Wind turbines in northeast Lincoln removed

LINCOLN – Lincoln Electric System’s two wind turbines in northeast Lincoln have been removed after nearly 25 years of operation.

The demolition happened on the morning of July 2. After weeks of preparing for the felling, the first turbine collapsed due to a controlled explosion at its base around 10 a.m. Fifteen minutes later, the second turbine fell due to its own controlled explosion.

Wind Turbine #1 (East) sat on the proposed Nebraska Department of Correctional Services site, nearly a half-mile north of I-80 on N. 70th Street. Wind Turbine #2 (West), located closer to the Lincoln City Landfill, was reaching its full maturity this year. Both turbines were decommissioned simultaneously to save on overall costs.

To best protect public safety, LES did not publicly release the date and time of the felling. Other factors, including vendor timing and weather delays, also impacted when the turbines were removed.

“We didn’t want to draw the public to the area when explosive materials were being used. The safety of our employees and our community is always our top priority,” said Scott Benson, LES manager of Resource & Transmission Planning. “Emergency personnel and community partners were notified of the felling before it happened. Everything went safely and as planned.”

Many components of the turbines, including the blades and clean metals, are being recycled. Only minimal materials that aren’t suited for recycling will be disposed of in an environmentally compliant landfill facility. The turbine sites will be cleaned throughout July.

The wind turbines were the oldest operating wind generators in Nebraska. Constructed in the late 1990s, they had a total capacity of 1.3 MW and served as LES’ first investment in wind. To date, LES’ nameplate resource portfolio of wind is approximately 300 MW in high-wind areas of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. Today, LES’ nameplate resource portfolio is diversified between 34 percent renewable resources (i.e., wind, hydro, solar and landfill gas), 35 percent natural gas and 31 percent coal. The removal of Wind Turbine #1 and Wind Turbine #2 does not meaningfully change this breakdown. 

For more information on this project, visit Stay up to date on the latest at LES by following us on Facebook, X and Instagram. Footage of the turbine removal is available upon request.