History of Cherry County Wind
In January of 2010 the Cherry County Board of Commissioners appointed three individuals to research and discuss the potential impacts and opportunities of wind energy development in Cherry County. By year’s end this committee grew to nine members. The committee determined that there was significant interest in landowner-directed local development and Cherry County Wind Energy Association was formed in early 2011.
To ensure the fullest participation, multiple forms of outreach were undertaken:
- Letters of invitation were sent to all Cherry County landowners with more than 100 acres.
- Two Board Members of the Association spoke on several radio appearances.
- Public informational meetings were held in Thedford, Mullen, Nenzel, and Valentine.
In 2012 the Association moved to form Cherry County Wind, LLC to develop wind energy projects on member lands, with the top priority of preserving the environmental health of the region and maximizing the benefits to the broader community. Members include 70 landowners representing close to 450,000 acres.
Cherry County Wind Begins
News Stories Chronicling the Founding of Cherry County Wind
County Wind Committee Meets
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 08:43
The Cherry County Wind Committee metMonday evening at the Cherry County Court House. The group is in its infancy and continues to explore topics such as transmission lines, wind associations, legal issuesand other topics. One of the main topics of discussion has been making sure that wind energy is beneficial for everyone in Cherry County with possible reduction of total reliance on property taxes. Committee President George Johnson reported on the Nebraska Wind Energy Conference he attended last month in Kearney. Johnson reported that there were several good presentations and lots of excitement about wind energy potential in Nebraska. Cherry County has long been recognized for energy development potential. The next meeting of the Cherry County Wind Committee will be January 10th.
Cherry County Commissioners Meet
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:50
The Cherry County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on November 30th. Tim Gentile, Bryan Herrick and Gary Weaver provided an update on the Justice Center construction. They discussed some additional cameras, floor finishing and timelines for moving the dispatch equipment and the Sheriff’s office. It was the consensus of the Board to allow Chairman Van Winkle to sign the formalized change request orders that were approved at a previous meeting.
Commissioner Jerry Adamson moved to enter into a lease agreement with a purchase option through Union Bank and Trust for a 2006 Caterpillar loader with the trade-in of a 1985 Cat loader and a 48 month financing arrangement. Motion carried.
Gary Weaver presented some information from CBM Managed Services proposing to contract for food service operations for the Justice Center. It was the consensus of the Board to research the matter further before making a decision.
The Board discussed the need for a site where the County could store and mix oil millings.
Commissioner Jerry Adamson moved to authorize Chairman of the Board Van Winkle to work with the County Attorney to negotiate terms and enter into an agreement on behalf of the Cherry County Board to acquire approximately 6.7 acres of land near Valentine to be used by the County Road Department
The Board further discussed the Rockford Bridge and the possibility of making some improvements to the roads in the area. No formal Board action was required at this time.
County Attorney Eric Scott, Rusty Osburn and Gary Weaver discussed the concept of a County Corrections Board. Commissioner Van Winkle moved to create the Cherry County Board of Corrections pursuant to Nebraska Revised Statute with the Board to become effective January 1, 2011. Motion carried.
Commissioner Jerry Adamson moved to accept the written resignation submitted by Jack Ravenscroft from the office of Cherry County Zoning Administrator, effective Dec. 1, 2010.
The Board discussed the membership of the newly formed wind committee. Commissioner Jerry Adamson moved to appoint Matt Coble, George Johnson, Todd Adamson, Adam Fischer, Mike Burge and Gary Garvin to the Cherry County Wind Advisory Committee
Cherry County Wind Energy
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 06:24
The Cherry County Wind Energy Committee met with NPPD Chief Operating Officer Pat Pope and other NPPD representatives Monday night to discuss the potential for wind energy in the county. The committee has been directed by the Cherry County Commissioners to help research and direct potential wind energy development. At last nights meeting, Mr. Pope gave the committee direction on working with the Southwest Power Pool to help facilitate transmission lines in Cherry County to export energy produced by the area. It could be 5 to 7 years before proposed lines are actually constructed. NPPD has a goal of 10% of energy generated being from renewable sources by the year 2020.
Cherry County Wind Energy
Friday, 22 April 2011 05:58
The Cherry County Wind Energy Committee, appointed by the Cherry County Commissioners, met with three representatives of Nebraska Public Power District on Wednesday to discuss wind energy development in Cherry County. John O'Connor and Dave Rich from NPPD were the main presenters and covered opportunities and challenges in the development of wind power in Nebraska and more specifically in Cherry County. NPPD has a goal of 10% renewable energy by the year 2020. Currently only 2% of energy comes from wind power in Nebraska. Mr. O'Connor sated that there are basically four areas to explore: prove the wind potential is there, transmission lines for export of power, environmental aspects and community support. The local committee will continue to approach this endeavor as a long term project which could have multiple benefits to the community.
Wind Energy in Cherry County
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 05:09
The Cherry County Wind Energy Committee, appointed by the Cherry County Commissioners, met last evening for a regular meeting. The group continues to work on the two main areas of concern which include transmission lines and landowner association. In order for wind energy to work in Cherry County the Southwest Power Pool has to agree to move a proposed transmission line north so electricity can be transmitted out of the county to other parts of the country that need it. It is also important for landowners to work together in dealing with potential wind energy developers to ensure that they get the best deal for their wind. At the direction of the County Commissioners, the group will continue to toward positive development of wind energy in Cherry County.
Wind Energy in Cherry County
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 06:57
Cherry County Landowners should have received a letter in the mail introducing the Cherry County Wind Energy Association and announcing a couple of upcoming informational meetings.
