Hallam, Nebraska, received some good news this week. Volkswind USA Inc., an international wind developer, applied for permits to build 54 wind turbines in Lancaster and Gage counties. According to a recent Lincoln Journal Star article, Volkswind says the wind farm would provide more than 200 jobs during construction, additional full-time operating jobs and about $700,000 in total property tax benefits annually to both counties. Volkswind is submitting proposals to Lincoln Electric System (LES), which is looking to add up to 100 megawatts of wind energy to their portfolio.
The Hallam area is well positioned for wind development. The town is home to Sheldon Station, an aging, coal-fired, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) power plant. Hallam’s proximity to Lincoln and Omaha and access to transmission lines make it an excellent choice for renewable energy development.
While wind provides jobs, property tax benefits and payments to landowners, Sheldon Station contributes to air and water pollution in the Hallam area, preventing area families from enjoying clean air, water, hunting and fishing. Sheldon Station has 147 reported Clean Water Act violations, the fourth most in the nation, posing a real threat to the health and happiness of area families.
A recent NPPD study found that phasing out the Sheldon Station Coal Plant and increasing wind energy in the area will save customers money. We encourage NPPD and LES to take advantage of the economic, environmental and health benefits of wind. Volkswind’s proposed wind farm is an important step from coal-to-clean energy.
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