Groundwork Moving Forward For Banner Co Wind Farm

HARRISBURG, Neb. – A California-based energy company is laying the preliminary groundwork for a 21-to-58 turbine wind farm in the southwest corner of the Panhandle in Banner County.

The proposal from Orion Wind Resources, part of Orion Renewable Resources, would generate 115 megawatts of electricity, with the number of turbines needed determined by the maximum output of the chosen turbines.

Orion Project Development Manager Michael Kurnick told Rural Radio News the company has most of the land lease agreements in place for the wind farm, which would connect to the power grid through WAPA, the federal Western Area Power Administration.

Kurnick said plans call for 2 high-voltage transmission lines to run from the wind farm to WAPA, with the public comment period now open on the environmental assessment for the first of the lines.

He told RRN he expects the initial review to take a year with a best-case scenario of construction starting in early 2021 and completion by the end of that year.

Kurnick said Banner County has one of the best wind-energy production profiles in the entire state with access to transmission lines, both WAPA and the Tri-State Generation energy cooperative, and a local wind-energy association.

Robert Post, chairman of the Banner County Commissioners, told RRN he’s heard comments from county residents for and against the project, but personally believes it would have a positive impact benefitting both the county and its residents.

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