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.
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.