Bow’s landscape in for a change

The Broken Bow landscape is in for a change. By the next snowfall, 50 wind turbines will peak their heads into the clouds along the ridge line northeast of the community. The $145 million wind project, known as Broken Bow Wind LLC, didn’t happen overnight, it’s been years in the making. The wind farm is owned and operated by Edison Mission Group and when online, will be capable of generating up to approximately 80 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to meet the needs of about 25,000 homes. This is EMG’s third wind energy project in Nebraska. Nebraska Public Power has entered into a purchase agreement with EMG for the energy produced. NPPD announced last year its goal of having 10 percent of its energy come from renewable sources. Once the new Broken Bow wind farm is operational, approximately 5 percent of NPPD’s total power portfolio will come from wind energy generated by the EMG wind projects along with NPPD’s Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility. EMG’s wind farms include Broken Bow, Elkhorn Ridge Wind Farm in Knox County and the Laredo Ridge Wind Farm in Boone County. During peak construction, the project is expected to employ approximately 100 individuals. Once completed the wind farm will provide average annual tax revenues of nearly $900,000 over its 25-year life in property taxes and state income taxes. In addition, Broken Bow will generate an average of $540,000 per year over its 25-year life in lease royalties to local landowners. The wind farm will provide approximately 10 permanent jobs in the Broken Bow area. The wind farm site occupies approximately 14,000 acres of land. NPPD began conducting wind studies in the Broken Bow area in 2008, with the development of the site by Midwest Energy and Edison Mission Group through 2009. The Broken Bow area had what it needed ... good wind, a land mass capable of being developed, favorable land owner interest and a community giving positive feedback. Over the next several weeks we’re going to take a close look at wind energy, beginning next week with “A tower goes up.”