Wind turbines will keep popping up on the Nebraska horizon for the next several years.
Plans are currently underway for a second wind farm at Broken Bow that would be built in 2013. Mark Becker, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) media relations specialist, says that NPPD Board of Directors have directed management to negotiate on a 75-megawatt wind farm at a second Broken Bow site, northeast of the current wind farm site that is on schedule to be operational by October 2012. Power from the second farm will be purchased by NPPD and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD).
A second wind farm is also currently under construction near Laredo Ridge Wind Farm near Petersburg, being built by Third Planet Windpower, with OPPD purchasing the power from the second facility once it is operational.
Laredo Ridge at Petersburg just came online in February. It is considered a good wind site, with 52% capacity factor through June, says Becker. "Wind farms typically average about 35% capacity," he says. "It all depends on the wind and summer is usually the least windy period of time."
Becker cites one late July day as an example. The output on that morning at 8 a.m. from three wind farms included 0 megawatts out of a possible 60 megawatts from Ainsworth; 0 megawatts out of a possible 80 megawatts from Laredo Ridge; and 5 megawatts from a possible 80 megawatts from Elkhorn Ridge.
Nebraska's wind power capacity increased again last week. Two new 1.5 megawatt direct-drive turbines of Springview II Wind Facility went online on July 29 near Springview, replacing the original outdated 1998 turbines at that same site that once comprised the state's first wind farm, but were retired in 2007.
If all goes as expected with new projects, by the end of 2012, NPPD will be about half way to their goal to have ten percent of its energy resources come from renewable energy by 2020, says Becker.
For more information on expanding wind projects, watch for an article in the September issue of Nebraska Farmer or you can visit NPPD online at www.nppd.com.