BHE Renewables, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, today announced plans to construct a 400-megawatt wind farm in Holt County – the largest wind energy project in the state’s history.
The project will increase Nebraska’s wind energy capacity by nearly 50 percent and represents the first project in the state for BHE Renewables.
“We are excited to be constructing this wind farm in Holt County, our first project in the state,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of BHE Renewables. “The Grande Prairie project will have a major impact on Nebraska’s economy and energy future while helping our customer, Omaha Public Power District, meet its long-term renewable goals.”
“We are very pleased to be working with BHE Renewables to continue to move this project forward,” said Tim Burke, incoming OPPD president and CEO. “When we announced a long-term power purchase agreement to buy 100 percent of the wind generation from this facility several months ago, our goal was to plan for the future and position OPPD to have more than 30 percent of our future retail generation come from renewable sources. This will put us on the path to make that happen.”
BHE Renewables plans to begin construction at Grande Prairie this summer with completion scheduled for the end of 2016.
Fehrman said the project will create an estimated 350 temporary construction jobs and 12 to 15 on-site permanent full-time jobs while generating over $4 million per year in landowner lease payments, contributions to a community fund, and tax revenue for the county, schools, fire districts and townships.
“Our evolving portfolio reflects the growing demand in the U.S. for clean, renewable energy solutions,” Fehrman said. “Energy from renewable sources gives our utility customers and states the ability to comply with increasingly strict environmental standards, providing long-term sustainable solutions.”
Founded in 2011, BHE Renewables owns and operates more than 3,400 megawatts of wind, solar, geothermal and hydro resources that produce energy for customers under long-term power purchase agreements. The company has invested more than $10 billion in renewable energy resources and will have more than 1,300 megawatts of wind generation capacity in operation when recent acquisitions are complete.
In addition to its investments in wind generation, BHE Renewables owns 1,271 megawatts of solar-powered generation in Arizona and California, 10 geothermal facilities in California’s Imperial Valley, and two hydroelectric facilities, one in Hawaii and one in the Philippines.
BHE Renewables also acquired the 225-megawatt Walnut Ridge Project in Illinois and plans to begin construction in 2016.
BHE Renewables is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Since 2012, BHE Renewables has invested extensively in solar, wind, geothermal and hydro projects. As a long-term owner of assets, the company’s wind projects include the 300-megawatt Jumbo Road project near Hereford, Texas; 168-megawatt Pinyon Pines I and 132-megawatt Pinyon Pines II projects, located near Tehachapi, California; 81-megawatt Bishop Hill II project in Henry County, Illinois; 400-megawatt Grande Prairie project in Holt County, Nebraska, which will begin construction in 2015; and the up to 225-megawatt Walnut Ridge project in Bureau County, Illinois, which is still in development. More information is available www.bherenewables.com.