Wind Farm Ready to Build, but Needs Power Buyers - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Wind Farm Ready to Build, but Needs Power Buyers

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A Kansas-based wind energy development company says it has nearly everything ready to build a new wind farm in northeast Nebraska. The only thing missing is the buyers for the electricity it would generate.

TradeWind Energy LLC's 200-megawatt wind farm would generate enough electricity to power about 60,000 homes.

But David Rich, sustainable energy manager at Nebraska Public Power District, says the lack of state tax incentives allows other projects in other states to dominate the market for exported power.

He says the Nebraska Legislature approved a bill in 2010 that allows private investment in wind projects for export, but proposals for incentives have not advanced since.

Rich says NPPD won't lobby for an incentives bill in the upcoming session but will watch with interest to see what related legislation is introduced.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, Nebraska ranks fourth in the country with more than 900,000 megawatts of wind energy potential, according to the American Wind Energy Association. That's enough power to meet the state's current electricity needs 120 times over.

Nebraska currently has 11 operational wind farm sites consisting of 260 turbines capable of producing 459 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 165,880 homes, according to the Nebraska Energy Office. Only 2.9 percent of the state's power was provided by wind last year.

For more information about wind energy, go to https://www.awea.org/.

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