Tag Archives: Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Solar Industry Launches Nonprofit to Alleviate Clean Energy Roadblocks

SEIA News Release

While the organization will focus on a variety of issues, one emerging challenge in the solar industry is land use. Siting clean energy projects requires community engagement and long-term planning that minimizes impact to the environment and surrounding community. These projects must also account for access to transmission lines, upgrades to grid infrastructure, and several other factors that can affect the outcome of a large-scale solar project. SI2’s first research project will create best practices for solar companies looking to create large-scale solar projects and other resources that will help the industry navigate these challenges. Read more here. 

To learn more about the new nonprofit, visit Solar and Storage Industries Institute (SI2): www.ssii.org 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING  

NFS Note: As the Energy Information Association (EIA) data show, Nebraska and Iowa continue to lag behind most states on Solar as a Percentage of Total Generation (SPG): Nebraska 0.17% / Iowa 0.47%. Both states, however, are national leaders on Solar + Wind as a percentage of Total Generation (SWPG): Nebraska – 31.22% / Iowa – 67% (currently #1).

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Cass County officials seek outside counsel on solar project

By Ethan Hewett, KMA News

During its latest regular meeting, the county’s board of commissioners approved seeking outside counsel on a proposed solar farm through Boulevard Associates–which would be one of the largest in the state. While saying the board has not selected specific counsel yet, County Zoning Administrator Mike Jensen tells KMA News the outside perspective was sought to assist with reviewing a large amount of information soon to be placed in front of the county. In August 2021, the commissioners approved an updated set of solar regulations. While saying he and the board are confident in their regulations, Jensen says a big focus has been on the decommissioning process. Read more here.

NextEra Energy Resources is the parent company for Boulevard Associates, LLC.

Previously Posted: Cass County solar farm plans unveiled, by Ethan Hewett, KMA News

Nebraskans for Solar Note: We commend Cass County officials for their plan to thoroughly study Boulevard Associates’ proposal for a 350MW solar project near Murray and for consulting with other jurisdictions. This sets an excellent example for all Nebraska communities that are considering or are in the process of planning community- or utility-scale solar projects.

One large (81MW) project under development by Community Energy is “Platteview Solar” in eastern Saunders County, near Yutan:

Resources On Decommissioning / PV Recycling

NextEra Energy Resources

Solar power for Plattsmouth discussed

By Timothy Rohwer, The Plattsmouth Journal

PLATTSMOUTH – The idea of bringing solar power to Plattsmouth was brought up Monday evening. Craig Vincent, account manager for the Nebraska Public Power District, went before the Plattsmouth City Council to discuss NPPD’s Sunwise Community Solar Program.

“We’ve had discussions with Plattsmouth going on several years now,” Vincent said. “It’s a service to communities to facilitate a solar energy product for communities to use and residents to take advantage of. It is sized to the community.” Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: IEW. Posted on City of Norfolk.Gov.

About NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

NFS Note: NPPD’s contracts allow municipal customers to generate no more than 10% of their peak load from renewable energy sources.

More About Nebraska Public Power District

As a publicly-owned utility and a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, NPPD is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the people they serve. Our chartered service territory is vast, including all or parts of 84 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. NPPD was formed on Jan. 1, 1970, when Consumers Public Power District, Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District (PVPPID) and Nebraska Public Power System merged to become who we are today. NPPD is grounded in serving Nebraska’s energy needs. We are respectful of the rich public power history in the state, yet we are mindful that the state’s energy future is being defined by what we do each and every day.

FEATURED QUOTATION

“We used to talk about affordability and reliability as the imperatives. Now I think
we have a three or four-legged stool. We need sustainability and resilience.”

– Mary Harding, NPPD Board of Directors member and former chair
Source: Midwest Energy News 

MORE ABOUT NEBRASKA’S LARGEST COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECT

Norfolk’s 8.5-megawatt solar farm nearing completion, Siouxland Proud

The program is made possible through a 30-year partnership between Norfolk’s energy supplier, Nebraska Public Power District, and Sol Customer Solutions. [Mayor Josh] Moenning said there’s much more demand for solar energy these days, specifically from corporations.

“We think this is very forward-looking. A lot of businesses now are looking only for renewable sources, clean sources of energy and we’ll be able to accommodate them to a certain extent with this project and we’re hopeful we can develop more in the future,” said Moenning.

Learn more here: City of Norfolk.Gov
Project Camera Link

Referenced by Mayor Moenning – Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasers

  • Visit Clean Energy Buyers Association for a sampling of corporate members who are among their large renewable energy buyers.
  • American Clean Power Association members also include large corporate renewable energy purchasers.
    > More than 1,000 utilities, cooperatives, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies buy wind and solar power.
    > Corporate buyers have contracted 46 GW of wind and solar to power their businesses.

