Norfolk Daily News Editorial
Members of the city council recently gave approval to what could turn into the state’s the state’s largest community solar project with NPPD. Three such projects already exist elsewhere in Nebraska. The project also will be tied to a battery energy storage system demonstration project expected to be in operation by mid-2020.
“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. “We are excited to initiate Nebraska’s largest solar project, tied to the state’s first battery energy storage system, while helping lower energy bills and provide renewable options to interested citizens and businesses.” Read more here.
Previously Posted: This Nebraska Republican says it’s time to think big on rural investment, The Christian Science Monitor
Nebraska’s Community-Scale Solar
- See Solar Examples for additional photos and descriptions of community-scale solar projects in Nebraska.
- Read additional editorials, news releases and stories about Nebraska’s Community-Scale Solar projects, completed or under development.
Photo Credit: SoCore Energy
Project: Kearney’s solar farm consists of approximately 23,000 panels on 53 acres located in the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, The panels are mounted on a tracker-designed racking system. The array is currently Nebraska’s largest solar project, generating 5.8 megawatts of electricity, or about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand.
Developer: SoCore Energy
Installer: Interconnection Systems based in Central City, Nebraska
NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program
Request Community Solar In Your Community:
If you are an NPPD customer who lives in another town or city and would like to request community solar for your community, click here to submit the SunWise Community Solar Interest Form.
By Silvio Marcacci, Forbes
Renewable energy jobs are booming across America, creating stable and high-wage employment for blue-collar workers in some of the country’s most fossil fuel-heavy states, just as the coal industry is poised for another downturn.
Economics are driving both sides of this equation: Building new renewable energy is cheaper than running existing coal plants and prices get cheaper every year. By 2025, almost every existing coal plant in the United States will cost more to operate than building replacement wind and solar within 35 miles of each plant. Multiple states and utilities are setting 100% clean energy goals, creating new demand for workers to build solar panels and wind turbines. Continue reading here.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- California Solar Bill of Rights Promises a Panel for Every Roof, The Bay City Beacon
Introduced on February 13 by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-SF), SB 288, the Solar Bill of Rights, would “enable greater deployment of customer-sited distributed energy resources (DER) by recognizing that all Californians have the right to generate and store their own renewable electricity without undue interference from their local electric utility.”
- California just made more clean energy than it needed, PV Magazine USA
We’re a long way from the land of milk and honey, but on Easter Sunday – for about an hour – we got a taste.
- Nevada passes bill for 50% renewables by 2030, 100% carbon free by 2050, Utility Dive
- Sunrun: 2, paperwork: 0, PV Magazine USA
A federal ruling granting waivers to generator filings for distributed PV systems could open the door for Sunrun and other companies to sell power from rooftop solar into wholesale power markets.
- Solar+storage can outcompete “mid-merit” gas units, not just peakers, PV Magazine USA
Solar plus storage can deliver, at lower cost, the same generation profile as “mid-merit” gas generating units in a number of cases studied, per an analysis published by Fluence.
- Committing to climate: Transformation is underway in the US power sector. Contributed article by Dan Bakal, senior director of electric power at Ceres, Utility Dive
Johns Hopkins Announces Major Solar Power Commitment, Hub
Marking the largest commitment to solar energy in Maryland and one of the most significant pledges to greenhouse gas reduction in higher education, Johns Hopkins University has entered into a long-term agreement to supply its campuses with more than 250,000 megawatt hours of solar power per year.
SOLAR PRODUCT REVIEW
Renogy’s Solar Panels Bring Low Cost, Portable Solar To The Masses, Clean Technica. Renogy has built some impressive portable solar panels that allow consumers to recharge their devices and their portable USB batteries using the power of the sun. It’s a beautiful combination that had me excited when the company reached out to me about a review of its 5 watt and 10 watt portable solar panels.
Written by Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog
Dr. Bing Chen, Ph.D., UNL Professor of electrical and computer engineering, is “developing the area’s first sustainable small house.”
It is a project the former chair of the computer and electronics department feels will be a disruptive technology. Chen said it will change the way he and other baby boomers find alternative housing solutions during their golden years.
Dr. Chen is partnering with OPPD and other groups on the Small Sustainable House.
Construction will begin this summer on UNO’s main campus. With so many baby boomers
ready to enter their next phase, Chen said, good affordable housing is a growing need all over the country. Read more here.
Prototype Image: Chen said the home is well-insulated and can be heated with just 16 candles. The home will have 32 PV solar collectors on the roof to generate electricity and have a whole-house battery storage system.
By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
In the words of Kelly Knutsen, it’s officially official. Today the California Building Standards Commission unanimously voted to confirm a change to the state’s building code which will require that all newly built low-rise (three stories or less) residential units in the state either incorporate rooftop solar or hold a community solar contract, starting in 2020.
