official nebraska government website

Solar Energy Generation (Utility–Scale)
in Nebraska

According to a sun index developed for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) using data provided by NREL's Renewable Resource Data Center, Nebraska is ranked thirteenth in the nation with the greatest energy potential from solar power. Nebraska has operational solar panels with a total capacity of 52.4 kilowatts. The panels are located on three sites:

  • At their Norfolk Operations Center, the Nebraska Public Power District started generating electricity in August, 2010, from a Suncarrier solar array with a capacity of 45.6 kilowatts. Photovoltaic energy supplies at least 7.5 percent of the facility's electricity needs.
  • The Elkhorn Service Center, operated by the Omaha Public Power District, started generating electricity from two solar photovoltaic panels on June 13, 2002. The electricity is consumed by a small facility located at the Elkhorn Service Center and offsets only a small portion of the electricity the Center needs. Each of the two panels is rated at 2.4 kilowatts (kW) capacity. The panels have a capacity factor of 14 to 15 percent. The unused capacity could have been due to being out of service, operating at reduced output for part of the time due to equipment failures, or routine maintenance. Most likely the panels were capable of producing electricity, but its fuel, sunlight, was not available.
  • At the Hyde Observatory, solar panels began generating electricity at 2:02 p.m. CST on March 13, 2003. The project is a joint venture of Lincoln Electric System and Hyde Memorial Observatory.
  • The PV system is designed to generate 2 kW of electricity producing about half of the observatory's annual electrical needs. The solar panels will produce electricity during daylight hours and pass that electricity to an output meter where it is then placed back into Lincoln's electric grid. The system will operate at maximum production during the daytime when the observatory's energy use is at a minimum.
  • The PV system replaces an older, passive solar heating system that had begun to deteriorate after 25 years of service. Unlike the old system, which generated only heat energy, the new PV system generates electricity to power the observatory and feeds any excess or unused electricity into Lincoln's grid.
  • The panels are designed to withstand the impact of a one–inch hailstone, and they carry a 20–year warranty. Lincoln Electric System funded the system as a demonstration project. Additional project partners include Information Analytics who is installing the computers and web interface, and Alltel who has agreed to provide a DSL service to the observatory.

For more information, see Operational Electric Generating Units.

Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska
2002 – 2011

Year
Company
Location
Capacity
(kW)
Jan
(kWh)
Feb
(kWh)
Mar
(kWh)
Apr
(kWh)
May
(kWh)
Jun
(kWh)
Jul
(kWh)
Aug
(kWh)
Sep
(kWh)
Oct
(kWh)
Nov
(kWh)
Dec
(kWh)
Annual
Total
(kWh)
Year
Company
Location
Capacity
(kW)
Jan
(kWh)
Feb
(kWh)
Mar
(kWh)
Apr
(kWh)
May
(kWh)
Jun
(kWh)
Jul
(kWh)
Aug
(kWh)
Sep
(kWh)
Oct
(kWh)
Nov
(kWh)
Dec
(kWh)
Annual
Total
(kWh)
2011
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 208.00 237.00 228.00 124.00 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Nebraska Public Power District
Norfolk Operations Center 45.6 2,744.30 6,136.70 6,197.90 6,375.10 8,607.70 9,105.00 8,714.10 8,479.49 8,629.62 6,694.71 3,261.00 2,983.00 77,928.62
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2011 Total NA
2010
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 181.00 202.00 215.00 248.00 244.00 245.00 251.00 294.00 239.00 308.00 242.00 166.00 2,835.00
Nebraska Public Power District
Norfolk Operations Center 45.6 18.20 6,685.41 5,493.75 3,736.41 2,469.10 18,402.87
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2010 Total NA
2009
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 236 254 281 254 266 237 252 281 246 157 216 112 2,792
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2009 Total NA
2008
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 259 254 281 246 252 259 264 288 265 277 193 206 3,044
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2008 Total NA
2007
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 214 202 261 279 251 182 154 189 280 278 251 205 2,745
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2007 Total NA
2006
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 241 262 239 255 270 266 278 256 165 89 236 205 2,762
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2006 Total NA
2005
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 140 207 271 254 292 256 287 270 280 287 234 200 2,978
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2005 Total NA
2004
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 275 232 254 277 232 270 239 227 278 293 226 213 3,016
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2004 Total NA
2003
Hyde Memorial Observatory/Lincoln Electric System
Observatory 2.0 309 161 249 308 256 265 276 195 210 2,229
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2003 Total NA
2002
Omaha Public Power District
Elk Service Center 4.8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
2002 Total NA

Sources: Omaha Public Power District, Omaha, NE.Lincoln Electric System, Lincoln, NE. Nebraska Public Power District, Norfolk, NE. Nebraska Energy Office, Lincoln, NE.

Note: NA = Not Available.

This table was updated on January 27, 2012.
Typically, there is one year between updates.