On Tuesday, the Saline County Board cleared the way for the construction of a wind farm, approving a special permit for the construction of 37 wind turbines that will generate 74 megawatts of power on a farm northeast of Milligan.
Meanwhile, wind power development in Lancaster County has been stifled by restrictive noise limits on the turbines that were designed to, and have been successful in, preventing their placement and use of turbines in the county. Click to continue reading.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Cherry County Commission votes against permit for wind farm According to the KNOP news story, the Bluestem Sandhills wind project (30 turbines over several thousand acres) would add $108 million to Cherry County’s tax base. This and other new renewable energy projects in Nebraska would be a major economic boost to our state, especially at a time when Midwest rural economies continue to decline, as reported recently by the Omaha World-Herald:
Nebraska’s renewable energy development translates into an increase in local job opportunities & economic well being for our communities: The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently published the US Wind Industry Second Quarter 2016 Market Report,revealing continuing strong growth in the industry. During the second quarter, a total of 169 wind turbines were installed over four states, with Texas installing 200 MW, followed by Kansas with 72 MW, Nebraska with 36 MW, and one turbine installed in Iowa.
”There’s never been a better time to buy American wind energy,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. Smart utilities and other customers are locking in prices at record lows by starting construction this year to qualify for the full-value Production Tax Credit (PTC). The industry is thriving thanks to policy stability, and we appreciate support from champions in Congress for a multi-year extension of the PTC. Wind power supports 88,000 well-paying jobs, and the wind turbine technician is the fastest growing profession in the U.S.”
Click here to download the non-member version of the report.
Published by The Columbus Telegram / The Banner-Press
Wind energy development in Nebraska is a targeted economic development goal for our state. In the last five years this type of development brought over $1.3 billion and 950 jobs to Nebraska. In 2014 the legislature commissioned a study by the Brattle Group to identify the challenges involved in turning the state’s wealth of wind into monetary gains for our citizens. LB 824 incorporates the regulatory reduction recommendations brought forth by the Brattle study with the hope of removing unnecessary regulatory hoops that neither protect Nebraskans nor create Nebraska economic development.
As the introducer of LB 824, I want to highlight some key components of the bill and clarify some points that may be unclear because of the complexity of the subject matter. A Question and Answer format would seem to provide a good framework to accomplish this goal. Continue reading.
A Creston Wind Farm that will generate enough electricity for about 1,300 homes is scheduled to open next month. Photo Credit: Patrick Murphy
By Patrick Murphy, Norfolk Daily News
Creston Ridge Wind Farm is expected to be operational the second week of December . . . Bluestem Energy Solutions of Omaha is constructing and will maintain the wind farm and sell the electricity generated to Loup Power District . . . “The industry is maturing to the point that where groups like Loup Public Power can do some of their own renewable energy projects with commercially available wind turbines, which is a great opportunity,” [Adam] Herink [vice president of Bluestem] said.
Project Manager Alicia Knapp points to where one of 200 wind turbines will be located. Photo by Fred Knapp, NET News
Excerpt: Over the next year, the company Knapp works for – Berkshire Hathaway Energy or BHE Renewables – will upgrade roads and install 200 wind turbines spread over 54,000 acres of farm and pasture land here in Holt County, which stretches from the Sandhills to the Niobrara River . . . The company says it will pay landowners lease payments totaling $2.5 million a year, and there will be about $2 million a year in tax payments to divide between the schools, the county, fire districts and townships.
On Monday, President Barack Obama released the final version of the Clean Power Plan, designed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants. The plan would increase regulations to limit the amount of carbon power plants can emit. Specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan calls for the United States to cut its C02 emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, stricter than the 30 percent in last year’s version.
Democrats laud the plan as a boon for the environment, while Republicans decry it as expensive, anti-industry and harmful to jobs and the economy. In Nebraska, Gov. Pete Ricketts has come out against it, saying he’s concerned it would be a burden and costly to residents.