Tag Archives: Southwest Power Pool (SPP)

With 10% penetration, EVs could shift all residential peak load to night, analysis of SoCal Ed finds

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Electric vehicles have the potential to act as virtual power plants that can help utilities soak up midday renewable energy and discharge in the evenings to reduce peak load, according to a study from Jackson Associates released Wednesday. The analysis, based on 5,000 Southern California Edison (SCE) customers’ hourly loads, commuting behavior and “potential electric vehicle (EV) ownership,” concluded that at a 10% EV penetration, the batteries could shift the utility’s entire residential peak load to nighttime hours.

Over 20 million EVs are expected on U.S. roads by 2030 — a rapid increase from the 1.26 million on the road as of June, according to a Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) report released this month. “[U]tilities need to plan ahead to minimize grid impacts” of growing EV adoption, the group concludes. Read more here.

 Photo Credit: Flickr; National Renewable Energy Lab

ALSO IN THE NEWS

IEA Bags US$67 Million Contract For 130-MW Wind Farm In Iowa

By Saif Bepari, Technology Magazine

Speaking on the announcement, JP Roehm, Chief Executive Officer, IEA, said that the Richland project validates Iowa’s ongoing and strong commitment towards wind energy. Iowa has already made some substantial progress by installing nearly 9,000 megawatts, while more than 1,100 additional megawatts are currently under construction in the region. Read more here.

Previously Posted IEA News Release, August 6, 2019
Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. Announces $98 Million Wind Construction Project in Nebraska, Globe Newswire. The award is for construction of the Milligan 1 Wind Farm in Saline County in southeast Nebraska. This is a 300-megawatt project that is expected to provide enough energy to power up to 115,000 homes. The power generated by the project’s planned 99 turbines will be delivered into the Southwest Power Pool electrical grid. Work on the Milligan 1 project is scheduled to begin in September with full operation by November 2020.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ABIGAIL ROSS HOPPER POST

Why America’s Top Businesses Are Also Leading on Solar Energy, SEIA Blog

FEATURED OP-ED

It’s time to value DER in resource adequacy
In this op-ed for pv magazine, Craig Lewis of Clean Coalition argues for a greater role for distributed energy resources to mitigate future power shortages and grid instability.

NEW STUDY

NREL engineer on the ‘grand challenges’ of supersizing wind power on the grid, Energy News Network. Wind energy is growing at a fast pace, with various forecasts projecting it will supply between one-quarter and one-third of the world’s electricity by 2050. The potential could range up to half if scientists and engineers can resolve three big challenges, according to a new review study published this month in the journal Science. 

COMMERCIAL SOLAR MARKET

5 Observations on the Commercial Solar Market, contributed article by Richard Walsh, Greentech Media. There’s more capital chasing solar assets than there are quality projects available, giving developers their pick of partners, the author writes. Richard Walsh is managing partner at Madison Energy Investments, a platform that develops, owns and operates distributed generation projects within the commercial and industrial and small utility-scale sectors.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Getting Real Serious About Renewable Hydrogen In Real America, CleanTechnica

CIRCULAR ECONOMY NEWS

5 emerging jobs in the circular economy, GreenBiz
The circular economy is celebrated as a trillion-dollar opportunity beginning to penetrate industries around the world. There’s no sector or region left untouched by the potential for reinventing systems, products and services in a fashion that ultimately creates no waste and even regenerates natural systems. At least that’s the hope among evangelists of circularity, notably the Ellen MacArthur Foundation alongside many hundreds of corporations aligned on various ambitious circular goals.

WIND WILDLIFE RESEARCH FUND

Funding innovation to support science-based solutions: The Wind Wildlife Research Fund, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog. This is a guest post from Kyle Boudreaux, NextEra Energy Resources and Chair of the Wind Wildlife Research Fund Advisory Council.

NEGATIVE WHOLESALE POWER PRICES

Strong wind power in the US Midwest today means wholesale prices are below zero, Electrek
The Plains states are seeing strong, steady winds today that are keeping the wind turbines turning, so wholesale power prices have fallen below zero. Negative electricity rates are becoming more common as utilities incorporate solar and wind power with no fossil-fuel costs. This will only increase as the US reduces coal consumption and builds more green energy sources.

