The City of Grand Island has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 36 MW Prairie Breeze III Wind Energy Center being developed by Invenergy, which is to be built in Antelope County, Nebraska (USA).
The announcement follows a city council resolution to approve the Grand Island Utilities Department's negotiation and execution of a PPA. The department provides water and electric service for approximately 50,000 residential and business customers within the municipality.
A portion of the output from Prairie Breeze III may also be purchased by two other Nebraska municipalities which have shown interest in the project, Neligh and Nebraska City.
Located in Antelope and Boone Counties 100 miles northwest of Lincoln, Invenergy's Prairie Breeze III will consist of 20 1.8 MW General Electric wind turbines, giving a total capacity of 36 MW. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and conclude in 2016. The project is expected to bring numerous economic benefits to the community, including:
Prairie Breeze III will be the third phase of Invenergy's Nebraska endeavor. The first phase, the Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Center, has a generating capacity of 201 MW and began operation in 2014. The second phase, the 73 MW Prairie Breeze II, is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
Tim Luchsinger, Director of Grand Island utilities, has commented:
"This is an excellent opportunity for Grand Island's customers to participate in the benefits of renewable energy at prices competitive with other energy sources. Diversification of our energy portfolio will reduce the risk of future rate impacts and, in this case, provide additional benefits to our environment and our state."
Nebraska has already attracted more than US$1.5 billion in wind industry investment. The state has a wind resource capable of meeting more than 100% of its current electricity needs.
IPP published two articles on Invenergy in May: