Nebraska Wind Energy

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Nebraska Wind Energy

Postby eomaha » Thu Nov 18, 2004 11:09 pm

Amen.

Omaha World Herald wrote:Prod for wind energy, panel is told

LINCOLN (AP) - It's time Nebraska caught wind of the power-generating capacity of wind, a legislative committee was told Thursday.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, Nebraska is ranked sixth nationally for energy potential from wind power.

But to date, just 12 wind turbines are operating in the state, while nearby states, including Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota, have hundreds of turbines in operation.

Omaha State Sen. Don Preister, who has advocated wind energy for years, told the Natural Resources Committee that he believes the Legislature should direct the state's public power companies to produce a certain portion of electricity from renewable energy, including wind power.

After the hearing, Preister said he planned to introduce a bill in January that would require 10 percent of the power generated in the state be from renewable sources. Currently about 1 percent of the total power generated in Nebraska comes from wind energy, he said.

People support renewable energy, Preister said. He cited a survey by the Nebraska Public Power District that found 96 percent of its customers believed that having at least 200 megawatts of wind energy in the state was a good idea.

Nebraska's turbines in Lincoln, Springview, Valley and Kimball currently generate about 14 megawatts of power.

A 60-megawatt wind turbine farm is being constructed near Ainsworth. The wind farm is expected to have 36, 1.65 megawatt wind turbines. One megawatt is considered enough electricity to power 200 average metropolitan homes.

"I don't know of anybody who thinks we should do less in the area of energy efficiency," Preister said.

Dan Juhl, owner of wind energy development company DanMar and Associates of Pipestone, Minn., told the committee that construction of turbines helps the local economy and is a cash crop for farmers who put them on their land.

Wind can't be the sole source of power, Juhl said, but it definitely can be part of the mix.

While there is growth and potential for wind energy in Nebraska, the committee was told by a representative of the Lincoln Electric System that a lack of lines to deliver the extra electricity is an obstacle. Uncertainty over a federal tax credit also frequently is cited as a problem.

Preister said there needs to be more incentives for energy efficiency.

Finding ways to increase the nation's electrical transmission capacity has received greater attention since a major power blackout last year affected 50 million people in several eastern states.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:09 am

The two turbines north of Lincoln are just across I80 from my relatives' farm. They are very quiet and almost erie to be underneath at night when there's a fog and the gentle "swoosh" of the 50ft long blades.

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Postby projectman » Fri Nov 19, 2004 11:39 am

I think we should jump on the bandwagon and start throwing up those turbines. With all the wind around here the potential for renewal alternatives should be a no-brainer. I can't believe we only have 12 turbines. I thought we had a lot more than that.

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Wind energy is not very reliable

Postby ItsAllAboutMe » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:35 pm

Yes, Nebraska ranks 6th when it comes to potentual power generation from wind. However, that hardly tells the story. Even in Nebraska the wind required to run a turbine is reliable only 18% of the time. Power plants on average are run at 85 to 90% of capacity over a year. So, to replace a 500mw power plant with 600kw wind turbines is not realistic. Giving the reliabilty factors for each type of generation you would need over 2500 wind turbines to produce the same amount of Electricity generated by the 500mw plant in one year. These 2500 turbines would cost over $2.5billion & that does not include the 20 square miles of land required to place these turbines in order to maximize generation. Then you would have to include the costs for all the transmission lines & substations. The only place you could get reasonably priced land would be in central or western Nebraska. What you would have would be a giant quesanart for migratory birds.

Sure we would all love to just live off of wind power but it will never come close. Wind power is very expensive & not very reliable. Sure we should use what we can but people need to understand the facts before jumping to the conclusion that wind power is the answer.

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Postby projectman » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:44 pm

Well I just learned something today. I had no idea it could potentially run into the billions based on your scenario. I don't think anyone is proposing to completely replace traditional nuclear, coal or gas energy but using wind as another source to conserve the other fuels.

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Postby projectman » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:51 pm

I wonder if stored energy from wind could be sold to other states like California when needed? I wonder what kind of profits, if any, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri are seeing with all the turbines they have?

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Postby DMRyan » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:52 pm

Good post and very informative. Do you happen to work for MUD?

