Construction of a new wind farm capable of producing enough energy to meet the needs of about 25,000 homes in Nebraska has been announced by Edison Mission Group, a subsidiary of Edison International, Midwest Wind Energy, LLC and Nebraska Public Power District.
The $145 million wind project, known as Broken Bow Wind LLC, is located about three miles northeast of Broken Bow in Custer County. The project, which will be 100% owned and operated by EMG, will be capable of generating up to approximately 80 megawatts of electricity. All of the power produced by Broken Bow will be sold to NPPD under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
"We are pleased to be building our third wind energy project in Nebraska," says Pedro Pizarro, president of EMG. "The state is able to attract investment in clean energy thanks to its plentiful wind resources, along with its legislative and regulatory climate that supports the development of renewable energy projects. We are also very pleased to expand our relationship with Nebraska Public Power District with this most recent project."
"The addition of Broken Bow Wind moves NPPD closer to our board of directors goal of having 10% of our energy come from renewable energy," says Pat Pope, NPPD president and CEO. "The energy produced will be shared with other Nebraska utilities as we have done at other EMG wind farms."
NPPD is working with Omaha Public Power District, Lincoln Electric System, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska and the City of Grand Island as partners in the project.
"The Broken Bow wind farm would not have been possible without the leadership of NPPD and the support of our participating landowners and the Broken Bow community," says Stefan Noe, president of MWE, which develops potential wind projects under an agreement with EMG. "This is the fourth project that MWE has successfully developed with EMG in two states, Nebraska and Illinois. It is yet another example of how public power, private developers and the local community can work together to create a win-win situation for renewable energy and economic development despite the challenging economy."
Construction of Broken Bow is scheduled to be completed by November 2012. During its peak construction phase, the project will employ approximately 100 individuals at the site. During construction, the project is expected to contribute $5.6 million to the state in sales tax revenues.
Once completed, the wind farm will provide average annual tax revenues of nearly $900,000 over its 25-year life in property taxes and state income taxes, according to Pope. In addition, Broken Bow will generate an average of $540,000 per year over its 25-year life in lease royalties to local landowners. The wind farm will provide approximately 10 permanent jobs in the Broken Bow area.
The facility will be powered by 50 wind turbines, each capable of producing 1.6 MW of power at peak output. The turbines will be mounted on 80-meter high towers. The wind farm site occupies approximately 14,000 acres of land.
NPPD began conducting wind studies in the Broken Bow area in 2008, with the development of the site by the MWE/EMG team beginning in 2009 after being awarded a power purchase agreement by NPPD.
EMG operates two other wind farms in Nebraska which also sell their output to NPPD--the approximately 80 MW Elkhorn Ridge wind farm near Bloomfield in Knox County, and the approximately 80 MW Laredo Ridge wind farm near Petersburg in Boone County.
The Elkhorn Ridge facility began operation in 2009 and is majority-owned by EMG, with one-third owned by Nebraska employee-owners of Tenaska, a privately held energy company headquartered in Omaha. Laredo Ridge, which is 100% owned and operated by EMG, was commissioned in November of 2010. Once the new Broken Bow wind farm is operational, approximately 5% of NPPD's total power portfolio will come from wind energy generated by the EMG wind projects, along with NPPD's Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility.