N-CORPE board members went into executive session Tuesday night after hearing for over an hour from many people on the plan to bring wind and solar energy to the Lincoln County N-CORPE site. N-CORPE Manager Kyle Shepherd reported the board made no decision on possibly leasing land to Invenergy, a leading privately held, global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions.
Shepherd said contract negotiations for a lease with Invenergy will continue, and the topic will be on the N-CORPE January board meeting’s agenda.
Among those present at Tuesday’s meeting, Senator Mike Groene. He was very passionate about why moving forward with wind power in Lincoln County should not happen. He said if the N-CORPE board extends a contract to Invenergy, there will be no way out. He explained that Invenergy could back out, but that N-CORPE would not be able to.
Senator Groene said citizens should be allowed to see he contract before it is signed. Invenergy is hoping to lease the Lincoln County land from N-CORPE for wind and solar energy.
Senator Groene said of 46 N-CORPE board members, “only nine live in Lincoln County.”
“They’re going to make a decision about what we want in economic growth, what we want our county to look like, and who we are,” said Senator Groene. “I believe we are cattle and farmers and railroaders. We ship coal. We don’t harvest wind.”
A large number of people spoke out during the open meeting. All spoke in opposition of a wind farm in Lincoln County on government-owned land.
“It shouldn’t be for NRD to decide where it’s going to go, and how it’s going to go. It’s absolutely the craziest idea I’ve every heard in my life. Totally, absolutely the worst ever, bad idea, ever, ” said Kirk Olson of Hershey.
Shepherd said, “We’ll just continue to talk and see where it leads.”
Senator Groene finished by saying Lincoln County has nothing to gain with a wind farm on the proposed site.
“North Platte Public Schools – if you have more property taxes from windmills, you’ll have less state aid. We gain absolutely nothing for the schools. Counties will pick something up, but they will have huge expenses. There’s going to be massive trucks bringing the towers in, huge cranes, heavy equipment, trucks tearing up that fragile sand. We as tax payers have already paid $4 million to reseed it to native grass to make it back into grazing land which it should have always been, and now we’re going to go back in there and tear it up.” said Senator Groene.
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