Tag Archives: wind energy development in Nebraska

Nebraska surprise: State poised to become Midwest building efficiency leader

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Nebraska lawmakers on Thursday passed LB 405 to update the state’s energy codes for residential and commercial buildings, potentially the first substantial changes to the regulations in a decade. The state is currently utilizing the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for its building energy codes, but if Gov. Pete Ricketts, R, signs the bill, Nebraska will switch to the 2018 version, yielding the strongest efficiency codes in the Midwest, advocates  say . . . The bill was presented to Ricketts on May 2, and state law gives the Nebraska governor five days to act, not including Sundays. Absent a veto, the new codes will be adopted at the end of Wednesday. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Wind farm sites guided by data, science, relationships, The Wire, OPPD Blog
OPPD does not build its own wind energy facilities. Instead, they contract with developers such as NextEra Energy Resources on projects and enter into purchase agreements for the energy produced. OPPD and other public power utilities use PPAs for renewable projects to be eligible for federal production tax credits. They then pass these savings on to their customers. These partnerships occur after OPPD issues a request for proposal (RFP) and evaluates bids from companies competing for OPPD’s business. Wind facilities are often sited before OPPD enters into a purchase agreement. To date, all of the wind farms contracted with OPPD are located in Nebraska. And that is not a coincidence.

Enel Green Power acquires US renewable developer Tradewind Energy

News Release, Enel Green Power

Enel Green Power has closed an agreement today to purchase Kansas-based renewable developer Tradewind Energy, Inc. Under the agreement, EGP purchased all of Tradewind’s development platform comprising of 13 GW of wind, solar and storage projects located throughout the US. Read more here.

Tradewind Energy Photo: Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm in Dixon County, Nebraska

Additional Recommended Reading

Enel acquires US developer Tradewind, by David Weston, Wind Power Monthly
The Kansas-based developer Tradewind has worked with Enel in the US since 2006, on a number of major wind projects across the US. Roughly 3.9GW of Enel’s North American operating wind portfolio was developed by Tradewind. This included the 400MW Cimarron Bend project in Kansas, and the 200MW Rattlesnake Creek site in Nebraska, which is providing power to social media giant Facebook

More About the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm
The 101–turbine Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm was constructed by Enel Green Power and is located between the towns of Allen, Emerson, and Wakefield in Dixon County. The wind farm became operational December 18, 2018. Maximum capacity is 318,150 kilowatts (or 318.15 megawatts), enough power for approximately 90,000 homes. Facebook is planning to purchase 200 megawatts.
Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Energy Office

From Kaiser To Vail Ski Resorts, Companies Doubled Their Wind And Solar In 2018

By Grace Hood, Colorado Public Radio

Corporate giants like Facebook, Walmart, Microsoft and Apple made big deals in 2018, but now smaller corporate fish have waded into the pond. “We had Etsy do a deal last year, J.M. Smucker Company that makes jellies and jams,” [Kevin Haley, a program manager at the Business Renewables Center at Rocky Mountain Institute] said. “It’s a great way for them to reduce a lot of carbon all at once.”

Colorado-based Vail Resorts has joined the ranks of small companies as well. It inked a 12-year agreement to buy new wind that will be produced from a Nebraska farm starting in 2020. When the wind farm is operational, the purchased power will offset Vail’s fossil fuel use across North America. “This is the way that a company that’s geographically diverse can make a significant impact and bring new renewable resources online,” said Kate Wilson, director of sustainability for Vail Resorts. Read more here.

About Vail Resorts Corporation

Lincoln Clean Energy photo of the partially-completed 230 MW Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County, Nebraska. Once operational, the project will create high-paying local jobs and will result in over $3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne County area. This includes much needed property tax revenues, with some of the largest beneficiaries being the Norfolk and Winside school districts.

Previously Posted
Vail Resorts Announces Long-Term Wind Energy Contract, Renewable Energy Magazine
The company’s multimillion-dollar wind energy virtual power purchase agreement enables the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project. It is expected to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 100,000 U.S. homes each year.

Additional Colorado News: More Colorado co-ops announce clean energy goals, Clean Cooperative

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

Solar seen as bright career path at Illinois community colleges, Energy News Network

Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act included funding to make solar training more accessible to lower-income residents.
 

Consumer demand drives record year for wind energy purchases

American Wind Energy Association News Release

US wind power industry reports third strongest quarter ever for new capacity installations.

WASHINGTON — Fortune 500 brands and a range of other non-utility entities, including cities and universities, are catalyzing America’s growing demand for renewable energy by purchasing a record amount of wind power in 2018 according to a new report released today by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Consumer demand combined with policy stability and low, stable prices helped wind power capacity installations rise to the third strongest quarter in the industry’s history.

AWEA’s U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2018 Market Report reveals that non-utility customers like AT&T, Walmart, ExxonMobil, and Shell Energy purchased a record 4,203 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity in 2018 through long-term contracts, or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). Contracted wind capacity from non-utility customers in 2018 surged 66 percent higher than the previous high-water mark in 2015. Data from the Business Renewables Center confirms that wind provides more energy to corporate brands than any other renewable source. Read the entire news release here.

Wind Energy in Nebraska
Nebraska is a national leader in wind resource potential. Nebraska is one of the top states in the country for potential wind energy generation, with a technical potential of approximately 465,000 megawatts (MW) according to NREL. Nebraska now has 1,972 MW of installed wind power and ranks 14th in the nation for installed capacity. Harnessing more of Nebraska’s wind potential could make the state a powerhouse for the wind industry while providing savings for electricity customers. Source: Nebraska Fact Sheet (PDF), American Wind Energy Association

Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Energy Office

Photo: “Wind Rainbow,” AWEA’s Wind Energy Image Gallery

Checking in on the Nebraska wind boom

By Curtis Walter, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Nebraska is in the midst of a wind energy boom–it’s one of seven states on track to double
its installed wind capacity in the coming years. Like many rural communities across the U.S., this has brought wide-ranging benefits to the state.

“Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago,” the Omaha World-Herald reported. “As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has saved family farms across a wide swath of the heartland. Read more here.

Invenergy Announces Start of Commercial Operations of Upstream Wind Energy Center

Invenergy News Release

CHICAGO (Jan.17, 2019) – Invenergy, a leading privately-held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, announced the completion of construction and the start of commercial operations of the 200-megawatt Upstream Wind Energy Center in Antelope County,
Nebraska. Located just north of the City of Neligh, Upstream was developed and constructed by Invenergy and will generate enough electricity to power 68,000 American homes. The project supported 275 workers during peak construction and will create 11 permanent full-time operations and maintenance jobs for the long-term operation of the project. Upstream will contribute approximately $2 million annually to the local economy through tax payments, lease payments to participating landowners, and wages and benefits for employees. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Invenergy

Other Invenergy Projects in Operation in Nebraska

  • 35.8 MW Prairie Breeze III Wind Energy Center in Antelope County southeast of Elgin. 20 turbines. Commercial Operation Date: 2015
  • 73.4 MW Prairie Breeze II Wind Energy Center in northeastern Nebraska in Antelope and Boone Counties. 41 turbines. Commercial Operation Date: 2015
  • 200 MW Prairie Breeze I in Antelope, Boone and Madison Counties. 118 turbines. Commercial Operation Date: 2014
    Source: Wind Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Energy Office

Previously Posted: County gives approval to test towers to collect wind speeds, Norfolk Daily News

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

EDF Renewables acquires Nebraska wind energy project, News Release
EDF Renewables North America has closed on a purchase agreement with York Nebraska Wind Partners, LLC, a partnership comprised of Aksamit Resource Management, LLC and York Capital Management for 100-percent of the interests in the 300-megawatt (MW) Milligan 1 Wind Project located in Nebraska.  The Project is currently in development with anticipated operation to commence in late 2020.

The Project, sited in Saline County in southern Nebraska, will sell its generated energy and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) into the Southwest Power Pool. Milligan 1 Wind marks the first project for EDF Renewables in Nebraska . . . The expected electricity generated at full capacity is enough to meet the consumption of up to 115,000 average homes.

Hitesman to retire June 3, Hastings Tribune

William “Bill” Hitesman was named president of CCC-Hastings in 2002. He also serves as vice president over the skilled and technical sciences and business and entrepreneurship/incubator divisions. In recent years, he directed the groundbreaking for the Hamilton Building expansion and installation of an on-campus 1.7-megawatt wind turbine. He was also instrumental in helping bring such programs to campus as heavy equipment operator technician, truck driving, diesel technology and the forthcoming wind energy program. 

Enel Green Power brings online 620 MW of new wind capacity in the United States

Enel Green Power News Release

Enel, through its US renewable company Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA), has started operations of the 320 MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm, its first wind facility in the US state of Nebraska, and the Diamond Vista wind farm of around 300 MW in Kansas. Combined, the two new wind farms will generate around 2,600 GWh annually. With these two wind farms, the total renewable capacity that Enel Green Power has connected to grids around the world this year amounts to approximately 2.6 GW, of which over 830 MW in North America. Read more here.

Image Credit: OPPD

Previously Posted News Release
Enel sells energy from new US wind farm to Facebook and Adobe

Local View: Lancaster County needs fair, balanced wind ordinance

By Lu Nelson, Guest Opinion, Lincoln Journal Star 

The way we use and generate electricity continues to change at a rapid pace. Just as we have more devices that rely on ready access to energy, we’ve also shifted to cleaner and renewable resources to deliver that energy. Renewable energy generation like wind does more than produce clean energy. It creates several other benefits for the communities where projects are located.
Continue reading here.

Lu Nelson is a Center for Rural Affairs Policy Associate, Lyons, Nebraska.

County gives approval to test towers to collect wind speeds

By Jerry Guenther, Norfolk Daily News

MADISON — Two areas in the western part of Madison County will be the first to be studied for their suitability for possible wind farms. Following a pair of public hearings Wednesday, the Madison County board of commissioners approved two conditional-use permit applications sought by Invenergy Wind Development of Denver . . . Invenergy built and operates both Prairie Breeze projects west of Madison County and recently finished construction of the Upstream Wind Farm, north of Neligh. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Invenergy

Previously Posted

City seeking proposals for solar project

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

The city of Hastings is seeking proposals for a 1.5 megawatt solar farm project. Derek Zeisler, Hastings Utilities director of marketing and energy supply, told members of the Hastings Utility board during their regular meeting Thursday HU will disseminate an RFP on Friday for a solar farm project and is asking for those proposals by Nov. 28. “It seems to be a good size for a good price point,” he said of the 1.5 megawatt size of the solar project, which is similar to the power generated by the Central Community College-Hastings wind turbine. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities. First Fremont Solar Farm, 1.55-megawatts. The city completed a second solar farm of the same size in September 2018 to accommodate strong customer demand.

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Stowe, Okemo resorts to be powered by virtual wind energy, Vermont Biz
Lincoln Clean Energy Photo: Nebraska’s Plum Creek Wind Farm  development, expected to be completed in 2020.