The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


First OPPD wind turbine

November 7, 2016 | Laura King-Homan | flashback, history, renewables
wind turbine

In 2001, OPPD dipped its toe into the renewable energy generation pool with the commission of a wind turbine in Valley, Neb.

wind turbine
The fully erected wind turbine, OPPD’s first foray into wind generation. Credit: Valmont Industries

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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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the supervisor, Brand and Communication Operations, at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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