Tag Archives: The Wire – OPPD blog

Renewables, infrastructure: What’s ahead in 2019?

Written by Jodi Baker, The Wire, OPPD Blog

The power industry is ever-changing – whether through technology,  regulations, or market mechanisms. On a
recent visit to Omaha, Sue Kelly, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA), discussed
some of the bigger issues facing public power and its
customers. APPA is preparing for their Legislative Rally in Washington, D.C. at the end of February. Each year, nearly 600 Association members – policy-makers like city council and utility board members – gather to learn about “hot
issues,” Kelly said. Continue reading here.

Flush With Data Centers, Sarpy County Lines Up Another

Newcomer’s identity is not yet revealed, but size may rival Facebook’s campus.

By Cindy Gonzalez, Omaha World-Herald

The identity of the latest on-deck newcomer — which would join the likes of Facebook and Travelers insurance — for now is being kept secret from the public. Still, Papillion officials earlier this month gave the government go-ahead to what is being called “Project Wizard.” . . . What is the magnet for the data centers? [Andrew Rainbolt, executive director of the Sarpy economic development group], said they’re attracted to the area in part because of new energy rates created by the Omaha Public Power District for big electricity users seeking to power their operations with renewable energy. Read the entire article here.

Image Credit: Facebook

Papillion Data Center on Facebook

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement Continues to Break Records in 2018, Rocky Mountain Institute News Release

Corporate renewable energy procurement has set a new single-year record for new capacity of announced wind and solar deals in 2018, the Business Renewables Center (BRC), a membership
program at Rocky Mountain Institute, reported in its updated corporate-backed renewable energy
procurement deal tracker. “The record number of companies successfully pursuing renewable energy this year sends a clear signal that environmental sustainability is a serious priority for business leaders across the economy,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. “These companies aren’t going to wait for public policy on climate issues to catch up—they are taking the initiative to accelerate toward a prosperous, low carbon economy.”

One for the Books: The Biggest Corporate Renewable Deals of 2018, Energy Manager Today
Facebook: The BRC found that the social media giant signed 20 renewable contracts totaling 1,894.5 MW in 2018, which tops all the corporate deals the BRC tracked in 2016 put together. Those deals
included a power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power North America in March for energy from Enel’s planned 320 MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska.

THE RENEWABLE ENERGY BUYERS ALLIANCE

The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) is led by four non-profit organizations that have brought together their deep expertise in transforming energy markets.

Collectively, REBA works with more than 100 large buyers that represent enormous demand for renewable power. REBA’s goal is to help corporations purchase 60GW of additional renewable energy in the US by 2025.

REBA Initiatives

Click image to link to the map.

Decarbonizing enterprise: The path to 100 percent corporate renewable energy

Center Stage Podcast, GreenBiz

It’s clear that 100 percent renewable energy is imperative to fight climate change. And it’s already starting. Chris Clark, president at Xcel Energy; Bill Weihl, former sustainability and energy efficiency manager at Facebook; and Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy at Google talked about how to push and pull all companies, utilities and the public toward accessible 100 percent renewable energy. Listen to the Podcast
More Center Stage Podcasts

ALSO IN THE NEWS

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

SOLAR MODULE NEWS


Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better,
PV Magazine
NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves. Image: NREL, Hit me with your SunShot


ENERGY SECURITY

100% Renewable Energy As Catalyst For Achieving Peace & Justice
By Rob van Riet, Director of the Climate Energy Program at the World Future Council and a regular contributor to The Beam
Unlike fossil fuels, which are characterized by the uneven geographical distribution of natural reserves, RE is abundant across regions and countries. Photo by Justin Holzgrove, DOE’s Hit me with your SunShot


HOW DOES THAT WORK? SERIES

Mutual Aid, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

WHAT IS IT?
 Mutual aid is an agreement through which other utilities offer their restoration services after natural disasters strike and cause widespread power outages. OPPD has been on both sides of the aisle. Photo: OPPD trucks line up in Tampa, Florida, part of the mutual aid deployed to help restore power following a hurricane.

Fortenberry: Small Farm, Big Tech

By Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
Fremont Tribune 

[Kelsey and Bob Larson] are the next generation of young farmers. Their dairy farm is small, but it is powered by big
tech . . . Beyond new milking and monitoring models, the farm is pushing the envelope in other compelling ways. Solar energy provides about 20% of the farm’s electricity.

Read more here.

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & VIEWING

Winnebago to double its solar power systems: Ho-Chunk announces the installation of new solar arrays in nine locations, Siouxland Proud

Links to more stories are posted here and here.
Ho-Chunk Inc’s Website

  • Tribal Energy Webinar: Facility- and Community-Scale Project Development, September 26, 2018, 12 to 2 pm. If you are unable to attend today’s webinar, click here to access recordings and slides of past webinars and announcements of future ones.
  • Moving renewables across the U.S. is a challenge, The Wire, OPPD Blog
    [According to Joe Lang, director of Compliance and RTO Policy at OPPD, an NREL analysis] determined the cost to construct high-voltage transmission facilities to make full use of renewables nationally could cost about $1 trillion, which is about twice that of the U.S. interstate highway system.” But Aaron Bloom, the NREL official, said the undertaking would pay for itself in 15 years and then keep paying dividends. That’s because the transmission capacity would allow for the development of the highest quality and lowest cost renewable resources, with few geographic limitations.
  • OPPD’S Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Pilot Program: The fifty $4,500 rebates are gone. $500 charging station rebates are still available. More information is posted here.
  • NPPD, Norfolk seeking grant for battery energy storage project, NPPD News Release
    Columbus, Neb. Funding for battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project is being sought by the Nebraska Public Power District and the City of Norfolk that would be tied to a proposed community solar project planned for that community in 2019. That project is contingent on approval of a grant application submitted by NPPD to receive $490,000 in funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) for the two-year project.
  • Lincoln Electric System Public Meeting On The 2019 Budget, October 4, 2018, 6 pm at the Walter A. Canney Service Center: We’re proposing no rate increase and continuing to restructure rates as part of next year’s budget, keeping LES among the nation’s leaders in delivering highly reliable, low-cost electricity.

Clean energy provides Nebraska jobs

The Grand Island Independent

LINCOLN — More than 18,400 Nebraska residents now work in clean energy industries in 92 out of 93 counties in the state, according to a new analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Nebraska’s clean energy workforce now employs more than 5 times as many people than all the computer programmers and web developers in the state, according to Department of Labor Employment Statistics. Read more here.

Photo Credit: iStock

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Inside Business: Kutak Rock, Omaha World-Herald
    During Mr. Bracht’s tenure as Director of the Nebraska Energy Office, the state’s solar developments expanded by 20-fold from just over one megawatt to more than 25 megawatts. In addition, Nebraska now exceeds 1.4 gigawatt of operating wind farms, and at the completion of projects under development will have more than 2.4 gigawatts.
  • LED streetlight program moving forward, The Wire, OPPD Blog
    Beginning in September, OPPD representatives will meet with municipalities, counties and other streetlight customers about the transition from high-pressure sodium fixtures to LED fixtures. The utility is finalizing which LED fixture design it will go with, looking at several options to determine which will be the best for customers both in terms of cost and function.
  • Rural electric cooperatives look at cutting the cord, Colorado Springs Gazette
    At least four cooperatives — United Power, the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, the La Plata Electric Association and San Miguel — have hit the 5 percent cap, and four more are near the limit, according to a survey by Clean Cooperative. Tri-State Members’ Service Territories include Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.
    In Nebraska:
    CR Chimney Rock Public Power District, Bayard
    MW The Midwest Electric Cooperative Corporation, Grant
    NW Northwest Rural Public Power District, Hay Springs
    PH Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association, Alliance
    RS Roosevelt Public Power District, Scottsbluff
    WB Wheat Belt Public Power District, Sidney

  • America’s Electric Cooperatives, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Fact Sheets (PDF)
  • Study: Wind farms do not hurt property values, Nebraska Radio Network Contributor, Lu Nelsen, Policy Associate, Center for Rural Affairs

OPPD retiree blazed the way for women

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

In honor of Women’s Equality Day on August 26, 2018, The Wire will feature stories about the women
of OPPD. This week, we feature a woman who led the way for others during her nearly 20-year career at OPPD. Meet Betty Queen.
Read more here.

ALSO WRITTEN BY JASON KUIPER

Riggleman maintains reliability on, off the track

OPPD partner’s wind power project will continue utility’s renewable energy growth

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

NextEra Energy Resources breaks ground Friday on the Sholes Wind Energy Center north of Norfolk and just west of Wayne. The company signed a 20-year contract to sell OPPD all 160 megawatts of electricity it produces annually. Once opened, it would boost OPPD’s amount of wind-generated electricity to 971 megawatts, OPPD says. That’s enough to power about 125,000 homes. Read more here. 

Generating an equivalent amount of clean, renewable energy sufficient to power 125,000 homes is a significant development for our state. According to the latest 2017 U.S. Census, there are 837,568 housing units in Nebraska. – U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Nebraska 

Photo by NextEra Energy Resources of a Wisconsin Wind Farm completed by the company in 2012.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

New Sarpy substation worthy of big “like”

OPPD Blog: Prime time for “peakers “

 By Jason Kuiper, The Wire  

May 2018 – one of the hottest Mays in years – kept OPPD’s generating stations running overtime to keep up with the air conditioners. OPPD’s two baseload facilities – Nebraska City and North Omaha stations – were at the forefront of that generation. But so were OPPD’s peaking stations at Cass and Sarpy counties as well as Jones Street Station, one of OPPD’s oldest stations. Continue reading here.

