NextEra Energy Resources LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., has officially dedicated the 74.8 Steele Flats Wind Energy Center, located in Jefferson and Gage counties, Neb.
‘I'm excited that NextEra Energy has built a wind farm in Nebraska,’ said Gov. Dave Heineman, R-Neb., at a dedication ceremony. ‘Projects such as Steele Flats are helping make America more energy independent and more energy secure by relying on energy grown and produced here at home, rather than overseas. Wind energy helps our local and state economy and is an important step toward our own energy future.’
All of the power generated by the Steele Flats project is being provided to the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) under a long-term contract. BD, a medical technology company, is also purchasing a portion of the project's renewable energy credits for the next 20 years to offset 75% of the electricity use at its manufacturing facilities in Columbus and Holdrege, Neb.
‘This relationship between Nebraska Public Power District, BD and NextEra Energy has added another generation resource to our energy portfolio, and at the same time, we have been able to assist BD, a company with deep Nebraska roots, in meeting their global initiatives,’ commented NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope.
The wind facility features 44 GE 1.7 MW turbines and entered service in November 2013, two months ahead of schedule. NextEra says since breaking ground in July 2013, the project employed approximately 200 construction workers and now supports five full-time jobs. The company also adds that the wind farm represents a $138 million capital investment and is expected to contribute millions in property taxes and land lease payments over the first 20 years of the plant's life.