Conference co-chair and Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen says they’ve come up with a framework of successful ideas to enhance wind energy development.
“It identified the pinch points that keep us from moving forward and in the ‘Nebraska Nice’ collaborative way, we try figure out how to deal with that and come up with a remedy that works,” Hansen says. “We really have taken away a lot of the barriers to development.”
He says Nebraska’s investment in wind projects is continuing to see healthy growth.
“Five years ago, we had 489 megawatts of wind energy online,” he says. “Today, we have 1,451 megawatts of wind, so we have almost 1,000 megawatts more in five years.”
Hansen says they expect to see another 700 megawatts of wind energy power come online next year. He says they’ve found a good balance between public and private wind power.
“We’ve tried to get to a more level playing field so that we’re protecting public power but we don’t have excessive regulations,” Hansen says. “We’ve updated what it takes to put in an application so we’ve gone through that regulatory remedy process.”
The conference runs through tomorrow and features speakers, workshops and exhibitors.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton