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.
NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a massive solar project in northeastern Nebraska that, if built, would be the largest in the Midwest and among the largest in the country. The 423 megawatt project is in the early stages of development and still hinges on how much it will cost to connect to the regional transmission grid. “We’re in a holding pattern until we get clarification from the Southwest Power Pool,” said Phil Clement, NextEra’s project director in Nebraska. “We need to know if it’s viable.” Sean Gallagher, vice president for state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the project could be a sign of things to come in the region, which is increasingly attractive for large solar projects. Continue reading here.
NextEra: solar and wind plus batteries will be “massively disruptive” to conventional generation, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine. NextEra CEO Jim Robo’s exact math is that even after the federal tax credits expire, wind will be 2 – 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, large-scale solar will be 2.5 – 3 cents, and storage will add .5 – 1 cent. This would put these resources slightly below the current cost of natural gas-fired generation, without the uncertainty around fuel prices that is inherent to gas.
Nebraska is in the midst of a wind energy boom–it’s one of seven states on track to double
its installed wind capacity in the coming years. Like many rural communities across the U.S., this has brought wide-ranging benefits to the state.
“Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago,” the Omaha World-Herald reported. “As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has saved family farms across a wide swath of the heartland. Read more here.