In addition to TIF [Tax-Increment Financing], the developers seek “enhanced employment area occupation tax financing” amounting to nearly $10 million. Overall, the bulk of funding would come from a construction loan and investor equity, but also helping to fund the project would be about $6.5 million in federal and state historic tax credits and $3.5 million in Property Assessed Clean Energy financing (PACE is a new financing tool used to upgrade energy, water and utility systems in commercial properties). Read more here.
BEATRICE – The City of Omaha is the first to adopt an ordinance allowing its use in Nebraska. The City of Lincoln is considering the same. Now, Beatrice is being asked to consider Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, or PACE, as another tool for economic development. It’s described as a low-cost, long-term financing mechanism for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. Chris Peterson, Managing Partner for Pace Sage Capital in Nebraska, worked as a Legislative Aide to former State Senator Heath Mello when PACE was enabled through state law, making Nebraska the 34th state to enact it.
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.
Nebraska has been known as the only all-public power state, where electricity is produced by publicly-owned utilities, not for profit. But that’s been changing, and a new proposal in Beatrice could change things a lot more. Continue reading.
Photo: Tobias Tempelmeyer points past the Beatrice airport to the site of a proposed power plant. Credit: Fred Knapp, NET News
The Beatrice City Council approved a power purchase agreement with Cottonwood Wind Project, LLC during its meeting Monday. The contract is for 25 years and the wind project would be constructed by NextEra Energy, of Webster County. Under the agreement, Beatrice will acquire 16.1 megawatts of wind energy at a fixed price of $15.85 per megawatt hour. Continue reading.
Photo: Wind turbines near Odell, Nebraska. Credit: Lee Enterprises