Library from Nebraska
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While LB1048 represents a comprehensive step forward in developing Nebraska's wind energy potential, which was unanimously approved by state lawmakers and has now advanced to select file, Dubas said there's "still much to do" when it comes to tapping into Nebraska's wind energy potential.
Broken Bow and Custer County residents can learn about route options for a Nebraska Public Power District transmission line to link a current substation to a wind farm expected to go into operation in 2012.
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.
The Nebraska Power Association Board of Directors has released the results of a yearlong, statewide study that determined various cost and operational impacts of adding large amounts of wind-powered generation to the state's electric power grid.
Wind currents and the harvesting of those turbulent Nebraska breezes are hot topics in this state. Wind may be one of the best rediscovered assets Nebraskans have, and there are a lot of people interested in trying to put some of those assets into their pockets.
A wind-energy advocate is facing resistance form his west Omaha neighbors over a plan to install a turbine in his backyard. ..."He was going to put one up first, then I was going to put one up second, because we have the blessing of the Omaha Public Power District," Walker said. But he lacked the approval of his Eagle Run neighbors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People listening to policymakers debate the nation's energy future might think: Just erect a lot of wind turbines, and problem solved. Or install a bunch of solar panels, and let the sun do the work. But renewable energy alternatives present costs and challenges just like traditional energy sources - coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydropower.
Two 197-foot tall ‘meteorological towers' erected recently on the Nebraska-South Dakota border northwest of Chadron could be the harbingers of a wind energy boom for Dawes County, but one landowner involved with the development says not to expect to see big turbines going up anytime soon. "One thing they told us-'If you are in a hurry, forget it," Dawes County Zoning Commissioner Ed Perrine said at a zoning meeting last week. "It can take up to five years after they set a met tower (before a wind generating installation is complete)."