Renewable Energy Purchase in Grand Island

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- "We have our primary source right now is coal, we do have some natural gas, this wind energy will obviously be a bigger factor in that portfolio that we have," said Tim Luchsinger of the Grand Island Utilities Department.

The price of natural gas goes up and down pretty often and although the price of coal is fairly stable, the environmental protection agency regulations could eventually push coal plants out of business.

"Right now it is a viable source and it will continue to be that, it'll become a hedge as far as if something happens to one of the other sources," said Luchsinger.

Although wind energy is typically expensive to purchase, the city is buying it for a price comparable to coal, thanks to a tax credit.

About one percent of the energy going towards businesses or residences in Grand Island is coming from a renewable source. This new project should bump that up to about seven or eight, the goal is to be around 20.

Renewable energy sources like wind and solar power have no negative effects on the environment.

"Environmentally, it is a clean source, it's definitely the way of the future and it's going to be good for Grand Island, it's going to be good for Nebraska and it's going to be good for the country," said Luchsinger.