Your statement about using what wind power we can, while us not being entirely reliant on wind energy is true. I still DON"T think this should deter us from contining to build renewable energy sources though. As this type of thing becomes more common, I'd wager that costs of construction will go down. I don't know if it'll ever be entirely profitable to anyone besides the landowners where the turbines are located, but that's what government subsidies are for I guess. If the government can subsidize and give tax breaks to big oil companies and utilities, they can do the same for the ethanol plants wind windfields.

Wind energy isn't the end all, be all to our power needs, but I think it's a step in the right direction for loosening our dependence on fossil fuels and pollution. One question though, you say that the turbines are only reliable 18% of the time. What about those really windy days where above average energy is created and stored in the system. Is this at all factored into the 18%.

A bird quesanart, huh. I bet they find all kinds of interesting things under the blades of these things.
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Postby DMRyan » Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:03 pm

Just a side commentary about a wind energy project in Iowa.

Mid-American is currently building the largest wind energy project in the US right now in Northern Iowa. The cost is $323 million for 207 turbines, and will allow wind power to provide a full 8% of Mid-American's total power generating capacity. This was of course subsidized by the local government because the costs are much higher than other sources of power.

These 207 turbines have the capacity to create 1,500 MW per year, however will only put out 311 MW per year because they won't always have run time. If you do the math, you $2.5 billion estimate is dead on what it would cost to actually produce this much power. For the record, the new mega-coal powered plant being built in Council Bluffs will produce 790 MW and is being built for around $900 million.
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wind power

Postby ItsAllAboutMe » Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:24 pm

Actually I workfor OPPD.
OPPD currently has one Turbine.The higher costs of producing the electricty is being paid for by our customers her signed up to pay a higher rate to cover the costs. OPPD also gets a few MW's from our small generator at the Douglas county landfill. Methane gas released from the garbage is the power source.
Excess power is sold over the grid, however there are limits to have far you can sell power. The futher you send it the more that is lost during the it's travel down the lines. Also, Power cannot be stored like you can bank it in a vault. It' must be used or sold.
The figures are posted earlier were for a 600kw Turbine. Mid-America's Turbines are larger but the costs are similar. My figures are based on studies that I've read.

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more wind stuff

Postby ItsAllAboutMe » Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:57 pm

"One question though, you say that the turbines are only reliable 18% of the time. What about those really windy days where above average energy is created and stored in the system. Is this at all factored into the 18%. "

I don't know all the set points but it can be too windy to run a turbine. You don't wan't a blade turning so fast it looks like a prop on a plane. I believe the RPM's stay about the same regardles of whether the wind speed is 20mph or 40mph. 18% is accurate regardless of whether you have a few days when the wind is really strong.
Last edited by ItsAllAboutMe on Fri Nov 19, 2004 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Fri Nov 19, 2004 3:01 pm

The wind turbines in Lincoln have an upper threshold of 50mph. then the blades lock into place (as written in the LJS when they got built). Also, RPMs are not consistent (visual inspection).

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Postby Brad » Sat Nov 20, 2004 3:33 am

Were they going to build a wind farm just south of plattsmouth a few years back?

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Postby j4nu » Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:41 pm

Customers in Lincoln also signed up to pay a slightly higher rate to receive power from the turbines. I would be curious how residential customers would follow suit if given the option?

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Postby redhatgeek » Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:29 pm

bring on the wind power
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Postby Coyote » Thu May 03, 2007 9:11 pm

[font=Georgia]Wind farms can produce 7 percent of power in 15 years, study says[/font]

Lincoln Journal Star wrote:Wind farms could generate as much as 7 percent of U.S. electricity in 15 years, but scientists want to spend more time studying the threat those spinning blades pose to wildlife.  The towers appear most dangerous to night-migrating songbirds, bats and some hunting birds. The risk is not well enough known to draw conclusions, a panel of the National Research Council said Thursday in a study requested by Congress.

Wind farms now operate in 36 states, including Nebraska. The report estimates this source could generate from 2 percent to 7 percent of the nation’s electricity within 15 years.

