Friday, November 28, 2014
   
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Wind farm needs power buyer

Project northeast of Farnam hopes for 2015-16 start

A majority of the land has been leased from local property owners but energy supplied from the Dawson County Wind Farm project seven miles northeast of Farnam has yet to find a destination.

An off taker, or project buyer, of the wind power has not been achieved, great plains project manager for Geronimo Energy Patrick Dalseth said.

“We are still marketing the project to an off taker for a buyer in the state of Nebraska,” Dalseth said. “If a public power district, private entity or industrial entity here doesn’t commit to the project, we will look to export the power.

Dalseth added that most projects this size need commitment from an entity before it begins.

So, just how big is this project?

Dalseth said Geronimo Energy has roughly 20,000 acres of land under control with approximately 50 wind turbines planned for that area starting in 2015-16.

In 2012, the plan was for those turbines to produce 1.5 megawatts each, or power for around 300 homes. But, depending on the buyers’ needs, there could be more or fewer turbines and more or less power, Dalseth said.

“From the wind data that is collected we would make an assessment of the project area,” Dalseth said.

However, how much energy can be made and what turbine would best match the wind resource is yet to be known.

Although the project start date is still a year away, Dalseth said its future could be based on the production tax credit, which expired at midnight Dec. 31.

“The industry as a whole is looking at what opportunity looks like for 2014 and beyond,” Dalseth said. “In a couple of years we will know if wind energy is competitive. What we know now is that power purchasing prices are going up.”

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