The first shovel of dirt was turned to start construction of the newest wind farm to serve OPPD customers, Sholes Wind Energy Center.
On July 27, leaders of OPPD and project partner NextEra Energy Resources gathered in rural northeast Nebraska to begin construction of the facility.
When operational in 2019, Sholes will provide 160 megawatts of electricity for OPPD customers. The utility has a 20-year contract with NextEra to purchase 100 percent of the facility’s generation.
The addition of energy from Sholes will allow renewables to supply 40 percent of OPPD’s customer usage. It brings the total renewables portfolio to more than 971 megawatts. OPPD is also working with NextEra on a community solar array to be located north of the Omaha metro area.
The wind farm will also have a positive economic impact on Wayne and Stanton counties. Over the first 30 years of operation, Sholes will provide more than $30 million in property taxes and $40 million in payments to local landowners.
Hear more about the impact of wind farm projects from residents of Wayne themselves in the above video.