Norfolk completes construction of the largest solar farm in Nebraska

The City of Norfolk, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), and members of the community celebrated the end of the construction phase for the largest solar farm in the state last week (22 June).
Norfolk completes construction of the largest solar farm in Nebraska
Courtesy of City of Norfolk, Nebraska.

The facility is paired with the NPPD’s first large-scale battery storage system to form an 8.5 MW solar + battery storage system developed and operated by solar energy developer Sol Systems in partnership with EPC firm GenPro Energy Solutions (GenPro) and real estate development firm Mesner Development.

The array is part of NPPD’s community solar programme, SunWise, allowing local Norfolk residents to purchase clean energy produced from the array at a fixed price to offset normal retail electricity. Sol Systems and NPPD entered a 30-year power purchase agreement for the energy of the array, providing a fixed cost of energy for NPPD and Norfolk residents for decades.

“The Norfolk community solar facility is going into operation, and it was great to officially celebrate the completion of the state’s largest solar facility” said NPPD Account Manager Brittney Koenig. “Norfolk customers who have signed up for community solar shares began to see a credit on their bill starting in June.”

Mayor Josh Moenning added that participating community members will soon be able to utilise affordable, locally generated clean energy for the first time in this form and fashion and that City of Norfolk is proud to have worked collaboratively with NPPD and the private sector to provide the opportunity.

The large-scale battery storage system is capable of storing up to 2 MWh worth of electricity produced by the solar farm. This will allow NPPD to store solar energy for flexible discharge times, like summer evenings or winter morning during its grid peak times.

During construction, the project site was planted with pollinator habitats to support local bee and butterfly populations. Prairie flowers and grasses will build up a thriving native habitat, stabilising and supporting soil health while providing habitat for species at risk.

In addition to the energy and educational benefits of the array, Sol Systems partnered with Northeast Community College (NECC) to establish three scholarships for students interested in the school’s Electrical Construction and Control Programme. The scholarships, which cover two years of tuition for students, were awarded this spring. In further partnership with NECC, internships with GenPro were established for students already enrolled in the Electrical Construction and Control Programme, providing them with hands-on experience helping to construct the array.

For additional information:

City of Norfolk, Nebraska

Sol Systems

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)

Tags: Solar , Storage , Electricity , Grid , Oil
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