- Associated Press - Friday, July 14, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new wind farm in northeast Nebraska is expected to boost wind power to about 40 percent of the Omaha Public Power District’s electricity generation by the end of 2019.

OPPD President Tim Burke told the utility’s board of directors on Thursday that NextEra Energy Resources will build the Sholes Wind Energy Center in Wayne County. The utility will purchase the electricity generated from the 160-megawatt farm, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2uhnUym ) reported.

The project is expected to boost the utility’s overall renewable generation to more than 1,000 megawatts, which includes hydropower OPPD purchases from the Western Area Power Administration and landfill gas it extracts from the Douglas County landfill.

Renewables made up about 400 megawatts of the utility’s generation power last year, according to OPPD.

The new wind farm marks the utility’s first contract with Florida-based NextEra, which is also working on a 90-megawatt project in southern Nebraska.

“We’re not only diversifying our wind generation across the region but diversifying across different developers, as well,” Burke said.

OPPD also plans to make another wind energy addition in 2017 to replace a portion of the capacity lost when it shut down its For Calhoun nuclear plant last year.

Directors and groups ratepayers expressed desire Thursday to add even more renewable generation, including a coalition of sustainability managers and professors from local colleges like the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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