Volkswind USA president Jeffrey Wagner says the company is seeking customers for the electricity the wind farm will generate, adding, Nebraska Public Power District is one possibility.
“Any utility in Nebraska and for that matter, any utility within what is called the Southwest Power Pool is a potential customer,” Wagner says. The Volkswind project can still qualify for a federal renewable electricity production tax credit, he says, though Congress has hesitated to permanently extend the tax break.
“Projects which are completed by the end of 2015 can quality for that tax credit,” Wagner says. The tax credit passed in 1992 assists wind farms in staying competitive with other energy development, but extending the credit could fall victim to lack of support in Congress.
The wind turbine supplier for the Jefferson County project has not yet been determined, but Wagner says the height of the towers would be similar to the Steele Flats project, located in southeastern Jefferson and southwestern Gage County. The Volkswind project will mean numerous construction jobs coming to the area.
“For a project of 100 megawatts, you could have hundreds of workers involved,” he says. When the wind farm is complete, he says it will mean three to five full-time workers on site for on-going operations and maintenance.
Volkswind sold a 20-megawatt wind farm in Montana to a turbine supplier, which built the project and placed it in service in 2012.
Wagner says Volkswind is in the early stages of planning for a project at a site near Hallam, Nebraska. He says the company would be working with both Lancaster and Gage counties on the permitting process for that wind farm. He says some site-control and environmental work for the project is underway.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice