Senators Introduce Bills to Advance Renewable Energy in Nebraska

by | Jan 19, 2015

Nebraska wind turbine Energy ManageNebraska State senators will introduce five bills intended to advance the state’s renewable energy industry, KNOP-TV reports.

Sen. Jeremy Nordquist’s bill would create a transferrable state production tax credit for renewable electric generation facilities. Nordquist says that Iowa and Oklahoma, which already offer a credit against state income tax for each kilowatt hour of electricity produced by renewable energy generation, have a competitive advantage over Nebraska, adding that his bill would level the playing field and allow Nebraska to become a net exporter of energy instead of an importer.

Sen. Al Davis will introduce a bill to extend the Nameplate Capacity Tax, a flat excise tax introduced in 2010 for wind energy projects, to projects using solar, biomass or landfill gas as the fuel source.

Sen. Ken Haar’s bill would simplify the existing process for the Nebraska Power Review Board to consider a renewable energy export facility. Current state law requires a developer to have a power purchase agreement with an out-of-state offtaker. While most projects have such an agreement, many developers have reported that requiring the agreement before obtaining the approval created the perception that Nebraska was not open to renewable energy development.

The bill also includes provisions to remove barriers to privately funded transmission development.

Sen. Heath Mello says his bill will further remove barriers to renewable energy development in Nebraska. Mello’s bill aims to simplify the Community-Based Energy Development (CBED) process, which requires projects to obtain input from Nebraska companies and suppliers and pay revenues to Nebraska residents that equal at least 25 percent of the project’s revenues for the first 20 years.

Sen. Ken Schilz will introduce a bill that would require the Nebraska Energy Office to prepare a comprehensive energy plan for Nebraska by the end of 2015. The plan would be updated every two years.

Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) has an online database that tracks energy-related legislation pending in all 50 states.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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