Previously Posted Midwest Energy News Story

Nebraska solar farm highlights tension between cities, electricity wholesaler

“Northeast Nebraska is the renewable energy hotbed of the state,” said Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning. “I’d much rather use clean energy that’s made in our backyard than haul it in on a coal train from Wyoming, which is the status quo in Nebraska.”

Moenning is happy about the solar project with NPPD, which will also include a 1-megawatt battery, but it doesn’t satisfy his city’s renewable aspirations, and they “absolutely” want more.

ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY SOLAR RESOURCES

Biden invokes Defense Production Act to bolster domestic battery manufacturing for EVs, energy storage

By Ethan Howland, Senior Editor, Utility Dive

 

“We need to embrace all the tools and technologies that can help free us from our dependence on fossil fuels and move us toward more homegrown clean energy technologies made by American companies and American workers,” Biden said during a press briefing Thursday. “We need to end our long-term reliance on China and other countries for inputs that will power the future.” Read more here.

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NEWS 

DOE Releases New Study Confirming Strong Performance of Energy Efficiency Loans

 

“Energy efficiency is the lowest cost clean energy resource we have,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The findings in this study are a compelling invitation to financial institutions to invest with homeowners, states, and local governments to maximize clean energy deployment under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and beyond.

 

NEW GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CARBON STANDARDS 

GSA to impose first national carbon standard for concrete, E&E News, Climatewire
The procurement arm of the federal government is imposing new limitations on high carbon-emitting building materials for all its major projects, a move that will affect billions of dollars of federal infrastructure investments. The new General Services Administration standards — to be released this morning — will require that federal contractors use climate-friendly concrete and asphalt in all the agency’s major projects. GSA oversees $75 billion in annual contracts, and the agency’s real estate portfolio comprises more than 370 million square feet.

VALMONT INDUSTRIES NEWS RELEASE

Valmont SM Secures Minimum USD $209.0 Million Multi-Year Order with Siemens Gamesa for Production of Rotor Houses for the European Offshore Wind Industry

OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Valmont® Industries, Inc. (NYSE: VMI), a leading global provider of engineered products and services for infrastructure development and irrigation equipment and services for agriculture, today announced that Valmont® SM has entered into a supply agreement with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) to provide components for the next generation of rotor houses for the offshore wind market. The order is the largest single order in Valmont SM’s history.

State of the Union Address Emphasizes Serious Climate Change Threat, Need for Clean Energy

SEIA News Release

“With policies that support American clean energy manufacturing and the expansion of solar power and energy storage, we can become less dependent on energy and materials from countries that do not share our values or our interests. A robust solar manufacturing sector and a strong and diverse solar industry will put more than a million Americans to work, generate hundreds of billions of dollars of economic growth and bolster environmental justice and national and climate security

U.S. demand for clean energy far outpaces domestic manufacturing capacity. That has to be fixed. Our own domestic supply chain must be capable of supporting a dominant and secure clean energy sector. Federal policy is critical to bridge this gap. Failure to enact comprehensive clean energy and climate policy is no longer an option.” – Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA President and CEO
Read the entire news release here.

ACP Applauds President Biden’s State of the Union Message on Clean Energy, American Clean Power Association News Release

“President Biden’s first State of the Union address was emphatic and unmistakably clear about the urgency of rapid clean energy investment. The invasion of Ukraine reminded us that bullies like Vladimir Putin can play games with energy to hold countries hostage. This week we also heard the world’s leading climate scientists tell us that our planet is warming at an alarming rate. The way out of both of these crises is to rapidly scale affordable, reliable clean energy everywhere. We join the President in urging Congress to take action on critical investments and tax credits for the renewable energy industry that have broad bipartisan support. Quick action will create good jobs and allow the rapid deployment of clean energy projects in all 50 states.” – ACP CEO Heather Zichal

Latest American Clean Power Association State Fact Sheets

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

Mark Jacobson, a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering and the director of its Atmosphere/Energy Program, has been promoting the idea of all renewable energy as the best way forward for more than a decade. His latest calculations toward this ambitious goal were recently published in the scientific journal Renewable Energy.

Transitioning to a clean-energy grid should happen by 2035, the study advises, with at least 80% of that adjustment completed by 2030. For the purposes of Jacobson’s study, his team factored in presumed population growth and efficiency improvements in energy to envision what that would look like in 2050.

Nebraska Analysis: Zero Air Pollution and Zero Carbon From All Energy Without Blackouts at Low Cost in Nebraska, by Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University

Solar Industry Releases New Framework to Help Community Solar Siting

SEIA News Release, February 28, 2022

Washington D.C. — Today the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is releasing a new report to aid policymakers in siting community solar projects. Well-designed community solar projects can result in increased crop and clean energy production, the report shows. Community solar projects can also result in other benefits, such as protecting soils and providing habitat for many important species. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

National Community Solar Partnership Aims To Reach 5 Million and Beyond, NREL News Release

Register to become a member of NCSP.

