The Nebraska Public Power District wants to know whether more hydroelectricity can be economically developed and delivered in the state.
The Columbus Telegram reports that NPPD has made a $150,000 contract with Colorado-based Applegate Group to evaluate the potential at existing plants and new sites. The study is expected to be finished in April.
Brian Barels is NPPD's water resources manager. He says the time is right for the study because federal licensing requirements on the renewable energy are being eased and there are new ways to generate power from water.
NPPD owns hydropower plants near Spencer, North Platte and Kearney and buys electricity from other hydropower plants.
The utility delivers power, wholesale or retail, to nearly 1.1 million people in Nebraska.