First of all, thank you to our distinguished guest speaker, David Bracht, who provided an excellent overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth. If you missed his presentation last night at UNO’s Community Engagement Center, his PowerPoint slides will be posted on our website Home Page and our Facebook Page soon.
Thank you, as well, to our attendees, who contributed many insightful questions and comments to the discussion that followed Mr. Bracht’s presentation, and to our co-sponsoring groups: Conservation Nebraska, Nebraska Sierra Club, Green Bellevue, and OTOC’s Environmental Sustainability Action Team.
About Our Speaker
David Bracht, Attorney with the U.S. law firm Kutak Rock, advises clients involved in renewable energy development including biofuels, biomass, solar and wind energy, as well as lenders, power companies and government agencies supporting renewable energy development.
Mr. Bracht works with companies, service providers and other public agencies focused on improving energy efficiency to reduce energy use and cost. He counsels producers, agribusinesses and other businesses involved in production and processing of agriculture products, along with lenders, insurers and other firms supporting the production of food, fiber and fuel from agriculture processes. He has more than 35 years’ experience in business, government and law, including private legal practice and senior executive experience in private industry and federal and state government agencies.
Most recently, Mr. Bracht served as Director of the Nebraska Energy Office and a member of the cabinet of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts from January 2015 to August 2018. During his service as Nebraska Energy Director, total solar facilities statewide expanded from an estimated 1-2 megawatts to more than 30-40 megawatts and total wind facilities in Nebraska nearly doubled and the current 1.97 gigawatts is nearly triple those operating in 2014.
Nebraska gains as wind power grows, by David Bracht, The Grand Island Independent
Bolstered by more than $3.5 billion in private investment, close to 2,000 Nebraskans work in wind today. In fact, Yahoo Finance recently reported that “wind turbine service technician” is the fastest growing job in our state. Those jobs, and the option for young people to return home, bring new life to communities that have been suffering population decline for decades. Wind farms adding 10, 15 and sometimes 25 new good-paying jobs has had a dramatic impact, especially in Nebraska’s small towns. Look to towns like Petersburg, Elgin, Allen, and Neligh for just a few examples.