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January 2015 New Energy Roundup

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Energy Barn Update 

In December, the Build Our Energy Barn built in the proposed Keystone Export pipeline path had its lowest generation month of 2014, but it still generated more energy for Nebraskans than the pipeline ever would.  At 116 kilowatt-hours, the barn generated enough energy to drive about 5 laps at the Monaco Grand Prix.  To date, the barn has generated 3.97 megawatt-hours of electricity, which is enough energy to drive 175 laps at the Grand Prix.

New Energy News

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers Introduces Bill to Repeal Eminent Domain for TransCanada: Nebraska District 11 Senator Ernie Chambers has introduced a bill that would repeal LB1161, the law that gave TransCanada, a foreign pipeline company, the power of eminent domain for their tarsands export pipeline.  While the constitutionality of 1161 is still uncertain, TransCanada has filed eminent domain condemnations on Nebraska landowners.  To find out more about the bill and to take action, Read more at this link: http://boldnebraska.org/state-sen-ernie-chambers-introduces-bill-to-repeal-eminent-domain-power-of-transcanada/

Solar Jobs Report Shows Huge Growth: While Congressional Republicans and TransCanada might think the Keystone Export Pipeline’s 35 permanent jobs is something to risk our land, water and property rights for, a new report on solar jobs shows that an estimated 36,000 new workers in the solar field will be hired for jobs averaging between $20-24 per hour in wages.  Analysis of the latest solar energy spill show that no water was contaminated, and local residents reported that the weather was sunny.  Read more at this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/16/solar-jobs-growth-us_n_6490050.html

U.S. Wind Installations Increased Sixfold in 2014:  According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the U.S. added 4.7 gigawatts of new onshore wind capacity in 2014 compared with 764 megawatts a year earlier, largely due to the extension of the Production Tax Credit in January 2013.  Total U.S. onshore wind installations are now 64.2 megawatts.  BNEF also reported that Germany installed 3.2 gigawatts in 2014, Brazil 2.7 gigawatts and India 2.3 gigawatts. Both German and Brazil totals are records for their countries.  Read more at this link:  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-22/u-s-wind-power-installations-rose-sixfold-in-2014-bnef.html

 

Upcoming Events

Wind Energy Forum in Cortland: The Center for Rural Affairs and Lancaster County Farmers Union will host a Wind Information Forum on Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cortland Community Center in Cortland, Nebraska.

Participants will hear from Nebraskans who have first-hand experience with wind development, ask questions and discuss wind in Nebraska.  The forum includes professionals from multiple fields including
Ross Knott, president and CEO of Petersburg State Bank in Petersburg, Nebraska, Caroline Jezierski,Nebraska Wind Energy and Wildlife Project Coordinator at the University of Nebraska School of Natural Resources and David Vavra, Chairman of the Saline County Wind Association.

Public Wind Information Forum
Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m.
Cortland Community Center
South Lincoln Ave and West 5th Street
Cortland, NE

FREE

*Light refreshments will be provided, please RSVP to Virginia Meyer at (402) 687-2103 ext.1014 or email virginiam@cfra.org so we can be sure to have enough snacks.

 

LES to hold Wind RFP Workshops: LES recently announced the finalization of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for an additional 173 megawatts of wind energy and 5 MW of solar photovoltaic energy to its power supply resource portfolio by 2016. These projects will increase the utility’s renewable generation portfolio to the equivalent of 48 percent of LES’ retail energy sales.

LES has invited the public to attend one of LES’ upcoming Wind RFP Evaluation workshops. Scott Benson, LES manager, Resource & Transmission Planning, will discuss the basics of PPAs, LES’ evaluation process used in selecting wind projects, how LES forecasts the related savings in power costs, and how LES and its customer-owners benefit from diversity in the LES wind portfolio.

You may attend one of the Wind RFP Evaluation workshops listed below:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 27, 6-8 p.m.
    LES Walter A. Canney Service Center, 2620 Fairfield St., Lincoln
  • Thursday, Jan. 29, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
    LES Walter A. Canney Service Center, 2620 Fairfield St., Lincoln
    (bring your own lunch)

For questions about the event, email kporter@les.com.

 

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