May 29, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off
The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA office in Omaha and the Antelope County Sheriff’s office said they have opened investigations into Wednesday’s death of a wind tower subcontractor worker southeast of Elgin.
Thomas L. Bales, 40, of Denver, Colo., was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, according to Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore.
Bernard Hauber, OSHA acting area director, confirmed Friday morning that Bales was employed by Tradesman International and was working for Wanzek Construction Inc., based out of West Fargo, N.D., which is currently constructing Prairie Breeze II (PBII) for Invenergy.
OSHA said initial reports indicated the Bales was moving a 90-ton rough-terrain crane along a county road when the crane slipped into a ditch and overturned about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
An autopsy has been ordered by the Antelope County Attorney’s office.
Hauber said OSHA has received complaints alleging workers at the site were exposed to hazards while working near county roads that aren’t closed and don’t have adequate warning signs. Those allegations will be investigated along with the fatal incident.
“The time frame, from the time we begin an investigation, under OSHA Act regulations, we must furnish a report within six months,” Hauber said. However, he said they try to complete their investigations earlier than that.
May 27, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off
By Sophie Tatum
Nebraska News Service
LINCOLN — Energy produced by Prairie Breeze Wind Energy may one day benefit the City of Neligh.
The City of Grand Island is planning to purchase 100 percent of the energy produced from the recently announced Prairie Breeze Wind Energy III, LLC wind turbine electric generation facility.
Although Grand Island would be the singular purchaser of the energy output, there are conversations taking place between Grand Island and city officials in Neligh and Nebraska City to allow the other two cities to take some of the power generated by the wind farm.These negotiations are solely through the City of Grand Island.
According to testimonies at the Power Review Board hearing on May 22, no official contracts have been signed, but the City of Grand Island has signed a letter of intent with Invenergy, LLC, the parent company of Prairie Breeze Wind Energy III, LLC, who is overseeing the project. Prairie Breeze Wind Energy III, LLC went before the Nebraska Power Review Board and looked for conditional approval to move forward with the plans to begin building the facility.
The Nebraska Power Review Board did conditionally approve the request during the hearing despite the lack of a contract between the two entities.
Representatives of the City of Grand Island and Prairie Breeze Wind Energy III, LLC said the contracts would be signed in early June and that this was a rare circumstance. Tim Luchsinger, the utilities director for Grand Island said the contracts have not been officially signed because the city is still currently waiting on finalizing the power purchase agreement, but it must be finalized by the next board meeting on June 19. Since the project was approved, it allows the facility to move forward with lining up financing, construction crews and materials.
According to Invenergy, the cities of Neligh and Nebraska City are then planning to purchase from the city of Grand Island a portion of the output from Prairie Breeze III, through participation agreements with the City of Grand Island. Nebraska City would purchase approximately 20 percent of the project output, Neligh would acquire five percent of the project output.
Leroy J. Frana, general manager of Nebraska City Utilities and one of the Neligh City Attorney Joseph McNally, also testified in front of the board on behalf of the pending deal. The proximity to Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II, LLC creates a convenience and therefore lower cost for the City of Grand Island because of the infrastructure that is already in place.
May 15, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off
STATE OF NEBRASKA
NEBRASKA POWER REVIEW BOARD
In the Matter of the Application of Prairie Breeze Wind Energy III, LLC, Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Requesting Authority to Construct
A 35.8 Megawatt Wind Turbine Electric Generation Facility and Related Facilities in Antelope County, Nebraska.
On May 1, 2015, Prairie Breeze Wind Energy III, LLC, filed an application with the Nebraska Power Review Board (the Board) requesting approval to construct a 35.8 megawatt wind turbine electric generation facility and related facilities. The related facilities will include a substation, switchyard, an operation and maintenance facility, an interconnection tie line, and access roads. The proposed location for the facility is generally southeast of the City of Elgin in Antelope County, Nebraska. The total estimated cost of the project is $60 million. The applicant estimates construction would begin on June 1, 2015.
Notice is hereby given that the Nebraska Power Review Board will hold a formal evidentiary hearing on May 22, 2015, beginning at 9:30 a.m., in the Liquor Control Commission hearing room, 5th floor, Nebraska State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, Nebraska, to consider the above-referenced application. At that time the Power Review Board will receive testimony and other evidence regarding the construction of the proposed project.
Any interested person may attend the hearing. Parties wishing to be heard or to protest said application, or in any way participate in the hearing, must file a written Petition for Intervention with the Power Review Board prior to the date of the hearing. Any interested parties granted intervention may appear, file objections, and offer evidence regarding this application.
The Board hereby provides notice, pursuant to the Nebraska Administrative Procedure Act, that in the event of a contested hearing, if any party requests that the Board be bound by the formal rules of evidence, all costs of the hearing shall be paid by the party or parties against whom a final decision is rendered. Pursuant to the Board’s rules of practice and procedure set out in Nebraska Administrative Code, Title 285, Chapter 3, section 29.04, if for some reason there is no final decision in a hearing in which a party requested that the Board be bound by the formal rules of evidence, the costs of the hearing will be borne by the parties’ respective contribution to the record, unless otherwise ordered by the Board.
Individuals requiring special accommodations should contact the Board at the address below prior to the time of the hearing. Petitions for Intervention or other filings should be mailed to: Nebraska Power Review Board, P.O. Box 94713, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509. Filings may also be hand delivered to the Board’s offices located on the Lower Level of the Nebraska State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, Nebraska. To request additional information, or to obtain a copy of the application, contact the Board at the above address or call (402) 471-2301.
NEBRASKA POWER REVIEW BOARD
Timothy J. Texel
Executive Director and General Counsel
PUBLISH: May 13, 2015
May 15, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off
A third wind farm may soon be under construction in Antelope County.
The Nebraska Power Review Board has scheduled a formal evidentiary hearing for May 22 in Lincoln to consider an application for Prairie Breeze Wind Energy III, LLC.
According to a public notice which can be found on page five of this issue, Prairie Breeze III is requesting approval to construct a 35.8 megawatt wind turbine electric generation facility and related facilities.
“The related facilities will include a substation, switchyard, an operation and maintenance facility, an interconnection tie line and access roads,” the application states.
The proposed location for the facility is generally southeast of Elgin. Estimated cost for the project would be $60 million.
If approved, construction is expected to begin on June 1, 2015.
This spring, construction began on Prairie Breeze II, located generally north and east of Elgin.
Last year, construction was completed on Prairie Breeze I which consists of approximately 120 wind turbines.
May 4, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Students at Pope John/St. Boniface and Elgin Public Schools will benefit in different ways from generous donations made recently by Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC (PBWE).
Recently, Prairie Breeze Wind Operations Manager Luke Hinkle made check presentations to the schools. Elgin Public and Pope John/St. Boniface were each presented checks for $5,000.
“We’re delighted to support the important work being done by schools in Elgin, and to help enhance the student experience,” said Alissa Krinsky, Invenergy (PBWE’s parent company) spokeswoman. “We’re so pleased to be part of the fabric of Elgin and this is a way for us to give back and express our appreciation for the tremendous support we’ve received from the community.”
At Elgin Public, the donation is earmarked for the high school junior class trip which will take place in 2016. The presentation was made by Hinkle to District #18 School Board member Robert Hoefer on Friday, April 24.
On Monday morning, May 4, Hinkle presented a check to PJCC/St. Boniface Principal Betty Getzfred and Technology Integration Coordinator Julie Dwyer. The donation is earmarked for technology improvements at the school.
Read the complete story in this week’s issue of The Elgin Review.