Central Nebraska wind farm to fire up soon

October 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

BROKEN BOW, Neb. (AP) — Developers expect to harvest enough power from a new wind energy project in central Nebraska farming and ranching country to meet the needs of about 25,000 homes.

Government, utility and company officials gathered Tuesday near Broken Bow to dedicate the Broken Bow Wind project, which was developed and will be run by Edison Mission Energy, of Santa Ana, Calif.

A brisk wind blew at the ceremony, prompting Edison Mission Energy President Pedro Pizarro to remark that Nebraska is a “really good wind resource,” said The Grand Island Independent (http://bit.ly/T0vnYq).”

The farm’s 50 turbines stand more than 262 feet high and stretch across about 14,000 acres of central Nebraska fields. Commercial operation is expected to begin within weeks, generating up to 80 megawatts of electricity.

The electricity will be sold to Nebraska Public Power District under a 20-year contract.

NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope said the Broken Bow farm lets NPPD take “another major step forward in NPPD’s strategic goal of having 10 percent of our energy mix by 2020 to come from renewable energy sources.”

NPPD will sell some of the contracted power to Omaha Public Power District, Lincoln Electric System and the city of Grand Island.

The plant is the third of Edison Mission’s four Nebraska wind farms. The Crofton Bluffs project in Knox County is expected to begin operation by the end of 2012, Pizarro said.

The $145 million Broken Bow project brought 100 construction jobs to the area and will create seven to 10 permanent jobs.

The plant also will generate an average of $540,000 a year in lease royalties to landowners during its 25-year life.

Officials said a second phase for the Broken Bow farm would have produced an additional 75 megawatts, but that project has been put on hold pending the outcome of congressional negotiation of production tax credits that are scheduled to expire yet this year.

“We have not yet decided whether we can complete that part of the project,” Pizarro said, but he said the first part was designed to connect to the second phase. “We’ve planned ahead.”


Information from: The Grand Island Independent, http://www.theindependent.com

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