The Research Council, as arm of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that:

—By the year 2020 wind generators could offset as much as 4.5 percent of emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from electricity production. The savings would be less in the mid-Atlantic states where there is less regular wind.

—At current levels of use, there is no evidence that fatalities caused by wind turbines caused measurable demographic changes to bird populations nationwide, with the possible exception of raptor fatalities in the Altamont Pass area. However, data are lacking for many places.

—While aesthetic objections often are the most heard about proposed wind-energy projects, few decision processes adequately address them.

—Other potential human impacts include effects on cultural resources such as historic, sacred, archaeological and recreation sites and the potential for electromagnetic interference with television and radio broadcasting, cellular phones and radar.

—Regulation of wind farms is a developing area and better technical guidance to the costs and benefits needs to be made available. This guidance could be developed by state and local governments working with groups of wind-energy developers and non-governmental organizations representing all views of wind energy, the committee said.
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Postby Dark Eyes » Sun May 13, 2007 11:27 am

US electrical generating capacity in 2005 was about 1 million megawatts.

In 15 years, it'll probably be about 1.2 million megawatts.  7% of that is 84,000 megawatts.

That's an awful lot of windmills.

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Postby pseudoprometheus » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:56 am

Agreed, bring on the wind power.

I'd also like to see incentives (and publicity) at the home-owner level for photovoltaic panels.  There are a lot of roofs in Omaha, and with 'going green' being fashionable nowadays, who knows how far solar power could go around here.  Plus OPPD (and other power companies elsewhere) could still benefit from the set-up by selling solar power panels/equipment and installation services à la BP.  Probably just a pipe-dream at this point, but it's a nice pipe-dream nonetheless.  8)
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Postby Coyote » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:24 pm

Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come:

[font=Georgia]New plant to help harness wind[/font]

Blair Enterprise wrote:As Americans are increasingly concerned with where their energy comes from, soon Blair may play a major role in lowering renewable energy costs across the nation. Northstar Wind Towers announced last week it will construct a $24 million production facility in Blair that will add 80 to 100 new manufacturing jobs to the local economy.

Northstar Wind Towers will be the nation's first tower-production facility to use a modular design in which tower pieces are manufactured in Blair, then assembled at the construction site. The result is lower transportation costs, making wind energy more affordable.

Hansen, who is originally from Denmark, said he has been in the wind-energy business for 23 years. Denmark gets 25 percent of its energy from wind power, while the United States gets less than 1 percent, he said. A renewed focus on sustainable energy in the United States means that percentage could increase to as much as 15 percent in the next 20 years, Hansen said "This could be a very, very high-growth industry in the next eight to 12 years," Hansen said.
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Postby Coyote » Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:53 am

[font=Georgia]NPPD works to finalize agreements for up to 150 megawatts of wind-generated power[/font]

Lincoln Journal Star wrote:The board authorized its management team to enter into power purchase agreements with developers for up to 150 megawatts of additional wind-powered generation to be built in 2008 and 2009. NPPD will work with developers to reach final agreements on three proposed projects that individually are 30 megawatts, 40 megawatts, and 80 megawatts in size.
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Postby Coyote » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:03 pm

[font=Georgia]NPPD to use more wind power[/font]

Omaha World Herald wrote:Nebraska's biggest provider of electricity is planning to help develop and buy enough wind energy over the next dozen years to power about 94,000 more homes.

Officials for the Nebraska Public Power District say they'll work with private developers on what could be more than $1 billion in projects across the state. The private companies would build windmill farms that would generate a total of more than 400 megawatts, and NPPD would build transmission lines to them and contract for much of the electricity.
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Re: more wind stuff

Postby S33 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:32 am

ItsAllAboutMe wrote:"One question though, you say that the turbines are only reliable 18% of the time. What about those really windy days where above average energy is created and stored in the system. Is this at all factored into the 18%. "

I don't know all the set points but it can be too windy to run a turbine. You don't wan't a blade turning so fast it looks like a prop on a plane.  I believe the RPM's stay about the same regardles of whether the wind speed is 20mph or 40mph.  18% is accurate regardless of whether you have a few days when the wind is really strong.


