Tag Archives: solar schools

Nebraska uniquely positioned

By David Bracht, West Point native and director of the
Nebraska Energy Office from 2015-2018, Norfolk Daily News

OMAHA — Clean and affordable wind energy is powering homes and fueling economic growth. In 2018, no other state grew its wind energy capacity faster than Nebraska, and in 2019 no state is better positioned than Nebraska to reap the benefits associated with this important renewable energy resource. In past generations, states with significant fossil fuel resources — namely coal and oil —could count on jobs, tax revenue, and opportunity as those resources were developed. While not devoid of traditional energy resources, Nebraska has never topped the list of fossil fuel states. But we are at the top when it comes to wind — and that has major positive implications for our future. Continue reading here.

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS

UNIVERSITY NEWS

NU’s Engineers Without Borders clean up club’s adopted Lincoln stream, by Faith Idachaba, The Daily Nebraskan. The students at the University of Nebraska system focus on solar panel installation in Madagascar and a bridge project in Zambia, according to chapter president and senior civil engineering major Capri Keeler. Domestically, EWB-NU adopted a stream in October 2013 through the Nebraska Wildlife Federation Adopt a Stream program. The program is designed to educate Nebraskans about conservation, according to its official website.

SOLAR SCHOOLS

  • Kearney, Lexington, Loup City helping spearhead solar schools project, The Kearney Hub
    OMAHA — Nebraska Solar Schools has been awarded $31,250 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a pilot project within its Solar Energy Education and Development Program: 100 Solar Energy Kits for 100 Nebraska Schools. The focus of the new pilot project is on K-12 schools in Nebraska towns and cities that have developed or plan to develop solar projects, including rooftop solar, solar farms or other installations. 
  • Moving Ahead on Minnesota Clean Energy Legislation, Union of Concerned Scientists
    Championed by Rep. Jean Wagenius and other legislative leaders, the House legislation would create the Solar For Schools Program and appropriate $16 million from the state’s renewable development funds to install solar at schools (the Senate version includes funding for this program, although at a much lower level).
  • Solar schools: Stanford research examines overlooked benefits of solar panels on U.S. campuses. Rooftop solar projects at schools could reduce harmful air pollution, help the environment and enhance student learning while cutting electricity costs, a new study finds. Overall, the energy switch could deliver benefits valued at $4 billion.

RENEWABLE ENERGY AGGREGATION

In Texas, aggregating public demand is pushing renewables to ‘record low prices’, Utility Dive
The Texas Renewable Energy Co-op (TREC) has received multiple bids for wholesale electricity below its $0.03/kWh target on 12-year contracts, according to the state-selected facilitator tapped to develop a new procurement option for municipal entities, school districts, utility districts, water authorities, state agencies and universities.

BATTERIES 

Green Mountain Power pilots Tesla batteries as meters, Utility Dive

4 Ways Local Solar Projects Benefit Cities

By Lacey Shaver, World Resources Institute Blog

When a city decides to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, headlines follow. But the work has only just begun. Cities have many options for generating and purchasing renewable electricity, each of which comes with distinct benefits and challenges. Read more here.

Flickr Photo: Black Rock Solar

About the Renewables Accelerator
Together with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, World Resources Institute formed the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator to provide technical support to all U.S. cities as they explore new and innovative strategies for procuring renewable energy to meet their goals. Tools and Resources.

THE NEW REBA PROGRAM

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Could solar be a better deal than demand response for Iowa customers?

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

An Iowa clean energy advocate is trying to convince the state’s largest electric utility to rethink the way it manages peak demand. Kerri Johannsen, energy program director for the Iowa Environmental Council, thinks MidAmerican Energy could deliver better value for ratepayers by investing in solar instead of its expensive demand response programs . . . Johannsen calculated the cost to MidAmerican’s ratepayers at about $60,347 per megawatt hour. About $48,000 of that was for capacity, or the guarantee of access to power when needed. Continue reading here,

iStock Photo

MORE IOWA NEWS

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?, U.S. Department of Energy

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NEBRASKA’S SOLAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

SEIA: Nebraska Solar – Data Current Through Q2 2018
Solar Installers: Complete this survey to add your business to SEIA’s database. If you have questions or concerns about SEIA’s Nebraska stats or would like to request that additional solar projects or other information be added to our state’s data, contact SEIA research staff at data@seia.org or 202-469-3735.
SEE ALSO: Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Energy Office. Updated September 28, 2018

100% RENEWABLES NEWS

RE100: Why a successful energy strategy calls for a board-level commitment, PV Magazine Contributor, Anesco
One key topic to grab the headlines during Climate Week NYC was the news that RE100 companies – a group of organizations who have all made a public commitment to go ‘100% renewable’ – are outperforming their peers.


NEW REPORT

Renewables 2018: Market analysis and forecast from 2018 to 2023, International Energy Agency
Solar PV capacity is forecast to expand by almost 600 GW – more than all other renewable power technologies combined, or as much as twice Japan’s total capacity, reaching 1 terawatt (TW) by the end of the forecast period. Despite recent policy changes, China remains the absolute solar PV leader by far, holding almost 40% of global installed PV capacity in 2023. The United States remains the second-largest growth market for solar PV, followed by India, whose capacity quadruples.

