Officials celebrate opening of new wind farm

June 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

DILLER, Neb. — NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) Thursday announced the official dedication of the Steele Flats Wind Energy Center, located in Jefferson and Gage counties, Neb. Approximately 100 local residents, community leaders, and state officials gathered today at the new wind facility, which is capable of generating 74.8 megawatts (MW) of wind power, enough electricity to meet the energy needs of 19,000 Nebraska homes.

“I’m excited that NextEra Energy has built a wind farm in Nebraska,” said Governor Dave Heineman. “Projects such as Steele Flats are helping make America more energy independent and more energy secure by relying on energy grown and produced here at home, rather than overseas. Wind energy helps our local and state economy and is an important step toward our own energy future.”

All of the power generated by the Steele Flats Wind Energy Center is being provided to Nebraska Public Power District under a long-term contract. BD is purchasing a portion of the renewable energy credits generated from the Steele Flats Wind Energy Center for the next 20 years to offset 75 percent of the electricity use at its manufacturing facilities in Columbus and Holdrege, Neb.

“Steele Flats is our first facility in Nebraska,” said John Ketchum, senior vice president of Business Management and Finance at NextEra Energy Resources. “This wind energy center not only contributes to Nebraska’s renewable energy supply but also helps to power Jefferson and Gage counties’ local economies. Reaching this important project milestone would not have been possible without the cooperation and hard work of all our project partners.”

The Steele Flats Wind Energy Center is located on approximately 10,500 acres of privately owned agricultural and ranch land. The wind facility is comprised of 44 General Electric turbines that each has the capacity to generate 1.7 MW of energy. The facility entered service in November 2013, two months ahead of schedule. The project represents a

$138 million capital investment and is expected to contribute millions in property taxes and land lease payments over the first 20 years of the plant’s life. The project is owned and operated by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources.

“This relationship between Nebraska Public Power District, BD and NextEra Energy has added another generation resource to our energy portfolio, and at the same time we have been able to assist BD, a company with deep Nebraska roots, in meeting their global initiatives,” said NPPD President and Chief Executive Officer Pat Pope.

“We are very pleased that our collaboration with NPPD is benefiting the community and the environment,” said Steve Sichak, senior vice president, Integrated Supply Chain at BD. “The resulting renewable energy is not only sustainable, it also enhances our operational efficiency.”

Since breaking ground in July 2013, the project employed approximately 200 construction workers and now supports five full-time jobs. In addition, many local Nebraska businesses contributed to the project through services ranging from materials, equipment, utilities, labor, housing, and food and beverage.


BD is a leading medical technology company that partners with customers and stakeholders to address many of the world’s most pressing and evolving health needs. Our innovative solutions are focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the diagnosis of infectious diseases and cancers, supporting the management of diabetes and advancing cellular research. We are nearly 30,000 associates in 50 countries who strive to fulfill our purpose of “Helping all people live healthy lives” by advancing the quality, accessibility, safety and affordability of healthcare around the world.

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