Verdigre Wind Farm Clears Permitting Hurdle
Verdigre Land and Wind Partners, LLC (VLWP), owners of the Verdigre Wind Farm, announced today that the Verdigre project has received recommendation of approval from the Knox County Planning Commission for the project consisting of 47 to 50 turbines. In addition, the Knox County Board of Supervisors approved a Conditional Use Permit to commence construction, which began in December. Final project approval will be sought later this year from the Board of Supervisors. The Verdigre Wind Farm is a proposed 80MW wind energy generation facility to be located 8 miles west of Verdigre, NE. This project is unique within Nebraska, as it is one of few wind farms being developed at the initiative of the local community which will host it.
In 2009, the project landowners formed the Verdigre Landowners Association (VLA) to develop the project. They enlisted the assistance of Windlab Developments USA as a project partner to provide industry expertise and assist in the development process. Windlab Developments USA is a part of Windlab Systems, a global wind energy development company. The two entities formed a new organization, Verdigre Land and Wind Partners, LLC (VLWP)to own and develop the project.
The commencement of construction has enabled the Verdigre project to maintain qualification for the US Treasury’s Federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) program. “We are delighted to receive this County approval and look forward to completing construction of the wind farm as soon as we can finalize a power purchase agreement”, said Matt Frank, President of the VLA. He added, “Our community has invested significant money and taken on considerable commercial risk in getting the project to this point. However, we believe in renewable power for a strong Nebraska and we believe it important that the benefits that flow from these key pieces of infrastructure flow to Nebraskans. Hopefully, we are setting an example for other projects in Nebraska.”
The project is scheduled to continue construction and achieve commercial operation in 2015. Steve Boyer, Project Manager for Verdigre Wind Farm stated, “This wind farm will bring opportunities for construction jobs to Knox County, as well as a few permanent positions when the project is completed. We are delighted with the work that Nelson Engineering of South Sioux City, NE has done to date on construction and we remain committed to utilizing Nebraska based resources for this project.” He concluded that, “Successful completion of this project will reward the entrepreneurial initiative taken by the VLA as well as provide landowner royalties and the nameplate capacity tax for the benefit of the whole community and local economy.”