Engineers tell commissioners that R-Project prep has started

By Todd Von Kampen, North Platte Telegraph

Field preparations for building the R-Project transmission line through Nebraska’s Sandhills are under way, though Nebraska Public Power District officials say construction likely must wait for spring. Engineers for NPPD and project contractor Forbes Bros. Timberline Construction Inc. updated Lincoln County commissioners Monday on progress toward starting the 225-mile-long, 345-kilovolt line north from Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland. County Board members urged NPPD senior project manager Paul Brune to stay in close touch so construction and supply crews minimize damage to county roads as they plant towers and string lines. Continue reading here.

NPPD Resources

NPPD plans to construct a 345,000-volt transmission line from NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland to NPPD’s existing substation east of Thedford. The new line will then proceed east and connect to a second substation to be sited in Holt County. NPPD’s electric grid is an essential link to ensuring service for our customers. The R-Project will increase the reliability of the transmission system, relieve congestion on the existing system, and provide additional opportunities for development of renewable projects if desired at the local level. The first two reasons take precedence over the third as, even if no renewable energy projects ever connect to this line, it is still needed to address reliability concerns and relieve congestion.

SPP’s ROLE
NPPD is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. The SPP conducted a study, also known as the Integrated Transmission Plan, to assess the needs of the entire transmission network with the SPP region over the next 10 years. The R-Project is one of numerous projects to come out of that study. If NPPD did not build the R-Project, the SPP would find another entity to do so.

WHY THEDFORD
For the R-Project, adding facilities to an existing substation to meet transmission network reliability or customer electrical energy delivery needs is the most cost-effective solution. Additionally, the Thedford 115kV substation is at the midpoint of the west leg of the 115kV transmission network serving north central Nebraska and is centrally located with respect to the termination points of the R-Project transmission line.

The Midwest’s solar future will be unlike anything seen before

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine    

Fitch Solutions Marco Research has released a report, Midwest US Set To Experience Strong Growth In Solar Sector, which makes some very bold predictions about the future of the solar industry in America’s heartland. Chief among those bold predictions, Fitch states that it expects the region to add 100 GW of solar power capacity over the next 10 years. This astronomical, gargantuan, whichever word of scope you use to describe, prediction is supported mainly by the region’s large proposed solar project pipeline, with a total potential added capacity of a smidge under 79 GWac that are registered within the MISO, SPP and PJM generation interconnection queues – the grid operators that cover the region. Read more here.

Regional Transmission Organizations

Photo Credit: Ideal Energy in Iowa

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Decentralization is more than a dream, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
    The idea that rooftop solar and other distributed resources could avoid the need for new power lines isn’t theory. In its 2017-2018 transmission plan, California’s grid operator cancelled 20 new transmission projects and revised 21 more due to energy efficiency and residential solar power altering load forecasts, with a projected savings of $2.6 billion.
  • Federal policy could unlock new value from rooftop solar and home batteries, by David Thill, Energy News Network. The report describes how policy guidance from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees the wholesale markets, could open the door for more participation of aggregated distributed energy resources in the markets. Right now, customer-managed storage, and storage paired with generation like solar, are the resources developers seem most interested in aggregating for wholesale participation, said Jeff Dennis, managing director and general counsel at Advanced Energy Economy.
  • US Wind Industry Seeks Same Tax Incentives as Solar, by Karl-Erik Stromsta, Greentech Media
    In a strategic shift, the American wind industry has begun pressing lawmakers to extend solar’s ITC to onshore wind projects. Regardless of what happens in the battle for tax-credit extensions, the wind market is in the midst of its all-time biggest boom years. Wood Mackenzie expects the U.S. to add nearly 40 gigawatts of capacity in 2019-2021 as developers race to beat the PTC deadline.

