- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Omaha Public Power District says it plans to use renewable sources to provide half the energy it sells to retail customers by 2020.

The electric utility announced the plan Monday during the annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Lincoln, The Omaha World-Herald reported .

President and CEO Tim Burke said the utility is working on a request for proposals to add up to 300 megawatts of wind energy. The company announced in July that it also plans to build a 160 megawatt wind farm in Wayne County. That project is expected to be completed in 2019.

Less than 20 percent of the utility’s 2016 retail sales came from renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, natural gas extracted from a landfill and hydropower from dams. The company has previously relied on coal to provide more than half of the electricity it generates.

Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels such as coal have been a large contributor to climate change for the past 60 years, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The utility’s planned renewable energy additions mirror efforts from the state’s other two large electric utilities to seek out energy resources that don’t emit greenhouse gases.

The Lincoln Electric System uses renewable sources for about 48 percent of the retail energy it provides, while the Nebraska Public Power District gets about 60 percent of its electricity from sources that don’t emit greenhouse gases.

The Omaha Public Power District serves Omaha and surrounding areas.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com


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