Plans for a wind farm in northern Gage and southern Lancaster counties that failed to materialize may be resurrected by a different company . . . NextEra anticipates the $141 million project would create around 200 jobs during construction and generate more than $25 million in property taxes over a 30-year period. The company is planning two informational events to discuss the project with the public. The events will both be at the Hallam Auditorium at 15 Main St. in Hallam on Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 5-7 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 10 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Read more here.
Photo: NextEra’s first Nebraska wind project was the 75-megawatt Steele Flats Wind Farm in Gage and Jefferson counties consisting of forty-four 1.7-megawatt turbines. The wind farm began commercial operation in 2013.
Beatrice currently purchases power from Nebraska Public Power District, though the power that arrives can come from other areas, as well. This arrangement will change after next year, however, when Beatrice begins the process of transitioning to its new provider, AEP Energy Partners Inc., based out of Columbus, Ohio. A new provider isn’t the only change in store for the department. Renewable energy will likely come to Beatrice at some point, in the form of wind or solar generation.
Photo Credit: Scott Koperski / Beatrice Daily Sun. Beatrice’s electric department operates out of the BPW service center in North Beatrice. The department includes 16 workers who maintain and repair Beatrice’s systems.
Construction is underway on a wind turbine in Seward. Bluestem Energy Solutions announced this week that it is constructing a 1.7 megawatt wind turbine on a farm near the city of 7,000 about 20 miles west of Lincoln.
Written by Lucas Nelsen, Policy Program Associate, Center for Rural Affairs
The United States continues to develop new clean and renewable energy resources to replace aging, carbon-emitting generating facilities. Much of the new renewable energy generation can be found in lightly populated rural areas. These locations often host significant resources for renewable energy generation and provide ample space for new development, especially from wind energy.
Wind energy contributed a significant portion of new generation completed in 2015, making up 41 percent of a total 14,468 megawatts built last year. Many of these new additions were located in the Midwest and Great Plains, regions of the country that boast some of the richest wind energy resources in the nation. Rural communities in these regions stand to benefit from new renewable development, as projects provide new economic activity and revenue for these areas. Download the full report (PDF).
Image: Wind turbines on a farm between Odell and Diller in southeast Nebraska, part of the Steele Flats wind farm. Credit: James R. Burnett / Omaha World-Herald
The city of Beatrice is taking the first step in planning a local wind power generation facility. The City Council approved an application at its Monday meeting for Nebraska Public Power District to do a review of electrical capacity and transmission, in order to assess the feasibility of a wind generation facility. The application was originally recommended by the Board of Public Works at a prior meeting and is the first step in what will be an ongoing process. Click to read more.
Photo: Wind-farm turbine near the small, centrally-located city of Broken Bow. Credit: Caroline Jezierski
Homestead National Monument was a pit stop for solar-powered vehicles on Thursday, serving as one of nine designated stops for the American Solar Challenge. The challenge is a collegiate competition in which students are traveling 1,975 miles from Ohio to South Dakota in personally designed solar cars. The University of Michigan was the first team in and the first team out at Homestead on Thursday morning and appeared to be favorites to win the American Solar Challenge. Continue reading.
Minnesota climate activists say they are “pleasantly surprised” after Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp issued a new environmentalpolicy in June that will reduce lending for coal-fired power plants, coal mines and other environmentally harmful projects. Two bank officials have been meeting with MN350 members for the past several months on a new environmental policy that would discourage lending to fossil fuel interests. Advocates say the policy move — which they add could be stronger — is important because U.S. Bancorp (the parent company of U.S. Bank) is one of the largest financial services companies in the United States. Click to read more.
Photo: Climate activists outside U.S. Bancorp’s headquarters in Minneapolis. Credit: MN350
Beatrice Middle School students watch their handmade wind turbine models in action.
Sixth graders in Beatrice and Nebraska City made the turbines through the Science Literacy Initiative of the Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“The project’s goal is to help students learn about renewable energy using STEM concepts,” [Beatrice Middle School science teacher Derek Niss] said, referring to the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Read the entire article here.