COLUMBUS — It’s been one year since Creston Ridge Wind Farm started producing electricity and, according to Loup Public Power District data, it has exceeded expectations.
Loup Power CEO Neal Suess said the wind farm was expected to operate at around 40 percent of capacity. However, the four turbines located southwest of Creston have performed well above that level.
The wind farm produces less electricity during the summer, which was expected.
Suess has been presenting monthly reports on the wind farm’s production to the utility's board of directors since the project went online in December 2015. Only in May, July and August did energy production dip below 50 percent of capacity. In March and April, the two highest-performing months, the four turbines generated at 67.6 percent and 74.6 percent of capacity, respectively.
LPPD officials and board members and representatives from Omaha-based Bluestem Energy Solutions, the project's developer, are happy with the results so far.
Bluestem Energy constructed the wind farm and sells the electricity to LPPD through a purchase contract.
The project's second phase, which adds three more turbines, is nearing completion.
The 100 percent federal tax credit for wind projects ends at the end of the year and will decline by 20 percent annually for four years. Bluestem project manager Adam Herink said a lot of developers are trying to meet an end-of-the-year deadline.