A new wind power analysis has found it would cost Nebraska utilities as much as $4 billion to upgrade the state’s electricity transmission system to support the export of wind-generated power to other states.
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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.
Nebraska could be on the verge of what some people say is the biggest land grab since the Homestead days, when early settlers staked their claims to 160 acres. But this time, speculators are after thousand of acres of land, not hundreds. And they don't want the land for growing crops. They want to use it to harvest wind energy. "Nebraska has not seen this kind of gold rush mentality," said John Hansen, president of the Lincoln-based Nebraska Farmers Union. "Nebraska is sitting on a ton of wind capacity."