Nebraska to build wind farm to power Facebook centre

Wakefield - Utility officials say a new wind farm being built in northeastern Nebraska will provide 200 megawatts of power to a planned Facebook data centre. 

The Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project will be built between the American towns of Allen, Emerson and Wakefield, the Sioux City Journal reported. Demand for power from Facebook helped resurrect the project that had been at a standstill since 2013 after its former owners, Trade Winds, couldn't find buyers for the energy farm.

More than 100 landowners are involved in the project. The wind farm will distribute $80m in property tax and landowners payments in its first 20 years.

The Andover, Massachusetts-based Enel Green Power North America is spending $430m on the project. The farm will generate up to 320 megawatts of power, making it the second largest wind farm in the state.

The company has begun surveying and pre-construction work on the project, but full construction won't begin until the spring, said Mark McGrail, Enel's associate vice president of energy management. Turbine delivery is expected to begin in June, he said.

The project is expected to employ about 300 people during the construction phase and establish up to 16 full-time jobs.

Facebook's data centre, which will be located 161km away in Papillion, will receive 200 megawatts from the farm. The rest of the power will be available to other buyers.


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