News

Exciting Economic Growth in Sterling, CO

The NRS Development team has had a lot of fun exploring the old jail in Sterling on their recent visits to Colorado. The building has been transformed into The Annex, a coworking community created in collaboration with Logan County Economic Development and other local groups. They have small conference rooms, shared workspaces/event rooms, and Flex Spaces – small private rooms, all available by reservation.

They are continuing the expansion into the 2nd floor of the old jail as “Phase 2” of the project. They will be adding more meeting spaces and offices, which will be available for rent.

We look forward to the finished product and the growth it will bring to this vibrant town!

Photo of the Annex, courtesy of the Annex website.
Mauli Sand, NRS Development Team Member

NRS Attends ACORE 20th Anniversary Gala & Policy Forum in D.C.

NRS April Newsletter

Members of the NRS Executive team attended the ACORE (American Council on Renewable Energy) Gala celebrating their 20th anniversary on March 23rd, followed by the annual Policy Forum the next day in Washington DC. It was the first time the organization held an in-person event since the start of the pandemic, and while there were plenty of jokes about remembering how to socialize and tie a necktie, it was wonderful to see and feel the excitement for the topic of the events as well. The keynote speakers and panelists included several senior industry professionals, FERC Commissioner, Willie Phillips; The Honorable Ron Wyden, Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance; the current EPA Administrator, Michael Regan; as well as two former EPA administrators, Carol Browner and Gina McCarthy.

The recurring themes at these events were centered on issues of supply chain (which at the time, we were still awaiting word from the US Commerce department regarding its investigation on solar panels from Southeast Asia), energy equity, the need for high voltage transmission builds, and the hope for congress to pass a suite of renewable tax incentives yet this spring as a part of a budget reconciliation bill. It’s clear that the sense of urgency to pass these incentives is heightened by the clear need for the west to gain energy independence from countries like Russia, which has been the main reason energy prices have spiked more recently.  

The folks at ACORE are certainly doing their part to urge congress to act – and you should too! 

Join us and show your support for the Budget Reconciliation Bill

We encourage you to write an email to your representative(s) asking them to support the passage of long-term, clean energy tax incentives that include new credits for storage and transmission, now, as a part of the budget reconciliation tax package. Together, we make our voices louder.

EMAIL YOUR REPERSENTITVE

Landowner Feature: Will Pattison

NRS March Newsletter

Will Pattison (left), one of our New Mexico landowners, was featured on the cover of issue 99 of the Meng AIR Modeller Magazine, a globally renowned aircraft modelling publication. His “War-Weary Warhawk” (plane) was highlighted for his creative approach with heavy weathering. Pattison, who survived a devastating spinal cord injury suffered in 2009, built scale models as a boy and got back into it as part of his physical therapy program. He now sells work to collectors and has been featured in a number of magazines and books.

“These fighters were truly filthy and as soon as I started collecting Banshee photos, I knew where this project was going.” – Pattison commenting on the approach he found himself taking once he started the project.

Pattison’s weathering detail is so well done, it’s truly hard to tell this aircraft is 1/32 of the normal size. Detail like this could only come from a true artist like Pattison, who is also a gifted photographer. Well done, Will!

*Photos by Will Pattison
Visit Will’s YouTube Channel HERE

Will Pattison working in his studio.
The cover of the Meng AIR Modeller Magazine featuring Pattison’s Hasegawa Warhawk model plane.
The article with more photos of Pattison’s Hasegawa 1/32 P-40, highlighting its heavy weathering.

NRS Site Visit – Solar Met Station in Colorado

PROJECT: Honors Energy

NRS solar developers Roger “Hal” Halbakken and Brad Wilson visited NRS project development sites in Colorado in early February, including a stop at the site of our “Honors Energy” utility-scale solar project.

While onsite, Hal and Brad checked in on the NRG Systems solar met station that was installed in 2021 and has been operating for several months. Similar to a wind met tower in some ways (but much shorter), the solar met station collects onsite meteorological data important for accurately modeling the solar energy that can be generated at the site. This station collects data points including irradiance, albedo, soiling, temperature, humidity, precipitation, and wind speed/direction. This data is transmitted to our home office in Minnetonka, MN via cellular modem on a regular schedule. Unlike wind met towers, however, onsite solar met stations are not typically installed by default at utility-scale solar development sites, although it is starting to become more common.

The NRS development team knows that having more and better data can only improve the quality of its projects, so the team is pleased to be on the cutting edge of onsite solar data collection. Installation of these systems is planned for multiple other NRS utility-scale solar development sites in 2022.

NRS Community Engagement in Bethel, Maine

PROJECT: Bethel Solar Project

By Mauli Sand

Several months ago, National Renewable Solutions (NRS) began developing a solar project near the western boundary of the state of Maine. Located just 3.5 miles east of the town center of Bethel, this project was aptly named the Bethel Solar Project.

Led by the efforts of our Director of Solar, Brad Wilson, this project went from a dormant gravel pit to a fully permitted, interconnected, surveyed and designed 3MW solar development asset. Since then, NRS partnered with Summit Ridge Energy, which now owns 100% of the project. Construction has begun, and the Bethel Solar Project will soon be a source of clean energy for Maine energy customers.

While developing renewable energy projects may be the “outward facing” business of National Renewable Solutions, we believe engaging and building relationships with the people who live and work in our project communities is at the heart of what we do. In fact, many of us admit that it’s the part of our job that we love most. Typically, as we are in the throes of development work, we look for ways to invest in the communities where we develop projects to ensure everyone benefits from the project—not just those with solar panels or turbines spinning. 

In Bethel, it wasn’t long before we learned about Mahoosuc Land Trust (MLT), a local conservation organization that has permanently conserved over 20,0000 acres in western Maine and eastern New Hampshire. As we spent more time getting to know the people in the area, the Land Trust kept coming up in conversation, so we decided we needed to meet with them.

“As Brad and I met with several of the Land Trust’s leaders—initially at the Bethel Solar Project site itself—and we shared information about our respective organizations, it began to emerge how well aligned we are in our goals to invest in the community for the betterment of those who live there, while also engaging in the fight to combat climate change.  It was clear from the start that this partnership was the right one to ensure NRS has a long-lasting positive impact in the Bethel community,” said Lindsey Ransom, Chief Operating Officer of NRS.

The two groups collectively brainstormed to devise a meaningful way for NRS to contribute to the community through a partnership with MLT. Mahoosuc Land Trust’s Pollinator Garden presented us with a wonderful opportunity to give back to the people of the community while also positively impacting the local ecosystem. As a result, we are proud to contribute $25,000 towards the ongoing expansion and maintenance of the MLT Pollinator Garden and its Habitat for All outreach program that inspires garden visitors to create pollinator-friendly landscapes in their own yards.

MLT Executive Director, Kirk Siegel, said, “From our first meeting, we saw NRS as a synergistic partner that benefits the local and global environment by decarbonizing energy. MLT is working on a parallel course by helping insect populations and the biodiversity that depends on them while preserving thousands of acres of carbon-sequestering forestland to buffer climate change.”

The work we did on the Bethel Solar Project, combined with our partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust will have meaningful climate positive impact both for the people of Bethel, as well as the overall energy makeup in Maine—which is certainly worth celebrating. Something to think about if you ever find yourself immersed in the milkweeds, blazing stars and Black-Eyed Susans in MLT’s Pollinator Garden (which we highly recommend).