Library from Nebraska

Vote on power-line plan defended

Twice previously, the current chairman of the Nebraska Power Review Board recused himself from voting because of a potential conflict of interest: His employer was working for a utility seeking board approval of a project. But this month, Chairman Michael Siedschlag, a vice president with HDR Engineering, voted in favor of a controversial high-voltage transmission line proposed by the Nebraska Public Power District. The project was approved on a 3-2 vote.
26 May 2010

Wind debate back before council

If you have thoughts for or against wind turbines being allowed in Grand Island neighborhoods, now is the time to speak up. "I'm not sure it will go over in the neighborhoods," said Grand Island City Councilman Mitch Nickerson at a council meeting two weeks ago. He and Councilman John Gericke sought a delay on a final vote on new wind energy regulations to give time for residents to comment on the new policy.
22 May 2010

Neb. wind power won't be a breeze

Today's Nebraska Power Review Board hearing in Lincoln on a proposed Axtell-Kansas transmission line may signal tough sledding ahead for wind-power development in Nebraska and improvements to the grid. Opponents of the Nebraska Public Power District-proposed project don't want 125- to 150-foot-tall power poles cutting through their farmland and pastures.
19 May 2010

Controversial power line OK'd

On a 3-2 vote, the Nebraska Power Review Board late Friday approved construction of a controversial, high-voltage transmission line from Axtell, Neb., southward to the Kansas state line. Local residents had complained that the $83 million project would benefit Kansas mostly, and wasn't needed by the State of Nebraska.
15 May 2010

Opponents air their grievances

In what might signal some tough sledding ahead for wind-power development in Nebraska, grievances will be presented Friday related to construction of a high-voltage power-transmission line planned in south-central Nebraska. Opponents to the project from Axtell, Neb., to the Kansas border don't want 125- to 150-foot-tall power poles cutting through their farmland, particularly since they believe that the main beneficiary of the $87 million project is a giant wind farm in Kansas.
14 May 2010

Council slows wind energy regulations

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.
12 May 2010

Buffalo Co. now has wind-power regulations

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.
14 Apr 2010

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.
13 Apr 2010

Nebraska lawmakers pass wind-energy measure

Nebraskans may begin seeing turbines on the skyline within 12 to 18 months as private companies begin using a new state law Gov. Dave Heineman will sign on Monday. ...Senators gave final approval Friday to the bill (LB1048) intended to attract wind-energy companies that would export energy from the state.
10 Apr 2010

Neb. wind farm bill advances

Nebraska lawmakers have given second-round approval to changes designed to lure wind-energy companies that would export the energy from the state. The bill (LB1048) would allow the Nebraska Power Review Board to approve wind-energy operations designed to export energy.
6 Apr 2010

Study: Wind power would drive up costs

A key finding revealed that in addition to the infrastructure and operating costs for wind turbines and equipment and transmission facilities, there is an extra 10 percent cost for wind energy to Nebraska utilities - or $5.41 a megawatt-hour - to integrate wind generation into the generation mix. This cost was evaluated at the 10 percent wind generation level and takes into consideration the cost of using other generation facilities to help balance wind power's variability.
8 Mar 2010

Company decides against expanding to Grand Island

It has been somewhat of a secret in Grand Island for sometime. And that secret involved the possibility of about 300 new jobs coming to that area. But Friday we learned those jobs will not be coming. It was called Project Amada. About 2 years ago a wind energy company expressed interest in expanding in Grand Island. Then 6 months ago, the area's economic development corporation learned the company decided not to expand.
15 Jan 2010

Nebraska legislators predict wind power surge

Look south from Interstate 80 in Nebraska's Panhandle and you will see a nearly endless string of wind turbines on the horizon. But none of the nearly 340 bright-white towers is in Nebraska; they're all across the border on the scrubby, high plains of Colorado. The sight of multimillion-dollar wind farms in adjacent states - but not in Nebraska - has been a constant irritant for many lawmakers and their constituents.
30 Dec 2009

Wind-power incentives remain popular in Nebraska

Concerns about cost and preserving the strength of the state's public power system could limit any new wind-power incentives. In a survey, many senators appeared reluctant to do anything that might jeopardize the state's relatively low electricity rates and some expressed doubts about whether Nebraska's electricity grid is ready to deliver wind power from rural areas, where it would be generated, to urban areas, where the demand is higher.
30 Dec 2009

With development up, area counties add wind power regulations

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.
27 Dec 2009
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