Bluestem is set to install a 2.5 MW wind turbine southwest of Osceola, Nebraska
OMAHA, Neb. —
Bluestem Energy Solutions has been granted final zoning approval to install a 2.5-megawatt wind turbine one mile southwest of Osceola, Neb. Bluestem officials plan for construction to begin in September 2018. Polk County Rural Public Power District, with headquarters in nearby Stromsburg, will purchase 100 percent of the General Electric turbine’s output through a long-term power purchase agreement that includes a guaranteed price for the life of the contract.
“We are excited to work with Polk County Rural Public Power to diversify the district’s energy mix while at the same time providing a financial hedge against inflationary pressures. Local delivered wind energy gives the district’s more than 4,700 customers decades of rate certainty for a portion of their energy, including more than 2,200 residential ratepayers in towns like Osceola, Clarks, Shelby, and Silver Creek,” said Adam Herink, Vice President at Bluestem. “In addition, the project offers local investment and green attributes for PCRPPD, increasing the area’s economic activity and development opportunities.” Bluestem will own and operate the turbine through a public-private partnership with PCRPPD which allows the district to make transformative decisions without taking on additional debt or operational risk. The district will not take on any additional capital expenditures as a result of the agreement with Bluestem.
Referring to the renewable energy project, Polk County RPPD General Manager Phil Burke has said the district is committed to doing “what is best for the district and its customers.” The PCRPPD board unanimously approved the long term power purchase agreement with Bluestem at their July board meeting.
Boyd Jones Construction of Omaha is engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the project.
Burke added, “Polk County RPPD is excited about the opportunities that the Bluestem project will bring to our area. In our most recent customer survey, 66% of our customers said that Polk County should use a combination of renewable and traditional energy resources. Not only will the new site generate renewable energy for Polk County RPPD, but it will also add dollars to our local economy through land leases, property taxes and construction spending. We also believe the addition of renewable energy will create opportunities for new businesses wanting a renewable resource.”