Lincoln utility looks to triple wind energy use

Lincoln’s public power utility plans to as much as triple the amount of wind energy it uses now within the next two years.

The Lincoln Electric System board on Friday approved a plan to negotiate a purchase agreement for 100 additional megawatts of wind energy, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (

The city-owned utility has about 30 megawatts of wind energy now.

The utility would not build any wind farms but would contract with a wind developer to buy the electricity for a fixed price over 20 years, said Jason Fortik, vice president of power supply.

In January, the utility said it wants to explore adding up to 50 megawatts of wind energy. It later asked companies to submit proposals for projects for up to 100 megawatts, Fortik said.

“We had an indication that it was a good time to take advantage of pricing for turbines,” he said.

Like other utilities, Lincoln’s is interested in taking advantage of a federal tax credit for large-scale wind farms, which was recently extended for one year.

Fortik declined to name any of the companies that submitted proposals, but said a power purchase agreement could be reached by July 1.