NPPD Receives 18 Proposals for Wind Farms

A total of 18 proposals from nine wind developers were received by Nebraska Public Power District in response to its most recent wind energy-related Request For Proposal (RFP), which closed April 15.

Last November, NPPD issued the RFP calling for construction of an 80-megawatt wind farm in either the Petersburg/Elgin or Broken Bow areas. NPPD would then purchase the electricity generated at the wind farm through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The process is similar to NPPD’s first wind-energy related RFP, except that specific locations for the wind farms were identified and also allowed privately-owned developers to make proposals using land on which NPPD currently has agreements with landowners. Developers could also propose projects on land they control as a company.

NPPD received seven proposals at Broken Bow and six at Petersburg/Elgin on the NPPD site, and private developers submitted proposals on their sites, one at Broken Bow and four in the Petersburg/Elgin area. “Based on these results and the interest in NPPD-controlled land,” Dave Rich, Renewable Energy Development Manager, “we will continue to work with landowners for additional sites to develop wind, as it increases the landowner’s likelihood of a project in the future.”

After an evaluation of proposals, expected to be completed this summer, NPPD will determine a short list of developers. Evaluations will be based on proposed energy cost to NPPD, cost for transmission additions, developer’s experience and environmental impact. Ultimately, NPPD’s Board of Directors will be asked to approve one or more power purchase agreements later this year.

Based on current federal and state incentives, entering into power purchase agreements with private developers (including Community-Based Energy Development) is the lowest cost option of meeting NPPD’s goal of 10 percent renewable energy by 2020.

NPPD’s first RFP, issued in July 2007, resulted in two projects being approved for Power Purchase Agreements. The projects included the 80-megawatt Elkhorn Ridge Wind Farm near Bloomfield and the 42-megawatt Crofton Hills Wind Farm located near Crofton.