The city of Beatrice is taking the first step in planning a local wind power generation facility.
The City Council approved an application at its Monday meeting for Nebraska Public Power District to do a review of electrical capacity and transmission, in order to assess the feasibility of a wind generation facility. The application was originally recommended by the Board of Public Works at a prior meeting and is the first step in what will be an ongoing process.
“This is the first step in the process of approving a new generation facility, a local generation facility, specifically in our case a wind generation facility,” City Attorney Gregory Butcher explained.
Butcher said the city is contracted with Bluestem Energy to look at alternatives to create renewable energy under the current NPPD contract.
City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer indicated at the BPW meeting that the application does not require much commitment from the city.
“This is just an application,” Tempelmeyer said. “It doesn’t bind us to put up a wind turbine. It doesn’t bind us to putting it up at this exact location.
“This gets the ball rolling with NPPD so they start their studies so they know that they are not going to have any issues.”
Though Tempelmeyer was not at Monday’s City Council meeting, Butcher added more details about what the next steps will be following the vote.
“Bluestem has put together what they believe to be a single-turbine project that they will locate within Gage County, outside of the city, obviously,” Butcher said. “The first step we have to undertake is a study by NPPD to view the capacity requirements to make sure everything in the transmission process works correctly.
“NPPD will go ahead and make recommendations and take it to the Power Review Board for approval of the wind generation facility.”
The City Council voted 8-0 to approve the application seeking an NPPD review.
Butcher did not have a timeline as to how long it will take NPPD to assess the proposal or how long it will need to be reviewed by the Power Review Board before it receives final approval.
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