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United States

Broken Bow wind farm receives Nebraska PPA

UNITED STATES: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has awarded a power purchase agreement (PPA) for an 80MW wind farm near the town of Broken Bow, Nebraska.

The public utility signed a 20-year agreement with Midwest Wind Energy, Edison Mission Group and Edison affiliate Broken Bow Wind.

It is NPPD’s third PPA with Midwest Wind Energy and Edison Mission Group. The first was for the 80MW Elkhorn Ridge Wind Farm, which came online in 2009.

The second was for the Laredo Ridge Wind Farm, also 80MW and now under construction near Petersburg, Nebraska.

The utility said the latest agreement takes it halfway towards its goal of deriving 10% of its energy from new renewables by the end of 2020.

NPPD is entering discussions with other Nebraska utilities about whether they might buy some of the power from the Broken Bow wind farm.

Those utilities are the Omaha Public Power District, Lincoln Electric System, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska and Grand Island Utilities. Nebraska is the only US state where the utilities are 100% publicly owned.

While third-ranked for its wind energy potential, Nebraska ranks 24th by installed capacity, with only 153MW. The state has a small electricity load due to its miniscule population, numbering under 1.8million.

A recently passed law, however, encourages wind growth by allowing developers with PPAs of ten years or more to build their projects as long as they export 90% of the power out of state, and pay for any needed transmission.  

Construction on the Broken Bow wind farm is due to begin in October 2011 and complete by the end of 2012. Laredo Ridge is expected online this year.

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