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New law ends Nebraska public wind energy monopoly

Governor Dave Heineman has signed into law a bill he says will lift Nebraska into the major leagues of wind power among US states by ending a public monopoly over its generation. "This legislation marks the beginning of accelerated wind energy development in Nebraska," says Heineman, with the law to take effect in mid-July.

Governor Dave Heineman has signed into law a bill he says will lift Nebraska into the major leagues of wind power among US states by ending a public monopoly over its generation.

"This legislation marks the beginning of accelerated wind energy development in Nebraska," says Heineman, with the law to take effect in mid-July.

"Wind energy development will foster growth of the new clean energy economy, and provide meaningful employment and educational opportunities for Nebraskans," he adds.

Nebraska in the 1940s became the only US public power state when private utilities were forced to relinquish control over their operations. The two public electric companies today are Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD).

As public utilities, they do not qualify for federal fiscal incentives that have encouraged aggressive development of wind power in neighboring Colorado and Iowa, and in other states.

Despite being ranked fourth among states in wind energy resource by the US federal government, Nebraska is a dismal 24th in installed capacity with 152 megawatts. Heineman said he aims to have Nebraska in the top 10 within a decade.

The new law is designed to promote... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Governor Dave Heineman has signed into law a bill he says will lift Nebraska into the major leagues of wind power among US states by ending a public monopoly over its generation.

"This legislation marks the beginning of accelerated wind energy development in Nebraska," says Heineman, with the law to take effect in mid-July.

"Wind energy development will foster growth of the new clean energy economy, and provide meaningful employment and educational opportunities for Nebraskans," he adds.

Nebraska in the 1940s became the only US public power state when private utilities were forced to relinquish control over their operations. The two public electric companies today are Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD).

As public utilities, they do not qualify for federal fiscal incentives that have encouraged aggressive development of wind power in neighboring Colorado and Iowa, and in other states.

Despite being ranked fourth among states in wind energy resource by the US federal government, Nebraska is a dismal 24th in installed capacity with 152 megawatts. Heineman said he aims to have Nebraska in the top 10 within a decade.

The new law is designed to promote development, ownership and operation of wind farms for energy export. To do this, the law requires wind farm developers and operators to finance construction costs of new transmission lines. Heineman believes this will protect consumers from a future spike in electric rates.

Heineman says he opposes mandates to promote renewable energy use which have been adopted by 31 other states. NPPD and OPPD have voluntarily agreed to generate 10% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. The state now obtains slightly more than 1% of its power from wind.


Source: http://www.rechargenews.com...

APR 13 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/25635-new-law-ends-nebraska-public-wind-energy-monopoly
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