July 3, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Invenergy Wind LLC (“Invenergy”) last week welcomed local, state, and federal government representatives, and business and community leaders, to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the commencement of commercial operations at its Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Center (Prairie Breeze).
Prairie Breeze is a 118-turbine, 200.6 MW project located in Antelope, Boone, and Madison Counties.
The project interconnects into a 230 kV transmission line of the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and output is purchased by the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) under long-term agreement.
“This wind farm is indicative of Nebraska’s commitment to energy independence and rural economic development,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “Wind energy helps our local economy and our state economy. This is another important step toward controlling our own energy future.”
“As we look to the future, OPPD remains strongly committed to providing affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive services to our customers,” said OPPD Vice President of Corporate Service Sherrye Hutcherson.
“With Prairie Breeze, OPPD has surpassed its voluntary goal of producing ten percent renewable energy for retail sales by 2020. We’re delighted, in fact, that by 2017-2018, OPPD’s renewable energy portfolio will surpass thirty percent.”
“This is an exciting day for Invenergy as we celebrate our first energy generation project in Nebraska,” said Jim Shield, Chief Development Officer at Invenergy. “We appreciate the great alliance of local support that made this wind farm possible, including working with OPPD and NPPD. We’re proud that Prairie Breeze makes good business and environmental sense for all involved.”
Located on approximately 25,000 acres of private land, Prairie Breeze:
• Commenced commercial operation on May 1, 2014
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review
July 3, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
The Upper Elkhorn NRD met for their regular board meeting June 23 at the NRD office in O’Neill.
One of the topics on the agenda was the 2014 Groundwater Irrigated Acres (GIA) sign up. A motion was made to cancel the October 2014 Groundwater Irrigated Acre Expansion signup.
By a vote of eight to five, the 2014 sign up for groundwater irrigated acres will be cancelled and as a result there will be no new groundwater irrigated acre expansion for the 2015 growing season.
One reason for the cancellation was the slow groundwater recovery due to the past drought conditions.
The Upper Elkhorn NRD noted that between 2013 and 2014, the district wide average static water level remained virtually unchanged. Applications for the transfer of groundwater irrigated acres are still scheduled and the sign up period will be November 1, 2014 through March 1, 2015.
For further information regarding the transfer of groundwater irrigated acres please visit the Upper Elkhorn NRD website at www.uenrd.org.
July 1, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
The Board of Directors of Central Valley Ag Cooperative (CVA) and United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) met July 1 to ratify the votes cast by their respective member-owners approving the merger of the two companies effective September 1, 2014. Each cooperative’s membership voted on the merger proposal, with Nebraska law requiring 2/3 of the votes cast to favor the proposal in order to be ratified. Accounting firm Gardiner Thomsen certified that the owners of both cooperatives overwhelmingly approved the merger proposal. The unified cooperative will retain the Central Valley Ag name and be headquartered in York, NE with Carl B. Dickinson serving as CEO.
“I am very pleased that the patrons of both cooperatives entrusted the vision and due diligence of their board members and leadership teams to approve their recommendation to merge two strong cooperatives focused on creating value for our customers” says Dickinson. “The new CVA will provide the opportunity for expanded services and facilities, increased savings, and accelerated equity redemptions for the benefit of our member-owners. We also expect to be able to attract and retain the best employees to provide world-class service for every customer.”
Initial merger discussions between the companies began in early 2013, with the respective boards meeting in March 2014 to unanimously approve an Agreement and Plan of Merger. Ballots were distributed to the owners of the cooperatives in May with the final tally of votes completed June 30th.
Doug Derscheid, current CEO of CVA, stated “It’s very gratifying to receive such an overwhelming approval from our membership. They have truly set the stage and positioned their Cooperative to serve their needs and the needs of generations to come. In my 44 years of cooperative employment and 38 in CEO positions, with many mergers and acquisitions during that time, this one is undoubtedly the very best in every measurement. Very exciting times are in our future.”
About Central Valley Ag Cooperative
Central Valley Ag Cooperative was formed in 2003 by the combination of Agland Coop of Oakland, Central Farmers Cooperative of O’Neill, and Tri Valley Cooperative of St. Edward. CVA merged with Northeast Cooperative in 2005, adding nine locations, and later that year purchased the assets of Precision Agronomy LLC and continued business through their seven locations. In 2011, CVA completed the purchase of an existing feed mill in Duncan, NE and later that year purchased Ortmeier’s Seed & Feed in West Point to enhance their ability to service livestock customer’s needs. CVA had sales of $687 Million in fiscal year 2013 with a Local Net Profit of $13.5 Million.
About United Farmers Cooperative
United Farmers Cooperative was created in 2001 from the merger of United Co-op Inc. of Hampton, Farmers Cooperative Association of York, and Farmers Co-op Business Association of Shelby. In 2005, UFC acquired the Greenleaf, Haddam, Linn, and Washington locations in Kansas; followed in 2006 by merging with additional Kansas locations in Agenda, Barnes, Clifton, Clyde and Narka. Cuba, Kansas was added as a basic agronomy location in 2007 and UFC purchased H&H Grain Company in Norway, KS in 2008. Midwest Ag Partners, LLC in Marquette, NE was acquired in 2012 and, most recently, Jensen Fertilizer in Aurora, NE was purchased in 2013. UFC had sales of $709 Million in fiscal year 2013 with a Local Net Profit of $9.8 Million.
The new Central Valley Ag Cooperative will consist of 66 locations across eastern Nebraska and northern Kansas with over 800 employees dedicated to “Growing Agriculture Together” with their patrons. The cooperative offers a wide range of products, services, information, and innovation through its Agronomy, Energy, Feed and Grain divisions to meet the needs of agricultural producers across the region. Central Valley Ag Cooperative has a proud history on which the foundation has been laid for building a promising future in agriculture.
June 28, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, the Invenergy public Open House is going on until noon today (Saturday, June 28). Wonderful facility and it may be one of the few times you’ll be able to tour it. Stop by for refreshments and visit with the Elgin staff. E-R photo
June 26, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
The public will have an opportunity to view the Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Center Operations/Maintenance building on Saturday morning, June 28.
An open house will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. Light refreshments will be served.
Parking will be available on-site. The building is located approximately one mile west of the intersection of Highways 70 & 14.