I know this post is old but wouldn't the 18% be the average reliability of wind energy throughout the entire state of Nebraska? I know wind patterns very greatly throughout the state and they're usually very tactful about wind farm locations. I would guess there are large swaths through Nebraska that could do better than 18%.

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New Wind Plant.

Postby Allan_Love_Jr » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:31 am

I thought that one was gonna be built here in Blair.
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Postby nebugeater » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:44 pm

IF you drive I 70 in Kansas west of Selina about 30 miles you will see on rather large wind farm.  I was down that way last week and took the opportunity to take a few photos.  It was really difficult to find a place to get off the interstate and take some photos.  I did find one rural road that I could see some from but the impact of the size of this cannot be seen from one place.  They project is spread over about 10 miles.  This project has over 100 wind turbines in operation and will have around 170 when complete at the end of the year.  Total output will be 25MW



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Postby OmahaJaysCU » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:09 pm

So maybe this isn't feasible, but here would be my idea:

When the census reports came out a few weeks ago, a good portion of Nebraska counties had declining populations.  Why doesn't the state try to convince NPPD to build wind farms in some of these rapidly declining rural counties to, number 1, create jobs and promote growth somewhere in the state that isn't Omaha and Lincoln, number 2, take advantage of the fact that Nebraska is one of the WINDIEST STATES in the dang country, and, most obviously, promote environmentally friendly sources of energy.  

There has to be something not right about that, because it seems way way too logical to me.   :D

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Postby Brad » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:01 am

Loren... I love the two windmills next to each other!

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Postby Big E » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:49 pm

OmahaJaysCU wrote:So maybe this isn't feasible, but here would be my idea:

When the census reports came out a few weeks ago, a good portion of Nebraska counties had declining populations.  Why doesn't the state try to convince NPPD to build wind farms in some of these rapidly declining rural counties to, number 1, create jobs and promote growth somewhere in the state that isn't Omaha and Lincoln, number 2, take advantage of the fact that Nebraska is one of the WINDIEST STATES in the dang country, and, most obviously, promote environmentally friendly sources of energy.  

There has to be something not right about that, because it seems way way too logical to me.   :D


1) It doubt it would create THAT many jobs, especially once the windmills are installed.

2) The ethanol lobby runs this state's energy policy.

3) "Environmentally friendly" is just another word for "liberal agenda".

Don't get me wrong, I'm 100% for it.  There's just not enough people in this state (particularly that part of the state) that will ever lobby hard for change.  Most are going to want to know why they aren't being subsidized to continue doing things the same way their grandparents did it.

Who knows?  Maybe Pickens and Turner are in cahoots, and the water rights conspiracy theorists were only a little off the mark.

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Postby Big E » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:40 pm

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=1 ... d=10410378

OPPD seeks contracts to add wind power

Omaha.com wrote:The Omaha Public Power District is shopping for large-scale wind energy for the first time.

The public utility said Tuesday that it wants proposals from private companies to erect new wind turbines to generate up to 80 megawatts of electricity that OPPD could purchase by the end of 2009 or early in 2010.
"The above statement was not intended to be factual."

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Postby thenewguy » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:11 am

On my way down to Kansas City last week, we stopped at McDonald's in Rockport and you can see the wind mills on the other side of the bluffs.  I tried to get a picture of the 3 i could see, but it didn't pan out as well as I'd have liked.  For those that forgot, Rockport is the 1st city in the country to be 100% wind energy.
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Postby Omababe » Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:52 am

thenewguy wrote:On my way down to Kansas City last week, we stopped at McDonald's in Rockport and you can see the wind mills on the other side of the bluffs.  I tried to get a picture of the 3 i could see, but it didn't pan out as well as I'd have liked.  For those that forgot, Rockport is the 1st city in the country to be 100% wind energy.


If you take Route 59 between Rockport and Craig, you go up into the hills and drive right by those wind farms.

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Postby ItsAllAboutMe » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:52 am

On my way down to Kansas City last week, we stopped at McDonald's in Rockport and you can see the wind mills on the other side of the bluffs.  I tried to get a picture of the 3 i could see, but it didn't pan out as well as I'd have liked.  For those that forgot, Rockport is the 1st city in the country to be 100% wind energy.


