Some states require utilities to produce a certain percentage of electricity from renewable resources like wind, solar, hydropower, or methane. While clean energy is desirable, government mandates can drive up customer’s electric rates and monthly bills.
But more than a dozen states—including Nebraska, Florida, Wyoming, Idaho, and Georgia—have chosen a different approach. These states have concluded that power professionals should make decisions about which type of generators are built.
We call that local control — Nebraskans making decisions that benefit Nebraskans. Nebraska Public Power District is working to achieve our goal that 10% of our energy supply will come from renewable energy sources by 2020.
There is no federal requirement that renewable electricity account for a set portion of the nation’s electricity. We think Congress is wise to let states make their own decisions about which types of electric generators should be built.
Nebraska’s publicly owned utilities are building renewable energy projects or buying renewable electricity from companies that build those facilities.
Nebraska Public Power District has participated in bringing these renewable energy projects online:
- Elkhorn Ridge Wind Farm, an 80 MW project located in northeastern Nebraska
- Ainsworth Wind Farm, a 60 megawatt (MW) facility located in Ainsworth, Nebraska
- Springview II, a 3-megawatt project located in the north-central part of the state
- Laredo Ridge, an 80 MW windfarm located in east-central Nebraska
- NPPD installed a 45 kW solar system at its Norfolk Operations Center
Nebraska’s utilities also have contracts to buy more than 100 MW of hydropower from federal agencies and other utilities, which further “greens” the state’s electricity supply.
In 2011 and 2012, several more renewable energy projects are scheduled to begin construction or begin generating electricity. These near-term projects include:
- Crofton Hills Wind Farm, a 40-megawatt project located in the northeastern corner of the state
- Broken Bow Wind, an 80-MW project located in central Nebraska