Companies requiring massive amounts of electricity would get a break under a bill moving forward in the legislature.
Lawmakers are poised to give a big business a big break on electricity under LB 1043 sponsored by Senator Chris Langemeier of Schuyler, who says Nebraska is always looking for ways to attract business to the state.
“Electric rates are always one that’s in a high priority and we think it will help us in recruiting companies,” according to Langemeier.
It could help in the high-stakes recruiting battle between states trying to land a $1.2 billion data center, an economic development effort now known only by the tag Project Edge. The company building the center is said to be considering Kearney.
Langemeier would not disclose whether his bill is aimed at a particular company, only stating that it would benefit data centers, because they use a high amount of electricity. The bill would allow Nebraska’s public utilities to provide below-market electric rates to a qualifying company for five years. Langemeier explains the state normally operates well below its electricity capacity of 7,800 megawatts daily. It can either sell the excess electricity on the open market or use it as an economic development incentive.
This effort dovetails with other efforts to lure the data center to Nebraska. A separate bill, LB 1118, would provide property tax breaks for large data centers locating to the state. To qualify, the data center would have to invest a minimum of $300 million and employ at least 30 workers.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]