Rural and Small Town Leaders should urge NPPD wind investment

This week, the Center for Rural Affairs is circulating a letter among rural community leaders, urging the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) to make investments in rural and small town Nebraska’s energy future by purchasing locally produced wind power at today’s historically low rates.

 Investing in Nebraska wind means making an investment in our communities’ future, which is crucial in rural Nebraska. Low prices of wind generated electricity, combined with the local economic development wind projects create and growing health concerns about coal-fired power, make a compelling argument for NPPD to invest in wind right now.

Due in part to the federal Production Tax Credit, which expires at the end of this year, wind energy costs have fallen more than 40% over the last five years. Wind energy provides more than 20 percent of the electricity in Iowa and South Dakota and more than 12 percent in nine states, but only about 4 percent in Nebraska.

All of us depend on reliable, affordable electricity. But the $2.7 billion dollars Nebraskans spend annually to meet our electricity needs can be managed more productively. More of it should be invested in purchasing Nebraska wind energy.

The Center for Rural Affairs invites leaders of mainstreet businesses, schools, small towns and civic organizations, as well as the farm and faith communities, to join us in urging NPPD to purchase locally produced, historically low-cost wind power. We will present the sign-on letter to the NPPD board and executives on Friday, October 11th.