Invenergy has started commercial operation of its 200.6 MW Prairie Breeze wind farm in Nebraska. The project is sited on private land in Antelope, Boone, and Madison counties and consists of 118 GE 1.7 MW wind turbines.
“Prairie Breeze is Invenergy’s first wind farm in Nebraska, a state which offers one of the nation’s best wind resources,” comments Jim Shield, chief development officer at Invenergy. “We’re proud to invest in Nebraska and in the economic future of the project area.”
The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) is purchasing the project’s output under a long-term agreement.
“OPPD voluntarily committed to produce 10 percent renewable energy for retail sales by 2020. With this project, we will already surpass that goal,” says Dean Mueller, the OPPD’s division manager of sustainability and environmental stewardship. “In fact, by 2017, OPPD will have a renewable energy portfolio of 30 percent. You can only have that sort of progress when you have solid projects.”
Invenergy says community economic benefits from Prairie Breeze include tax payments, lease payments to landowners, and staff salaries. More than 230 workers constructed the wind farm, with Blattner Energy serving as general contractor, and a full-time staff of 13 now operates and maintains the facility.