Nebraska’s wind energy future

Source: KNOP-TV, North Platte, Nebraska • Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014

NPPD continues renewable resource in energy plan

It’s green and it’s clean and wind is an excellent resource in the state of Nebraska.

But, like anything in life there are downsides to wind as well.

Wednesday afternoon, Nebraska Public Power Distritct CEO and President, Pat Pope spoke at a symposium discussing wind energy development in our state.

Pope says wind currently plays an important role as a resource for Nebraska and that NPPD hopes to continue that trend into the future.

Pat Pope seizes every opportunity he has to meet with his customers.

“Our business is a complicated one and for us to be able to get out and really talk about all of the processes that we go through when we plan our power supply and what part wind may play in that. That’s a great opportunity for us and so we appreciate being able to be out here and doing it,” he said.

Pope addressed the crowd on hand about the power supply planning process and how any resource renewable or non the state chooses to use including wind fits in.

“There is a lot of hype surrounding renewable’s right now. Of course we’ve had the investment tax credits, the production tax credits and I worry that sometimes things get heated up a little bit too much as far as the rhetoric around what we can do what we should do,” he said.

And while wind has been touted as an excellent source of renewable energy for the Cornhusker state, energy experts point out it’s variable at best.

“We all know that living in Nebraska that yes the wind blows, but it blows at varying speeds and there are times when it doesn’t blow and we all know that the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours,” said Pope. “So, when those resources aren’t available, or are available but varying a lot, we have to have other equipment that is still there functioning providing the backup.”

Excitement about wind energy development has been widespread and serves as a great platform for politics, but Pope and NPPD want consumers to understand the company’s choices behind their energy sources.

“They need to understand where we’re coming from. Sometimes it’s easy if you don’t hear that message, if you don’t hear the details and if it’s not in a form that you can readily understand; that doesn’t help you as a consumer, that doesn’t help you make choices or form very good opinions,” he said.