Dear Editor,

Grand Prairie Wind Industrial Complex information for the first six months of 2017. The tax amounts are actually paid a year later like our property taxes.

Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) made a deal with Grand Prairie to power 120,000 homes in Omaha. Residential charge for electricity in Omaha is 10.12 cents per kWh. The following usage statistics were obtained from the Nebraska Department of Energy on Nov. 29, 2017. 

During the first six months of 2017 Grand Prairie Wind produced 792,184,483 kWh. 

At a rate of .1012 per kWh paid by consumers, the cost to OPPD customers for the first six months is $80,169,068. After exhaustive research the wholesale price of electricity seems to be the “Holy Grail.”

Estimates by local REA officials guess it to be 7-8 cents per kWh. At a wholesale price of 7.5 cents per kWh. The income to Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) for the first six months of 2017 would be $59,413,836.

Additionally the Production Tax Credit (PTC), (that is our money) paid to BHE for the first six months of 2017 would be $19,012,426 at the 2.4 cent per kWh rate. Total BHE income from the wholesale electricity sold to OPPD and the federal PTC (our money) for the first six months of 2017 equals $78,426,262.00.

Taxwise, nameplate capacity tax paid to Holt County by BHE for the first six months of 2017 was $730,600. Property taxes paid to Holt County by BHE for first six months of 2017 was $260.000.00

Total dollars paid to Holt County by BHE in nameplate and property taxes for first six months of 2017 equal $990,600.00

For the first six months of 2017...

BHE’s income from the turbines in Holt County is over $78 million yet they pay Holt County less than $1 million in taxes. That’s less than 1.3 percent of the pie.

Now you all know how much you personally pay to Holt County in property taxes. Personally our property taxes equal 46 percent of our gross income from the ranch. Yet BHE pays less than 1.3 percent?

Something is seriously wrong with this picture. How is it fair when the taxes we pay comprise 46 percent of our ranch income and BHE pays less than 1.3 percent? The whole wind turbine sales pitch was that the wind income was to offset our taxes. That was never going to happen. With the resurrected O’Neill school project based on projected wind energy dollars our taxes will actually go up even more.

Now we have Invenergy lurking around in the background. Research on Invenergy brings up 24 law suits and court orders filed involving Invenergy. They have been totally shut out of Stanton County and the Pierce County

Board of Commissioners has an extended moratorium on wind energy and is discussing using a survey to better gauge the feelings of Pierce County citizens in regards to regulating wind development.

We certainly have our fair share of turbines in Holt County. It seems big wind wants everything their way. They are not here to be our good neighbors but rather to make an obscene amount of money and pay a very small percentage of taxes in the process.

As we have said before people are waking up. The numbers above speak for themselves. Even though we don’t know the exact wholesale price, we are fairly close. If we were to cut the projections in half it’s still a totally unfair profit to tax margin.

Sheldon and Barb Otto, O’Neill 




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