AWEA FACT CHECK

No, wind turbines do not cause global warming,
Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Two researchers, David Keith and Lee Miller, released a new paper [Thursday] and their findings are problematic for several reasons. Furthermore, certain media outlets are misreporting what the paper actually says. 

Ohio conservatives could shift solar debate in a positive direction

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

According to a new poll by Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, 79% of Republicans and independents who identify as conservative (the only groups polled) support the expansion of clean energy and policies to encourage such growth. Among the policy prescriptions those polled support include increasing the state’s renewable energy standard (RES) and changing wind setback rules. Public Opinion Strategies also found 60% of conservatives support requiring utilities to use renewable energy to produce 12.5% of their electricity by 2027, and 76% supported increasing research into battery storage technologies, which most analysts consider the next boom market in the renewable energy economic sector. Most surprising was the finding that 85% of conservative voters voiced willingness to pay more personally for their electricity if sourced from renewable energy sources. Click here to read more.

Ohio Conservative Energy Forum Website

Photo: Pixabay

MORE GOOD NEWS

Advanced wind turbines, dubbed the Wind Sphere, now made in Northeast Ohio by ParkOhio

By John Funk, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland.com


CLEVELAND, Ohio — The region is finally on its way to becoming a wind turbine manufacturing center. A ParkOhio company has begun manufacturing a small, aerodynamically advanced wind turbine designed for in-town use. It’s the first of several designs that the company hopes will ultimately include a small-but-powerful wind turbine for consumers. Dubbed the Wind Sphere, it is capable of generating about 30 percent more power than other turbines of the same size.

Continue reading.


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Omaha-based GRNE Solutions awarded nearly $1.5 million contract in Indiana school district’s solar project

Melanie Csepiga, Northwest Indiana Times

LOWELL — The Tri-Creek School Board has moved on its long-anticipated solar energy project, awarding contracts for the installation of solar panel arrays at four of the district’s five schools. Midwest Wind & Solar of Griffith working with South Bend-based Inovateus won the contract for Oak Hill, Lake Prairie and Three Creeks elementary school installations with bids not to exceed $543,463, $525,423, and $454,757, respectively. GRNE Solutions’ bid of $1,462,649 earned the Omaha, Nebraska company the Lowell Middle School part of the project. Continue reading.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Tri-Creek School Board advances solar project
Lowell Middle School, 19250 Cline Ave., already is home to solar panel arrays which were used as an outdoor classroom during the installation. The panels offset energy costs at the school and the transportation building adjacent to Lowell Middle School. Superintendent Debra Howe has said the hope is to get totally off the grid and be self-sustaining.

Community solar comes to coal country

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

A community solar program in coal country would have been unheard of as recently as five years ago. But in light of a recent report that most U.S. utilities say they will close coal-fired generation plants to comply with current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, coal country is becoming increasingly fertile solar ground. Utilities plan to take enough coal-fired plants to generate 20.5 TWh of energy annually off the books in 2017 alone.
Read more here.

A terawatt (TW) is the equivalent of one trillion (1012)) watts.
1 terawatt (TW) for 1 hr = 1 terawatt hour (TWh) or 1 gigawatt (GW) for 1000 hrs = 1 terawatt hour (TWh).
A terawatt-hour (TWh) is equal to 1,000,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), or 1,000,000 megawatt hours (MWh) or 1,000 gigawatt hours (GWh). The average household uses approximately 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Why Apple Is Getting into the Energy Business

By Peter Fox-Penner, Harvard Business Review

appleMemo to CEOs who don’t consider themselves in the electricity business: You may not be in the power business today, but you’re more than likely to be in it tomorrow. Consider Apple, hardly a byword in the energy business. This summer, the company applied for federal licenses to sell directly to customers the excess renewable energy it generates on its new campus and in facilities across Oregon, Nevada, and California . . . A new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that business rooftops contain 3.2 billion square feet of space that is usable for solar, enough to power 14% of U.S. electric demand. Solar energy can also be contracted, much more cheaply, from dedicated off-site facilities, with any surplus resold into the market.
Read more.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Pope’s Global Call for Solar Catholic Schools is Laudato Si’ in Action

Post written by Eden Keeper

Eden

Pope Francis tirelessly addresses climate change and global warming at international forums in Rome and around the globe. With this new initiative, the Vatican is enthusiastic, recognizing a global movement and effective means of implementing Pope Francis’ renowned encyclical, Laudato Si’, or Praised Be: On Care for Our Common Home . . . Confirming the untapped potential for solar schools in the US, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports, “While thousands of schools have already realized the cost savings and other benefits of installed solar energy capacity, this opportunity is generally underutilized.” Click to read more.

Image:  31 solarized catholic schools in Townsville, AU, are now saving $250,000 a year. Credit: catholicleader.com.au

Minnesota district approves rooftop solar for all its schools

Photo Credit: Dennis Schroeder

Rooftop solar on Colorado school. Credit: Dennis Schroeder

By Nathan Hansen, Farmington Independent

All of Farmington’s school buildings will grow solar gardens on their roofs following a decision Monday by the Farmington School Board.

The district approved an agreement with Sundial Solar and investor Kenyon Energy to install the panels, which will generate power for local providers and create savings for the district on an electric bill that currently runs about $960,000 per year. Sundial’s Art Crowell estimated those savings could add up to $74,250 in the first year of the deal and go up from there.

Continue reading.