Wind Energy

Broken Bow turbine at dawn.

Wind energy is an important, clean, renewable energy resource. Wind-generated electricity grew sizably in Nebraska in recent years, and more is on the way. Nebraska’s two largest utilities — Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) — have made voluntary commitments to have renewable energy account for at least 10 percent of their electricity by the year 2020. OPPD expects to have wind power producing about 30 percent of its electricity by 2018 and NPPD is ahead of its voluntary commitment.

In May 2014, the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, a 200 MW facility located near Norfolk, Nebraska, began generating electricity. Later this year, the Broken Bow II Wind Farm, a 75 MW project located near Broken Bow, Nebraska, is scheduled to begin operating

These two wind farms will join a dozen existing wind power facilities that produce clean, carbon-free electricity. In late 2012, two other Nebraska wind power facilities – Broken Bow Wind Farm I and Crofton Bluffs Wind Farm — began generating electricity. Those two projects can produce enough electricity to power as many as 50,000 homes when the wind is blowing.

The Prairie Breeze, Broken Bow I and Crofton Bluffs projects significantly expanded the amount of wind generation in Nebraska. With those two projects now in commercial operation, Nebraska has about 734 MW of total wind generation.

By 2018, two additional wind farms are scheduled to be operating:

  • Grande Prairie Wind Farm, to be built near O’Neill, Nebraska, will add 400 MW of new wind generation when it begins operating by 2018
  • Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm, to be built in Oklahoma, will add another 100 MW of carbon-free electricity to Nebraska’s energy mix.

Flatwater Construction

Nebraska and the surrounding states have very good wind resources, and NPA members have responded to declining costs and supportive public policies by signing contracts that support the construction of this clean, carbon-free source of electricity.

There is no federal mandate on the amount of electricity that should be generated from renewable sources like wind power. Nebraska has not established a state mandate for renewable energy.

Nebraska’s locally owned utilities build or contract for wind power when they have the need for it and when the price is right. As the graphics on this page demonstrate, Nebraska utilities have actively added wind power to their generation portfolios.

As of mid-2014, the following wind power facilities are operating in Nebraska (also see graphic in right-hand column):

  • Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility, a 60 MW facility located south of Ainsworth
  • Broken Bow Wind Farm I, an 80 MW facility located east of Broken Bow
  • Crofton Bluffs Wind Farm, a 42 MW facility near Crofton
  • Elkhorn Ridge Wind Farm, an 80 MW facility northwest of Bloomfield
  • Flat Water Wind Farm, a 60 MW facility located near Humboldt
  • Kimball Wind Project, a 10.5 MW facility located near Kimball
  • Laredo Ridge Wind Farm, an 80 MW facility located east of Petersburg
  • Petersburg Wind Farm, a 40.5 MW facility east of Petersburg
  • Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, a 200.6 MW facility located near Petersburg
  • Salt Valley, a 1.3 MW 2-turbine operation located outside Lincoln
  • Springview II, a 3 MW, direct-drive turbine facility located west of Springview
  • Steele Flats Wind Farm, a 75 MW facility located near the Nebraska/Kansas border between Steele City and Odell, and
  • Valley Station, a 0.6 MW wind turbine operating in Valley