NPPD Announces Plans For Two New Wind Turbines

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Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will be seeking bids to supply and construct two direct drive turbines to replace the ones retired in 2007. The original site where Nebraska's first two wind turbines were installed in 1998 will be used again. Installation of the new turbines will take place in 2009, with operations expected to start later in the year.

The direct drive turbines will be installed as a demonstration project to study the efficiency and reliability of the technology. NPPD will examine reliability and maintenance issues of direct-drive turbines for possible future use in a larger-scale facility.

Financing for the project will be partially underwritten by Federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB) for singe projects totaling $3.4 million. The CREB program is a financial incentive for consumer-owned utilities to invest in new renewable electricity generation facilities. After nearly 10 years of operation, the two original 750 kW turbines at the Springview Wind Energy Facility were retired in 2007. The original turbines were a demonstration project to verify turbine technology available at that time and to prove the efficiency and reliability of wind energy at distribution voltages in Nebraska.

Lack of available replacement parts, significant maintenance issues as the units aged, the ability to sell the old turbines at an attractive price and the opportunity to demonstrate new wind turbine technology were the prime reasons for the decision to retire the units at Springview, according to NPPD. The existing turbines were sold to FPL Energy LLC of Juno Beach, Fla.

SOURCE: Nebraska Public Power District

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