Adam Herink, a vice president at Bluestem Energy Solutions, says they focus on smaller projects that connect renewable energy at the point of consumption.
“We have a free fuel source, our projects do not have a fuel cost,” Herink says. “Because we do not have a fuel cost, we are able to lock into our prices for up to 25 years.”
The Beatrice City Council voted this week to hire Bluestem to study the potential for wind and solar projects that could directly connect with the town’s electric distribution system. There would be no initial cost for the city to see the development that might include three wind turbines.
“We may be back here with pricing anywhere from six to nine months, it could take up to a year,” Herink says. “We have to do certain resource studies, study the wind, study the sun, different things like that. Once we get to that point, it’ll move fairly quickly. Then we’re just ordering materials and equipment. We could have a project up and going in a year and a half, two years at the most.”
Beatrice City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says they requested renewable energy proposals from eight different companies.
“Of all of them, Bluestem was the only one that met our requirements and desires to have them be the one who own, operate and manage the system,” Tempelmeyer says. “Most of the other ones wanted us to own it or us to operate it or us to own it after 20 years, something along those lines.”
Under terms of Beatrice’s wholesale power contract with Nebraska Public Power District, the city can obtain a certain percentage of its power from renewable resources. That is also part of the negotiations on a new wholesale power contract.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice