Wind Turbines will be part of the skyline in Keya Paha County again
Wind turbines coming back to Springview. Wind turbines will be part of the skyline in Keya Paha County again, following the signing of a power purchase agreement between Nebraska Public Power District and Omaha-based Bluestem LLC. In September, NPPD’s board of directors directed its management to seek an agreement for two 1.5 megawatt, direct-drive wind turbines, a new technology in utility-scale wind turbines. The new Springview wind farm is expected to be operational by mid-2011, with site work expected to begin later this year, NPPD said in a news release. The two new turbines will bring Nebraska’s first wind farm back into operation for the first time since 2007. NPPD’s partners on the project include Omaha Public Power District, Lincoln Electric System, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, Grand Island Utilities and Ainsworth-based KBR Public Power District. “This is new technology in the wind industry we want to thoroughly look at, particularly in maintenance costs and turbine availability. It also returns NPPD to the starting point of the wind industry in Nebraska — the Springview Wind Farm,” NPPD renewable energy manager Dave Rich said in a news release. “This is a great opportunity for public power in Nebraska to learn first-hand about the benefits of direct-drive wind turbines.” The direct-drive turbines are significantly different than those used at NPPD’s Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility and other wind farms in Nebraska. Direct-drive turbines do not use a gear box, which is a major component used to increase the slow rotation speed of the large rotor to several hundred revolutions per minute for the generator. With direct-drive, electric inverters are used to synchronize the generator into the grid. Bluestem spokeswoman Amber Hawley said her company, to the best of its knowledge, is the first entirely Nebraska-led developer/contractor team for a utility wind project within the state. Bluestem will use towers made by Katana Summit in Columbus. The power purchase agreement is for 20 years, with NPPD buying the electric energy produced by the turbines. Bluestem will be responsible for construction, maintenance and operation. The original turbines at Springview began operation in 1998 as a demonstration project to verify turbine technology available at that time, and to prove the efficiency and reliability of wind energy at distribution voltages in Nebraska. In 2007, the two 750-kilowatt turbines were retired due to lack of replacement parts, maintenance issues and the chance to sell them at an attractive price to FPL Energy LLC in Florida. ((30 NOV 2010))
Keya Paha County is setting a good example for the rest of America.
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- December 1, 2010 / 9:09 pm