Zoning/Planning and Nebraska
DeKalb told the county board at its Thursday staff meeting that wind developers are eyeing the county because of its power transmission infrastructure and not because it has the most desirable wind potential. He said the county is close to large population centers and served by major utilities.
The council frowned on putting the micro and small wind turbines on standard-sized housing lots.
"I can tell you if someone in my subdivision put one right up next to me, I would not be happy, neither would probably my neighbors," said Council President Peg Gilbert.
She equated the wind turbine issue to satellite dishes back in the days when they were new technology and very large.
New Grand Island wind energy regulations did not breeze through city council approval Tuesday night.
Instead, the council gave first-round approval for the new regulations and postponed further action for at least another two weeks.
"I want more input on it," said Councilman John Gericke, who voted against taking final action on the proposal Tuesday night.
Wind-powered electricity generation will now be allowed in Buffalo County with a special-use permit.
The Buffalo County Board of Supervisors approved amendments to the county's zoning regulations in a regular meeting Tuesday morning to allow wind turbines in agricultural and ag-residential zoning after obtaining the permit.
Stahr said counties' interest in regulating wind power picked up after two events last spring.
First, the state's first commercially developed wind project, Elkhorn Ridge near Bloomfield in northeast Nebraska, went online in March.
Second, the state Legislature passed a bill in May enabling net metering, which allows residents who generate their own power to sell the excess back to public utilities.
Larry Walth thought he was seeing green when he put up a small wind turbine in his backyard on the edge of Wishek's city limits. ...The Walths put up the 39-foot tower with a 2.6-kilowatt turbine motor in June.
Now, because of failure to conform to city zoning codes, he's been told to take it down by Friday, or face possible fines of up to $500 a day.
Wind energy is making it's way across the country and throughout Nebraska. Now, there's a good chance it will be coming to Hamilton County.
While there aren't any large wind farms in the area to date, there are some individuals in the area looking to make use of the renewable energy resource.
The Nebraska Public Power District has received 18 proposals to build wind farms in central and northeast Nebraska.
Nine developers submitted the proposals in time for Wednesday's deadline.
At a time when renewable energy is all the rage, one of the windiest states in the nation seems unlikely to spur new projects because of a tight budget with little wiggle room. ...And Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue, who leads the legislative committee that sets tax policy, said while wind energy incentives and the like are important, "I don't think we're going to be able to do much this year."
Custer County officials hope to have regulations in place by May that will govern the development of wind generation facilities in the county.
The county's planning commission will have its first meeting regarding the topic Wednesday, Jan. 14.
"We're just getting started," said the county's zoning administrator, Larry Gibbons.
Two conditional use permits regarding meteorological towers were unanimously approved by the Otoe County Planning Commission Thursday, Oct. 16, at Syracuse.
Both will be forwarded to the Otoe County Commissioners for their approval.
One tower will be near County Road L and County Road 10 as requested by the Kenneth Hartman trust. The other tower will be south of County Road P and near County Road 18 as requested by Russel and Keith Moss.
Seven proposals for wind-powered generation projects are in the initial stages of review by the Nebraska Public Power District.
In mid-July, NPPD invited developers interested in building and operating more wind-powered generation in Nebraska to submit proposals by Aug. 20.
NPPD said it will evaluate the projects and make a recommendation to its board of directors. The projects could add 100 megawatts of wind power to the utility's existing nuclear, coal, wind, water, diesel and natural gas facilities.
It will be November before a final decision is made, but at least two companies have indicated an interest in building a transmission line that would pass near Hays.
One of those companies - ITC Great Plains - officially is on record that it would like to build the line, which would run from Spearville to the Knoll substation just northwest of Hays and then to Axtell, Neb., just south of Kearney.
While it's significant that the line would come close to Hays, it's also the first line that a relatively new state agency - on its own accord - has proposed building if no private company steps forward.
Lack of available replacement parts, significant maintenance issues as the units aged, and the opportunity to demonstrate new technology, were the prime reasons for the decision to retire the units, NPPD said in a news release.
It's all about community support.
A proposed 100-megawatt, 48-turbine wind farm in northwest Holt County wouldn't stand a chance of success without it, said Mike Donahue, executive vice president of Midwest Wind Energy of Chicago.
CAMBRIA, Wis. -- With empty storefronts on the main drag and corn stubble stretching for miles in the surrounding hills, this fading farm town seems like a natural stop for the ethanol express.
Not to John Mueller, though. The 54-year-old stay-at-home dad has led a dogged battle to prevent a corn mill from building an ethanol plant up the hill from the village school. Concerned about air pollution, the water supply and the mill's environmental track record, Mr. Mueller and his group, Cambrians for Thoughtful Development, have blitzed the village's 800 residents with fliers, packed public meetings and set up a sophisticated Web site.
The mill has fought back with its own publicity campaign and local corn farmers have taken to the streets in tractors to show support. Now, as the mill races to build the $70 million plant, the matter is headed to the federal courthouse in Madison, 40 miles southwest.
A company specializing in renewable energy plans to build a wind farm in northcentral Nebraska that would be the state's largest wind power operation.
Mike Donahue, executive vice president of Midwest Wind Energy LLC, confirmed Friday that a 100 megawatt wind farm is in the works for Holt County. The project would cost $160 million.
Proponents call it the biggest new idea in wind energy in Nebraska in decades: wind turbines dotting the hills, harnessing wind for the financial benefit of members of a local community.
A plan in front of a legislative committee would offer a sales tax exemption for community-based energy development groups — co-ops of Nebraska residents, tribal councils and even school districts could qualify.
The exemption would apply to the cost of materials used to manufacture, install, construct, repair or replace wind turbines that convert wind to usable energy.
It’s “a good investment in Nebraska’s rural communities,” said state Sen. Don Preister of Bellevue, who introduced the bill (LB648). The Legislature’s Revenue Committee held a public hearing on Thursday.
But putting up wind turbines and generating electricity from wind power is not a simple solution. There are a number of factors to consider when installing turbines, and one of the most important factors is something called transmission.