Construction of a new wind farm capable of producing enough energy to meet the needs of about 25,000 homes in Nebraska was announced by Edison Mission Group (EMG), a subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE:EIX), Midwest Wind Energy, LLC (MWE) and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD).
The $145 million wind project, known as Broken Bow Wind LLC, is located in central Nebraska, approximately three miles northeast of the city of Broken Bow in Custer County. The project, which will be 100 percent owned and operated by EMG, will be capable of generating up to approximately 80 megawatts (MW) of electricity. All of the power produced by Broken Bow will be sold to NPPD under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
"We are pleased to be building our third wind energy project in Nebraska," said Pedro Pizarro, president of EMG. "The state is able to attract investment in clean energy thanks to its plentiful wind resources, along with its legislative and regulatory climate that supports the development of renewable energy projects. We are also very pleased to expand our relationship with Nebraska Public Power District with this most recent project."
"The addition of Broken Bow Wind, LLC, moves NPPD closer to our board of directors goal of having 10 percent of our energy come from renewable energy," said NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope. "The energy produced will be shared with other Nebraska utilities as we have done at other EMG wind farms." NPPD is working with Omaha Public Power District, Lincoln Electric System, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska and the City of Grand Island as partners in the project.
"The Broken Bow wind farm would not have been possible without the leadership of NPPD and the support of our participating landowners and the Broken Bow community," said Stefan Noe, president of MWE, which develops potential wind projects under an agreement with EMG. "This is the fourth project that MWE has successfully developed with EMG in two states, Nebraska and Illinois. It is yet another example of how public power, private developers and the local community can work together to create a win-win situation for renewable energy and economic development despite the challenging economy."
Construction of Broken Bow is scheduled to be completed by November of 2012. During its peak construction phase, the project will employ approximately 100 individuals at the site. During construction, the project is expected to contribute $5.6 million to the state in sales tax revenues.
Once completed, the wind farm will provide average annual tax revenues of nearly $900,000 over its 25-year life in property taxes and state income taxes. In addition, Broken Bow will generate an average of $540,000 per year over its 25-year life in lease royalties to local landowners. The wind farm will provide approximately 10 permanent jobs in the Broken Bow area.
The facility will be powered by 50 wind turbines, each capable of producing 1.6 MW of power at peak output. The turbines will be mounted on 80-meter high towers. The wind farm site occupies approximately 14,000 acres of land. NPPD began conducting wind studies in the Broken Bow area in 2008, with the development of the site by the MWE/EMG team beginning in 2009 after being awarded a power purchase agreement by NPPD.
EMG operates two other wind farms in Nebraska which also sell their output to NPPD – the approximately 80 MW Elkhorn Ridge wind farm near Bloomfield in Knox County, and the approximately 80 MW Laredo Ridge wind farm near Petersburg in Boone County. The Elkhorn Ridge facility began operation in 2009 and is majority-owned by EMG, with one-third owned by Nebraska employee-owners of Tenaska, a privately held energy company headquartered in Omaha. Laredo Ridge, which is 100 percent owned and operated by EMG, was commissioned in November of 2010. Once the new Broken Bow wind farm is operational, approximately 5 percent of NPPD's total power portfolio will come from wind energy generated by the EMG wind projects, along with NPPD's Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility.
About Edison Mission Group
EMG is the seventh largest developer of wind energy projects in the U.S., with a portfolio of 30 projects and more than 1,900 megawatts of wind power capacity in operation or under construction in 11 states. The company has a pipeline of approximately 3,900 megawatts of potential, additional projects. With offices in Santa Ana, Calif., EMG manages the competitive power generation business of Edison International, an electric power generator and distributor, and an investor in infrastructure and renewable energy projects.
About Nebraska Public Power District
Nebraska Public Power District is Nebraska's largest electric utility, with a chartered territory including all or parts of 91 of Nebraska's 93 counties. NPPD is a public corporation and political subdivision of the state of Nebraska. NPPD's mission is to safely generate and deliver reliable, low-cost sustainable energy and provide outstanding customer service. Working in partnership with the state's rural public power districts, cooperatives and municipalities, NPPD helps serve an estimated one million Nebraskans with retail or wholesale electric power and energy-related products and services.
About Midwest Wind Energy
Midwest Wind Energy, LLC is a leading developer of wind power projects in the Midwest region with a proven track record of successful projects. Since its inception, MWE has developed eight projects totaling 728 megawatts that are either in operation or under construction. MWE further has an additional project development portfolio of well over 1,500 megawatts in varying stages of development.
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