It’s not often that we talk about Nebraska. We love the place, but in terms of solar installations, it isn’t exactly a hotspot. However, in lieu of crop, the early seeds of change are being planted in the Cornhusker State.
This is because Ranger Power has applied to construct a 230 MW, $230 million solar plant on 100 acres on either side of Highway 34 just east of Lincoln. That’s $1 per watt for any math whizzes out there. And while we’re on finances, the project is expected to generate $800,000 in tax dollars each year.
The installation, when and if it is ever completed will be five times larger than the next biggest installation in the state. That 45 MW project also just to happens to encompass the state’s entire total installed capacity, so here we have another state considering a project that will exponentially increase the previous total installed capacity.
Emphasis on considering, however because at this point the project has been little more than proposed and is without any sort of contract in place for the power that will be generated.
On the upside and equally important is that the project is being met with little to no opposition. Project manager Colin Snow shared with local press that not only has the proposal been met without local adversity, but the contrary. He shared that citizens seem intrigued and excited at the prospect of the installation.
For Ranger Power, the next step is getting potential offtakers as excited as citizens.
This proposal illustrates that much of development is out of the developer’s control. Sometimes it doesn’t matter who is in charge, where the project is being located, if the locals are in favor and if permits can be secured. The fact of the matter is that development can just end up being an exercise in futility.
Somber notes aside, Ranger Power has time on its side in pursuit of a buyer. As the boom in corporate solar procurement has shown, there is no shortage of buyers out there, it’s just about finding them. Believe in Nebraska’s solar future.