Photo: Telesis Inc’s Net-Zero Energy Business Complex in Lincoln’s Haymarket.
J-Tech’s thirteen-member installation crew worked closely with restoration contractors to integrate the 300-kilowatt system into existing and historical structures. Federal tax incentives, rebates from Lincoln Electric System and the steady rise in the cost of electricity were driving factors in the owner’s decision to complete such a large project. Also, the price of solar systems has decreased more than 62% since 2009. News Story: Telesis going for net-zero energy use in Dairy House complex, by Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING AND VIEWING

  • Using Solar to Reduce Peak Loads: Evaluating Rhode Island’s Distributed Solar Pilot – Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) Webinar, July 12, 2018, 12 to 1 pm CDT. Register here.
  • Replacing Peaker Plants with Battery Storage: Clean Energy Group Webinar, July 19, 2018,
    1 to 2 pm CDT. Register here. 
  • How to Estimate Demand Charge Savings from PV on Commercial Buildings, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • 4 Peak Demand Reduction Strategies, by Jeff Gorrie, Energy Manager Today
    Due to the complexity of energy pricing, two identical buildings can consume the same amount of energy and have profoundly different utility bills. Demand charges are a reality for every building but with the right data it is possible to identify and solve the issues that cause high peak demand and expensive utility bills. – Jeff Gorrie is an energy efficiency professional who lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. Jeff works at a national energy efficiency consulting firm and has completed over 1,000 commercial energy assessments. Jeff is certified as an Energy Manager (CEM), Building Analyst (BPI BA), and Envelope Professional (BPI ENV).

OPPD: New EV program will measure impact on system

By Jodi Baker, The Wire, OPPD Blog

OPPD and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) will co-fund and distribute $500 grants to customers who purchase Charge Point EV chargers for their home via OPPD. A website link for purchases will be available when the pilot gets underway. In addition, OPPD will work to educate customers on financial incentives available when they purchase a new EV. These are expected to include:

  • $3,000 rebate at participating Nissan dealerships towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf
  • $4,000 grant from NCEA after the purchase of a new EV (only available in Douglas County)
  • Up to $7,500 federal tax credit (depending on the manufacturer)

The initiative team is presenting its findings and plans to OPPD’s Board of Directors during their May committee meetings. Read more here.

Photo Credit: 123rf.com

NPPD’S EV Charging Station Incentive Pilot Program

  • ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
    EV Strategy: OPPD Board Committee Presentation, Aaron Smith, Director – Operations
  • News Release: EV Research Strategy Presented To OPPD Board
    During this week’s committee meetings for the OPPD Board of Directors, the Integrated Energy Marketplace team presented its latest EV research, including plans to announce a pilot next month. The pilot, as part of the district’s EV Strategy and Process Initiative, will include EV education for customers. It will also connect customers to financial incentives available for the purchase of certain EVs, as well as certain EV chargers, among other areas.

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION

  • Electric vehicles are here: are utilities ready to charge forward?
    Navigant Research said in a report, prepared for the American Public Power Association, that by 2021 it conservatively projects new EV (battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) sales of more than 700,000 units in the U.S. annually. Markets saw a 37 percent increase in sales of plug-in electric vehicles in 2016 and Navigant Research expects 50 percent growth in market sales in 2017 and 2018, largely due to Tesla’s Model 3 and other longer-range, low cost battery electric vehicles coming to the market, as well as more vehicle options becoming available for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
  • Multi-faceted EV approaches getting closer look from states: report
    Among the top electric vehicle policy trends in the first quarter of 2018 were states considering multi-faceted approaches to EVs and related infrastructure, the North Carolina Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) said in a recently released report. 

Facebook’s Nebraska reach expands

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Facebook announced today their Nebraska data center will be three times the size of its original announcement. The Papillion data center will be six buildings instead of two with groundbreaking set to begin in May on the additional buildings. Facebook announced last April their plan to build its next data center here and credited the development of OPPD’s Rate 261M as one of the biggest draws. Read the entire blog post.

Facebook’s Press Release: Papillion Data Center Expanding to Six Buildings
Author: Jim Piazza, Director of Data Center Operations, East. Last year, we worked with Omaha Public Power District to create a new renewable energy tariff that ensures we can power our data center with clean and renewable energy. With the tariff in place, we could seek new, in-state wind projects, which we found in Enel Green Power‘s Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. We will now increase our purchase from 200 MW to 320 MW to support our growth, and we are excited to share that we have partnered with Adobe to help them enter the U.S. renewable energy market with Enel; 10 MW of Rattlesnake Creek will be allocated to Adobe.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Enel sells energy from new US wind farm to Facebook and Adobe, Enel Press Release
The new deal between Enel and Facebook widens the scope of the bundled, long-term power purchase agreement for 200 MW signed in November 2017 to gradually include the plant’s overall output by 2029, following Facebook’s decision to significantly expand its data centre in Papillion, around 120 miles from Rattlesnake Creek. The energy produced by the entire wind farm will enable the expanded data centre to be 100% renewable-powered.

“Powering our data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy is not just a goal for Facebook, it is a requirement of our business,” said Bobby Hollis, Director of Global Energy at Facebook. “The Rattlesnake Creek wind farm will enable us to power our future Papillion Data Center, and fulfills our passion to expand the energy market for other corporate buyers, like Adobe.”

The expansion increases Facebook’s total investment in the Papillion Data Center to
$1 billion.