“These highly energy efficient and solar-powered homes will save families money on their energy bills from the moment they walk through their front door,” stated Knutsen, the director of technology advancement for the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA). Knutsen also notes that this will include a solar plus storage option. Read more here.
Photo Credit: Lincoln, Nebraska-based GRNE Solar, “The Sun Haven.”
News Release: California Solar Building Requirement Crosses Finish Line, Solar Energy Industries Association
Solar Energy Industries Association Blog
At the end of 2015, there was just north of 25 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV installed in the United States. Now, after back-to-back years of double-digit gigawatt growth (15 GW in 2016 and 10.6 GW in 2017), the solar industry has more than doubled its total installed capacity to 53.3 GW through the end of 2017. The release of the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2017 Year in Review finds that the solar industry is doing pretty well, even after a year of obstacles, from the trade case to a number of state policy actions. Read more here.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- 3 Takeaways from the Latest Solar Results, Union of Concerned Scientists Blog
- New Report: Florida One Of The Fastest Growing Solar States In The Nation, WLRN
- FERC counts 48 GW-AC of large solar projects planned by 2021, PV Magazine
Utility-scale proposed projects have begun piling up at the federal agency as the 30% Investment Tax Credit ending starts appearing on the horizon.
- US Utilities Turning Shuttered Coal Generating Facilities Into Solar Power Plants, CleanTechnica
- NextEra builds largest solar+storge plant in USA, PV Magazine International
- Massachusetts governor seeks Clean Peak Standard with $1.4B bond bill, Utility Dive
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration has introduced legislation to create a new Clean Peak Standard for utilities to increase the use of clean energy during high-demand periods that are also carbon intensive.
- In the New South, customer demand is showing utilities the dollars and sense in solar, Utility Dive. Once reluctant Southeastern utilities now see solar as a deal they can’t refuse.
- Arizona regulators move to place gas plant moratorium on utilities, Utility Dive
- Retirement community embraces renewable energy with solar panels on parking structure, Tulsa World
- Global solar market grows over 29% in 2017 with even more to come in 2018, PV Magazine
FREE REPORTS FROM SMART ELECTRIC POWER ALLIANCE (SEPA)
By Lew Milford and Robert Sanders, Clean Energy Group
Current clean energy financing models do not sufficiently serve low-income communities. As a result, solar+storage projects are vastly underrepresented in affordable housing and community facilities, meaning that low-income communities are unable to enjoy the benefits of clean, affordable and resilient power.
This paper describes emerging finance models to address the energy equity challenge and to level the financing playing field. The paper explores additional ownership and financing options for solar+storage projects and low-income communities beyond direct ownership and conventional leasing models. It makes a simple point: there are ownership and financing strategies that can provide many of the economic and other benefits of direct ownership, while overcoming some of the risks and barriers that direct ownership may entail for many project developers. Learn more here.
Upcoming Webinar: New Financing Options for Solar+Storage in Low-Income Communities
MORE SOLAR+STORAGE NEWS
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- Five energy industry trends of tomorrow impacting companies today, Utility Dive Guest Opinion by Alan Russo, senior vice president at REC Solar, which was recently acquired by Duke Energy Renewables.
- SEU 2018 survey: Utilities shaken, not moved, by Trump policies: Utility Dive’s fifth annual State of the Electric Utility survey shows a sector committed to the clean energy transition, but wary of policies coming out of Washington.
- 100+ Cities Now Powered by at Least 70% Renewables, EcoWatch
A growing list of cities and municipalities is leading a renewable energy revolution that their national governments either cannot—or will not—address. More than 100 cities around the world now get at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower, according to new research from the non-profit CDP. That’s more than double the 40 cities reporting they were powered by at least 70 percent clean energy in 2015.
- Report: Cities of all sizes can achieve sustainable energy solutions, Smart Cities Dive
Some states have banded together to form the U.S. Climate Alliance, nearly 70 mayors have signed the Chicago Climate Charter, and more than 230 U.S. mayors jointly sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to oppose its proposed repeal of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.
- World’s Largest Coal Miner Says It’s a ‘Matter of Time’ for Renewables to Replace Coal, EcoWatch Even the world’s largest coal miner thinks the rise of renewable energy and storage technology will pose a “significant threat” to the coal sector.
- Sonnen unveils a free smart home charger that always charges your EV from cheap solar power, Electrek
By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
In California and other regions where the transition to renewable energy is most advanced, the tide is turning not only against coal and nuclear power, but against gas plants as well. As the latest evidence of this, last Thursday the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued an order that calls for utility Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to hold one or more solicitations for energy storage and/or “preferred resources” to address local capacity and voltage needs in two different parts of the state. Continue reading here.