There claim of 100% wind energy is extremely inaccurate.  On those windy days (no more then 22%) of the year the wind turbines generate enough energy to supply the needs of the city, however, the rest of the time they must purchase their power from energy providers.  That power is coming from power plants and this generation must always be increased as usage increases to assure power is available 100% of the time.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of wind power but I constantly see inaccurate statements and expectations of wind power.  I often hear people state that wind power is free,  well I got news for you it is almost always more expensive then generating plants.  

There is several reasons why your NPPD's and OPPD's would rather buy power from wind farms then spend the money to build them.  Public utilities are not eligible for the tax credits and other incentives that are available to private power companies, why?  hint (talk to you congressman).  Due to the unreliability of wind power, companies that must provide uninterrupted service would rather purchase the excess power from wind generation companies.  


Once again I will reiterate my strong support for wind power and all alternative power options.

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Postby DTO Luv » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:39 pm

They said on the Christian station this was a "I want to kill babies and marry guys" rally. :;):

Hopefully this will raise awareness for the need to change things and get people doing more than talking about it.
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Postby almighty_tuna » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:44 pm

Big E wrote:Big day for the anti-American freedom hating crowd.


I just repressed myself and forced me to begin reading Trotsky.

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Postby Big E » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:47 pm

almighty_tuna wrote:I just repressed myself and forced me to begin reading Trotsky.


Very nice. :clap:
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Postby freedomfighter » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:39 am

Wind power will never go anywhere fast unless several technology breakthroughs happen.

I am surprised how many people thing wind power is a good idea.  It isn't. The blades break off and interfere with radio, television and cell phone transmissions. They are also an eyesore. The cost of one turbine takes years to pay off.

So why are they built?  Government subsidies is the reason. There are some instances where windpower is easier to use in remote but windy areas but not many.

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Postby thenewguy » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:54 am

if no one ever used them or tried to engineer advances in the technology we are currently utilizing, it would be a waste.  Cars now are better than they were when they first came out, because people wanted them to be more efficient, safer, etc, as time went on.  Airplanes are more advanced for the same reasons.  Computers used to occupy entire rooms; now you can hold one in your hand.  The point is, just because it's not where it needs to be right now doesn't mean we should abandon the use of them.  We should keep using them, keep making advances in efficiency, and generate at least some portion of the energy we use, cleanly.  To me, it's not an eyesore: it's good progress.

Sorry about the frequent use of italics, i can see someone replying to my post and being a smart |expletive|, italicizing every other word. :)
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Postby icejammer » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:54 pm

MidAmerican Energy, in 2007, generated 5.4% of all power from wind energy last year and is on track to increase capacity by 10% by the end of this year.  If my math is correct, this reduced CO2 emmissions by a little over 2,000,000 pounds last year over that same power produced by coal.  Wind will never by the sole answer, but it is an answer.
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Postby Brad » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:40 pm

icejammer wrote:Wind will never by the sole answer, but it is an answer.


Exactly.  There will never be one answer, but there will be lots of answers that vary region by region and climate by climate.  Around here wind is a great addition to our current grid.
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Postby omahastylee459 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:19 pm

Last week a friend of mine was hiking by Platte River State Park near the train tracks and said he saw a train moving westbound carrying wind turbine parts, like blades, turbines, and supports.  Any idea where these could have been headed?

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Postby Brad » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:26 pm

omahastylee459 wrote:Last week a friend of mine was hiking by Platte River State Park near the train tracks and said he saw a train moving westbound carrying wind turbine parts, like blades, turbines, and supports.  Any idea where these could have been headed?


I remember seeing a story about the UP moving Wind Turbine parts, however it was a BNSF if you were at Platte River State Park.  They could be going anywhere.

I seem them on the highway too, they are HUGE!
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Postby Big E » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:27 pm

omahastylee459 wrote:Last week a friend of mine was hiking by Platte River State Park near the train tracks and said he saw a train moving westbound carrying wind turbine parts, like blades, turbines, and supports.  Any idea where these could have been headed?


Likely east or west.   :;):

Anyone ever been on the interstate next to a trailer hauling those blades?  They are FREAKING HUGE.
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