Environmental Studies Program

 

Date of this Version

Fall 12-2010

Abstract

Nebraska is currently ranked 4th in the nation for wind energy potential, but ranks low in actual wind power production. The lack of wind energy production could be the result of Nebraska’s unique public power districts that have eminent domain of distribution and retail sales of electricity in the State. Public Power districts are prohibited from receiving benefits of state and federal tax incentives for the development of wind farms, however some Nebraska power districts still pursue wind energy as a renewable source of energy.

Recent legislation changes, including the passing of laws LB629 and LB1048, have provided the State of Nebraska with the ability to remove certain barriers of tax restrictions and aid in the development of wind farms throughout the State. Changes in Nebraska legislation have allowed private utilities, in and out of the State, the ability to invest in wind energy and incorporate into Nebraska’s energy portfolio. Currently, certain public power districts in Nebraska have set a goal of achieving 10 percent of their energy supply from renewable resources by 2020.

Although it is too early to evaluate the impact of changes in Nebraska’s legislation regarding wind energy in the State, the possibilities seem to favor the State public power districts of reaching their renewable energy goal