Planned 30-Megawatt Wind Power Plant will be Nebraska's Largest

December 17, 2003

The Board of Directors for the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) gave its approval on December 12th for the construction of a 30-megawatt wind power plant near Ainsworth, located in the central Nebraska near the South Dakota border. NPPD holds options to lease land for the wind energy facility, which will be the state's largest. The utility may even expand the installation to 75 megawatts if it succeeds in selling wind power to other utilities. NPPD hopes to sell 10 megawatts of wind power to the Omaha Public Power District and, through wind energy credits, to sell an additional 10 megawatts to the Jacksonville Electric Authority in Jacksonville, Florida. See the NPPD press release.

With wind energy tax credits expiring at the end of 2003, developers are currently rushing to complete a number of large wind power installations around the country. For now, though, the nation's smaller wind power plants are making the news. For instance, the first utility-scale wind installation in Ohio went on-line in November near Bowling Green. The AMP-Ohio/Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm consists of two 1.8-megawatt wind turbines, the largest wind turbines east of the Rockies. In Minnesota, a 13.5-megawatt wind plant consisting of nine 1.5-megawatt wind turbines was dedicated in late October. Called the G. McNeilus Wind Farm, the facility is located near Adams, not far from the Iowa border, about 100 miles south of Minneapolis. The Dairyland Power Cooperative, which serves member cooperatives in five Midwestern states, is buying the power from five of the nine wind turbines. And in Vermont, East Haven Windfarm plans to build four 1.5-megawatt wind turbines in East Haven. The company hopes to eventually expand its 6-megawatt project into a 75-megawatt wind installation. See the announcements from Green Mountain Energy Company, Dairyland Power Cooperative, and East Haven Windfarm.