Nebraska Wind Facility Comes Back To Life With New Turbines

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Four years after the turbines at a Nebraska wind farm were taken down, two new direct-drive wind turbines have taken their place at the Springview II wind facility.

The turbines were installed by Bluestem LLC, which owns and operates the turbines and is responsible for maintenance. The company signed a power purchase agreement in November 2010 with Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), officially bringing the site back into operation.

The NPPD is sharing the energy produced at the facility with the Omaha Public Power District, Lincoln Electric System, the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, and the City of Grand Island.

Energy generated from the two turbines is interconnected into the Ainsworth-based KBR Rural Public Power District electric-distribution system.

The Vensys 77 1.5 MW turbines were manufactured by Katana Summit and are the first Nebraska-built towers used on a wind facility in the state, according to the NPPD.

The original turbines at Springview began operation in 1998 as a demonstration project to verify turbine technology available at that time, as well as to prove the efficiency and reliability of wind energy at distribution voltages in Nebraska.

In 2007, the two 750 kW turbines at the facility were retired. A lack of available replacement parts, significant maintenance issues as the units aged and the opportunity to sell the turbines at an attractive price were the prime reasons for the decision to retire the units.

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