Chief executive officers and staff from most of the state's largest utilities, Nebraska's governor and Energy Office members learned about the latest in wind, ethanol, solar and building technologies at the nation's premier research facility in Colorado in May.
Several years ago, Nebraska's Energy Office began working closely with staff at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on a variety of projects," said Nebraska Governor Ben Nelson. "Because of these earlier efforts, Nebraska is in a unique position to become a leading laboratory for cutting-edge renewable technologies. The state is blessed with a variety of resources that could propel Nebraska into becoming a major exporter or renewably-generated energy within the next decade."
Governor Nelson, at left, and others on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory tour learn about the Alternative Fuels User Facility's fermentation pilot plant and how researchers and industry are finding ways to produce ethanol from non-grain feedstocks.
(photo courtesy of National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
The governor was joined at the Laboratory by Bill Mayben of Nebraska Public Power District, Terry Bundy of Lincoln Electric System and Larry Marquis of NMPP Energy as well as staff and board members from Omaha Public Power, Loup Public Power in Columbus and the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska. Natural gas officials included Jerry Radek from Metropolitan Utilities District in Omaha, Larry Hall and Stu Wheeler of KN Energy and staff from Utilicorp.
"Nebraska's close ties with the Laboratory is one of the reasons Lincoln Electric System and Nebraska Public Power District will be testing the latest in wind technology," Nelson said. The utilities will be constructing wind turbines to generate electricity at sites near Lincoln and Springview.
The Laboratory is also pioneering in ethanol production and solar research. "We believe the next several years of research will provide cost and technology breakthroughs in ethanol production," Nelson said.