The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Wind and Water Power Program, through its Wind Powering America initiative, recognized the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) as one of the co-recipients of the 2010 Public Power Wind Award.
Nebraska Public Power District has been involved in studying and generating with wind power since the late 1990s and the utility owns and operates the state's largest public power owned wind farm near Ainsworth, Neb.
NPPD has been using power purchase agreements with private wind development companies to add additional wind to its energy mix, utilizing federal production tax credits, which are not available to public power, to help lower the purchase price.
Using this method, NPPD has added the 80 MW Elkhorn Ridge Wind Farm near Bloomfield, which began operation in March 2009. The Laredo Ridge Wind Farm, an 80 MW facility located near Petersburg, is expected to be operating by the end of 2010. The 40 MW Crofton Hills Wind Farm, near Crofton, is expected to be in operation by the end of 2011.
Negotiations are ongoing for an 80 MW wind facility near Broken Bow, and NPPD has included wind projects less than 10 MW as part of its small-scale renewable energy request for proposal. The utility is currently reviewing more than 30 proposals for projects that range between 50 MW and 300 MW.
The award also recognizes NPPD's encouragement of wind energy education throughout the state. NPPD supplies subject matter experts to state wind working groups, provides financial assistance for schools participating in DOE's Wind for Schools project, and supports legislation that promotes wind development while protecting ratepayers and public power in the state.
The announcement was made at the American Public Power Association National Convention in Orlando, Fla. This eighth annual award honors two American Public Power Association member organizations for their outstanding leadership, innovation, and project creativity through the use of wind energy technologies. The Princeton (N.J.) Municipal Light Department was also recognized.
SOURCE: Nebraska Public Power District