Nebraska Wind Farms - Gaining Momentum - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Nebraska Wind Farms - Gaining Momentum

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The state of Nebraska is sitting on a goldmine of wind energy, but currently the state lags far behind its neighbors.

However, wind-farms are popping up much quicker than ever before. This past year the state had 459 mega-watts of wind energy on its system.

John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, said, "It makes sense, it's good for our economy, it's good for our environment."

Hansen has been at the forefront of promoting wind energy. "We need to be sending our money to rural Nebraska instead of owners of coal mines in Wyoming," he said.

Hansen said the state is missing out on a huge economic opportunity. He commends Omaha an Lincoln for stepping up. Omaha Public Power will soon have 30 percent of its energy through wind resources and Lincoln will get 22 percent, but NPPD is only around 9 percent.

"This is by far the most wind we have built in a two, three, or four year period in our history," he said. "So by the time we get done with a few more projects we'll have almost tripled our wind resources so we're going through a big expansion phase now."

Governor Heineman says the need for more wind energy is urgent.

He said "I'm trying to encourage everybody; we've got to do more. Public power needs to do more."

However, NPPD officials recently told NTV News, wind generation isn't a top priority. 

Hansen says NPPD needs to get their portfolio up to the standard of its sisters. 

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