Tag Archives: economic benefits of wind energy development to Nebraska communities

Local View: Tariffs jeopardize wind farm growth

Written by Dan McGuire, Lincoln Journal Star

Over the past few years, wind farms have started springing up across the state, and these projects are providing a financial lifeline for our farming communities . . . Unfortunately, just like an unexpected drought or spike in gas prices, Nebraska farmers hoping to harvest the wind have been thrown yet another curveball — the Trump administration’s trade war with China is threatening wind’s growth in our state.

Tariffs that tax certain wind turbine parts could unnecessarily raise the cost of wind power, preventing some of the wind farms in our development pipeline from getting built. That means fewer jobs and less income for host communities. The trade dispute is already affecting farmers in our state. Read more here.

Dan McGuire is director of the American Corn Growers Foundation. He lives in Lincoln.

Growth ‘windustry’: Big wind projects coming together in Dixon, Wayne counties

By Mason Dockter, Sioux City Journal

WAKEFIELD, Neb. — A massive wind project is taking shape in Dixon County, Nebraska, and plans are underway for another large wind project in neighboring Wayne County.  In Dixon County, northeast of Wakefield, Enel Green Power North America Inc. is constructing $430 million Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project . . . Meanwhile, in Wayne County, Chicago-based Lincoln Clean Energy is drafting plans for its 20,000-acre Plum Creek Wind Project near Winside. Philip Moore, vice president of development with Lincoln Clean Energy, said that construction on the project may commence sometime in the summer 2019. The turbines should be up and running by 2020. Read the entire article here.

Pixabay Photo

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

MORE CORPORATE PROCUREMENT NEWS
Exxon Seeks Wind, Solar Power Delivery in Texas, Bloomberg
Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, is seeking at least 100 megawatts and would consider proposals for more than 250 megawatts. “I have never seen an oil and gas company doing a corporate PPA anywhere near that size,” said Kyle Harrison, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg NEF, referring to the power-purchase agreements used to buy electricity. “If you’re seeing the biggest oil and gas companies going out and making investments in clean energy, it shows that renewables are cost-competitive. This can be a way for them to show a commitment to sustainability without suffering economically.”

American Wind Energy Association Report – First quarter highlights: We’re about to build a Texas-sized amount of wind power

By Greg Alvarez, head editor and writer for Into the Wind, the AWEA Blog

American wind power is in the midst of a Texas-sized boom to start 2017. The industry just posted its best first quarter in eight years, and put up a new turbine every two hours and 24 minutes over the year’s first three months. So what top trends are emerging?
Continue reading.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

AWEA’s Updated Nebraska Wind Energy Fact Sheet:

  • Nebraska is one of the top states in the country for potential wind energy generation, with a technical potential of approximately 880,000 megawatts (MW) according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  • Nebraska now has 1,328 MW of installed wind power.
  • State rank for installed wind capacity: 17th
  • Number of wind turbines: 741
  • Wind projects online: 21 (Projects over 10 MW: 14)
  • Direct and indirect jobs supported: 3,001 to 4,000
  • Total capital investment: $1.7 billion
  • Annual land lease payments: $1-5 million
    Nebraska Wind Energy Fact Sheet, American Wind Energy Association

BENEFITS TO RURAL COMMUNITIES

JOBS & LOCAL WIND TECH TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
What are wind techs, why are they so much in demand, and how do you become one?

Nebraska Community Colleges’ Training Programs

Nebraska Community College Gap Assistance Program
Nebraska’s Community College Gap Assistance Program offers financial aid to community college students taking non-credit courses that could lead to jobs in high-need fields. Eligible fields include renewable energy. 

Qualifying applicants are low-income students who would not be eligible for federal financial aid because, although they’re enrolled in college, they are not enrolled in courses for credit that lead directly to a degree.

The program, which launched July 1, 2016, receives 9 percent of the available Nebraska Lottery funds set aside for education every year. This equates to about $1.4 million for FY 2016-17. Gap Program funds will be distributed to the state’s community colleges, which will recruit and select eligible low-income students in identified high-need fields to receive grants.

Eligible students must have a family income at or below 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Student grants can be used for tuition, direct training costs, required books and equipment, and fees, including those for industry testing services and background check services.

Additional Program Information

Community College Gap Assistance Program Contacts

Central Community College: Ronald Kluck: 402-562-1253 rkluck@cccneb.edu
Metropolitan Community College: Scott Broady: 402-738-4526 sbroady@mccneb.edu
Mid-Plains Community College: Angela Raby: 308-535-3678 rabya@mpcc.edu
Southeast Community College: Amy Chesley: 402-437-2711 achesley@southeast.edu
Western Nebraska Community College: Doug Mader: 308-630-6556 madder@wncc.net