Tidbits from Nebraska and Beyond...
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Natural Gas Supplier Hits Record
The Public Alliance for Community Energy gained a 27.4 percent market share in this yearís Nebraska Choice gas selection process offered to Nebraskans served by Kinder Morgan natural gas systems. The market share of 27.4 percent was the highest in the eight-year history of the Alliance, and increased 6.9 percent over last year.

The Alliance membership includes 65 Nebraska towns and one public power district. Since 1998, the Alliance has returned $540,000 to its members.

Nebraskans living in the areas served by Kinder Morgan are the only natural gas customers who are able to select the company that supplies the natural gas the customers use.
Habitat for Humanity Goes Green in Omaha
In September 2005, Omaha Public Power District, the city of Omaha and Habitat for Humanity began construction of a very energy-efficient house that featured state-of-the-art conservation construction technologies and is rated as Energy Star compliant. Plans called for the home to be built with styrofoam-insulated concrete-filled forms for exterior walls that are airtight and minimize energy leakage. During the construction, the Omaha utility sponsored open houses designed to educate the public about energy efficiency. The project can be monitored during construction at the utilityís web site.

Rural Nebraskans: Alternative Energy is Good
According to rural Nebraskans, thereís little they donít like about renewable energy sources. Those are the findings of the tenth Nebraska Rural Poll on how rural residents view alternative energy sources such as ethanol and wind released in August 2005.

Based on responses from 2,851 Nebraskans, these are some of the highlights:

  • Most rural Nebraskans agree that the government should encourage the use of renewable energy sources.
  • Most rural Nebraskans believe alternative energy sources are good for the stateís economy.
  • Opinions are mixed on both the cost and reliability of alternative energy sources.
  • Most rural Nebraskans agree or strongly agree that alternative energy sources are better for the environment than traditional fossil fuel energy sources.
  • Most rural Nebraskans think at least 10 percent of the stateís electricity should be generated form alternative energy sources.
  • Farmers and ranchers are most likely to agree that the government should encourage the use of renewable energy sources.
  • Farmers and ranchers are most likely to agree that producing more soy biodiesel blend fuel would be good for Nebraskaís economy.
  • Younger persons are more likely than older persons to agree that alternative energy sources are better for the environment than traditional fossil fuel energy sources.
  • Over one-half of rural Nebraskans say they always or almost always use an ethanol blend fuel.
  • Farmers and ranchers are most likely to say they always use an ethanol blend fuel.
  • Persons living in the northeast part of the state are more likely than persons living in other regions to say they always use an ethanol blend fuel when filling up their vehicle.

A High Honor for Nebraska Public Power District
In May 2005, the Nebraska Public Power District was selected to received Western Area Power Administrationís highest honor, the Administratorís Award. The recipient must demonstrate superior achievements and commitment in the energy efficiency and renewable energy areas.

The Nebraska utility received the award because of work in three areas:

  • The Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility
  • Innovative customer input programs that include new and diverse advisory panels and a formal deliberative polling process to understand and integrate customer input, and
  • Customer-driven energy efficient technical solutions delivered through customer representatives that provide customers technical assistance and training.

Insulation from Soybeans?
Decatur, Nebraska is the home base of the maker of InsulGreen, a new spray foam product made with polyols from soybean oil. In fact, InsulGreen was used in the construction of the Energy Officeís recently constructed energy-efficient affordable home in Lincoln.

InsulGreen is one of the new category of green building products that contain no chemical agents such as chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) or formaldehyde.

According to the manufacturer, InsulGreen will not shrink or settle and it adds integrity to the structure by sealing all the cracks. InsulGreen will not absorb water, so it will not promote mold growth.

Nebraska Turbines Record Wind Speed Above 100 mph
Winds from the late November 2005 blizzard reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, a Nebraska Public Power District official said. Turbines at the district's wind energy facility near Ainsworth recorded wind gusts up to 114 mph, said Chris Derickson, a utility water systems/renewable energy resource leader. "That's a hurricane on the plains," Derickson said.

Average gusts at the wind energy facility during the blizzard were 83 mph, NPPD said.
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