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New Energy Roundup: August

Energy Barn Update: 

Monthly:  July 2014 was the best month for energy production at Energy Barn to date!  In July the barn produced 329 kWh of energy, which has the carbon offset equivalent of planting 6 trees.

As of August 1st, the Energy Barn in York County had produced 2.88 megawatt-hours of electricity for Nebraska’s public power grid.  That amount of clean energy production has the carbon offset equivalent of planting 52 trees, and is enough electricity to power a refrigerator for 21 months or a lightbulb for 23 years.

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The Beller family with the solar panel installation used to power their operation’s irrigation system From left: Terry, his son Wes, Mike and his son Tristan. (KENT SIEVERS/THE WORLD-HERALD)

Taking Aim at the Sun: Clean energy, particularly solar, has some heavy-hitting opponents with strong ties to the fossil-fuels industry.  While the U.S. solar industry is growing rapidly, polluters and other naysayers have ramped up their efforts to discredit technology and implement legislative changes to hinder the growth of harnessing sun power, as this Huffington Post article explains: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-surgey/utility-trade-group-funds_b_5633910.html

Solar-powered Irrigation in Nebraska:  Family farmers near Lindsay have installed solar panels to power the motor on their center-pivot irrigation system.  The panels help reduce farm energy consumption during the peak irrigation system and also generates electricity for the grid in the off-season.  In September, Bold will be helping to sponsor a tour of this system (see below). Read more about the solar irrigation system in Lindsay here at this link: http://www.omaha.com/money/solar-powered-pivots-family-s-project-produces-surplus-energy-holds/article_832a6069-7e6a-5b44-9a1a-6d02d8353d2f.html

Iowa cooperative jumps into solar in a big way: Farmers Electric Cooperative of southeastern Iowa has launched that state’s largest solar generation facility, with a capacity of over a million megawatts of power. What’s encouraging for us in Nebraska is that the cooperative started small, installing solar in schools and community projects.  Now, their largest venture yet is scheduled to help the cooperative reach its goal of 15% renewable generation by 2025 about 10 years early.  Read more: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2014/07/31/farmers-electric-cooperative-iowas-largest-solar-farm-kalona/13395793/

Public Power Back-and-Forth: Two op-eds about public power appeared on the same day in the Omaha World Herald.  The first, authored by Gary Aksamit, argues that privatizing Nebraska’s power system would be in the best interests of Nebraskans: http://www.omaha.com/opinion/midlands_voices/midlands-voices-switch-to-private-sector-for-power/article_4937fa59-2bba-55e5-a375-5196047211e7.html 

The second, written by Nebraska Public Power District’s  John McClure, defends public power and argues for the benefits of local control: http://www.omaha.com/opinion/midlands_voices/midlands-voices-public-power-is-still-a-great-value/article_03acd071-98c8-5598-a86b-c405d85e4637.html

 

Upcoming Events:

September 2nd: Grand Island Community Conversation on Energy:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 from 6:30-8:00pm
The Chocolate Bar
116 West 3rd Street
Grand Island, NE
(heavy appetizers provided)

Interested participants are asked to please RSVP to ensure enough food is provided for everyone. For more information or to RSVP, contact Virginia Meyer at virginiam@cfra.org or by phone: 402.687.2103 ext. 1014

September 21: The Citizens’ Climate March in New York

September 25th:

  • UNL to release the results of its climate change study
  • Heuermann Lecture: “Climate Change Implications for Nebraska: Managing Resources in a Changing Climate”
  • Livestream of the lecture at http://heuermannlectures.unl.edu

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News. Updates. Stay in the know.

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BOLD Nebraska
208 S. Burlington Ave., Ste 103, Box 325, Hastings, NE 68901