Nebraska Dedicates State's Largest Wind Facility
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and Senators Deb Fischer, Ed Schrock, and Don Preister recently dedicated the state's largest renewable energy plan in Ainsworth. Built by the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), the facility will also be used by four other public power entities: the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN), Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) of Jacksonville, Fla., and Grand Island Utilities. While OPPD and JEA will each use 10 megawatts of the 60-megawatt facility, MEAN has contracted for seven megawatts and Grand Island Utilities for one. NPPD and its wholesale customers will share the remaining output of 32 megawatts.
Winds in the Ainsworth area average 19.5 miles per hour, and each turbine can generate 1.65 megawatts of power. NPPD's facility can generate enough power to supply approximately 19,000 homes, annually.
The Nebraska Power Review Board and NPPD's Board of Directors approved the project in August 2004, and installation of the facility's 36 wind turbines was complete on Aug. 1, 2005. Commercial operation of the facility began Sept. 15, 2005. For more information, view the NPPD's Wind Generation Web site.