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Wind energy can be costly

To all those who read the “Another Opinion” article on Aug. 29, by Johnathon Hladik of the Center for Rural Affairs about wind energy, I hope you also read the “Another Opinion” article by Pat Pope, CEO of NPPD, about wind energy versus NPPD’s balance of resources to generate electricity for about 600,000.

Pope says to replace the electricity from the Gerald Gentleman Station power plant with electricity from wind farms will cost about 2 1/2 times the cost to upgrade and continue to operate the Gerald Gentleman plant. Why? While the wind is free, the cost to build and maintain the wind turbines is extremely high. And because the wind in Nebraska only blows enough to generate electricity less than one-third of the time, there must be other generating plants able to operate when the wind turbines don’t generate.

The May 2 Independent article on page 2A about renewable energy in the G.I. City Council information shows wind power costs $58 per megawatt hour versus the $34 per megawatt hour cost to purchase or generate electricity at Grand Island’s plants.

So, if you are willing to have electricity for only about 3,000 hours per year out of 8,760 yearly hours, are you willing to pay 70 percent more for it – $85 per month instead of $50. Very few people or businesses are. While it is politically correct these days to push the wind energy, those who do either don’t understand or choose to ignore the logistics and economics of it. It simply makes no logical sense and the city of Grand Island is correct to minimize its participation in wind energy.

And don’t forget the massive federal production tax credits that subsidize the cost of building wind facilities. That money comes from the U.S. taxpayer or adds to our massive debt crisis.

Keith W. Brown

Central City