By Jerry Guenther, Norfolk Daily News
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.
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.
By Sam Pimper, Schuyler Sun / Columbus Telegram
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 photos here.
By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune
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.
NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE
Stowe, Okemo resorts to be powered by virtual wind energy, Vermont Biz
Lincoln Clean Energy Photo: Nebraska’s Plum Creek Wind
Farm development, expected to be completed in 2020.
By Jerry Purvis, Scottsbluff Star-Herald
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 reading here.
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.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Recently Reposted by the Clean Energy Finance Forum: Small Decisions Move Clean Energy Forward in Nebraska
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
NEWS FROM OTHER STATES
- Tesla Energy is now mainly using its own ‘Tesla-branded’ solar panels made at Gigafactory 2, Electrek. While we are waiting for Tesla to ramp up its solar roof tiles, the company is starting to use more of its own solar modules. A new report shows that Tesla Energy is now mainly using its own ‘Tesla-branded’ solar panels made by Panasonic at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo.
- Wyoming on track to double its wind power, Casper Star Tribune
- Previously Posted: Rocky Mountain Institute officials agree Carbon County, Wyoming is breeding grounds for transition into renewable energy sources
- Engie starts construction of 196-MW wind project in Kansas, Renewables Now
- A $100 Million Microgrid Proposed for Downtown Cleveland, Microgrid Knowledge
- 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
ELECTRIC BUSES – NEWS & A REPORT
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 reading here.
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.
- Previously Posted: Nebraska-based GRNE Solar installs 3,510 solar panels at Delta County Airport in Michigan, Escanaba Daily Press
- 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.
- How Two Wisconsin Cities Want To Transform Their Energy Use: Eau Claire, Madison Plan Ambitious Goals For Renewables In Face Of Climate Change, WisCONTEXT
- 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.
- Country’s newest solar factory opens on the Iron Range, MPR News
- 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.
- Number of solar farm projects nearing 30 in DeKalb County, Daily Chronicle
- Two large renewable energy projects planned for Muskegon County, WZZM13
- NIPSCO to speed up retirement of remaining coal-fired plants, replace them with renewable energy, Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune
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 reading here.
Photo: Cliff Mesner at Central City’s 500-kilowatt solar array, installed by Mesner Solar Development on an abandoned parking lot.
By Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald
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.
Photo Credit: The Associated Press
By Donna Christensen, Hastings Tribune
Meeting Nov. 13, the Superior City Council voted unanimously to sign a contract to authorize the construction of the solar array east of the current waste water treatment plant, on land south of the sewer plant access road and east of the actual sewer plant. The company known as AEP Onsite Partners is expected to begin construction of a 1-megawatt solar array in February 2018, with the new facility operational by May 1, 2018. Read more here.
AEP Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Electric Power Company, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, and ranked 167 of the Fortune 500.
Also in the News: Omaha-Based Tenaska Inc
The Plan to Build a Giant Water Battery in San Diego County
Voice of San Diego
The project is designed to make money off daily changes in energy prices and provide enough green energy to power 325,000 homes. The project would cost well over $1 billion. The plan is to buy low-priced solar power during the day when it is cheap, and use that electricity to pump water from the existing San Vicente Reservoir uphill to a new, higher-elevation reservoir. When electricity prices rise, water would be released back downhill. As the water falls, it would spin turbines to generate electricity that could be sold at a profit. Some environmentalists are eyeing the project as a way to help the city meet its goal of having 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. The Water Authority’s board will vote this week whether to negotiate with its preferred business partner, a joint venture of Nebraska-based Tenaska and Los Angeles-based Diamond Generating Corporation. Read the entire article here.
By Sam Pimper, Fremont Tribune
From 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, those gathering at Keene Memorial Library will listen to City Administrator Brian Newton, along with Michael Shonka, another Nebraska solar power advocate, speak about various topics surrounding the Fremont project and solar energy as a whole.
Those unable to attend the Thursday conversation are invited to attend a Smart Energy Talks Nebraska presentation happening from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha inside of the Milo Bail Student Center. Click here to read more.
Fremont Solar Rountable
Keene Memorial Library
1030 N Broad Street
Fremont, Nebraska 68025
Questions? Contact organizers:
Jamison Wills email@example.com or
Nic Nealy firstname.lastname@example.org
Nebraska Conservation Education Fund
Top Photo: Telesis Inc solar array in Lincoln. The Fremont Community Solar Farm, under construction on a 10-acre plot of land located south of Jack Sutton Drive, will consist of approximately 5,000 panels and will be operational by the end of 2017. Credit: Lincoln Journal Star
By Lisa Neff, The Wisconsin Gazette
The “Solar XL” project has completed another installation of solar panels with Nebraska landowners in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — on the family land of Diana and Byron “Stix” Steskal that they named Prairierose Farm, near Atkinson.
The family partnered with Solar XL project sponsors Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, CREDO and Oil Change International to put renewable energy directly in the pipeline’s path. Read more here.