State senators recently announced that they will introduce five bills to advance Nebraska's renewable energy industry, increase economic development and provide property tax benefits. In addition, Senator Ken Schilz will introduce a bill that would require the Nebraska Energy Office to prepare a statewide comprehensive energy plan by the end of 2015.
Sen. Jeremy Nordquist’s bill would create a transferrable state production tax credit for renewable electric generation facilities. Nordquist says that Iowa and Oklahoma, which already offer a credit against state income tax for each kilowatt hour of electricity produced by renewable energy generation, have a competitive advantage over Nebraska, adding that his bill would level the playing field and allow Nebraska to become a net exporter of energy instead of an importer.
Sen. Al Davis will introduce a bill to extend the Nameplate Capacity Tax, a flat excise tax introduced in 2010 for wind energy projects, to projects using solar, biomass or landfill gas as the fuel source.
Sen. Ken Haar’s bill would simplify the existing process for the Nebraska Power Review Board to consider a renewable energy export facility. Current state law requires a developer to have a power purchase agreement with an out-of-state offtaker. While most projects have such an agreement, many developers have reported that requiring the agreement before obtaining the approval created the perception that Nebraska was not open to renewable energy development.
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