The Wind Energy Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting wind energy development in Cherry County. The Association is the result of a directive of the Cherry County Commissioners that led to the formation of a Wind Advisory Committee in March of 2010. Informational meetings will be held in Valentine on November 21, 5:00 CT, at the Niobrara Lodge, and in Mullen on November 22, 5:00 MT at the Bullseye. Landowners interested in learning about: prospects for wind energy development, new transmission line development, environmental issues, plans to maintain local control, and who will benefit, are encouraged to attend.
The Association members are actively planning a large wind energy development in Cherry County. The Board of Directors of the Association intends that the wind energy development directly benefit all Association landowner members. Association membership will be available for a limited time. If you are unable to attend either of the meetings, contact one of the Board members for more information or Chairman George Johnson 402-823-4067. Other board members include:
Matt Coble, Gary Garvin, Todd Adamson, John Hansen, Mark Adamson, Mike Burge, Tom Cooper, Adam Fischer.
Wind Energy Association Accepting Sign Ups
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 11:53
The Cherry County Wind Energy Association is continuing to accept sign up forms for acres in the new landowner association. The deadline to submit acres is Thursday, December 15th. At this time the board needs a commitment of the number of acres only, and not the legal description. There is a $100 fee that goes along with becoming a member of the association which will be used to offset initial costs of the landowner association. If you need more information contact a board member including; George Johnson, Todd Adamson, Matt Coble, Tom Cooper, Mark Adamson or Mike Burge. Sign up forms can be mailed or dropped off to those board members.
Thedford Wind Energy Meeting
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 08:00
About 35 area landowners and interested people attended the informational meeting last evening in Thedford, to hear about a plan for wind energy development in Cherry County. The Cherry County Wind Energy Association hosted the meeting. At this time the association in a non-profit organization with a goal of distributing information about a potential large wind development project for Cherry County and signing up landowners who are interested in being part of the association. The Southwest Power Pool will decide in January if they will build a 345 kilo-volt transmission line through Cherry County in the next ten years. If this line is approved for construction, it will open the doors for a very large wind development in the county and the landowners association would evolve into a for profit organization. The Wind Association would represent member landowners in negotiations with potential developers who can be difficult to deal with. Because of the approach the local association will take to negotiations, profits could be higher for local property owners. December is the deadline to return forms to pledge acres for the association. For more information contact one of the committee members, Matt Coble, Todd Adamson, Gary Garvin, Tom Cooper, Todd Adamson, George Johnson, Mark Adamson, Adam Fischer or Mike Burge.
First Wind Energy Association Meeting Held
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 06:26
About 70 area landowners and interested people attended the informational meeting last evening to hear about a plan for wind energy development in Cherry County. The Cherry County Wind Energy Association hosted the meeting at the Niobrara Lodge in Valentine and will host another meeting tonight in Mullen at 5 Pm Mountain time. At this time the association in a non-profit organization with a goal of distributing information about a potential large wind development project for Cherry County and signing up landowners who are interested in being part of the association. The Southwest Power Pool will decide in January if they will build a 345 kilo-volt transmission line through Cherry County in the next ten years. If this line is approved for construction, it will open the doors for a very large wind development in the county and the landowners association would evolve into a for profit organization. The Wind Association would represent member landowners in negotiations with potential developers who can be difficult to deal with. Because of the approach the local association will take to negotiations, profits could be higher for local property owners. The informational meeting tonight in Mullen will be held at the Bullseye at 5 PM local time.
Cherry County’s first wind turbine will be erected west of Valentine this week. The turbine will supply the City of Valentine with 1.85 megawatts of electricity when it goes online in the very near future. The city signed a long term contract to purchase the power in an effort to reduce the peak electric rates paid to NPPD during the winter heating season. This peak rate determines the overall kilowatt per hour rate paid by utility customers all year long. The goal is to reduce the overall rate per kilowatt for residents served by city power. The turbine will be erected on private land approximately 3 miles west of Valentine and south of Highway 20. The project is located on lands enrolled in the Cherry County Wind Energy Association which formed out of a directive from the Cherry County Commissioners to direct the development of wind energy in the county in a positive manner. The association represents numerous landowners in Cherry County that are interested in wind energy development.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 09:30
Cherry County’s first wind turbine has started the erection process. The turbine will supply the City of Valentine with 1.85 megawatts of electricity when it goes online. The city signed a long term Power Purchase Agreement with Bluestem Sandhills, LLC in November. The goal is to diversify power sources and provide a long-term hedge against rising energy costs for the citizens of Valentine. The turbine will be erected on private land approximately 3 miles west of Valentine and south of Highway 20. The turbine will produce enough energy to power approximately 400 homes a year, and supply roughly 10-15% of Valentine’s power. The project is located on lands enrolled in the Cherry County Wind Energy Association which formed out of a directive from the Cherry County Commissioners to direct the development of wind energy in the county in a positive manner. The association represents numerous landowners in Cherry County that are interested in wind energy development.
Friday, 05 September 2014 05:11
An official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new wind turbine west of Valentine, will take place this Wednesday, September 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Valentine Wind Project Site, 3 miles west of Valentine. There will be a large tent for the ribbon cutting if there is inclement weather.
The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting, which will include short remarks from the representative of the site’s developer, Bluestem Sandhills, LLC. Various elected officials and representatives from the Valentine area are expected to attend the ceremony. The project was constructed in cooperation with Cherry County Wind Energy Association.
A GE wind turbine was installed this summer by Bluestem Sandhills, LLC, which owns and operates the turbine. Bluestem Sandhills, LLC, signed a power purchase agreement in January with the City of Valentine in an effort to reduce overall electric rates for city customers. Bluestem Sandhills, LLC, is responsible for maintenance of the turbine.