Geronimo Energy officials still seek a buyer of power they hope to generate from a 100-megawatt wind farm south of Gothenburg.
“We continue to shop the project,” said Patrick Dalseth, project manager for the Dawson Wind Farm
So far, however, the 20,000 acres in the southwest corner of Dawson County (south of Gothenburg and north of Eustis) remains relatively untouched.
In January of 2012, Geronimo installed a meteorological tower seven miles northeast of Farnam to collect wind data that is sent to company headquarters in Edina, MN.
Although Dalseth said the tower continues to show good wind results, it’s not the best wind in the state.
A Geronimo website shows average wind speed at just under 18.5 mph and prevailing from the south.
In addition, Geronimo has leased property from landowners since 2011 for turbines and transmission lines.
Once fully developed, officials say the project will represent an investment of approximately $160 million.
Construction of the wind farm is expected to begin in 2018 or before if a power purchaser is found.
Dalseth said the project continues to be marketed to all energy users.
He noted that passage of production tax credits and other incentives in the Nebraska Legislature would level the playing field with other states, he said.
For example, Dalseth said Lincoln Electric System recently bought power generated in another state because it was less expensive than what’s available in state.
Five wind-related bills intended to boost Nebraska’s renewable energy industry, increase economic development and provide property tax benefits have been introduced in the state Legislature.
One bill would create a production tax credit for renewable electric generation facilities and would allow the credit to be transferable.
Dalseth described passage of the bill as a game changer because of the ability to market projects in- and out-of-state.
“We’d then have an economic advantage over neighboring states,” Dalseth said.
The project manager pointed out that wind farms also provide economic development during the construction phase and long-term property tax relief once infrastructure is in place.
Geronimo will start construction of a much larger wind farm outside O’Neill this summer.
Omaha Public Power District has agreed to buy the power produced on the 400-megawatt farm that will span about 50,000 acres.
Because the Grande Prairie Wind Farm project was agreed to in 2013, Dalseth said it was eligible for a federal production tax credit that has since expired.
For more information about the Dawson Wind Farm and Geronimo Energy, visit the website at www.geronimoenergy.com.
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