Nebraska’s future wind energy

The NWCC includes committee members from state agencies, Nebraska utilities, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, farm and ranch organizations, and private entities to help develop the state’s wind resources. This year’s theme is "United and Strategic in Advancing the Wind Industry of Nebraska."

The two-day conference will focus on Nebraska’s future wind energy development challenges and opportunities, including the potential extension of the federal Production Tax Credit program and other federal wind incentives. It will include an array of national and state keynote speakers. Also, it will include multiple "educational tracks" applicable for utilities, suppliers, landowners, economic development officials, students, environmentalists and anyone who has an interest in the wind industry in Nebraska.

The NWCC is co-chaired by John Hansen of the Nebraska Farmers Union; Dan McGuire, facilitator for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Wind Powering America’s "Wind for Schools" program in Nebraska; and Adam Herink of Bluestem LLC.

"2012 will be a good year for Nebraska wind energy development with three projects projected to add 195 megawatts, increasing Nebraska’s total wind generation capacity to 531 megawatts," said Hansen.

"2012 will also be is a major policy year in federal energy policy. This year’s annual wind conference will once again deal with a wide range of wind related issues and policies that are critical to moving wind energy development forward."

"Nebraska wind farm projects exist today largely because of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). That is why extension of the PTC is such a strategically important driver to discuss and unite around in 2012," said McGuire.

"’United and Strategic’ certainly fits as a theme for the conference as it relates to the wind PTC. The 2012 Farm Bill and its renewable energy program is another key driver for funding future wind energy projects on Nebraska farms and in our state’s rural communities. Nebraska has always been a state where we come together to do what’s right for Nebraskans. This conference is meant to bring Nebraskans together to listen, share, and exchange ideas. Over the next couple of months, we will announce the lineup of program presenters."

"We’ve secured a new location (Lincoln) for this educational and networking opportunity which will give others in the state a better opportunity to participate," said Herink. "With the limited space, registrants, exhibitors, and sponsors will want to sign up early."