Photo Credit: Fresh Energy

Illinois Renewable Energy Growth Surges in the Months After Climate and Equitable Jobs Act Signed

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

CHICAGO and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five months after the passage of Illinois’ landmark clean energy law, solar businesses have installed enough renewable energy to power 30,000 homes and are building a more diverse workforce with the help of job training programs. Data collected by the solar industry found 2022 is on track to be one of the biggest years for solar energy in Illinois’ history. The renewable energy industry plans to complete more than 8,400 additional solar installations and increase its workforce by nearly 50% in 2022. Continue reading here.

Also In The News

Coal-fired power plants to close after new wastewater rule

By Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press News

Owners of shuttering plants are responsible for
e
nvironmental cleanup, according to the EPA.

The new wastewater rule requires power plants to clean coal ash and toxic heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic and selenium from plant wastewater before it is dumped into streams and rivers. The rule is expected to affect 75 coal-fired power plants nationwide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Those plants had an October deadline to tell their state regulators how they planned to comply, with options that included upgrading their pollution-control equipment or retiring their coal-fired generating units by 2028. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

POTENTIAL PLAYBOOK FOR WANNABE-CARBON-FREE STATES

Illinois’ new clean energy law could be a regulatory playbook for other states, Utility Dive

On Sept. 15, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, D, signed into law a historic bill to decarbonize the state’s energy sector, transition it to clean and renewable forms of generation, and do so with a focus on equitable job creation. Under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), Illinois became the first Midwest state to commit to net-zero carbon emissions, setting a deadline of 2050.

STEM EVENT IN NORFOLK

Science Day at Woodland Park, Norfolk Daily News
Speakers from the University of Nebraska Extension, Northeast Community College and Edgerton Explorit Center spent the day exploring how wind energy affects our lives as part of a Science Day event at Woodland Park Elementary School in Norfolk.
 

NREL Report Shows Continued Declines in PV and PV-Plus-Storage Costs

By Ariana Fine, Solar Industry

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released its annual cost breakdown of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage systems. U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2021 details installed costs for PV systems as of the first quarter of 2021.

Costs continue to fall for residential, commercial rooftop, and utility-scale PV systems – by 3%, 11% and 12%, respectively, compared to last year. In a change from previous years’ reports, balance of systems costs have increased or remained flat across sectors this year. However, this increase in balance of systems cost was offset by a 19% reduction in module cost, causing overall costs to continue their decade-long decline. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ACP CEO Heather Zichal statement on President Biden signing The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, American Clean Power Association 

“The American Clean Power Association applauds President Biden and bipartisan Congressional leaders for making a historic and long overdue investment in America’s infrastructure. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a major victory for Americans that will make unprecedented investments to modernize and enhance the nation’s electrical grid and provide consumers with more opportunities to receive reliable, zero-carbon electricity across the country. An overwhelming majority of voters — 93% — believe that clean energy is important to the country’s energy future, and the bipartisan support for this legislation is a powerful example of what we can get done for American clean power when our leaders come together.”

SALT CREEK SOLAR

Nebraska’s largest solar farm planned east of Lincoln is looking to clear final zoning hurdles, Updated November 10, 2021, Lincoln Journal Star. Ranger Power’s application is the first “industrial-scale” solar project proposed in the county.

Salt Creek Solar (PDF), Ranger Power Resource

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for tomorrow, November 17, before the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission.

NET ZERO ENERGY HOMES

Energy-Efficient Isn’t Enough, So Homes Go ‘Net Zero’, New York Times

Demand for residences that produce as much energy as they consume is being spurred by climate concerns, consumer appetite and more affordable solar technology.

Photo by GRNE Solar: The Sun Haven, a net-zero energy home in Lincoln, Nebraska.
See “Solar Examples” for more information.

CONSERVATION NEBRASKA NOW HIRING

Conservation Nebraska is now hiring half-time AmeriCorps members to serve as Conservation Directors with their Common Ground Program.

The term of service is December 1st, 2021 through August 31st, 2022.

The AmeriCorps position can be utilized to satisfy an internship requirement for college.
Any interested party should send a resume to Amanda Gangwish, Conservation Nebraska’s Program Director, at agangwish@neconserve.org

See Additional Position Details Here.

Free SEIA Webinar for Solar Employers Tomorrow!

Veteran Recruiting & Retention: Practical Strategies for a
Veteran-Inclusive Workplace

November 9, 2021 | 12:00-1:00 PM CT

As the solar industry continues its rapid growth, we must build back better by creating a more diverse, inclusive, and resilient workforce. Military veterans have both technical and soft skills that are essential to our quickly expanding industry.

Is your company interested in recruiting and retaining veterans but not sure where to start? Join SEIA’s free webinar tomorrow to gain practical insight into military talent recruiting, hiring, and retention strategies and tips. Participants will hear from veteran recruiting experts and various solar employers that have successfully implemented these recruitment strategies. 

Webinar Speakers


This webinar is part of the Solar Ready Vets Network, which aims to connect transitioning service members and military veterans with careers in solar. Funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.