Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project (NCORPE) has approximately 20,000 acres of land that is currently being used for water management in Lincoln County, Nebraska. The large acreage is currently used for grazing and irrigated crops and some agriculture use leases.
NCORPE is considering allowing the property to be leased for the development, construction and operation of a wind and/or solar generation facility by a third party. Kyle Shepherd, NCORPE General Manager noted “existing land uses would generally remain the same albeit with the addition of wind or solar generation on site.”
An NCORPE wind and/or solar project would increase tax revenue in the county and help school districts. According to Shepherd “this project will allow us to use the property in a way that benefits the local community both in alternative energy generation and income that will help us with our operations costs.”
A study conducted by Bluestem Energy Solutions and Baird Holm, LLP in 2013 noted, depending on the size of the development, in a typical rural Nebraska county, an approximate 39 percent increase in tax revenue could be experienced.
To learn more about the NCORPE wind/solar energy development project or to locate the RFP, visit www.ncorpe.org. NCORPE will accept proposals through July 14, 2017.
The NCORPE board of directors is opening a public comment period to receive input from the public and interested stakeholders. Comments can be sent to Kyle Shepherd at firstname.lastname@example.org or NCORPE, C/O Kyle Shepherd, 24871 S. Lone Star Road, North Platte, NE 69101. All comments must be received by July 26, 2017.
Interested parties are welcome to a public open house on July 26th at 10:00 a.m. to learn about the project and provide comment. Following the public comment period NCORPE will respond to questions and comments received on the NCORPE wind/solar energy development project page at www.ncorpe.org.
What is NCORPE?
NCORPE, the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project, is an interlocal agency that was formed in the fall 2012 by four Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) (Upper Republican NRD, Middle Republican NRD, Lower Republican NRD, Twin Platte NRD) to increase stream flows in the Republican and Platte Rivers.
The agency has purchased irrigated land in Lincoln County, Nebraska and retired it from irrigation so that water can be transported via pipelines and tributaries to the Republican and Platte Rivers. NCORPE guarantees that river flow obligations are met in the Republican and Platte Rivers. Not meeting those obligations, such as the Republican River Compact, would cause severe financial and regulatory penalties along with the permanent shutdown of over 300,000 irrigated acres. In addition to assurances NCORPE provides that interstate and intrastate river flow obligations are met, the project meets these obligations in a way that protects the economy.