Articles filed under General from Nebraska

Plan links wind power to rural economic development

Proponents call it the biggest new idea in wind energy in Nebraska in decades: wind turbines dotting the hills, harnessing wind for the financial benefit of members of a local community. A plan in front of a legislative committee would offer a sales tax exemption for community-based energy development groups — co-ops of Nebraska residents, tribal councils and even school districts could qualify. The exemption would apply to the cost of materials used to manufacture, install, construct, repair or replace wind turbines that convert wind to usable energy. It’s “a good investment in Nebraska’s rural communities,” said state Sen. Don Preister of Bellevue, who introduced the bill (LB648). The Legislature’s Revenue Committee held a public hearing on Thursday.
9 Feb 2007

Public utilities pose roadblock to wind energy, advocate says

A national wind-energy advocate blasted Nebraska for not doing more to turn its stiff breezes into power, placing much of the blame on Nebraska’s dominant electric utility. While adjoining states such as Iowa and Colorado have hundreds of wind turbines, and the policies in place to encourage more, Nebraska has less than 50 and should not “bury it’s head in the sand, or the coalfields, for that matter,” Dan McGuire told members of the Nebraska Farmers Union gathered in Grand Island for an annual convention. Nebraska ranks sixth among all states for wind generated, McGuire said, “but the Cornhusker state is lagging way behind other states,” in the development of wind farms, he said.
9 Dec 2006

Ropin' the wind

Greenblatt noted that while wind power could produce impressive amounts of peak energy during strong gusts, the biggest problem was wind power’s intermittency. The problem could be addressed by a process called compressed air energy storage, where excess energy could be used to pump compressed air into underground storage facilities that could include abandoned mines. When the wind was not blowing, he said, the compressed air could be tapped and combined with the burning of natural gas to create high-efficiency electrical generators approximating the efficiency levels of coal-fueled power plants.
10 Nov 2006

Credits help Utilities go green

Wind farms in Kansas, Nebraska and California will play a role in Colorado Springs Utilities’ compliance with a voter-approved mandate on renewable energy. But homes and businesses in Colorado Springs won’t be getting electricity produced by harnessing wind in those places. Instead, renewable energy credits will be logged into Colorado Springs Utilities’ books.
23 Sep 2006

Farmers Like Payout, but Critics of Wind Power Point to Costs

The turbines do bother some folks, including Glenn R. Schleede, a retired power company executive from Round Hill, Va., who said the wind power industry puts out “absolute baloney” to justify its existence. “I’m tired of subsidizing Warren Buffett companies,” Schleede said, referring to federal tax subsidies that go to MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., a division of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that is headed by Buffett. Those are MidAmerican’s turbines in the fields around Schaller. Schleede’s criticisms, mostly in academic-style papers he writes, concentrate on the economics of wind power and what he called “false claims about how this is good for an energy system.” “In fact, these things, because they’re intermittent and volatile and unpredictable, they don’t really add a lot of capacity to an electric grid,” he said. “When you see these things advertised, they talk about how many megawatts of capacity, the number of homes served and all that garbage. “I would maintain that they don’t serve any homes.”
4 Sep 2006

Wind power clean but problematic

"The two wind turbines we bought are supposed to last 20 to 25 years," Stradley said. "But, in order to last that long, we should have minor problems, and those weren't minor." LES relies on a coal power plant in Wheatland, Wyo., and two power plants near North Platte for most of its electricity. Wind turbines only work if there is wind, he said - they can't generate electricity when the wind is still.
19 Jun 2006
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