Articles from Nebraska
Facebook’s sprawling Papillion data center project has breathed new life into a dormant wind development project in northeast Nebraska.
The Sandhills are one of the world’s largest contiguous grasslands and the largest stabilized sand dune region. They are 11-percent groundwater derived wetlands. They provide crucial habitat to migratory birds. The Sandhills remain pristine and unaltered. They are unique and truly Nebraska’s finest natural resource. Most residents of the Sandhills, as well as many throughout the state and from other states feel this very fragile, pristine ecoregion is entirely unsuitable for such an industrial project and that future wind energy development will exponentially compound the damage.
Legislative Bill 504 would put a temporary moratorium on wind energy development in the Nebraska Sand Hills. Members of the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee should bring it out of committee and issue a position statement opposing the NPPD R-Project.
As wind energy has grown in Nebraska, so has a fervent resistance from mostly rural landowners and lawmakers who view the turbines as noisy, heavily subsidized eyesores that lead to lower property values. ..."You're taking a pristine area, and you're going to shred it for the sole purposes of wind energy," said Brewer, who introduced a bill last year to impose a two-year moratorium on wind energy farms in the Sandhills
Many industries in the U.S. receive some kind of government subsidy, but the wind energy industry is 100 percent reliant on federal subsidy known as the production tax credit. Wind projects don’t farm the wind, they farm tax avoidance credits as confirmed by Warren Buffet who admitted, “That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” Under the current policy, the industry is forecasted to reap $24 billion in subsidies between 2016 and 2020 or electricity production subsidies — nearly double the subsidies planned for any other renewable option. None of these figures include the significant benefits granted the industry in the form of state production tax credits, lower local taxes, and ratepayer-funded transmission. Our country is over $20 trillion in debt. Why are we paying this kind of money for an intermittent source of electricity that only makes power about 30% of the time?
PIERCE — After making a number of changes to proposed wind turbine zoning regulations for Pierce County, the County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a motion recommending those regulations be approved by the Pierce County Board of Commissioners.
The construction of a larger 30 megawatt capacity wind project in the same general area northwest of Kimball where a decommissioned wind project has existed in the past will triple the amount of power generated.
In between a morning briefing marked by vehement anti-wind sentiment and an afternoon hearing for a study on public power ordered by the Nebraska Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee, opponents on the Capitol steps protested wind farms and a 225-mile electric transmission project planned to traverse the Sand Hills.
Committee member Bruce Bostelman of Brainard said he had personally fought the battle three years and had lived a lot their stories. "We need to be smart about it. If we're going to use renewables (energy), fine. Let's do them in the right place, at the right time, with input from the people who live there," he said.
Much of the discussion by commission members centered around set-backs, how far away wind towers would be set back from existing buildings and houses. There was also discussion about the costs of decommissioning the towers, how the costs to remove them would be covered and by whom, should the towers be abandoned 15-20 years in the future.
The collusion between wind energy and government disgusts me. If the Federal Production Tax Credit for wind energy didn’t exist, you would not see another industrial wind energy turbine built. As Warren Buffet said, “….on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit."
Marvin said the new measurement for setback distances would be measured from the center of the base of the turbine instead of the center of the hub. The commission targeted change in the setback distance. Currently, turbines must be 2,000 feet from the residence of a non-participating landowner. The new regulations require a 2,700 ft. distance.
Monday’s nearly 3½ hour public hearing on zoning regulations nearly wrapped up without much comment on the wind turbines.
LAWRENCE — A wind power project with up to 130 turbines generating enough electricity to power 110,000 U.S. homes could be in store for northwest Nuckolls County.
NextEra Energy, owner of the Steele Flats wind farm in southern Nebraska, has suffered at least four wind turbine calamities in recent weeks, including broken blades, a fire and a collapse.
News reports indicate wind turbines collapse regularly in the U.S. and elsewhere. One county in eastern Michigan had two topple in one week last year. ...Ethan Thorp, 27, of Steele City, went out to see the downed wind turbine near Diller ...he's grateful the tower and turbine came down in the cornfield during the early morning hours. "You’d hate to be out there spraying" in the field if a turbine collapsed.
STANTON — The people who gathered Tuesday night at the Stanton County fairgrounds were there to listen — or to voice their opinions — just like the Stanton County Commissioners asked.
BEATRICE – One of the wind turbine towers in the Steele Flats Wind Farm near Diller, has collapsed. The tower is a half-mile west of Nebraska Highway 103 and one mile north of Nebraska Highway 8. The tower is part of the $138 million wind farm, developed by Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources, which includes 32 wind turbines in southeast Jefferson County and 12 more in southwest Gage County.
Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon told a legislative committee on Wednesday that disputes about wind energy development in the Sandhills are "tearing communities apart," dividing neighbors and families and even spawning death threats. ...The bill was endorsed by representatives of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy and sparked testimony from a parade of supporters who journeyed to Lincoln from the Sandhills for the morning hearing.
A controversial proposal for a wind farm in Nebraska’s scenic Sand Hills was shot down by the Cherry County Board on Monday. ...Johnson said that the backers of the wind farm must now decide how to proceed.