EV NEWS

  • 6 US regions leading the way on electric buses, by contributor Jason Plautz, Smart Cities Dive
    Although electric buses can present technological and logistical hurdles for cities and school districts, advanced planning and dedicated resources can make them fit into any environment. That’s the message of a new report from the United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and Environment America, which examined six U.S. cities and regions that have taken the lead on phasing out diesel buses. 
  • Electric bus fleets are the latest tool for improving air quality, contributed article by William Drier, Research Analyst, Transportation Innovations, Navigant Research. Published by GreenBiz.
    Concerns about air quality and vehicle emissions are rising globally. According to the Health Effects Institute (PDF), air pollution is one of the top-ranking risk factors for death and disability, with vehicle emissions the main contributor of outdoor pollution. Local and regional governments are increasingly focused on improving their ambient air quality.

Banks Are Finally Starting to Account for Climate Change Risk

By Saijel Kishan, Bloomberg/Quint

Behind the scenes at some of the world’s biggest banks, small teams of employees are busy trying to calculate what might prove to be one of the most important numbers any financial institution will ever disclose: how much the assets on their balance sheet are contributing to global warming. Read more here.

Flickr Photo

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GLOBAL NEWS

Ørsted to Build Wind Farm in Nebraska

Ørsted News Release, Business Wire

Ørsted’s U.S. onshore company, Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE), a leading developer of U.S. renewables, issued the Final Notice to Proceed on its Plum Creek wind facility in Wayne County, Nebraska. This follows the final investment decision from Ørsted’s Board of Directors. The 230MW wind farm is expected to be operational in 2020 and will generate enough energy to power up to 100,000 homes annually. Upon issuance, LCE now has 670MW of wind facilities under construction across three states: Texas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. LCE has entered into long-term power purchase agreements for the facility’s power with The J.M. Smucker Company, Vail Resorts, and Avery Dennison Corporation. Read more here.

iStock Photo

Previously Posted

More Nebraska News

  • WEC Energy Group to acquire 80% ownership in Thunderhead Wind Energy Center, WEC Energy Group News Release, PR Newswire. WEC Energy Group today announced that the company has agreed to acquire an 80% ownership interest in Thunderhead Wind Energy Center. The project is being developed in Antelope and Wheeler counties, Nebraska by Invenergy — a leading developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions.  Commercial operation is expected to begin by the end of 2020. The wind farm has a long-term offtake agreement with a Fortune 100 company for 100% of the energy produced. 
  • SPP Continues Adding Wind, The Wire
    The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has seen 754 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity enter commercial operation so far in 2019. The information was part of a generation interconnection status report released in late August, according to S&P Global. Another 1.5 gigawatts (GW), nearly all wind, is scheduled to come online in 2019, including OPPD’s 160-MW Sholes Wind Energy Center near Wayne, Neb. All generation yet to come online in 2019 is concentrated in five states: Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. The report stated as of the end of 2018, SPP had about 20.6 GW of wind, in terms of nameplate capacity, which made up almost 23% of SPP’s 89,999 MW of resource capacity. That placed wind third behind natural gas with 40.3% and coal with 28.65% for the year.
  • 12th annual Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference schedule announced, North Platte Telegraph

Southwest Power Pool moves to boost reliability, storage amid CEO resignation

By Julia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Board of Directors on Monday approved 21 stakeholder policy recommendations on critical issues, such as enhancing reliability and cost allocation for new transmission. The SPP’s Holistic Integrated Tariff Team (HITT), made up of 15 stakeholders, offered recommendations to prepare the regional transmission operator for the grid of the future, including improvements to the wholesale energy market.

The transmission operator’s generation portfolio has changed dramatically over the past decade, with 50 GW of wind, 28.5 GW of solar and 5.7 GW of storage in its interconnection queue as of June. Stakeholder recommendations focused on this reality, asking SPP staff to create a white paper on energy storage and the future impacts of a battery storage buildout. Read more here.

