Opportunities for Nebraskans: Hearings Related to Solar Energy & PACE Financing

Legislative Resolution 455 was passed in Nebraska's most recent legislative session. It called for, in part, the following:

"the Executive Board of the Legislative Council to appoint a special committee to examine issues related to the impacts of climate change on the State of Nebraska and its residents, including assessments of vulnerability, risks, and economic impacts. The committee shall also examine opportunities, including methods of producing food, generating power, or protecting land and water that can be used to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change and that will provide jobs and economic benefits to Nebraskans."

As part of the committee's efforts, two hearings related to solar energy and energy financing (primarily Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE) will be held next week. One in Broken Bow and the second in Lincoln on 9/28. Details for the Lincoln hearing are as follows:

Location: Room 1525 of the State Capitol
9:00 a.m.  solar energy development
1:30 p.m.  energy financing, including PACE

Below is an excerpt from a recent press release from Senator Ken Haar's office: 

“These hearings are about opportunities,” said Senator Ken Haar. “We want Nebraskans to learn how they can reduce their energy bills through developing PACE programs or using other financing programs from the Nebraska Energy Office to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. PACE and the Energy Office programs can also provide financing for renewable energy projects, including helping people put up solar panels.”

“We also want to make people aware of the opportunities for solar development,” said Senator Tyson Larson. “We are just beginning to scratch the surface of the possibilities for solar energy in Nebraska. It is very exciting to hear about all the new renewable energy developments happening in our state.”

PACE is a new program authorized by the 2016 Legislature. It authorizes municipalities to set up programs to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for businesses and homes in which the projects are paid off through an assessment on the property where the project is located. There are many attractive aspects of PACE programs, including the ability to finance projects that may have more upfront cost but provide more long-term benefits. In addition, PACE programs can provide one-stop service that encompasses financing, contracting and repayment through one program.

For more information contact Ken Winston, Legislative Aide to Senator Ken Haar, 402-471-2673 or kwinston@leg.ne.gov

I'm hoping to sneak away from work for the day on 9/28 to attend the hearings, and I'm anxious to hear what information is offered and what the public input will be.