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Wind turbines rise from the countryside about 4 miles southwest of Creston, where Creston Ridge Wind Farm was built last year.

COLUMBUS — Cornhusker Public Power District is looking into potential renewable energy sources to provide a portion of its electricity.

The district’s board of directors recently authorized a study with Omaha-based Bluestem Energy Solutions that will determine the feasibility of both wind and solar projects within Cornhusker’s service area.

Clay Gibbs, who serves as CEO and general manager for the Columbus-based utility, said Cornhusker Public Power is considering a future wind or solar energy project as a way to provide cost savings for customers.

“Nothing will be done unless it saves our customers money,” Gibbs said in a news release.

Bluestem Energy Solutions is completing the feasibility study at no cost to the utility, which serves more than 9,000 customers in rural portions of Platte, Colfax, Boone, Nance, Greeley and Wheeler counties.

The public power district has not made any commitment to move forward with a renewable energy project at this point.

Bluestem would also be responsible for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of any project should an agreement be reached.

Under its wholesale power agreement with Nebraska Public Power District, Cornhusker could purchase up to 10 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.

Bluestem Energy Solutions already has an agreement with Loup Public Power District that led to construction of the Creston Ridge Wind Farm in Platte County.

Loup buys about 3 percent of its total electricity from the 6.8-megawatt, four-turbine wind farm located along Mason Road (205th Avenue) southwest of Creston.

The second phase of that project, which is already underway, will add three more turbines near the current site.

Creston Ridge has been producing electricity for about nine months.

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