In 2001, OPPD dipped its toe into the renewable energy generation pool with the commission of a wind turbine in Valley, Neb.
The tower, located on the property of Valmont Industries, is a partnership with Valmont, who provided the tower for the turbine. OPPD provided its generator. Throughout its lifespan, the Valley turbine produced 660 kilowatts for the utility.
By 2018, OPPD will generate enough renewable energy, mostly wind power, to equal 33 percent of its retail sales. The utility contracts with various entities for the output from several wind farms throughout Nebraska. Because wind power is intermittent, it supplements OPPD’s baseload generation.
In 2017, Nebraska’s largest wind farm, Grande Prairie, went online. OPPD has contracted with BHE Renewables, which owns and operates the wind farm, to purchase all 400 MW of its output for the next 20 years.
And it all started with a lone turbine in Valley.
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