State government to Use Electricity From Wind and Biodiesel in Trucks
In April, Governor Ben Nelson signed a contract to buy electricity from wind for use in the Governor's Residence and announced expanded use of a diesel/soybean fuel mixture in all trucks operated by the Nebraska Department of Roads.
Closer to Reality
Nelson joined about 700 other large and small Lincoln Electric System users in agreeing to purchase power produced from the utility's wind turbine. The utility will be contacting other state agencies to encourage their participation as well. Lincoln's customers may subscribe for units of renewable energy, priced not to exceed $6 per unit a month. The utility estimates the unit cost will equal production expenses of 100 kilowatt-hours from the turbine. Larger customers, such as the state, can purchase up to five units which adds about $30 a month to their bills. When enough customers agree to buy 1,000 units of wind-generated electricity from Lincoln Electric System, the utility will begin construction of a wind turbine northeast of the city.
Biodiesel Use To Soar
The Department of Roads project brings together the Nebraska Soybean Board, AGP, Inc., Farmland Industries and the Western Regional Biomass Energy Program (see page 2 for more information on other Western-funded Nebraska projects) to add one percent soy-based additive to regular diesel fuel. The fuel additive is called SoyGoldTM. The five organizations are underwriting the difference in the cost of the fuel, $36,700.
According to the Roads Department, 1.6 million gallons of diesel were used last year by the agency's nearly 1,600 pieces of equipment,
including front- and end-loaders, trucks, tractors and motorgraders. Other state vehicles using Department of Roads' fuel pumps will also fill-up with the soy/diesel mixture during a nine month test of the fuel.
"The actions being taken are reasonable and affordable examples of what we can all do to use less polluting energy resources. The Executive Order I signed in January committed the state to utilize more renewable resources," Nelson said at a statehouse news conference,
"and I am extremely pleased with the progress we've made in just a few months. I hope others in government and business will join us in making renewable energy commonplace in the next few years."