36 Turbines Near Ainsworth...
State’s Largest Wind Farm Gets Approvals

wind farm
Nebraska's Largest Wind Facility
Will Operate 36 Turbines
A string of approvals from utility and regulatory boards kept the largest planned wind energy farm planned in the state on track to begin producing power in late summer of 2005.

In August 2004, the Nebraska Public Power District Board selected an engineering, procurement and construction contractor, Renewable Energy Systems of Texas, to build the state’s largest wind facility to date, six miles south of Ainsworth. The contractor’s bid was $72.4 million. Total project costs are an estimated $81.3 million.

The proposed design for the site includes construction of 36 wind turbines, producing 1.65 megawatts of power each. Average wind speeds at the Ainsworth site are approximately 19.5 miles an hour which will allow the wind turbines to reach a capacity factor of as much as 40 percent.

Later in the month, the Nebraska Power Review Board approved the utility’s application to construct 32 megawatts of wind generation for itself and conditional approval for an additional 28 megawatts, once the utility has completed agreements with other participants.

According to the utility, agreements were being finalized with:
  • Jacksonville Electric Authority, Jacksonville, Florida for 10 megawatts;
  • Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska for 7 megawatts;
  • City of Grand Island for 1 megawatt and
  • Omaha Public Power District for 10 megawatts
In October 2004, the Omaha Public Power District Board voted to become a participant in the wind farm being constructed by NPPD.
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