NEBRASKA — Wind energy advocates are spreading their message of growing wind farms in Nebraska as part of American Wind Week.

Former Director of the Nebraska Energy Office David Bracht says wind energy is more viable than ever.  He says the cost of building and operating a wind farm has dropped by nearly 70 percent over nine years.

“By refining the equipment and improving the software that takes advantage of and tracks how that wind is rising and falling," Bracht said.  "The wind turbines today are much better at capturing that wind energy and converting it into electricity.”

Advocacy group New Power Nebraska says the state is third in the nation in wind energy potential and first in quality of wind, meaning how consistently it’s blowing.  Still, Bracht says Iowa has seven times the number of wind projects as Nebraska.  Bracht hopes Iowa can be a model for how to grow wind energy.

“That tells me that maybe come of the concerns that we have might be because we’re just not familiar with it," Bracht said.  "(Maybe) they’re concerns that will go away over time, certainly that’s what’s happened in Iowa.”

Opponents of wind energy have concerns about the appearance of turbines, their noise and the long-term viability of the industry.  American Wind Week is organized by the American Wind Energy Association.