FAIRBURY, NE — A major renewable energy company is studying to see if Jefferson County would be a good spot for a new wind farm.
The Jefferson County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a special use permit for Big Blue Nebraska Wind LLC to build a meteorological tower. The tower will be built about two miles northwest of Harbine.
Big Blue Nebraska Wind LLC is owned by NextEra Energy, a Florida-based company that claims to generate more wind and solar energy than any other company in the world. NextEra operates the existing Steele Flats wind farm in southern Jefferson and Gage counties.
Attorney David Levy represents NextEra. He says the meteorological tower will likely stay up for one or two years. It is designed to give data to the company to see if the area has adequate wind to support a wind farm. The tower will be 197 feet tall, painted in seven color bands and sport marker balls and yellow sleeves on the guy-wires.
Levy says NextEra is actively working to sign up landowners to participate in a potential wind farm. He says some landowners have already signed up.
There is no official timeline for the development of a possible wind farm but Levy says the company’s goal is to move quickly. NextEra needs to seek additional permits before starting development.