which will be the first of its kind in the state . . . “As technologies have advanced and costs have decreased, rural Nebraska is now in position to produce energy as efficiently as it does food,” said Mayor Josh Moenning.
SoCore Energy Photo: Kearney’s 5.7-megawatt solar farm on 53 acres of the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, The panels are mounted on a tracker-designed racking system. The solar farm generates about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand.
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.