Midwest Energy withdraws turbine sites

Midwest Energy officially withdrew their request to build five wind turbines within the Airport’s land jurisdiction Thursday. Tom Swierczewski, Midwest Energy Senior Project Developer told the Chief that they have withdrawn the application with the Airport Authority, and that it is their desire to work with a community in their development of Wind Energy. He said they felt there was enough uncertainty with these locations that it was better to relocate the turbines. The Airport Authority voted last Thursday to send a letter of objection to the site locations for the five turbines which fell within the three mile radius of the Air Port to Broken Bow’s Board of Adjustments. The Board of Adjustments was scheduled to meet Aug. 19 at 8 a.m. Swierczewski said that they will move three turbines scheduled to be built in Phase II, into Phase I of the project and then work to re-site three additional turbines. Once three additional sites are determined, the company will then have to take these sites through the determining agencies and amend those requests. He emphasized that it’s not an easy process, one that basically takes time. He said it won’t take as long as from scratch, but will take the better part of the rest of the year. The primary concern is the timing and the uncertainty that this presented. “We’re at a point in the project where we are removing the uncertainties. Construction is scheduled to being in September.” A lot of work has yet to be done … construction design, foundation design … He added that they will be looking for three new turbine locations, but the locations must be on ground already within the project arena. Project History:
 The Broken Bow Wind Farm was originated by the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) in 2008 with a vow to move toward renewable energy. In August 2009 NPPD awarded Midwest Wind Energy the rights to enter into a minimum 20-year Power Purchase Agreement and assume all of the development, construction, ownership and operation responsibilities going forward for the generation of 80 Megawatts of energy for Broken Bow. The project initially identified 119 sites for turbine locations northeast of Broken Bow, east of Gates Road and north of State Highway 70, to be developed in two phases. According to Swierczewski, the minimum number needed for the project is 97. With the turbines at the Airport now withdrawn, it takes the project below the minimum number. The estimated height of the towers will be 80 meters (263 feet) with an 82.5 meter (271 feet) rotor diameter.