Bills would expand opportunities for wind development, other renewables
LINCOLN, NE – Earlier today, Nebraska State Senator Heath Mello (District 5, South Omaha) and State Senator Jeremy Nordquist announced the introduction of LB 402 and LB 411, respectively, legislation that would expand opportunities for renewable energy development in Nebraska.
LB 402 – Mello:
Under the existing Rural Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) Act, the equipment and supplies used to construct a wind energy project are exempt from sales tax if at least one-third of the revenue from the project flows to Nebraska residents or the local community. Since the Act’s adoption in 2007, however, only one utility-scale wind project has been able to utilize the exemption.
“Despite ranking among the top states in wind energy potential, Nebraska continues to lag behind in large-scale wind development,” said Mello, “LB 402 is the next logical step in helping make wind projects in Nebraska competitive with projects in neighboring states like Iowa and Kansas.”
LB 402 would expand the thresholds under the C-BED law, allowing wind projects of all sizes to be eligible for the existing incentives. The bill would also allow renewable energy projects that used biomass or landfill gas to qualify for the sales tax exemption.
By expanding the C-BED law to include component parts manufactured in Nebraska and services provided by Nebraska companies, LB 402 incentivizes not just the wind facilities themselves, but the creation of supporting industries as well. By encouraging the manufacture of wind turbines and other components here in Nebraska, the bill maximizes the economic development impact of wind energy in our State.
LB 411 – Nordquist:
LB 411 provides a renewable energy tax credit for each kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity, including wind, solar, biomass or landfill gas, that is generated by a facility within the state. The implementation of the Nebraska renewable energy credit is designed to ramp up as the federal production tax credit phases out, so as to provide consistency and predictability in our incentives, giving our state a substantial competitive advantage in attracting renewable energy investment.
“The Renewable Energy Tax Credit will create more clean, home-grown energy, more jobs in our local communities, and significant economic development for our state,” said Nordquist. A utility-scale wind energy generation facility can increase a county’s property tax base by ten percent or more in one fell swoop, which goes a long way towards addressing another of rural Nebraska’s significant challenges.
“Nebraska has an exceptional opportunity to be a leader in renewable energy – particularly as a wind resource – and this tax credit will give us a substantial advantage in attracting clean energy investment and clean energy jobs to our state, and in turn ensuring our state’s strong economic future.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2013
For More Information:
Trevor Fitzgerald, Sen. Mello’s Office (402) 471-2710
Tiffany Seibert, Sen. Nordquist’s Office (402) 471-2721