Nebraska Breaks Ground on State’s Largest Wind Farm

John Davis

State and local officials were on hand this week for the groundbreaking of what will become Nebraska’s largest wind farm.

This story from the North Platte (NE) Bulletin says the wind farm, near the Northeast Nebraska town of Bloomfield will be the state’s first community-based wind project:

When completed, the Elkhorn Ridge Wind Facility will have 27 wind turbines and generate enough electricity to power 25,000 homes.

heineman.jpg“Today, we celebrate the official start of the largest wind energy project to date in Nebraska,” Gov. [Dave] Heineman said at the groundbreaking. “I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to everyone involved with this project, which will more than double Nebraska’s wind power capacity.

The wind power industry is in the infant stage in Nebraska but holds real promise, Heineman said.

“Some of Nebraska’s emerging and fastest growing industries are those in the field of renewable energy,” he said. “Nebraska is building a comprehensive renewable portfolio thanks to recent investments in expanded ethanol research and production, new investments in biodiesel production, the construction of methane digesters, and new opportunities to harness the wind in powering our homes and businesses.”

The facility is the first project to be developed using provisions enacted during the 2007 legislative session, allowing Nebraska’s publicly-owned utilities to purchase electricity generated by wind turbines owned by community partnerships.

Nebraska produces just 73 megawatts of wind-produced electricity. This project will more than double that amount as it will crank out 80 megawatts when fully operational.