Tidbits from Nebraska and Beyond... News Bytes
Grand Island Traffic Lights Go High Tech Even something as innocuous as changing traffic light bulbs can add up to big dollars. Grand Island, working in conjunction with Nebraska Public Power District, is replacing traditional incandescent bulbs in traffic lights with light-emitting diode — LED, for short — ones. The new LED bulbs use only 8 to 24 watts of power, compared to 150 watts used by incandescent bulbs. The new LED bulbs are expected to last up to 12 years before a replacement is needed. Based on an initial test at one traffic light, the city expects to save $400 a year in electricity costs for each traffic light that is converted to LED bulbs. Over the next four years, Grand Island plans on converting 71 traffic lights at a cost of $5,000 for each light. For more information about LED bulbs in traffic lights, contact Kent Rabourn at NPPD at 402-563-5909.

The Oil America Uses Comes from Many Nations America's oil needs continue to be met by shipments from other nations. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Energy, from January to August in 2002, 57.6 percent of the oil and refined products came from foreign nations. The top five suppliers — who met more than a third of our needs were:
  1. Canada 9.7%
  2. Saudi Arabia 7.7%
  3. Mexico 7.6%
  4. Venezuela 7.1%
  5. Nigeria 3.1%

A typical oil field

The other nations in the top ten supplying oil to America included Iraq, the United Kingdom, Norway, Angola and Algeria. For the latest information on where the nation's imported oil and refined petroleum products originates, visit the American Petroleum Institute's web site at http://api-ec.api.org/industry/index.cfm

Solar Powered Lights To Glow at Union Pacific's North Platte Rail Yard In July 2002, Union Pacific Railroad ordered 350 blue rail yard signal lights from Canarah, a Canadian firm. What makes these lights unusual is that they combine energy efficient light-emitting diode technology with rechargeable batteries and small solar cells.

Solar powered light emitting diode

Blue lights are used in rail yards when trains are being serviced to indicate maintenance crews are in the area and the train is parked. The lights, which cost $93,000, were installed in late summer in the North Platte Rail Yard which is the largest rail yard in North America. Light-Emitting Diode lights have become very popular in recent years because of the significant energy savings — and maintenance savings — they offer over conventional incandescent bulbs.

Nebraska's Electric Generation Plants Score High with Low Costs

Electric Power Substation

Three electric plants that provide generation for the state's three largest utilities took second, third and fourth places - based on cost of production - in a recent industry survey. According to a study in Platt's Power Magazine, Nebraska Public Power District's Gerald Gentleman station near Sutherland ranked as the second least cost producer in the nation at $8.32 per megawatt-hour. A megawatt-hour — one thousand kilowatts — is equal to the amount of power used in a month in a typical home having an electric hot water system. Ranking third least costly producer was Omaha Public Power District's Nebraska City Station that generated power at $9.29 a megawatt-hour. A long-time top five leader, Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyoming, that is partially owned by Lincoln Electric System, ranked fourth at $9.41 a megawatt-hour.
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