Nebraska Public Power District to Add Wind Turbines
Nebraska Public Power District plans to add 108 turbines to its wind generating capacity. The turbines will be built near Petersburg and Broken Bow and should be operational by the end of 2010 or early 2011.
August 14, 2009, NPPD’s Board of Directors authorized entering into power purchase agreement negotiations with Midwest Wind Energy/Edison Mission Midwest. The wind farm will occupy a 7,000 acre site three miles northeast of Petersburg. The Laredo Ridge Wind Farm near Petersburg will have 54 turbines generating 80 megawatts, enough to power about 23,000 homes. Currently, the state has 73 wind turbines producing a maximum of 153 megawatts. NPPD is also negotiating an agreement for a second 9,000 acre project northeast of Broken Bow, to also be developed by Midwest Wind Energy/Edison Mission Midwest. The Broken Bow Wind Farm would also have 54 turbines just like Laredo Ridge. It is expected that once negotiations are concluded, the facilities would be operational by the end of 2010 or early in 2011.
How Sites Picked
Selection of Midwest Wind Energy/Edison Mission Midwest was based upon achieving the lowest cost possible for the electricity purchased, including transmission costs, and minimizing any environmental concerns.
In November 2008, NPPD issued a request for proposal for projects up to 80 megawatts in size that could be built near Broken Bow and/or Petersburg. In April 2009, NPPD received 22 proposals from seven different developers for the construction and operation of wind energy facilities. After proposals were reviewed, a short list was selected for further negotiations based on the lowest power and transmission costs, plus environmental considerations.
10% By 2020
In February 2008, NPPD’s Board of Directors established a goal of having 10 percent of its energy come from renewable resources by 2020, primarily from wind. That goal would amount to 533 megawatts of renewable energy in its portfolio of generation resources.
NPPD currently owns and operates the Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility south of Ainsworth, Neb., where 36 turbines produce approximately 60 megawatts of wind-generated power. Omaha Public Power District, the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, the City of Grand Island, and the Jacksonville Electric Authority purchase approximately half of the power produced at Ainsworth. Edison Mission operates and sells the electrical output of the 80-megawatt, Elkhorn Ridge Wind Farm northwest of Bloomfield. NPPD takes half of the wind energy produced with Omaha Public Power District, Lincoln Electric System, and the City of Grand Island sharing the other half.