Operational by Fall 2005...

New 60 Megawatt Wind Facility Approved

Four public power utilities will join the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) in the development of a wind power facility near Ainsworth that will generate 60 megawatts of electricity.

Answorth, NE

NPPD's board approved a 60-megawatt, wind-turbine facility with the option to increase the project up to a maximum of 75 megawatts, if other participants can be found for the additional project capacity.

Wind generater construction underway
Wind generater
construction underway

Current participating entities and their respective share of the power output include: 10 megawatts for Omaha Public Power District; 10 megawatts for the Jacksonville Electric Authority in Florida; 7 megawatts for the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska; and 1 megawatt for the city of Grand Island. NPPD customers will use the balance of the power, 32 megawatts.

“The construction of this wind facility — the largest in the state — is an example of public power at its best: Nebraskans generating power for other Nebraskans and public power entities,” said NPPD President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Fehrman. “Constructing 60 megawatts takes advantage of one of Nebraska's most cost-effective fuel resources (wind) and contributes to an increase in efforts across the state to supply electricity to customers through renewable energy technologies.”

NPPD will now seek approval for the project from the Nebraska Power Review Board and begin soliciting contractor bids for the facility's engineering, procurement and construction. The plan is to award a contract in September and have the wind farm operational by the fall of 2005.

“I am excited about moving ahead with this project,” said Fehrman, “and we'll work to build the site out with other participants.” Information about the project is available on NPPD's website at NPPD Energy Facilities.

The facility's construction, which is expected to cost approximately $81 million, will be paid over a 20-year period with tax-exempt bonds.