Photo by Pedro Xing
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
UPCOMING ENERGY STORAGE WEBINARS
From transmission deferral to hybrid generation, 2017 has seen a
number of notable projects done by or for regulated utilities.
By Peter Maloney, Contributor, Utility Dive
High on the list of notable projects of the year is Tucson Electric Power’s (TEP) solar plus storage facility. The project is being built by NextEra Energy and features a 100 MW solar array and a 30 MW, 120 MWh energy storage system. Its most notable feature, however, is its power purchase agreement.
TEP reported that the all-in cost for the solar-plus-storage project was “significantly less than $0.045/kWh over 20 years.” TEP said the solar portion of the project, at under 3¢/kWh, was “the lowest price recorded in the U.S.” That puts the remaining storage portion of the project at about 1.5¢/kWh. Click here to learn about other projects.
MORE ENERGY STORAGE NEWS
- The Big Embrace: Electric Utilities Accept Wind and Solar as Reliable Sources, Plan for the Long Haul, Renewable Energy World
- Arizona Public Service taps Sunverge for residential energy storage pilot, Utility Dive
- Good Energy breaks battery storage duck with maiden project, Clean Energy News
- 4 Leaders in Solar Battery Storage, Madison.Com
- 3@3 on Solar PV: China’s Solar Market, POWER-GEN, Tesla: Topics include the enormous solar market in China and how much solar the country is expected to install; POWER-GEN, the largest power show for the entire power industry and Tesla’s announcement that its mega storage project is ready for testing in Australia. Renewable Energy World
- Battery Storage to Help Offshore Wind Farms Maximize Revenue, Renewable Energy World
- Investment Group Puts $94.22M Into Canadian Commercial & Industrial Energy Storage, Energy Manager Today
- Putting Solar+Storage to Work for Africa’s Farmers, Renewable Energy World
- Equitable Health and Recovery Depend on Resilient Power, Clean Energy Group
- Webinar: Energy Storage for Puerto Rico: Modular Solutions for Disaster Recovery
Tuesday, December 12 from 2pm to 3pm CST. Summary: Energy storage, combined with solar generation, can provide power to disaster recovery efforts when the grid is down. In this webinar, you will learn about solar+storage solutions being distributed in Puerto Rico by GS Battery and Civic Solar. For more information and to register, click here.
By Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine
IREC has released a new guide developed for local governments, housing providers, utilities and other interested stakeholders to better understand the various pathways to solar for multifamily housing, based on the experience in Seattle, Wash. According to the group, the guide will help states and municipalities as they develop the tools needed to make this next step toward a cleaner and more equitable energy future. Read more here.
The guide, titled “Access for All: Pathways to Expand Solar Options to Renters and Multifamily Households in the City of Seattle,” is available for download here.
Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Website
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
- Audio: New California law helps low-income people go solar: The state plans to invest $1 billion in solar at affordable housing complexes, Yale Climate Connections
- $400,000 in Duke Energy solar grants awarded to not-for-profit organizations serving low-income Indiana populations, Business Insider
- Groups look to expand solar bulk-buying programs in Minnesota, Midwest Energy News
- Empire District to shift from coal generation to wind in new plan, Utility Dive
- Storage group CEO outlines priorities, benefits for public power, American Public Power Association
- Is solar+storage eligible for net metering in Massachusetts? Tesla and others want to know, Utility Dive. Massachusetts could be the first state to provide comprehensive guidance focused solely on pairing energy storage with solar panels.
- Las Vegas shines as a model for solar power, Christian Science Monitor
- Tesla Wants to Put Puerto Rico Back on the Grid, Mother Jones
- Tesla’s solar vision gets its first big test in Puerto Rico, Grist
- SPP Regional State Committee Briefs, RTO Insider. SPP Vice President of Operations Bruce Rew said wind will likely become the No. 2 fuel source for 2017, behind only coal. Coal has accounted for 46.9% of the RTO’s fuel mix year-to-date, with wind averaging 22.0% and gas 19.4%, respectively. Almost 16.7 GW of wind energy is installed and operational in SPP, with another 690 MW registered but not yet operational.
By Julian Jansen, Energy Storage News
To be sure, grid defection is a term used largely in North America. Yet it is in Europe where the residential solar and energy storage markets have enjoyed greater penetration over the past few years. For instance, Germany alone already has more than 60,000 residential battery storage systems installed today, compared to less than 10,000 grid-connected residential energy storage systems in the United States. This article, then, will focus specifically on the economics of grid defection in Europe today and in the future, and will also examine how such a development could impact the energy industry. Click here to read more.
Image: “Sonnen Community” in Germany. Credit: Sonnen Battery Company