|Tidbits from Nebraska and the Nation...
(June 2011) The Omaha Public Power District in Nebraska said it passed the halfway mark to meeting its renewable energy goal on May 18, when its board of directors authorized the utility to complete an agreement to purchase 45 megawatts of wind-generated electricity from a facility to be built near Broken Bow, Nebraska.
Midwest Wind Energy, is planning to build the farm by 2013. OPPD already has agreed to purchase 18 megawatts from another Broken Bow project, which is due to go online in 2012.
The utility has a goal of generating 10 percent of the electricity it sells to its retail customers from renewable sources by 2020. The latest purchase will bring it to 57 percent of that goal, the utility said.
OPPD noted that under Nebraska law, wind farms are taxed locally at $3,518 per megawatt of capacity. OPPD ratepayers' payments to the 45-megawatt project will allow the operator of the farm to make annual payments to Custer County coffers of tens of thousands of dollars. When the expansion project comes on line, the cost of the wind will show up on OPPD bills as part of the "fuel and purchased power" line item. The cost of the wind will mean an increase of as much as 2 percent in the cost of electricity in 2013, depending on the cost of transmission.
University of Nebraska Lincoln Selected for Home Energy Efficiency Research Partnership
Beginning in September 2010, the University became eligible to receive up to $2.5 million per year in U.S. Department of Energy funding over the next 4.5 years for work to identify, test and validate energy efficiency measures in new and existing homes. The funding comes from a $30 million grant to improve energy efficiency in American homes.
Specific studies will explore how to improve an existing home's insulation, install renewable energy systems at a lower cost, create a sustainable retrofit market and improve space heating and cooling efficiency. Researchers also will identify the most cost-effective strategies to improve a given home's energy efficiency.
Jonathan Shi, professor in UNL's College of Engineering, heads the team. Private sector partners include Nebraska-based builders HearthStone Homes, Rezac Construction and Excite Builders, the Home Builders Association of Lincoln, Lincoln Remodelers Council, Omaha's Holy Name Housing Corp., Lincoln's Kinder Porter Scott Family Foundation, the cities of Lincoln and Omaha and utilities including Omaha Public Power District and Black Hills Energy.
Shi said the federal goal is to retrofit about 6 million homes each year and achieve energy savings of 20 percent over the next five years, and 50 percent by 2025, which would reduce energy consumption and save homeowners money.BioTrucker.com Helps Drivers Find Biodiesel
Over-the-road truck drivers have used biodiesel for years to help them fight pollution and improve engine performance in the process.
Biodiesel fuel is sold at truck stops and fueling stations across Nebraska. Now a new website makes it easier for truckers to find fueling stations that sell biodiesel. At BioTrucker.com drivers can find a wealth of information on biodiesel fueling locations and biodiesel news, as well as helpful information on receiving discounts on biodiesel fuel purchases. Truckers can also call 1-866-246-3437 for more information.
U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Release 2012 Annual Fuel Economy Guide