Kimball Wind Facility goes online
August 02, 2018
The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) added to its renewable-energy resource pool as the new Kimball Wind Facility outside Kimball, Neb., went into commercial operation in June.
MEAN earlier signed a power purchase agreement for the output of the new facility, which has a nameplate capacity of 30 megawatts. The new facility, which includes 12 turbines, replaces the 10.5 megawatt MEAN Kimball Wind Project, which was decommissioned in 2017 to make way for the larger facility. The decommissioned project went online in 2002 and was the first utility-scale wind farm in Nebraska.
Today’s wind turbines are more efficient than the first generation of turbines constructed in the early 2000s, due in large part to taller towers, longer blade lengths and overall improved technology and reliability. More efficient turbines result in a higher capacity factor, which is the ratio of energy produced over time compared with a project’s maximum nameplate capacity. The projected capacity factor of the new facility is expected to be above 45 percent, compared to the old project’s average capacity factor of 32 percent.
The wind generated from the new facility will be part of MEAN’s overall wind resource pool in which MEAN’s wholesale power participants subscribe for energy output. MEAN has power purchase agreements with several wind energy projects in the region. Nearly 40 of MEAN’s wholesale power participants are subscribed to MEAN’s Wind Resource Pool at varying levels.
Overall, MEAN has nearly 80 megawatts of renewable-generated energy capacity from eight projects around the region. In addition, MEAN and many of its power participants also receive a federal hydro allocation from the Western Area Power Administration.