Legislators look to boost state's wind energy production

While the state of Nebraska ranks fourth in the nation for wind energy potential, it is ranked 22nd in the nation for actual wind-energy production, but state lawmakers are working to change that.
A bill (LB 1048) is designed to lure wind-energy companies to the state. Senator Ken Schilz of Ogallala says the bill is a major turning point in Nebraska. Schilz says rural parts of the state stand to benefit the most from this bill as wind developers are already looking at parts of the panhandle for development.
He says the bill would create some revenue for the counties and communities in which developers build, but it will also bring in some money on the state level. Senator Schilz says the Natural Resources Committee added something to this bill that will be a first for Nebraska.
He says the wind-energy developers would be the ones paying that tax, thus helping to reduce the tax burden on Nebraska property owners – an amendment he says many of the potential developers support.
Schilz says if this bill passes, which he thinks it will, there may be some talk in the future to spread around some of the income made from this so-called “name plate capacity tax.” As the bill is written, that money would stay in the counties and communities where the developer is located.
Thanks to Joshua Mackey, KOGA, Ogallala