MORE NEWS, OPINION & RESOURCES

Iowa Governor To Lead Midwestern Governors Association With Focus On Transmission

By Betsy Lillian, North American Windpower

The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) has announced its 2019 leadership: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz have been named chair and vice chair of the association, respectively . . . Under Reynolds – hailing from wind-rich Iowa – the association will bring together the energy policy and utility regulatory staff, as well as the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and stakeholders, to establish a long-term transmission grid vision for the region. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Omaha-based Tenaska developing 2,000 MW of solar in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Market, Tenaska News Release

The transaction includes 14 solar projects with approximately 2,000 megawatts (MW) in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market. The portfolio represents a large share of all solar projects currently in the MISO North interconnection queue, with projects in Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota.  Flickr Photo by Juwi Renewable Energies Limited

Solar tsunami, PV Magazine USA
Developers have applied to build 139 GWac of large-scale solar projects in the territory of six grid operators – around five times what is currently online across the country – and that figure doesn’t even cover the entire United States. By any metric, we are looking at an unprecedented boom in solar development over the next five years. 

Electric Power Markets: National Overview, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Nebraska is a member of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) wholesale market.

Based in Little Rock, Arkansas. SPP manages transmission in fourteen states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Its membership is comprised of investor-owned utilities, municipal
systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state authorities, independent power producers, power marketers and independent transmission companies.

SPP Integrated Marketplace turns five

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) recently marked the five-year anniversary of launching its wholesale electricity market, the integrated marketplace. In noting the March 1 anniversary, SPP said market participants have saved more than $2.7 billion. Participants also have previously unimaginable access to renewables across the region. OPPD is a member of SPP, joining the marketplace in 2014. Read more here.
Image Credit: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Also written by Jason Kuiper

EV program recharging for another year
“This program has been wildly successful,” said Judy Sunde, senior product specialist at OPPD. “We sold out of our rebates from the pilot year.” Sunde said the new rebates will be available in mid-May. OPPD is again working with the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) to co-fund and distribute $500 rebates to customers who purchase ChargePoint EV chargers for their home via OPPD. Additionally, a $2,500 rebate is available after the purchase of a new EV and purchase, installation and registration of a ChargePoint Home charging station. Sunde said there is also a $2,500 or $3,500 incentive towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf, and $1,000 purchase incentive at Audi Omaha for an Audi e-tron.

Opinion: R-Project helps alleviate risk

Written by David Hamilton and Bree Denaeyer
Published by The North Platte Telegraph

We are landowner members of CCWEA and have been promoting the economic opportunities of wind energy development. There are three economic opportunities we will offer detail on:

  • Property tax relief for landowners
  • Landowner lease revenue
  • The third economic opportunity is long-term energy cost.

Learn more here.

David Hamilton of Thedford is vice president of the Cherry County Wind Energy Association, of which Bree Denaeyer is a board member. Both are fourth-generation landowners in Cherry County.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Website: R-Project: NPPD

  • SOUTHWEST POWER POOL’S ROLE
    NPPD is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. The SPP conducted a study, also known as the Integrated Transmission Plan, to assess the needs of the entire transmission network with the SPP region over the next 10 years. The R-Project is one of numerous projects to come out of that study. If NPPD did not build the R-Project, the SPP would find another entity to do so.
  • STEWARDSHIP
    NPPD is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner. We are dedicated to protecting environmental quality while meeting the energy needs of Nebraska. We recognize that how we interact with the environment is of vital importance to you. It is to us, too. That’s why we continuously explore ways to minimize the environmental footprint in all aspects of NPPD’s activities. The landscape of the Sandhills is truly unique, which is why NPPD’s engineering team and environmental experts work together to determine low-impact methods to construct the transmission line. We will employ modern construction techniques when building the line and take precautions around river crossings, creeks, and wetlands.
  • PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
    NPPD used a thorough and comprehensive public involvement process to site the R-Project transmission line. More than 1,750 individuals attended one of 20 public open houses and public meetings and eight public hearings, providing NPPD with approximately 2,500 comments. The comments were reviewed against more than 50 established line routing criteria that included proximity to occupied residences, towns, villages, and other amenities, plus land use, environmental, engineering, and construction criteria. Learn more here.