Landowners around the Sumner area recently received a wind farm and easement agreement from NextEra Energy Resources for a proposed Canaday Wind Energy Center.
SUMNER — A wind farm project is being proposed in Dawson County by NextEra Energy Resources, a plan which a number of locals are opposed.
Landowners around the Sumner area recently received a wind farm and easement agreement from NextEra Energy Resources of Juno Beach, Fla., regarding a “Canaday Wind Energy Center” that would be located in the county.
By signing the agreement landowners could grant a lease to NextEra for the wind farm for an initial period of 36 months. The lease would allow for constructing, operating, maintaining, repairing, replacing and removing all components of a wind farm.
The operator of the wind farm would be Boulevard Associates, LLC, with Kevin Gildea listed as the authorized representative.
Multiple messages were left with NextEra regarding the project, but none were returned by press time.
Matt McTygue, a landowner in the Sumner area, said that many locals are opposed to the project. A group of 50 to 60 met in Sumner last week to discuss their opposition to the project. He said he was, “very pleased,” with the turnout.
McTygue also appeared at the last meeting of the Dawson County Commissioners to inform them of the wind farm project.
Next Era, “delivers clean energy across much of North America, helping provide sustainable solutions to meet evolving energy needs. We develop, construct and operate power projects to produce electricity. We market electricity to wholesale customers and invest in critical infrastructure for power delivery. We also offer a variety of energy-related products and services to customers across the country,” per their website.
NextEra operates 119 wind farms across North America.
“NextEra Energy Resources pursues potential wind farms in areas where the wind blows steadily. The ideal average wind speed is approximately 25 to 35 miles per hour,” per their website.
“Our developers work with landowners to walk them through the process, meet with local officials on project progress, conduct environmental assessments, complete historical and archaeological reviews, arrange connection to the power grid, secure customers for the site’s generated electricity, attend public meetings to gain approval for construction, permitting and land use zoning; and procure the necessary equipment for construction,” the NextEra website states.
Wind turbines capture wind energy with two or three blades that sit atop high towers to take advantage of strong less turbulent wind at 100 feet above the ground.
When wind is blowing, a pocket of low pressure forms on the downward side of a blade, the low pressure area pulls the blade toward it, causing the rotor to turn. The force of lift is stronger than the wind’s drag on the front side of the blade.
The combination of lift and drag causes the rotor to spin like a propeller and the turning shaft spins a generator to make electricity.
This is not the first time Dawson County has been the proposed site of a wind farm. Back in 2010, Geronimo Wind Energy of Edina, Minn., was considering construction of a 100-megawatt wind farm in the county. Nothing came of this effort.
Last year, Nebraska generated 25.2 percent of its electric via wind, the second most behind coal, 49.2 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Environmental groups say that wind power in Nebraska remains largely untapped in comparison with its potential, with more than 47,000 farms and open skies it ranks near the top in the United States in its ability to generate energy from wind.
Nebraska’s first utility-scale wind project with two 750 kW Zond wind turbines came on-line in 1998 west of Springview and operated until 2007.
There are roughly 20 wind farms throughout Nebraska, the closest at the moment being the Broken Bow Wind Farms one and two in Custer County.
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